Thursday, April 10, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 10, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama: Repeal of ``Don't Ask'' Possible
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barack Obama says if elected president he won't requirethat his appointees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff support allowing gays toserve openly in the military.

-Court Tosses Suit Over School Speech
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) -- A high school student won't be allowed to proceed witha lawsuit against his school district for instituting a policy that barredhim from expressing his opposition to homosexuality, a federal appeals courtruled Wednesday.

-No Partisan Politics for Pope in US
NEW YORK (AP) -- Organizers of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UnitedStates next week have taken great pains to keep him out of presidentialpolitics. But the Roman Catholic teaching he's expected to emphasize -- on abortion,
human rights and other issues -- has policy consequences that partisans willinevitably spin for their own ends.

Washington Post
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-PlanetOut Signs LOI TO Sell Magazine and Book Business To Here Networks For$6 Million
The troubled online gay and lesbian portal PlanetOut (NSDQ: LGBT) has signeda binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with an affiliate of here! Networks to sellits magazine and book publishing businesses, for a total of $6 million incash. The deal is with Regent Releasing, an affiliate of NYC-based Here,which is a gay and lesbian TV network. This means it has disposed offwell-known magazines The Advocate and Out, their associated websites andAlyson books. It will now focus on its core online businesses,

Miami Herald
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Sex attack complaints caught in legal limbo
American women working in Iraq for U.S. government contractors say they facean uncertain legal course after being assaulted on the job.

Express Gay News
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-Univ. of Md. LGBT office faces staff cut
Official says 'queers get the short end of the stick' at College ParkOnce he realized that he was gay, Ayush Gupta said his life fell apart.
An immigrant from India and research associate at the University of Marylandin College Park, Gupta said he had no idea where to turn or whom to ask foradvice.

-Episcopal Diocese of Ohio suing over property rights
Congregations have broken off in protest over gay bishop's electionThe Episcopal Diocese of Ohio is suing over who holds property rights atchurches that broke away in protest over the election of a gay bishop andother doctrinal issues that have divided the denomination.

-Egypt sentences 4 men to 3 years in prison for 'debauchery'
Gay men are HIV-positive
An Egyptian judicial official says four HIV-positive men have been convictedof being homosexual and sentenced to three years in prison followed by threeyears of close police supervision.

-Don't blame GLAAD for 'pregnant man'
A post on Queerty today laments that GLAAD hasn't stepped up to publicly defend Thomas Beatie (aka "the pregnant man"), who has been ridiculed by Joe carborough and others on MSNBC. "That story broke on Friday, so we figured GLAAD wouldn't get involved until Monday. Well, they didn't. We were a bit disappointed in their silence," the post reads in part.

-Bolton Addresses Log Cabin Convention
Is there a place for gays in John McCain's Republican party?
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and all-aroundtough guy conservative, thinks the answer is yes. He's among the featuredspeakers at this weekend's Log Cabin Republican convention in San Diego, CA.

-Gays Demand China Free AIDS Advocate at Olympic Torch Protest
A press conference was supposed to be held today at 11 AM at United NationsPlaza by Tibetans living in the US, to demand China end its occupation oftheir country. I went to it expecting 2 or 3 dozen Tibetans and theirsupporters would be standing behind a microphone tree, explaining what theyhope to accomplish as the Olympic torch passes through town.

-On New York Magazine's "Books in the New York City Canon": Uhh, Where AreThe Gays?
In which The Gay Recluse again laments the suffocation of the gay voice inAmerican literature.
If you're like us, when you scanned through the list of books included inNew York Magazine's recent "New York City Canon 1968-2008," you had onereaction: wtf! where are the gays? In every other format, gays arerepresented in numbers that are fairly typical, if not stereotypical: film(Todd Haynes); theater (pretty much everyone - "PME" - with a specialfeature on Tony Kushner); art (Andy Warhol and Keith Haring); television(the Robyn Bird show); architecture (Philip Johnson); classical music/dance(Franco Zeffirelli/PME); even pop music (Suicide - ? - and Magnetic Fields);there are others, of course, scattered throughout - we have listed only themost obvious.

