Sunday, March 23, 2008

GLBT DIGEST March 23, 2008

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-Gay Playwright Kushner To Be Honored At Guthrie Theater
(Minneapolis, Minnesota) The Guthrie Theater is getting a lot more Kushnerinto its lineup next season.

-Sexually Ambivalent British Writer Denied Entry To US
(London) British writer and self-styled dandy Sebastian Horsley was deniedentry to the United States after arriving to promote his memoir of sex,drugs and flamboyant fashion.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-West Palm Beach: Owner of H.G. Roosters
Dead in Murder-Suicide
Michael Brown, owner of H.G. Roosters, a bar that has been a gathering spotfor the city's gay community for more than two decades, died of blows to thehead and multiple stab wounds, an autopsy showed. Police say he was themurder victim in an apparent homicide and suicide in his Flagler Driveapartment Friday evening. The other man found dead in the apartment, BrantHines, 27, apparently killed Brown late Wednesday or early Thursday, when aneighbor heard shouting and crashing. Hines was seen with a black eye thefollowing day, when he answered the door of Brown's apartment, and when hewalked Brown's two dogs. He answered the telephone Wednesday afternoon andsaid that Brown was not available when someone from H.G. Rooster's called,police said.

-Craig Keeps Promise to Retire
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho), encumbered by a scandal since last summer, didnot file for reelection by his state's deadline Friday, keeping a promise hemade and officially marking the end of his congressional career. Craig'spolitical future has been in doubt since his arrest and guilty plea ondisorderly conduct charges filed after an incident in a men's restroom atMinneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last June.

-GMHC Launches Two New HIV Awareness Campaigns
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) hosted a press conference this morning tolaunch two new public-service advertising campaigns to raise awareness aboutHIV for women of color and young men of color who have sex with men. "Theseprovocative new campaigns address rising HIV infection rates in two of thegroups most directly impacted by focusing on the strength and resiliency ofpeople of color within their communities," said Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D.,Chief Executive Officer of GMHC. "They speak to individuals and communitiesin a language of love, respect, acceptance and sexual health - highlightingwhat is possible in intimate relationships instead of focusing on problemswith negotiating safer sex and getting tested for HIV."

Marriage Equality News
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-UNIVERSITY PARK - They spoke of processions, music, catering - detailscouples usually plan for their big day. But they also talked about changingprejudice and acting as role models. Four local couples gathered on Fridayto discuss their March 29 same-sex commitment ceremony in the Penn StateHUB-Robeson Center. State College Mayor Bill Welch will preside over theceremony, which has drawn opposition from some local churches and supportfrom others.

-NSW [the most-populous Australian state, New South Wales] is lagging behindother states because, without a parenting order, a donor or co-parent has nolegal rights, a same-sex parenting expert says. Professor Jenni Millbank,from the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, says there is agrowing awareness in the community that "not everybody raising a child istheir biological parent". But unlike in Western Australia, the ACT andNorthern Territory, where the partner of the biological parent isautomatically awarded co-parent status, much like the male partner of awoman who conceives through IVF, there is no such provision in NSW.

-South Africa: Melanie Judge (who was involved in the campaign that finallygot same-sex marriage legalised), Anthony Manion (of Gay and Lesbian Memoryin Action) and I have put together To Have and to Hold: The Making ofSame-Sex Marriage in South Africa, which will be launched in May. Hompi andCharles Januarie had two weddings, a religious and a civil one, about fouryears apart: they wanted to make sure they were married both in the sight ofGod and under the law. And, for them, the first was actually the mostimportant and the second simply a legal confirmation -- the state hadfinally caught up with God.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-POLITICAL pressure is mounting on the UK Government to reverse its decisionto deport a gay Syrian teenager from Scotland to his homeland, where hefaces almost certain imprisonment and torture. Scotland on Sunday revealedlast week that 19-year-old Jojo Jako Yakob was being held in Polmont YoungOffenders' Institution awaiting deportation, despite evidence he had beentortured almost to death in Syria, where homosexuality is illegal.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Tennessee: Opposition to same-sex marriage remains at 66 percentNumber of gay and lesbian couples grows
If you've watched the Tennessee Legislature this year and have wonderedwhere all the discriminatory bills are coming from, three new sources ofdata help shed light on the problem. Since 2005 the GLBT community inTennessee has faced a marriage discrimination amendment, attacks on ouradoption and foster care rights, efforts to curtail gay-straight alliancesin public schools, difficulty passing a bill allowing persons to change thesex designation on their birth certificates, and most recently an attempt toremove discussion of sexual orientation from grades K-8 in our publicschools. We have new information that helps confirm many of our hunchesabout the problem.

