Sunday, January 06, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 6, 2008

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




Amsterdam 6th January 2008

Amsterdam's reputation as a mecca of permissiveness for gays is now underthreat from its authoritarian and unpopular mayor, Job Cohen.

Cohen, who is unelected (all mayors in the Netherlands are appointed byQueen Beatrix), has made no secret of his wish to clean up his city's30-year old "sex 'n' drugs" reputation and transform it into a safe andrespectable destination for business travellers and elderly blue-rinsetourists from Florida. He is on record as saying there is "too much" of thesex trade in the city centre. He has now begun an aggressive programme oftargeting sex establishments and closing them down on whatever pretext hecan find. In September the city council compulsorily purchased 50 buildlingsused as brothels and announced its attention to convert them into businessesor luxury apartments.

Cohen's latest target is the Yab Yum Club, an upmarket heterosexual brothelin a 17th century canalside house, which he alleges has been involved withthe Amsterdam chapter of the Hell's Angels. The Hell's Angels were recentlythe subject of a major police investigation, which resulted in the Amstedamchapter being charged as a 'criminal organisation'. After a farcical trial,during which it emerged that the police had used illegal and dubious methodsto obtain evidence, including tapping defence lawyers' telephones, theHell's Angels were acquitted of all charges just before Christmas. Despitethis, Cohen is attempting to shut Yab Yum Club on the grounds of its allegedassociation with the Hell's Angels.



Forwarded from Joe Van Eron

New York Times

AIDS Patients Face Downside of Living Longer

January 6, 2008

CHICAGO - John Holloway received a diagnosis of AIDS nearly two decades ago,when the disease was a speedy death sentence and treatment a distant dream.

Yet at 59 he is alive, thanks to a cocktail of drugs that changed the courseof an epidemic. But with longevity has come a host of unexpected medicalconditions, which challenge the prevailing view of AIDS as a manageable,chronic disease.

Mr. Holloway, who lives in a housing complex designed for the frail elderly,suffers from complex health problems usually associated with advanced age:chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney failure, a bleedingulcer, severe depression, rectal cancer and the lingering effects of abroken hip.

Those illnesses, more severe than his 84-year-old father's, are not what Mr.Holloway expected when lifesaving antiretroviral drugs became the standardof care in the mid-1990s.

The drugs gave Mr. Holloway back his future.

But at what cost?

That is the question, heretical to some, that is now being voiced byscientists, doctors and patients encountering a constellation of ailmentsshowing up prematurely or in disproportionate numbers among the first waveof AIDS survivors to reach late middle age.

There have been only small, inconclusive studies on the causes ofaging-related health problems among AIDS patients.

Without definitive research, which has just begun, that second wave ofsuffering could be a coincidence, although it is hard to find anyone whothinks so.

Instead, experts are coming to believe that the immune system and organs oflong-term survivors took an irreversible beating before the advent oflifesaving drugs and that those very drugs then produced additionalcomplications because of their toxicity - a one-two punch.



From Susan Stanton
Concerning "Susan Stanton's Lonely Transformation"
in St. Petersburg Times

Like many people in the transgender community, I was shocked anddisappointed when I read the recent article in the St. PetersburgTimes entitled "Susan Stanton's Lonely Transformation." TheSt. Petersburg Times is an excellent newspaper and I consider Ms. LaneDeGregory to be a gifted writer and a personal friend so I am not surehow my words could have been so terribly misunderstood. Since thepublication of this story, I have received hundreds of email messagesfrom people all over the nation expressing their disappointment andanger for the hurtful and insensitive statements that have beenattributed to me. Simply stated, this article is not an accuraterepresentation of my beliefs concerning the transgender community ormy experiences as a transgender person.

Due to the very public nature of my job as a government official andthe national attention my termination received by the national media,I have tried to represent the transgender community with honor, graceand dignity. Instead of engaging in litigation with my formeremployer or becoming angry and bitter over the circumstance thatcaused my very public termination, I have attempted to use myexperiences to educate the public of the transgender journey.

Many people have expressed their strong belief that I am not qualifiedto be a spokesperson for the transgender community. Admittedly, priorto my own experience becoming public, I had very limited interactionwith members from the transgender community due to the public natureof my job and the need to keep my private struggles from becomingdisruptive to my city and community. Unfortunately, for better or forworse, today I am often perceived to be the face of the transgendercommunity. This is not a role I ever sought or have particularlyenjoyed. However, it is appropriate that I clearly address theconcerns expressed by so many people concerning my position regardingENDA and being a member of the transgender community.

