Friday, January 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 4, 2008

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Gay lyrics ban broken at Sting 2007

At the final, in a series of free road shows leading up to the huge BoxingDay event, held outside Ken's Wildflower Lounge, Port Henderson Road,Portmore, on Friday, December 14, the performances were cut short when twoperformers disobeyed the rule, although MC Nuffy had explained thesituation.

In a story published in *The Gleaner* on Wednesday, December 19, under theheadline 'Gay lyrics 'sting' in Portmore', it was reported that after thefirst infraction by Ras Fraser, Nuffy said "all my show whe no have nosponsor yu can sey anyting". With sponsored shows, though, "the sponsor havesuppen inna de paper when de promoter come to dem. If yu breach de contrac'yu no get de res' a de money," Nuffy said, pointing out that if there was no sponsor, there was no concert.

"If yu no like certain man, yu no haffi chat 'bout dem," Nuffy said then.

However, when the real thing came on Boxing Day, it did not take long forthe rule to be tossed out, the huge audience reacting very favourably to thelyrical advocacy of death to homosexuals.

When Harry Toddler demanded just after 1 a.m. that "all who a shot ban tunon yu lighta", some strong language in the mix, he was quickly called offstage and the MC reminded the audience that "as we mentioned earlier, we aretrying our best to make this the cleanest Guinness Sting ever, so we aregoing to cut out the profanities".



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List


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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Lieberman floor remarks on introducing S. 2521

Mr. LIEBERMAN. Mr. President, I rise to urge mycolleagues to support the domestic PartnershipBenefits and Obligations Act of 2007, which my goodfriend from the other side of the aisle, SenatorSmith, and I introduced last Congress and areintroducing again today, along with 19 othercosponsors.

This legislation is another step in the processto make the Federal Government more competitive inan ever-changing business world. It would requirethe Government to extend employee benefit programsto the same-sex domestic partners of Federalemployees. It is sound public policy and it makesexcellent business sense.

Under our bill, Federal employee and theemployee's domestic partner would be eligible toparticipate in health benefits, Family and MedicalLeave, long-term care, Federal retirement benefits,and other benefits to the same extent that marriedemployees and their spouses participate. Employeesand their partners would also assume the sameobligations that apply to married employees andtheir spouses, such as anti-nepotism rules andfinancial disclosure requirements.



Forrded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

In N.H. churches, candidates find a different breed of evangelical

By Lisa Wangsness, Globe Staff | December 21, 2007

NASHUA - In the dimly lit sanctuary of a large brickchurch at the north end of Main Street, more than100 people move to light Christian rock music.Children, recently resettled refugees from Burundi,are splayed out on the floor with coloring books. Aman in jeans and a sweater stands nearby, swaying!and holding his palms heavenward.

"What can wash away my sins," the group sings."Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Grace Fellowship in Nashua is part of a growingmovement of evangelical Christians in New Hampshire,a group that includes nearly 1 in 5 Republicanprimary voters and that could play an important rolein the state's Jan. 8 election. Mike Huckabee, theformer Arkansas governor and an ordained Baptistminister, has preached in four New Hampshirechurches, and is hoping to connect with religiousconservatives.

Yet those who worship at Grace Fellowship and otherNew Hampshire churches point to many ways in whichthey differ from evangelicals outside New England,particularly in the South and Southwest, who are thebackbone of the religious right in America and, inIowa and South Carolina, provide a base of supportfor Huckabee.

Outside New England, evangelical megachurches arecommonplace, attracting thousands or even tens ofthousands. In New Hampshire, evangelical churchestend to be smaller - and more independent.



New H.I.V. Cases Drop but Rise in Young Gay Men

January 2, 2008

For years he had numbed his pain and fear with drugs, alcohol and anonymoussex. But in a flash of clarity one day, when the crystal meth was wearingoff, Javier Arriola dragged himself to a clinic to get an H.I.V. test, yearsafter he stopped using condoms.

He knew the answer before he received the results, but it was far worse thanhe thought: At age 29, he had full-blown AIDS.

He had planned to have a party for his 30th birthday. Instead he wasthinking of hanging himself in his apartment in Hell's Kitchen.

"There were feelings of terror, like when you were a little kid and there'sthat thing that terrifies you," he said. "This was it. The worst nightmare,and I brought this onto myself."

The number of new H.I.V. infections in men under 30 who have sex with menhas increased sharply in New York City in the last five years, particularlyamong blacks and Hispanics, even as AIDS deaths and overall H.I.V. infectionrates in the city have steadily declined.

more . . . . .


Frwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

John Edwards For President
by Wayne Besen

On the day voters head to the Iowa caucuses, I endorse John Edwards forpresident. I want to make it clear that this is not an endorsement - as the group does not take positions on candidates.

Why Edwards?

I was going to go into a long and elaborate defense of his record, butdecided against it. The bottom line is that he is the only one who isspeaking to the middle class (i.e. me). I am fed up with corporate CEO's whoare driving their companies into the dirt and still getting huge pay raises,while the average worker struggles. Conservatives would argue this is thefree market, but this is not true. In a free market, people are rewarded forsuccess - not failure. What we have now is a sick system that needs radicalchange. America is a declining empire that is falling behind the rest of theworld. Edwards is the best candidate to reverse this slide.

Let's face it, our children perform poorly on tests. The dollar is fallingas fast as the price of gas is rising. We have failed the entire world indealing with climate change. And, our sadistic health care system is anational disgrace.

Edwards is the only candidate speaking about the plight of many Americanswho are fighting to get by. He is the candidate who genuinely wants to makeour lives better and is saying the things that I want to hear. This is why Iwill vote for John Edwards.


Same-Sex Divorce Challenges the Legal System
Most States Lack Law, Precedent To Settle Issues

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 2, 2008; A03

When her three-year-old marriage broke up, the 44-year-old doctor assumedshe and her ex would split their property and jointly parent their twochildren. Her stay-at-home spouse wanted sole custody and the right to movethe children out of Massachusetts.

In pretrial motions, both parents made the same argument to a judge: Thechildren should be with me; I'm their mother.

For years, family court judges leaned toward a maternal preference when itcame to custody disputes. But what to do when both parents are women, orneither is? Judges in Massachusetts have been grappling with that questionsince gay and lesbian couples began filing for divorce in 2004, seven monthsafter the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.

Nearly 10,000 gay and lesbian couples married after the ruling.Massachusetts does not keep records on the number who have divorced, butlawyers who specialize in family cases say it is in the dozens. Those whochoose to end their marriages soon discover that the trauma of divorce iscompounded by legal and financial difficulties that heterosexual couplesgenerally are spared.

"One of the benefits of marriage is divorce," said Joyce Kauffman, a Bostondivorce lawyer who has handled a dozen same-sex divorce cases. "But for alot of couples, that benefit is very complicated and very costly in waysthat heterosexual couples would never have to experience."

more . . . . .


Inside Higher Education

When Identity Trumps Diversity

Jan. 4

“You have a white church and you have a Negro church. You have allowedsegregation to creep into the doors of the church. How can such a divisionexist in the true Body of Christ? You must face the tragic fact that whenyou stand at 11:00 on Sunday morning to sing ‘All Hail the Power of JesusName’ and ‘Dear Lord and Father of all Mankind,’ you stand in the mostsegregated hour of Christian America.”
—Martin Luther King Jr.

King’s words, delivered in 1956, ring true today. Just ask Denise Isom. Isomis an African-American education professor at Michigan’s Calvin College whoasked this fall for an exemption to the evangelical college’s requirementthat all faculty join a Christian Reformed Church (or one in anotherdenomination in “ecclesiastical fellowship” with the Dutch-rooted church,known as the CRC).

“Each day, in formal and informal ways, I must address the issues of raceand culture, often engaging in ways that carry a psychological, emotional,social, and physical cost,” Isom wrote in a letter requesting an exemptionso that she could join a black Baptist church instead. “Though there are CRCchurches and communities that are striving to reflect a multicultural visionin the church’s make-up and worship content, they are not ‘there’ yet. As aperson who has long worked towards those ends in predominately whitesettings, I find myself at a place where, for emotional, social, andspiritual health, I need a place of worship that is already consistent withmy culture and able to grapple with issues of race in ways which make it arespite, a re-charging and growing place for me, as opposed to anotherlocation where I must ‘work’ and where I am ‘other.’”

Furthermore, she wrote, “As someone for whom research, scholarship, andservice are centered around issues of social justice, race, culture, andgender, I need to be intimately tied to populations of people of color.” Sheadded that she plans to conduct research on racialized gender identity amongAfrican-American children in a church setting.

Calvin’s Board of Trustees rejected Isom’s request in October. The board’sdecision to decline the exemption request meant that, unless she joined achurch in accordance with Calvin’s requirement (one of three faith-basedrequirements Calvin faculty must meet), her tenure-track appointment wouldbe reverted to a term appointment that would expire at the end of 2008-9.Isom did not return requests for comment. Others contacted described theball as now being in her court.



Stonewall Democrats

Who do YOU support for President?

January 03, 2007

Dear Democrat,

Tonight, the nation will tune-in to learn the presidential results of theIowa Caucuses. I am sure that you - like most of us here at NationalStonewall Democrats - will be watching as well.

While our country waits by for the results, you can make your personalchoice known now.

Take a moment to register your preference for President by filling out ourStonewall Census, if you haven't already. We will be announcing the resultsof the presidential preference question on Monday, January 7 - the daybefore the New Hampshire Primary.

This is your opportunity to take a stand for your candidate. It also allowsyou to let us know how we are doing, what we can do better and how we canbetter serve you.

Take a moment. Record your vote. We'll announce the results on Monday,January 7.

NOTE: If you have already complete a Stonewall Census survey, thank you.Your preference has already been recorded. A new vote will not be recorded.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Primary voters: the big three aren’t worth your time or money

by Susan Ryan-Vollmar editor-in-chief
Wednesday Jan 2, 2008

With every Democratic presidential candidate gunning for the LGBT community’ssupport, here’s a dose of reality: On LGBT issues alone, there’s nothingthat makes any of the three frontrunners stand out enough to merit yourmoney, much less the endorsement of this newspaper.

Why do I mention money instead of votes? Because that’s what the candidateswant - and need - from you. They already know that they’ve got your votecome November 2008. Honestly, are you really going to pull the lever forMitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani or John McCain? Not even the LogCabin Republicans -the group of conservative gays who proudly backed BobDole for president in 1996 - can stomach anyone in the GOP field this timearound. The crop of anti-evolution, anti-gay, anti-intellectual Republicansrunning for president is an embarrassment to the country. Giuliani andRomney have disgraced themselves with their backtracking fromwell-documented previous stances on social issues like gay rights in thehopes of garnering support from religious conservatives. McCain hasn’t beenquite as audacious as New York’s former mayor and our former governor inthis regard, but his hat-in-hand performance at the ultra-conservativeLiberty University in spring 2006 should scare off any self-respecting LGBTperson, much less anyone who thinks the U.S. Constitution still meanssomething.

Let’s be clear: All of the LGBT campaign steering committees and lists ofprominent LGBT supporters touted by the Democratic campaigns are propagatedfor one purpose alone - to raise money for the candidates. And if the gaysare good at anything, it’s raising money. An August 2007 CommunityMarketing, Inc. survey of LGBT political participation showed that 31percent of lesbian respondents had donated money in the 2004 presidentialcampaign; 40 percent of gay male respondents had done the same. By contrast,only seven percent of the general population donated money in the 2004campaign.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

2008's big picture

Alex Au
31 Dec 2007

Progress towards gay equality does not spring in isolation from the broaderenvironment. It is often dependent on trends and events in the political,social, legal and even economic sphere, both local and global. What are afew of these that may be worth watching in 2008?

The big political event of the coming year is the American presidentialelection, due November 2008. The current President, George Bush isconstitutionally barred from seeking reelection and is anyway deeplyunpopular. Unusually even compared to past elections, the field is wideopen, with a good chance that the next president will come from theDemocratic Party.

While none of the three leading Democratic contenders – Barack Obama,Hillary Clinton and John Edwards (above, left to right)– have openly comeout to support gay marriage, it's fair to expect that neither will theyresist moves by any state towards it. Marriage in the US is governed bystate legislation, not federal legislation.

Among Republican candidates, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are angling forthe conservative evangelical vote. The former is a Mormon, the latter aSouthern Baptist minister.

Yet another victory by a candidate embraced by the religious rightwing(after Bush's victories in 2000 and 2004) will solidify the hold they haveover US politics, and boost the confidence of anti-gay groups. A newRepublican president will have another four or eight years to stack the USSupreme Court with conservative-leaning judges.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Veterans and PTSD

by Bob Roehr

Gays and lesbians serve in the military despite the policy known as “Don'tAsk, Don't Tell” ( DADT ) . And they suffer the same physical andpsychological wounds as their straight colleagues.

About 25 percent of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans received mentalhealth diagnoses, according to a study of the first 100,000 veterans seen atfacilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs ( VA ) . The VA islikely to see the more severe cases, so one should be careful inextrapolating its findings.

This was just one of many pieces of information that is helping to bring theveterans' situation into sharp focus. It was presented at the 135th annualmeeting of the American Public Health Association ( APHA ) in Washington,D.C., just prior to Veterans' Day.

Evan Kanter, M.D., Ph.D., staff psychiatrist in the PTSD Outpatient Clinicof the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, said, “The most common [ of mentaldisorders ] were post-traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD ) , substance abuse,and depression. The younger the veterans are, the more likely they are tohave mental health conditions.”

Estimates of the occurrence of PTSD range from 12 to 20 percent. With thenumber of troops deployed to combat zones passing 1.5 million last summer,and the VA having treated only 52,000 persons, it is clear that many vetsare not receiving the help they could use.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

WWJD? For the Bible Tells Me So explores families’ struggles withhomosexuality

By Robin Wright Gunn
Bishop Gene Robinson at his consecration

DOES THE BIBLE condemn gays and lesbians? What about when one of those gaysor lesbians is your own child?

This theological debate, in the news for causing rifts within religiousdenominations and local congregations, becomes personal for religious peoplewhen a family member reveals his or her homosexuality.

The personal side of this question is at the heart of For the Bible Tells MeSo, a documentary released in 2007 and screening in Savannah Jan. 6. Thefilm tells the stories of five Christian families with gay or lesbian familymembers. Among the stories are former U.S. Representative Richard Gephardt(D-Missouri) a Baptist whose daughter Chrissy is a lesbian; and, the ex-wifeand parents of Gene Robinson, the first acknowledged gay man to be ordainedas bishop in the Episcopal church in the United States.

Two local organizations, Reel Savannah Film Group and Stand Out Youth, arejoining forces to sponsor the film and a post-screening panel discussion.

Family acceptance is an issue faced by many members of Stand Out Youth,described by board member Dan Watson as a nonprofit organization forgay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender and “questioning” teens and young adults.Stand Out Youth holds weekly facilitated meetings attended by young peopleand occasionally by parents of first-time attendees.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


The full Assembly will pass the bill on Monday. Earlier today, the AssemblyJudiciary Committee approved the bill 5-0.
Garden State Equality

Thursday, January 3, 2008
Contact: Steven Goldstein, cell (917) 449-8918

By a stunning 35-0 vote, the New Jersey Senate just approved S2975, sweepinglegislation to strengthen New Jersey's hate crimes and anti-school bullyinglaws. The full Assembly will vote on the bill, conceived by Garden StateEquality and the New Jersey Anti-Defamation League, this Monday, January7th. Earlier today, the Assembly Judiciary Committee approved the bill 5-0.

The bill comes on the heels of a just-released FBI report that ranks NewJersey #2 in hate crimes nationally, behind only California. The primeAssembly sponsors are Wilfredo Caraballo, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, UpendraChivukula and John McKeon. The prime Senate sponsors are Barbara Buono andLoretta Weinberg.

The bill does the following:

1. Adds "gender identity or expression" as a protected class to the statehate crimes law. Combined with the 2006 expansion of the state's Law AgainstDiscimination to include gender identity or expression, the strengthenedhate crimes law will make New Jersey's laws for the transgender communityunsurpassed in all America.

2. It updates other parts of the hate crimes law by adding "nationalorigin" as a protected category, which thus far has been included in the lawby interpreting "ethnicity" to include such; and substitutes the moresensitive term "disability" for "handicap."

3. It specifies that a "mistake of fact" by a defendant committing a hatecrime is not a defense.

4. It requires two hours of hate-crimes sensitivity training for all newpolice officers.

5. It specifies suggested sentencing options to which judges can sentencedefendants, such as anti-hate sensitivity training.

6. It creates a study Commission on Bullying in Schools, which has ninemonths to investigate the problem and make recommendations to the Governorand legislature for further legislation.

7. It requires schools post their anti-bullying policies on their websites,and to distribute their anti-bullying policies, within 120 days afterenactment of the law.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Grossmont Union High School District board members join suit challenginganti-discrimination law Equality California, GSA Network file a motion to intervene in lawsuit

by Margie M. Palmer
Published Thursday, 03-Jan-2008 in issue 1045

Four Grossmont Unified High School District governing board members havejoined a federal lawsuit challenging an anti-discrimination bill signed intolaw by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund and Advocates for Faith and Freedomfiled suit in federal court in San Diego on Nov. 27, attempting to overturnSenate Bill 777. The bill, which becomes effective Jan. 11, adds the terms“gender” and “sexual orientation” to the California Education Code, andexpands the existing term “sex” to include “gender identity,” which means aperson’s self-identified gender.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the California Education Committee, aproject of California Family Council, claims SB 777 is unconstitutionallyvague and violates the privacy of all students, teachers and other personspresent on school campuses.

It names Gov. Schwarzenegger, state Attorney General Edmund Brown Jr.,Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and others asdefendants. On Dec. 21, Equality California and the Gay-Straight AllianceNetwork filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, so SB 777 would beenforced in schools.

“Adding [gender identity and sexual orientation] as a special sub group fordiscrimination protection to a law that already protects everyone isunnecessary, and an insidious motive to destroy marriage between a man and awoman and to destroy marriage as God ordained it,” said GUHSD governingboard president, Priscilla Schreiber, who is listed among the plaintiffs inthe lawsuit. Schreiber, along with GUHSD board members Larry Urdahl, RobertShield and Jim Kelly, supports overturning SB 777.

more . . . . .


Fowarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Another NY Civil Union Recognition Loss


Dealing a second appellate defeat to John Langan in his quest forcompensation for the loss of his partner, a five-member panel of New York'sAppellate Division, 3rd Department, based in Albany, ruled on December 27that Langan, a surviving partner of a Vermont civil union, is not a "spouse"within the meaning of the state's Workers' Compensation Law.

This upheld a determination by the Workers' Compensation Board to deny asurvivor's benefit to Langan after the death of his spouse, Neal ConradSpicehandler, as a result of injuries incurred on the job.

A panel of judges from the 2nd Department of the Appellate Division, basedin Brooklyn, had previously rejected Langan's argument that he should beable to litigate a wrongful death action against St. Vincent's Hospital,whose negligence he charges resulted in Spicehandler dying from his injury.

According to the opinion for the panel by Justice Anthony T. Kane,Spicehandler, in 2002, was engaged in business for his employer, State FarmFire & Casualty Company, when, as a pedestrian, he was struck by a motoristin New York City. He was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital, where he diedsomewhat mysteriously after an apparently successful operation.

The couple, who lived on Long Island, had several years before been unitedas civil partners in Vermont. Langan filed a Workers' Compensation claimwith State Farm's insurer. The insurer determined that the injury created anobligation for compensation to the Spicehandler estate, but that Langan wasnot entitled to a survivor's benefit as a "spouse."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

New Asylum Chance for Gay Egyptian


A unanimous three-judge panel of the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals,based in Philadelphia, ruled on December 20 that a gay Egyptian man shouldreceive a further hearing from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), whichearlier rejected his bid to stay in the US.

The man, referred to in the opinion as John Doe, argued that he met thestandard for remaining here under both the Immigration and Nationality Actand the international Convention Against Torture.

Writing for the court, Circuit Judge Dolores Sloviter rejected thepetitioner's argument that the BIA's decision should be reversed and he begranted his petition to stay. Instead, wrote Sloviter, the case should goback to the Appeals board, which is part of the Department of Justice, forreconsideration of significant uncontested evidence about torture in Egyptthat it did not address in its earlier opinion.

Doe is a native and citizen of Egypt who left that country in 1989 aftersuffering two beatings because he is gay - one at the hands of his highschool gym instructor and the other by a police officer "who saw Doe holdinghands with, kissing, and hugging his boyfriend" in a public park. Doe movedto Qatar, but claims he suffered additional beatings and threats after "aformer Egyptian classmate began to spread rumors that he is gay."

The man has briefly visited Egypt a few times to see family members, butclaims he suffered harassment on those occasions as well, and that hisfamily has since written to him warning that the police were looking forhim.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Stakes Emerging From Iowa, New Hampshire


With the one-two punch of the Iowa caucuses and the Hampshire primary uponus, it is very tempting to declare this week for one or another of thepresidential candidates, to inject into the political conversation an LGBTmedia endorsement out of New York.

The fact though is that the time for that is not yet here. And thatstatement is made with full knowledge of how national media narratives aboutmomentum, about who exceeded and who fell short of contrived expectationstoo often drive our political choices.

Clear-cut and uniform results coming out of those two relatively small,relatively homogenous states could have inordinate influence on our choicesin November. I recognize that.

And that's a shame, because even with a host of reasonably good options thisyear, the LGBT community and many other groups within our society deservemore time and more attention to their concerns from the candidates. Thepreposterous sums being lavished on a couple of hundred thousand voters inIowa and New Hampshire demonstrate the crying need for presidential primaryreform, but that is an argument for another day.
For now, several rough conclusions are clear.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Courting the LGBT Vote in New Hampshire

News update, Thurs., Jan. 3, 2008
by Patsy Lynch

Manchester, NH 1-3-08—Snow and bone-chilling winds whip across the firststate to hold presidential primaries. Unlike past years where the signs forpresidential candidates outnumbered the residents, there are few visiblesigns of support. Still, there is a sense of suppressed excitement buildingas primary day approaches.

New Hampshire is ready to face the nation as the first state to cast itsprimary votes for the next President of the United States. Hundreds of paidand volunteer staff members are filling the candidate's campaign officesmaking phone calls, plotting areas to canvass, licking envelopes andplanning press conferences and rallies in the days leading up to the Jan. 8election day.

For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) community, thesedays are filled with a renewed sense of hope and guarded optimism. Theleading Democratic candidates have a small but efficient section of staffmembers whose job is to handle requests for information regarding theircandidates' view on issues of interest to the LGBT community. These staffmembers, both paid and volunteer are working tirelessly to insure that theneeds of the LGBT community are not ignored. In fact, these staff membersare making a concerted effort to get the LGBT community involved in thecampaign process. Calls are going out to local businesses, including bars,restaurants, book stores and service-oriented concerns in an effort to reachout to as many voters as possible. Candidate's flyers, bumper stickers,buttons and brochures are piled high in these establishments, while ralliesand public demonstrations of support are being planned. Busloads ofsupporters are arriving daily from around the country to work for theircandidate and to get local LGBT voters involved.

National organizations like The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) and StonewallDemocrats are providing financial and logistic support to the nationalcampaign staff members in New Hampshire. These groups are using their cloutto encourage LGBT voters, who may be reluctant to vote, to make adifference.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Black Gay Activists Fear Violence Pattern

by Amy Wooten

Local Black LGBT activists are concerned about the recent murders of twoopenly gay Black men on the South Side, and in light of the passing of theanniversary of last year's New Year's Eve South Side shooting, they arecalling for the city to step up on combating what they fear is a pattern ofviolence against the community.

“We are calling on the police department to let the community know what'sgoing on,” said the Coalition for Justice and Respect's Mark Loveless. Heand others feel that the city and police haven't adequately responded to thekillings.

Critical Caucus—a coalition of LGBT organizations such as the Coalition forJustice and Respect—as well as event planners and businesses, held a pressconference at City Hall Dec. 27 to issue a community alert in response tothe news of the murder of an openly gay choir director as well as themid-November killing of a Black gay man. Loveless feels that the killingsshow a continued pattern of violence against Black gay men on the city'sSouth Side.

Since the press conference, the Chicago Police Department has contactedCritical Caucus and requested a meeting. Loveless said that the meeting willtake place early January.

“We are here because we are scared,” Loveless said. Black gay activists arecalling on the Chicago Police Department to provide the community with moreinformation. They also want city officials to help stop what they consider apattern of violence, although police have no information linking the cases,which are still under investigation. Police also have no information as towhether or not the killings were motivated by hate.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Man Attacked, Raped in Cicero


A man has been charged with sexual assault and a hate crime in Cicero afterattacking a gay man, according to

Felipe Rivera, 43, allegedly confessed on video to beating the victim andthen raping him with a metal broom handle. ( They had reportedly gotten intoan argument at a party earlier in the evening. ) Allegedly, Rivera said thathe raped said victim “because he hates faggots, and this is what they get.”

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Cicero Police spokesman Dan Proft said,“Mr. Rivera got upset apparently because he believed the victim, No. 1,didn't respond to a female and then, No. 2, somehow winked at him—made whathe perceived as a sexual advance.”

Rivera's bond was set at $400,000, including $50,000 for violating parole.

If found guilty, he could receive up to 30 years in jail, and an additional5 years on the hate-crime charge.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Former Stonewall Democrats head runs for Congress

Russ Goodwin seeks 12th District seat now held by Pat Tiberi

by Eric Resnick
January 4, 2008

Columbus--The immediate past president of the Stonewall Democrats of CentralOhio is a candidate for U.S. Congress, becoming Ohio’s fourth openly gayfederal candidate.

Russ Goodwin, 53, of Columbus is seeking the 12th District seat currentlyheld by Republican Pat Tiberi. The district includes eastern Columbus,Dublin, Westerville, New Albany, Bexley and Gahanna, along with DelawareCounty and most of Licking County.

“I’m tired of not having my views and the views of the majority representedin Congress,” said Goodwin.

