Tuesday, April 01, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 1, 2008

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Express Gay News
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-Review panel aides recommend OK of domestic partners proposal
Opponents feel legislature should decide issue
A state review panel is being advised to let state employees and retirees provide health insurance coverage for domestic partners and partners' dependents. Analyses by an attorney and an economist for the Governor's Regulatory Review Council recommend approval of rule changes proposed by the Department of Administration with support from Gov. Janet Napolitano.

-Gay Scottsboro students allowed to attend prom together
Judge's ruling beat school board's vote to keep gay teens out
Two female students at Scottsboro High School attended the prom together hours after a judge's ruling defeated the school board's efforts to keep the gay teens out. Jackson County Circuit Judge John Graham ruled late Saturday morning that the board could not ban Chelsea Overstreet and Lauren Martinfrom the
junior-senior prom that night.

-Camp Lickalotta causes uproar in rural N.C.
Lesbian founders claim booted from campground over anti-gay bias
A lesbian couple attempting to create a gay-friendly camping space named“Camp Lickalotta” in rural North Carolina claim they were booted from thecampground where they lived because of anti-gay discrimination.

-Coming out in Arabic: Brian Whitaker reports on a lesbian group's strugglefor acceptance in the Middle East
When Rauda Morcos heard there was an emailing list for lesbian Palestinians, she couldn't believe it at first. "I thought it was a joke," she said. "Until then, I thought I was the only lesbian who speaks Arabic."

-Frankly, My Dear ...
David Bret’s angle on Clark Gable is this: Gable was “gay for pay” and“rough trade,” and he enjoyed having sex “for bucks.” In addition, he “wouldsometimes scrub his penis until it bled” and used a device to prolongerections. If these tidbits from the book’s first few pages aren’t too muchinformation for you, you’re in luck. This breathtakingly trashy biographydoes not skimp on sordid anecdotes.

-Grim Outlook for an AIDS Vaccine
Back in 1984, federal health officials, flush with excitement over discoveryof the virus that causes AIDS, famously predicted that they would have avaccine ready for market within three years. Now, after almost aquarter-century of toil and struggle, the effort has crashed in failure. Noone yet knows whether a vaccine to prevent the disease will ever bepossible.

-Pregnant transgender man to appear on Oprah
The media coverage of Thomas Beatie, the transgender man from Oregon whoclaims to be pregnant, has been plentiful, but Beatie himself hasn't givenan interview yet (besides the initial one he gave to The Advocate). Beatlestill has his female reproductive organs, though he has been transitioningfor ten years with hormone therapy.

-Breaking Down The Bedrock
Today has been pretty quiet. Not a lot of news, so I was catching up on someblogs, email, even managed to tackle an enormous pile of laundry...You know, casually practicing my "sinful nature," as Sally Kern, and thelikes of Sally Kern, call my lifestyle "choice."

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-NY Court Strikes Down Gay Pension Ruling
(New York City) A New York appeals court has vacated the ruling of a lowercourt that a gay man was not entitled to spousal health insurance benefitseven though he and his spouse were lawfully married in Canada.

-Supreme Court Case Could Impact Phelps Push For Anti-Gay Statue
(Washington) The Supreme Court has agreed to consider a free speech case inwhich a church wants to place a religious monument in a park.

-Gay Commitment Ceremony Draws Protest
(State College, Pennsylvania) Four same-sex couples exchanged vows on theweekend in a ceremony conducted by State College Mayor Bill Welch at thePenn State Student Union building as more than 100 protestors marchedoutside.

-NYC Gay Couple Teaches Tolerance In Poland
(Warsaw) A married gay New York City couple have become the darlings of thePolish media since arriving in the country on the weekend.

National Gay News
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-Diversity Festival Offers a Rare Social Event For Homosexuals
Jan Ridenour was driving through Northwest Arkansas after visiting arelative when she stumbled onto Eureka Springs. She liked it so much, shebought a log house on 40 acres just outside the city and went home toBoulder, Colo., intent on persuading her longtime domestic partner to movewith her.

