Thursday, February 07, 2008

GLBT DIGEST February 7, 2008

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Miami Herald
Rejecting feminism makes no sense By LEONARD PITTS JR. Brace yourself. I'm going to use a word that offends folks. I'm talking the ''F'' word. Feminist. This woman sent me an e-mail Monday, and it got me thinking. See, in describing herself, she assured me she was not ''a `women's libber'' -- the late 1960s equivalent of feminist. She also said she was retired from the U.S. Navy. There was, it seemed to me, a disconnect there: She doesn't believe in women's liberation, yet she is retired from a position that liberation made possible...


New York Times
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Ted Kennedy and the Gap Really, it’s been a surprise a minute. In Massachusetts, every Democratic alpha male in the state, including the governor and two U.S. senators, endorsed Barack Obama. Democratic women then stampeded to the polls in a great show of enthusiasm for ignoring their advice. Ted Kennedy was the particular sore point.

Cubans Speak Out on Castro's Invitation Taking up Raul Castro's invitation to speak their minds without fear of reprisal, more Cubans have begun publicly complaining and challenging government policies on everything from limits on Internet access to travel restrictions.

Uniting America: Easier Said Than Done Each of Super Tuesday's main survivors pledges, if elected, to reach across party lines and bring the nation together. It's a familiar but often futile promise, leaving Americans to wonder if divisiveness will again prevail or if -- just maybe -- a window is open for a more civil, constructive era.

Accidental Drug Overdose Killed Ledger: NY Coroner Actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of six prescription drugs, with a mix of painkillers, tranquilizers and sleeping aids found in his system, officials said on Wednesday. A law-enforcement source with knowledge of the case said a formal request for the city medical examiner's records had been filed on Wednesday, seeking to discover who provided the 28-year-old Australian with the lethal combination.

Express Gay News
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Hearing set on legality of gay marriage California's high court on Wednesday set a March date to hear arguments over the legality of gay marriage in the state. The Supreme Court will hear three hours of arguments on the issue March 4 in San Francisco. Justices then have 90 days to rule.

Va. officials drop charges against A&F store manager The city attorney for Virginia Beach and local police have dropped charges of indecency against the manager of a local Abercrombie and Fitch store for displaying posters of scantily clad models, according to Virginia Beach police.

Md. judge ends legal fight over sex ed curriculum A judge has ended the legal battle over Montgomery County’s new, gay-inclusive sex education lessons. Maryland Circuit Court Judge William Rowan III ruled last week that he had no reason to overturn earlier decisions that allowed the curriculum, which describes sexual orientation as innate, to be taught.

Human Rights Watch: arrests, trials of HIV-positive men in Egypt reflect ignorance, injustice Recent arrests and trials in Egypt of HIV-positive men endanger human rights, an international watchdog said Wednesday and called on authorities here to release those in custody and stop criminalizing AIDS. The New York-based Human Rights Watch also urged Egypt to overturn the convictions of four men sentenced for "habitual practice of debauchery" — a term used in the Egyptian legal system for consensual homosexual acts — and to free four others held pending charges.

Gays only count in Calif., N.Y.? has posted exit poll results that include questions tailored to fit certain states -- for instance, in Connecticut, the poll asks voters for their opinion of Sen. Joseph Lieberman. But mostly the questions read the same for each state. New York and California are the only two states with a question about sexual orientation -- "Are you gay, lesbian or bisexual?"

Huckabee and the 'culture of death' Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told CNN yesterday that there are two issues that need to be amended in the Constitution - abortion and gay marriage. He wants to "clear up any confusion" about the definition of traditional marriage.

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Calif. Supreme Court To Hear Gay Marriage Case Next Month (San Francisco, California) The California Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will hear arguments next month challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Salt Lake Passes Partner Registry (Salt Lake City, Utah) Salt Lake City Council has unanimously approved a proposal for a citywide partner registry. It will be available to same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples who cannot or chose not to marry.
Man Sentenced To Jail Over Anti-Semitic, Racist, Homophobic Web Site (Prince George, British Columbia) A man the Canadian Jewish Congress came to know as Exterminance on the Internet has been given a hefty sentence after being convicted of willful promotion of hatred against identifiable groups, a CJC spokesman said.

Italian Pres. Calls Election After Gay-Moderate Government Collapse (Rome) Italy's president dissolved parliament on Wednesday, clearing the way for a general election in mid April.

DOJ Ends Gay Group Ban (Washington) The Department of Justice has ended a five year old policy of denying an LGBT employee group the same privileges it offers other minority groups.

Obama: GOP Will Have Dirt On Clinton (Chicago, Illinois) Sen. Barack Obama predicted Wednesday that Republicans will have a dump truck full of dirt to unload on Hillary Rodham Clinton if the former first lady wins the Democratic presidential nomination, and said he offers the party its best hope of winning the White House this fall.

Egypt Accused Of Criminalizing HIV (New York City) A series of arrests in Cairo sparked by one man’s admission to police that he was HIV-positive endangers public health as well as human rights an international human rights organization charges.

Russia Jails HIV Attorney In Yukos Case (Moscow) A Russian court suspended the trial of an ailing former executive of the dismantled oil giant Yukos but refused Wednesday to release him from jail to be treated for AIDS-related cancer and tuberculosis.

Town Bid To Arrest Bush, Cheney Gathers Steam
(Brattleboro, Vermont) The tone has changed in e-mails this Vermont town has been receiving on its proposal to issue warrants for the arrests of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Now, more people are supporting the resolution.


Forwarded from Transgender Equality

Iran Sex Changes Get Mullahs' Money as Regime Persecutes Gays
By Ladane Nasseri

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Nasser didn't think much of Iran's Islamic
regime -- until it paid for him to become a woman.

Growing up in the city of Mashhad, Nasser knew he was different from
the other boys, sneaking around in his aunt's skirts and
experimenting with makeup. At age 14, he told his parents he wanted
to have a sex change.

``I realized that I had a problem and that I needed to solve it
through an operation,'' Nasser, now 18, says at a downtown Tehran
clinic two days after he became a she called Hasti. ``Even if lots
of negative things are said about the regime, they also do things
that are good.''

In Iran, where men and women are segregated, and homosexuality is
punishable by death, the government plans to spend 6 billion rials
($647,000) this year to help pay for sex- change operations.

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Forwarded from Doug Ireland

Iran: Child Prisoner Faces Execution in 48 Hours

Ayatollah Shahrudi , the head of Iran's judiciary approved the execution of Behnam Zare. In a letter, Behnam's attorney Mohammad Mostafei informed Stop Child Executions that the execution order of Behnam Zare was sent by Ayatollah Shahrudi to Adelabad prison in central city of Shiraz Iran and the execution can be performed at anytime. According to Iran's law, 48 hours before the execution the attorneys and the families must be informed, however in many circumstances the law has been violated. Mohammad Mostafaei has not yet received such notice. ..... 3 years after the incident, now that Behnam has reached the age of 18, he can be hanged at any time.

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Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

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DNC boost for sex biz - Denver can expect prostitution spike during convention
Political tricks may not be the only ones turned during the Democratic National Convention in Denver this August. The sex and adult entertainment industries are expecting a boom in business when an estimated 35,000 visitors descend on the Mile High City for the presidential nominating bash.

Laguna Beach City Council Votes 5-0 to Reaffirm Opposition to Anti-Marriage

Important Signal of Support Given by Laguna City Council and Republican
Majority in Heart of GOP Orange County

Laguna Beach - Working with the City Council, California Log Cabin
Republicans helped secure a resolution at the city council meeting this
evening reiterating it's opposition to anti-marriage equality ballot
measures. The vote was 5-0 in favor of the resolution and the position was
to be conveyed to the California Supreme Court which is considering a
lawsuit on marriage equality.

James Vaughn, Director of California Log Cabin Republicans praised the
Council, and the Republican majority in particular for their stance. "This
is just one example of how working with Republicans, rather than demonizing
them, can lead to education and progress for gays and lesbians. This vote,
in the heart of Republican Orange County, affirms our belief that inclusion
wins - especially when it means including Republicans in our efforts. "

Please respond to Mitsunori Misawa

My name is Mitsunori (Mitsu) Misawa. I am a Doctoral Candidate in the Adult
Education Program of the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration,
and Policy at the University of Georgia. I have defended and completed my
prospectus defense of my doctoral dissertation in November. Now, it is time
for me to start a new phase of my dissertation, data collection.