During the last year, I have had a very unique opportunity to becomeacquainted with many members of the transgender community and the widediversity of life experiences.



Re: Susan Stanton's response, above:

I think Susan's response here is terrible. First, she confirms herviews on ENDA. Second, she continues to be divisive and prejudicedwith regard to those she considers acceptable members of thetransgender community versus those she considers less acceptable,putting herself on the acceptable pedestal. Third, I don't buy thatshe the pollyannish victim of press coverage that's wronged her, for afew reasons. First, she's extremely media savvy. Second, the St.Petersburg Times is not the National Enquirer " it's one of the mostrespected papers in America; it doesn't just make things up. To besure, even great newspapers make mistakes, but in that regard, third,I'd point out that the St. Petersburg Times has been quite progressivein its coverage of Susan to date " she herself praised the coverageuntil now.

Very sad.

Steven Goldstein
Garden State Equality


New York Times

Groundswells: We Agreed to Agree, and Forgot to Notice

January 6, 2008

AS Martin Bunzl was getting on a plane in 1966, something happened thatwould stick in his head for the next four decades. A man taking his seatlooked around and announced, loudly enough for all to hear: "Oh, geez, not aNegro stewardess."

The remark stuck because it came at a threshold moment when culture andpolitics and norms of behavior were all in flux, said Dr. Bunzl, a professorof philosophy at Rutgers University. A few years earlier, a comment likethat might have been unremarkable, and a few years later it would beintolerable. The man on the plane was shouting through an open windowbetween worlds.

Whether the results of the Iowa caucuses on Thursday will be seen by futuregenerations as a threshold moment of change or a footnote to a story yetunwritten is anyone's guess, of course. The victories by Barack Obama, theDemocratic senator from Illinois, and former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas,a Republican not in the traditional mold, are tiny steps on a long road thatmay not lead to the White House for either man.

But there's no doubt that for one night, in one state, Americansdramatically changed the subject. Race didn't matter - even though Mr. Obamawas an African-American running in a nearly all-white state - but talk ofunity and common ground did, as Mr. Obama galvanized his supporters bypromising to toss historical and political division aside.

How far rhetoric and passion can take a man, or a nation, is anotherquestion, and there's plenty of reason to doubt we're anywhere near atransformative era in 2008. Look around today, Dr. Bunzl and other socialtheorists say, and it's easy to see nothing but cynicism, apathy,polarization and political gridlock.

more . . . . .


New York Times

Scratch an Independent Bloomberg and Get a Democrat, Positions Show

January 6, 2008

Hundreds of miles from the hustings of New Hampshire lurks a possiblepresidential candidate who supports gay marriage, abortion rights andstricter regulation of handguns. Who doesn't mind taxing the rich on theirincome or big companies on their carbon emissions. Who says that deportingillegal immigrants would destroy the nation's economy. And who is notnecessarily averse to adding more bureaucrats to the government payroll.

That politician - Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York -has spent months laying out his vision for a post-partisan approach topolitics that would take the best from left and right.

Yet a close reading of the policies Mr. Bloomberg has promoted during hismayoralty suggests that Mr. Bloomberg actually has a lot in common with oneparty's leading candidates - the Democrats - and not so much with the other's.

Indeed, on issues like gay marriage and gun control, Mr. Bloomberg standswell to the left of top-tier Democratic candidates like Hillary RodhamClinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

Mr. Bloomberg has long coyly denied rumors that he would undertake anindependent bid, even as some of his aides have laid the groundwork for one.On Sunday in Oklahoma, Mr. Bloomberg was scheduled to meet with a bipartisangroup of elder statesmen to discuss ways of defeating "partisanpolarization," according to organizers, and to urge the creation of anational-unity government. But judged strictly on the issues, it is hard todiscern the grounds on which Mr. Bloomberg might midwife a new kind offusion politics, even if he wants to.

"If you want to place him in the spectrum of American politics, he's aliberal Democrat on all the major litmus test issues, and he's a liberalDemocrat on taxing and spending," said Douglas A. Muzzio, a professor at theBaruch College School of Public Affairs. "I don't see the productdifferentiation, except for the $4 billion bank account and the aura of thephilosopher-king."

more . . . . .


New York Times

Episcopal Leader Defends Gay Bishops

January 1, 2008
Filed at 6:16 p.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori says herchurch has been unfairly singled out for criticism because it is honestabout consecrating gay bishops.

Jefferts Schori told BBC Radio 4's ''PM'' program that the New York-basedchurch, which is the Anglican body in the U.S., is far from the onlyAnglican province that has a bishop with a same-sex partner. In 2003,Episcopalians elected the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of NewHampshire, causing an uproar that has pushed the Anglican family toward asplit.

''He is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop; he's certainly not alonein being a gay partnered bishop,'' Jefferts Schori said in an interviewbroadcast Tuesday. ''He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishopwho's open about that status.''

The 77 million-member Anglican Communion is a global fellowship of churchesthat trace their roots to the Church of England. Most Anglicans aretraditionalists who believe Scripture bars gay relationships.Liberal-leaning Anglicans believe the Bible's social justice teachings onacceptance should apply to same-gender couples.

The national Episcopal Church has not developed an official public prayer tobless gay couples churchwide. However, Jefferts Schori and other Episcopalleaders acknowledge that such ceremonies take place in many parishes. Shesaid other Anglican churches do the same.

more . . . . .


Washington Post

Bills Pursued to Gain Rights Piece by Piece

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 6, 2008; C12

As they gear up for their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage inMaryland, gay rights advocates are broadening their strategy to pursue arange of legal rights now denied gay couples.

Advocates and lawmakers say their goal is indisputably a law granting fullmarriage rights to same-sex couples. But as they seek such a law in theGeneral Assembly session that starts Wednesday, they plan to also proposelegislation that would give them rights to property ownership, inheritance,medical and end-of-life decisions and other benefits of marriage.

"What we decided to do is pursue a handful of bills that take care of someof the urgent needs of our families," said Carrie Evans, director of policyand planning for Equality Maryland, Maryland's leading gay rights group.

The evolution in strategy comes as advocates acknowledge that prospects forlegalizing same-sex marriage have little momentum in the legislature, atleast not this year. They shifted their quest for marriage rights to theGeneral Assembly in the fall, after Maryland's highest court upheld thestate's 34-year-old ban on same-sex marriage. The Court of Appeals, rulingthat the ban does not discriminate against same-sex couples or deny themfundamental rights, in effect threw the issue back to the legislature.

more . . . . .



How Republican presidential candidates stand on gay marriage

January 6, 2008

Gay marriage

All oppose gay marriage.

Huckabee and Romney want to amend the Constitution to ban it.

Giuliani and McCain oppose a constitutional amendment.

McCain wants to let states regulate it.


Express Gay News

Dan Savage HIV comment is suspect

By Joey DiGuglielmo, Washington Blade News Editor

I take issue with a recent comment made by "Savage Love" sex guru and advicecolumnist Dan Savage about HIV prevention.

The comment was made to the New York Times but also included in the Blade's"On The Record" column this week. Savage said, in part: "But so long as gayhealth educators refuse to level with gay men - there's no 'moderating' yourmeth use; you can suck too much cock; anal sex isn't a first-date activityand having anal sex with hordes of anonymous partners, even with condoms, isa surefire way of contracting HIV - these campaigns won't have much of animpact."

I agree with most of that, but there's a subtle distinction that I thinkneeds to be made, but first a caveat: I'm not an HIV expert. I have noformal training in HIV prevention, but I have worked in gay media forseveral years and have interviewed, both formally and informally, manydoctors and HIV prevention experts, both for stories and for my owninformation as I believe all humans have a responsibility to beknowledgeable about HIV and to make informed sexual choices for themselvesand their partners.

So I do feel qualified, to a degree, to take public issue with Dan'scomment. It was a refreshing comment to hear, admittedly. And I feel ifthere's any error to be made, it's best to err on the side of caution whenit comes to HIV and sex.

But what HIV experts have often told me is that gay men who contract HIV inthe '00s almost always have done so by taking needless sexual risks. Myfriend Dane, who's also well read on the topic, has even said that any gayman who contracts HIV these days is pretty much always making irresponsiblesexual decisions.

I agree with Dan's meth comment, but the comments about sucking too muchcock and anal sex on a first date, are iffy. So, Dan, how much is too muchcock to suck? If a gay man swallows 50 loads and doesn't contract HIV itwasn't too much but if he swallows 51 and contracts HIV on the 51st load,then that was too much? Same line of reasoning for when is an appropriatetime to have anal sex? The problem with logic is there is no point at whichyou can quantify what "too much" is. I do agree, however, with the spirit ofhis remarks if only because HIV is still a major problem for sexually activegay men. Condom fatigue, reduced sensation from condoms, dubiously placedtrust - whatever the reason, AIDS is still a chronic, life-threateningcondition for gay men and though it can be managed, HIV treatment isexpensive and can wreak havoc on your dating and sex life.



