Wednesday, January 09, 2008

GLBT DIGEST January 9, 2008

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'Dykes on Bikes' trademark OKd - challenger rebuffed by high court
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A San Francisco motorcycle club gained long-sought legal approval Monday forits trademark of the name "Dykes on Bikes" when the U.S. Supreme Courtturned away a challenge from a lawyer who said the term denigrated men.

Without comment, the justices denied review of an appeal by MichaelMcDermott of Dublin, who challenged a decision by the U.S. Patent andTrademark Office to grant the San Francisco Women's Motorcycle Contingentexclusive rights over the commercial use of Dykes on Bikes.

The motorcycle club applied for a trademark in 2003 after using Dykes onBikes for three decades as the moniker of the motorized unit that leads SanFrancisco's annual Gay Pride Parade. The club's attorney, Gregory Gilchrist,said the group had no business plans for the phrase but decided to seeklegal protection after an offshoot group, now independent, discussed puttingthe name on T-shirts for sale.

The trademark office initially rejected the application, saying the name wasdisparaging to lesbians, but approved it in January 2006 after the clubsubmitted evidence that activists were trying to reclaim dykes as a term ofpride. Gilchrist said the lawyers pointed out that the office had approvedtrademarks for other once-derogatory terms - for example, the televisionshow "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

McDermott, a self-described men's rights advocate, objected to the trademarkoffice and the courts, arguing that the term was disparaging - to men - aswell as "scandalous and immoral." Those categories are grounds for denial ofa trademark.

more . . . . .


Stewart, Colbert Back on the Air

by Frazier Moore, the Associated Press

Jon Stewart was back for the first time since the Hollywood writers strikebegan, but he took care to draw a clear distinction between the show he wasreturning with and the show he hosted until two months ago.

"'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' is a show we do with our very creativeteam of field producers and correspondents and studio people and, of course,our writers," he said Monday night, then added with pointed irony, "From nowon, until the end of the strike, we'll be doing 'A Daily Show with JonStewart.' But not 'THE Daily Show.'"

Following Stewart's show, "The Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbertapologized to his audience for a technical snafu.

"I got a problem here," snapped Colbert in his most indignant tone. "Thereare no words on my (Tele)prompter."

Refusing to concede that writers are required to provide his "commentaries,"Colbert declared, "My understanding is, this little magic box (theTeleprompter) reads my thoughts and lays them up on the screen for me toread to the audience

more . . . . .


Now That's smart: Giving City Cars a Good Name

by Scott Corlett,

Tired of circling your favorite restaurant like a vulture over carrion? Sickof blowing a month's gym dues with every fill of your gas tank? Done withmaking car payments that could cover a mortgage on a South Beach condo?Well, urban dwellers rejoice - freedom is at hand.

In January, this freedom whips into your tight parking space in the form ofMercedes Benz's smart fortwo. If you traveled to Europe during the lastdecade, then you know the smartfortwo - tiny and colorful, like a rollingSwatch, which is no surprise since the Swiss designers styled the originalsmart. In Europe, the variety of smart models rivals that of Swatches; inAmerica, we get two versions: a hatchback and a cabriolet, both with twodoors, front seats sized for tall Germans, and a rear hold that carriesenough groceries to feed said Saxons for a week.

The smart fortwo is as cute as a puppy chewing your ex's Manolo Blahniks,but how does it drive? I zipped around San Francisco in a fortwo, and it waslike the gods of parking and traffic were riding shotgun. I shot into gapsheretofore accessible only to steel-nerved motorcyclists; I nosedperpendicular into parallel parking spots (two smarts fit in the space ofone, full-sized vehicle); I parked alongside stubs of curb that would barelyaccommodate a Harley. In short, after the New Year, the smart fortwo willrule America's city streets.

But what about on the freeway, amid all those SUVs reined by cell-phoneyapping soccer parents? I drove the smart 50 miles to San Francisco, on ahilly highway at speeds far in excess of the posted limit. Although I nevercracked a sweat, the ride was a bit jiggly, and afterwards, my ass felt asif I had done a few too many squats; that said, for sprints to the airportand modest daily commutes, the smart fortwo will compete with any compactcar. Moreover, on the freeway, this little hottie runs at a hybrid-like 40miles per gallon.

So, how much will command control of the urban street grid cost you? The2008 smart fortwo bases for $11,590. Now that's, er, clever.

smart is a gay-friendly company.


Civil Rights Icon Joins Fairness for All Families Campaign to Defeat HarmfulAmendment

NAACP National Chairman Julian Bond Urges Floridians to Vote "NO" inNovember

(St. Petersburg) Julian Bond, an icon in the civil rights movement for thenearly 50 years and longtime national Chairman of the NAACP, has steppedinto a leadership role with the Fairness for All Families Campaign, thestatewide coalition effort to defeat the deceptively named "Florida MarriageProtection" Amendment.

From his days as a student organizing to end segregation in the South to hiscurrent leadership of the NAACP, Julian Bond has been a frontline leader inthe movements for civil rights and economic justice. As an activist who hasfaced jail for standing up for his beliefs, as a veteran of more than 20years service in the Georgia General Assembly, a university professor and awriter, he has been on the cutting edge of social justice issues since 1960.

Bond will serve on the Honorary Board of the campaign to defeat theconstitutional amendment, slated for the 2008 ballot that could strip awayemployee benefits while barring the passage of measures to help Floridafamilies.

Bond, who describes himself as a full-time Florida property owner andpart-time Florida resident, urged voters to reject the mean-spirited measureby voting NO in November.

"It is divisive. It's harmful. It does not bring people together. It drivesthem apart," said Bond. The NAACP is the oldest and largest civil rightsorganization in the United States.

The addition of Julian Bond to the Fairness for All Families Campaign comesat a time when newspaper editorial boards across the state are activelyopposing the amendment and describing the harm to all unmarried Floridiansincluding seniors, public employees and others who rely on domesticpartnership benefits to protect their loved ones.

"Julian Bond has long been a voice for fairness and equality and we areproud to have him speaking out against this harmful amendment that singlespeople out for discrimination and make it harder for Floridians to take careof their love ones," said Barbara A. DeVane of the Florida Alliance forRetired Americans and a member of the Fairness board.

Bond serves as Chairman of the Premier Auto Group PAG (Volvo, Land Rover,Aston-Martin, and Jaguar) Diversity Council and is on the Boards of Peoplefor the American Way, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Council for aLivable World, and the advisory board of the Harvard Business SchoolInitiative on Social Enterprise, among others.

In 2002, he received the prestigious National Freedom Award.

The holder of twenty-five honorary degrees, he is a Distinguished Professorat American University in Washington, DC, and a Professor in history at theUniversity of Virginia

The Fairness for All Families Campaign is a coalition of more than 200organizations and community leaders representing seniors, business leaders,consumer groups and social justice organizations working together to opposethe effort to take away benefits and enshrine discrimination in Florida'sconstitution.

The campaign's Honorary Board members include: Former U.S. Attorney GeneralJanet Reno, U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz; former Departmentof Elder Affairs Secretary and past AARP President Bentley Lipscomb; FloridaNAACP President Adora Obi Nweze; Howard Simon, Executive Director, FloridaACLU; Rev. Nancy Wilson, Worldwide Moderator, Metropolitan CommunityChurches, Bill McBride, former Gubernatorial Candidate, Mitch Cesar,Chairman, Broward Democratic Party; Joe Garcia, Chairman, Miami-DadeDemocratic Party; and Karl Dickey, Florida Libertarian Party Chair.


Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Group wants to build bridges to black community
David Wilson, the new chairman of MassEquality, the Bay State's majorgay-rights group, has made it a goal to reach out to a community thattraditionally has been cool to LGBT rights: the black community. "We have alot of work to do, because this is just a step forward in thisequal-marriage fight across the country," said Wilson, who is black. "If weget it right here in Massachusetts, we can expect to use this modelelsewhere." The Boston Globe (1/6)
Court waives tax on Calif. couples' inherited property
Same-sex couples, as well as unmarried straight couples in which one partneris at least 62, will not have to pay additional taxes when they transfer orinherit real estate from one another, according to the state Supreme Court.
The law eliminating the tax, which is similarly waived for married couples,had been appealed by county tax assessors, who claimed the provision couldonly be changed by a ballot measure. San Francisco Chronicle (1/4)
Editorial: Orientation hopefully won't be factor in future
Although openly gay elected officials such as Randy Bishop, who is beingsworn in as mayor of Neptune, N.J., are still the exception and thereforenoteworthy, this Home News Tribune editorial looks to the day when alawmaker's orientation is a nonissue. "What we really ought to be longingfor is a day when Randy Bishop is sworn in as mayor and no one pauses tonote his sexuality," the paper writes. Home News Tribune (MiddlesexCounty-East Brunswick, N.J.) (1/8)
Blogger: His family is secure, no thanks to likes of Romney, HuckabeeBlogger Jim David, citing his own recent health care scare in which hispartner was able to fully participate in the decision making, thanks in partto New York's domestic-partner law, calls out presidential candidates suchas Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for claiming to respect gays on anindividual level but then denying them rights for their families. "I havenews for Romney and Huckabee: There have already been significant 'changesto the cultural institutions of the country,' and society is moving forwardwith you or without you," David writes. Read more at The Huffington Post.





(Fort Lauderdale, FL) - The Board of Directors of Gay American HeroesFoundation (GAHF) and actor Alan Cumming will hold a fundraising andeducational event for the building of the Gay American Heroes MemorialProject. The event will take place at and is hosted by Therapy Lounge in NewYork City on Saturday, January 12 from 5:30 to 8 PM. A similar event willalso be held in Los Angeles January 26 with Daniela Sea of "The L Word" asthe main host.

The goal of the Gay American Heroes Foundation is to construct and take atraveling memorial to communities throughout the USA to honor the lives ofLGBT people who have died as a result of hate crimes based on their sexualorientation and/or gender identity. This will also help to educate thepublic about hate crimes as well as inspire compassion and acceptance of allpeople.

In addition to co-hosts/sponsors Genre Magazine and Absolut Vodka, the event's 25+ hosts include Elke Kennedy, mother of Sean Kennedy, Derek Hartley andRomaine Patterson of SIRIUS Radio, Carson Kressley and Andy Towle. Proceedsof the event will be used to build the traveling, educational memorialexhibition. Therapy is located at 348 West 52nd Street, New York City.

The dress for the event is business casual, with complimentary hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Therapy, a 2-4-1 draft beer and well drinks and $2 discount oncall and top shelf. A donation of $40 also includes attendee participationin GAHF's Adopt-A-Hero Program.

Cyndi Lauper is among the many celebrities and notables who have stepped upto lend their support to the Heroes Project. "Gay American Heroes is animportant and moving tribute to the lives lost to hate and violence," shesaid. Lauper's website includes mention of the project, and she serves onthe Honorary Board of the organization.

Also serving on the Honorary Board: actor Chad Allen (from Dr. Quinn,Medicine Woman), Sgt. Eric Alva, former professional baseball player BillyBean, Unity Coalition of Miami Dade Executive Directors Ron Brenesky andHerb Sosa, actor Alan Cumming, Executive Director of the National Gay andLesbian Task Force Matt Foreman, US Rep. Barney Frank, Queer as Folk'sRobert Gant, Ana Gasteyer, Iman, Amazing Race co-winner Reichen Lehmkuhl(whose former partner and co-winner Chip Arndt is a founding Board member),columnist Billy Masters, activist/politician David Mixner, writerChristopher Rice, Daniella Sea, media director at GLAAD Monica Taher, andAndy Towle (Towle Report). To view the entire Board of Directors, HonoraryBoard and Advisory Board refer to the organization's website

GAHF believes that all people who live honestly about their sexualorientation or gender identity are heroic, as it takes great strength andcourage to face the daily struggles for personal freedom in the face ofenormous opposition; to ultimately lose their life for said freedom makesthem -- HEROES.



From Michael Emanuel Rajner
National Community Organizer

National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA)
Telephone: (305) 677-3506 / (954) 272-8131

On March 7-9, 2008 the Okaloosa AIDS Support & Informational Services(OASIS) will be hosting Positive Living 11, their annual consumer-focusedHIV Education and Prevention conference that attracts 300 people living withHIV/AIDS.

This conference takes place in the Florida panhandle and is an incredibleopportunity for you to learn more about living with HIV and meet others justlike yourself. Scholarships are available for people with financial need.

Again this year I will be organizing the rental of a 15-passenger van tohelp people living with HIV/AIDS from the Fort Lauderdale area to thepanhandle for conference. If you are interested in riding up as a group,please let me know as soon as possible as spots fill up quickly.



January 5, 2008

Vet alleges sex-change bias

CNN's Gary Nurenberg reports on transgender Army veteran Diane Schroerand her diiscrimination suit against the Library of Congress.




The National Center for Transgender Equality

New Resource: "Social Security Gender No-Match Letters and TransgenderEmployees"

NCTE receives calls regularly from transgender people across thecountry who have been "outed" to their employers by the Social SecurityAdministration's unfair gender "no-match" employment letter policy. To helptransgender workers, NCTE is releasing today a new resource: "SocialSecurity Gender No-Match Letters and Transgender Employees - Information forEmployees."

This new resource explains what Social Security no-match letters areand what transgender employees can do if the subject of one of theseletters. Anyone who has been confused, curious, or concerned about SocialSecurity gender no-match letters will find this information clarifying.

View the information on our webpage: No-Match Letters and TransgenderEmployees or download a printable version.


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Go to the website, above, for the following article:
Florida voters will get the chance next November to incorporate a ban onsame-sex marriages into the state, thegroup pushing the amendment, recently expressed confidence that it hascleared the last hurdle, gathering the required 611,009 petition signatures,to put the issue on the ballot. Thus, Florida stands to become the 28thstate to enact such an amendment, which, as its language says, definesmarriage as the "legal union of only one man and one woman" with "no otherlegal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalentthereof" able to be recognized or validated within the state. The proposalhas a solid chance of passing, despite requiring the approval of 60 percentof the voters. In 2004, for example, 11 states had proposed similaramendments, and all passed, on average,by ratios of about 2-1. Even liberalOregon had 57 percent of voters opposed to same-sex marriages.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Many Troops Openly Gay, Group Says
Army Sgt. Darren Manzella figured that stating he was gay on nationaltelevision would surely get him booted from the military under thePentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.But Manzella has heard nothing inthe three weeks since he told CBS' 60 Minutes that his fellow soldiers knewhe was gay and the program aired a home video that showed him kissing aformer boyfriend.
Gay Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Gets Married
South African HIV/AIDS activist Zackie Achmat has married his partner DalliWeyers. The couple, who met in 2005, wed in front of 300 guests at theImperial Yacht Club in Lakeside, Cape Town in a lavish ceremony performed bya judge.
Craig Continues Minnesota Legal Appeal
Seeking to have his guilty plea in a bathroom sex sting erased, theattorneys for Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho argue in a new court filing that theunderlying act wasn't criminal because it didn't involve multiple victims.
An appeals brief filed Tuesday contends that Minnesota's disorderly conductlaw "requires that the conduct at issue have a tendency to alarm or anger'others'" - underscoring the plural nature of the term.
Ron Paul's Ugly Anti-Gay Past
Details about presidential candidate Ron Paul's ugly anti-gay past hassurfaced with the discovery of some of the newsletters Ron Paul haspublished over the years. "What they reveal are decades worth of obsessionwith conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeplyheld bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that RonPaul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe theyare backing-but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest andugliest traditions in American politics," James Kirchik of The New Republicwrites.
Examining Bathhouse Policy, NYC Says HIV Infections Up
Health dept. memo suggests sex clubs could be closed with circumstantialevidence
After saying for years that new HIV infections among gay and bisexual menare high, but stable, a city health department memo given to Gay City Newsis asserting that new HIV infections among those men are increasing.
BMW Goes Gay - What's New or No Way?
I came across an ad for the new BMW 3-series convertible that is verysuggestive and hilarious to boot. Now I love BMW and I especially love myBRYMW, but I want you to judge this ad for yourself.



Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
More Evidence Military Policy Changing Toward Gays
(Washington) Even if no one is asking, Army Sgt. Darren Manzella has beentelling anyone who'll listen that he's gay - without serious retribution sofar from the military.
Obama Sets Sights On South Carolina
(Nashua, New Hampshire) Barack Obama pronounced himself "still fired up andready to go" after a second-place finish in New Hampshire's Democraticprimary.
Clinton Squeaks By Obama To Win NH
(Manchester, New Hampshire) Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday squeaked out avictory on Tuesday in New Hampshire's primary, slowing - or perhapsstopping - rival Barack Obama's momentum and showing more than one Clintoncan be "the Comeback Kid."
NH Win Resurrects McCain Bid
Manchester, New Hampshire) Don't ever count out John McCain. By winning New Hampshire on Tuesday, --McCain resurrected a campaign left for dead last summer.
Huckabee Accused Of Reneging On Promise To Meet AIDS Activists
(Washington) Jeanne White-Ginder, the mother of Ryan White, said Tuesdaythat Gov. Mike Huckabee is reneging on his commitment to meet with her andother AIDS activists over 15-year-old comments that AIDS patients shouldhave been isolated.
Gay Millionaire Partner Spat Ends In Murder
(Perth, Australia) They made millions in the restaurant business, lived in a$3.2 million dollar penthouse on the Perth riverside and were well knownamong the city's socially elite, but success did not guarantee lastingdomestic bliss.
Group Formed To Block Gay Marriage In Vermont
(Montpellier, Vermont) Conservative groups that boycotted legislativehearings on a proposed gay marriage bill in Vermont accusing it of beingpro-gay announced Tuesday they have set up their own commission to "set therecord straight".
Gay Adoption Ban Bill Expected As Tennessee Lawmakers Return
(Nashville, Tennessee) Tennessee lawmakers returned to the legislatureTuesday with Republicans threatening to take up a bill that would bar gaysand lesbians from adopting or serving a foster parents.
TV Anchor Fired After NYC Arrest
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) A TV station fired a local anchorwoman who hasbeen off the air since she was charged with striking a New York City policeofficer and uttering a homophobic epithet.


Genesis 9:11 (God talking about that rainbow thing)

"I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cutoff by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood todestroy the earth."

Oh wait:

Floods are judgment on society, say bishops

By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 2:01am BST 02/07/2007

The floods that have devastated swathes of the country are God'sjudgment on the immorality and greed of modern society, according tosenior Church of England bishops.

Bishop of Carlisle: Floods are judgment on society
The Bishop said pro-gay laws were to blame for the floods

One diocesan bishop has even claimed that laws that have underminedmarriage, including the introduction of pro-gay legislation, haveprovoked God to act by sending the storms that have left thousands ofpeople homeless.

While those who have been affected by the storms are innocentvictims, the bishops argue controversially that the flooding is aresult of Western civilisation's decision to ignore biblical teaching.

The Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, argued that the floods arenot just a result of a lack of respect for the planet, but also ajudgment on society's moral decadence.

"This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has beenarrogant in going its own way," he said. "We are reaping theconsequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmentaldamage that we have caused."

The bishop, who is a leading evangelical, said that people shouldheed the stories of the Bible, which described the downfall of theRoman empire as a result of its immorality.

"We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle isnow regarded as legitimate," he said.

"In the Bible, institutional power is referred to as 'the beast',which sets itself up to control people and their morals. Ourgovernment has been playing the role of God in saying that people arefree to act as they want," he said, adding that the introduction ofrecent pro-gay laws highlighted its determination to undermine marriage.

"The sexual orientation regulations [which give greater rights togays] are part of a general scene of permissiveness. We are in asituation where we are liable for God's judgment, which is intendedto call us to repentance."

He expressed his sympathy for those who have been hit by the weather,but said that the problem with "environmental judgment is that it isindiscriminate".

The West is also being punished for the way that it has exploitedpoorer nations in its pursuit of economic gain. "It has set updominant economic structures that are built on greed and that keepother nations in a situation of dependence. The principle of God'sjudgment on nations that have exploited other nations is all there inthe Bible," he said.

He urged people to respond to the latest floods by turning away froma lifestyle of greed to instead live thinking of the consequences oftheir actions.

Global warming has been caused by people's lack of care for theplanet and recent environmental catastrophes are a warning over howwe behave, according to the Bishop of Liverpool.

"People no longer see natural disasters as an act of God," said theRt Rev James Jones. "However, we are now reaping what we have sown.If we live in a profligate way then there are going to beconsequences," said the bishop, who has previously been seen as afuture Archbishop of Canterbury or York.

"We have a responsibility in this and God is exposing us to the truthof what we have done."

The Rt Rev Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, said: "We are all partof the problem and part of the solution. Instead of living as if weowned the earth we need to recover a sense of being participants in aweb of life with responsibilities to other life forms and to ourchildren."

The Bishops' warnings came as flood-hit communities were being warnedto brace themselves for more torrential rain this weekend, with theMet Office issuing a severe weather warning for large areas ofEngland and Wales, with up to 50mm (2in) of rain forecast.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Anti-gay marriage group to mount 'education' campaign
Vermont Marriage Advisory Council will speak of 'benefits of man-womanmarriage'

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) | Jan 8, 3:35 PM

Gay marriage opponents who believe a state panel studying the issue has itsmind made up went on the offensive Tuesday, announcing the formation of anew group they said will educate Vermonters about the benefits of man-womanmarriage.

The Vermont Marriage Advisory Council will hold forums and drum up interestthrough a Web site in hopes of enlightening people about the pluses oftraditional marriage, especially those relating to children, whose stake inthe controversy has been overlooked to date, according to spokesman StephenCable, of Rutland.

Unlike the state-appointed Vermont Commission on Family Recognition andProtection, which is currently holding hearings on whether Vermont shouldgrant marriage rights to same-sex couples, the Council doesn't pretend to beneutral, Cable said.

Its efforts will be "purely educational," said Cable, founder of theorganization Vermont Renewal, who opposed Vermont's first-in-the-nationcivil unions law in 2000.

"In the last seven years, since civil unions (began), what we've discoveredis that there's a tremendous amount of new information about traditional manand woman marriage and the social goods that it provides.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Taking stock of the gay vote

published Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The primary season has begun and, by my count, gay media got a total of 30minutes of interview time with the top three Democratic presidentialcandidates -- that's 15 minutes with Hillary Clinton and 15 minutes withBarack Obama. (The closest we got to John Edwards was an email exchange withhis wife, Elizabeth. Truth be told, I was grateful for the time she gave us,given her health and schedule demands).

The aforementioned interviews were with The Advocate, and while I don't meanto be egocentric, after speaking with various gay journalists/bloggers --including those from the hometowns of Obama, Edwards, and Clinton -- to myknowledge, those treasured 30 minutes were the only one-on-one interviewsconducted by gay outlets with the candidates.

The "glass half empty" view is: Once again, the LGBT community has beenmarginalized and relegated to minimal access. And here's the "glass halffull": The two Democratic front-runners competed for our votes in a waynever before seen. Heck, all the Democratic candidates made their pitch forour votes at the Human Rights Campaign forum that, while not perfect, wascertainly historic.

Of course, the interviews with Sens. Clinton and Obama came about indifferent ways. The Clinton campaign agreed to schedule her interview, whichtook place in person last summer, while the Obama campaign scheduled a"phoner" with us on the heels of the Donnie McClurkin setback he wasgrappling with in South Carolina -- when the gay community became outragedthat the lead singer for his statewide gospel tour was essentially ananti-gay "ex-gay."

But the different reasons for these interviews, and even the fact that wenever managed to secure one with Edwards, don't necessarily prove that anyof these candidates is more pro-gay or sympathetic to our issues than anyother (though Clinton deserves credit for being the first to give us time).

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News


Gay hate bill returns to Commons

8th January 2008 11:40
Tony Grew

MPs will debate the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill tomorrow, whichincludes a new offence of incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexualorientation.

Ann Widdecombe, a Roman Catholic former Tory minister, today defended heropposition to the bill.

A small group of Christian MPs are attempting to weaken the proposal byintroducing an amendment allowing:

"discussion of, criticism of, or expression of antipathy towards conductrelating to a particular sexual orientation, or urging persons of aparticular sexual orientation to refrain from or modify conduct according tothat orientation."

Ms Widdecombe, who is stepping down from the Commons at the next election,told the Daily Mail:

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Students protest against gay blood donor

8th January 2008 12.16

Student activists are putting pressure on the Canadian Blood Services to puta stop to its blood donor ban on sexually active gay men, despite thecompany having recently said it would not lift the ban.

On their donation form, the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) bar any man whohas had sex with another man since 1977, even if only once.

The Canadian Federation of Students began to put pressure on CBS last yearand the cause has been taken up by many universities across the country.

Amanda Aziz, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Studentstold

"Our issue with the ban is that it is based on personal individualcharacteristics, and not on behaviour

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Couples In Exile

02 Jan 2008 02:50 pm

It's an increasing trend for gay couples who commit to each other but comefrom different countries. Most straight people don't even begin tounderstand this. It is a given that if they were to fall in love withsomeone from another country, they could find a way to be together inAmerica as a married couple. That kind of love is recognized by governmentas something worth protecting. For some:

I and my partner's own story is one of the unfortunate many. We met inLondon while studying, and he returned with me to the States nearly 15 yearsago on a student visa (I'm a US citizen). His visa eventually ran out and aslife became increasingly more difficult in the U.S., we opted to emigrate toCanada.

Understand, Andrew, that we had full careers and lives in the U.S., which wedidn't want to leave. He is a nurse, I a web developer. We had purchased a'fixer-upper' in a depressed Milwaukee neighborhood, became involved incommunity organizations, paid our taxes. We were fully accepted andintegrated with our US families and friends.

And while our employers offered domestic-partner benefits, our state andfederal governments did not and would not recognize us as a couple. Coming
to Canada has not all been easy: I am still traveling back and forth,holding down one job while looking for a new one here. But we did getmarried here and it is a wonderful feeling to have full legal protectionafter 15 years of being together. And we are thankful to this good NorthernNeighbor and its humane and intelligent view of immigration andgay-relationships. You know Andrew, this country is increasingly young -immigrant young - vibrant and culturally rich. We joined thousands of fellowTorontonians at Nathan Square for the arrival of the New Year last night,watching so many different nationalities interact happily and peaceably. Thefuture is here, Andrew, in cities and nations that open themselves to changeand the future. And we are very fortunate to be a part of it. One hopes thatthe United States will see and seize the historic opportunity the upcomingelection presents. We all don't yet "Know Hope," but many do yearn for it.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Last night, January 6, my heterosexual male roommate and his friend werebuying beer at the Shell gas station on Broaway and Pike when they wereconfronted by an angry man in line, who stated the he "fucked up faggots."He then asked my roommate's friend if he was a friend of gays, and he toldhim yes, and that the angry man should not speak about gays like that. Theman then called him a faggot and told him that he would be waiting outsidefor him. When they went outside, both of them were blindsided and my roomatehad his nose broken.

The most fucked up thinng about this is that a man in line heard the entireordeal, called the police, but they didnt come! They only came after severalother people had called the police, and a while after the incident happened.These guys are not gay, but the point is that we have a serious issue onCapitol Hill with people attacking anyone they think are "fags." Also oncethe police arrived, my roomate and co. were told that nothing much wouldprobably come of it (even though they had the license plate of the getawaycar, a rental), although this technically qualifies as a hate crime underWashington state law.

So that's my fucked-up Hot Tip, and I hope that these motherfuckers getcaught so they can't harm anymore innocent people, gay or straight.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

On to the day when sexuality doesn't matter

Home News Tribune Online 01/8/08

Neptune is expected to name its first openly gay mayor today. TownshipCommitteeman Randy Bishop, the owner of an inn in Ocean Grove, won a secondterm on the Township Committee last fall. Now he is due to be elevated tothe mayoral post by his fellow committee members. He would become the secondopenly gay mayor in New Jersey and the third in its history. The otheropenly gay mayor to currently serve, Maywood's Tim Eustace, was elected bypopular vote in November.

Bishop's likely ascension has made headlines across the region, as have theelections of other openly gay politicians in recent years. And gay advocacygroups seem delighted by the attention; Steven Goldstein, chairman of GardenState Equality, called Bishop's election "extraordinarily important. It willencourage other lesbian and gay people to run for office, and furtherencourage politicians who are lesbian and gay but not open about it to beopen about it."

There is probably something to Goldstein's fervor.

And yet Bishop himself seems somewhat nonplussed by the attention. Afterall, he told a reporter, "It really is a small piece of what makes me who Iam."

Bishop's outlook undoubtedly has been shaped by his experiences as a gayman, much as any of us who have ever been a minority of any kind have foundourselves reassessing accepted norms. But he is adamant that it does notdefine him or his politics.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Church refused property insurance over gay-friendly stance

8th January 2008 16.18
Gemma Pritchard

A Protestant church in the US state of Michigan has been deemed too riskyfor property insurance because of its denomination's support for gay rights.

The West Adrian United Church of Christ, a small church in Adrian, Michiganwhich has weathered controversies since it was established in 1836.

It was turned down by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. of Fort Wayne,Indiana, because of its national governing body's approval of gay marriageand the ordination of homosexuals, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

Marci J. Fretz, a regional underwriter for Brotherhood Mutual, one ofAmerica's largest insurers of religious institutions, wrote in a letter tothe church last summer: "Based on national media reports, controversialstances such as those indicated in your application responses have resultedin property damage and the potential for increased litigation among churchesthat have chosen to publicly endorse these positions."

Churches and other policyholders have sometimes had their coverage revokedin the past in response to specific acts of violence or property damagerelated to social or political tensions.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Archaeology museum celebrates LGBT History month

8th January 2008 13.29
Gemma Pritchard

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is running an open evening as partof LGBT History month to explore sexuality and gender in the ancient world.

There will be a discussion on the subject, entitled 'Beyond Isis & Osiris:Alternate sexuality in Ancient Egypt', hosted by Dr Debbie Challis, followedby an opportunity to explore the museum, which is located on the UniversityCollege London Campus in central London.

The event is open to all LGBT audiences and their friends over 18 (due toalcohol consumption). There is access for people with disabilities- pleasecontact the museum for information.

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a world class collection ofover 80,000 objects from pre-historic, pharonic, Greek, Roman, Coptic andIslamic Egypt and Sudan.

The collections features items used by ancient Egyptians in their dailylives across four millennia, including hairpins, kohl pots, rush sandals,toys made from the mud of the Nile, rat traps and much more - all for free

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Threesome actor backs gay marriage ban

8th January 2008 14:40
Tony Grew

A minor member of one of Hollywood's foremost families has come out infavour of Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and expressed hisopposition to gay equality.

Stephen Baldwin, who is the brother of actors Alec, Billy and Daniel, isbest-known for his roles in the controversial 1994 film Threesome and 1995thriller The Usual Suspects.

He became a born-again Christian after the attacks on New York on September11th 2001.

During an appearance on the Howard Stern radio show, he indicated hissupport for the former Governor of Arkansas, who surprised pundits bycomfortably winning last week's Iowa caucus.

"I don't believe that gay marriage is in line with God's Word, which isfound in the Bible," Baldwin said.

more . . . . .


A note from Ray,

If you apprecite the work we provide with Ray's List, we hope you willsupport this appeal [below] from Roger Klorese of Online Policy Group - thefree server that allows Ray's List to be distributed to you without hasslesfrom AOL and some of the other internet providers. Certainly, without OPG,we would have given up on Ray's List several years ago. Please do yourpart - a small contribution to OPG will be very helpful!

From Roger B.A. Klorese
Executive Director, Online Policy Group, Inc. - QueerNet

Since it's almost exactly a month since we started our fundraising drive, Iwanted to update you on the progress we've made, and let you know some ofthe things that are in the works.

1.. Fundraising Update: Since December 9, we have received $5813 indonations; while a small portion of this is from ongoing subscriptions, themajority is from new contributions. Our network services monthly billaverages just under $850, so you can see that we aren't in immediatedesperate straits. However, it's desirable for us to have six months ofoperating padding, and you really don't want to see mail like this from meevery month, remember that we still need donations -- information about howto do so can be found at

2.. Fundraising Update, Part 2: If your employer offers matching funds oryour organization supports non-profits via its fundraising efforts, pleaseremember OPG. Our tax ID and address for completion of matching funds formsor grant applications can be found on the same page.

3.. Fundraising Update, Part 3: Especially gratifying is that we've gotten8 new subscriptions for a total of $150 per month; we now receive $435 permonth, more than half our base monthly costs, in subscription payments.Subscriptions, or recurring donations, make it possible for us to have apredictable income stream, helping us to plan operations and growth (as wellas further reducing the begging frequency).

4.. Technology Update: As part of the donation appeal last month, I talkedabout replacing our primary server, and estimated the cost at about $5k --which was what I thought was an optimistic reduction from the $6k+ we spenton each of the previous systems. We have now ordered a new system for $3500which should be more powerful than the existing machine with greater storagecapacity, which should eliminate the recurring downtime issues, and withwhich we will be able to use virtualization again to make it serve thepurpose of more than one server. Which is especially good, because...

5.. Technology Update, Part 2: Believe it or not, we've been using thecurrent Majordomo 2 software for almost six years now. And while it'sserved us much better than its predecessor Majordomo 1 did, and offered usfeatures that the easier-to-use Mailman still does not, the complexity ofuse and administration still proved daunting for many users and list-owners.There has also not been any significant development effort for about threeof those years, leading me to believe that things were not going to getbetter unless we did it ourselves, and our attempt to address that via aproject to duplicate some of the Yahoo Groups functionality petered outafter a couple of years without producing anything. Luckily, there is anewer list manager called Sympa that offers many of the capabilities weneed, with a much simpler user and administrator interface. It also has afeature that can be extremely valuable: the ability to use list membershipto authenticate a website login. So if you have a list here, you could alsoset up a website (here or, perhaps, elsewhere) that allows users in based ontheir being subscribers to your list. Given that, you could have photoalbums, file areas, chat sessions, etc. all secured by your subscriptioninfo. I'm very excited about or ability to implement this -- we should beable to set up a pilot by March. And maybe...

6.. Technology Update, Part 3: There is a project that is underway toimplement full Yahoo Groups functionality, one that uses Sympa. I'm notsure if it can serve multiple domains, so we may only set it up and if it's very complex. Sofar, they only have message posting/delivery and file areas implemented, andit may turn out to be too slow to use as well, but it's a promising start.You can try it yourself at

Thanks for your support. Please continue to help us continue and update ourservices!

Roger B.A. Klorese
Executive Director, Online Policy Group, Inc.
Founder, QueerNet


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