Tuesday, January 08, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 8, 2008

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Forwarded from The National Center for Transgender Equality

Victory in New Jersey!

New Jersey Legislature Passes Gender Identity/Expression
Hate Crime and School Anti-Bulllying Law

Today, the New Jersey General Assembly passed A4591/S2975 by a largemajority of 65-10. This follows action last week in the state Senate wherethe bill passed unanimously 35-0. The law that passed will now go toGovernor Corzine's desk for his expected signature.

NCTE congratulates our wonderful allies at Garden State Equality and GenderRights Advocacy Association of New Jersey (GRAANJ) who have continued torepresent transgender people in New Jersey with Incredible skill anddetermination.

Basically, the bill adds gender identity and expression to the state's hatecrime law and gives teeth to New Jersey's safe school, anti-bullying laws.

According to Garden State Equality specifically, "the new law does thefollowing:

1. Adds 'gender identity or expression' as a protected class to the statehate crimes law.

2. Updates other parts of the hate crimes law by adding 'national origin'as a protected category, which thus far has been included in the law byinterpreting 'ethnicity' to include such; and substitutes the more sensitiveterm 'disability' for 'handicap.'

3. Specifies that a 'mistake of fact' by a defendant committing a hatecrime is not a defense.

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

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

6. Creates a study Commission on Bullying in Schools, which has nine monthsto investigate the problem and make recommendations to the Governor andlegislature for further legislation.

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


The Detroit News


New year promises more gains for gays

Deb Price
Monday, January 7, 2008

If it ends anything like it started, 2008 will be a good year.

As the clock shivered past midnight at the statehouse in freezing Concord,N.H., more than three dozen gay couples became the first in their state tosecure marriage-like rights to protect their relationships.

Following Connecticut's lead in 2005, New Hampshire became the second stateto offer civil unions without being prodded by a court.

Massachusetts is the only state so far to allow gay couples to actuallymarry. But New Hampshire's breakthrough is a hint of excitement that may lieahead. Here's what to watch for:

. Job protections: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a historic victorylast year when the House voted, with the help of 35 Republicans, to outlawjob discrimination based on sexual orientation. Will Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid have the courage to push the bill in the run-up to a high-stakeselection?

. Listening sessions: Will we finally get those promised hearings on themilitary's Don't Ask, Don't Tell gay ban and on the job discrimination facedby transgender Americans?

more . . . . .




Gay for Pay
Madison Avenue is hot and heavy for the pink dollar. In this extendedgallery from Radar's February issue, we find out what exactly they're tryingto sell

By Josie Swindler

With a median household income of $83,000-and, typically, no tots to spendit on-American homosexuals are a marketer's dream. Last year, more than 180Fortune 500 companies hawked their wares in gay publications. Skittishbrands targeted gay consumers with subtly coded campaigns as sexuallyambiguous as Anderson Cooper, while the more daring resorted to imagery thatwould make even Carson Kressley blush. "It's laughable," says StephanieBlackwood, cofounder of gay-oriented ad shop Double Platinum, who says thatmajor agencies tend to rely on crude sexual stereotypes. Radar sampled sevencampaigns, ranging from the demure to the debauched, to get to the bottom ofthings.

"You're the first person to bring it up," says GSD&M Idea City accountdirector Corey Platt when asked about the seemingly suggestive advert. "Ican definitely see how it can be taken that way, but we didn't set out tospecifically target the gay audience. I think it was a bonus that itresonated so well with them." According to Platt, the ads workedparticularly well in Miami and L.A. "We knew we could push it a little bitmore in those areas," says Platt. You don't say?

more . . . . .


Gay Politics


Gay candidate wins senatorial election in Guam

Victory endorsee B.J. Cruz won a special senatorial election on Saturday,capturing 41 percent of the vote. Cruz, a Democrat, beat Republican TeloTaitague and fellow Democrat Tom Ada, who won 30 and 28 percent of the voterespectively.

