Wednesday, February 06, 2008

GLBT DIGEST February 6, 2008

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Brazil's Carnival Ends With Gay Ball

Filed at 12:54 a.m. ET
February 6, 2008

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- Revelers wrapped up Brazil's wild carnivalbash with the popular Gala Gay ball Tuesday night on Rio de Janeiro'sstreets, littered with feathers and sequins after five days of partying.

Thousands of onlookers gawked as men in glittering miniskirts, eveningdresses, bead-studded lingerie and feathered headdresses shimmied down awide avenue to the sounds of ABBA's ''Dancing Queen,'' for a party thatwould last until dawn Wednesday.

After a week that saw everything from a scandal over a plannedHolocaust-themed float -- later nixed by a judge -- to a samba queen's questto set a world record for the most plastic surgeries, revelers spentCarnival's last hours dancing the samba behind street bands.

''It is just impossible to describe it,'' 30-year-old Dutch bank workerAlexander Milikan said as he took a break from the festivities on Ipanemabeach. ''There's street parties everywhere, everyone's dancing, it'samazing.''

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and pre-Easter praying and fastingfor the world's largest Roman Catholic country. But most Brazilians will beglued to their televisions in the afternoon to learn the winner of thecenterpiece of Rio's Carnival: the fiercely competitive Samba parade.

more . . . . .


Deseret Morning News,5143,695250286,00.html

Buttars aims to block domestic partner registry

By Deborah Bulkeley
Deseret Morning News
Published: February 5, 2008

Calling Salt Lake City's proposal for a domestic partner registry "wrong,"Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, says he's drafting a bill to make sure noUtah city or county passes such a measure.

The bill, SB267, was introduced with a title but no text as "MunicipalAuthority Amendments," and Buttars says the text will be released soon.

"They want us to write them a blank check," Buttars said. "How brazen theyare is unbelievable."

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker proposed a citywide domestic partnerregistry to provide a means of legal recognition for gay couples and otherunmarried unions. It would allow qualifying couples to receive certificatesfrom City Hall attesting to their domestic partner status, which would helpemployers determine the status of those applying for benefits.

City Council Chairwoman Jill Remington Love said she hoped lawmakers wouldleave it up to cities to decide on such proposals. Love added that theproposed ordinance was carefully crafted, and the city's attorneys say itdoesn't violate the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage andother domestic unions.

more . . . . .


Los Angeles Times,1,1764947.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

With HIV, growing older faster
Many gained years of life through drug 'cocktails,' but the ailments ofaging are showing up earlier.

By Mary Engel
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
February 5, 2008

Larry Gibson first spotted Dennis Golay outside West Hollywood's FrenchMarket Place. By the time he was halfway across Santa Monica Boulevard, he'dfallen in love.

It was Nov. 14, 1981 -- Golay's 34th birthday.

Seven years later, both men tested positive for the AIDS virus, an almostcertain death sentence in the days before antiretroviral drugs. Havingdreamed of growing old together, they were devastated.

"We had something so special," said Gibson, 63, looking back at that darktime. "To be cheated out of its maturity just didn't seem right."

"I guess it wasn't," said Golay, now a silver-haired 60. "We're still here."

more . . . . . .


ABC News

Gay marriage amendment could put you on the record

Reported by: Brendan McLaughlin
Last Update: 2/05 3:35 pm

You're loaded up with Cool Ranch Doritos and San Pellegrino water, pushingyour cart across the asphalt expanse of Publix when a cheerful, college agedwoman with a clipboard calls out, "are you registered to vote in thiscounty?". She explains the issue de jour; pregnant pigs, decriminalizingmarijuana, free cheese for all, whatever. She hands you the pen. You signand congratulate yourself for your wisdom, compassion and civic involvement.

Well done, citizen, but would you be so quick to sign that petition- anypetition, if you knew your support would be known to your friends andneighbors?

That's the question signers of the Florida Marriage Protection Amendmenthave to ask themselves. The anti-gay marriage amendment was just certifiedto appear on the November 4th ballot after organizers gathered over 600,000signatures. It would be fair to guess that some of those signers wouldn'tnecessarily want their views on gay marriage publicized, one way or theother. Too late.

