Sunday, April 27, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-Young Gay Rites
LAST NOVEMBER IN BOSTON, Joshua Janson, a slender and boyish 25-year-old,invited me to an impromptu gathering at the apartment he shares withBenjamin McGuire, his considerably more staid husband of the same age. Itwas a cozy, festive affair, complete with some 20 guests and a large sushispread where you might have expected the chips and salsa to be.

-Through Sickness, Health and Sex Change [Transgender]
NEW MILFORD, N.J: THERE are ways in which the Brunners are like many other
middle-aged married
couples. Former high school and college sweethearts, they finish each
other's sentences and order the same food at restaurants. They shuttle their three children to sports practices, and laugh when their 90-pound Labrador etriever jumps onto the sofa to lick guests. "We're one of the few of our friends who are still in our original marriage," Denise Brunner said.

-Op-Ed Contributor: Clown Prince of the City
ONLY people who live outside cities realize the size of them. London turnsout to be huge; there are great swaths, vast panoramas, a whole diaspora I'dnever imagined. The place I live in tends to be manageably small, a fewfamiliar journeys and destinations. But I've been covering London's mayoralelection - the vote is Thursday - and have traveled the girth and depth ofthe place and it's revealed a strange parallel metropolis, a magical placethat appears only every four years. A city made out of the wishful thinkingand ambition of politicians, cast as their own self-justifying epic.

-'Brothers & Sisters, ' 'Ugly Betty' win GLAAD awards again
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Two ABC series were in repeats -- as winners -- at theannual awards honoring good work in media presentations of gays andlesbians. ''Brothers & Sisters'' and ''Ugly Betty'' received awards for outstandingdrama and comedy series during the 19th annual Gay and Lesbian AllianceAgainst Defamation Media Awards at the Kodak Theatre on Saturday night

Miami Herald
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- Reject intolerance cloaked in faith by LEONARD PITTS JR.
James Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity.
Take gay marriage. Speaking in support of a proposed state constitutionalban on same sex unions, one Rev. Hayes Wicker of First Baptist Church inNaples, Fla., was recently quoted by The Naples Daily News as saying, ``Thisis a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.''
As asinine as that remark is, it is perfectly in step with much of modernChristianity, which has spent years demonizing gay men and lesbians. Andthen there's Rev. Lawson, who is scheduled to speak this weekend at the 10thanniversary conference of Soulforce, a group that fights church-basedhomophobia. Few things could be more out of step.
Lawson, you may know, is an icon of the civil rights movement; it was he whoinvited Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis to support the striking sanitationworkers. He sees his longtime involvement with Soulforce as part of the samestruggle. ''The human rights issue is not a single issue,'' he told merecently. ``It is about all human kind. And all human kind has been endowedwith certain inalienable rights.''
My interview with Lawson was set before Wicker's remark, but I leapt at thechance to ask him about it. ''Obviously,'' said Lawson, ``he does not knowanything about the 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery asthe nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and itsconsequences. . . . And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus. . . .
Jesus broke all the social etiquette in terms of relating to people andbringing people into relationship with himself. He acknowledged no barriersor human divisions . . . no category of sinners from who he would isolatehimself.''

Marriage Equality News
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-CA: Asian Americans weigh in on marriage for same-sex couples
Ericson Herbas, a FilAm graphic artist originally from Makati City, hassomething in common with lawyers Doreena Wong, a Chinese-American, andJennifer C. Pizer, a Jewish-American. All of them are currently in asame-sex relationship. In a few weeks - late May or early June - a ruling bythe California Supreme Court on the issue of marriage equality will have animpact on the lives of these three Californians. Depending on which side theSC ruling tilts, it would spell either the end of their quest or avalidation of a shared advocacy.
On September 27, 2007, a team of Asian American attorneys and advocates inLos Angeles and San Francisco filed a legal brief with the State SupremeCourt in support of equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. Twoof those lawyers were Doreena Wong and Jennifer C. Pizer, who have been in asame-sex relationship for fourteen years.

-PA: Rally opposes 'marriage protection'
Those who oppose the "Marriage Protection Amendment" (Senate Bill 1250) willbe given a chance to voice their concerns Sunday at a special rally. Themain focus of the event is to urge elected officials to vote no on SB 1250.
The rally will feature red postcards bearing the slogan "Equal RightsInclude Marriage" that will be made available to sign. The MarriageEquality Team plans to collect as many postcards as possible with the intentof delivering them to the Senate in Harrisburg. The event will be held atUnitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster, 538 W. Chestnut St., from 2 to 4p.m. Sunday. The Marriage Protection Amendment, sponsored by state Sen.Mike Brubaker, would ban civil unions in Pennsylvania.