-McDonald's Signs onto 'Gay' Agenda
McDonald's restaurant's, famed for the Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald andkids meals, has signed onto a nationwide effort to promote "gay" and"lesbian" business ventures. The company, which is listed on the website ofthe National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a "corporate partner andorganization ally" for an undisclosed financial contribution, also recentlyplaced one of its executives on the NGLCC board of directors.

-Sally Kern Still Hates The Gay Community
We have said it time and time again, but Sally Kern is a stupid bitch. After coming out last week against gay discrimination, Sally has evidently fallen off the wagon! On Sunday, Kern wrote an op-ed piece against the "gay agenda." Read the whole thing here. Here are some facts for my recent comments about the homosexual agenda. Health Issues: According to the CDC, men who have sex with men (MSM) have an HIV prevalence 60 times higher than the general population. The CDC found that MSM comprise only 1-2 percent of the population yet account for 64 percent of all syphilis cases. “The International Journal of Epidemiology” states that the mortality rate for those engaging in homosexual relations before age 20 have their life expectancy reduced by as much as 30 years. The CDC found both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B disproportionately affects MSM. The study “The Longevity of Homosexuals” found that the average lifespan for lesbians is only slightly higher than that of homosexual men.

-Thai Red Cross Bans Gay Donors
The Thai Red Cross Society has resolved to reject blood donations from homosexual men in a move which has met with strong opposition from human rights organisations. The decision came after a study found that men who had sex with other men were at risk of contracting HIV/Aids and transmitting the blood-borne virus.

-Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Teens
At Higher Risk For Drug Abuse
A recent study by the University of Pittsburgh shows lesbian, gay andbisexual teens are at a higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse. And if youdon't think our local youth is affected, think again.
"When I went to Hanford if anybody knew I was bi, I'd get beat up, orteachers would look at me wrong," said Ali Bache, a 19-year-old girl memberof the Vista Youth Center.

-Greece May Allow Same-Sex Marriages
Greek authorities are considering adopting a law that would allow same-sexcouples to marry in a civil ceremony, the country's NET TV said on Monday.
The Greek Justice Ministry pledged to establish a working group on therights of gay couples living together, which would "analyze all aspects ofthe issue, international practice and the existing domestic legal and socialframework."

-Phila.'s Gay Democrats Emerge as a Voting Force
You don't see many women at Woody's, but Chelsea Clinton popped in lastweek. To a packed house of screaming supporters, the 28-year-old formerfirst child led a presidential pep rally for her mother at one of the oldestgay bars in Philadelphia.

-Sex in City Actress to be Honoured
Lesbian actress Cynthia Nixon, who played Miranda in the hit US TV seriesSex In The City, is to be honoured by an American fund which provideseducational scholarships for gay students.

-Building Rainbow Families
While gay parenthood has existed from time immemorial, it has only emergedas a viable means of family building within the past 20 years. Celebritieslike Melissa Etheridge, who had children with ex-partner Julie Cypher andsperm donor David Crosby, and Rosie O'Donnell, who adopted, have ushered gayparenting into the popular consciousness and helped it earn relativeacceptance.

-Tenth Anniversary of Gay Murder Spurs New Campaign
Erasing hate from schools, workplaces, and communities is the goal of a newcampaign launched in America this week by the Matthew Shepard Foundation.
The foundation was created by Dennis and Judy Shepard in memory of their21-year old son Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime inWyoming in October 1998.

The Advocate
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-Supporters File Briefs in Iowa Marriage Case
At least 17 friend-of-the-court briefs will be filed this week with the Iowasupreme court on behalf of six same-sex couples who are suing the state forthe right to marry. Supporters including professors, attorneys,pediatricians, and elected officials have filed the documents to bolster thecouples' case.

