Friday, April 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 11, 2008

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New York Times
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-A Red Carpet for Gay Weddings
LAST summer, when Kimberly McHugh and Laura Pazarena, a couple inWashington, decided to celebrate their union, they quickly ran into the sameproblems that any couple faces.

-Mexican Wrestler Puckers Up to Fight
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- In a hot-pink Mohawk haircut and leotard to match, hepirouettes before taking down his muscle-bound enemies with a swift kick tothe groin.

-McCain Has Abundance Of Tough Sells In VP Search
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Republican presidential candidate John McCainstarts thinking through who he wants as a vice presidential running mate, hemay find that many potential picks carry risks as well as rewards.

Express Gay News
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-Gay-support club, GPS at odds over promotion
A Gilbert high school club that promotes safe schools for gay students saysit has been barred this year from spreading the word about the Day ofSilence on April 25, an observance meant to raise awareness of bullying.

-In the middle of two worlds
Jason Stuart, an edgy gay comic and actor, is out and successful inHollywood In the middle of his career, Jason Stuart, an openly gay Hollywood actor andstand-up comic, finds himself on the fairly stable ground - especially forbeing in show business.

-Pride is about not accepting the role of the helpless victim by Phil LaPadula
We should focus on preventing anti-gay attacks and gaining respect
A couple of years ago, a well- known gay marketing company issued a pressstatement suggesting that gays and lesbians should tout the financialbenefits of gay marriage to local tourism industries and wedding businesses.
The piece basically argued that if more straight people thought about howmuch money they could make from gay and lesbian marriage, they would be moreaccepting of the idea of gay marriage in mainstream America.

-Friend or Foe?
Republican Senator Jeff Atwater and Florida Family Association
Sen. Jeff Atwater Republican, North Palm Beach
By agreeing to co-sponsor an anti-discrimination bill that would add sexualorientation as a protected class in Florida Civil Rights Act, Sen. JeffAtwater (R. North Palm Beach) becomes something gay rights advocates inFlorida have been seeking for a long time: a powerful Republican ally whocan generate support for gay - friendly legislation.

-Gay ceremonies reshaping Las Vegas wedding industry
More GLBT couples exchanging vows in Sin City's exotic settings
Like most gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships, Ellie Kennedyand Peggy Higgins are eagerly waiting for the day when they can legallymarry. They registered as domestic partners in San Diego six months ago andexchanged rings. But they're holding out on the champagne and weddingreception until the laws change.

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-McCain Erases Obama Lead
(Washington) Republican Sen. John McCain has erased Sen. Barack Obama's10-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup, leaving him essentially tiedwith both Democratic candidates in an Associated Press-Ipsos national pollreleased Thursday.

-Hillary In The Shadow Of Bill
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) She can implicitly criticize him and publiclyembrace him, sometimes in the same day. But Sen. Hillary Rodham Clintoncannot escape the shadow of her husband, the former president whose hugepersonality and fame sometimes threaten to overwhelm her efforts to controlthe daily message and tone of her presidential campaign.

-Romney Still Running
(Boston, Massachusetts) Republican Mitt Romney is still running - perhapsfor vice president this fall or the White House in 2012 or 2016.

-Tax Time Hits Gay Couples Harder
(Mount Laurel, New Jersey) For gay couples, the April 15 tax filing deadlinecan be a reminder of the disparities they face, even in a nation that isbecoming more accepting of same-sex couples.

-Maine Measure Would Wipe Out LGBT Protections
(Augusta, Maine) A conservative Christian group is mounting a referendumeffort that could wipe out all protections for LGBT citizens in Maine.

-Florida GSA Suit Dismissed
(Okeechobee, Florida) A lengthy lawsuit by the ACLU against the Okeechobeeschool district over its refusal to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance to meet oncampus came to an end on Thursday when a federal judge dismissed the case.

-Study: LGBT Parents More Involved In Schooling
(New York City) A study of LGBT parents has found they are more likely to beinvolved in their children's K-12 education than the general parentpopulation.

-Court Tosses Suit Over Anti-Gay School Speech
(Ashland, Kentucky) 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 courthas ruled.


-American Family Outing Aims to Find Common Ground with Families in Six of Today's argest Mega-churches - Family Research Council Responds with PanicRecently supporters of the Family Research Council received an envelope stamped with he words "EXPOSED: Radicals' plan to attack churches!" What was the nature of he "plot" that had FRC in such frenzy? Well, in December of 2007, Soulforce, OLAGE, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the Universal Fellowship of etropolitan Community Churches sent letters to:
.Rev. Joel Osteen and the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas
.Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas
.Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. and Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland
.Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia
.Rev. Bill Hybels and Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, llinois
.Dr. Rick Warren and Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California
In these letters we expressed a desire to share a meal with leaders and families in heir congregations on a designated weekend between Mother's Day and Father's Day 008 (see complete schedule at Our goal is simply to raverse any division and try to find common ground, despite our differences on the ssues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Turkey:Unexpected Police "Visit" to Lambdaistanbul Cultural Center
On 7 April 2008, during the afternoon around 5.30pm, a group of more than 12lainclothes police came to the Lambdaistanbul Cultural Center with a searchwarrant. The policemen were reluctant to let the Lambda members present atthe center to read the full text of the warrant, and they did not givesatisfactory answers to members' questions on the subject.
The officers remained in the center for approximately two hours, duringwhich time they examined the premises and all materials in the office, andalso collected the identity cards of everyone who entered the center. At theend of their search they were not able to find evidence of a criminaloffence; however, they took with them some important documents regardingLambda's financial and membership systems.
The next day, Lambda's lawyer discovered that an accusation had been lodgedagainst the association for participating in illegal prostitutionactivities, procuring transgender sex workers and sharing their earnings.
Lambda has been informed that the police have been observing the culturalcenter and had taken note of frequent visits by transgender people.
According to the public prosecutor, this was proof enough to issue a searchwarrant.

Marriage Equality News
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-Many people in Brazil believe gay and lesbian couples should not be allowedto form civil unions, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha deSao Paulo. 45 per cent of respondents share this opinion, down four pointssince August 2006. In March 2004, judge Clademir Missaggia ruled that the Rio Grande do Sul state government must recognize same-sex unions, and allow gay and lesbiancouples to jointly own property, and claim pensions and possessions ifeither partner dies. The remaining Brazilian states do not offer legalrecognition to same-sex partners.

-In 1991, Tom Lukiwski stood in a campaign office in Saskatchewan, lookedinto a video camera and made some very derogatory remarks about gay men, tothe giggling delight of whoever was filming. In 2008, with Mr. Lukiwski aConservative member of Parliament, a rival political party unearthed thevideo (by accident) and released it to the media (on purpose).
Everyone has agreed, at least in public, that the type of remarks Mr.Lukiwski made would be unacceptable today. If the video had been made lastweek or last month, some say, the calculations about his fitness forgovernment would be different. But the rules were not the same in 1991, theargument goes, and words uttered 17 years ago should not be judged bytoday's standards - especially when it comes to an issue such ashomosexuality, on which public attitudes have changed so markedly.

Pink News - UK
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-Lesbian "tug of war" custody case goes to Supreme Court
A lesbian woman who is attempting to use a US state law banning gay marriageto exclude her former partner from custody of their daughter will have hercase heard in the Virginia Supreme Court next week. Janet Jenkins (formerlyMiller-Jenkins) and Lisa Miller (formerly Miller-Jenkins) were joined in acivil union in Vermont and shortly thereafter had a child. After the womenended their relationship, Miller moved to Virginia with the women'sdaughter.
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-Three poofs to run the London Marathon for THT
This Sunday tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of Londonto run the annual marathon, and among the famous faces this year will bethree men who are professionally known as poofs. David Roper, StephenDe-Martin and David Wickenden are best-known as three-quarters of 4 Poofsand a Piano, the house band on the popular BBC1 show Friday Night WithJonathan Ross. They will be donning their running vests and tackling the 26mile course, while fourth poof Ian Parkin will be cheering them on from thesidelines.
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-Obama and Clinton's accessibility to gay media assessed
Democratic US Presidential contender Barack Obama has faced increasingcriticism in the LGBT community in recent weeks for refusing to speak to thegay and lesbian press. While rival Hillary Clinton has gone on record withgay media outlets such as Logo and the Philadelphia Gay News, Obama hasturned down repeated requests for interviews. Now Obama is speaking out atlast directly to the gay community in an exclusive interview with TheAdvocate.
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From Marc Adams
Executive Director HeartStrong

-On the eve of our Spring Outreach Trip, we have learned the distressingnews that two candidates running for President of the United States aremaking an appearance at the rabidly anti-GLBT Messiah College inPennsylvania. And you can rest assured they will not be there to talkabout the faith-based anti-GLBT bullying at that school.
For many years, we have spoken about how political leaders in this countrycan nearly glamorize religious educational institutions which causeimmense pain and hardship for GLBT students. This is yet another example.
It was just a short time again that another of the presidential candidatesvisited Liberty University, again giving credibility and undue attentionto a religious educational institution responsible for causing greatdamage to so many of our GLBT brothers and sisters.
We grieve when the leaders or those who wish to be leaders of this countrybow down to the seductive glance of approval from members of the religiousright. Especially when we have spent more than ten years and more than3000 volunteered hours helping to heal the wounds caused by these schoolsand inflicted upon our students. (Messiah College and Liberty Universityare two of these schools.)