The Bilerico Project

The Future of Anal Sex

Filed by: Guest Blogger
January 4, 2008 2:00 PM

[Editor's Note:] This guest post is by Jim Pickett, director of advocacy forAIDS Foundation Chicago. Jim is also chair of the Chicago Crystal Meth TaskForce and chair of the International Rectal Microbicide Advocates.

Most of us use lube when we have butt sex, to get the ass nice and slick.Wouldn't it be nice if the lube also had a special ingredient that offeredsome protection against HIV and other STDs?

For years gay men have been beaten senseless with "use a condom every time,""no glove no love" and other proclamations about the joy of latex sex andthe horrors that befall those who don't comply.

And, for good reason. Condoms are still the best method we have ofprotecting ourselves and our boyfriends/lovers/tricks from HIV and otherSTDs. But, many of us are frankly sick and tired of using condoms and longfor the heat and intimacy of sex without a latex barrier.

Some gay men have stopped using condoms or only use them sometimes when wehave anal sex. It doesn't matter if you call it "barebacking," "raw sex," orsimply "natural sex" about 50% of us are not using condoms consistently.

Cue the finger pointing, gnashing of teeth, screaming and holleringbemoaning the shameful and reckless behavior of them.

Breathe and compose yourself.

We are 26 years into the AIDS epidemic. Why are we satisfied with only oneway to protect ourselves and each other from sexual transmission of HIV?There may be another way.

A rectal microbicide could be that very thing - an agent within a lubricantthat could provide protection against HIV and maybe other STDs in theabsence of condoms. Or it could provide additional protection with condoms.A rectal microbicide could also be delivered via enema, or rectal douche.Quite a few of us who like to be on the receiving end do some sort ofcleansing prior to action, so it would be brilliant to include a rectalmicrobicide in an enema or rectal douche formulation. This agent may createa barrier in the rectum so HIV cannot enter, it may kill the virus outright,or perhaps it would interfere with HIV's replication process.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Queens Winter Pride (the major fundraiser for the 16th annual QueensLesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade and Festival) will beheld on Saturday, January 26, 2008 from 7 PM - 12 midnight at the AstoriaWorld Manor, 25-22 Astoria Boulevard, Astoria, Queens. See the attachedflier for all the details.

This year we are extremely proud to honor two heroes of the LGBT community:Assembly Member Daniel O'Donnell, the lead sponsor of the Marriage Equalitybill in Albany and Matt Foreman, the Executive Director of the National Gayand Lesbian Task Force.

We sincerely hope that you will be able to join us and/or take an ad in ourjournal. All the proceeds from the dinner dance and journal go to fund ourannual parade. QLGPC Is a 501c3 not for profit organization.

The acquisition of equal rights for LGBT people is still an uphill battleand your support is most needed. Our parade and festival keeps LGBT peoplevisible in the Borough of Queens.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 718-457-2928.