According to the Pacific News Center, Cruz wants to get to work immediatelyby taking part in legislative proceedings and confer with other legislatorson matters pertaining to the Department of Mental Health and SubstanceAbuse.

The election gives the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund its first win this year.The organization has endorsed 34 candidates so far for 2008.




What it feels like for a girl

Megan Wallent

Megan Wallent, the newly female executive at Microsoft who formerly went bythe name "Michael," reports that her return to the office yesterday wasmostly uneventful. The women's restrooms have pink tile, she discovered. (No"trannie restrooms" for her.) "Microsoft Pink," she says, as opposed to theusual Microsoft-logo blue one encounters so much on the Redmond campus.Telling her story to Valleywag and then starting her own blog helped, shebelieves: "I thought just about everyone who would interact with me knew.Surprising people with a cool new set of 38Cs -- not a good idea."

Near the end of her first day back, she had a meeting with one of her teammembers who, it seems, hadn't gotten the memo about Michael becoming Megan.Over the last month, the corporate address book still had her email accountlisted as "Michael," but she'd been signing emails "Megan." The colleague'sinitial assumption? That someone in finance had administrative access toWallent's account, and was sending emails on the executive's behalf.

Wallent believes this was her mistake, not his, saying she was mostlyembarrassed that she hadn't succeeded in getting the word out to everyone.But I was more struck by this: The gut reaction that an unknown colleaguewith a female name must work in a support function, not engineering ormanagement.


The Huffington Post


Romney and Huckabee: Hands Off My Family

Posted January 4, 2008 | 12:58 PM (EST)

Mitt Romney, he of the perfect Mormon mishbucha, doesn't think my family isa real family. Of course, who knows what he really thinks, since his everycalculated move is as sincere as a lap dance. On Hardball, Romney advisorJim Talent made the typically convoluted statement "Look, he wants to knowpeople to know he values gay people as people, okay? But he doesn't want themilitant gays to be able to change the cultural institutions of thecountry." That sounds like a plantation owner saying, "Our maid Odessa isjust like a member of the family" while making her eat on a TV tray in thekitchen.

Recently at the end of a performance I fell off the stage, badly injuringmyself. I was either swept up in the adulation of the crowd or indulging animpromptu Ann-Margret fantasy. It happened faster than Romney flip flops,taking me completely by surprise, and I hit the floor at whatever MPH onehits the floor when not paying attention and falling 6 feet.

Since it happened out of town, I flew back home to be surrounded by family.My partner (that would be my domestic partner legally recognized by the Cityof New York) and our doctor swung into action, making the hospital andsurgical arrangements. My partner picked me up at the airport and took me tothe ER, which resembled the green room of The Jerry Springer Show. It turnedout that I had severely dislocated my shoulder and fractured the humerus in4 places. The doctor told me that had I fallen about an inch to the left, Iwould have broken my neck and you would not be reading this.

My partner was by my side in the ER, filling out forms, talking to residentsand nurses, and making sure I was taken care of. He signed my health careproxy to guarantee he could make decisions should something go horriblywrong. He dealt with the surgical team we were meeting for the first time,to whom I was incapable of saying anything other than "duh." He was by myside when I woke up in the recovery room after four hours of surgery. He wasthere until all family members were told to go home. At no time did anyonein the hospital treat us like anything but family.

Had New York's domestic partner legislation - definitely a "change in thecultural institutions of the country" - not been taken care of many yearsago and absorbed into the society, my partner wouldn't have been allowedpast the front desk and I would have been alone.

more . . . . .


Washington Post


Teen Voices of AIDS
As the Epidemic Continues, Some Young Victims Begin to Speak Up

By Susan Levine
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 8, 2008; HE01

"The other swans laugh and call me names for I have HIV"--Travis

For nearly a quarter-century they have come to the first floor of Children'sHospital: teenagers infected through circumstances, always tragic, orthrough choices, admittedly bad ones. More than 30 new cases in 2007 alone,as the epidemic that is HIV and AIDS extended its reach through a secondgeneration of adolescents.

