Thursday, April 24, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 24, 2008

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Miami Herald
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-Singapore fines TV station for gay show
SINGAPORE -- A Singapore television station has been fined for airing a showthat depicted a gay couple and their baby in a way that "promotes a gaylifestyle," the city-state's media regulator said Thursday.

Steve Rothaus
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-Study: Gay and lesbian youth want long-term couple relationships andraising children
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, social scientistshave found that many lesbian and gay youth have expectations of spendingtheir adult life in a long-term relationship raising children. More than 90percent of females and more than 80 percent of males expect to be partneredin a monogamous relationship after age 30. Two thirds of females and morethan half of males expressed likelihood that they would raise children inthe future.

Express Gay News
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-Gay couple kisses on 'As the World Turns'
Fans accused soap opera of censoring male liplocks
After 214 days and an e-mail campaign by angry fans that generatedinternational coverage, the gay teen couple on CBS soap opera "As The WorldTurns" finally got to share their third on-screen kiss.

-Clinton, Obama weigh in on plight of Iranian gays
Activist asks campaigns to condemn U.K. deportations
Britain's deportation of gay Iranians has emerged as a minor presidentialcampaign issue after a gay rights group asked each candidate to take astand.

-T.R. Knight and Larry King Breaking the Silence
Silence will be golden tomorrow for T.R. Knight.
The openly gay Grey's Anatomy star has just signed on to participate in theNational Day of Silence ceremony at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex inLos Angeles.

-After three years, 'Jeff's Law' cleared for Senate vote
An anti-bullying bill named after a Cape Coral teenager has made it to theFlorida Senate floor for a vote after three years.

-Royal 'blackmail sting a failure'
A police operation to catch two men for allegedly blackmailing a member ofthe Royal Family was an "abject failure", London's Old Bailey has been told

-What If Your Kid Is Gay? (Or Not?)
It's a question posed to some parents, and especially - in one form oranother - gay parents. I was asked this question during an interview withSlovenian television (of all things). The question got cut from our segmentof the interview, which instead included a short clip of me talking aboutgender roles (or the lack thereof) in our household. But when I saw thatDetails magazine has tackled the question, it seemed like a good time toaddress it.

-Omens In California
The chatter suggests that California's State Supreme Court may mandate equalmarriage rights in June. The governor has said he'll abide by the court; thelegislature has already voted to extend civil marriage to gay couples twice.
But those who believe that gay couples are a threat to social stability andto heterosexual families have managed to get enough signatures to get ameasure on the ballot this fall that would ban all such marriages. It wouldeffectively forcibly divorce all those gay couples who got married in Juneby November.

-An Affront to American Principles of Fairness and Equality
Dan Tepfler knows a thing or two about the armed forces. The PFLAG dad, andnational PFLAG board member, served more than 23 years in the United StatesAir Force, retiring as Colonel. And he's alarmed that, while the militaryscrambles to find good people for its ranks, it continues to dismisslesbian, gay and bisexual service members under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

-Fleeing Torture But Finding Only Persecution
With just 17 days left until 19-year-old Jojo Yakob is due to be forciblyremoved from the UK to his imprisonment, torture, and probable execution inSyria, our negative attitude to refugees and why we have it needs to beseriously looked at.

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-McCain Miffed Over NC GOP Attack Ad
(Inez, Kentucky) Republican John McCain asked the North Carolina GOP not torun a television ad that brings up the controversial former pastor ofDemocratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

-Clinton, Obama Both Claim Lead In Popular Votes
(Washington) If numbers don't lie, the Democratic presidential race isproving they can confuse: Both campaigns claim they are ahead in the popularvote.

-Rest A Luxury Obama, Clinton Cannot Afford
(New Albany, Indiana) How can they not be tired? Barack Obama and HillaryRodham Clinton are undeniably exhausted.

-Hollywood Still Forcing Gay Actors To Remain Closeted
(Toronto, Ontario) Ian McKellen made headlines two years ago when the openlygay British actor spouted off on what seemed an unspoken truth: it'simpossible for openly gay Hollywood actors to have successful careers.

-Moscow Bans Gay Pride
(Moscow) Moscow Mayor Yuri Lushkov has banned pride celebrations in Moscow,scheduled for next month - the twelfth year in a row the city has refused toissue permits to LGBT rights groups.

