Saturday, April 12, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 12, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama Says Some Voters Are Angry, Bitter
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- In the midst of an assault from his rivals, adefensive Barack Obama said Friday that many working-class Americans areangry and bitter over economic inequalities and have lost faith inWashington -- and, as a result, vote on the basis of other issues such asgun protections or gay marriage.

-Schwarzenegger: No to Marriage Amendment
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday that he would fightan initiative to amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriageif it qualifies for the November ballot.

Washington Post
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-Freedom and Faith on Campus
Mindless dogmatism is not part of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Asstewards of that tradition, Catholic colleges and universities engage in therobust "dialogue of faith and reason" that the church expects of us,exploring the complex mysteries of God, the profound meaning of human life,the social-justice imperatives of the Gospel.

-A Pope With A Talent for Clarity
Five hundred years ago, when Protestants were locked in a theological cagefight with the Church of Rome, Martin Luther described the papacy as "trulythe kingdom of Babylon, yes, the kingdom of the real Antichrist!" But today,Protestants are more likely to praise the pope for his messages of moralclarity, and the incendiary language of the past is relegated to blogs suchas "666, the Pope, Anti-Christ & Vatican -- for Dummies!"

Miami Herald
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-Flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer seeks crossover success
MIAMI -- If the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards and the musician Liberace everhad a Spanish-speaking love child, it would be Puerto Rican astrologerWalter Mercado.

Express Gay News
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-Pa. lawmakers hear testimony on same-sex marriage amendment
Head of Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh says 'married people form thebackbone of society'
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh says that marriage isone of humanity's oldest institutions and married people form the backboneof society. Bishop David Zubik testified Thursday at a hearing in Pittsburghin favor on a proposed state constitutional amendment that would definemarriage as a union between a man and a woman exclusively. Supporters saythe proposed legislation is intended to bolster an existing statutory ban onsame-sex marriages in Pennsylvania. But opponents argue that its passagewould be tantamount to institutionalized discrimination. City CouncilPresident Douglas Shields says the proposed legislation was wrong forPittsburgh and Pennsylvania. Shields says the amendment would trumplegislation passed in the city 12 years ago that grants domestic partnershiprights.

-Transgender Lobby Day is next week
Next Monday and Tuesday, the transgender community will gather on CapitolHill to rally for a trans-inclusive ENDA, among other things. The NationalCenter for Transgender Equality will lead the effort, which begins with aday of preparations on Monday and ends on Tuesday with lobbying lawmakers.
The NCTE is offering a resource sheet to help activists make appointmentswith their members of Congress. utumn Sandeen wrote a blog for Pam's House Blend today in which she said that after weighing the facts, she's concluded that neither Democratic presidential candidate would rally hard enough for a trans-inclusive ENDA. A day like Transgender Lobby Day on Tuesday is needed to help change that.

-Day of Silence
This morning, Jeanine and I were treated to a fourth grade presentation onthe civil rights movement in the southeast region of the country. It was atimeline of PowerPoint presentations, from slavery to the civil rightsmovement. Our son Zachary presented the book he read with a classmate. Excellent work.

-For Gay Republicans, Politics is Not Just One Issue
Log Cabin Republicans meet in San Diego for their annual convention thisweekend. Among the speakers: Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger. Sexual preference transcends political party. And gayRepublicans are out to prove they're no oxymoron. KPBS reporter AndrewPhelps has the story.;id=11389

-Jay Leno & Ryan Phillippe Still 'Friends' After Interview Controversy
There's no hard feelings between Jay Leno and Ryan Philippe, the TV hostinsisted Thursday night - after the recent controversy in which Leno askedthe actor for his "gayest look." When asked if there's any tension now between him and Phillippe, he replied,
"That's all silly, of course.",,20190732,00.html

-HRC Staffer Responds To Trans "Conspiracy Theories"
With regard to this morning's post about HRC calling the cops on transprotesters, an HRC staffer sent us this note:
Houston is not a unique situation. In fact, the same protests have happenedin NY, DC and Philly. And at all three, the police were present to keep theorder - and did not shut any protest down. So, why is Houston all of asudden a hot bed of conspiracy theory about HRC calling in the swat teams?
The fact is that the standard procedure is when we are notified of aprotest, then it is our obligation to notify the hotel/venue. Thehotel/venue then takes the necessary precautions to make sure their guestsare safe and that any protests happening outside of their property is alsodone so in a safe manner. One of those precautionary steps that thehotel/venue takes is to notify the local police department. This was done inDC, NYC, and Philadelphia previously without any problems, complaints, orconspiracy theories. So, with all that being said we are looking forward to a great Houston dinner which will be attended by the Mayor of Houston. And was the case atprevious dinners, those who want to wear their stickers and stand in protestwill be more than welcome to do so.
And there you have it.