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-(New York, April 9, 2008) Comparing the importance of speaking up for humanrights to the basic act of breathing, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave anhistoric speech to the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex(LGBTI) community at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco last night. A crowd of500 people heard the Nobel Peace Prize recipient condemn the persecution ofLGBTI people, apologize on behalf of his Church for ostracizing gay people,and challenge China to improve its human rights record-all in the first everdirect address by the Archbishop to a large gathering of the LGBTI communityin the United States.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-2008's Freedom Riders
Since 2006, young LGBT and allied activists engaged in Soulforce EqualityRides have visited 52 colleges and universities with histories and policiesof silencing or excluding queer students. The young riders, many of whomcome from religious and faith backgrounds, have brought Soulforce's uniquestyle - combining what the group calls a "dynamic 'take it to the streets'"activism with the uncompromising non-violence principles championed byGandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. - to challenge religion-based and otherhomophobia, in schools ranging from Bob Jones University in South Carolinato the US Military Academy in upstate West Point.

-Illinois high court favors deceased poz man's parents
The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a deceasedHIV-positive man's parents, affirming the Appellate Court's reversal of anaward for his fiancee, who argued his parents should have revealed hisstatus to her.

-Texas County Chooses Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund-Supported Candidate
Barring the unlikely victory of a write-in candidate, Travis County, TX ispoised to elect the first woman D.A. in its history this Nov.
According to Gay, which identified winning candidate RosemaryLehmberg as having received the support of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund,the post of Travis County District Attorney is extremely powerful in termsof prosecutorial power when it comes to state politics, because thatspecific post brings with it the Public Integrity Unit, which looks intocorruption.

-BREAKING: Lansing neighborhood marred with anti-gay graffiti
LANSING- Residents and business owners are responding to a series ofanti-gay tags spray painted on buildings in the city's historic Old Townlate Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning. The area is known for itsartist community, trendy lofts, and two of the city's three bars catering toLGBT clients.

-Equality for all? Not in Utah.
Ariana Losco, a transgender woman living in Utah, publicly spoke on the needto get a law protecting LGBT workers on the books in her state. Little didshe know her voice would get her fired.

-A Hope for Audacity
Who's better for gay equality, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? The answerdepends on a consideration of three main factors: the issues, actuallegislative records, and likely commitment.

-Gay rights: You've come a long way, baby
In 1991, Tom Lukiwski stood in a campaign office in Saskatchewan, lookedinto a video camera and made some very derogatory remarks about gay men, tothe giggling delight of whoever was filming. In 2008, with Mr. Lukiwski aConservative member of Parliament, a rival political party unearthed thevideo (by accident) and released it to the media (on purpose).

-Views: Thomas Beatie's pregnancy: What does it change?
Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who has retained his female reproductiveorgans and is six months pregnant, recently appeared on The Oprah WinfreyShow.

-Student 'Day of Silence' observance meets with opposition
Cleveland--The Cleveland LGBT Center will take the Day of Silence out ofschools and into the Tremont neighborhood with a Breaking the Silencecelebration at Pilgrim Congregational UCC on April 25.

-Being Gay At Work - New Gay Market Research Reveals Most Gays and LesbiansThink Being 'Out' Can Harm Their Careers
- New research reveals that most gays and lesbians worry being openly gayharms promotion prospects
- Harassment problems reported by many gays and lesbians in UK workplaces

-When Straights Take Over the Gay-borhood
Last month, my girlfriend, Jackie, and I went on our first vacationtogether. We went to New York to visit a Santa Barbara friend who movedthere to broaden her professional horizons and, for an added bonus, date afew ladies. Despite having lived in Santa Barbara for a good three years, myfriend had never really met any dateable gals. The one time she did end upwith a girl's phone number, we were at a club in West Hollywood. After a fewpleasant phone conversations, WeHo Woman got a little obsessed and wouldn'tstop calling my friend. Chalk up another failed attempt with the ladies.

From Deb Price

-Here's a little known fact about me-I don't go to see scary movies. Life is scary enough why should I pay for it. So that means I mostly watch silly romantic comedies, movie musicals, Star Wars and Indiana Jones type films, istorical dramas and documentaries. Of late, I've been glued to HBO's John Adams. It's been great watching Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney play John and Abigail as a couple who though separated a great deal share a passion for life and for each other. Out of town as much as I have been the last few months, I haven't made it to many movie theatres-thank god for Movies on Demand. I will, however, make it my business to get over to Proctor's in Schenectady next Wednesday, April 16th for a screening of For the Bible Tells Me So. (For those of you not familiar with New York's Capital District, Schenectady is about 15 minutes west of Albany-our state's capitol-and Proctor's is a wonderful, newly restored former vaudeville theatre that brings Broadway road tours, films and other sorts of culture to our community here in upstate NY.) A documentary that's won numerous awards, For the Bible Tells Me So opens the doors to five very American, very Christian families-including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson-to discover how people of faith deal with having a gay or lesbian child. For those of you who may not know, Dick Gephardt's daughter Chrissy is a lesbian born to a Baptist dad and a Catholic mom. Gene Robinson is the openly gay, non-celibate Episcopal Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.


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