-UK Lords Nix Expanded Gay Hate Law
(London) A bill to toughen Britain's hate speech law banning attacks on gayshas been defeated in the House of Lords.

-New N.C. Hospital Rule To Benefit Gay Families
(Raleigh, North Carolina) North Carolina hospital patients will soon have anew right, ensuring that they can receive the visitors who matter most tothem regardless of the legal status of their relationship.

-Anti-Gay Amendment Advances In Arizona
(Phoenix, Arizona) A proposed amendment that would prevent same-sex couplesin Arizona from marrying has passed the House and if approved in the stateSenate will appear on the ballot in November.

The Advocate
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-Analysis: Obama Still Struggling to Win Key Constituencies
Why can't Barack Obama close the deal?
It's a question Hillary Rodham Clinton and her surrogates raised through thelast days of the caustic Pennsylvania primary contest. And unfortunately forObama -- who lost to the former first lady by a 10-point margin Tuesdaynight -- it's a question that bears repeating.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Gay Entertainment Report
In Miami the mojitos are sweet, the pink flamingos indigen, and the GLBTfilms hot. That's because the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2008 willpremiere several featured films and shorts over its ten day run startingApril 25th.

-Students Stop Talking, Start Walking
Students should not be surprised if they are able to hear a pin droptoday.The National Day of Silence at IU will be commemorated on campustoday. The event, in which participants take a vow of silence for all orpart of the day, is meant to bring attention to how people who are gay,lesbian, bisexual or transsexual often feel overlooked and silenced becausethey are different.

-Treasures and Secrets
"You've got so much here!" reads one comment in the guestbook at theAustralian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA). Those who venture down to thesmall room beneath the Victorian AIDS Council where the Archives are storedare often overwhelmed by the breadth of materials they find there. Swapcards from a recent safe-sex campaign rub shoulders with lesbian magazinesof the 1960s. The wall-to-wall boxes, albums and files are home to thestories of thousands of lesbians and gay men, camps and butches, 'passingwomen' and all manner of queer types in between. For the past 30 years,volunteers have lovingly collected and preserved these traces of ourhistories from across the country.

Marriage Equality News
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-Same-sex marriage has been prohibited in Florida since the 1997 Defense ofMarriage Act was passed. Marriage is defined by law as the legal union ofone man and one woman only. A same-sex marriage performed in another stateor country is not recognized in Florida, period. Yet, the proponents of theso-called "Marriage Amendment," (Amendment 2) to the state constitution, andthe media, continue to refer to this amendment as a "gay marriage ban." Anaccurate and honest reading of the wording of the amendment, which onlyrecently garnered the necessary signatures to be placed on the ballot aftera failed attempt in 2006, shows that this is untrue and is completelymisleading. The amendment threatens not only gay people but all Floridianswho have set up joint households instead of getting married.

-Frank Ferri has played many roles in his life: business owner, GLBT civilrights activist and husband. Last December, Ferri, 54, was sworn in as thenewest member of the Rhode Island legislature. Ferri is epresenting District22 in Warwick as a Democrat, filling the seat vacated last July by longtimestate Rep. Peter Ginaitt (D). Ferri is only the second openly gay member ofthe general assembly, joining House Majority Leader Gordon Fox, who came outat a marriage equality rally in 2004. Ferri has served as co-chair ofMarriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI). Ferri and his partner Tony Caparcowere married in Vancouver, Canada in 2006. They have been together for 27years.

-TIAA-CREF today announced its support for H.R. 1820, Tax Equity for HealthPlan Beneficiaries Act of 2007, introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott(D-WA) in the House and S. 1556, Tax Equity for Domestic Partner and HealthPlan Beneficiaries Act of 2007, introduced by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) inthe Senate. The bill would eliminate the inequities in federal tax law byexcluding the value of domestic partner health coverage from the taxableincome of the employee and from wages for purposes of payroll taxobligations. The bill would correct these inequities for domestic partnersand others who qualify as plan beneficiaries under the employer plan but donot meet the tax code definition of spouse or dependent.
In particular, it would permit a Voluntary Employees' BeneficiaryAssociation (also known as a VEBA) to provide full benefits to domesticpartners or other non-spouse, non-dependent beneficiaries withoutendangering its tax-exempt status.