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-Az. Marriage Amendment Resurrected
(Phoenix, Arizona) A proposed amendment to the Arizona state Constitutionthat would ban same-sex marriage that appeared dead a week ago has suddenlybeen revived by GOP lawmakers.

-Pa. Lawmakers Warned Anti-Gay Amendment Could Cost Jobs
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Supporters and opponents of a proposed amendmentto the Pennsylvania constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sexcouples filled Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Courthouse for a publichearing.

-Gay Foes Target Marriott Over Adult Movies
(Tupelo, Mississippi) Several conservative groups, including the AmericanFamily Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop givinghotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexualcontent - gay and straight.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Thomas Beatie is Not the First Transgendered Man to Get Pregnant
Thomas Beatie is actually not the first man to get pregnant. Almost a decadeago, a San Francisco transgendered man named Matt Rice got pregnant and hada cute son. Several years after that, I met another pregnant transman in SanFrancisco. He was telling his story, with his wife, at a feminist open mic.So why is Beatie getting all the credit, and why now?

-GED Program Launches for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth
It's tough enough to be a teenager today, but for Boston teens who are gay,lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it can be traumatic. They often deal withhomophobic bullying, have alarmingly high school-dropout rates, and many arehomeless.

-Gay Truckers Feeling the Bite at the Pump
Trucker A. J. Billsby remembers when he used to pay $500 to fill his250-gallon fuel tank on his tractor-trailer. Now filling up costs him$1,000. Billsby, a gay trucker from the Dallas area is just one of the manyindependent truckers who are hurting.

-Love Electra Donates Thousands of Products to the 2008 GLAAD Media AwardsEvent
Love Electra will be donating thousands of its inspiring t-shirt products tothe national media advocacy and anti-defamation organization the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for the commemoration of its19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, an extended event that will be celebrated infour cities across the country.

-Introducing Olivia Fling Long-Weekend Event Packages for the Vibrant, Youngand Out Lesbian
Leading lesbian travel and entertainment company Olivia is enhancing itsservice offerings with the summer debut of extended-weekend "Olivia Flings."
The new series of three- and four-night travel and entertainment vacationpackages will launch over Labor Day weekend in Seattle, before hosting otherevents in Las Vegas and Palm Springs, Calif.

-Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy Launches New HIV/AIDS Web Site
Walgreens (NYSE:WAG)(NASDAQ:WAG) announced today that Walgreens SpecialtyPharmacy has launched a new HIV-focused Web site,, toexpand the availability of HIV/AIDS information to patients and caregivers.
The new site complements Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy's current HIV/AIDSpatient support services. It gives patients the opportunity to get expertadvice from an HIV-trained pharmacist in the comfort and privacy of theirhomes and provides information about HIV/AIDS, including signs, symptoms,treatment and medication management. Patients and caregivers can also accessa list of HIV-focused Walgreens pharmacy locations across the country on thesite.

-Schwarzenegger Stands in for McCain at Log Cabin Confab
Sen. John McCain and the Log Cabin Republicans don't see eye to eye onissues like marriage equality and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but that's notthe reason McCain is sending Cal. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a surrogateto this weekend's LCR national convention.

-Booming Industry: Lesbian and Gay Weddings
The gay-and-lesbian-wedding industry is booming in Massachusetts,Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire where same-sex civil unions ormarriages are legal, reports The New York Times. Often, out-of-state couplestravel to these states for ceremonies even though their unions may only berecognized by a handful of states. But the travel industry in the Northeastrecognizes those unions as dollar signs. Competition has spiked amongwedding sites, hotels, resorts and inns throughout the Northeast becausesame-sex ceremonies can draw scores of guests, who turn these destinationsweddings into weekend stays. "When my mom started our business in 1999, shewould go to stationery shows and people would just look at her like she wascrazy," Kathryn Hamm, a same-sex-ceremony consultant in Virginia, told TheNew York Times. "A couple years later she went back and all of these vendorsremembered her, and now they are begging her, 'What can we do to help?'"
Read why gay marriage is good business.

The Advocate
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-Clinton Announces 71-Member LGBT Steering Committee in Pennsylvania
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced theformation of a 71-member LGBT steering committee in Pennsylvania,underscoring her work for a solid win in the state's competitive April 22primary election. Committee members who will offer her campaign opinions andadvice include elected officials, teachers, health care professionals, andbusiness owners as well as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley.