-Cheyenne Stands Tall
Most leading men are afraid to be out and proud. Cheyenne Jackson is biggerthan that.
“I’ve actually never talked about this before because it’s a little bittwisted,” whispers Cheyenne Jackson across a corner table at Sardi’s in NewYork City, where a caricature of his handsome head has just been added tothe restaurant’s estimable walls of fame. “The first time that I knew I wasgay -- I think I was, like, 7 -- I was watching this Valentine’s Day Popeyecartoon episode that would play every year. There was this scene wherePopeye was captured by Brutus, tied up with no shoes or socks on, and Brutusstarts tickling his feet. I remember getting a little boner, and I didn’tknow what it was about that scene that was creating that, but I knew that itwas something naughty that I couldn’t tell anybody, and I definitely knew itwas something that made me different. But every year, I couldn’t wait forthat episode.”

-In Response to "Mixed Messages"
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, wish to respond to the article "Mixed Messages" in the April 8, 2008, issue of The Advocate.
An Advocate.com exclusive posted March 31, 2008
To The Advocate: We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, wish torespond to the article "Mixed Messages" by Neal Broverman in the April 8,2008, issue of The Advocate. The front cover of the magazine asks: "Who's toblame? We told Lawrence King he had the right to express his sexuality. Didwe send him to his death?" . . .

-Making Sense of a Tragedy
The Advocate's editor in chief invites the LGBT community to participate ina discussion about how we can prevent more senseless killings of youngpeople like Lawrence King.
Anne Stockwell
Our community has responded with strong emotion to our cover story on themurder of 15-year-old Lawrence King. A number of voices whom we respect haveobjected to our raising difficult questions about what we can and must do toprotect our gender-nonconforming youth.

Marriage Equality News
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-After two weeks in which front page headlines blared that members of hisown political party were pushing for changes in the Ecuadorian constitutionthat would 1) remove existing constitutional language protecting individualsfrom discrimination based on sexual orientation; 2) ban the officialrecognition of any sort of same-sex partnerships be it through marriage orcivil unions; 3) determine that life starts at conception and ban all formsof abortion; and 4) enshrine the word "God" in the magna carta, PresidentRafael Correa [left] finally went on the record and addressed these issuesin his weekly radio show on Saturday. .... "Every person has theirdignity, in other words, there will be respect for a person regardless oftheir sexual preference," Correa stated, "Be warned on denying employment tosomeone based on their sexual orientation, that is discrimination, that isunconstitutional." But when it came to specifics he didn't offer many.

-As the April 21 deadline nears for Protectmarriage.com to collect 700,000signatures to qualify the initiative amending the state constitution to bansame-sex marriage, Equality for All, a new GLBT coalition educating thepublic on marriage equality, is working nonstop to prevent opponents fromreaching their goal. “Through this unprecedented effort, we have hadhundreds and thousands of volunteers all across the state doing this work,”said Seth Kilbourn, campaign manager for Equality for All. “And the folks inSan Diego, The San Diego LGBT Center in particular, have done an amazing jobrecruiting volunteers and sending them out there to talk to Californiansabout the truth of what this amendment does.” The campaign started in lateFebruary after GLBT state leaders began seeing paid signature gathererscirculating the Protectmarriage.com petition.

-Tax time is taxing enough. But consider the plight of Jason Smith and hispartner, Settimio Pisu of Guilford. The same-sex couple, as well as theirpeers, must file not one, not two, but three tax returns by April 15. That'sbecause they are joined not in marriage, but by civil union, the only legaloption for same-sex couples in Connecticut. Because there is no federalrecognition of same-sex marriage or unions, they must file separate returnsas well as a joint return, which is used as a work sheet to calculate theirConnecticut taxes. They tried to file online with H&R Block, but the formsused by the national tax preparer do not support returns stemming from civilunions. Instead, they were told to file at an H&R Block office and pay aboutfour times the online fee.

-Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton was always vexed by the notion that despite thecountry's traditional separation of church and state, Maryland gave her - areligious leader - the power to change people's legal status by signingtheir marriage licenses. At the same time, the Reconstructionist rabbi fromBaltimore was troubled by the state's laws prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Finally, after contending with her conflicted feelings for years, shedecided she had had enough: She told couples she would happily conductreligious wedding ceremonies, but to find someone else to sign their civildocuments.

Pink News - UK
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-Pension victory for same-sex partners at Euro court
Gay and lesbian activists today welcomed a ruling by the European Court ofJustice (ECJ) in Luxembourg on the rights of same-sex partners to 'survivorpensions.' The court ruled that a German gay man is entitled to a paymentfrom the pension of his dead partner. The insurer had rejected his claim tothe allowance of €6,400 (£4,330) on the grounds they only make such paymentsto spouses and not registered partners.
click here for the full article

-War of words between gay bashing politician and PFLAG
An Oklahoma politician who described gay people as a bigger threat toAmerica than terrorism has turned on local members of the advocacy groupParents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) she met withlast week. Representative Sally Kern received international attention afterher homophobic speech to a group of fellow Republicans was posted on YouTubeearlier this month by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.
She met with Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards, Rev. Dr. Kathy McCallie and Rev. JimShields of PFLAG last Thursday.
click here for the full article

-Poet accused of sexual exploitation "like Wilde"
An Irish poet accused of sexually exploiting young men in Nepal has given aninterview. Speaking on the Irish language station Raidio na Gaeltachta,Cathal O'Searcaigh said he was the victim of a biased documentary, butadmitted sexual contact with some of the young men he was finanicallyaiding. Speaking about the storm of criticism he has faced from the Irishmedia, he compared himself to Irish playwright Oscar Wilde.
click here for the full article

-Equality body will prioritise sexual orientation cases
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has unveiled its first singleequality scheme with a committment to prioritise legal cases in new areas ofequality such as sexual orientation, in order to build case law. As a publicbody the EHRC is legally required to address gender, disability and race.
The new scheme will also cover age, sexual orientation, religion or beliefand human rights.
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-Gay people expect discrimination in all walks of life
A new survey released today by Stonewall has found that gay, bisexual andlesbian people think that everyone from public services to political partiestreat them less favourably because of their sexuality. 1,600 LGB peopletook part in the online survey by YouGov, the web polling company's firstsurvey of the gay population. The results paint a depressing picture ofperceived prejudice in Britain.
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-Eminem to play young Elton John in new film
He may be the bad boy of white rap, but Eminem is set to wow fans of hismusic and acting career by starring in a new biopic of a British singinglegend. Real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III, the 35-year-old has beenpraised by poet Seamus Heaney for getting kids interested in lyrics andpoetry and compared to Elvis Presley. Now, he is reported to have signed upto play a young Elton John in an upcoming film about his life.
click here for the full article

-Elections could bring hope for gay Zimbabweans
This weekend's elections in Zimbabwe bring the prospect of an end to the28-year rule of one of the world's most homophobic heads of state. RobertMugabe, now 81, has terrorised many groups in his country, not least gaysand lesbians. He has previously described gay people as worse than "dogs andpigs", has warned against the dangers of homosexuality and threatenedpro-gay clergy with prison sentences. For two people of the same sex to holdhands is against the law.
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-Ukrainian gay paper faces criminal charges
Kiev's public prosecutor is targeting a well-regarded gay newspaper underlaws banning the distribution of pornography, while newspaper kiosks acrossthe city openly sell explicit erotic heterosexual magazines. Since 2003 NashMir, the oldest Ukrainian LGBT human rights organisation, has publishedGay.Ua newspaper. "The newspaper is registered as an "information, forleisure, and erotic" edition,"" Nash Mir said in a statement.
click here for the full article

-Charles Allen becomes commercial radio king
Charles Allen, the openly gay former chief executive of ITV, looks set tobecome one of the most powerful figures in the world's radio sector. MrAllen, chairman of the private equity-backed Global Radio, has agreed topurchase GCap, the owner of Classic FM, Capital Radio and XFM for £375million. Just months ago, his company purchased Chrysalis Radio, the ownersof Heart and talk radio station LBC 97.3.
click here for the full article

-Cameron backs Boris at launch of London campaign
Conservative leader David Cameron has publicly backed the party's candidatefor Mayor of London as officially launched his campaign this morning. Hesaid Boris Johnson would be a "brilliant" mayor, claimed that "London's realproblem is a lack of leadership" and said incumbent Mayor and Labourcandidate Ken Livingstone had lost touch with the voters. Londoners go tothe polls on May 1st to elect a Mayor and the 25-member London Assembly.
click here for the full article