A pro-gay rights group has set up a searchable online database atKnowThyNeighbor.Org.

Type in your county and street and you can find out in a second which, ifany of your neighbors believe they can protect heterosexual unions byforbidding committed gay couples from enjoying the legal and societalbenefits of marriage. Never mind that gay marriage is already illegal underFlorida law. You can search by name, too, which has allowed inquiring mindsto find out which public officials have signed the petition.

more . . . . .


Who signed the anti-gay marriage petition?

Know thy neighbor. Find the names of signers - your neighborhood, yourstate or nationally.


Express Gay News

Huckabee and the 'culture of death'

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told CNN yesterday thatthere are two issues that need to be amended in the Constitution - abortionand gay marriage. He wants to "clear up any confusion" about the definitionof traditional marriage.

"States are enacting laws that, in fact, really create a confusion aboutwhether same-sex marriage is legal or not." He's not confused aboutabortion, though -- he wants it gone.

"Are we going be a culture of life or a culture of death? And I think it'simportant for America to take the stand that we value every human life."

Every human life, really? Even gay ones? Because you just contradictedyourself there, Huckabee. How can you value every human life if you denyrights to a specific group of people?

Posted by Rebecca Armendariz, Online Editor| Feb. 5 at 12:36 PM |


Gay & Lesbian Leadership

Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Will LGBT Democrats pick Clinton or Obama?
LGBT Democrats, both nationally and in San Francisco, seem divided in theirloyalties between Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. With thedebate focused on war and other mainstream issues, the two candidates, whohave similar positions on marriage and other LGBT issues, have both soughtto establish fundraising bases and vote-getting operations within the LGBTcommunity, according to this article. San Francisco Chronicle (2/5)
Ruling: New York employers must honor out-of-state gay marriages
Private and public employers in New York must recognize the legal validityof out-of-state marriages between same-sex couples in the same way theyhonor such unions between straight couples, according to a New Yorkappellate court decision. The court found that the state's "marriagerecognition rule" applies to a gay couple who married in 2004 in Canada, andthat the subsequent denial of health benefits for one of the spousesamounted to discrimination based on sexual orientation. It's not knownwhether the decision will be appealed. The New York Times (2/2)
Florida voters to decide marriage ban in November
A measure to impose a constitutional ban on marriage between same-sexcouples in Florida has been approved for the November ballot. The question,which would ask voters if marriage should be limited to opposite-sexcouples, must be approved by 60% of voters to pass, according to thisarticle. St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) (2/2)
Group sees "truth squad" as key to stopping ban: Marriage-rights activistsin Florida are planning an all-out effort to defeat a marriage ban onNovember's ballot, including a "truth squad" organized by bipartisan groupFlorida Red and Blue to explain the negative impact if the measure wereapproved. "We remain confident that voters will reject this amendment oncethey learn it can take away existing rights and benefits from millions ofFloridians," said Jon Kislak, chairman of the group. The Huffington Post(2/4)
Maryland bill would turn all marriages into domestic partnerships
A bill set to be introduced today in the Maryland Legislature would attemptto take religion out of the marriage issue by ending civil marriages andreplacing them with a domestic-partnership system for straight and same-sexcouples. "If people want to maintain a religious test for marriage, let'sturn it into a religious institution," said Sen. Jamie B. Raskin,D-Montgomery, the measure's Senate sponsor. The Washington Post (2/5)
Judgment against Westboro Baptist cut in half to $5M
A federal judge has upheld a verdict against Kansas-based Westboro BaptistChurch and its members for causing emotional distress and violating theprivacy of a slain Marine's family during his funeral in Maryland, butslashed the judgment from $10.9 million to $5 million. "There was more thansufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict that [Westboro's] conductbefore, during and after the funeral of Matthew Snyder was outrageous [and]highly offensive to a reasonable person," U.S. District Judge Richard D.Bennett wrote. The Sun (Baltimore) (free registration) (2/4)