Tiberi, a former Ohio House majority leader, has held the seat since 2001.He has been a reliable vote for George W. Bush and the House Republicansduring his tenure, including racking up a substantial anti-LGBT record.

Goodwin says the district has never been as conservative as Tibieri votes,and with southern Delaware County becoming increasingly Democratic, “there’spotential for him to be replaced.”

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Equality Toledo director Kim Welter resigns
She moves to board position because group could not fund a full-time post

by Anthony Glassman
January 4, 2008

Toledo--Equality Toledo has lost its founding executive director, althoughshe is now a board member.

Kim Welter left the position on December 31 to seek full-time employmentwith health benefits. She and her partner, Merri Bame, are bothself-employed, which she noted after they became the second couple to signonto Toledo’s domestic partner registry on December 21.

WhileWelter is leaving the position of executive director, she is joiningthe board of directors, and will continue to be the public face of and theguiding hand behind Equality Toledo’s “faith and fairness” initiative, whichbrings together religious leaders to advocate for equality.

The initiative has 98 religious leaders in its database, although not allare public with their support.

“It’s been a difficult time,” said fellow board member Rev. MichelleStecker. “She’s been executive director for about a year and a half. We werepaying her next to nothing, and then we were paying her a little bit moreand a little bit more, and we were hoping we would have enough.”

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

’I’m embarrassed at what I did’

by Laura Kiritsy
associate editor
Thursday Jan 3, 2008

It’s not often we receive letters with the subject heading "Apology To GayCommunity." More often than not we just get complaints about typos, lots ofspam or creepy missives from cranks who just generally hate the gays. Andthese days, it seems the only time people apologize is just before they headoff to rehab, jail or are otherwise forced into contrition by Oprah or JayLeno. So you can imagine our surprise when we saw that subject heading inour inbox on Dec. 22 and opened an email signed by one Stephen Dunne (seebelow), the man more commonly known as "the bar exam flunker."

You’ll recall that Dunne made international news last summer when he filed afederal lawsuit against the Mass. Board of Bar Examiners and the four stateSupreme Judicial Court Justices who ruled in favor of the Goodridgeplaintiffs when he narrowly failed the bar exam after refusing to answer aquestion related to same-sex marriage. Dunne, a 30-year-old Boston resident,alleged, among other things, that the state "engaged in constitutionallyinvidious discrimination" by forcing him to answer an "inappropriate" barexam question requiring him "to write an affirmative response explicitly andimplicitly, accepting, supporting and promoting homosexual marriage andhomosexual parenting ... as a prerequisite to the practice of law" inMassachusetts. Though he found some sympathy on the right, for the most parthis suit was ridiculed by legal experts far and wide (See "Case Dismissed,"July 12). He created a website,, in an effort toraise funds to hire a constitutional law expert to represent him. But inSeptember, Dunne withdrew his suit, citing the absence of the gay marriagequestion from a subsequent version of the Mass. bar exam.

But in his letter, Dunne said his suit was "misguided" and that he was"lashing out as a result of failing the bar exam." "I am deeply sorry forthe hurt that I have caused the gay community," Dunne wrote. As far as wecan tell after interviewing Dunne on Dec. 24, he’s not headed off to jail,rehab or Oprah - in fact, he said he’s studying to take the bar exam again -so we give him props for his public mea culpa. The one thing he declined todo was name the law school he attended, stating he didn’t want to drawattention to his alma mater (although he did say it’s in Boston). We have afeeling that’s probably okay with the school.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Az domestic partner plan draws ire, support
Policy hurts marriage if adopted, group says; UA's Shelton backs it

The Associated Press

PHOENIX - State officials have received a flood of public comments on aproposal by Gov. Janet Napolitano's administration to provide domesticpartner benefits to state government employees and retirees.

Department of Administration (DOA) officials on Wednesday were processinghundreds of e-mails and letters received right before the close of thecomment period on Monday and it appeared that a total of more than 1,000 hadbeen received, DOA spokesman Alan Ecker said.

A tally made last month on about half of the comments indicated that morewere in favor of the changes than against but no updated breakdown wasimmediately available, he said.

The domestic partners benefits proposal, which would change state employmentrules, awaits consideration by a state commission.

The proposal touches on the sensitive social issue of gay rights and hasdrawn criticism from some Republican lawmakers and others.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

australia to get second lesbian parliamentarian

News Editor

Senator-elect for Western Australia Louise Pratt has become the secondopenly lesbian woman - after Climate Change Minister Penny Wong - to servein newly-elected prime minister Kevin Rudd's administration.

Louise Pratt, a former Western Australia Legislative Council member, willtake up her Senate seat in July this year. She had notably become theyoungest woman ever elected to the Western Australia Legislative Council atthe time of her election in 2001.

[PIC]Having served as a regular spokesperson for prominent advocacy groupGay and Lesbian Equality in WA before her appointment to the LegislativeCouncil, the 35-year-old Labor Party member has been credited for playing asignificant role in a gay and lesbian law reform committee that pushed forthe passage of the Acts Amendment (Lesbian and Gay Law Reform) Act 2002. Itis considered to be some of the most progressive laws in the country. Thereforms included a complete ban on discrimination on the basis of sexualorientation, the granting of the right for same-sex couples to adoptchildren, a lowering of the age of consent from 21 to 16, the right forsame-sex couples to inherit from a deceased partner, and the repeal oflegislation which had made it an offence to promote homosexuality inschools.

Pratt was quoted as saying in the gay Sydney Star Observer that law reformfor same-sex couples and GLBT individuals would be high on her agenda andhas vowed to ensure that her party makes good on its promise to implementall 58 federal laws which discriminate against gays and lesbians.

“It is very exciting to be coming in with the change in government,” Prattsaid.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club

3rd January 2008 11:20

A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages fromBournemouth's largest gay nightclub.

Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employmenttribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning.

"I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has everbeen harassed. I'm like a bulldog, I don't let go," Ms Legg told the DorsetEcho .

She told the tribunal she was called 'breeder' and 'straight' by hermanager, Scott Rhodes, while working as a bouncer at Dream Nightclub.

She was dismissed without warning after a dispute with another bouncer.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Christian MP defends opposition to gay hate law

3rd January 2008 14:02
Tony Grew

A Liberal Democrat MP has defended an amendment designed to ensure thathomophobic Christians can continue to express their views on gay people.

Colin Breed, who is a lay Methodist preacher, claims that the move, which isalso supported by Ann Widdecombe, is about "freedom of speech."

The amendment to the Criminal Justice bill seeks to block a proposed newoffence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.

It reads:

"Nothing in this part shall be read or given effect in a way which prohibitsor restricts discussion of, criticism of or expressions of antipathytowards, conduct relating to a particular sexual orientation, or urgingpersons of a particular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conductrelating to that orientation."

Among the MPs asking for the right to show antipathy towards their gayconstituents are: Lib Dem Alan Beith (Berwick Upon Tweed); ConservativesPhilip Hollobone (Kettering) and Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone and the Weald);and Labour MPs David Taylor (North West Leicestershire) and Jim Dobbin(Heywood and Middleton).

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Brighton hosts its 1,000th civil partnership

3rd January 2008 17:50 staff writer

Almost two years to the day that they became a legal reality, a lesbiancouple became the 1,000th couple to enter into a civil partnership inBrighton.

Company director Sue McCall and Emma Grose-McCall, a lawyer, have beentogether for six years.

They signed the civil register at Brighton Register Office on 22nd December.

"We had a quiet ceremony but its something we've wanted for some time," saidEmma.

"It's important to have our relationship recognised and have equal rightswith married couples, and Brighton is a place where we both feel reallycomfortable."

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Truth Wins Out

Huckabee Cavorting With Dangerous Ideologues From Religious Fringe Movement

January 3rd, 2008

In 1998, Mike Huckabee co-wrote the book, “Kids Who Kill” withReconstructionist author George Grant. Grant is an ideologue with extreme,even dangerous religious views. The question is, does the former Arkansasgovernor share Grant’s view of the role of Christianity in government?

This passage is from Grant’s 1987 book The Changing of the Guard (Ft. Worth,
TX: Dominion Press, 1987), pp. 50-51.

“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holyresponsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ - to have dominion inthe civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion weare after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equaltime. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ hascommissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of theGospel. And we must never settle for anything less.

“If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commissionis to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says,then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all ourcraftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim atnothing short of that sacred purpose. Thus, Christian politics has as itsprimary intent the conquest of the land - of men, families, institutions,bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ.

“It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over alljudgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, andconfederations. True Christian political action seeks to rein the passionsof men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule.”

Clearly, this sounds like a twisted American version of fundamentalist Iran.
While I doubt these are Huckabee’s views, it is still extremely troublingthat America’s most delusional fundamentalists - who promote violent ideassuch as capital punishment for homosexuals - keep showing up in Huckabee’sRolodex, resume and campaign.

George Grant is a former vice president of Coral Ridge Ministries. In hisbook “Legislating Immorality,” Grant expresses sadness that in the modernworld there are no longer legal codes proscribing the death penalty forhomosexuals.


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:
Letter by
There is a myth that marriage has more rights than civil unions/domesticpartners. That myth is born from the fact that civil unions/domesticpartners have only been passed by states which have no power to grant the1138 federal benefits of marriage. However, a federal civil unions policywould. Senators Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Dodd & Biden support a federalcivil unions policy. 48 million votes cast in 29 states, 32 million againstsame sex marriage, we lost 2 to 1. Civil Unions are achievable, same-sexmarriage is not. Federal Civil Unions = Marriage Equality.
Dreyfus, who was elected in 1978 after serving on the faculty and aschancellor at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, signed the nation'sfirst statewide gay rights law in 1982.According to the AP, "The gay rightsmeasure Dreyfus signed made it illegal to discriminate on the basis ofsexual orientation in housing, employment and public accommodations." Theyadd, "Dreyfus also was a vocal opponent of the state's ban on gay marriageand civil unions, which was approved by voters in 2006."Said Glenn Carlson,interim executive director of Fair Wisconsin: "[Dreyfus' actions] reallyestablished Wisconsin in the forefront of nondiscrimination. He's been agreat leader and will be sorely missed."Added Governor Jim Doyle, whoordered flags to be flown at half mast today: "Lee Dreyfus was one of akind - one of Wisconsin's unique personalities.He was both a wonderfulgovernor and education leader. He led us, educated us, entertained us, allat the same time."
Anglican archbishop spurs opposition to gays - National -
Outspoken Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen is galvanising opposition tohomosexuality in the church, in the lead-up to an unofficial meeting ofconservative bishops in Jerusalem.As rifts in the worldwide Anglican Churchthreaten to become a schism, the Sydney Archbishop said American Anglicanshad become missionaries for homosexuality in defiance of the Bible andAnglican teaching.The Global Anglican Future Conference is provocativelytimed just before the 10-yearly meeting of all the world's bishops atLambeth in London. That meeting must resolve the sexuality crisis orworldwide Anglicans will probably divide into two separate churches.DrJensen denied the Jerusalem meeting in June was an "alternative Lambeth",but liberals are sceptical. Leading Australian liberal Muriel Porter saidthe conference could hijack Lambeth because conservatives would come seekingto impose a predetermined outcome.Meanwhile, the Bishop of Jerusalem said hehad not been consulted, and urged the organisers to abandon the move, sayingit could inflame tensions in the region. Bishop Suheil Dawani said: "I amdeeply troubled that this meeting, of which we had no prior knowledge, willimport inter-Anglican conflict into our diocese.
WHEN VERMONT legislators legalized civil unions for gay couples in 2000,there was a bitter backlash against the reform. But on New Year's Day, NewHampshire joined Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey in extending civilunion rights to gay and lesbian couples, and the event was met with acollective yawn. There are several reasons for this change, but the mostimportant is that residents of New Hampshire have had a chance to observeVermont and Connecticut's civil unions and Massachusetts' same-sex marriage,and realized that extending rights to a minority is no threat to themajority - or to the institution of marriage.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Obama Is Best On Gay Rights
The top three Democrats are mostly similar on our issues, but only Obama canreach out where needed to transform promises into equality. After more thana year of campaigning in the most wide-open primaries in decades, it’sfinally time for voters to pick a president. On the Democratic side, thethree hopefuls with a viable shot at the nomination have all signed on toalmost every item on the so-called “gay agenda.
Randy Flies Reveal How Booze Affects Inhibitions
Fruit flies that develop homosexual tendencies when drunk may help revealhow alcohol loosens human sexual inhibitions, claim researchers. Kyung-AnHan and her colleagues at Pennsylvania State University in University Parkused a voyeuristic chamber dubbed the "Flypub" to observe the influence ofalcohol on the sexual behaviour of male Drosophila fruit flies.
No Blue Skies for Bi-National Couples
As 2008 unfolds, those gay and lesbian Americans who are in relationshipswith men and women from beyond our borders are probably wondering what these12 months will bring for them, especially during an election year. As wasthe case during the year that just ended, the news will continue to be grim.
Women and Gay Men Are 'Worst Drivers'
Women and gay men are likely to be the worst drivers, a new study has shown.
Research has revealed that both perform poorly in tasks involving navigationand spatial awareness when compared to heterosexual men.
The Gayby Boom
As we careen into full blown campaign season, gay marriage will likely movefrom a simmer to a boil. Declarations will be forced, answers will beparsed, fine lines will be tiptoed. But as both sides of the culturaldivide argue about the rights to a happy and legal union, there is anotherissue that is moving steadily, if quietly toward acceptance.
Mixed Reaction to NGLTF's Name Change
In the wake of House passage of a sexual orientation-only Employment
Non-Discrimination Act, and the dawn of an election year, the National Gayand Lesbian Task Force is reinventing its political arm with a new name andWeb site. But some bisexual and transgender activists have a mixed responseto the change and how it reflects the organization's inclusive politics.
Gay Chamber of Commerce Puts Pressure on Small Businesses
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring seminars toencourage small businesses to favor homosexual employees. It also is teamingwith the pro-gay Human Rights Campaign to publish a 32-page booklet on howsmall businesses can be more "inclusive."
Gay Policeman Fights Prejudice
An officer assigned to the riot police has openly declared his homosexualityand vowed to fight social prejudice against ``sexual minorities.'' On Dec.30, Private Kim Hyun-jong (not his real name) posted an article about hishomosexuality on the online riot police community Web site. He is the secondpoliceman from the squad to have openly come out after YooJeong Min-shikidentified himself as being gay and refused to finish his service term forwhich he was prisoned in 2006. In South Korea, men can serve in the riotpolice as part of their mandatory military service.
The Gay Squad
In the District, the award-winning Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of theWashington Metropolitan Police Department has been a much used resource forthe city's GLBT community, especially in times of high-profile crime sprees,when seeking a liaison to the MPD, when fighting community drug addiction,or a host of other reasons. Just south of the District line, in Arlington,the priorities aren't quite the same.



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Is New Hampshire Clinton's Last Stand?
(Manchester, New Hampshire) Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton -welcome to New Hampshire, where you each face the biggest test of yourpolitical lives.
Little Attention Paid To Cowboy Caucus
(Cheyenne, Wyoming) It's been overlooked in the hoopla surrounding Iowa andNew Hampshire, but Wyoming Republicans will caucus Saturday and choosedelegates to the national convention in September.
Obama Scores Stunning Victory
(Des Moines, Iowa) Democrat Barack Obama has put to rest the question ofwhether a black presidential candidate can win in white America.
Romney Loss Puts Campaign In Disarray
(Des Moines, Iowa) Republican Mitt Romney failed Thursday to pick up thefirst of two back-to-back wins he hoped would propel him toward his party'spresidential nomination, losing the Iowa caucuses five days before what isnow for him a pivotal New Hampshire primary.
Researcher: Gay Men Behave Like Women
(London) Gay men navigate in a similar way to women, according to a newstudy from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London.
NJ Gay Hate Bill Advances
(Trenton, New Jersey) The New Jersey Senate on Thursday unanimously approvedsweeping legislation to strengthen New Jersey's hate crimes and anti-schoolbullying laws.
Soap Star Auctions Himself For HIV/AIDS Charity
(New York City) Cameron Mathison is putting himself up for auction.
Ruling Could Impact Lesbian IVF Couples
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that awoman who promised a sperm donor he would not have to pay child supportcannot renege on the deal.
Majority Supports Arizona DP Benefits Plan
(Phoenix, Arizona) A plan by Gov. Janet Napolitano's administration toprovide domestic partner benefits to Arizona state employees and retireesappears to have the support of most citizens.
Early Gay Ally Gov. Dreyfus Dies
(Madison, Wisconsin) Former Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who signed thenation's first statewide gay rights law in 1982, has died. He was 81.


Express Gay News

Judge's call on civil unions puts spotlight on voter signatures
State's verification process angers some political activists

SALEM (AP) | Jan 2, 3:15 PM

The recent decision by a federal judge to block a law allowing gay couplesto form civil unions in Oregon has cast a spotlight on whether a signatureon a petition can be equated to a vote on the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman on Friday suspended the law, set to takeeffect with the new year.

Mosman has set a Feb. 1 court date for lawyers to argue whether electionsofficials wrongly threw out signatures on petitions that would have forced areferendum vote on domestic partnerships.

The outcome of the case will be closely watched by political activists, whoclaim Oregon elections officials are too quick to toss out petitionsignatures.

Elections officials are also paying close attention, concerned that animprobably high standard for verifying the validity of signatures couldcompromise their ability to carry out elections.

more . . . . .



2008 Gay Pop Culture Wish List

by Staff
January 2, 2008

2007 was a disappointing year in terms of gay visibility. With it now behindus, we thought we’d offer up fifteen pop culture possibilities that we’d bethrilled to see fulfilled in the coming year. Call it our 2008 wish list.From gay celebrity wedding photos splashed across the tabloids to abreak-out romantic comedy triumphing at the box office, here are our humblesuggestions for making 2008 the best gay year ever.

My Big Fat Gay Wedding – A gay romantic comedy breaks out

With last year a bust in terms of gay movies and movies with gay characters(including the well-intentioned but poorly executed I Now Pronounce YouChuck and Larry and the flat-out homophobic Wild Hogs), we have to believethat this year things can only get better. And what would truly help makethis a banner year is for a small independent romantic comedy about two gaymen to unexpectedly become a huge breakout hit.

What better way to demonstrate to Middle America the unfairness of keepinggays from getting married than with a romantic comedy about two young loverstrying to make it to the altar for their big day? It would have cute flowergirls, mothers weeping with joy, fathers grumbling about paying for theirson's wedding, and all sorts of wacky hijinks. Besides, everyone loves afairytale romance and a happy ending. We think 2002’s My Big Fat GreekWedding, which came out of nowhere to score $356 million in ticket sales, isthe perfect template for what we have in mind.

more . . . . .


The Huffigton Post

The Gaybe Boom

Posted January 3, 2008 | 10:16 AM (EST)

As we careen into full blown campaign season, gay marriage will likely movefrom a simmer to a boil. Declarations will be forced, answers will beparsed, fine lines will be tiptoed.

But as both sides of the cultural divide argue about the rights to a happyand legal union, there is another issue that is moving steadily, if quietlytoward acceptance.

That is gay and lesbian couples - and increasingly singles - adopting,having and raising children. According to The FamilyNet project at the HumanRights Campaign says that a review of American Academy of Pediatricsresearch indicates that there are between one million and nine millionAmerican children under 18 living with gay parents. Other studies put thefigure much lower.

The fact is, nobody really knows. But most sociologists agree that thegrowth is enough to warrant its own snappy trend label: "The Gayby Boom."

Whatever the number, it is increasing despite some formidable obstacles. Asa gay couple I know who have been through the gauntlet twice (and have twoamazing little girls for their effort) told me: "Think how hard it is forhetero parents to adopt a child - all the background checks, all the SocialServices visits, all the bureaucracy. When you're a gay couple, you have allthat to a power of 10. I can't even imagine what it's like if you'resingle - especially a single man."

more . . . . .


Express Gay New

Bilerico’s ‘underground flavor’ draws gay fans
Site boasts political bigwigs among contributors

Thursday, January 03, 2008

With more than 50 contributors from all walks of life, the Bilerico Project,a blog that grew from a simple domain name and some basic HTML, has evolvedquickly from its earliest incarnation.

Bil Browning, editor of the site, combined his name with his best friendEri's, to create his blog. He purchased nine years ago and theweb site initially focused on gay issues in Bloomington, Ind. Three yearsago, Browning and his partner, Jeremy, changed the blog program so thatmultiple users could post their work to the site. After reaching out to gayleaders in Indiana, the idea spread nationally and today boasts 15 to 20posts per day by a variety of correspondents.

The site features a video section and advice columns as well as the writingof gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of various races andbackgrounds.

The content varies — one day, a serious post about ENDA will be sandwichedbetween “The Best Gay Books of 2007” and a feature on a freshly outed sexycelebrity.

The Bilerico Project was relaunched in July. Since then, Browning said thesite has received 388,000 unique page views. He did not have updated numberson daily visitors to the site, but said Bilerico takes in a modest $500 permonth in advertising — an amount he says is growing. One of Browning's goalsfor 2008 is to generate enough revenue to pay some of the associate editorsand contributors.

more . . . . .


Express Gay New

Data split on benefits of circumcision
Study finds no effect on HIV rates among black, Latino gay men

Thursday, January 03, 2008

ATLANTA — College years are filled with memories, none more exciting forLouis Rahim than the first time he laid eyes on an uncircumcised penis whileattending one of the schools that make up the Atlanta University Center.

He remembers every detail of the encounter, from the screen name of the guyhe hooked up with, to the animal Rahim thought of when he first saw what wasin his pants.

“The skin covered the head, and it reminded me of an elephant trunk,” Rahimsaid.

More skin is almost a dealbreaker for D.J. Levi, 26, who has a “strongpreference” for circumcised men.

“If it’s big enough, I can overlook it,” joked Levi, who added that “myreasons are dumb” for being biased against uncut penises.

“I think circumcised looks better, and it’s more hygienic,” Levi said. “Guyshave to be taught the proper way to clean uncircumcised foreskin, andeveryone isn’t taught that.”

Despite their differing tastes when it comes to their partners’ phallus,Rahim and Levi share the perception that uncircumcised men are more prone tohygiene-related infections and STDs.

“I’ve read about uncut men being more susceptible to STDs, but that’s ifthey aren’t being clean,” said Rahim, who added that despite his preferencefor uncut men, he is glad to be circumcised.

Whether or not circumcision status plays a role in the spread or preventionof STDs is an ongoing topic debated by scientists, with several recentstudies coming to dramatically conflicting conclusions. Two separate studiesconducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention appear to showthat circumcision profoundly reduces the risk for heterosexual men in Africato contract HIV, while having “absolutely no effect” on whether gay andbisexual men in the U.S. contract the disease.

While trying to figure out why black and Latino gay and bisexual men havehigher rates of HIV even though they engage in less risky behavior thantheir white counterparts, CDC researchers looked at data from more than2,000 black and Latino gay men to see if being uncircumcised increased theirprobability of being HIV-positive. About 74 percent of black men in thestudy — which was unveiled at the CDC’s National HIV Prevention conferencelast month — were circumcised, compared to 33 percent of Latinos.

“We found no overall association between circumcision status andHIV-infection status among black or Latino [gay and bisexual men],” said CDCepidemiologist Greg Millet, the study’s author. “We also found no protectivebenefit of circumcision among those men reporting recent unprotected sexwith a male partner in which they were exclusively the insertive malepartner.”

Essentially, men who are sexual tops are not more at risk of contracting HIVif they are uncircumcised, nor are they safer if they are circumcised,Millet said. Circumcision offers gay men a “moderate protective factor, atmost,” Millet said.

When looking at a subset of black male participants who also engaged in sexwith females, the researchers “also found no protective benefit” fromcircumcision.

Millet’s data echoes other studies that have suggested circumcision haslittle effect on HIV transmission among gay and bisexual men. In the U.S., arecent study of STD clinics in San Francisco revealed that circumcisionoffered no protection from HIV for gay and bisexual men, while an Australianstudy of 68 HIV-positive gay men showed that uncircumcised men were no morelikely to have contracted the disease through insertive anal sex.

“Two previous studies conducted in the United States, but primarily amongwhite [gay and bisexual men], did show a possible protective benefit ofcircumcision,” Millet noted. “However, one of those studies also found thatthe protective effect for circumcision was moderate compared with otherfactors associated with HIV seroconversion.”


Baltimore -

Lawmakers To Get Gay Marriage Question


Gay marriage has been declared a question for the legislature, not thecourts -- but top Maryland lawmakers doubt any bills on the matter will passin the upcoming legislative session.

The session that begins Jan. 9 will be the first regular session since thestate's highest court ruled in a Baltimore case that the Marylandconstitution's equal-rights amendment does not make a ban against same-sexunions unconstitutional.

In other words, the judges punted the question back to lawmakers.

"Our opinion should by no means be read to imply that the General Assemblymay not grant and recognize for homosexual persons civil unions or the rightto marry a person of the same sex," Judge Glenn T. Harrell Jr. wrote in theSeptember decision.

But top lawmakers say it's unlikely the question of same-sex unions willadvance this session.

more . . . . .


Express Gay New

Trans activist crosses the line

Posted by Kevin Naff, Washington Blade Editor
Jan. 3 at 10:53 AM

The recent remarks by Meredith Bacon, president of the board of the NationalCenter for Transgender Equality, denouncing the Human Rights Campaign’shandling of the ENDA debate, serve as a vivid and disappointing reminder ofwhy the trans movement hasn’t progressed as far as the gay rights movement.

“[A]s the chair of the NCTE Board of Directors, I can assure all who readthis blog that NCTE will not work with HRC in the foreseeable future, untilthe current leadership is completely purged, and until we are convincedthat, unlike its predecessors, any new HRC leadership is totally committedto working for transgender rights,” Bacon wrote.

“As long as HRC is controlled by and is dependent upon white, rich,professional gay men, such collaboration may never occur,” she wrote.

Her comments are offensive, counterproductive and totally unacceptable. Sheshould either retract those comments and apologize or be removed from herposition post-haste if her organization is to retain any credibilitywhatsoever in the gay rights movement.