-Referendum aims to undo gay rights
AUGUSTA - Marriage would be limited to heterosexual couples and civil unionswould be prohibited under a referendum being pursued by the Christian CivicLeague of Maine.

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-Rocket Man Rings The Hillary Cash Register
(New York City) Experience is central to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton'spresidential bid, and Wednesday night she tapped one of pop music's mostvenerable rockers to help fill her campaign coffers with $2.5 million.

-Obama Repeats Opposition to DADT
(Washington) Barack Obama says if elected president he will not require thathis Joint Chiefs of Staff be opposed to the "don't ask, don't tell" policythat prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

-Md. Gov. To Sign Partner Medical Bill
(Annapolis, Maryland) Legislation that would give domestic partners - gay orstraight - medical and funeral decision-making rights has passed its finalhurdle and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

-Protestors Demand Redress From MP Over Gay Slur
(Regina, Saskatchewan) Chanting `homophobia has got to go,' members ofRegina's gay community rallied at the constituency office of a ConservativeMP who made homophobic comments on an old video.

-Detroit Bans Transgender Discrimination
(Detroit, Michigan) Detroit has become the latest city to ban discriminationon the basis of gender identity. City council voted 8-1 to amend the city's nondiscrimination ordinance which already bars discrimination againstlesbians and gays.

-Egypt Sentences 4 Gay HIV-Pos Men To Prison
(Cairo) An Egyptian judicial official says four HIV-positive men have beenconvicted of being gay and sentenced to three years in prison followed bythree years of close police supervision.

-Tutu Speaks Out On Gay Civil Rights
(San Francisco, California) Archbishop Desmond Tutu told an internationalLGBT human rights group that it has been impossible to keep quiet "whenpeople were frequently hounded...vilified, molested and even killed astargets of homophobia...for something they did not choose-their sexualorientation."

-Popular Textbook Criticizes Gay Supreme Court Ruling, Promotes Far RightAgenda
(Washington) Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raisedquestions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, andlegal scholars and top scientists say the teen's criticism is well-founded.

-Kern In New Anti-Gay Flap
(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians andGays, which only two weeks ago reached out to an Oklahoma lawmaker who saidgays are "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism,"is now involved in a new dispute with Rep. Sally Kern (R).

-Cable Operator Fined For Lesbian Kiss
(Singapore) Singapore's cable television operator has been fined for airinga commercial that showed lesbians kissing.

-Center Examines LGBT Military Deaths
(Santa Barbara, California) A University of California think-tank estimatesthat since the war in Iraq began 64 of the servicemembers who died were gay.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Being Gay Adds to Fears About Growing Old, Says Local Therapist
A Kalamazoo lesbian who did diversity training at local nursing homes saysshe wouldn't want to think about moving into a retirement home or having tolive in a nursing home. ``Wow, that's hard to picture,'' said RiverArtz-Iffland, who worked as the adult and senior services programcoordinator for the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center from 2002 to 2005and now works as a psychotherapist. ``I think everyone has fears aboutneeding so much physical care, about turning your life over to caregivers,and being gay or lesbian adds to those fears.''

-Same-Sex Couples Tend to Go Along, Get Along
Watching Silda Wall Spitzer and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan try toreconcile their idea of "room service" with their husbands', you mightwonder whether same-sex couples are better off. More understanding of eachother's needs and nature. Less conflicted about the whole monogamy meansmonogamy means monogamy concept. Happier, even. Isn't the problem betweenmen and women -- forgive me, dear -- men and women? Well, yes and yes.
Same-sex couples are more honest about monogamy and sex, researchers say.
They're also more mature, considerate and fairer to each other thanheterosexual couples. They're funnier and more affectionate when they argue.
Less controlling. They don't take everything so personally.

-Shareholder Plan Would Nix Bank's Gay Policies
At least one Wells Fargo shareholder is proposing that the bank eliminate"any matters related to sexual interests, activities or orientation," whichwould give the bank "a neutral sexual orientation employment policy." WellsFargo, which is based in San Francisco and has almost 160,000 employeesacross more than 80 businesses, is known for being supportive of the LGBTcommunity, and the proposal is not expected to succeed. It's relatively easyfor even a single shareholder to put a proposal forward, and the board ofdirectors has recommended that stockholders vote against this plan.