Fears of ostracism have kept them largely silent elsewhere. As patients,however, they've been urged to talk. Not just about their pasts, but aboutliving and dying and coping with the possibilities of both.

Encouragement was all they needed.

"Before I told anyone, I felt like I was in a box," one teen says. "Icouldn't sleep. I was like, 'Who can I tell?' "

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Increasingly in China, parents of gay children are not only accepting theirsexuality & trying to help other families of LGBT kids

Monday, January 7, 2008

What's next for parents? Increasingly in China, parents of gay children arenot only accepting their sexuality but trying to help other families in thesame situation support each other.

Every Chinese queer teen must dread the thought of coming out to theparents. A face off with the demon force of 2,000 years of Confuciantraditions is no joke. While China is blessed with a largely secularnation - there is little right wing Christian or Islamic homophobia forinstance - mainland parents dream of their offspring getting hitched andcarrying on the family name with a child of their own. A gay son or daughteris an unwelcome spanner in the works that can bring on anything from tearsto the outright severance of family ties. No wonder so many lesbians andgays keep their sexuality under wraps and even get married to fulfillfamilial obligations - the ultimate sacrifice.

So when 18-year-old Zheng Yuantao in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhoutold his mother he liked boys, he must have been delighted by her reaction.Wu Youjian didn't cry, introduce him to hot women or disown him. Instead shetaught herself how to use a computer, got herself a Sina blog, and put theirstory online in the hope she could help other gay and lesbian children comeout to their parents. In just six months her site had clocked up 100,000hits and she had earned the affection of hundreds of gays and lesbians whonow call her Auntie Wu.

Wu, a writer and editor by profession and a self-confessed liberal, said shefound it easy to deal with her son's sexuality because by the time, "Yuantaocame out to me. I had read a lot of gay-themed books and movies (by hisrecommendation). Besides he had also been a good boy in school and in thefamily; he never made us worried."

And therein lies the key, she says. If you want to come out to your parentsdo some groundwork first and feed your parents information on what being gayis all about before coming out to them. "Always make sure your parents havesome understanding and acceptance of homosexuality before coming out tothem," she advises.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News



Fury over new gay hate laws which 'threaten free speech'

Last updated at 15:22pm on 08.01.08

A coalition of MPs is hoping to halt a gay hate law which will stopChristians pronouncing their beliefs about marriage and family life.

The Tory, Labour and Lib-Dem MPs are demanding an amendment be introduced tothe Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill to make sure religious leaders arenot prosecuted for criticising homosexual lifestyles.

They are threatening to force a vote on an issue which has split GordonBrown's Cabinet.

If successful, they would embarrass the Premier and Justice Minister JackStraw, who has attempted to drive through the provision despite oppositionfrom ministers led by Attorney General Baroness Scotland.

The amendment says nothing should prohibit or restrict "discussion of,criticism of, or expression of antipathy towards conduct relating to aparticular sexual orientation, or urging persons of a particular sexualorientation to refrain from or modify conduct according to thatorientation".

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News



Sexually active gay men no longer allowed to donate organs

Last Updated: Monday, January 7, 2008 | 10:08 PM ET
CBC News

A number of organ donation groups said Monday that they are unaware of newHealth Canada regulations that mean sexually active gay men, injection drugusers and other groups considered high risk will no longer be accepted asorgan donors.

The new rules, which came into effect in December, are similar to theregulations for determining who can donate blood. Those rules exclude groupsthat are at high risk of transmitting infectious diseases such as HIV andhepatitis C and B.

Officials at several transplant programs in the country said because theywere unaware of the new regulations, they would continue to consider allpotential donor organs.

"We have not been informed, first of all, that Health Canada is consideringthis," said Dr. Gary Levy, who heads Canada's largest organ transplantprogram at Toronto's University Health Network. "Obviously if Health Canadawishes to discuss that, we would hope they would engage all stakeholders."

Dr. Peter Nickerson, director of Transplant Manitoba, which procures organsin that province, said transplant programs must now by law interview familymembers of the donor as part of the screening process.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Amnesty Demands Release of Six Facing Jail for Being Presumed Gay

Article Date: 01/06/2008

Amnesty International UK is calling on its 2.2 million members worldwide towrite to the Moroccan authorities demanding the release of six men who arefacing jail because of their presumed sexuality.

The six were convicted on 10 December under Article 489 of the MoroccanPenal Code for "lewd of unnatural acts with an individual of the same sex"-avideo posted on the internet website YouTube.com was used as part of theprosecution.

Their appeal hearing begins on Tuesday January 8.

Fouad Friret and five other men were arrested following public denunciationsthat a private party held by the men on 18 and 19 November in Ksar El Kebir,a small city in northern Morocco, was simulating a gay marriage.

A video of the party was circulated on YouTube and prompted some localnewspapers and Islamist parties to denounce "perverse acts" and to call forthe participants in the party to be punished.

Hundreds of angry local inhabitants took to the streets and on one occasionmarched to the house where the private party had been held, which led FouadFriret, the house owner, to take refuge at the local police station.



Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Opinion: The death of the religious right

Bill Press
Thursday, January 3, 2008

No matter who becomes the next president of the United States, the Americanpeople have already won a great victory -- with the total disintegration ofthe once all-powerful religious right.

Starting in 1979, when Jerry Falwell founded the Moral Majority, Christian conservatives have been the most powerful voting bloc in the Republicanparty. Ironically, they began by casting out of the White House a born-againChristian who continued, as president, his life-long practice of teachingSunday school, and replacing him with a divorced and remarried man whoseldom stepped inside a church.

But of course, Jimmy Carter was a Democrat and Ronald Reagan was aRepublican. And by staying united, the religious right has been able eversince to exercise its veto power over Republican candidates and dictate theissues -- abortion, same-sex marriage, stem cell research and schoolprayer -- they would campaign on. Until, that is, the presidential campaignof 2008.

Today, the religious right has splintered into as many different factions asO. J. Simpson has alibis. Unable to find one candidate who fits the bill ofbeing both true-blue on the issues and electable, America's ayatollahs havedivided their loyalties. Indeed, in some cases, they've even declared waragainst each other.

The National Right to Life League has endorsed Fred Thompson, even though heopposes a constitutional amendment to ban Roe vs. Wade and admits he onlygoes to church when visiting his mother -- while James Dobson says he's noteven sure Thompson qualifies as a Christian. Sam Brownback has endorsed JohnMcCain, who once called Jerry Falwell an "agent of intolerance." And BobJones III and Moral Majority Co-Founder Paul Weyrich have even endorsed aMormon, because they think Mitt Romney is the only one who can beat HillaryClinton.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Conservative pastor urges buying Microsoft stock to end its gay rightsefforts

Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Last updated 7:44 a.m. PT


A conservative Christian pastor plans to launch a high-profile campaignTuesday urging religious followers to load up on Microsoft Corp. stock, inan attempt to force the company to "stop financing ungodly ventures."

The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, who leads Antioch Bible Church in Microsoft'shometown of Redmond, says that he will create a global and powerful group topromote traditional family values, including marriage exclusively between aman and a woman.

Hutcherson, joined by some of the country's most influential Christianleaders, has created a new organization, AGN Financial Network, to financethe effort. The worldwide venture asks people to buy three shares of companystock and donate one to AGN. Its Web site tells visitors, "You have thepower to change the world," and contains tips on how to open a brokerageaccount. Among the listed supporters are Richard Land of the SouthernBaptist Convention and religious pundit Gary Bauer.

"We're not trying to hurt Microsoft or their shareholders, nor are wecalling for a boycott of their products," volunteer spokesman DennisSullivan said. "We are trying to get Christians to buy their shares."

It's unclear what effect, if any, the initiative could have on the stockprice. It would be difficult to influence company direction -- just to gaina 1 percent stake in Microsoft, about 31 million people would each have tospend $104 to buy three shares. Microsoft has about 9.36 billion outstandingshares, and its largest holder is Chairman Bill Gates, with 858 millionshares, or 9 percent of the total. Capital Research and Management Co.follows with nearly 557 million shares, or 6 percent.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Editorial: Suburban school case is a cautionary tale
Lind's actions bode ill for Prior Lake-Savage district.

Last update: January 4, 2008 - 5:44 PM

To some in Prior Lake-Savage, school board member-elect Chris Lind is a herofor sharing his abstinence-only, anti-gay views with students. To others, heis a proselytizing bigot and disgruntled ex-employee who was rightlydismissed from a school district job.

Either way, the controversy around Lind has not been good for the suburbanschool district. The 44-year-old former teacher and self-describedconservative Christian is now threatening legal action against a district hepledged to help lead. In a recent letter to the district, Lind asked for amonetary settlement (in lieu of a lawsuit) over his dismissal. That raisesserious concerns about his judgment and his reasons for running.

His election also raises the question: What made more than 3,000 voterssupport someone who had been fired for improper interaction with students?

Last June, Superintendent Tom Westerhaus and the board terminated Lind, whoworked as a hallway and parking lot supervisor. During the previous year,there were complaints about conversations Lind held with students aboutsexual orientation, both on and off campus. He was warned several times,reprimanded and once suspended. But an investigation by the board found thathe continued to discuss sexuality with students, including once saying"Today is National Pick On Lesbians Day.'' That, said the board, was thelast straw, and he was terminated.

After losing his job, Lind ran for school board and won. Westerhausresigned, effective in June, understandably explaining that he did not wantto work for a community that elected someone he had fired. A popular andeffective superintendent, hundreds of residents wanted him to stay.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


America's Unique Gay Mission

by Jonathan Rauch

First published in Newsweek International, year-end special edition,
December 2007

My grandmother, then a 16-year-old Polish Jew, came to America in 1910 andnever looked back. Neither did her son, despite vestigial anti-Semitismearly in what became a flourishing legal career. Nor did I, hergrandson-not, at least, on account of being Jewish. The experience ofanti-Semitism has been as unknown to me in the United States as it wasubiquitous to my European forebears.

To be an American homosexual, however, is more complicated. Few of us feelor want to feel anything but American; but many of us, perhaps most, have atone time or another looked envyingly at Europe.

Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain allow gay marriage (as do Canada andSouth Africa). Seven European countries offer nationally recognized civilunions, which are almost the same as marriage, and five offerdomestic-partner status. The United States, by contrast, allows same-sexcouples to marry in a single, relatively small state: Massachusetts. A fewother states offer civil unions or domestic-partner programs. Most states,however, ban same-sex marriage and, often, civil unions.

The federal government in Washington affords no recognition of same-sexcouples at all. Heterosexual Americans can obtain residency for theirforeign partners for the price of a $25 marriage license; countless gayAmericans cannot get residency for their partners at any price. To staytogether, more than a few same-sex couples live in exile abroad-often inEurope.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Leading Mobile Company Blocks Gay News Sites for 'Adult Content'

UK Gay News and Gay City News blocked to broadband and mobile surfers

The world's leading mobile telecommunications company considers UK Gay Newsand at least one other gay news website to have "adult" content and isbarring access, it has emerged.

UK-based Vodafone, which has interests around the world including a jointventure, Verizon Wireless, in America, puts a block on access to thissite-and on the highly-reputable Gay City News in New York-deeming thecontent to be "adult" in nature.

The matter came to light when a reader tried to access this site from aVodafone broadband connection... and access through a mobile (cell) phone.

A spokesperson at the Vodafone press office in Newbury explained thisafternoon that with a lot of children now using mobile telephone technologyto access the internet, web sites had "to meet a content standard".Customers, she explained, could "opt-in" to access adult websites.

The Vodafone website says that to opt-in, a subscriber has to be able toprove his or her age-and must be 18 or over.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


New Rehab Resource Created for LGBT People

January 08, 2008

A new online drug rehabilitation resource has been launched this yearspecifically for LGBT people: gay-rehab.com.

The website (launched by Freedom Rings, a component of Florida's LakeviewHealth Systems) provides access to "immediate consultation for alcoholism,drug addiction, eating disorders, and co-occurring disorders."

The site offers myriad services, such as detox, drug rehabilitation, partialhospitalization, outpatient addiction treatment, prevention planning, andduel diagnosis treatment.

Dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorder, is defined by aperson's suffering from a psychological or emotional disorder in addition totheir addictions. It is present in up to 70% of addicts. Both addiction andpsychiatric disorders have are more frequent among LGBTs.

In addition to its information and treatment programs for dual diagnosis,the site also provides a gay-friendly atmosphere to boost the effectivenessof the program.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Religion Versus Homosexuality: New Documentary Tackles Sensitive Issues

Posted: Jan 7, 2008 07:52 PM EST
Updated: Jan 7, 2008 08:11 PM EST

SAVANNAH, GA--Even for people of strong faith, the Bible can be hard tounderstand as applied to every day life. A new movie is earning awards,critical praise and some criticism for its depiction of the struggle betweenreligious beliefs and homosexuality.

Sunday night, the film was shown in Savannah to sold out crowds. It'scalled, "For The Bible Tells Me So," and follows five Christian, Americanfamilies, each, dealing with a loved one who is gay or lesbian. The corequestion: Is anti-gay bias a product of a misinterpretation of the Bible?

WTOC spoke to one of the mothers involved in the film about her daughter,the movie and Savannah. "It's a sin for a man to be with a man," one of theopening clips from the movie exclaims. The words, signs and rhetoric havebeen around for decades.

"If homosexuals are allowed their civil rights, so should prostitutes orthieves or anyone else," another clip of anti-gay activist Anita Bryantsays.

"If you tell a lie enough times, the whole world will believe it," anotherperson says.

more . . . . .


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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

One of the world's most visible HIV/AIDS activists has married his longtimepartner at a ceremony near Cape Town. Jackie Achmat exchanged vows withDalli Weyers as about 300 guests looked on at the Imperial Yacht Club inLakeside.Same-sex marriage became legal in South Africa in 2005.The ceremonywas performed by a judge and former British High Commissioner Ann Grant wasmaster of ceremonies. Wedding invitations bore the slogan "safe sex,antiretroviral drugs and rock 'n' roll". Achmat, the head of the TreatmentAction Campaign, has long been a thorn in the side of the South Africangovernment which disputes the value of anti-retroviral drugs. He is creditedwith single handedly forcing the government to finally approved a five-yearplan to distribute free AIDS treatment drugs to all who need them In 2003 hewas nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. Last year attorneys for anorganization that claims antiretrovirals are more dangerous than HIV itselfand that the most effective way of treating the disease is with natural andtribal medicines tried to have Achmat charged with genocide at theInternational Criminal Court in The Hague.


National Gay News


Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Wales: Friend Discovered Gay Man Lying in Blood
A GAY man was found in a pool of blood in his flat after a night out withhis attacker. Chris Dewhurst was found battered and bleeding by a friend inthe early hours of October 4, 2007.Christopher Sanders, 20, who has pleadedguilty to causing actual bodily harm, had been chatting with Mr Dewhurst atthe Splottlands pub earlier that night, Cardiff Crown Court heard.
More Hardcore Republican Playguys
Many status quo quasi-Republicans have chided me for being outspoken aboutthe Massachusetts Republican Party and the Republican National Committee.They say that because of my decision to lambaste the Republican Party that Ihave doomed my chances of ever running for office again. Isn't that great?
This is their way of attempting to usurp freedom of speech and expression.
But I am convinced that coercion and scare tactics no longer work to theadvantage of Republicans. Neither does reckless sexual behavior. And as longas Republican officials continue to whore themselves around, I not only willcontinue to distance myself, but will speak my mind without fear ofretribution.
Israel: Lesbian Couple Demands Formal Recognition as Son's Parents
Whose child is this, really? A lesbian couple, who together conceived achild six months ago, is now demanding that the Interior Ministry jointlyregister them as the child's biological parents, rather than having toundergo an adoption process as has been the case with same- sex couples todate.
Gay Man's Attacker May have Struck Before
A Swedish man arrested last weekend for beating up a gay man might beresponsible for more homophobic attacks, Stockholm police said.The suspect,aged 35, allegedly attacked a 44-year-old man who was found injured in hishome. The man was arrested at 5pm on Friday.
Barrowman: Closeted Actors Are "Just Sad"
Torchwood leading man John Barrowman has criticised gay stars who refuse tocome out of the closet.
The openly gay actor said his sexuality did not influence the kind of rolesyou got offered as an actor and believes it is "just sad" that someone woulddeny their sexuality to the world.
India: Surat AIDS Workers Go Gay-Hunting
Guess what hundreds of social workers in the field of HIV, AIDS awareness inthe city are working on these days? They are actually learning some of thebasic knowledge about how to identify gays.
Film Sparks Discussion of Gays and Christian Families
Leaders of a local gay and lesbian support group hope a new documentarysheds light on homosexuality and faith.On Sunday evening, more than 300people turned out at Victory Square Theaters to see "For the Bible Tells MeSo," a 95-minute documentary on how five unrelated Christian familiesreconciled their faith with the knowledge that a family member was gay orlesbian.




Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Polls Open In NH Primary
(Manchester, New Hampshire) Only five days after the Iowa caucuses openedthe presidential race, New Hampshire took its turn Tuesday shaping anelectric Democratic contest and a mystifying Republican one. Bidding for
victory were a surging Barack Obama and a field full of would-be "comebackkids."
Also: Obama, McCain Win Early NH Votes
Summit Fuels Bloomberg '08 Talk
(Norman Oklahoma) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's potential independentbid for president depends largely on whether the major party candidatesembrace the political center, said Democrats and Republicans who met withthe mayor on Monday.
NJ Passes LGBT Bias Bill
(Trenton, New Jersey) New Jersey lawmakers on Monday passed legislation tostrengthen New Jersey's hate crimes and anti-school bullying laws.
Gay Nobel Nominee Weds Partner
(Cape Town, South Africa) One of the world's most visible HIV/AIDS activistshas married his longtime partner at a ceremony near Cape Town.
Gay Mayor For 2 Days Sues To Overturn Recount
(Vallejo, California) Gary Cloutier who last November became the firstopenly gay mayor in the Bay Area only to be removed from office in a recount48-hours later went to court Monday to have the recount overturned.
Irish Gay Couples United Abroad To Be Recognized At Home
(Dublin) Same-sex couples who were married or had civil partnerships incountries where they are legal will have those unions recognized in Irelandthe government has announced.
London Registrar Sues To Refuse To Perform Gay Unions
(London) A registrar with the Islington Council has filed an employmentequity suit accusing the North London borough of discrimination by requiringher to conduct civil partnership ceremonies for same-sex couples.
Gay Banker Bias Case Back In Court
(London) The biggest gay discrimination case in British history has returnedto court as a former banker and one of the world's largest financialinstitutions square off in a case filled with lurid sexual details.


The Advocate


Hospital Denies Breast-Enlargement Surgery to Trans Woman

January 08, 2008

When Charlene Hastings of San Francisco called Seton Medical Center, aCatholic hospital in Daly City, Calif., about breast-enlargement surgery,she was told, "God made you a man."