-It seems like a more recent event, but it was 12 years ago that I receivedthe phone call.
I was at work in Baltimore. Suddenly, on the line was a voice I didn't knowtelling me something I didn't want to hear. He explained that he was afriend of my brother's who lived in San Francisco. He said Calvin was dyingof AIDS and didn't want his family to know. When the phone caller told meCalvin was sick, I immediately made plans to go see him. There, I met the"roommate" who I then knew was Calvin's partner - the man who made sure hereceived the best home hospice care available. Only months later, Calvindied. I was glad he had someone who loved him with him during the ordeal. Noone should be alone knowing death is so near.

-The atmosphere surrounding the issue of gay marriage has changedsubstantially since the furor that gripped the state eight years ago. Thatwas when the Vermont Legislature became the first in the nation to institutecivil unions for gay and lesbian couples.A commission appointed by theLegislature last year to study the issue of gay marriage has presented itsreport amid a resounding absence of controversy. The commission held aseries of meetings around the state to hear all sides of the issue, butmostly what they heard were pleas by Vermonters to enact full marriageequality by moving beyond civil unions to civil marriage.

Pink News - UK
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-Scientists consider giving up search for Aids vaccine
A shocking new survey has uncovered that the international community of Aidsscientists are giving up hope of finding a vaccine for the virus.

-UK: Gay men incorrectly sent for HIV tests by health insurers
Research has shown that many gay men are too often being sent to haveunnecessary HIV tests when they apply for health insurance.

Anything but Straight

-The Question of Choice Matters
In 2002, a large gay rights organization was hosting a luncheon thatfeatured a transgender speaker. During the Q&A, there was discussion on themerits of adding "gender identity" to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act(ENDA) - which, if passed, would protect people from being fired because oftheir sexual orientation. In the middle of a serious debate, a new staffer,who was just hired from the bluest city in a blue state, earnestly rose tohis feet. He proclaimed that he "couldn't comprehend" anti-trans attitudesand was dumbfounded that average people still held deep-seated prejudicesagainst such non-conforming individuals. "Why was this out-of-touch personhired for a GLBT movement job?" I thought to myself, upon hearing hisassertion. It was one thing to believe that transgender Americans deserveequality - which I do - and quite another to be "perplexed" that someconservatives are still freaked out by transgender (and, yes, gay) people.

The Truth about the Day of Silence
Every year, more and more students participate in the Day of Silence, whichbegan 12 years ago when University of Virginia students wanted to find a wayto bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment oncampus. As the day's popularity and exposure have increased, manymisperceptions have spread about what the Day of Silence is, why the dayexists and what participating in it means. Here are 4 truths that addresscommon misinformation about the Day of Silence.
1) The Day of Silence's purpose is to bring attention to anti-LGBTname-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses.

Edge - Miami

-Fighting for Silence
For Jennifer Legat, a high school sophomore in the Broward County PublicSchool System, the Day of Silence is the part of the year she looks forwardto most. As president of her high school's Gay Straight Alliance, Jenniferspends most of the year preparing and prepping the club's members for thisday.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-BELGRADE -- The conditions for a homosexual parade to be held in Serbia donot exist, an activists told reporters in Belgrade today. "In order torealize the freedom of movement that is guaranteed to us by theconstitution, we, the homosexuals, need the police protection, which theycannot provide," Boban Stojanovic, of the Queeria Culture and Non-ViolenceCenter, said in a news conference. The organization was promoting a campaigndubbed, "Love to the streets, hooligans to jails". Stojanovic also saidthat the Serbian police, MUP, advised them to seek protection from privatesecurity firms. He added policemen were not reacting to continuous threatsthat some gay activists have been receiving. "One in four homosexuals comesunder some form of attack, physical or physiological, and for that reason wehave launched this campaign," Stojanovic said. He also denied rumors thatsome 20,000 homosexuals were set to arrive in Belgrade in time for thisyear's Eurovision song contest.

-Riga Pride 2008: in a park behind the fence and police protection, again?
Today, Ivars Godmanis, Latvian Prime Minister, and yesterday, OskarsKastens, Integration Minister, said they believe this year Riga Pride/Marchfor Equality should take place in an enclosed park as it happened last yearat Vermanes Park in central Riga. Edgars Vaikulis, a press secretary ofprime minister said: "Last year the prime minister was an interior minister,managed to avoid any verbal or physical conflicts during the March andthinks that the optimal solution for this year would be to organise theMarch at the same place as last year - in Vermanes Park." Yesterday'sstatement by the integration minister was heavily critisised by IlzeBrands-Kehre, Director of the Latvian Human Rights Centre. She said that itis not within the competence of the integration minister to evaluate riskfactors and security situation and therefore the minister draws unfoundconclusions before even the police came out with their own conclusions onthe security situation for this year's Pride March. She also said that bydoing so the integration minister is interfering and limiting the freedom ofassembly.