Marriage Equality News
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-Considering that in Colombia 1.) Military service is mandatory, 2.) Gaysare allowed to serve in the military and 3.) Married heterosexual couplesare exempt from mandatory military service, common sense would say thatsame-sex couples would also be exempt from mandatory service - if only theywere recognized as a family unit. Well, according to an article from today'sEl Espectador, the nation's Procurator General's Office (or, translateddifferently, Inspector General's Office) sent a "concept paper" toColombia's Constitutional Court arguing just as much and calling itdiscriminatory to deny the privilege to same-sex couples who can demonstratethat they are in a conjugal partnership.

-(Denver, CO) The trial for lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroederis scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 14th at the Denver City and CountyBuilding located at 1437 Bannock Street, in Courtroom 117M. The two werearrested for trespassing on September 24, 2007 when they peacefully remainedat the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office after being denied the opportunityto apply for a marriage license. Burns and Schroeder will be represented bylead counsel Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Their sit-inprotest was an effort to achieve basic fairness and marriage equality forall of Colorado's families. Numerous religious leaders have registered theirendorsement for the couple by submitting affidavits in support of marriageequality.

-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 theRio Grande do Sul state government must recognize same-sex unions, and allowgay and lesbian couples to jointly own property, and claim pensions andpossessions if either partner dies. The remaining Brazilian states do notoffer legal recognition 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 hasagreed, at least in public, that the type of remarks Mr. Lukiwski made wouldbe unacceptable today. If the video had been made last week or last month,some say, the calculations about his fitness for government would bedifferent. But the rules were not the same in 1991, the argument goes, andwords uttered 17 years ago should not be judged by today's standards -especially when it comes to an issue such as homosexuality, on which publicattitudes have changed so markedly.

Pink News - UK
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-Gay Eurovision fans threatened by Serb thugs
The honour of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest has fallen to Serbia thisyear, and fascist groups in the country are already promising violenceagainst people attending the festivities.Gay men are a particular target,according to the president of the fascist organisation Obraz, who announcedhis violent intentions in the pages of daily newspaper ALO! earlier thisweek. The newspaper ran a story on April 7th, calling Eurovision "gay youthday."
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-EXCLUSIVE: Rail company apologises for homophobic incident
The Customer Service Director of rail operator First Capital Connect hassaid she was "both appalled and embarrassed" by an incident at London StPancras station when a gay couple were told to stop being affectionate. Theincident occurred at around 6:30am on Sunday, March 30th. A publicannouncement was made by a First Capital Connect staff member, directed atthe gay couple, requesting "passengers please keep their hands to themselvesand refrain from kissing."
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-Map of the world plots LGBT rights
A global gay rights federation is celebrating its 30th anniversary with anupdated map of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights across the globe.
Founded in 1978, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is afederation of more than 600 groups in 90 countries campaigning for lesbian,gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights. "A print version of themap will be sent to all members of ILGA in the following weeks," aspokesperson said.
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-80% of insurance companies failing gay men
New research has found that many leading insurance providers in the UK arestill sending gay men for unnecessary HIV tests. In a survey insurancecompany staff were all asked to provide their company's limit at which anapplicant would be sent for an HIV test. Two companies, Royal Liver andBright Grey, were praised for their industry-beating limit of £1,000,000 ofcover without HIV testing for gay men within a civil partnership.
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-Nigerian Sharia court punishes lesbian couple
Two women in Kaduna, Nigeria have been sentenced to six months in prison and20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship. The Sharia court said thatMalama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai'sha were violating the tenets of Islam and theteachings of Sharia law. The women claimed in court to have been married forfive years. Ai'sha said she had paid a dowry of 5,000 Nigerian naira (£21)to her 'wife' at the start of their relationship.
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-Gay group reminds people to register to vote
Stonewall, the largest lesbian, gay and bisexual equality organisation inthe UK, has reminded people to register to vote ahead of the elections onMay 1st. All councils in Wales and 135 local authorities in England willhold elections. The Mayor of London and the city's 25-member Assembly willalso be elected that day.
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Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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Police raids mark pre-Olympic repression as leading AIDS activist is jailed
The wave of repression and intimidation of human rights activists anddissidents in China in advance of the Beijing Olympics has also targetedhomosexuals, according to China's best-known gay and AIDS activist. In anemail, Dr. Wan Yanhai reported that the month of March saw numerous policeraids on gay gathering spots in Beijing and Shanghai, and he said that theevidence of a new pre-Olympic crackdown on gays is so widespread it is clearit is being orchestrated "at the national level." Wan is not just anybody.
A former official of China's Ministry of Public Health, he was fired in 1994for his participation in AIDS information and prevention campaigns and forhis support of full equal rights for homosexuals. After being purged fromthe ministry, Wan founded the AIDS-fighting Aizhixing Action Project (theChinese characters for "Aizhixing" represent love, knowledge, and action,and are a play on the Chinese word for AIDS). The association also works forfreedom of expression on the Internet and is active on behalf of LGBTrights.