-Gay Couple Calls Off "Wedding" After Church Ban
A gay couple have cancelled their 'wedding' after a Lincolnshire deanrefused to sanction a church blessing - stating it was "not a properrelationship". Paul Sewell (41) and Andy Nicholson (42), from Metheringham,ear Lincoln, had planned a civil partnership ceremony at Lincoln RegisterOffice on June 21.

- Gay-Youth Safety a 'Concern'
More than 30 people attended a workshop sponsored by the Utah Pride Center
Wednesday night, with some saying they wanted to show support for gay,lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youths who may find growing up in UtahCounty difficult. The workshop for GLBT youths and their families was heldin the American Fork Library. It came a little over a week after StephenGraham of Standard of Liberty addressed parents in the same room of thelibrary about the dangers of same-sex relationships in society.

-Wife Files to Divorce Largo Ex-Manager
The wife of the Largo city manager fired after his sex-change plans becamepublic wants a divorce. Donna Stanton filed for divorce in February, about ayear after her husband revealed his plans to become a woman. The news madenational headlines and led to his firing from the top post in Largo, west ofTampa. Steve Stanton is now living as a woman named Susan while preparingfor a sex-change operation this spring. Both sides say the split wasexpected and negotiations are amicable. They've been married 17 years. SusanStanton has since applied for more than 100 positions in city management,and interviewed for top jobs in several cities.

-Being Gay in South Korea
Korea is one of the world's oldest civilisations, with some ancient leadersfamed for their same-sex liaisons. But what's life like for LGBT SouthKoreans nowadays? Like neighbouring China and Japan, South Korea doesn'tcriminalise male homosexuality, but nor does it have antidiscrimination lawsthat cover gay men, lesbians or members of the transgender community. Inaddition, military service discrimination and discriminatory censorship ofLGBT publications is also a problem.

-Danish Cemetery Sets Aside Section For Gays
A cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark, has designated an area specifically forgays who wish to be buried among other gays. The Regnbuen (Rainbow)association rented space at the Assistens cemetery that can hold up to 45urns, according to the Agence France-Press. Each space will cost 2,500kroner ($526).

-Grandparent Urges Schools to Stand Against Homosexuality
A national push to force schools to take a stand against homosexuality hasreached the Gilbert Public Schools. A conservative coalition, Mission:America, launched the campaign before the April 25 Day of Silence, where gayand lesbian students and their supporter raise awareness of harassment andbullying by refusing to speak throughout the school day, or at least duringbreaks and outside of class.

-Enrique's Dad Speaks Out
The grand old man of Spanish crooners has taken a leaf out of the book ofHeineken. "If I was gay I would be the best gay of all history," said JulioIglesias.

The Advocate
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-The Full Interview: Obama Talks All Things LGBT with The Advocate
In an exclusive Chicago sit-down with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld,Democratic front-runner Barack Obama discusses "don't ask, don't tell," Rev.Wright, and what he would do for LGBT Americans if he becomes president.

-Battle For LGBT Voters Rages On
Even as Barack Obama's campaign finalized an ad buy last week for fourfull-page ads in local gay weeklies in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton wasconducting a conference call on LGBT issues and answering the questions oflocal reporters from the Dallas Voice and two Ohio publications: OutlookWeekly and Gay People's Chronicle. Altogether, Clinton has done interviewswith six LGBT outlets, including The Advocate, Logo, and The WashingtonBlade. Clinton also published a message to LGBT Americans on
Obama has given one interview to an LGBT news outlet: last October to TheAdvocate. Today he published an open letter to the LGBT community on theblog Bilerico Project, the second such post he has made to that site.

