Saturday, May 10, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 10, 2008

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Washington Post
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-A Shaky Performance on Corrections
The Post's approach to corrections is not consistent: Some run promptly,others are resisted, a few go astray. And top editors are not looking fortrends in the statistics kept on corrections.

Express Gay News
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-Fight over gay divorce moves to R.I. Superior Court
Another hearing scheduled for June 12

-Gay residents say they're happy but not carefree
Survey's respondents report threats, intolerance

-McCain Stays Silent On Hagee's Homophobic Slur
Earlier this week, right wing pastor John Hagee, a supporter of Sen. JohnMcCain (R-AZ), re-embraced his oft-repeated belief that Hurricane Katrinarepresented "the curse of God" for the sins of New Orleans. Though the mediahave put McCain on the spot over Hagee's characterization of the CatholicChurch as "the Great Whore," they have been reticent to press McCain onHagee's homophobic comments.

-Pa. Gov. Rendell marches in Pride parade
Just this week, Pennsylvania killed an amendment that would ban gaymarriage. Now, Gov. Ed Rendell will march in a Pride parade in New Hope onMay 17.

-Lawrence King Deserved To Die
While the defense lawyer in the Lawrence King shooting decided to take themost disgusting route possible -- it was in fact, Larry's fault for beingopen about himself and the school's efforts to support him that got himkilled.

-Gay Rights After Clinton
Kevin at Chris Crain's blog describes what the Clintons did to gay rights:
A lot of tripe is thrown around about gay Republicans in the gay media, andhas been for over a decade. But not enough has been written about the toxicimpact that Clintonism has wrought on the gay community and its politicalleadership. The cravenness of it, the poisonous combination of raisinghopes with glistening promises, and dashing them at the first sign ofpolitical risk -- all the while shifting the blame to others -- has donemore to destroy what was once a potentially powerful movement than anythinga small band of hapless, closeted gay Republicans on Capitol Hill (now"cleansed" for the most part) could ever have done. [...]

-A Bet on McCain's Share of the Gay Vote
Right after posting my piece, John McCain & the Gay Vote, I e-mailedWashington Blade Editor Kevin Naff encouraging him to link it on the Blade'sBlogwatch. Readily assenting, he alerted me to a post he had just posted onthe presidential election.

-Grey's Anatomy Shows America How Gay Men Really Kiss
Last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy featured a subplot that saw twohandsome active duty military men engaging in a steamy and prolongedhospital bed kiss as the unloved Dr. Grey looked on with tearful envy.

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-25 Years After Discovery Of HIV Search For Vaccine Goes On
The despair that set in after the failure of the latesteffort to develop an AIDS vaccine has given way to a renewed determinationon the part of the scientific community, says the Canadian scientist leadingan international effort to maximize global activity in the field.

-Conservative Law Group Urges Pastors To Break IRS Ban On Partisan Politics
Conservative legal advocates are recruiting pastorsnationwide to defy an IRS ban on preaching about politicians, in a challengethey hope will abolish the restriction.

-Prison Boss: Sex Change Poses Security Risk
Allowing a convicted killer to get a sex-changeoperation would pose insurmountable safety and security problems for thestate prison system, the Massachusetts corrections chief said.

-RI Lesbian Divorce Case Back In Court
A lesbian seeking a divorce has returned to courtdespite a ruling by Rhode Island Supreme Court that said same-sex divorcecannot be decided by Family Court.

-Australian Territory Passes Scaled Down Civil Unions Bill
The Australian Capital Territory has passed legislation creatingcivil unions for gay and lesbian couples, but without a provision that wouldallow for couples to have ceremonies after the federal government it wouldveto the bill if the section remained in the legislation.

-Arraignment Delayed In Gay Teen Murder Case
The arraignment of a 14-year old charged with murder inthe shooting of a gay classmate has been postponed until June so that hislawyer can prepare a motion challenging the constitutionality of chargingthe youth as an adult.

-Deal Reached In McGreevey Custody Battle
Former Gov. James E. McGreevey and his estrangedwife have settled custody issues for their only child as they moved closerto dissolving their marriage, their lawyers said.

-Obama Welcomed As Mr President At US Capitol
Sen. Barack Obama got a front-runner's welcome back at theCapitol, pressing congressional "superdelegates" to support him in a visitthat had the look and feel of a campaign victory lap.

-Obama: McCain Losing His Bearings
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says thatRepublican rival John McCain tried to smear him and was "losing hisbearings" with the suggestion that Hamas preferred Obama for president.

-Cindy McCain Would Never Release Her Tax Returns
Cindy McCain says she will never make her tax returns publiceven if her husband wins the White House and she becomes the first lady.

The Advocate
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-McGreeveys Reach Deal on Custody Issues in Divorce Case
The former governor of New Jersey, who resigned over a gay affair, and hisestranged wife settled custody issues for their only child on Thursday asthey moved closer to dissolving their marriage, their lawyers said.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Tying the Knot: Tasteful Weddings Can be Done on Any Budget
As an event designer and caterer, I have seen countless vow exchanges overthe past 22 years. And as a single man seeking my Prince Charming, I oftenthink about my own wedding day celebration. The tradition of exchanging vowsduring a ceremony is an old and honored custom. A commitment ceremony withreception is becoming an increasingly popular choice among the GLBTcommunity. It is our right to commit our lives to each other and allow thosewe love to witness and rejoice in that moment.