-In 2004, when I was 28, CNN asked me to gather together a group of myBoston friends in their 20s for a short segment about gay marriage. Thenetwork wanted to know what young gay men in Massachusetts thought about our
newfound right. For nearly an hour, seven of us - five workingprofessionals in our 20s and two college undergraduates - sat in a coffeeshop and talked theoretically about what a young gay marriage might entail.
In the end, most of us agreed that we would like to be married - just notyet. We still had a lot of living, and growing up, to do. While many of ourheterosexual peers undoubtedly did as well, we were immune from the pressuresome of them felt to marry. No one - not our friends, not our families, notthe gay community - expected us to wed. For the next few years, I didn'tgive young gay marriage much thought. While thousands of gay men andlesbians in their 30s, 40s or 50s married in Massachusetts, none of us atthe table that night did, even as several of us inched into our 30s. Iassumed that marriage - what the gay playwright Terrence McNally recentlycalled "the final civil right; the right to love as anyone else loves" - wasa right appreciated only in gay middle age.

-Australia: Gay Couple Awarded Damages in Foster Care Discrimination Case
An Australian gay couple were awarded damages following religiously-baseddiscriminatory treatment by a welfare agency. The organization, which hasties to Uniting Church, refused the application of the couple to becomefoster parents [...] The couple, who were not identified in the article,took the case to the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal. Theorganization that had rejected the couple's application claimed thatalthough the Anti-Discrimination Act bars prejudicial treatment of gays andlesbians, it was exempt from the law on the basis that its decision to snubthe couple was based on religious doctrine.

-UT [Univ. of Texas] faculty and staff have demanded domestic partnerbenefits for almost two decades, but it was Uri Horesh's hunger strike thissemester that magnified the issue. When English professor Lisa Moore washired in 1991, she was told that domestic partner benefits were right aroundthe corner. Though there are signs of progress, UT still does not extend thesame benefits to same-sex couples as it does to heterosexual couples. In2008, 17 years later, Moore continues to work at UT but cannot provide herpartner with the same coverage she receives. Prospective, current andformer faculty members have incorporated this issue into their decision tocome to or stay at the University. Five people shared with The Daily Texanhow the domestic partner benefits issue shapes their opinions of UT.

The Advocate
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-As the media world buzzed about the "pregnant man," trans activists stayedrelatively mum. Now we're asking: Has Thomas Beatie's public exposure hurtthe transgender movement?
"I'm going to be sick. I am upset.. That was not only stupid and uselessbut, quite frankly, disgusting." -Mika Brzezinski, cohost, Morning Joe,MSNBC
"There is no way this child will be able to lead a normal life. Oregon is astrange state, but they cannot seriously allow this to happen. It isunethical, immoral, and disturbing." -a comment posted on a Washington Postblog When Oregon trans man Thomas Beatie first told the world that he waspregnant in The Advocate in March, readers learned that he transitionedabout 10 years ago, underwent a double mastectomy, and began testosteroneinjections. He and his wife, Nancy, decided to have a child, but because ofa hysterectomy years ago, Nancy couldn't carry the baby. So Beatie stoppedhis hormone injections, underwent artificial insemination, and, afterseveral doctors refused to treat him, finally found an obstetrician whowould. His pregnancy, he wrote, was "free of complications." Healthcomplications, maybe, but it would not be without other difficulties.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-More than a thousand people took part in the opposition's march staged onthe occasion of the 22nd Chernobyl accident anniversary in Minsk on April26. It was a first time in a history, when rainbow flag used onpolitical public event in Belarus. The crowd started gathering at the squarein front of the National Academy of Sciences at 2 p.m. and a short rallyfollowed. Leaders of opposition had did speeches. Sergey Androsenko, - leader of Gay Youth Association, stay with big rainbow flag in thecenter of crowd. Anarchists promise to protect gays on this event ifsomebody will try attack them. The crowd then walked some two miles onsidewalks from the square to a church built to commemorate Chernobyl victimsat the intersection between Arlowskaya and Karastayanavay Streets.

-Police raid LGBT organizations in Turkey, Kyrgyzstan by DOUG IRELAND
Police raids on gay organizations in the former Soviet republic ofKyrgyzstan and in Turkey have underscored the fragile position of LGBTpeoples in those two countries. On April 8 in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishek,police forced their way into the premises of the LGBT group Labrys, whichwas in the midst of hosting a dinner for 30 domestic and internationaladvocates. Members of the Kyrgyz Anti-AIDS Association and other localgroups were joined by international partners from organizations includingCOC, the Dutch LGBT association that is the world's oldest gay group, andGender Doc-M, an LGBT group in Moldova. Police threatened to arrest anyonewho did not produce identification papers, and proceeded to search theprivate files of Labrys. Founded in 2004, Labrys opened its social centerand library just two months ago as a safe meeting place for LGBTKyrgyzstanis as well as a shelter for transgenders and women who have beenvictims of violence.


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