-Germany says no additional legislation needed 'at this point in time'.
Germany has defended blocking a wide-ranging extension of Europeananti-discrimination legislation on the grounds that it is still assessingthe impact of previous European directives transposed into national law in2006. Ricklef Beutin of Germany's permanent representation to the EU saidthat his government had implemented four previous Europeananti-discrimination directives in 2006 alone and was not "at this point intime" in favour of introducing any further European laws. Germany isunderstood to be of the view that decisions on additional legislation inthis area are best left to the national governments of EU member states.
Current EU anti-discrimination legislation bans discrimination in theworkplace on all grounds. However, protection against discrimination inaccess to goods and services is provided only on the basis of gender andrace.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Earlier this month the AP wire put out a story of great concern to humanrights, gay and HIV/AIDS advocates, one that I hope would generate actionsat and visits to Egyptian embassies and consulates in the U.S. and aroundthe globe: An Egyptian judicial official says four HIV-positive men havebeen convicted of being homosexual and sentenced to three years in prisonfollowed by three years of close police supervision . . .The defense lawyerfor the five, Adel Ramadan, says the judge convicted the men of the''habitual practice of debauchery,'' a term used in the Egyptian legalsystem to denote consensual homosexual acts . . .

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Call for Submissions:
Still Blue: More Writing By (For or About)Working-Class Queers
Following the success of *Everything I Have is Blue: Short Fiction byWorking-Class Men about More-or-Less Gay Life a new anthology on queer,working-class themes is currently in preparation. Writers are encouraged tosend their work for possible inclusion in the new volume, tentativelyentitled *Still Blue: More Writing By (For or About) Working-Class Queers*.
Writers of any and all genders are welcome! Submissions must be received byJuly 1, 2008.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Campaign for Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Launches From San Diego
A San Diego reception marks the beginning of a six city whistle-stop tour ofcommunities in the Western U.S organized by Servicemembers Legal DefenseNetwork (SLDN) to highlight efforts to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Thetour, which takes SLDN executive director Aubrey Sarvis from San Diego toPalm Springs before making stops in Las Vegas, Denver, Boulder, and ColoradoSprings, is an initiative aimed at educating Americans on efforts to liftthe ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual service personnel.

-Anglican church warns against visit by controversial South American bishop
A controversial Anglican leader from South America arrived in Canada on
Wednesday, over the objections of the Anglican Church of Canada.

-Indian Police Force Launches HIV/AIDS Awareness Program Aimed At Officers,Soldiers
India's Central Reserve Police Force on Saturday launched an HIV/AIDSawareness campaign aimed at officers and soldiers in an effort to reduce thespread of the disease, ANI/Thaindian News reports. Under the program, CRPFwill provide personnel with education about the disease and informationabout prevention methods. The police force also will establish condomvending machines. "Since people are often awkward and shy while buyingcondoms, we have taken care to maintain privacy while placing the machines,"M.V. Rao, chief medical officer for CRPF, said. In addition, CRPF plans toestablish a voluntary confidential counseling testing center, ANI/Newsreports.

-S. Africa: Township Lesbians too Scared

- Spain: Organizations decry homophobic attacks against gay men caughthaving sex in public bathrooms
Remember Senator Larry Craig's bathroom incident? You probably do as itbecame almost as big a news story as Britney Spears' meltdown last year(actually, my friend Michael Rogers broke the story over at his BlogActiveblog).

-What bullying would Jesus embolden?
LGBT kids are still bullied in our nation's public schools. Those who woulddeny this are in a grand state of denial, and their rebuffing is quiteoffensive to those of us who either suffered adolescent harassment orcloseted ourselves in order to stave off the same. And those who would go sofar as to protest against those who are trying to end this bullying,teasing, and harassment, are following a code of conduct that is anythingbut moral!