Marriage Equality News
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-What's the big deal, right? If a gay couple can't marry, does it reallymatter? Do they lose out on more than the chance to register for gifts? Dosingle, gay folks face different financial issues than single, straightones? Well, yes, they do. Consider this: If a married person dies, thecouple's assets pass seamlessly to the surviving spouse. If the deceased wasin a same-sex relationship, though, and not married, there's a good chancethat the surviving partner will be socked with inheritance taxes. InMaryland, for example, there would be a 10% hit, while in Pennsylvania, it's15%. Imagine having to pay $75,000 on a $500,000 "inheritance" when yourspouse dies. Meanwhile, you might think that domestic partnershiparrangements can fill most of the needs of same-sex couples, but they'reactually not enough. And the way they work may surprise you, too. Whencompanies extend benefits to domestic partners, it doesn't work the same wayas with married spouses. The benefits received are treated as taxableincome.

-Equality For All has issued an urgent call for volunteers in the finalweeks of an unprecedented campaign to prevent a discriminatoryconstitutional amendment from qualifying for the November 2008 ballot.
While right wing organizations are paying circulators for each signaturethey collect, Equality For All, through its "Stop the Initiative. SupportFairness" campaign, has successfully recruited over 2,000 volunteers toeducate voters, asking them not to sign the petition.

-Marriage would be limited to heterosexual couples and civil unions would beprohibited under a referendum being pursued by the Christian Civic League ofMaine. Under the proposed legislation, same-sex couples would not beallowed to adopt, sexual orientation would be removed from the Maine HumanRights Act and funding for the civil rights teams in the Attorney General'sOffice would be eliminated.
Michael Heath, the organization's executive director, initiated the processlast week. The effort will need to gather 55,087 signatures - a figure equalto 10 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election - within 18months of the issuance of an approved petition by the Secretary of State.

-Salt Lake City Council members this week unanimously approved the namechange of Mayor Ralph Becker's domestic-partnership registry to themutual-commitment registry. Multiple council members thanked Becker forfighting for the ordinance, saying it was the right thing to do. "It took alot of guts to do this, mayor, with the climate at the Legislature,"Councilman Luke Garrott said. "I appreciate the courage."

-The Town of Ithaca is the second municipality in the county to establish adomestic partnership registry for same- and opposite-sex unmarried partners.
"Our neighbor, the city, has it and the town is so much more accessible insome ways to people who live in this general region and it's not just opento residents of the town, it's open to people in the area," said Town ClerkKaren Billings. The registry has been available for less than a month andthough no couples have registered yet, Billings said that in the two daysafter an announcement of the registry ran in the town newsletter, the townclerk's office fielded "at least four calls."

-IL: Play group benefits same-sex parents and their kids
On the surface, it was like any other play group. Shoeless children ranaround carrying inflatable balls and took turns driving a plastic pedal car.
Parents gathered along the perimeter, attempting conversation while keepinga wandering eye on their kids.

-NSW [New South Wales] Attorney General John Hatzistergos has blocked accessto a Law Reform Commission report on relationship recognition and same-sexparenting rights that has sat in limbo for two years, on the grounds he willtable it in parliament sometime in the future. But he revealed that same-sexde facto couples could have access to the federal courts to settle parentingand property disputes under plans with the Rudd Government.

Pink News - UK
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-Five more convicted in Egypt's HIV crackdown
Five men have been sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt forconsensual homosexual acts. Their convictions are the latest in what hasbeen characterised by human rights groups as "a police crackdown" on peopleliving with HIV/AIDS. At least 12 men have been arrested and four havealready been sentenced to a year in jail.
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-Tutu inspires gay audience in San Francisco
One of the most respected religious leaders in the world has apologised tothe gay community for the way his Church ostracised them. Archbishop DesmondTutu also expressed regret for making them feel as if God had made a mistakeby creating them to be who they are. His speech was the highlight of ACelebration of Courage, the International Gay and Lesbian Human RightsCommission's (IGLHRC's) annual gala awards ceremony held in San Francisco onTuesday.
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-Anglican leader condemns gay death threats
The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken out after the director of a grouprepresenting gay Anglicans revealed he has received death threats. Rev.Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, said that the threats againsthis life were encouraged by the outspokenly homophobic language and attitudeof some in the church. Dr Rowan Williams said the threats are the "latestround of un-Christian bullying." The row over the stance of evangelical andtraditionalist bishops in the Anglican church worldwide over gay issues hasexposed a deep division in the communion.
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-Sperm bank man gets 16 months for fraud
John Gonzales, who ran online sperm bank catering mainlyfor lesbians and single women, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison. Hepled guilty to five offences including fraud, forgery and perjury and wasalso disqualified from acting as a company director for five years. He wassentenced at Wood Green Crown Court today following an investigation andprosecution by the Department for Business and Enterprise (BERR).
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From the Triangle Foundation
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DETROIT, MI - Today Detroit added its name to the growing number ofjurisdictions that protect its workers, residents and visitors fromdiscrimination based on "gender identity or expression." In order to extendthese protections, the Detroit City Council amended the City'snondiscrimination ordinance. The ordinance passed 8-1 with only Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta voting against it. "The passage of this human rightsordinance is a great positive step forward for the City and we are pleasedto have been involved on the ground level to ensure the inclusion of genderidentity," said Kate Runyon, Interim Executive Director of the TriangleFoundation. "The City Council has shown tremendous leadership and couragetoday and we congratulate them on this declaration of the City's opennessand commitment to inclusion."

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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The Safe Schools Coalition's web site is so huge, we can't maintain itwithout your help! Please do these two things RIGHT NOW.
1) UPDATE YOUR OWN LISTING, if you work for an organization that providesservices to LGBTQ youth, parents, guardians or educators. It's easy. Go to and enter the name of yourown organization. See if you are listed and, if so, whether the listing(s)is/are current and complete and accurate!! If you are missing altogether orif your listing needs editing, please let us know exactly how you would likeit to read by clicking here:

-VILNIUS - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will not reopen thecase against Lithuania filed by a female aiming to have a sex changesurgery -after losing the case in Strasbourg, the Baltic state will have toadopt a sex change law or pay compensation. The suit against Lithuania wasmade by a 29-year-old woman from Klaipeda who identifies herself as a man.
"It took a few years of efforts for the ECHR to protect her right to changesex, as stipulated in the Civil Code. The irresponsible conduct ofpoliticians has already cost a lot and may still have a higher price toLithuanian taxpayers," says director of the Human Rights MonitoringInstitute Henrikas Mickevicius, representative of the applicant to thecourt.

-VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna's Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday thathe regrets the exhibition of a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper ina museum linked to his diocese. The controversial work was exhibited inVienna's Cathedral Museum as part of a retrospective honoring Austria'srenowned artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who recently turned 80. Cardinal ChristophSchoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, said he had backed the exhibition withoutknowing the detailed contents. "I obviously would not have agreed to haveblasphemous or pornographic works exhibited. I therefore explicitly regretthat a work of this kind was exhibited without my knowledge," the cardinalsaid in a statement.

-Our community won an important victory this week and I wanted to make sureyou knew about it because your support of the Pride Agenda helped make ithappen. For the first time, the New York State Office of Children and FamilyServices (OCFS) adopted a policy and guidelines that prohibitsdiscrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning(LGBTQ) youth in juvenile justice and other facilities it operates allacross the state. Having this policy and the detailed implementationguidelines in place are critically important because many youth infacilities operated by the OCFS have been verbally and physically bulliedand harassed simply because of who they are, sometimes by other youth andsometimes by staff. This harassment is particularly tragic since manyyouth end up in the juvenile justice system in the first place because theirsexual orientation or gender identity and expression led to life on thestreets after being kicked out of their homes or abused by a parent orguardian. Another exciting aspect of this new policy is that we believe thisis the first state agency that explicitly includes protections based upongender identity and expression in the services it provides to the people ofNew York.

Anything but Straight
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-Standing Up to the Stand-Up Comics
It was business as usual when Tonight Show host Jay Leno asked his guest,Ryan Phillippe, to give his "gayest look" because he once played a gaycharacter on the soap opera "One Life to Live." The mortified reaction ofPhillippe, however, combined with the outrage of gay rights groups,hopefully represents the end of a shameful era where it was acceptable toportray homosexuals as punch lines instead of people. While Leno apologized,the industry has a sorry record of thoughtlessly exploiting gays for cheaplaughs.


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