From Marc Adams
Founder/Executive Director

-Just a quick followup note to the most recent email about the politicalcandidates and their visit to Messiah College. Some of your are new to ourlist and are unfamiliar with the faith-based anti-GLBT stance of MessiahCollege. Here's a quick way to find out more about this religiouseducational institution's faith-based anti-GLBT bullying from their ownperspective. Just go to and in the search box at thetop of the home page, simply type in "homosexuality" (without the quoatationmarks) You will then be treated to the commonplace info presented at thisschool which isn't too much different from many many other schools.
HeartStrong holds religious educational institutions to a high standard.
Those standards are set forth on the front page of the HeartStrong website.
These are no different from what everyone should expect from any educationalinstitution. This is a great opportunity to find out more about a schoolwhich promotes religiously based 'changing your behaviour' schemes. We areleaving right now to embark on our outreach trip. Thanks for all of thenotes and positive thoughts!

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-This week in Washington Blade...

Muscle mania molding the 'ideal' male body type
New book reveals widespread influence of gay gym culture
By Jesse Monteagudo
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-In the gay TV series "Queer as Folk" (2000-2005), gay friends Brian,Michael, Emmett, Ted and Ben spent much of their time in their Pittsburghgay gym, where they worked out, talked about their lives, socialized and (inthe case of Brian) cruised. The gym in "Queer as Folk" encapsulated gay lifemuch more accurately than did the mythical sex-Mecca Babylon. In fact, itcould be said that the gym has more influence on urban gay male life thananything else in our culture except the gay rights movement and AIDS. Duringthe past 20 years, working out and acquiring a muscular body have becomemajor components of many gay men's lives. Because of the gym, the gay malephysical ideal changed from slim, youthful and androgynous to hard, muscularand masculine. Gay gym culture influences the way we look, the way we dress,our aesthetic and erotic sense, our sexual activities and our socialcalendar. Furthermore, thanks to our role as social trendsetters, the gymhas also become a major part of mainstream culture.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Mideast nations crack down on gays
Police in Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and elsewhere are visibly cracking down ongay behavior in an effort to appease religious elements, according to thisreport. "Meaningless crackdowns have become a regular thing. If not gays,devil worshippers. If not devil worshippers, apostates. The government needsto outbid Islamic opponents as guardian of morals," said Hani Shukrallah ofthe the Cairo-based Heikal Foundation for Arab Journalism. Bloomberg (4/8)

-Five Egyptian men found guilty in gay-sex case: Five men in Egypt were foundguilty on Wednesday of the "habitual practice of debauchery" -- a legal termused to describe consensual homosexual acts -- and sentenced to three yearsin prison. The arrests were part of a crackdown on people with AIDS,according to Human Rights Watch; four of the five men were found to have HIVin forced testing done after their arrests. Google/Associated Press (4/10)

-Frank showing savvy on economic issues
This article looks at the newfound clout of out U.S. Rep Barney Frank,D-Mass., among the nation's top economic leaders through his chairmanship ofthe House Financial Services Committee.

-Anglican Church head takes stand against "un-Christian bullying" byanti-gay forces
BBC (4/10)

-Anti-gay group to try for marriage ban for Maine ballot
Portland Press Herald (Maine) (4/9)

-Conference: LGBT Minnesotans have less access to health care than straights
Twin Cities Daily Planet/Minnesota Monitor (4/9)

-Blogger believes in adage about keeping enemies closer
Good As You blogger Jeremy Hooper believes it's better to take the high roadwhen answering anti-gay rhetoric by critiquing their misguided opinions butrefraining from personal attacks. "So I don't yell at my gay-unfriendly penpals," he writes. "I tell them in a fair but firm voice: 'You have no way ofwinning because you've chosen a losing position. Wanna go have some coffeeand discuss your inevitable defeat?' " (5/6)

HRC leader stands by non-inclusive ENDA decision
'Learned the degree of pain' from community
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-Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign in WashingtonD.C., told BTL last week that he and his organization stood by theirdecision to support a non-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Actbill on the House floor, but they had underestimated the pain such anaction would cause. "What we learned obviously was the degree of pain thatit was going to cause in the community," Solmonese said during a wideranging 45 minute interview. "For all of the rational arguments about this as a building block towards something bigger, the sentiment particularly in thetransgender community that this was code for - you know- 'we areleaving you behind.""


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