Monday, March 31, 2008

GLBT DIGEST March 31, 2008

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Florida's Nude Beaches - The State of the Art
by Jesse Monteagudo
Florida is a great state with horrible rulers. This seems to be the casewith Florida's clothing-optional beaches, or the absence of them. Accordingto Michael Boyd, editor of Naked Places: A Guide for Gay Men to NudeRecreation and Travel, "Florida should be a nude beach paradise, but itsimply is not. There is a clash of cultures at play in the state.
Florida's mild weather and beautiful beaches have made it popular with gay men andwith international tourists form places where beach nudity is notcontroversial. Despite such cosmopolitan influences, Florida is still verymuch part of the Bible Belt. Florida has a state anti-nudity law, and thereare hardly any places where authorities leave nude sunbathers alone." In aprevious article I wrote about Florida's gay nudist scene - Fort Lauderdaleand Key West are two of the three capitals of gay nude recreation in the US;Palm Springs, California being the third - as manifested in its gay nudistclubs and clothing-optional resorts. Here I will limit my scope to Florida'snude beaches, and here the news are both good and bad.
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New York Times
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-Gay Couple Loses Benefits With Move
EAGLE, Idaho (AP) -- What they didn't know before moving to Idaho could filla house, and in many ways it does.
The kitchen table holds stacks of legal papers. Medication bottles litter anearby countertop. The two-story home Robert Ryan, 42, shares with hispartner, Ralph Martinelli, 53, overlooks a quaint suburb west of Boise, arural landscape of ruddy hills that doesn't seem quite as welcoming as itonce did.

-Vatican Sees Pope's Visit as Chance to Soften Image
WASHINGTON - When Pope Benedict XVI makes his first papal trip to the UnitedStates in April, he will be guided by a seasoned Vatican ambassador who seesthe visit as an opportunity to introduce a little-known pope to a complexset of audiences: American Catholics, Americans in general and globalopinion leaders.

Marriage Equality News
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-As he recited vows of commitment Saturday, Frank Vasquez stopped speaking,overcome with emotion.
He got past the snag only after partner Paul Datti leaned over theirdouble-clasped hands and kissed him, setting off sympathetic laughter fromthe crowd at Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State. Vasquezand Datti were one of four couples in what Pennsylvania Human RelationsCommission Chairman Steve Glassman guessed was the largest-ever same-sexcommitment ceremony held in public in Pennsylvania.

-Arizona: A state oversight panel is expected to decide Tuesday morningwhether to green-light a proposal that would expand state benefits to thedomestic partners of state employees, gay or straight. The seven-memberGovernor's Regulatory Review Council, which has final say on administrativerule changes such as this, is expected to take public comment on theproposal. The benefits expansion has been a lightning rod for controversysince it first came to light in early December. In short, it would allowstate employees with domestic partners to claim the same benefits as marriedcouples, the biggest of which is coverage under the state health plan.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Brendan Fay and Tom Moulton, made famous when their wedding image was usedin Polish President Lech Kaczynski's Address to scare the Polish peopleagainst supporting the Lisbon Treaty, arrived to Warsaw for a three-dayvisit. The visit was sponsored by TVN television. They were greeted by amedia frenzy at the airport, mobbed by reporters. Their first day in Polandwas an opportunity to meet with Polish gay rights leaders Tomasz Szypula andGreg Czarnecki from the Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) as well as othermembers of the LGBT community. Fay and Moulton were eager to get to knowabout the situation and issues of LGBT people in the East European nation.

-Some sites with footage of Fay and Moutlon's first day in Poland (click onthe video windows, some are in Polish):,80269,5069665.html,4451,1,3352551,1,1,0,0,wideo.html,1544157,wiadomosc.html,video,show

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-600 Polish Intellectuals Apologize to US Gays For Prez's Homophobia

-Doyle Survey Shows Vermont Voters Favor Same-Sex Marriage
Vemont: A majority of nearly 7,000 Vermonters completing opinionsurveys on Town Meeting Day said they favor same-sex marriage. 54-percentsaid they support allowing gay couples to marry while 37-percent wereopposed. That represents an 8-per cent jump in support for same-sex marriagein the last year, noted Johnson State College political science professor and stateSen. William Doyle of Washington County who compiles the results each March.