-The 7th Annual NSRC Summer Institute on Politics, Sexuality, and Educationis a three-week intensive, interdisciplinary education program in SanFrancisco, a city with a unique and influential sexual history. Track I:Three-week session for undergraduate students and practitioners with lessthan two years experience working in the field of human sexuality (July7-25, 2008).
Track II: Three-week session for graduate students and practitioners withadvanced sexuality training (July 14-August 1, 2008). Fee includes allcourse reading materials and attendance at all Summer Institute guestlectures and special events.

-Being gay in the Former Yugoslavia
Nearly a decade after the horror of the Balkan Wars of the nineties, whatare the lives of LGBT citizens like in its successor states? With theassistance of an article on Yugoslavia from John Loughran in Gay Times fromlast year and Wikipedia, I've assembled the following series ofprofiles:
Slovenia: It is the most progressive former republic, perhaps assisted by its distance from conservative Belgrade. It decriminalised homosexuality in1977, passed anti-discrimination laws that included LG Slovenians in 1998,and introduced civil unions in 2006.
Croatia: This heavily Catholic former Yugoslav state decriminalised gaysex in 1977, and has a patchwork of disparate anti-discrimination laws thatforbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As well as this,there are domestic partnership partial protections for same-sexrelationships, but a private members bill failed to introduce proper civilunions in 2006.
Serbia decriminalised male homosexuality in 1994, and passedanti-discrimination laws in 2005. However, it forbids lesbians and gay menfrom military service, does not recognise the spousal rights of same-sexcouples and banned same-sex marriage in 2006. Belgrade is an unfriendlyplace, particularly if you're trying to secure war reparations for ethnicminorities, belong to an identified feminist group, and police ignoregaybashings. Feminist antiwar group Women in Black is trans-inclusive.
Bosnia decriminalised male homosexuality in 1998, and has ambiguouswording in its constitution that provides theoretical protection for LGBT Bosnians from homophobic discrimination. Sarajevo has some LGBT activism and hosted a
recent photographic exhibition, as well as seeing the publication of a bookof LGBT Bosnian biographies, albeit with some harrassment fromconservativeChristians and Muslims.
Surprisingly, Kosovo was the earliest state to decriminalisehomosexuality, back in 1970. It also passed anti-discrimination provisions that coveredlesbian and gay Kosovars in its constitution from 2004 onward, but hasn'tmoved to secure civil unions or inclusive adoption rights as yet. There areno lesbian or gay clubs in Pristina, its capital, although police reportedlyface disciplinary sanctions if they don't take homophobic violenceseriously.

From OUTSpoken Families
Introduce Gender Neutral Bathrooms in Your Schools and Workplaces
Safe and stress free bathrooms should be available to everyone, not justfolks whose genders fit neatly into "boy" and "girl". Using the bathroom issomething as necessary and important as needing to eat and have shelter. Itwouldn't be fair to deny food to gender variant individuals and it mostcertainly isn't fair to deny them equal bathroom access. Having to use a"male" or "female" bathroom can be stressful and scary for those who don'tappear to fit into the above categories. We all deserve safe places to usethe bathroom-every single one of us.
Take this opportunity to learn more about the impact that genderedrestrooms have on folks. Click here to learn about the results of a studydone by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission on gender free bathrooms.Results mention how little girls and boys who "hold it" all day because theydon't have a safe 'gender free' place to use the bathroom have damaged theirkidneys and bladders.
*Show the film Toilet Training at your next PTA or business meeting. Itpowerfully captures the endless discrimination, violence, and harassmentthat people who are gender variant face in traditionally gendered bathrooms.
It includes discussion on the legality of equal access, the negative healtheffects associated with "holding it", and the social consequences ofdiscrimination in bathrooms.
*Peruse the restroom access model from the University of Arizona, whichis said to be the one all universities should use. Push your principals andbosses to adapt a similar policy.


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