-Happy Passover, Jewish queers
Rabbi calls for 'rehabilitation of gays'
Homosexuality is a disease that should be treated, the chief rabbi of KIryatOno, near Tel Aviv, wrote in response to a letter from the gay communitypublished in Ynet weeks ago.

-John Hagee Stands by Remarks that Sinful Gays Caused Katrina
Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement John McCain gladly gobbled up, stood byremarks he made in 2006 that Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for thesinful Southern Decadence party that gays were planning to hold in NewOrleans.

-Israel: Rabbi thinks we're rabid
Pastor John Hagee suggested to NPR that the devastating, life-robbingHurricane Katrina was God's judgement against New Orleans for the"homosexual parade" that was to be held in the city the following week.
February of 2008: Hagee endorses John McCain for President. This is anendorsement McCain has said he's both "very honored" by and "glad to have."
April 22, 2008: Hagee, apparently feeling like he hadn't made his ideasabout God's contempt for drag queens marching down Bourbon Street clearenough the first time, said the following on the talk show of conservativehost Dennis Prager:
PRAGER: Right, but in the case, did NPR get, is this quote correct thoughthat in the case of New Orleans you do feel it was sin?

-Tough times for Brazilian friends
My friend Marcos Costa, who blogs at Carioca Virtual, has been drawingattention to an outrageous case of mistreatment inflicted on Jose Ávila,days after the death of Fabio, his partner of 10 years. That's Jose andFabio in the photo; Jose's on the right.

-Gay Dutch tilting rightward
My pal Dan over at Gay Patriot has an interesting post about the rightwardtilt of gays in liberal Holland. Apparently a conservative party calledProud of the Netherlands scored best among gays in a poll by the TV programNova. The trend dates back at least to Pim Fortuyn, an openly gay politicianthere who launched his own nationalist party and was competing to be primeminister before being murdered by a radical animal rights activist.

-In the Business of Hurting Businesses. and People
Don Wildmon and his "American Family Association" just love to hurt Americanbusinesses and the families they support. Their modus operandi is launchingcampaigns and boycotts against any company that treats its gay and lesbianemployees equally or has the audacity to advertise in gay-orientedpublications. They don't give a damn about the families that might be hurt,including families they claim to be representing and "protecting."

-When Dems act like Dems You know what's refreshing?
When instead of having an election in which a pair of supposed progressivesstop short of taking a reasoned position so as to not endanger theirelectability, you have two competing Democrats who both take a stand formarriage equality.

-A wolf in Republican clothing on gay issues
John McCain is certainly not perfect on gay issues. Even though the senatorhas been ordained a "maverick," which occasionally places him at odds withthe religious right, gay voters should still maintain a healthy skepticismconcerning him.

-Human Rights Campaign releases transgender workplace guide
Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT rights advocacy group in the nation,has released the second edition of its guide, Transgender Inclusion in theWorkplace, this week.

-Every day for the past 17 years, the members of Westboro Baptist Church inTopeka, Kan., have picketed churches, courthouses, gay pride parades andeven the White House for one express purpose: to preach that God hatesomosexuals and that those who support the homosexual lifestyle will be sentto hell.

-INTOLERANCE: Churches differ on gay stance
Focus on the Family Double-Speak
Focus in the Family has long been truth challenged. A story on its websitethis week, "Psychiatric group will host 'historic' symposium on faith andtherapy," shows just how unethical and slippery the organization can be.

-Relatively Masculine
Poking around in personals, I keep seeing guys' profiles listingthem as "masculine." This confuses me because everyone's idea of masculinitydiffers. Sometimes it means that they are, "Yo, dude!'s" on the street, and"pansy boi's" in the bedroom, and sometimes it means they just aren'tcomfortable with anything feminine.

-House Committee questions anti-gay, ineffective abstinence-only programsFrom Dena Wigder Feldman, HRC's public policy advocate:
"Research shows the homosexual lifestyle is not a healthy alternative formales or females. The male and female body are not anatomically suited toaccommodate sexual relations with members of the same sex. Sexual practicesin the homosexual lifestyle are considered very dangerous for disease,infection, etc. This lifestyle should not be encouraged as healthy or as anequal alternative to marriage."

-Louisiana Leaves Some Children Behind
It used to be that turning the big 3-0 was about as scary as waiting to betaken into that little room to receive your test results. Nowadays, however,30 is the new 20. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. But there'sone group of ladies who isn't afraid to show their age - the Dykes onBikes®!


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