Monday, February 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST February 4, 2008

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


Apology to gay community over MRSA story

4th February 2008 12:10

Over the last few weeks, the subject of Methicillin Resistant StaphylococcusAureus (MRSA) has hit the media, making a big impact in the gay community.

Several reputable news agencies including the New York Times and the SanFrancisco Chronicle published detailed studies about the spread of thedisease between men who have homosexual relations.

While the 'superbug' does have a higher rate of infection among men who havesex with men, the University of California San Francisco, who first reportedthe problem, issued a public apology to the gay community for singling themout as major contributor of this potentially deadly disease.

A new strain of MRSA, named USA300, which is particularly resistant to frontline antibiotics, began to appear in the gay communities of San Francisco,New York and Los Angeles, and the quick rate of infection seemed to alarmhealth officials.

Often referred to in the media as the 'superbug', MRSA is generallytransmitted from skin to skin contact and can also be spread by touchingcontaminated surfaces, but the germ appears to be transmitted most easilythrough intimate sexual contact.

more . . . . .


Homophobic mob attack Jamaican gay men

1st February 2008 16:45 staff writer

The Jamaican government is being urged to tackle mob violence against gaypeople in the country after an attack on a group of men alleged to behomosexual.

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays, JFLAG, is urging theJamaican government to action.

"This has become a blot on Jamaica's human rights record," said a JFLAGspokesperson.

"No modern democracy can afford to revert to jungle justice.

"We must give real meaning to the rule of law through our constitutedauthorities and institutions."

more . . . . .



LGBT activists and representatives of human rights organizations held paneldiscussion in Moscow


The goal of the panel discussion held by representatives of human rights andLGBT organizations on January 25-26th was to work jointly on defininggrounds for mutual projects.

The first day of the event was dedicated to the teamwork of the Russian LGBTNetwork and the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG) named "Monitoring ofdiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity inRussia", planned to start on February 1st.

Results of the similar monitoring, conducted in a preliminary mode during2007, will be published in the annual report of MHG on human rights inRussia. Electronic version is available here.

During the seminar, methods for conducting such monitoring were taught tothose activists who expressed their intention to participate in it. TutorsAlexei Kozlov, Igor Pertov and Valery Silantyev spoke on basic principles ofhuman rights monitoring, on links between sexual orientation, genderidentity and human rights, and also on principles of applying internationalstandards of human rights on evaluation of LGBT people's legal condition,etc.




Spanish government protests to Vatican over bishops' election comments

The Associated Press/International Herald Tribune
Sunday, February 3, 2008

MADRID, Spain: The Spanish government has protested to the Vatican over aveiled appeal from Catholic bishops for voters to shun the ruling Socialistsin elections next month, according to the Spanish foreign minister.

The Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, Francisco Vazquez, met with aVatican official Saturday to express "perplexity and surprise" over thebishops' comments, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said Saturday.

In a communique released Wednesday, the Spanish Bishops Conference madeclear its view that Spanish voters should not back parties that support gaymarriage or other social reforms the church frowns on, or negotiations witharmed Basque militants - clearly references to the governing Socialists.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero enacted legalization of same-sexmarriages and streamlined divorce procedures, and tried in vain to negotiatea peace accord with the armed Basque group ETA in 2006.

Moratinos, speaking in the southern city of Cordoba, criticized the churchhierarchy in Spain as "fundamentalist and neo-conservative."

He said the church does not represent a majority of Spanish Catholics and is"using terrorism politically to divide all Spaniards."

Moratinos added: "We want to maintain a better level of relations with theHoly See, but we do not understand this posture."

In Spain, the Catholic Church's leaders have long sided with the right andthey supported the fascist forces of late Gen. Francisco Franco in the1936-39 Spanish Civil War and his ensuing near four-decade dictatorship.

Under democracy, the church has consistently backed the conservatives inelections although it never names any political party.

In its statement the Spanish Bishop's Conference said that while "Catholicsmay support and join different parties it is also true that not all(electoral) programs are equally compatible with the faith and Christiandemands in life."

The statement cited Pope Benedict XVI in urging protection for thetraditional form of marriage, and it criticized government moves to restrictreligious teaching in school.

On the issue of talks with armed groups, the bishops said: "A society whichwants to be free and fair must neither, explicitly nor implicitly, recognizea terrorist organization as a political representative of any sector of thepopulation."


From George Broadhead


An article which can be found at recountsthe rise of gay bashing in Europe and makes very telling reading.

The article includes a reference to London Mayor Ken Livingstone's supportfor the ultra homophobic Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Quaradwi which the UK gayrights group GALHA, among others, challenged - see


Invitation to the Third International Anti-Homophobia Meeting

03 February 2008

Third International Anti-Homophobia Meeting
Ankara, Turkey
May 12-19, 2008.

As Kaos GL Association, we are organizing the Third International
Anti-Homophobia Meeting which will take place in Ankara on May 12-19, 2008.

The Meeting will incorporate various activities such as conferencepresentations, workshops, and forums, in which local and internationalpresenters and audience members will participate.

In last year's Meeting, homophobic attitudes, behaviors, and discriminationencountered in social, political, cultural, and academic domains wereexamined by experts, artists, academics, politicians, and journalists. Themain topic of the International Anti-Homophobia Meeting was "Media AndHomophobia" in May 2007.

For the past ten years, we have organized various social, cultural andacademic activities and events for the improvement of the rights of gay andlesbian individuals and for the prevention of discrimination. We hadorganized a symposium entitled "Problems of Lesbians and Gays and Search forSolutions towards Social Peace" in May 2003. The first one of ourInternational Anti-Homophobia Meeting took place on May 17-21, 2006.

It is our honor to invite you to the Third International Anti-HomophobiaMeeting. We are planning to focus on the area of "Human Rights andDiscirimination" in our upcoming Meeting in May 2008. We are going toorganise some panels and forums at university campuses and we wish to seeyou in Ankara for the panel called "International Mechanism and Human RightsProcess in Turkey" which will be held in Cebeci Campus of Ankara Universityon May 14, 2008. It would be pleasure to listen your speech at this panel.The other speakers are Kursad Kahramanoglu(as the moderator), Former GeneralSecretary of International Lesbian and Gay Association and Prof. Dr. YakinErturk, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against.



Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008

Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118

Former Pro Baseball Player Billy Bean Featured In New TruthWinsOut.Org VideoCampaign Leading Up To March 3 Launch of Dynamic Website

Videos Featuring 'Ex-Gay' Survivors and Sexual Orientation Experts To DebutWeekly In February

NEW YORK - (TWO) introduced a new Internet video ad todayfeaturing openly gay former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean. In thead, Bean challenges the long-held "ex-gay" theory that playing sports willhelp turn gay men into heterosexuals. This innovative ad signals thecountdown to the launch of TWO's dynamic new website, featuring an extensiveand unprecedented video catalogue of "ex-gay" survivors and sexualorientation experts. Each week leading up to the March 3 debut of the newwebsite - TWO will present its original videos.

NOTE: Video release schedule below. Survivors and experts in videos areavailable for interviews.

"I am proud to work with to challenge the harmful myths andmisconceptions spread by the 'ex-gay' industry," said Billy Bean, author of'Going the Other Way: Lessons from a Life in and out of Major-LeagueBaseball.' "The notion that playing sports makes one heterosexual ispatently absurd and I am happy to dispute this bizarre notion. It isunfortunate that 'ex-gay' organizations continue to cynically prey on thevulnerabilities of desperate and insecure people."

"'s website will be America's finest resource countering the'ex-gay' myth," said Besen. "The videos we will introduce over the nextmonth are a snapshot of the depth and expertise we bring to this topic. Fordecades, 'ex-gay' organizations had a huge advantage because theyeffectively disseminated their false messages. Our unique videos and websitecloses this gap by serving as a powerful educational tool that addresses the'ex-gay' issue from every conceivable angle."

The videos and website highlight an active and robust year, where TWO willchallenge the "ex-gay" industry across America. TWO is calling forvolunteers nationally to come forward and help us in the places we willcounter 'ex-gay' rallies. In 2008, it is also a major priority for theorganization to videotape the testimonials of lesbian and minoritysurvivors. If the so-called 'ex-gay' ministries have harmed you, pleasecontact TWO and tell your important story.

TWO urges all news organizations, websites and blogs to consider postingthese informative videos to help GLBT people who are still struggling toaccept themselves. The schedule for the debut of TWO's new videos is asfollows:



The grandparents are out
Gays and lesbians who married decades ago and had children now enjoygrandkids who know their story.

By Anndee Hochman
For The Inquirer

Back in the mid-1970s, Marian Mitchell was a single mother, a recentdivorcee who emerged from the closet only on Saturday nights, heading downto Sneakers, a women's bar at Second and Market.

Once, Mitchell's daughter, then 9, asked, "Why don't you date boys?"

"Because Mommy likes girls," was the reply.

A generation later, Mitchell found herself fielding a new round ofquestions. "Mom-mom, what does LGBT mean?" her oldest granddaughter askedafter seeing the acronym for lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered on a sign inMitchell's kitchen.

But Mitchell no longer keeps her identity cloaked. After her longtimepartner died in 1997, Mitchell decided it was time to come out. Toeveryone - including her grandchildren.

Mitchell, 55, coordinates the calendar for Amazon Country, a women's-musicshow on WXPN. Each month, members of the Lesbian Group of Montgomery Countyfill her Juniata living room for Rocky Horror theme parties or competitivepuzzle-making nights. Her grandkids - 19-year-old Kimberly, 15-year-oldKayla, and 10-year-old Chaly - almost always join the festivities.

more . . . . .


Washington Post

Spain Takes Big Changes in Stride

The Associated Press
Sunday, February 3, 2008; 12:52 PM

MADRID, Spain -- A generation ago, traditional families were sacred inSpain. Gen. Francisco Franco liked them big and Catholic, and gave heftycash prizes to parents with the most copious broods.

These days, a civics course in Spain's public schools teaches that modernfamilies can be quite different _ single parents with kids, or same-sexcouples raising adopted children.

This and a host of other social reforms have given traditionally CatholicSpain a striking new look. And while the clergy is fighting the changes, thegeneral public seems to be taking them in its stride.

Spain is one of the few countries that grant full legal status to same-sexcouples, including adoption rights. Prime Minister Jose Luis RodriguezZapatero, whose Socialist government enacted many of the changes, alsoengineered a law granting financial aid to families caring for handicappedor elderly relatives, amnestied 600,000 undocumented aliens, and createdspecial courts to prosecute spousal violence.

Half the members of Zapatero's Cabinet, and half the Socialist candidatesrunning for legislative seats in elections March 9, are women.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

American Family Association - AFA

The Rev. Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United forSeparation of Church and State, has asked that the Internal Revenue Serviceinvestigate the American Family Association. Lynn says that AFA has violatedIRS rules by distributing a voters guide.

For years, Rev. Lynn and his Americans United, along with groups such as theAmerican Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way, have usedthreats to silence Christians in an attempt to take away their FirstAmendment rights. The tragedy is that he has been successful in silencingthousands of ministers.

Let me make one thing clear to Rev. Lynn and his cohorts. We have nointention of bowing down to his threatening demands. Rev. Lynn is mistakenif he thinks his threat will scare this minister from exercising his FirstAmendment rights.

Lynn has also included a threat to churches. Trying to scare ministers fromexercising their rights, Lynn said: "Any church that distributes thesebiased guides is risking its tax exemption and casting aside its integrity."

The AFA Voters Guide was developed by three constitutional lawyers andreviewed by three more constitutional lawyers following Rev. Lynn's threat.All agreed that the voters guide is perfectly legal.

The Alliance Defense Fund has offered to represent (free of charge) churchesor organizations which distribute the voter's guide and encounter oppositionfrom either Lynn or the IRS.


Forwarded from Michael Rajner

AIDSWatch 2008 Registration Now Open!!!

Online Registration is now open for the 16th annual AIDSWatch.

Go to to learn more and register today!

Come to Washington April 28-30, 2008 and tell Congress to Do the RightThing.

We invite you to join hundreds of AIDS advocates from across the country whowill be traveling to the nation's capital to speak to their electedofficials with a strong voice, united in support of a solid federalcommitment to AIDS programs.

Please join AIDSWatch, the largest annual constituent-based Federal HIV/AIDSadvocacy and education event in the U.S. Participants include people livingwith HIV and AIDS, their families, friends, care providers, and otheradvocates. AIDSWatch is a project of the National Association of People withAIDS (NAPWA). Many other national organizations concerned about HIV and AIDSalso participate in the planning, funding and support of this event.


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:
New York: Well, what a great notice that came through on my listserv lastnight! New York Appellate Court rules that out out of state marriages mustbe recognized! Woo HOO! Yay for all NY couples who married inMassachusetts, or Canada - and yay for ME ! I got married in Canada lastSeptember! And we live in New York! But...wait a minute. My partner is hereon a temporary visa. My partner is Canadian, and we cannot do a will, orhold any property together, and certainly cannot acknowledge so much as aregistered city domestic partnership - much less call ourselves marriedother than to a few trusted friends....that would signal an 'intent' to stayand put any visa proceedings in jeopardy. However, this ruling does go along way to leaning us toward staying in NYC (as opposed to moving toCanada). Decisions, decisions...
Oregon: When they fell in love 29 years ago, they were afraid to hold handsin public, worried that their relationship could prompt the loss of theirjobs or even physical violence against them. But on Monday, Fanda Bender andSheila Gam of Talent [Oregon] plan to register as domestic partners, part ofwhat they hope will be a wave of gay and lesbian couples around the stateacting on a state law and federal court decision that cleared the way forsuch partnerships. "We've come a long way, baby," Bender said. Bender, 67, asocial worker, and Gam, 74, an educational psychologist, have worked foryears on diversity training and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenderissues. They were especially pleased when a federal judge on Friday suddenlylifted an injunction he had placed late last year, just days before thedomestic partnership law approved in Oregon's 2007 legislative session wasto take effect. "It feels like a miracle," Gam said.


Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Campaigning Intensifies As Super Tuesday Approaches
(Washington) The top presidential candidates and their big-name supporterscampaigned from coast to coast Sunday, but one contender seemed atopeveryone's mind: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Obama Has Hope But Does He Have Grit
(Chicago) If Barack Obama is going to reach the White House, he'll have toconvince voters that he's tough enough to handle both the political combatof a general election and the stresses of the presidency.
McCain Tries To Assuage Conservatives
(Nashville, Florida) Republican John McCain is trying to ease long-standingdistrust among the party's powerful conservatives. It will be a slowprocess.
Bloomberg Now Seen Backing Away From Independent Run
(New York City) New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has lost California Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger - one of his biggest cheerleaders - to John McCain andnow says in more certain terms that he won't get into the presidential race.


National Gay News

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Gay and Lesbian Arts Festival in Broward County, Fla., February 8-23
ArtExplosion 2008 is two weeks of art, music, theater, literature, comedy,and cabaret by local and national gay and lesbian talent, held all overBroward County, Fla. The festival opens February 8 with an outdoorsing-along screening of The Wizard of Oz and ends with a sketch showperformed by the Gay Mafia. The centerpiece of the festival is one of thelargest gay and lesbian group visual art exhibits in the country at the JMFamily Enterprises Gallery at ArtServe from February 11-29.
Obama Endorsed by Four Gay Newspapers
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the junior senator fromIllinois, racked up endorsements from four gay papers on both coasts thisweek as he heads into a showdown against New York Senator Hillary Clinton onSuper Tuesday next week.


Detroit News

Michigan paper tries new ways to empower gays

Deb Price
Monday, February 4, 2008

Despite plenty of experience with the thrill of being swept up by herpartner's energy and latest gotta-do idea, Jan Stevenson was floored in 1995by four words: "I bought the newspaper."

The paper was a gay monthly called "Between the Lines."

Its owner was ill and rightly sensed that Stevenson's partner, SusanHorowitz, could transform the small-scale but worthy publication into amighty voice for gay folks in Michigan.

Horowitz and Stevenson didn't have traditional journalism experience. Thatdidn't stop them. "Temporary insanity will get you into all kinds oftrouble," deadpans Stevenson.

Horowitz had once run the print shop in New York that produced the first"Silence = Death" posters for ACT-UP, the AIDS activist group.

Stevenson had been an MBA-credentialed corporate banker before finding hercalling as a full-time gay-rights activist in Detroit after volunteering fora gay hotline and hearing "this phenomenal vacuum of need."

After Stevenson and Horowitz turned their talents to their newly acquirednewspaper, it gradually expanded to a weekly with a circulation of 20,000and a web site,, visited up to 10,000 times a day.

"The newspaper has been a gentle watchdog for the community," Horowitz says."As an advocacy publication, you are sensitive to how fragile things are.You want to push the community to challenge itself, but not push it over thecliff."

The newspaper is celebrating its 15th year, beginning with an exhibit of itsnews coverage at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's "Creating Change"conference in Detroit from Thursday to Feb. 10.

There's plenty to cheer.

In addition to providing a voice for gay people, the couple publishes avoters' guide every two years that spells out candidates' stands ondiscrimination against gay workers, parents and couples -- issues rarelymentioned in nongay publications.

And by persuading mainstream businesses to begin advertising in their paper,the couple has demonstrated the value of reaching out to gay customers.

Along the way, the women, who married in Canada two years ago, have marveledas everyday gay folks have grown increasingly comfortable being out -- goingfrom being too fearful to allow their names in Between the Lines to grousingwhen their photos don't accompany articles that quote them.

While much of the gay news in Michigan has been painful -- none more so thanwhen the state Constitution was amended in 2004 to ban recognition of gaymarriages or other unions -- the paper has never lost its sense of humor:Fun gets poked at the homophobe designated "Creep of the Week."'s Mike Rogers, an influential Web-based activist, attributesBetween the Lines' staying power to its willingness to try new ways toempower gays: "Today is about harnessing the power of the Web to createspaces for people to build community."

Already, visitors to can post announcements and cast voteson newsy gay topics. In the works is a "citizen journalism" section, whereactivists will help build a more vibrant gay community by posting videoclips, photos and blog items.

Four surprising words launched one of Michigan's most remarkable couples onthe ink-stained adventure of a lifetime. How wonderful for the communitythat they chronicle and nourish.


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: