Tuesday, April 08, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 8, 2008

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Washington Post
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-Kathie Lee and 'Today': Fluff and Nonsense
Kathie Lee Gifford does seem to have a self-deprecating sense of humor --her gala return to network television yesterday morning proved that -- butshe'd probably get plenty of deprecating even if she didn't. Newly installedas host of an unnecessary fourth hour of NBC's "Today" show, Gifforddisplayed again that certain something that invites either derision orhorror.

Express Gay News
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-Wedding expo tailored to same-sex couples
The word for it is lucky. That's how 24-year-old Rosemary Tran felt,wandering around this brand-new wedding world, with event planners andtuxedo rentals and freeze-dried flowers on display.

McGarry wants absences OK'd
Move would let students stay home to avoid protest for gay tolerance
School board member Kaye McGarry says she'll ask her colleagues to approveexcused absences for Charlotte-Mecklenburg students who stay home on theApril 25 "National Day of Silence," held to protest harassment ofhomosexuals.

-Heigl's flirting shame with gay co-star Knight
Katherine Heigl was shocked to find out her co-star and friend T.R Knightwas gay - because she had spent the show's pilot flirting with him.

-Homeless LGBT Youths Often Face Violent Life on the Streets Six months ago, 15-year-old Drew said he would have described himself as an "ordinary teenager." "I lived with my parents in a nice house in a good neighborhood in upstate New York," he said. "I got good grades at school, and my life was prettygreat."

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-Polls: Race Helps Clinton With Whites
(Washington) Add this to the divisive debate over race in the presidentialcampaign: Whites who said race was important in picking their candidate havebeen about twice as likely to back Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton than Sen.Barack Obama.

-McCain Behind In Fundraising
(Washington) Sen. John McCain raised more than $15 million in March for hispresidential campaign, a top performance for the likely Republican nomineethat still falls far short of the cash gathered by rival Democratic Sens.Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

-T-Shirt Ruling May Impact Day Of Silence
(Chicago, Illinois) Attorneys for both sides in a case involving anti-gayT-shirts are pressing for a speedy ruling from a federal appeals court, inadvance of this year's National Day of Silence.

-School Costume Event Draws Church Ire
(Reedsburg, Wisconsin) An elementary-school event in which kids wereencouraged to dress as members of the opposite gender drew the ire of aChristian radio group, whose angry broadcast prompted outraged calls to thedistrict office.

-Canadian PM Stands By MP Who Made Anti-Gay Remarks
(Ottawa) Prime Minister Stephen Harper is refusing to discipline aConservative MP over a vulgar anti-gay slur.

National Gay News
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-OUT's 50 Most Powerful Gays and Lesbians
OUT Magazine has published its list of the 50 most powerful gay and lesbiansin America. Note that Anderson Cooper is #4... though not officially out tothe American public. The rankings were determined by scoring each candidateon these criteria: (1) political clout; (2) pop-cultural resonance; (3)individual wealth; and (4) current personal profile.

-Gay HIV-Positive Veteran to Carry Olympic Torch
At least one of the 80 people who will carry the Olympic torch during itsstop in San Francisco next week will be a gay, HIV-positive Navy veteran.
John Caldera, 43, who serves on the city's Veterans Affairs Commission,revealed this week he has been tapped to carry the Olympic flame when itcomes to town Wednesday, April 9 as it makes its round-the-world trip aheadof the 2008 Summer Games, which take place August 8-24 in Beijing, China.

-Victim Calls Attack Hate Crime; Police Still Unsure
An assault that included anti-gay slurs is not being investigated as a hatecrime, Olympia, WA police said today. Carl Wittenbrink, 22, said he wasattacked outside the downtown Olympia YMCA last week.
The attacker swung a plastic grocery bag filled with something heavy atWittenbrink and called him an anti-gay slur while yelling and cursing athim, the victim said.

-Project Runway Switches Network, Sparks Lawsuit
Project Runway, cable's top-rated reality show, will make the move fromBravo to Lifetime effective this fall, Variety reported Monday. The show'sproducers, the Weinstein Company, signed a five-year deal with the women'snetwork. The move prompted Bravo to file a lawsuit in the New York supremecourt against the company.

Marriage Equality News
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-Ecuador: President Correa falls into political trap, accedes to right-wingdemands, says gay couples deserve some rights
Last week, US-based conservative religious web portal LifeSite posted anarticle championing Ecuadorian Assemblymember Rosanna Queirolo and herefforts "to preserve family values in the nation's constitution" Queirolohad launched a well-publicized effort to remove anti-gay discriminationprotections from Ecuador's constitution and to eliminate any access toabortion in a country that already bans them except in cases of rape orincest (it was those "in case of" instances that she also wanted toeliminate in part by establishing that life should be recognized by theconstitution at conception instead of at birth).

-It's becoming predictable every election season. California's anti-gaygroups are attempting to put a constitutional amendment banning same-sexmarriage on the November ballot. They presume Californians will agree withthem and flock to the polls, erasing years of progress.

-Usually, it's just the inevitable question that comes up as one completesthe mundane tasks of life, like rolling over a 401(k) or - as happened to melast week - while making an appointment with a new doctor: are you married.
Usually it's not so much a matter of life or death as it it just filling outa form. Usually, I take a deep breath and answer that I'm "partnered" orthat I'm "as married as I can be," which is immediately understood. Then wemove on to the next question. But there are a thousand different ways inwhich the answer to that question can impact our lives and our families,because we can't legally marry, and the law can't figure out what to do dowith us, or how to define us, and hasn't caught up with us as we forge aheadwith our lives, making commitments to each other, and creating our familiesas we go. In those cases, we don't often gee the benefit of the doubt.

Pink News - UK
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-Lesbian mums fight for legal rights in Israel
A Israeli lesbian couple have filed a suit in a Tel Aviv district court forthe right to both be named the biological parents of their newborn baby boy.
The case is exceptional as it is the first time that both partners in ahomosexual relationship have had an active and biological role in the birthof the child. After the woman who bore the child experienced fertilityproblems the couple decided that the other partner would conceive.
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-'God Hates Fags' sect could lose their church
A federal judge has ordered that the Westboro Baptist Church building andthe Phelps-Chartered Law office be taken away from the owners in order topay a $5 million (£2.54m) fine.
The church runs numerous websites such as GodHatesFags.com,
GodHatesAmerica.com and others expressing condemnation of lesbian, gay,bisexual, and transgender people, Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jews.
The religious organisation was ordered to pay the damages after members ofits congregation picketed the funeral of two American servicemen.
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-Hillary/Degeneres 08? Candidate talks gay with with Ellen
Kick-starting her appearance on Ellen with a campaign t-shirt touting"Degeneres/Clinton '08," Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton setthe tone for her light but topical appearance on the openly gay talk showhost's daytime chat fest. Ellen Degeneres sat down with Clinton to discusseverything from being a woman in the race for president to gay marriage.
True to form, Degeneres' visit with Clinton included the kitsch factor,including a 2008 Presidential survival kit and an audible "What" fromClinton when Degeneres announced that she is gay.
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-Lesbian politician's office "hid" taxpayer's money
The New York City Council Speaker's office has been accused of allocatingmillions of dollars to non-existent organisations and hoarding the money forredistribution to other groups favoured by council members. Christine Quinn,the first woman to hold the post, is expected to run for Mayor of the citynext year. She insists all taxpayer's money was used for legitimatepurposes. However, investigations by the US Attorney's Office and thecity's Department of Investigation are already underway.
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-MEP's Home Office meetings about gay Iranian
The President of the European Parliament´s Intergroup on Gay and LesbianRights is today holding a series of high level meetings with senior membersof the Home Office. Michael Cashman, who is one of two openly gay MEPs, ismeeting the government officials following the return to the UK of MehdiKazemi. "I trust that the UK government will do the right thing in relationto Mehdi," he said.
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-A touch of drag raises funds for Aberdeen's Rainbowfest
A glamourous event held last Friday in the Scottish city of Aberdeen raisedmore than £1,000 for for ainbowfest, the new lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender event for Aberdeen "City and Shire." Rainbowfeast was hosted bydrag artistes Lexy and The Lushettes. Rainbowfest is to be held on thebeach front at Queen's Links Aberdeen on Saturday 5th July, and organiserssaid they want it to be Scotland's biggest LGBT event yet.
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-Gay Jesus and Apostles removed from cathedral exhibition
A work of art by one of Vienna's most celebrated artists has been taken downafter offending members of the Catholic community. The painting is part of alarge collection of works that depict Jesus and his disciples engaging inhomosexual acts. To celebrate the 80th birthday of artist Alfred Hrdlicka,the gallery attached to St. Stephen's Catholic Cathedral decided to put on aretrospective of the artists work.
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-Suicide prisoner was victim of trans bullying
A woman who hanged herself in her prison cell with shoelaces had complainedthat she was being victimised and picked on by other inmates because she hadtransitioned from being a man. Lisa Woodhall was serving a four and halfyear sentence after she slashed the throat of her boyfriend's ex-lover.
Woodhall, who had undergone gender reassignment surgery in 2004, pleadedguilty to wounding with intent at Plymouth Crown Court in September 2005.
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-Driver and paparazzi blamed for death of Diana
An inquest that heard lurid rumours that Diana, Princess of Wales waspregnant and murdered at the behest of the British Royal Family hasconcluded that she was unlawfully killed. However, the jury of five men andsix women said the driver of the car that crashed in Paris on 31st August1997, Henri Paul, and the paparazzi who chased the vehicle into a tunnel,were to blame for her death. Diana died shortly after the crash, herboyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and driver Paul also died in the collision.
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-Poland approves Lisbon Treaty with rights opt-out
Both Houses of the Polish parliament have approved the Lisbon Treaty with anopt-out from the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights. The UK is theonly other nation in the 27-member EU to opt out of the charter, which islegally binding on EU institutions such as the European Court of Justice, aspart of the new Reform Treaty agreed by the EU heads of government inLisbon. The Lisbon treaty needed a two-thirds majority vote in the Polishparliament to become law.
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-Tatchell held during Olympic torch protests
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell was one of scores of people detainedby police as yesterday's parading of the Olympic torch through the streetsof London descended into chaos. Despite hundreds of police officers deployedon the streets there were repeated attempts to stop the 31-mile procession,as campaigners vented their anger at China's actions in Tibet and its widerrecord on human rights. At one point a man almost succeeded in grabbing thelit torch.
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-Interview: The vibrant support network for LGB soldiers
The issue of gay people serving in the Armed Forces still dividespoliticians in the US. For the rest of the countries in the NATO alliance,the claims and counter-claims about unit cohesion and the "influence" ofgays on fighting men seem like echoes from another time. The Dutch liftedtheir ban on gays in 1974, Australia followed in 1992 and Canada soon after.In 2008, most of the member nations of NATO have removed their bans.
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-Hillary Clinton repeats desire to end gay military ban
The policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which bars openly lesbian, bisexual orgay people from serving in the United States Armed Forces, will most likelyhave to be repealed by Congress, according to Hillary Clinton. The Senatorfrom New York was First Lady of the United States when the policy became lawin 1993. She is now running for the White House in her own right, and is oneof two candidates for the Democratic nomination for President.
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-Magistrate investigated after linking gay men to paedophiles
Comments made in a regional TV documentary about gay people in Wales has ledto an investigation into a local magistrate. Byron Butler, a former DeputyLord Lieutenant for Mid Glamorgan who has been on the bench for 30 years,spoke out on an edition of BBC Wales' Week In Week Out hosted by formerSteps singer Ian H Watkins. Mr Butler has voluntarily agreed not to sit as amagistrate during the investigation by the Advisory Committee on Justices ofthe Peace in Mid Glamorgan.
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-Obama challenged over lack of contact with gay press
One of America's most respected gay publications has accused Presidentialcandidate Barack Obama of disrespecting the "entire local LGBT press." Lastweek Philadelphia Gay News published an wide-ranging interview with hisrival for the Democratic nomination Senator Hillary Clinton, ahead of thePennsylvania primary later this month. In an Editorial Letter to Obama lastweek, PGN said that he has only spoken with the gay press twice.
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-Gay Iranian faces uncertain future back in UK
Mehdi Kazemi, a teenage Iranian who is fighting deportation to his homelandwhere he claims he faces execution for being gay, has returned to the UK. Hewas previously in a detention centre in Holland but was released on Fridayfrom a Rotterdam detention centre and returned to England. He is stayingwith his uncle. Mr Kazemi, 19, had unsuccessfully applied for asylum in theUnited Kingdom following the execution of his partner by Iranian authoritiesafter being found guilty of sodomy.
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-Death of screen icon who opposed gay equality
Legendary actor Charlton Heston died on Saturday at the age of 83. Theiconic actor of such films as Ben Hur and Soylent Green died at his home inBeverly Hills with his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston, by his side. Heston issurvived by son Fraser Clarke Heston, daughter Holly Ann Heston, and threegrandchildren. Heston's family released a statement on Saturday confirmingthe actor's death.
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Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-ILGA is proud to send you the 2008 version of its map on LGBTI rights inthe world on occasion of the federation's 30th anniversary. Founded in 1978,ILGA is now a federation of over 600 groups in over 90 countries campaigningfor lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights. To raiseawareness on the extent of State Sponsored Homophobia in the world, we'vecreated a few items (in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish) you maywant to use around you: - the map is accessible on www.ilga.org We encourageyou to publish it or have it published by your media contacts or forexhibition purposes. Thanks for mentioning ILGA's credits, should you useit.

-Taking On Polish Prez's Baiting
New Yorker Brendan Fay and his husband Tom Moulton, both gay activists, wereflown to Warsaw by Poland's private TVN television network this week for around of political meetings, press conferences, and interviews that havesubstantially advanced the discussion of LGBT rights there, according to aPolish gay activist. Fay and Moulton got sucked into Polish politics whenPresident Lech Kaczynski used footage of their 2003 wedding in Canada in aMarch 17 televised speech to the nation warning that adoption of theEuropean Union's Lisbon Treaty would compel Poland to recognize same-sexmarriages, which he linked to the end of "moral order." The Polishparliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt the treaty on April 2, an outcomethat New York-based Polish gay activist Daniel Domagala of the CampaignAgainst Homophobia, the leading LGBT rights group in Poland, said was goingto happen anyway. But the media frenzy that surrounded Fay and Moulton thisweek, from the moment they landed in Warsaw, certainly did not hurt thecause of gay visibility in Poland. "They gave a human face to the issue,"Domagala said.

-NGOs Slam HIV-Based Arrests and Trials
Doctors Helping Police Denounced for Breaching Medical Ethics, Human RightsAs five more men face trial in Cairo on April 9 in a widening and dangerouspolice crackdown on people living with HIV/AIDS, 117 organizations worldwideworking in the fields of health and human rights condemned the crackdown andthe participation of medical personnel. In a letter to the Health Ministryand the Egyptian Doctors' Syndicate
(http://hrw.org/english/docs/2008/04/07/egypt18439.htm), the groups, led byAmnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said that doctors who helpedinterrogate men jailed on suspicion of being HIV-positive violated their ownmedical ethics, and their conduct led to a breach of trust in a privileged relationship. "Doctors must put patients first, not join a witch-hunt drivenby prejudice," said Joe Amon, director of the HIV/AIDS program at HumanRights Watch. "Now more than 100 human rights groups are reminding Egyptiandoctors of the oath they took to respect patients' privacy, autonomy, andconsent. This is one of the oldest traditions of medical responsibility, aswell as an obligation under human rights law."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Apple's iTunes.ca Pulls Murder Music from its Online Store
TORONTO: In response to calls from Egale Canada and Stop Murder Music(Canada), iTunes has removed controversial murder music from its NorthAmerican markets. Anti-gay tracks by popular dancehall artists Buju Banton,Elephant Man and T.O.K are no longer available on the iTunes site. "Thisis an historic victory for the LGBT community here in Canada and in theCaribbean," says Akim Larcher founder of SMM (Canada), "iTunes isexercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music andraising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same."Thedecision comes as a result of calls from Egale Canadaand SMM requesting the removal of lyrical content which openly calls forthe violence and murder of gays and lesbians.

-Third Moscow Pride which will celebrate 15th Anniversary since
decriminalization of homosexual relations in Russia is getting close. As wasannounced before, this year Moscow Pride will take place on 30-31 May withthe public march planned for Saturday 31 May. Any of you who want to takepart is very welcome in Moscow. There is still plenty of time to plan yourtrip to Russia. Our friends from "Gay Liberation Network" in Chicagosuggested to organise public actions in support of third Moscow Pride onSaturday 17 May which will be the International Day Against Homophobia.

-Olympic torch ambushed in London
Bus halted, gay activist Tatchell arrested
"Gordon Brown colludes with China's tyrannical leaders" The bus bearing theOlympic torch was today ambushed outside Selfridges department store inOxford Street, London, by gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell ofOutRage! Mr Tatchell ran in front of the bus carrying the Olympic flame. Heheld up a placard which read: "Free Tibet, Free Hu Jia." He shouted the samewords as he ran along in front of the bus. The police wrestled Mr Tatchellto the ground, which delayed the bus briefly while he was removed topavement. After questioning, he was later released without charge.

-In Mexico, we have scheduled August 11 as the International Day of GlobalSolidarity 2008 and we have programed activities both in Mexico City andin the City of Cuernavaca on this day. More than 20 local organisationswill be participating this year, and we have the institutional support ofthe National Human Rights Comission of the Mexican Government.
We are already annoncing it locally under the name "Día de SolidaridadGlobal de las Diversidades". We wanted to ask you all today if anyone elsehas programed anything for this year, and if anyone has suggestions for ashared focus for global coordinated activities on the International Day ofGlobal Solidarity 2008.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-From H. Alexander Robinson of the National Black
Justice Coalition and NBJC Action Fund.
Although assassinated 40 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dreamcontinues to live throughout America and throughout the world. As an heirand a product of Dr. King's legacy and vision, the National Black JusticeCoalition strives to ensure that Kingian principles are applied in ourefforts to end racism and heterosexism and gender bias. Dr. King's focusupon non-violence in order to enact change is a focus of NBJC. Sadly, westill live in a world where we are inundated with reports of anti-gayviolence against the LGBT community. For this reason NBJC's mission is tocreate a world where all people can live openly, honestly in all aspects oflife. Instead of fighting community violence with violence or with fieryrhetoric, NBJC's Kingian response has led us back to the source; a belovedcommunity needing knowledge, conversation and theological understanding ontopics dealing with sexuality and masculinity within a culturally relevantcontext.

- VIENNA (Reuters) - They knew it would be risky to exhibit a homoeroticversion of Christ's Last Supper, but curators at museum of Vienna's RomanCatholic Cathedral weren't ready for a barrage of angry messages and callsto be shut down.

-A Conference at Yale University, February 20-21, 2009
Organized by the Yale Research Initiative on the History of SexualitiesKenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising (1963), Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures(1963), and Andy Warhol's Chelsea Girls (1966) are widely regarded as someof the most important and influential films of postwar underground cinema.
But cinema studies has only recently begun to take seriously the fact thatAnger, Smith, and Warhol were gay filmmakers whose films developed a queeraesthetic to explore questions of queer subjectivity and world-making.
Moreover, the field has still barely registered the fact that they were notjust brilliant auteurs working in isolation but were enmeshed in andinfluenced by a larger circle of mostly New York-based queer filmmakers,performers, writers, and artists.

Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Penn among the diversified list of collegesWHAT: Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Penn among the nearly fifty colleges whowill be in attendance at the gay-friendly college fair hosted by Camps Pridethis Friday, April 11 on the campus of University of California San Diego.
The fair is designed specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender(LGBT) and straight ally youth and their families who want to find campusescommitted to LGBT people. The event is in coordination with theLGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index (www.campusclimateindex.org), the onlyonline resource of its kind, which rates LGBT-friendliness at colleges anduniversities. More information online at www.campusclimateindex.org/events.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Oklahoma policy debates help mold state's global image
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Oklahoma lawmakers are no strangers to makingheadlines.Recently, it's been legislation targeting illegal immigrants,making English the state's official language and allowing some collegestudents to carry guns in classrooms.

-Panama: National Police Chief says gays can serve as law enforcementofficers
Although we have no access to the original radio interview that wasbroadcast yesterday at Panama's La Exitosa radio station, Critica says thatRolando Mirones (right), the chief of the National Police, told listenersthat gays could join the police department as long as they followed theConstitution, the law and the regulations as part of their service.

-Conservative: Romney 'unacceptable' as VP
WASHINGTON, April 6 (UPI) -- A group of conservatives has taken out an adurging presumptive Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain not totap Mitt Romney as his running mate.

-Adoption bill to be heard by Senate Judiciary Committee this week
TEP urges community to contact state legislators
A bill that would ban unmarried, cohabiting couples from adopting childrenwill be heard by Tennessee's Senate Judiciary Committee on either Tuesday at3:30 p.m. and/or Wednesday at 8:00 a.m.

-Closing the door on a hero
Military gay ban isolates and silences some of our nation's bravest
When Army Maj. Alan G. Rogers died in combat last January, editors at hislocal newspaper, The Washington Post, were unsure how much of his biographyto tell.

-Lavin Speaks Of God's Love and Acceptance of GLBT Persons
Victoria Lavin, of Beatrice, spoke April 2nd at French Memorial Chapel onthe Campus of Hastings College, about her experiences as a ChristianLesbian. Her message was strong and clear that being Christian is in no wayincompatible with being gay; she was made gay by God for a purpose, and "Goddoesn't make junk."

-Straight Man's Liberation
Whenever I walk into a room-whether for class, a club, a meeting, oranything, really-I can usually count on feeling a certain level of anxiety.
I'm usually worried, consciously and unconsciously, about having to interactwith straight men. Suddenly, my demeanor changes, my tone deepens, mymannerisms become more "masculine," and I generally feel vulnerable. When Iam dealing with a straight male authority figure-from an academic adviser toa rabbi-something about me feels more self-conscious, more careful, and lesssure of myself. Where I might engage a woman or a gay person, I hold backand distance myself from a straight man. Out of all my friends from highschool and college, I can count almost no straight men, and though this iscertainly not the case for everyone, I know many people who express similarfeelings.

-The Sins of Sodom
Though it may sound perverse, I get excited whenever religious
fundamentalists speak up during the Q&A portion of my public events. Whilefundamentalists are hardly a dying breed, they seldom participate in suchfunctions. And though I find their silence generally pleasing, it does robme of what we college professors like to call "teaching moments."

-Gay Catholics to Demonstrate During Pope's U.S. Visit
DignityUSA will sponsor a series of public events and witnesses during PopeBenedict XVI's pastoral visit to the United States April 15-20. Events willbe held in both Washington, D.C. and New York City. The oldest and mostprogressive organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgenderCatholics, DignityUSA has fifty chapters and local contacts in every state.

-Mormon Church Agrees To Meet With Gay Members' Group
SALT LAKE CITY - After decades of silence, Mormon church officials haveagreed to meet with a gay Mormon support group that has sought to forgeunderstanding between the faith's leaders and its gay members.

-Walls close in on Phelpses
Judge orders liens on church building, law office
A federal judge in Maryland on Thursday ordered liens on the WestboroBaptist Church building and the Phelps-Chartered Law office.

-Judges to decide students' appeal over anti-gay T-shirt
CHICAGO -- A three-judge panel heard testimony Friday in a Naperville highschool student's appeal to wear a T-shirt expressing opposition tohomosexuality.


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