According to The [San Jose] Mercury News, Hastings, 57, said she had electedthe surgeon at the hospital willing to perform the surgery, Dr. LeonardGray. When he was denied the rights, Hastings filed suit against thehospital, challenging its ability to operate according to religiousprinciples.

While she had already undergone the major part of the gender reassignmentsurgery, she was denied by a surgical coordinator for the breastaugmentation, who said the facilities were not to be used for transgendersurgeries.

"She kept saying, 'It's not God's will,'" Hastings said. "I could notbelieve it. It's a blatant case of discrimination."

While state law does allow religious hospitals to refuse to performabortions, there are no specific exemptions for elective transgendersurgery.

Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center in SanFrancisco, said this isn't the only such incident. "Seton and otherhospitals in the area have put up significant barriers to care fortransgender people."


The Advocate


Ireland: Presbyterian Church Involved in Gender Controversy

January 08, 2008

The pastor of First Portadown, a Presbyterian church in Edenderry, NorthernIreland, has sparked a controversy involving gender equality.

For over 60 years, Portadown along with a neighboring church, Armagh Road,have held joint Christmas services. But this year Reverend Stafford Carsonof Portadown said he would not allow fellow minister Reverend ChristinaBradley into his pulpit because she is a woman.

"I come from Germany where this issue never arose," Bradley told the BelfastTelegraph. "I am saddened and puzzled that women -- who are fully-fledgedministers -- are not accepted by some clerics."

A Presbyterian moderator, Dr. John Finlay, told the BBC on Sunday that whilethe church has decided women are eligible in the same way as men, they alsoallow "those who have reservations about the role of women in the ministryto exercise freedom of conscience so that nobody is forced to act contraryto their own personal opinions."

Bradley said she has plans to meet with Carson to resolve the issue awayfrom media glare. The BBC said Carson would not respond to its attempts tocontact him. (The Advocate)


The Advocate


Poll: Obama Leads in N.H., GOP Race Tight

January 08, 2008

Obama has a big lead over Clinton among New Hampshire's large bloc ofindependent voters, who can vote in either party's primary. They are abouteven among women. He's also ahead among younger people, first-time primaryvoters, and men. Clinton does best among Democrats and conservatives. Moreof Clinton's supporters say they're firmly committed to their candidate, butObama is viewed as more electable in November.

In the GOP contest, McCain and Romney are about even among independents andRepublicans. McCain leads with moderates, while the two are close amongconservatives. Romney does best with Republicans most concerned aboutillegal immigration, while McCain leads among Republicans focused on theeconomy and terrorism. The two top rivals are seen as equally electable.

Barack Obama, 36%
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 28%
John Edwards, 22%
Bill Richardson, 7%
John McCain, 35%
Mitt Romney, 31%
Mike Huckabee, 13%
Ron Paul, 8%
Rudy Giuliani, 5%

The telephone poll, by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, wasconducted Saturday and Sunday. It involved interviews with 636 likelyDemocratic primary voters and 477 likely Republican primary voters, andincludes voters leaning toward a candidate. The margin of sampling error wasplus or minus four percentage points for Democrats and 4.5 points forRepublicans. (AP)


The New York Times


Op-Ed Contributor: Women Are Never Front-Runners

January 8, 2008
Correction appended.

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a communityorganizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls,ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a blackAfrican father - in this race-conscious country, she is considered black -she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became aninspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could beelected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do youbelieve she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation onearth?

If you answered no to either question, you're not alone. Gender is probablythe most restricting force in American life, whether the question is whomust be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House. This country isway down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study,it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.

That's why the Iowa primary was following our historical pattern of makingchange. Black men were given the vote a half-century before women of anyrace were allowed to mark a ballot, and generally have ascended to positionsof power, from the military to the boardroom, before any women (with thepossible exception of obedient family members in the latter).

more . . . . .


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