Go to the website, above, for the following articles:
Rio Carnival Ends With Gay Ball
(Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) Revelers wrapped up Brazil's wild carnival bashwith the popular Gala Gay ball Tuesday night on Rio de Janeiro's streets,littered with feathers and sequins after five days of partying.
Obama, Clinton Each Claim Momentum In Wake Of Super Tuesday
(Chicago, Illinois) Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama cast hischain of Super Tuesday wins as evidence that voters want someone who canchange Washington and appeal to voters of both parties in the generalelection.
McCain Declares Himself Front-Runner
(Phoenix, Arizona) Republican Sen. John McCain traded in the title ofunderdog and claimed the mantle of front-runner after a string of SuperTuesday victories in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Swing States Offer Clues For November
(Washington) Amid the dizzying delegate count and the never-ending politicalspin, consider one question that may matter most in the fall: How did theswing states vote?
Bill Would Ban All Civil Marriages In Maryland
(Annapolis, Maryland) Opposite-sex couples in Maryland would be denied civilmarriages under legislation filed Tuesday in the legislature. The bill,proposed by Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D), would grant domestic partnerships toboth same and opposite-sex couples.
Canadian Town In Gay Flag Flap
(Pictou, Nova Scotia) Another municipal council in Nova Scotia has founditself caught up in a controversy surrounding the flying of flags andhomosexuality.
Mass Gay Arrests In Senegal
(New York City) The mass arrest of gay men in the West African nation ofSenegal is prompting concerns about whether the country can lead asubstantive discussion about HIV/AIDS when it hosts an internationalconference on HIV and STDs later this year.
Despite Police Assurances, Little Done To Stop Anti-Gay Mob Attacks InJamaica
(Kingston) Police officials say they are reaching out to Jamaica's LGBTcommunity but the effort has little effect in curbing mounting violenceagainst gays throughout the Caribbean nation an international human rightsorganization says.
Lawmaker Gay Shakedown Exposes Spokane Underside
(Spokane, Washington) The resignation of a conservative politician whoclaims he was shaken down by a gay hustler has again exposed the seamyunderside of this ostensibly staid city.


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:
Salt Lake City has sent a clear message to the Legislature: Domesticpartners of all stripes should have the right to receive insurance benefits.By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the City Council approved Mayor Ralph Becker'sdomestic-partnership registry, drawing a whoop and applause by a modestcrowd at City Hall. "It's a proud day for our city and it's a proud day forme to be a part of this important legislation," said Councilman J.T. Martin.The move - it applies only to residents of Salt Lake City - comes one dayafter a bill was unleashed by Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, to kill theregistry. Executives from Becker's office say SB267 also could wipe away thecapital's adult-designee ordinance, which provides insurance benefits forcity employees who are domestic partners.
They know our family. They've seen our family. Their kids know our family,and have seen our family because we've come to so many events, come to pickParker up together, come to parent-teacher meetings, parent associationmeetings, and chaperoned on field trips. To their kids we are Parker's Daddyand Parker's Papa. They know gay families exist, because they know a gayfamily. I guess I should be glad, and grateful, that my kids don't go toschool with the children of David Parker, the Massachusetts father who wentoff the deep end when his child received a book about diverse families,which included same-sex parents in a discussion single parents, multi-racialfamilies, and all kinds of other families. David Parker wanted to put thekibosh on any discussions about gay families or homosexuality, and refusedto budge on the issue.
Same-sex couples registering as domestic partners in Oregon may appear aseasy pie but one family law attorney says signing on the dotted linerequires just as much forethought as marriage."You register as a domesticpartner and it's a contract between the two of you," said CassSkinnerLopata. "But, it's also a contract between that couple and the state.It's for committed caring couples to enter into just like marriage is."Thenew law is raising many questions. For instance, what happens when thecouple breaks up?"They would need to go through a civil proceeding todissolve it, much like a heterosexual divorce," said SkinnerLopata. "Youwould file a petition for dissolution and the process that wouldentail."But, it's not just like filing for divorce. The law only applies toOregon residents. So, if the couple leaves the state, how do they legallyend the partnership? SkinnerLopata said that answer is to be determined."Itis a big question whether one of the members needs to reside in Oregon toget the dissolution," said SkinnerLopata.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman seems an unlikely ally in the fight forgay rights. On Friday, Mosman, 51, a Bush appointee with solid conservativecredentials, tossed out a challenge to Oregon's new civil-unions law. Thatsuit sought to block the domestic partnership law passed by the Legislatureand force a public vote. The ruling put the new law, which originally wassupposed to take effect in early January, into effect immediately. Itentitles same-sex couples to most of the duties and benefits that marriedresidents receive. Mosman's ruling was a major victory for gay-rightsadvocates, who have fought for years to gain the rights and protections thatmarried couples enjoy. Ironically, it was Mosman's perceived anti-gay biasthat hung up his appointment to the federal bench. Gay rights advocatesworried about a 1986 memo Mosman had written as a clerk for U.S. SupremeCourt Justice Lewis Powell Jr. in which he argued against expanding privacyrights to include sodomy. Powell ultimately sided with that view in acontroversial 5-4 decision.


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Military takes no action against gay medic from Chautauqua County
TV appearance bringsno penalties, so far

By Lindsey McPherson
Updated: 02/04/08 8:16 AM

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy calls forthe military to discharge service members who disclose that they are gay,but Army Sgt. Darren Manzella - who came out of the closet on nationaltelevision - is still serving his country without being disciplined.

Manzella, who grew up in Portland, Chautauqua County, and graduated fromBrocton High School, appeared on "60 Minutes" to discuss his sexualorientation and how his command has not punished him for being openly gay.He has received no reaction from his unit or Pentagon officials since theepisode aired Dec. 16.

"There's pretty much no one else I can tell," he said.

Manzella has served the military as an Army medic for almost six years,spending 12 months in Iraq and about 14 months in Kuwait.

Anonymous e-mails and phone calls from people saying he was underinvestigation provoked Manzella to "come out" to his supervising lieutenantin the summer of 2006 while stationed with Headquarters Company of the 1stCavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

Prosecutor ordered to detail flag desecration charge

By ERIC OLSON / The Associated Press
Monday, Feb 04, 2008 - 05:32:59 pm CST

OMAHA - Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov has until March 31 to explainprecisely why he's charging a member of the Westboro Baptist Church inKansas with flag mutilation.

Shirley Phelps-Roper faces three other charges stemming from her church'sprotest of a soldier's funeral in Bellevue last June.

Sarpy County Judge Todd Hutton last week granted the defense motion for a"bill of particulars" on the flag issue, meaning Polikov must show in detailhow Phelps-Roper broke the law.

Polikov said Monday he knows his case will be tough to win. He's pinpointingPhelps-Roper's decision to allow her 10-year-old son to stand on an Americanflag. He said the boy was acting as her agent and that his actions couldhave provoked violence between the protesters and mourners.

Phelps-Roper attorney Bassel El-Kasaby of Omaha maintains that the flagmutilation statute is unconstitutional because the U.S. Supreme Court hasthrown out similar laws in other states.

more . . . . .


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

If Barack were a state, he'd be Calif.

Posted by: Andoni
February 04, 2008

In a surprise, spontaneous move yesterday, California First Lady MariaShriver endorsed Barack Obama. In endorsing, Shriver said, "If Barack Obamawere a state, he'd be California." As she explained it, "I mean think aboutit: diverse, open, smart, independent, bucks tradition, innovative,inspiring, leader, dreamer."

Here's the video:

The photo of five high profile, independent and successful women, OprahWinfrey, Michelle Obama, Maria Shriver, Caroline Kennedy, and Maria ElenaDurazo (L.A. County Federation of Labor) all on stage together supportingObama will send shivers down the spines of Hillary planners trying to get alock on women voters. It says that it's OK to be a woman supportingarack -- in fact, it just may say it's trendy to do so.

For someone like me who was a college junior in 1968, the Obama crescendohappening in California feels just like it did for Bobby Kennedy in 1968.The difference is that in 1968 everyone voted on the same day, so themomentum fully impacted the election. Today however, about a million peoplehave already voted early by mail in a period where Senator Clinton had a 20point lead. For Obama to beat her with the current momentum, he would haveto have a tsunami going for him.

Technorati Tags: Barack Obama, Maria Shriver

Posted at 01:52 PM in Obama, Primaries | Permalink


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

They're Coming to Take Over Your Mind

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, 2008-02-04

The American Family Association (AFA) has a warning for you: They're comingto your town. THEY are coming to your town. You know who THEY are.

If you don't, the ultra conservative AFA will tell you all about them, for$14.95 of course. Simply go to the AFA website and order the DVD, "They'reComing to Your Town." There's even a sensationalistic little blurb andtrailer designed to send goose bumps of fear and loathing up and down allthose self-righteous Christian spines.

In America, some things never change. Especially when it comes to plain oldbigotry. It's been packaged in all sorts of ways and directed at differentgroups at different times, but it's still the same garden varietyscape-goating that has plagued the human race since its inception.

A hundred years ago, it was the Italian, Irish, and the Chinese immigrantswho were supposedly going to topple Western Civilization with their"barbaric" ways. A half century ago, it was the Jews who were plotting totake over the country and the world, and the Blacks who were going to marryour sisters and move in next door.

After 9/11, it was the Arabs who were looming everywhere, waiting to blow upour homes when we least expected it. Now, there's a new boogeymenthreatening Mom, apple pie and the American Dream: LGBT folks.

more . . . . .


Colin Higgins Foundation

Colin Higgins Foundation's
2008 Youth Courage Awards

The Colin Higgins Foundation is requesting nominations for its annual YouthCourage Awards. Each year the Colin Higgins Foundation salutes LGBTQindividuals who demonstrate courage in the face of adversity anddiscrimination based on gender and/or sexual orientation.

Many LGBTQ Youth grow up in family, school and community environments thatthreaten their well being. They find themselves ostracized, marginalized,in psychological or even physical danger. Colin Higgins Foundation YouthCourage Award winners rise above such circumstances to inspire others bytaking action, rallying support, and working to transform the systems andinstitutions that impact their lives.

This year the Foundation will be awarding $10,000 grants to:
· Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirit, Queer and Questioning youth (through age 21) who have bravely stood up to hostility and intolerance based on their gender and/or sexual orientation and triumphed over bigotry through working for LGBTQ rights and social justice.

· Colin Higgins Foundation Youth Courage Award winners rise above adversity to inspire others by taking action,rallying support, and working to transform the systems and institutions thatimpact their lives.

In 2008, the honorees will receive a $10,000 grant which will be presentedat the Trevor Project Benefit Gala in June:

The deadline for all nominations is 9am PST, Monday, March 3rd 2008. Latenominations will not be accepted.

The Foundation encourages all nominations to be made via the onlinesubmission tool, which can be found at or


From Transgender Equality

UK Doctors 'failing' children trapped in gender limbo
22 Jan 2008

Gender disordered children as young as ten are being denieddesperately needed hormonal drugs leading to bullying, violence andeven suicide according to new research.

Dr Simona Giordano from The University of Manchester says Britishdoctors are depriving children relief from "extreme suffering"caused by their condition - forcing their families into seeking helpoutside the UK.

The ethicist based at the School of Law contacted US medics whoreport treating children turned down at UK clinics. Poorer families,however, are unable to afford US medical care she says.

She also suspects that significant numbers of children are sufferingalone and without support, though detailed research is needed toreveal the true extent of the problem.

The effect of so called hormone 'blockers' - which suspend puberty-are easily reversible. However other therapies used at later stages -including masculinising and feminising hormones and surgery - aremore are more difficult to reverse.

Dr Giordano also discovered controversial guidelines - published in2005 by the British Society for Paediatric Endocrinology andDiabetes.

The guidelines - which are now withdrawn - laid down that treatmentshould not start until puberty is complete. But according to theresearcher they are still being used.

She said: "Current evidence on risks and benefits of blockers inchildren and adolescents does not justify the strong resistance ofUK specialists, especially considering the risks of refusal oftreatment.

"Children are being exposed to the anguish and terror of growing ina body that is experienced as alien.

"It means they will suffer the ill effects of having to begin lessreversible treatment on a body which is already fully formed.

"That in turn may lead to more invasive surgery, should he or shedecide to transition.


Independent Florida Alligator - Gainesville, FL, USA

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Transgender ordinance is necessary for equality

By the Editorial Board

The recent ruling of the Gainesville City Commission to approve anordinance protecting transgender residents from discrimination atlocal businesses was not a revolutionary move - the commission is just keeping up with the times.

Cities and counties throughout the country have passed similarordinances, some even decades ago, and have had little or no backlashfrom such laws.

And our city should be no different.

In some respects, the commissioners and the mayor should be commendedfor sticking to their principles of equality for everyone who choosesto live in Gainesville, and for having the courage to stand up forthose principles by passing the ordinance.

These commissioners recognized the need for the city to provide thetransgender population with protection under the power of law, just as it does for race, religion, sex, age and marital status.

"Transgender" is the term used for a diverse group of people boundtogether by the fact that they do not identify with the gender theywere born with. They include individuals who dress and behave as the opposite sex, and those who have had surgery to change their sex, also known as transsexuals.

Though some estimates put the Gainesville transgender population at avery small minority, that doesn't warrant a dismissal of theirconcerns as targets of discrimination.

The scores of outraged citizens that attended last week's CityCommission meeting to protest the ordinance cited unreasonable fears,including that the law would encourage inappropriate behavior inpublic restrooms.

It's as if these individuals think transgender people magicallymaterialized in Gainesville once this ordinance was proposed. Inreality, transgender individuals have been using public restrooms andother facilities for years. And so far, nothing to justify theopposition's irrational fear has occurred.

Parents who claim to be nervous about their younger children usingpublic restrooms now could quell their worries by simply accompanyingtheir children - which they should have been doing anyway.

While some go as far as to agree that everyone should be treatedequally under the law, they still contend that the ordinance places an unfair burden on businesses.

Local business owners, especially those who operate gyms and fitnesscenters, are openly questioning the ordinance for the impact it mayhave on their wallets.

They claim that they may encounter some difficulties since theordinance requires that no one be denied access to facilities basedon the fact that they identify with another gender.

Perhaps they haven't read the language of the ordinance in itsentirety.

Yes, the ordinance specifically states that a business is onlyallowed to deny transgender people access to facilities where being seen naked cannot be avoided, provided that access to an equal facility isavailable.

However, a business would only be compelled to provide alternateaccommodations for a transgender customer if those alternatives were"readily available."

This language clearly illustrates that the businesses would not be atan economic disadvantage, especially since shower rooms or lockerrooms are exempt from the new city ordinance.

The fact that irate residents are still sending e-mails to those whovoted to approve the transgender ordinance speaks volumes about whythis ordinance is necessary in Gainesville.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Russians Won't Tolerate the Gays

Feb. 5, 2008


Most Russians are clearly intolerant to the gays, signaled the poll ofLevada-Center, which results were reported today, February 5, 2008.

In terms of moral, homosexuality is unacceptable for 84 percent, only 5percent of respondents don't view it as an issue of morality and just 3percent said it's quite acceptable, signaled the poll that Levada-Centerheld in December to clarify the nation's attitude to the gays.

Of interest is that the number of people with negative attitude tohomosexuality is growing in Russia, according to official statistics. In2006, for instance, only 47 percent condemned the gays and the lesbians.

The Russians will never tolerate homosexuality, the analysts predict.Contrary to Europe, where the cultural anthropology stakes on individualityirrespective of the sex, the sex in Russia is traditionally viewed as anintegral and fatal part of a human being, explained Alexander Dugin,director of Geopolitical Expertise Center.

Another reason is the surge in xenophobia, as the growth in negativeattitude to some minorities automatically fuels aggression towards others,the analysts said. Extreme popularity of the gay issue has also contributedto the sinking tolerance of the nation. The topic of gay parades iscontinuously covered in mass media, irritating the people that haven't paidparticular attention to it before.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Romanian Family Code excludes gay marriages

Romanian Family Code excludes gay marriages

de A.C.

MarĂ¾i, 5 februarie 2008, 16:39 English | Top News

Romanian Senators amended on Tuesday the Family Code applied at nationallevel to clearly specify that the family is based entirely upon the marriageof a man and a woman and not upon the reunion of the partners, as stipulatedbefore. The initiative pertains to a senator from the far-right GreaterRomania Party (PRM) and was accepted by all members of the JudicialCommission in the Senate.

The amendment referred to the first article of the Family Code and leaves noroom for interpretation. The text added refers that the union between a manand a woman respects the Biblical requirements.

The amendment will be approved in the Senate and then be sent to the Chamberof Deputies for approval.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Applications are now being accepted for the second Lambda Literary
Foundation Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT writers, to be held August
10-17, 2008, in Los Angeles.

2008 Workshop Faculty include Elana Dykewomon (Fiction, Regular), RigobertoGonzalez (Creative Nonfiction), Claire McNab (Fiction, Special Genre), andD.A. Powell (Poetry). Each workshop faculty member will conduct writingworkshops with 8 students.

In addition, guest faculty include Dorothy Allison, Katherine V. Forrest,Eloise Klein Healy, and John Rechy. Guest faculty will offer specialpresentations, lectures, and readings for the retreat community.

To apply, please complete an application form
and send it in with a writing sample,an autobiographical/artistic statement, and an administrative fee of $15(check payable to Lambda Literary Foundation).

Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2008.

Please direct any questions to

Charles Flowers
Executive Director
Lambda Literary Foundation


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Sweden: Sharp rise in HIV infections

Published: 5 Feb 08 08:20 CET
The Local

The number of new HIV infections jumped 20 percent in Sweden last year,health officials said Tuesday, quoting preliminary figures that could signalaltered attitudes towards the disease that causes AIDS.

In 2007, around 500 new HIV infections were reported in Sweden, up from some390 new cases reported a year earlier, according to preliminary numberspublished by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI).

"We have especially seen an increase in the number of new infections amongmen who have sex with men and needle-users," SMI statistician Malin Arneborntold AFP, adding that Sweden was thus following a trend already seen inother European countries.

While a majority of new HIV patients registered in Sweden each year areinfected abroad, SMI said the number of people infected inside theScandinavian country had soared 70 percent last year.

"All sexually transmittable diseases are increasing. People are having moreunprotected sex," Arneborn said.

The number of men infected through sex with other men grew from 50 in 2006to around 80 last year, while the number of infected needle users doubledfrom 35 to around 70 during the same period, according to the preliminaryfigures.

"We have an ongoing epidemic among needle users in Stockholm. They have beeninfected by a virus strain that originated in Finland. It probably beganspreading in 2006 but the increase only became evident in 2007," SMI said ina statement.

The increase in infections indicates that people are less worried aboutcontracting the disease than they were a decade ago, according to medicalresearcher Claes Herlitz who has been tracking Swedish attitudes towards HIVsince the late 1980s.

"Interest in HIV/AIDS has gradually declined as people have become moreaccustomed to the threat ... They've seen that HIV hasn't spread as quicklyas we thought it would in the late 80s, and there are new medicines makingit more difficult to get AIDS. Fewer people are dying," he told AFP.

On a positive note, Herlitz said people with HIV were less stigmatized todayand most people are no longer afraid of having contact with them.

"But perhaps the fear has declined too much. Risky sexual behaviour hasincreased and a greater number of people are having casual sex without usinga condom," he said.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

[euro-queer] Dutch Would Accept Gay Premier but Not Muslim

Nis News Bulletin

Dutch Would Accept Gay Premier but Not Muslim

THE HAGUE, 06/02/08 - The Dutch consider a homosexual premier acceptable.But a Muslim is unacceptable, it emerges from a survey of 21,000 members ofTV programme EenVandaag's permanent opinion panel.

Nearly all participants (93 percent) found it acceptable to be governed by awoman premier. The scores were also high for a single (without a partner)prime minister (90 percent), an atheist (87 percent) or a homosexual (78percent).

Three-quarters find a premier with a black skin acceptable. But whenconcrete ethnicity is attached to this, support dwindles.

Among the four major immigrant groups, Moroccans score worst; 31 percentconsider a Moroccan premier acceptable. After this comes a Turkish premier(33 percent), Antillean (43 percent) and Surinamese (50 percent).

Even lower is support for an Islamic premier: 27 percent would find thisacceptable. A Jewish premier is acceptable for 53 percent, actually higherthan support for a 'strict Christian' premier (33).

Some 32 percent do not find it a problem if the premier only has MBOeducational level, the lowest form of secondary education. For 34 percent,it is acceptable for the premier to visit or have visited prostitutes. Apremier who has used 'hard drugs,' such as cocaine or heroin, is acceptableto 26 percent.

Remarkable is the very meagre support for an old premier. Only 19 percentaccept a government leader aged over 70. Also remarkable is that voters agedover 65 are even more negative than average about an old premier. EenVandaagobserved here that by contrast, in the US, the 71 year old John McCain isfully in the race for the White House.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

An international resource for same-sex couples, since 1986.
Web site has more than 400 articles on committed relationships.


Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Text-Only' Web Obscenity Case Attracts National Attention

Gina Passarella
The Legal Intelligencer

Karen Fletcher, socially reclusive by her own admission, has been excusedfrom several hearings in the obscenities case brought against her by U.S.Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan in Pittsburgh because she is uncomfortable withleaving her home in Donora, Pa.

But her story -- or stories -- have become the topic of national mediaattention.

The indictment against Fletcher was handed up by the grand jury in September2006, but the case is just now being discussed nationally. She was charged,according to court documents, with six counts of violating obscenity lawsfor writing fictional stories on her Web site,, about thekidnapping, rape and torture of children.

Fletcher said in court documents inU.S. v. Fletcher that she wrote the stories for therapeutic value to help get over her own abuse she said she thinks she suffered as a child. One ofthe rules for her Web site, which her attorney said had about 20 members,was that no one was allowed to post pictures, according to court papers.

U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti for the Western District ofPennsylvania denied in September 2007 two defense motions to dismiss but iscurrently hearing arguments as to whether the government's evidence wasimproperly collected, according to one of Fletcher's attorneys, Lawrence G.Walters of Weston Garrou Walters & Mooney.

The two motions to dismiss presented a strict scrutiny argument and saidobscenity laws should not be applied to text where no pictures wereinvolved. Walters said there hasn't been a case that has applied obscenitylaws to text since the U.S. Supreme Court refined the test for obscenity inits 1973 case Miller v. California.

The three-pronged Miller test requires that an average person usingcontemporary community standards would find that the work only appeals toprurient interests, that it depicts sexual conduct as defined by state lawand that it lacks "serious literary, artistic, political or scientificvalue," according to court documents.



Gays Without Borders

The condition of LGBT activism in Belarus may worsen after the enlargementof the Schengen area to its EU neighbours (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia) - andits consequences on access to visas. The price to pay to get a visa to theSchengen area is, from January 1st, 2008, 60 ?. This is about one third ofthe average monthly income in Belarus.

On 30 Jauary 2008, "Written declaration on reducing the cost of obtaining avisa for Belarusian citizens" (0012/2008) has ben introduced by MEPsGenowefa Grabowska, Justas Vincas Paleckis and Hannes Swoboda (see bellow).In preess release from GRABOWSKA there is lot of phrases from ViachaslauBortnik's (Belarusian lgbt activist) report.

Now, to be adopted, such a declaration needs to be signed by half of theMEPs (currently, it means quite 400), within 3 months, otherwise it willfall.

We need you support!!! Please use your connections to MEPs to make newpolicy work. Ask them to sign the Declaration.

Together we'll win!


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