I am currently conducting my doctoral dissertation research on the
experiences of gay male faculty of color in higher education in terms of the
intersection of racism and homophobic bullying. There is a lack of empirical
understanding on adult bullying in higher education. Furthermore, there is a
scarcity of knowledge on the experiences of gay professors of color, how
they deal with the issues of race and sexual orientation in their academic
careers, and how they combat adult bullying and survive as victims of adult

From Jon Kislak
Campaign Chairman

Florida Red and Blue

You may know the "Marriage Protection" fight has officially made its way to
Florida, with a vague and disingenuous amendment that will be on the
presidential ballot in November.

Before we even talk about how dangerous and divisive this amendment is, let
me introduce myself and then the Campaign I am leading to defeat this

I'm Jon Kislak and at first glace anyone would think I may appear a most
unusual choice to lead a campaign like Florida Red and Blue. People on the
campaign like to say I'm the "red" part of Florida Red and Blue. I'm a
Republican. More than that, I'm an active Republican - I was Finance
Chairman for the (now) Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and President
George H.W. Bush appointed me to serve as Under Secretary of the US
Department of Agriculture.

When people learn about my strong Republican credentials, they may assume
I'm in this fight because I'm gay. That's not why I'm in this fight and, for
the record, I am not gay. Which is not the same as saying I don't have a
deeply personal reason to be engaged in this fight.

So why is a straight Republican leading a campaign to keep a "gay marriage"
ban out of our State Constitution?


Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News

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IL: LGBT Demonstrators Call for Marriage Support Two dozen supporters of same-sex marriage rallied in front of the Cook County Building Marriage Bureau, 118 N. Clark, on Sat., Feb. 2, urging candidates in both parties to recognize and support equal marriage rights for same sex couples. The Gay Liberation Network ( GLN ) organized the demonstration to dramatize the issue to the voting public and to draw attention to their position that civil unions are unacceptable.

Blacks Gays and Straights Unite in Historic 3 Day National Convention in Baltimore Nearly 1,000 African-American men, women and youth, both gay and straight-identified are expected to gather in Baltimore, MD April 24-26 for an historic three-day event geared towards healing and bridging the gap between the black gay and black straight communities.

State of the Gay Nation The battlefields are public opinion, the courts, Congress and state legislatures. And gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered activists point to strategic victories — plus the promise of more — despite well-publicized setbacks.Recent successes include the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that state laws banning sodomy are unconstitutional. On the political front, the three U.S. senators running for president — Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain — voted against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. According to opinion polls, younger people are more supportive of gay rights issues than older folks, suggesting a future shift in public policy.

Matt Foreman’s Questionable Legacy Matt Foreman, who announced January 23 that he would be resigning as executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, was many things during his five years at the top of one of the country’s preeminent gay rights organizations. He was an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq. He fought against privatizing Social Security. He stood foursquare against the erosion of abortion rights.

GA: Analysis: Democrats: Hope for Change in the Wind Georgia Democrats believe they captured lightning in a bottle Tuesday, but the work of turning that energy into victories in November must begin now, party leaders and activists said Wednesday.

A Skeptical Look At Presidential Campaigns Have you been listening to the national media´s campaign coverage? It seems ultra-liberal Hilary Clinton is now a born-again religious centrist. She now regularly uses the G— word. Her live-in personal aid I a devout Muslim. Bill also frequently heard using the G—word while stumping for Hilary. In all fairness, Hilary has her Methodist roots, and Bill his Baptist background.

Cuban Lawmakers Consider Gay Marriage Proposal

Survey Finds High Rate of Teen Sex Assaults More than one-quarter of girls in Grade 11 were pressed into something sexual they didn't want to do, according to a new survey that also found 4 per cent of boys in the same grade forced someone to have sex with them.

Pitch or Catch? As in Many Cultures, Mexicans are Guilty of a Double Standard when it Comes ot Homosexuality After working with Mexicans for years, I have noticed that Mexican men have a double standard when it comes to homosexuality. Why is it that the "giver" is not regarded as being just as equally gay as the "receiver"?

Sexuality and the Law (Part I) Does the LGBT community commit different crimes than its straight counterparts? I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if sexual preference can make a person more inclined to engage in certain criminal activity. From my experience, the answer would be a resounding “no.” While it may appear there is a higher rate of drug and alcohol use among members of the LGBT community, I believe much of this has to do with the limited number of social outlets in which we have the freedom to be ourselves. We are less likely to meet a potential date at the neighborhood picnic (or pizza parlor, fast food joint, grocery store, etc.) as we are a gay bar.

FL: Gay Bashers Mask Their Bigotry as Faith, Conservatism and Politics Just when we thought the Florida Republican Party leadership had crawled back into its gay-bashing hole, they emerge as the primary financiers of the "we hate gays" initiative set for the ballot booth next November. This from the party of former Congressman Mark Foley and current Senator Larry Craig. What those two did is OK, but heaven help us if two women or two men want to spend their lives in a loving relationship legalized by marriage.

TX: School Bans TV Spot in Which Girls Nearly Kiss Royse City High School’s television broadcasting program was temporarily suspended last week after school officials banned a student-produced public service announcement featuring two girls about to kiss, according to a spokeswoman for the town’s school district.

Cervical Cancer Virus Linked to Oral Tumors in Men A new study suggests that the same virus that has been linked with cervical cancer can affect men, too--as oral cancer.

Researchers: NIH Has “Lost Its Way” with AIDS Funding
Researchers at a Boston conference criticized the National Institutes of Health for its approach to AIDS.

O’Reilly: Federal Judges are ‘Pinheads’ in Gay Children’s Book Case

He’s Laughing Off His ‘Ex-Gay’ Lifestyle FOR 17 years, Peterson Toscano was a "born-again, evangelical, conservative Republican Christian." And for 17 years, Peterson Toscano tried not to be gay. He memorized hundreds of Scriptural passages with the thought that "the 'Good Word' would replace all the evil, bad, homosexual feelings" he had.


To Form a More Perfect Union: Marriage Equality News

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Massachusetts: Show me the money We noticed something else while poring over the 2007 year-end reports that went online last month: the folks who brought on the anti-gay marriage amendment have been raising and spending money to shore up their support in the legislature.

Australia: Public gay unions unacceptable says Attorney General CLAUSES in the ACT's civil partnerships bill that would allow gay couples to hold a public ceremony marking their union are unacceptable, Attorney-General Robert McClelland says. "We think a civil unions register along the lines of Tasmania is appropriate," Mr McClelland told The Australian newspaper.

California Supreme Court schedules hearing on the freedom to marry California's high court will hear arguments in March over the legality of gay marriage in the state.
Analysis: Marriage, Civil Union, or Domestic Partnership... What's the Difference? Joyce Kauffman highlights some of the varying relationship recognition arrangements in the U.S. -- civil unions, domestic partnerships, and full civil marriage. She explores the differences, the pitfalls and the strengths in the patchwork of arrangements currently in place.

Same ol' same-sex ban All that restrictive language should be enough to reassure even the most skittish Floridian that gays and lesbians won't be exchanging vows or trying to transfer a marriage. But no. Last week, the Department of Elections confirmed that a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Florida will go on the November ballot.


National Gay News

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GLAAD Releases a New “Be an Ally & a Friend” PSA in Honor of Black History Month

To commemorate Black History Month, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released today a public service announcement (PSA) from Access Hollywood co-anchor Shaun Robinson as part of its “Be an Ally & a Friend” campaign.

DJ Kevin Greening 'Died in Bondage Session'

Photos of the scene at an apartment in Battersea, South West London, shows a bedroom converted into a sadomasochistic dungeon, unnamed sources told The Sun newspaper.

Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s Feb. 20 Networker Benefits Winter Party Festival

The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (MDGLCC) will hold its February Monthly Business Networker aboard the fabulous new addition to Miami’s waterways, the Aqua Luxury Yacht. The event will be Wednesday, February 20, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The yacht will remain docked next to the InterContinental Miami, at 100 Chopin Plaza in downtown Miami.

‘Undetectable’ Viral Load Not a Safe-Sex Strategy

While having an undetectable viral load may reduce the risk of transmitting HIV, it should not be used as an alternative to using condoms and lube, GLBT health agencies warn. The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO), responding to claims made by Swiss AIDS experts, said: “People need to be aware that relying on ‘undetectable’ viral load is not a ‘safe sex’ strategy – it’s one that reduces the risk of transmission and it isn’t foolproof. The best way to protect yourself and your partner from HIV is through regular and consistent condom use.”

Lisa Sherman Named Executive Vice President,General Manager, Logo

Logo (, a division of Viacom Inc.'s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks, today announced that Lisa Sherman has been promoted to Executive Vice President, General Manager, Logo. The announcement was made by Brian Graden, President, MTV Networks Music Group Entertainment; and President, Logo.

State of the Gay Nation
The battlefields are public opinion, the courts, Congress and state legislatures. And gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered activists point to strategic victories — plus the promise of more — despite well-publicized setbacks.Recent successes include the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that state laws banning sodomy are unconstitutional. On the political front, the three U.S. senators running for president — Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and Republican John McCain — voted against a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. According to opinion polls, younger people are more supportive of gay rights issues than older folks, suggesting a future shift in public policy.


Pink News - UK
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Gay couple make GQ's power list
Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish have been recognised as among the most powerful men in Britain by GQ. They are jointly listed at number 30 on the magazine's 100 most powerful men list, the only joint entry.The magazine says the couple, who entered into a civil partnership in 2006, are worth £225m. GQ chose Tory leader David Cameron as the most powerful man in Britain.

Clinton retains slight lead in delegate count
Every delegate counts, Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are finding, as the fight for the Democratic nomination continues the morning after Super Tuesday. According to, at current count, Clinton has the slight edge over the Senator from Illinois—823 total delegates to his 731.

Kids drama that introduced gay teachers is axed
A children's television programme that tackled gay themes is to cease production after 30 years on air. Grange Hill caused controversy by introducing a gay teacher in 1992. Mr Brisley remained part of the fictional staff until 1999. However, it was not the first controversy the show had stirred. In the late 1970s it was tackling the dangers of paedophiles and in the 1980s it found unparalleled popularity with its campaign against heroin.

Poll exposes high levels of Russian homophobia
New data released yesterday in Moscow has found that just 5% of Russians do not view homosexuality as morally unacceptable.
The Levada-Centre, a well-respected polling organisation, held a poll last year and found that negative attitudes to gay people are on the increase. Just last year 47% of people condemned LGB people. In December's poll 84% of respondents said they find homosexuality morally unacceptable reports

HIV infections up 20% in Sweden
500 people were newly diagnosed as HIV positive in Sweden in 2007 according to data published by the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control (SMI). That number represents a rise of 20% on 2006. There has been a 70% rise in the number of people infected within Sweden, though the majority of new HIV patients still come into contact with the virus abroad.

Obama and Clinton both win on Super Tuesday
With the results from yesterday's primaries and caucuses in nearly half of the United States counted, it appears that the Republicans have chosen their candidate for President while the Democrats are still unable to choose between a woman and a black man. Senator John McCain, the 71-year-old war hero and former Vietnam prisoner of war, took nine of the 21 states voting in the Republican contests. The big surprise of the night was former Governor of Arkansas Mike Hucakee.

Keep up to date with Stonewall's work for gay equality
Stonewall, the UK's leading gay, lesbian and bisexual equality organisation is actively involved in a range of areas, from campaigning for legislation to working towards workplace equality, from media monitoring to tackling homophobia in schools. Now you can keep up to date with Stonewall's work by signing up to their monthly e-bulletin. Sent straight to your inbox, it provides a regular update of progress in the charity's vital work for justice and equality.

April elections likely in Italy after dissolution of parliament
The President of Italy today formally dissolved the country's parliament after the coalition government fell apart last month. Romano Prodi, who resigned as Prime Minister but remained in a caretaker role, is expected to hold a cabinet meeting later today to fix a date for new elections.

Questions over MrCain's eligibility for Presidency
With Arizona Senator John McCain finishing on Super Tuesday as the likely Republican presidential front runner, a strange new question about his eligibility for the office has bubbled up on the internet. As someone born in the Panama Canal Zone, is McCain a "natural born" US citizen, as required of the President by the country's Constitution?

Condoms still vital in fight against HIV says UNAIDS
A report that asserts that HIV positive people undergoing effective anti-retroviral treatments carry "no relevant risk of transmission" has been greeted with caution by UNAIDS. Last week the Swiss Federal Commission for HIV/AIDS announced that "an HIV-infected person on anti-retroviral therapy with completely suppressed viremia ("effective ART") is not sexually infectious, i.e. cannot propagate HIV through sexual contact."

Egypt accused of criminalising HIV positive gay men
Four men convicted last month by a court in Cairo of consensual homosexual sex are the victims of state prejudice against people with HIV, according to a leading human rights organisation.


USA Today

States push for cyberbully controls The problem of cyberbullying gained national attention last November when the story surfaced of a 13-year-old Missouri girl who killed herself following an Internet hoax.The death of Megan Meier, who was allegedly tormented by a neighbor on the Web, echoed another case three years earlier in Vermont. There, a 13-year-old boy committed suicide after being bullied online by peers who spread rumors that he was gay.


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