- ILGA-Europe Letter to Ukrainian Officials
IGLHRC and ILGA-Europe responded jointly to a request from colleagues in theUkraine about a situation involving the violation of freedom of expressionand discrimination based on sexual orientation.

-AIDS/Journalist-to-Journalist Program
The Journalist to Journalist Project of the National Press Foundation willconduct a four-day training program on HIV/AIDS in Mexico City , Mexicoprior to IAC 2008, the 17th International AIDS Conference. This biennialconference brings together HIV scientists, policy-makers and globalstakeholders in HIV/AIDS. Fellowships including air travel, lodging, perdiem, and most meals are open to journalists who have covered HIV/AIDS andhealth for five or more years. The deadline for applications is 31 March2008. Twenty fellowships will be awarded to qualified print, broadcast, andonline journalists.

-Traveling exhibit explores Nazi persecution of gays
Rhode Island: In Nazi Germany, some gay men were castrated and prosecutedunder draconian laws prohibiting homosexuality. Others were subjected tocrude medical experiments designed to "correct" their sexual orientation. Gay menin concentration camps were singled out with distinctive pink trianglebadges and assigned backbreaking labor that often killed them.
A traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum usesphotographs, documents and artwork to chronicle the Nazis' arrests andpersecution of tens of thousands of gay men from 1933 to 1945.
The exhibit, which is on display through the end of the month at theUniversity of Rhode Island, gives voice to what its curator describes as"one of the lesser-known stories of the Nazi era.",0,1976475.story

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-IA Gay Marriage Ban Attracts National Attention
A national gay rights organization is filing arguments in a case that willdecide whether Iowa's ban on same sex marriage is legal.

-Five Years In Tracking a Marine Lost at Home
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A week after Eric W. Hall disappeared into the woodsof Southwest Florida, his mother stood in a parking lot overlooking the Gulfof Mexico. She had asked for volunteers. Would they come?

-Gay Marine opts for path 'out'
Jeff Key, now of Salt Lake City, stars in play recounting his decision toleave service

-Is Gay Marriage Ban Constitutional?
Analysts, citing various state high court rulings, disagree on how the issueis likely to be resolved.,1,2210171.story

-Teepen: Hillary's so desperate she's joined the right wing in attackingObama
Apparently Hillary Clinton was finding the going against Barack Obama tootough, so she's switched to running against another, easier opponent. Incommon with right-wing talk radio, which is in full howl on the matter, shehas started running against the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

-Ex-gay speaker at HC sparks controversy on campus
A presentation slated for Monday already has provoked much debate amongHastings College students and members of the Hastings community.
Guest speaker Mike Haley is a man who identified himself as gay for 12 yearsas a teen and young adult, but says he has come out of homosexuality. He nowworks as director of the Homosexuality and Gender department for the publicpolicy division of Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-basedChristian organization. Haley is also on the speaker's bureau for ExodusInternational, which describes itself as a "nonprofit, interdenominationalChristian organization promoting the message of 'freedom from homosexualitythrough the power of Jesus Christ.' "

-Sermon to address wrongs of intolerance
Just as the Christian church has done many wonderful things throughouthistory, the Rev. Richard Mark Lee says, it also has done many terriblethings, such as targeting, judging and condemning various individuals andgroups.

-Gay couple attends Scottsboro High's prom
Judge rules schoolcannot ban pairfrom the festivities
SCOTTSBORO - Chelsea Overstreet and Lauren Martin were like many otherScottsboro High School girls Saturday afternoon, both nervous and excitedabout going to their first prom in a only a few hours.

-'Out at the Library' comes to Missoula
The exhibit "Out at the Library" - a history of gay, lesbian, bisexual andtransgender culture - is coming to the Missoula Public Library in mid-April.
Missoula is one of only a dozen libraries across the country to display theexhibit, which was organized and circulated by the San Francisco Library in2006 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its James C. Hormel Gay &Lesbian Center.

Roger N. Taber: aspects of a gay poet's life in verse
I mentioned to friends how, on most days, I enjoy dipping into my own poetrycollections, and re-creating the mood in which I wrote a certain poem andwhatever (or whoever) may have inspired it. They encouraged me to sharethese experiences and write this Blog in Verse, comprising poems meant toconvey a pot pourri of thoughts, images and memories that have causedsadness, even depression over a period of years - to the present day andbeyond. Meanwhile.all lasting relationships - gay or straight - need to beworked at but, oh, the rich rewards! Link to the poetry is below:


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