-Lords gay rights foe dies
A member of the House of Lords who used his Roman Catholic faith to
frustrate his own party's gay rights legislation has died. Lord Stallard ofSt Pancras was 86. He was known throughout his career as Jock, a referenceto his upbringing in Lanarkshire, Scotland. A left-wing presence on theLabour benches, he was first elected to represent St Pancras North at the1970 general election.
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Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Kuwait: Halt Dress-Code Crackdown
Authorities Should Repeal Repressive Law, Free Detainees
(New York, March 31, 2008) – New arrests show that Kuwait has resumedenforcing a repressive dress code that criminalizes “imitating theappearance of the opposite sex,” Human Rights Watch said today. It called onthe government to investigate allegations of ill-treatment of peopledetained and to repeal the offending provision, which violates Kuwait’shuman rights obligations. “This vague and sweeping law is based on prejudiceand gives authorities a green light to abuse people over how they dress,”said Joe Stork, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “It violatesbasic rights to privacy and free expression, and these continuing arrestsshow why it should be repealed.” On December 10, 2007, Kuwait’s NationalAssembly approved an amendment to Article 198 of the Criminal Code. Itstates that “any person committing an indecent act in a public place, orimitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex, shall be subjectto imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year or a fine not exceedingone thousand dinars [US$3,500].” Police began arresting people almostimmediately, jailing at least 14 people in the first month. After atwo-month lull in enforcing the dress-code law, police began arrestingpeople again in mid-March 2008.

-Gay poet denies he's a 'stud preying on innocent youths'
CONTROVERSIAL gay poet Cathal O Searcaigh has challenged what he claims aremedia images of him as some sort of "stud" or "stallion" preying on innocentvictims in Nepal. Breaking his silence following the broadcasting of thedocumentary 'Fairytale of Kathmandu', an unrepentant Mr O Searcaigh likenedhimself to Oscar Wilde, whose high-profile homosexual lifestyle led to hisimprisonment and exile. Like Wilde, he too was going through a difficulttime but he was optimistic it would pass. "It gave me hope to think aboutWilde who went through a tough time," the poet said. "Wilde said we are allin the gutter but some of us are looking at stars," the poet added. But theinterview has done little to quell the mounting disquiet about Mr OSearcaigh's exploitation of poor and vulnerable teenagers. Even his formerPR adviser, Liam Gaskin, dismissed his comparisons with Oscar Wilde.

-From TV studio to Parliament and back again
Warsaw: Fay and Moulton together with Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH)representatives Szypula and Czarnecki went to the Polish Parliament to meetwith the Chairman for the Commission for Justice and Human Rights RyszardKalisz. As the day before, journalists created a media melee which lastedfrom the moment of entry into the Parliament until a short press conferencewhich was held later. "Thanks to the invitation that Fay and Moulton got tovisit the Parliament, we were offered a great opportunity to propose somerecommendations to the government which would work towards gaining equalrights for LGBT people", said Szypula and Czarnecki. Shortly after, theywent on to meet with Zbigniew Holda and Adam Bodnar at the HelsinkiFoundation for Human Rights. A very fruitful conversation was held in whichit was agreed that the gay couple would try all avenues for dialog with thePolish President's office first. It was mentioned that the PolishConstitution includes a principle of the importance of dialog. If needs be,the Helsinki Foundation offered their legal support in supplying pro bonohelp.

-ILGA-Europe: European Court of Justice: denying same-sex partners pensionrights is unjustifiable discrimination
Today the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg delivered itsjudgement in a landmark case on pension rights for registered same-sexpartners. The facts of the case are as follows: Mr. Maruko lived with hispartner in a registered partnership. After his partner died the VddB, thepension scheme for German theatres, refused to pay him a survivor’s pensionas such pensions were provided only for married partners. Mr. Maruko suedthe VddB, and the Bavarian Administrative Court Munich referred the case tothe ECJ for interpretation of the 2000/78/EC Directive which established ageneral framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

Our Spring Outreach Trip begins April 11, less than two weeks away now.
We are very excited to be visiting Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina,Georgia and Alabama on this trip.
All of our scheduled forums are listed on the website so you can check itout. If you live in these areas please feel free to come to the forum andsay hi. It is always refreshing for us to see familiar faces. We've beenworking hard to include as much outreach work as possible in this trip.
This will be the first time in several years that we are venturing intoAlabama which means relatively new territory for us since so many thingschange from year to year with regards to the need for our work. As wasmentioned in our last newsletter we are way behind in our fundraising forthe year. We still need everyone's help to help us raisea full year's budget this year.

Glaad Media Awards in South Florida April 12-Wanna sit at our table?
For the third consecutive year, the GLAAD Media Awards honoring LGBT imagesin Spanish-language media will be held in South Florida on Saturday, April12 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Gaysofla.com is pleased to be a table sponsor for this event and would liketo extend an invitation for you to sit with us during the televised awardsprogram.. Singer/Songwriter Deborah Cox will be performing live and ourfriend, Actor Wilson Cruz, will receive the GLAAD Visibilidad Award.
Tickets for the event can be purchased by following the link within thisemail. For complete information about this year’s GLAAD Media award,instructions on purchasing your ticket and to read the Geo Bustamante’sexclusive interview with Actor Wilson Cruz, PLEASE CLICK HERE or copy thefollowing link and paste it into your browser.

Detroit News

-Deb Price
Gay idealist fights for undiluted protections
Middle-schooler Tammy Baldwin faced a problem: A lady complained thatstudents trampled her flowers on their way to school.
So student council member Baldwin worked with kids on an outreach team tofence the flowerbed. Solving problems is in her "never doubt" DNA.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Contact rays.list@comcast.net if can't access the article

-Woman Says TSA Forced Piercings Removal
LOS ANGELES - A Texas woman who said she was forced to remove a nipple ringwith pliers in order to board an airplane called Thursday for an apology byfederal security agents and a civil rights investigation. "I wouldn't wishthis experience upon anyone," Mandi Hamlin said at a news conference. "Myexperience with TSA was a nightmare I had to endure. No one deserves to betreated this way." Hamlin, 37, said she was trying to board a flight fromLubbock to Dallas on Feb. 24 when she was scanned by a TransportationSecurity Administration agent after passing through a larger metal detectorwithout problems. The female TSA agent used a handheld detector that beepedwhen it passed in front of Hamlin's chest, the Dallas-area resident said.

-Opening May 7, 2008, the Sports Museum of America (SmA) is the nation'sfirst and only all-sports experience, richly showcasing the history,grandeur and significance of sports in American culture. SmA is proud to behome to the Billie Jean King International Women's Sports Center, includingthe first Women's Sports Hall of Fame. SmA is located in New York City at26 Broadway (next to the "Charging Bull" and footsteps from the Statue ofLiberty Ferry).

-Applications are now being accepted for the second Lambda Literary
Foundation Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBT writers, to be held August10-17, 2008, in Los Angeles. 2008 Workshop Faculty include Elana Dykewomon(Fiction, Regular), Rigoberto Gonzalez (Creative Nonfiction), Claire McNab(Fiction, Special Genre), and D.A. Powell (Poetry). Each workshop facultymember will conduct writing workshops with 8 students. In addition, guestfaculty include Dorothy Allison, Katherine V. Forrest, Eloise Klein Healy,and John Rechy. Guest faculty will offer special presentations, lectures,and readings for the retreat community.
To apply, please complete an application form and send it in with a writingsample, an autobiographical/artistic statement, and an administrative fee of$15

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-Married troops can live together in Iraq
BAGHDAD -- When American soldiers get off duty in Iraq, the men usuallyreturn to their quarters, the women to theirs. But Staff Sgt. Marvin Fraziergets to go back to a small trailer with two pushed-together single beds thathe shares with his wife.


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