Thanks so much.
Daniel Dromm


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Presidential candidate Barack Obama speaking about New Hampshire's new civil
unions law which went into effect on Jan 1.
"Today, New Hampshire has started a New Year by taking an important stepforward that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many gayand lesbian couples. As President, I'll work for the day when all gay andlesbian couples in America can enjoy the same legal rights and privileges asstraight couples. It's time to stop using these issues to divide us; it'stime to embrace a future of tolerance, equality, and hope."
A plan by Gov. Janet Napolitano's administration to provide domestic partnerbenefits to Arizona state employees and retirees appears to have the supportof most citizens.
The Department of Administration, on Napolitano's direction, filed itsintent to implement the plan last month and called for public input. Thedeadline for response was Wednesday and an official with the department saidthat more than 1,000 letters and emails had been received.More than 60percent of the responses appeared favorable the official said.The proposedchange to Arizona employment rules would provide health insurance for theunmarried partners, both gay and straight, of state workers. It needs theapproval of a state commission.
Tel Aviv is the latest Israeli city to announce it will recognize same-sexcouples, a move that has angered rabbis and the religious parties.
The city said it will accept partnership cards issued by the New Familyorganization, a group that represents couples who are gay or are ofdifferent religious backgrounds who cannot marry in Israel.New Familyarranges for couples to exchange vows in front of an attorney and sign aregister and a commitment statement. It then issues the couples walletsized cards saying they have been united.Tel Aviv officials said thatcouples who have the cards will be recognized in the same way legallymarried couples are for all municipal services included taxes.
A marriage rights bill, tax relief proposal and other measures to benefitgay Marylanders will greet state lawmakers when they reconvene next week.Such bills, including one to sanction the marriages of same-sex couples, aregoing before the General Assembly during a time when lawmakers and gayactivists are seeking historic gains. "My job as the executive director ofthe state's largest LGBT organization isn't to glimpse into a crystal ball,"[Dan] Furmansky said, "but to mobilize to make the greatest gains possiblefor our community." "Firstly, we need individuals who've experienceddiscrimination because of the lack of relationship recognition to comeforward and to share their stories," he said. "Too many legislators stilltreat this like an abstract dialogue rather than concrete state-sponsoreddiscrimination that hurts families.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Legend Martina Navratilova Becomes Fitness Ambassador for AARP
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova is no stranger to community activism, butthis year, as she turns 51, she has set her sights on helping the oldergeneration. Early last month the nine time Wimbledon Champion was assigned aposition as health and fitness ambassador for the AARP. Founded in 1958, theAARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people over 50,which is dedicated to enhancing quality of life and leading positive socialchange through information, advocacy and service.
2nd Man Guilty in Fatal Beating
A second man has pleaded guilty in the beating death last year of32-year-old Crothersville resident Aaron "Shorty" Hall. Garret Gray, 20, ofCrothersville, admitted to voluntary manslaughter in Jackson Circuit Courton Wednesday under a plea bargain with the Jackson County prosecutor'soffice.
A Sunday Sojourn For City's Homosexual Community
Being gay or lesbian in Delhi has never been easy. Especially when seenagainst the relatively open and thriving "Gay Bombay". Because of thecriminalisation of homosexuality under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Codeand the absence of a culture of tolerance, homosexual spaces and communitiesin Delhi appear to be less obvious and are limited to a select few bars,activist groups, online forums and social networking e-groups.
Ireland: Gay Partnership Law May Recognise Foreign Unions
The Government's planned civil partnership scheme for gay and lesbiancouples is likely to provide for the automatic legal recognition of civilunions or weddings in certain other countries, it has emerged. Already,dozens of gay and lesbian couples are travelling to countries such as Canadaand the UK to wed or obtain civil partnerships, in the hope their unionswill be recognised in Irish law shortly.
Prices Cut For Gay Ceremonies
The Wyndham Orange County hotel will offer a discount to gay and lesbiancouples who want to have commitment ceremonies at the hotel this year, in aprogram that General Manager Tom Smalley called a gesture to an underservedpart of the population.The offer, which went into effect Tuesday, would cuthalf off the $1,200 price of a ceremony by the Wyndham's outdoor lakesidearea for the first 50 couples to register. Smalley, the president of CostaMesa's Conference and Visitor Bureau, conceived the package because hebelieved many homosexual couples felt uncomfortable taking vows in public.



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Clinton Accuses Obama Of Flip Flopping
(Manchester, New Hampshire) Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democraticpresidential front-runner no longer, accused campaign rival Barack Obama ofchanging his positions on health care and "a number of issues" Saturdaynight in a debate three days before the New Hampshire primary.
Romney Wins Wyoming Caucuses
(Casper, Wyoming) Mitt Romney captured his first win of the Republicanpresidential race on Saturday, prevailing in Wyoming caucuses for amuch-needed boost to his candidacy three days before the New Hampshireprimary.
Fox's O'Reilly Gets Pushy At Obama Event
(Nashua, New Hampshire) Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly is accused of causingfracas involving Barack Obama's chief aide during a campaign stop onSaturday.
Romney Claims He's Agent Of Change
(Derry, New Hampshire) Republican Mitt Romney, trying to prevent apotentially crippling New Hampshire primary loss, cast himself as a changeagent Saturday as he tried to repel rival John McCain and answer Iowa caucusvoters who showed they have tired of the status quo in Washington.
Huckabee Gaffes May Sink Him
(Manchester, New Hampshire) Republican Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucusesby campaigning as an honest conservative, yet he has made a series ofblunders that raise questions about his credibility.
Growing Number Of Israeli Cities Recognize Gay Couples
(Tel Aviv, Israel) Tel Aviv is the latest Israeli city to announce it willrecognize same-sex couples, a move that has angered rabbis and the religiousparties.
Canadian Program To Ship AIDS Drugs Criticized
(Ottawa) Critics say the government has missed a chance to streamline itsvaunted system to supply cheap, generic drugs to poor countries, especiallysince it has yet to ship a single pill anywhere.
Anti-Gay T-Shirt Ruling To Be Appealed
(Chicago, Illinois) A law firm that represents conservative Christians is
preparing to appeal a federal court ruling that bars a Neuqua Valley HighSchool sophomore from wearing a t-shirt at school that reads "Be Happy, NotGay."


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: