Friday, January 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST Thursday January 3, 2008

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


Wayne Besen Daily Commentary

Anything But Straight
January 1, 2008

The Presidential Race

The presidential marathon has now become a sprint. With the coming of theNew Year Americans are now sizing up the candidates. The Democrats aregenerally excited about their choices, however, the uncertainly of having noclear frontrunner has caused a great deal of unease.

Meanwhile, the Republican crop of candidates is downright depressing. It isso bad, it could even drive someone like the ever-happy Rhonda Byrne, authorof The Secret, to the nearest high ledge with a bottle of prescriptiondrugs. The GOP race is so screwed up, that Rev. Pat Robertson endorsed theguy (Giuliani) who is pro-choice and pro-gay. Well, pro-gay for aRepublican, which is entirely different than actually being affirming andsupportive.

Watching the debates, it almost seemed as if the Republicans and Democratscome from two different worlds. The Democrats talked about healthcare,thought the war in Iraq wasn't going so well and generally were accepting ofgay and lesbian equality. Even if they were on the wrong side of marriage,which is no small deal, at least they understood the issue.

The immigration and religion obsessed Republicans were just plain pathetic -particularly on gay rights. Giuliani and Romney, formerly moderate on GLBTissues, couldn't backpedal fast enough. The former mayor of New Yorkgenerally tried to avoid the issue with the message - I'm a wee bit gaypositive, but, please realize I'm ashamed of my record, but too stubborn tosay I was actually wrong about "those people".

The protean former governor of Massachusetts simply morphed into anunrecognizable creature. This new creation was an anti-gay, varmintblasting, anti-choice moralist that sounded as if he were from northernAlabama, instead of the most liberal state in the nation.

Really, has there ever been a phonier, flip-flopping panderer in the historyof politics than "Full of Mitt" Romney? He is so plastic that I bet he has"Mattel" tattooed on his behind. If Romney became president, it would belike watching a four-year video loop of the movie I-Robot, minus the actionscenes. How anyone could actually pull the lever for someone so utterlydevoid of character, conscience and consistency is a mystery.

Of course, there is Mike "Huckster-Bible," who presents himself as a fresh,new face, while basing his policies on the Old Testament. It seems that eachweek, he regresses a century. In fact, when he shouted Happy New Year, hewas ringing in 1408. Our only hope is that his time warp is irreversible andhe becomes so backwards that he enters a B.C. mindset and thus must give upChristianity and adopt the ancient God Ba'al.

If Huckster-Bible actually gets the nomination, I suspect the entire GOPestablishment will blow up - with mass defections of Wall StreetRepublicans. While, the former Arkansas governor is a rare talent on thecampaign trail - I can't imagine the GOP business elite funding a man whomight just start calling the Iraqis "Babylonians" at any moment. Seriously,would anyone be shocked if expediting the Rapture became a foreign policygoal under a Huckster-Bible administration?

Sure, the Democrats may sometimes fail to deliver - but the nationalRepublican Party never fails to deliver anti-gay policies and fear drivenpolitics that divide America and set back GLBT equality. The only road toredemption for the GOP is to start from scratch and form a new party wherebigots and religious fanatics are not considered a core constituency.

As for the Democrats, the main question is whether the candidate chosen inthe primaries will reach his or her leadership potential?

Would Obama be a revolutionary president that heals divisions and restorescredibility to America? Or, he would be a rhetorically gifted Jimmy Carter -inexperienced in foreign policy and too weak to reach his full potential?

Would Hillary Clinton return to her idealistic youth and create real andlasting change? Or, was she so mentally scarred by her healthcare defeat andher husband's gays in the military debacle - that she is now cautious to thepoint of irrelevance?

Would John Edwards really take on fat cat CEO's and fight for the littleguy - or simply take their votes for granted on the way to the White House?

The good news is that I think a Democrat is likely to win. The bad news isthat if we get a Republican, the dollar has become so weak under Bush thatfew of us can afford to leave. If being trapped in Huckster-Bible Land isnot an incentive to get off the couch and vote - I'm not sure what is.



Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

Truth Alarmed By Mike Huckabee's Anti-Gay Appearance On Meet ThePress and Ties To Known Extremists

NEW YORK - today called Mike Huckabee's statements on Meetthe Press about gay people backwards and also raised serious questions abouthis close association to the Christian Reconstructionist movement - whichbelieves the Bible justifies stoning adulterers and homosexuals.

On Meet The Press, host Tim Russert asked Huckabee, "When you say aberrantor unnatural, do you believe you're born gay or you choose to be gay?" Thecandidate replied, "I don't know whether people are born that way. Peoplewho are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that thebehavior one practices is a choice. We may have certain tendencies, but howwe behave and how we carry out our behavior"

"It is alarming that a man with such backward views is a serious contenderfor the GOP nomination," said's Executive Director WayneBesen. "In the real world, people either act on their sexuality in healthyways or act like Ted Haggard and Sen. Larry Craig - a tragic lesson thatseems lost on Mike Huckabee."

Russert also pointed out that in Huckabee's 1998 book, "Kids Who Kill," theformer governor wrote, "It is now difficult to keep track of the vast arrayof publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations--fromhomosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia."

Kids Who Kill was co-written by George Grant, a known Reconstructionist, whohas also written fanatical books such as, "The Changing of the Guard:Biblical Principles for Political Action." The Cato Institute also reportedthat Huckabee held a fundraiser at the Houston home of Dr. Steven Hotze,another leader of the radical and dangerous Reconstructionist movement.

"Huckabee should explain why he is freely associating with known extremistsand how this squares with his professed sunny and optimistic vision forAmerica," said Besen. "Furthermore, the comparison of homosexuality topedophilia and necrophilia is as ignorant as it is offensive. As theprimaries approach, Mike Huckabee is beginning to show his true colors - andthey are quite dark and intolerant." is a non-profit organization that counters right wingpropaganda, exposes the "ex-gay" myth and educates America about gay life.For more information, visit


Dear MoveOn member,

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2008-President Bush's last year in office.

It's going to be a big year: we're planning huge campaigns for the WhiteHouse and Senate, new programs to help even more people get involved inprogressive politics, and advocacy campaigns on Iraq, civil liberties,health care, and the climate crisis.

Some folks have asked us if MoveOn will hold a presidential primaryendorsement vote this year. Over the past year, we've been asking about30,000 MoveOn members each week, picked at random, to tell us who youfavored in the Democratic presidential primary. It wasn't a binding vote,but it helped us get a sense of your thinking. Here are the results of thatsurvey:



Barney Frank And Mark LaFontaine

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Obama's changing views on gay marriage, other issues

Obama's Changing Views By The Associated Press - 6 hours ago

A comparison of some of Barack Obama's views over the years, based oncandidate questionnaires in 1996 and 2004, interviews, presidential debatesand other comments:

_1996 (from a questionnaire for his state Senate run): Supported banning thesale and possession of handguns in Illinois.
_2004 (questionnaire for his U.S. Senate run): A ban is "not politicallypracticable."

_1996: Did not support capital punishment.
_2007: Supports capital punishment for particularly heinous crimes.

_2003: Would replace the "shoddy and dangerous" USA Patriot Act.
_2006: Votes for updated Patriot Act he says contains only modest

_1996: In principle, supports single-payer health plan at federal level.
_2007: Says single-payer is not practical.

_January 2004: Opposes repealing Defense of Marriage Act.
_February 2004: Supports repealing Defense of Marriage Act.

_2004: Normalizing relations would help the Cuban people.
_2007: "I would not normalize relations."

_1996: Opposes parental-notification laws.
_2004: Opposes if they lack a bypass provision.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

LGB inclusion could derail Georgia hate crimes bill

Debate on gay rights could derail state hate crimes law
While Senate group studies restoration, House leader sees no need to addressit

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 12/26/07

A bipartisan effort to restore Georgia's hate crimes law could becomebogged down in a behind-the-scenes debate over whether to include gays andlesbians in its reach, according to those familiar with the issue.

A state Senate study committee must decide by mid-January whether toproceed with the legislation, which is supported by a broad array ofprosecutors, religious and civil rights groups - and GBI Director VernonKeenan.

A Senate decision could be colored by House Speaker Glenn Richardson, whorecently said he's not inclined to take the issue up when the Legislaturereconvenes in Atlanta in January.

"I haven't seen a dramatic change in crime levels since the Supreme Courttossed it out," Richardson said. "I see no reason to address it. I neverhave understood treating crimes with different punishments because of theperson against whom you committed it."

But those who support the effort say objections to the legislation extendbeyond philosophy - and that the key hurdle may be defining whom the measureis intended to protect.

"We understand that there are legislators who are going to be moreskeptical about the bill if it includes sexual orientation," said BillNigut, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League. Nigut said his groupnonetheless supports the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the legislation.

Sadie Fields, leader of the Georgia Christian Alliance, said she doesn'tnecessarily agree with the concept behind a hate crimes measure. "Wedefinitely would oppose any legislation that included sexual orientation,"said Fields, who spearheaded the effort to incorporate a ban on gay marriageinto the state constitution in 2004.



Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

*(Manchester, NH)* - *Senator John Edwards released the following statementtoday as New Hampshire's civil union law takes effect.*

"In April of last year, Gov. Lynch and the state of New Hampshire passed abill officially recognizing civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. Thiscourageous act showed us that the idea of America - fairness, justice andequal opportunity - can become a reality when we have the courage to standup for what is right.

"Today, the work of equality advocates comes to fruition as that law takeseffect. New Hampshire's decision to recognize civil unions and grant gay andlesbian couples the same rights granted by the state to heterosexual marriedcouples is an important step forward on the march toward equality, fairnessand justice."


Gay Muslims Pack a Dance Floor of Their Own

Published: January 1, 2008
The New York Times

BERLIN - Six men whirled faster and faster in the center of thenightclub, arms slung over one another's shoulders, performing atraditional circle dance popular in Turkey and the Middle East.Nothing unusual given the German capital's large Muslim population.

But most of the people filling the dance floor on Saturday at the clubSO36 in the Kreuzberg neighborhood were gay, lesbian or bisexual, andof Turkish or Arab background. They were there for the monthly clubnight known as Gayhane, an all-too-rare opportunity to merge theirimmigrant cultures and their sexual identities.

European Muslims, so often portrayed one-dimensionally as rioters,honor killers or terrorists, live diverse lives, most of them tryingto get by and to have a good time. That is more difficult if one isboth Muslim and gay.

"When you're here, it's as if you're putting on a mask, leaving theeveryday outside and just having fun," said a 22-year-old Turkish manwho spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear that he would beostracized or worse if his family found out about his sexual orientation.

Safety and secrecy come up regularly when talking to guests, who laughand dance, but also frequently look over their shoulders. To be a gayman or lesbian with an immigrant background invites trouble here intwo very different ways.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

DesMoines Register

A close look at Clinton's words reveals real intent

January 2, 2008

As a 16-year Army veteran who is currently barred from serving in themilitary because of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I've been keenly interested inthe various candidates' positions on gays and lesbians serving openly in themilitary.

A few weeks ago, an Air Force veteran asked Clinton about Don't Ask, Don'tTell. She answered: "I feel strongly that if someone wants to serve theircountry...if they'll comply with the code of military justice and haveappropriate behavior, they should not be disqualified simply because theyare gay."

A studious reading of her purposefully worded response shows us she intendsto do just the opposite. Notice that her response focuses on two majorissues: the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the behavior of theindividual servicemember.

Section 925, article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice clearlybars physical intimacy between members of the same sex and statesunambiguously that such "behavior" is grounds for court martial.

- Gary W. Swenson,

Mason City.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Gay Seniors Depend On Social Networks When Ill

by Newscenter Staff
Posted: January 2, 2008 - 2:00 pm ET

(New York City) Older gay, lesbian and bisexual adults have "a history ofcaregiving" that creates networks of people who support each other duringtheir senior years, according to a new study.

The study of 199 LGB seniors found that more than two-thirds of theparticipants had provided care to one or more people during the previousfive years.

"These findings contradict old myths about elderly gay people leading lonelylives of quiet desperation," said Dr. Robert-Jay Green, executive directorof the Rockway Institute, a national center for LGBT research and publicpolicy.

"LGB seniors create vibrant communities of care that overcome thedifficulties posed by discrimination or by greater levels of rejection fromtheir biological families."

The study was conducted by Arnold H. Grossman and Eliza Dragowski of NewYork University, and Anthony D'Augelli of Pennsylvania State University andwas published in the Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

If not me, then pick Obama, Kucinich tells Iowans

Wednesday, January 2, 2008 3:02 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa -- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, whosepresidential campaign is barely noticeable here, yesterday urged hissupporters to make Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois their second choice in theIowa caucuses.

The move could aid Obama, who is in a tight race in Iowa with New York Sen.Hillary Clinton and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

Under Democratic rules, a candidate who does not get support from at least15 percent of participants at a precinct caucus is ruled "nonviable." Thatcandidate's participants then can back a "viable" candidate.

In 2004, Kucinich wasn't viable in many precincts but helped Edwards place asurprising second by urging his backers to support him as a second choice.

"This is obviously an 'Iowa-only' recommendation, as Sen. Obama and I arecompeting in the New Hampshire primary next Tuesday," Kucinich said, addingthat "Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change."

-- Joe Hallett


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Spain's ruling party attack Catholic bishops

2nd January 2008 17:30
Tony Grew

A leading member of the governing Socialist party in Spain has attacked theRoman Catholic Church for getting involved in politics.

On Sunday a "family" rally was held in Madrid, and senior church figureslined up to criticise laws introduced since the Socialists took power in2004, including same-sex marriage.

Pope Benedict XVI addressed the crowd, estimated at 150,000 people, by avideolink from Rome.

The main opposition party, the rightwing Popular Party, supported theprotest march.

The secretary of the Partido Socialista Obrero EspaƱol's federal executiveis demanding that the Church retract accusations by the Archbishop ofValencia that the government was promoting "radical secularism" that wouldlead to the breakdown of democracy.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Iraq prisoner amnesty does not extend to gays

2nd January 2008 12:30 staff writer

A draft bill before the Iraqi parliament would grant an amnesty for as manyas 5,000 prisoners, yet excludes those convicted of homosexual "crimes."

Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the country's government, said the bill hadbeen sent to the parliament's Speaker yesterday.

Iraqis being held by the Americans are also excluded, alongside thosecharged with terrorist offences, rape and adultery.

While homosexuality is in itself not illegal in Iraq, several laws are usedto persecute gay people.

Laws against loitering, indecent exposure, spreading "dangerous diseases,"committing and indecent act in public and making "indecent" advances are allused.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Russian activist charged over TV outing

31st December 2007 16:00
Tony Grew

Moscow Gay Pride organiser and gay rights activist Nicolas Alexeyev will bebrought before a court after he outed a Russian politician on livetelevision.

The charges arise from comments he made on live TV in June, when he outedpolitician Alexander Cheuv as a homosexual.

Last week the Moscow prosecutor's office completed their criminalinvestigation and confirmed there is a case against Mr Alexeyev underRussian Criminal Code for slander and insult.

The case is expected to be heard early next year.

To prove that he is guilty of slander, Russian investigating authoritieswill have to demonstrate that calling Mr Chuev 'gay' spoilt his reputationor dignity.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Obama is best for gay rights

Posted by: The Author
January 02, 2008

After more than a year of campaigning in the most wide-open primaries indecades, it's finally time for voters to pick a president. On the Democraticside, the three hopefuls with a viable shot at the nomination have allsigned on to almost every item on the so-called "gay agenda."

That includes workplace rights and hate crime protection for gay andtransgender Americans, repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and opposition toa constitutional amendment banning gays from marrying.

The differences that do exist come on the politically dicey issue of legalrecognition for our relationships. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and JohnEdwards all support repealing the provision of the infamous "Defense ofMarriage Act" that blocks federal recognition of marriage licenses issued togay couples. But only Obama and Edwards support full repeal of DOMA,including the provision that says each state can choose to ignore gaymarriages from other states.

Hillary Clinton won't go that far and has stopped short of criticizing herhusband for signing DOMA and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" into law. She and Obamahave also declined to sponsor the Uniting American Families Act, which wouldextend to gay Americans the right to sponsor a non-American partner forcitizenship. Then again, Edwards didn't sign on to UAFA's predecessorlegislation during his Senate tenure, and all three say they support theidea of equal immigration rights in principle.

All three also support a truly dramatic change in how the federal governmenttreats gay couples, extending recognition not just to gay couples luckyenough to marry in Massachusetts, but also to those who enter into civilunions, domestic partnerships or simply establish that they are inlong-term, committed relationships.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

The Perils of Ron Paul

by Dale Carpenter
First published in the Bay Area Reporter, Jan. 3, 2007

The 2008 presidential primaries and caucuses loom, so what's a gayRepublican to do? For many, the answer has been to support Ron Paul. He'snot going to win any primaries, but a vote for him could be thought aprotest against the theocratic tendencies of the party. It could also be avote for libertarian principle, which appeals to some. Yet while some ofPaul's views are superficially appealing, he's a very bad choice.

Let's start with what's attractive about Paul. First, he's not the other GOPcandidates. With the exception of Sen. John McCain, they're about aspolitically and ideologically unlovely a lot as one can imagine. They'renativist and anti-evolution. Several are running for National Pastor insteadof president.

On gay issues, they're as bad as we've ever had. The two candidates withgay-friendly records -- Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney -- have abandonedtheir erstwhile principles to cozy up to religious conservatives.

All of them support Don't Ask, Don't Tell. All, except McCain, support somekind of anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment. Giuliani, who initiallyopposed any amendment, has since wobbled.

In walks Ron Paul, formerly a practicing doctor, promising to limitgovernment and sticking by his principles. He would abolish the IRS, theincome tax system, and the departments of Education, Energy, HomelandSecurity, and Health and Human Services. He would eliminate Medicare and endstudent loans for education. He would even get government out of the medicallicensing business. As he put it in an interview with Google, this meansyour neighbor could dispense medications.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

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

January 2, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

more . . . . .


The National Center for Transgender Equality

NCTE Guide to Overcoming Voting Obstacles

Tomorrow, voters begin the process of selecting the nominees for the2008 Presidential race. We hope that you, too, will plan on going to thepolls this year. Every vote matters.

At NCTE, we believe in the importance of voting and we believe that itmakes a difference in our work for transgender equality. Last year,President George W. Bush announced his intentions to veto two bills ofcritical importance to the transgender community should they reach his desk.They were a hate crimes bill and a measure to ban discrimination inemployment. As we make progress to move these bills through Congress in thefuture, it will be vital to achieving our civil rights to have a Presidentin office who will sign this legislation into law. Who is elected Presidentwill make a difference in our ability to achieve civil rights fortransgender people. We need you to be a part of this process of selectingwho that will be.

Transgender people, however, sometimes face discrimination at thepolls. In order to help you exercise your right to vote, NCTE is reissuedour Guide to Overcoming Voting Obstacles to help you overcomeany barriers to voting that you encounter. The Guide also addressesadditional challenges that some transgender votes face, such as racism,felony conviction and homelessness.

If you haven't yet registered to vote, there's still time in moststates. Check out the Rock the Vote website for a calendar of all of theprimary and caucus dates, plus information on how to register to vote inyour state.

Please feel free to pass this resource along to anyone who may needit. Encourage your friends and family to get out and vote this year.


Gay & Lesbian Leadership

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
The Advocate's 2007 in review
The Advocate looks back at the "gayest moments" of last year, including theLarry Craig scandal, financial expert Suze Orman's coming out and the debateover the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a version of which cleared theHouse in November. (12/31)
Will Indiana marriage ban make November ballot?
The Indianapolis Star (12/31)
Learn to run a winning campaign!
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute is bringing its renowned Candidate &Campaign Training to Charlotte, NC. Join us Feb. 21 to 24 to learn how tobuild a winning campaign. Whether you're running as openly LGBT or workingon a campaign, our training will provide you with the tools you need forsuccess. Click here to learn more and apply by Jan. 28.
Price: Gay GOPers hope for best, prepared for worst
Gay Republicans face a pivotal period in the presidential campaign, as theearly primary results are likely to foretell whether a gay-friendlycandidate like Rudy Giuliani will win the nomination, or voters opt for themore conservative Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney, according to columnist DebPrice. The Detroit News (12/31)


The New York Times

Episcopal Leader Defends Gay Bishops

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

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 NewYork-based church, which is the Anglican body in the U.S., is far from theonly Anglican 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 notalone in being a gay partnered bishop'' [Emphasis added. - P.M.]" JeffertsSchori said in an interview broadcast Tuesday. ''He is alone in being theonly gay partnered bishop who's open about that status.''

The 77,000,000-member Anglican Communion is a global fellowship ofchurches that trace their roots to the Church of England. Most Anglicansare traditionalists 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 publicprayer to bless gay couples churchwide. However, Jefferts Schori and otherEpiscopal leaders acknowledge that such ceremonies take place in manyparishes. She said other Anglican churches do the same.

''Those services are happening in various places, including in theChurch of England, where my understanding is that there are far more of themhappening than there are in the Episcopal Church,'' Jefferts Schori said.



To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

Information, news, and discussion about the legal recognition of same-sexcouples and their families, including marriages, domestic partnerships,civil unions, adoptions, foster children and similar issues.

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

WHEN VERMONT legislators legalized civil unions for gay couples in 2000,there was a bitter backlash against the reform. But on New Year's Day, NewHampshire joined Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey in extending civilunion rights to gay and lesbian couples, and the event was met with acollective yawn. There are several reasons for this change, but the mostimportant is that residents of New Hampshire have had a chance to observeVermont and Connecticut's civil unions and Massachusetts' same-sex marriage,and realized that extending rights to a minority is no threat to themajority - or to the institution of marriage. This page finds civil unionsto be an inadequate substitute for true marriage equality. Still, therelikely would have been more opposition had New Hampshire legalized gaymarriage and not just civil unions, which are seen as a compromise measure.
Also, the fact that New Hampshire's elected legislators initiated thechange, as opposed to an "unelected" court, as was the case in both Vermontand Massachusetts, may have made the reform more acceptable to voters.
A new organisation has formed in Tasmania to educate same-sex couples aboutthe benefits of taking out a Deed of Relationship. The organisation, InDeed,has been launched on the fourth anniversary of Tasmania's landmarkRelationships Act and Registry, and was established by same-sex couples whohave already entered into a Deed of Relationship. The group is concernedthat many gay and lesbian couples are not aware of the benefits ofregistering their relationship. "We came together because we aredisappointed that the state government hasn't allocated any money toadvertise or promote the Deed," Peter Power, the convener of InDeed, toldSX. "People aren't aware of the numerous benefits that come with the Deed."Such benefits include immediate access to all legally-recognisedrelationship rights and the ability to verify those rights if challenged.
Australia will celebrate its first civil unions June the Australian CapitalTerritory's Attorney General said Wednesday. The Act government will vote onthe Civil Partnerships bill in the next 60 days after the federal governmentsaid it would not attempt to block the move. Twice before the territorialgovernment passed civil unions legislation only to see the laws voided bythe federal government of then Prime Minister John Howard. (story) Howardsaid the legislation violated a ban on gay marriage in Australia that wasenacted by the federal Parliament in 2004. Howard's Liberals suffered acrushing defeat at the polls in November to the Labor Party led by Rudd.
If 2007 was a good year for the legal rights of same-sex couples inWashington state, advocates say they want the next year to bring even morerights - and some responsibilities - to the state's domestic partnershipregistry.The registry has drawn 3,161 same-sex couples and unmarriedheterosexual couples to sign up since it went into effect July 22.
Considered the first step toward legal same-sex marriage, it provides about10 legal rights enjoyed by married couples, including rights of visitationin hospitals and certain rights to participate in end-of-life decisions."We are planning to continue the incremental strategy we set out on lastyear. We are working right now on the details of what will be included. Butwe are proposing a package that would expand the rights," Rep. JamiePedersen, a Seattle Democrat and lawyer, said recently.
Democrats are in charge of New Hampshire's Legislature, but Republicans wantto take back their historical role of calling the shots. And that means the2008 legislative session starting Wednesday will be more political than everas policy takes on an even harsher partisanship edge than usual.Look forsharp divisions especially over health insurance, abortion and schoolfunding as the two parties highlight their philosophical differences inadvance of the November election. In 2006, Democrats took control of theHouse for the first time since 1922 and of the Senate since 1998. No one atthe Statehouse can agree on when the Democrats last controlled bothchambers, but it was probably during the 1870s. They also won the governor'sseat and a majority on the Executive Council. In their first year in charge,Democrats pushed through the first increase in the minimum wage in a decade,a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants and a law allowing gay couples toform civil unions.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
'Sorry, We Can't Help You'
Police told the victim of a brutal homophobic assault and robbery they hadalready spent too much time on his case to check CCTV footage or tracethreatening phone calls made from his stolen mobile phone. Part of Craig Gee's skull was reduced to powder and his leg broken during the late-night attacklast month, which his boyfriend Shane Brennen initially thought had killedhim.
Robertson Freilich Attorneys Win Asylum For Trinidadian National
Robertson, Freilich, Bruno & Cohen, LLC attorneys Elizabeth Koniers Brownand Fanny A. Flikshtein have earned asylum for a pro bono client in a casebrought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the ImmigrationCourt. In a particularly complex case, Ms. Brown and Ms. Flikshteinsuccessfully represented Mr. Jesse Hanes (a pseudonym has been used toprotect the defendant's privacy), a gay, HIV-positive Trinidadian nationalliving in New York.
Gay Marriage: Live and Let Live
In this column, we consider whether the state should recognize gay marriage.
This issue is distinct from whether gay sex is immoral, because one mightthink that the state should recognize some immoral contracts (for example, acontract to supply pit bull puppies to the Aryan Brotherhood). The issue isnot merely academic. Gary Gates of UCLA Law School points out that a 2000U.S. Census report noted that there were 600,000 same-sex couples and in2005, the Census Bureau estimated that the number is greater than 770,000.
Documenting the Toll of AIDS
Twelve years after a Silver Lake man died, his pharmacy receipts and medicalbills sit in a Los Angeles archive with a hand-written message declaring:"The Cost of AIDS." In a San Francisco library, a massive photo collectioncapturing the exuberance of gay liberation in the 1970s and its tragiccollision with AIDS fills many cartons.
Small-Town Gay Teens Find Hope in Prairie Springs
Gay men are six times more likely to attempt suicide than their straightcounterparts and the numbers increase exponentially during the holidays,according to the Department of Health.


Early Bird Special on Passes Thru January 14

Warm winds. Bright sun. Blue water. That's winter in Miami Beach. Throwin a roster of hot DJs and the world's best ocean-side dance party, and that's Winter Party Festival, benefitting the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

The 2008 Winter Party Festival hits Miami and Miami Beach from February 27to March 3 and features the 15th edition of the event that started it all,the Winter Party Beach Party. It also features some of the hottest DJs onthe circuit as well as some of the most exciting up-and-comers


Tickets and multi-event passes are on sale now at your pass before January 14 and save money with the early birddiscount. New this year is a pass for guests ages 21-25. The New GenerationPass and the Florida Resident Pass are both on sale only through January 14.Visit now to purchase your tickets and passes.


The Doubletree Surfcomber is THE hotel of choice during Winter PartyFestival. The Festival Welcome Center is located in the hotel, only stepsaway from the magnificent pool, site of the ever-popular Under One Sun PoolParty. Hotel guests receive two complimentary tickets per room to thisspectacular event.

Room rates are $299/king and $319/double through January 29, after which therates increase by $20. To reserve your room, please call 305.532.7715, askfor reservations, and mention Winter Party Festival 2008 to receive thespecial rate or visit the Doubletree Surfcomber Web site.


Gay Chorus Opens Maine Legislature
by Newscenter Staff

Posted: January 2, 2008 - 5:00 pm ET

(Augusta, Maine) The Gay Men's Chorus sang the national anthem to start the2008 session of the Maine legislature on Wednesday. It is the first time,one lawmaker said, that a gay group has sung the anthem at the start of anylegislature in the country.

Members of the legislature braved a snowstorm that dumped about a foot ofsnow on the state. Schools and most businesses were closed on Wednesday witha weather warning another storm was on the way.

Five new representatives were sworn in to replace House members who died orresigned.

The biggest agenda for the session is dealing with a looming budgetshortfall of $95 million. School and jail consolidation, highway funding andchanges in Maine's sex offender registry also are on the agenda.

Maine has a limited domestic partner law. Last year the legislature approveda bill allowing gay and lesbian workers to take time off to care for a sickpartner or child.

more . . . . .


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