It’s an unfortunate development, because Mara Keisling, the group’sexecutive director, who has so far declined to comment on Bacon’s statement,has earned a reputation as a hard-working, knowledgeable and reasonableprofessional. Perhaps Keisling is too “professional” for Bacon’s taste.

Bacon’s attack on HRC and other trans advocates’ denouncing of gay Rep.Barney Frank over the ENDA flap will ultimately do more damage to the causeof one day passing an inclusive bill. All of this name-calling isshortsighted and oh-so-predictable.

It’s time for Keisling and other members of the National Center forTransgender Equality board to publicly repudiate Bacon’s offensive andirresponsible remarks.


The Advocate

Year in Review 2007 || The Sissy Awards

Every year we have to endure our fair share of idiots, but this year takesthe cake. So we here at The Advocate have reinstated our annual sissyawards, recognizing those who show arrogant stupidity, dishonesty, or just asevere lack of spine. From Paris Hilton to Peter Pace, let's give it up forthis year's winners losers.

By Alonso Duralde
From The Advocate January 15, 2008

Sissy Political Party -- The Republicans
If there’s one thing right-wing pols like better than blocking gay rights,it’s having gay sex. And 2007 gave us multiple orgasms:

--U.S. senator Larry Craig introduced us to the term “wide stance” when hewas busted in a Minnesota airport for putting the moves on an undercover copin the next stall. Craig pled guilty but held on to his seat (no, the one inthe Senate).
-National Association of Evangelicals president Ted Haggard, outed as aregular customer by a gay hustler, magically became heterosexual after justthree weeks in rehab. Lindsay Lohan would kill her dealer for results likethat.
--Glenn Murphy Jr., newly elected chair of the Young Republican National
Federation, resigned in August after his arrest for performing oral sex on asleeping acquaintance. In 1998 he’d committed a similar crime on a dudewhose girlfriend was in the same room!
--Florida state representative Bob Allen offered to pay an undercover cop$20 to let Allen give him a blow job in a restroom. Preferring to play itracist rather than gay, Allen claimed he’d acted out of fear of theAfrican-American men hanging out nearby. Result: He looked racist, gay, andstupid. Allen had been John McCain’s presidential campaign cochair forFlorida.

Sissy Extracurricular Activity of the Year -- Public bathroom sex
-Jim Naugle, mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., lobbied his city to spend$250,000 on “robo-toilets” in order to discourage gay men from having sex inpublic restrooms. Naugle said he was fighting to keep gays from taking overthe city. Only two problems with that reasoning: There’d been no recentarrests for sex in restrooms, and anyway, Jim, it’s not so much gay men inall those stalls -- it's guys like the 20 men arrested in one month at a NewYork roadside restroom. Nineteen of them (including a Rotary Club president)were married. The 20th? A Catholic priest.

Sissy Vacation Destination -- Fort Lauderdale
-Gay visitors to the Florida vacation spot have more to worry about thanautomated pissoirs. You might get verbally queer-bashed at the airport. InMay, as a law professor and his partner waited for their luggage, a voice onthe P.A. system started reading from Leviticus, saying, “A man who lies withanother man as he would a woman is subject to death.” The mystery evangelistdid not share the Bible’s views about parking in a red zone.

Sissy Grandpa -- Vice President Dick Cheney
--Mary Cheney had a baby in May, and Mary’s proud papa huffed tointerviewers that any questions about the blessed event were “out of line.”Does the VP know his alleged boss referred to Mary and her partner, HeatherPoe, as the child’s “parents” on the White House website?

Second Verse, Sissy as the First -- Pope Benedict XVI
--It wouldn’t be a sissy roundup without the pederast enablers at theVatican. Prada-wearing devil Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that the RomanCatholic Church’s opposition to gay marriage is “nonnegotiable,” and anarchbishop kicked in that same-sex marriage is “evil.” Meanwhile a Vaticanmonsignor, caught on hidden camera making advances to a youth, claimed thathe was only pretending as part of his ministry. Is that what the kids arecalling it these days?

Sissy Word of the Year -- FAGGOT!
--An oldie but a goodie, this epithet had a banner year in 2007. IsaiahWashington allegedly used the word on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, definitelyused it at the Golden Globes telecast, then went into “gay rehab” and hireda gay publicist. Results: Washington got fired, GLAAD got a new celebrityPSA, and classy costar T.R. Knight got better story lines.
--Media opportunist Ann Coulter hurled the f taunt at John Edwards, leadingto a public smackdown from the awesome Elizabeth Edwards and, regrettably,lots more TV time for Coulter.
--CBS Sports college basketball announcer Billy Packer -- who, with a namelike that, obviously has issues -- used the term “fag out” on Charlie Rose.
Rose’s viewers were so shocked they woke up.
Sissy Candy of the Year -- Snickers
--Remember this fun Super Bowl commercial? Two mechanics eat a Snickers barfrom opposite ends and wind up accidentally meeting in a kiss. Ew! Torestore the manly vibe, one of them slams a car hood down on his buddy’shead. On the Snickers website folks enjoyed three other versions of the ad,all violent, plus clips of Super Bowl players watching the spots and makingfaces of disgust when the dudes kiss. Sweet!

Sissy Sportsman of the Year -- Tim Hardaway
--When retired NBA player John Amaechi came out, ex-player Tim Hardawayfavored a radio interviewer with the following: “Well, you know, I hate gaypeople, so I let it be known, I don’t like gay people. I don’t like to bearound gay people. Yeah, I’m homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be inthe world for that or in the United States for that. So yeah, I don’t likeit.” Hardaway later said he’s sorry. But we knew that already.

Sissy Cinema -- Tie: Wild Hogs and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
--Because you can’t really choose between a midlife-crisis movie about foursuburbanites who love to wear leather and ride motorcycles but are TOTALLYIN NO WAY GAY and a comedy about two straight firemen who getcivil-unionized for the health benefits but are TOTALLY IN NO WAY GAY.

Sissy Celebrities -- Mark Wahlberg and John Travolta
Of course, actors were perfectly capable of saying stupid things even ifthey weren’t appearing in awful movies:
--Former underwear model Mark Wahlberg says he turned down the chance to bein Brokeback Mountain because the script “creeped him out.” Mind you, thisis the guy who said yes to Four Brothers and The Truth About Charlie.
--Wild Hogs star John Travolta told the press there was “nothing gay” aboutHairspray. Except its gay director. And the gay director of the originalmovie. And the gay men who wrote the songs. And several of its stars.

Sissy Stud -- Marine Corporal Matt Sanchez
--The Iraq War vet became a right-wing poster boy when he complained aboutbeing silenced by student activists at Columbia University. After he posedfor pictures with the sulfur-reeking Ann Coulter and took hisconservative-victim shtick to Fox News, it turned out Sanchez was already acelebrity in gay circles -- as man-on-man porn star Rod Majors and as(shades of Jeff Gannon) an escort. Shut up!

Sissy Waste of Space -- Paris Hilton
--Arrests aside, it was still a spotty year for the heiress (and onetimegrand marshal of the Los Angeles gay pride parade). In early 2007 an oldtape surfaced in which she used both the n and f words; in September,paparazzi video showed Hilton stepping into a puddle and observing, “Oh, myGod, I have, like, AIDS.”

Sissy Bloviator -- Bill O’Reilly
--Fox’s star windbag keeps claiming he “gets it” about gays. Oh, really?Check out these O’Reilly insights:
There’s a “national underground network” of lesbians terrorizing the nation,raping women, randomly attacking hetero men, and indoctrinating young girls.(O’Reilly later admitted this was “overstated.”)
--It was “insane” and “inappropriate” for the San Diego Padres to host a gaypride night at the same game where kids under 12 got free hats. “Thousandsof gay adults showed up and commingled with straight families,” he reported.--J.K. Rowling is a “provocateur” for saying that Harry Potter’s ProfessorDumbledore is gay. Huffed O’Reilly: “Many parents are worried in Americaabout the gay agenda and indoctrination of their children to seehomosexuality in a certain way.” (In this same segment, O’Reilly had to betold that Rowling is a woman.)

Stop-the-Presses Sissies -- The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters
--Both tried to yank THR writer Ray Richmond’s obituary of Merv Griffinbecause it discussed Griffin’s homosexuality -- the worst-kept secret inshow business outside Kenny Rogers’s face-lifts.

Sissy Internationale -- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
--At a speech at Columbia University, the Iranian president claimed that hiscountry had no homosexuals. Not true, actually -- but not for lack of tryingon Ahmadinejad’s part.

Four-star Sissy -- Gen. Peter Pace
--During his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pacecalled homosexuality “immoral” and compared it to adultery. Pace did notcomment on rumors that his mother wears combat boots.

Senatorial Sissy -- Dianne Feinstein
--Whatever mojo the California senator got out of shakily announcing themurder of Harvey Milk officially expired when the right-leaning Democrat --“Joe Lieberman in a dress,” to some wags -- jumped the aisle and approvedthe nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick for the fifth circuit court ofappeals. Southwick had advocated removing gay parents’ biological childrenfrom their homes.

Supersissy -- Spirit Warriors
--After Marvel Comics finally stopped slapping an adults-only label on anycomic book with a gay or lesbian character, born-again actor StephenBaldwin -- a.k.a. the boring Baldwin -- promoted his crappy Jesus-y graphicnovel Spirit Warriors in this press release: “With the most prominent comicbook company lightening up its rating system, how can parents be sure theiryoungsters won’t get their hands on age-inappropriate material?”

Shabbat Sissies -- Haredi Rabbis and Followers
--After extremist rabbis from the Eda Haredit sect put a curse on JerusalemPride, a Jerusalem city council member and representative of the city’s gaysand lesbians received death threats; his phone number had been posted onHaredi Web forums. Moments before the pride parade began, police arrested anultra-Orthodox Jewish man carrying an explosive device.

“Who Would Jesus Smear?” Sissies -- Focus on the Family and the AmericanFamily Association
--When former Joint Chiefs chairman John Shalikashvili came out against “don’task, don’t tell,” the good folks at Focus and AMA painted the U.S. Armygeneral as a dupe of homosexual activists who took advantage after hesuffered a debilitating stroke. The stroke, alas, happened in 2004.


The Advocate

Coming Out in the Big Leagues
Why John Amaechi didn't change the world of professional sports.

By Jeff Pearlman
From The Advocate January 15, 2008

To many gays and lesbians who care about sports, this coming-out was(literally) the big one -- the one that would officially open up the idea ofhomosexuality to a particular culture that has been anything but embracing.

For eons, participants in professional athletics had treated gays andlesbians not as people but slurs. Play soft and you’re a faggot. Dresscolorfully and you’re queer. Step into the shower with a slightly effeminateteammate and you should make sure to grab soap on a rope.

Why, it wasn’t all that long ago that one of my former Sports Illustratedcolleagues walked through the locker room of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets aftera game while wearing (gasp!) a yellow scarf. The nerve! “Ho-mo-sex-u-al!”chanted David Benoit, an eminently forgettable forward. “Ho-mo-sex-u-al!”

The joint broke out in snickers.

But in February 2007 the tide was surely about to turn. A former NBA centernamed John Amaechi appeared on ESPN’s Outside the Lines to speak publiclyabout his life as a closeted professional athlete. No, Amaechi wasn’t thefirst retired jock to come out. But he was easily the most recognizable: Notonly was Amaechi a 6-foot-10, 270-pound mountain of a man, but he had spenthis career battling head-to-head against the Shaquille O’Neals and PatrickEwings and Tim Duncans of the league -- without headgear to make himanonymous.

more . . . . .


The Advocate

Public Sex Confidential

Overnight, senator Larry Craig became the poster boy for public sex. But asBenoit Denizet-Lewis reminds us, the phenomenon is anything but new -- andit's not just a closeted republican thing. So what is it that still drivessome in the gay community out of the bedroom and into the Bathroom?

By Benoit Denizet-Lewis
From The Advocate January 15, 2008

In 1980, a short time before AIDS began decimating San Francisco’s gaypopulation, CBS aired a documentary about life in the city called Gay Power,Gay Politics. “For someone of my generation,” journalist Harry Reasoner saidin the report’s sobering introduction, “it sounds a bit preposterous.Political power for homosexuals?” He opined that this strange politicalmovement raised “troubling questions…not only for San Francisco but forother cities throughout the country.”

For CBS, the most troubling aspect of gay life in San Francisco was clear: Homosexuals seemed to be having sex everywhere—in public parks, S/M “torturechambers,” and, if they could get away with it, right in the middle ofCastro Street. In his book The Culture of Desire, Frank Browning noted thatthe total effect of CBS’s report “was that of a strident alarm, a warningthat the hidden agenda of the campaign for gay power was the legitimizationof sex in the streets.”

Many gay men were outraged by the documentary, which they saw as a salaciousattempt to smear them all as public-sex fiends. “I don’t know of anyone whois responsible who feels that [sex in San Francisco’s parks] should becondoned or encouraged,” one local gay man told the National News Council.“It’s a matter of embarrassment to most of the people I know. It’s a smallpercentage of the gay population that’s involved in that scene.”

I was reminded of the old CBS report (and of the ensuing attempt by many gaypeople to downplay the prevalence and acceptability of public sex among gaymen) in the weeks after the Larry Craig scandal broke. In October the Gayand Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issued a series of recommendationsfor journalists covering arguably the biggest public sex news story ever.After the initial focus on Craig, the media had quickly turned its prurientgaze to toe-tapping, wide stances, and in-depth investigations best summedup as “What Are the Gays Up to in Bathrooms Anyway?”

GLAAD insisted that only a small minority of gay men engage in public sexand most gay people condemn the practice. The organization also highlightedthe words of Michigan State professor emeritus of psychology GershenKaufman, who told ABC News that cruising is practiced mainly by deeplycloseted men: “There is a lot of self-hatred and shame, and they can’t allowthemselves to come to terms with their sexuality.”

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The Advocate

The Year in Queer

From The Advocate January 15, 2008

4: The 110th Congress is sworn in with Nancy Pelosi -- in a baby-blue powersuit -- as House speaker. The same day Democrat Deval Patrick takes the oathof office as the first African-American governor of Massachusetts -- andjust the second black governor in U.S. history. The gay-friendly Patrickushers in a new age for the Bay State, which endured four years of thehomophobic Mitt Romney.

15: Two months after Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington spat out theother f word during an on-set scuffle with costar Patrick Dempsey --prompting series star T.R. Knight to come out of the closet -- Washingtondrops that f bomb again at the Golden Globes telecast, then lies toreporters about having used the word in the first place. Grey’s creatorShonda Rhimes finally kicks him to the curb in June.

31: Overwhelmingly Catholic Mexico registers its first civil union when two29-year-old lesbians sign papers in Coahuila, the first of the nation’s 31states to legalize gay unions.




Bible Belt Blogger

Claim: Huckabee has launched the Republican Reformation

Posted January 4, 2008

Bible Belt Blogger: Claim: Huckabee has launched the Republican Reformation
Frank Lockwood

David Brooks, in today's New York Times, says the Iowa outcome is a seismicevent.

David Brooks Brooks also writes:

"Mitt Romney is now grievously wounded. Romney represents what’s left ofRepublicanism 1.0. Huckabee and McCain represent half-formed iterations ofRepublicanism 2.0. My guess is Republicans will now swing behind McCain inorder to stop Mike.

Huckabee probably won’t be the nominee, but starting last night in Iowa, anevangelical began the Republican Reformation."




Lee Sherman Dreyfus, ex-Wisconsin governor, dead at 81

The Associated Press
January 4, 2008


Former Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who signed the nation's first statewide gayrights law in 1982, has died. He was 81.

Mr. Dreyfus, who was governor from 1979 to 1983, died Wednesday at hisWaukesha home, his son Lee S. Dreyfus Jr. said Thursday. He had sufferedfrom heart and breathing problems.

Mr. Dreyfus was chancellor at Wisconsin-Stevens Point before running forgovernor in 1978. A Republican, he upset Rep. Bob Kasten in the primary anddefeated acting Gov. Martin Schreiber in the general election.

But he surprised party leaders by deciding not to seek a second term fouryears later, saying he wanted to return to private life.

During his term, he earned respect for his businesslike approach topolitics — and for his gifts as a communicator. He famously coined thephrase about Wisconsin's liberal capital: "Madison is 30 square milessurrounded by reality."

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Analysis: Head Versus Heart for Iowa GOP

Associated Press Writer
3:00 PM EST, January 3, 2008


Iowa Republicans chose between their hearts and their heads.

Mike Huckabee appealed to emotions, an ordained Southern Baptist ministerwith rock-solid culturally conservative credentials who is beloved byChristian evangelicals influential in the caucuses. Mitt Romney was thepractical pick, an accomplished businessman with a powerhouse organizationand a seemingly endless supply of money to go the distance -- and thwart thesocially liberal Rudy Giuliani.

After a year of tumult, the race amounted to a classic David vs. Goliathbattle, with a pair of former governors in a high-stakes slugfest for thecoveted prize -- the front-runner mantle heading into the New Hampshireprimary a mere five days later.

Others aimed for better-than-expected showings; Arizona Sen. John McCain,former New York Mayor Giuliani and Texas Rep. Ron Paul sought relevancy,one-time Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson survival.

Iowa had the first say in the most volatile, wide-open GOP nomination racein a half-century, and the state's recent history bodes well for the caucuswinner. It has chosen the Republican who eventually secured the nominationin the two most recent contested GOP competitions -- George W. Bush in 2000and Bob Dole in 1996.

more . . . . .


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