-GLBT Individuals Will not be Able to Donate Blood in Poland
Homosexuals and bisexuals will not be allowed to donate blood. A ban to thiseffect is planned by the National Blood Center. The idea evoked strongprotests on part of gay circles but is supported by many doctors who claimthat homosexuals forget about the safety of patients who may receive theirblood.

Marriage Equality News
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-Mayoral challenger Kevin Johnson has riled Sacramento's gay community withhis statement at a televised candidate forum that "marriage is between a manand a woman." It hit me like a brick," said Gretchen Bender, vice-presidentof the Sacramento County Board of Education and the first open lesbianelected to public office in the county. "I've been working with Kevin onthis issue. But, based on that comment at the forum, I now think he isacting on religious grounds, and he is not ready to lead this city." Benderand a half-dozen other local gay and lesbian leaders held a news conferenceThursday to express their concern about Johnson's statement.

-A judge yesterday said she needs to know more before deciding whether toask the state Supreme Court if the Superior Court may grant Rhode Island'sfirst same-sex divorce. In December, the Supreme Court ruled that FamilyCourt lacked jurisdiction to grant a divorce to two Providence women -Margaret R. Chambers and Cassandra B. Ormiston - who married in Fall Riverin 2004, shortly after Massachusetts became the first state to issuemarriage licenses to same-sex couples.

-Many of us remember 2004 as the year that presidential politics reached itslow point. It was the year that the Swift Boat vets made the argument thatit was more patriotic to avoid combat than it was to volunteer for it. Itwas also the year of Proposal 2. Proposal 2 was the amendment to the stateconstitution that legally defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Atthe time, the argument was forwarded that it was an entirely pointlessamendment, since state law already defined marriage. Undeterred, supportersfirst tried to get the thing through the state Legislature, and then tookthe opportunity to put it on the November ballot, a nice little wedge issuethat nearly carried the state for George Bush.

-Lansing lawyer Eric Doster is a busy fellow. Besides serving as corporatecounsel to the state Republican Party and running for a seat on the stateCourt of Appeals, he represented the coalition of religious activists wholed the successful crusade to ban same-sex marriage in Michigan. Accordingto the state Supreme Court's Republican majority, Doster is also a bit of afibber.

Pink News - UK
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-EU backs religious discrimination against gay teachers
Trade union groups in the Republic of Ireland have expressed their dismay ata ruling by the European Commission confirming that church schools can sackteachers who are openly gay.
No charges over photos of teenage athletes on gay porn sites
Prosecutors in Orange County, California have announced they will not bringany charges against two men who took pictures of teenage water polo playerswhich were then posted on gay porn sites.

-Canberra gay couples can register, but no ceremony
Australia's federal government has been accused of "playing to the politicsof the extreme right religious lobby" after it forced the country's CapitalTerritory (ACT) government to water down plans to legally recognise same-sexcouples.

-Movie mogul demands Dem "revote" in Florida and Michigan
Hollywood heavy-hitter and ardent supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton,Harvey Weinstein threatened to hit Congressional Democrats in the walletunless US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave him the go-ahead to financerevotes in Florida and Michigan.

-One in five US gays and lesbians writes a blog
According to a recent survey of Americans conducted by Harris Interactive,gay and lesbian adults online are reading and writing more blogs than theirheterosexual counterparts.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-I need your advice and suggestion. I am writing a book about my experiencein Iran as a gay man. How I found out about my sexual orientation and whatwas I suffered. This book is mostly on base of my memorial and my challengesin Iran. I need to find an agent for publishing and/or deal with publishersand an editor. Do you have any idea who can I find and contact them? Do youhave any connection? Please reply to my email address:

Spinning Wheels By Deb Price
I'm not a big game show watcher. But I do know that you get to spin bigwheels on The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune. Sometimes you hit thejackpot, sometimes you land in a good spot and sometimes you get skunked.
And, that's exactly what it's like fighting for lesbian and gay marriageequality. With three spins of the wheel this week, we landed in two decentspots and got skunked once. Out in California, while folks are waiting onpins and needles for the state's highest court to decide on the legality ofsame sex marriage, the state's Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that thatwhen it comes to believing you were in a registered domestic partnership youhave the same rights and responsibilities as straights who thought they werelegally married.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Update from Soulforce
American Family Outing to Six Mega-Churches Has Begun
1. LGBT Families to Host Families from Lakewood Church on Mother's DayWeekend
2. Next Weekend: Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter's House
3. Mother, Trans Son Embark on Soulforce Journey
4. Soulforce Needs You to Sponsor One or More Families

-Proud 'Mama's Boys'How gay men alternately reject and embrace a dubiouslabel
Antroine "Tron" Majette says he's probably more of a grandmother's boy. "Shespoiled me more," he says with a laugh. Now 27, Majette says he knows aboutthe stigma some gay boys face in school by being called "mama's boy." But he never had to deal with such labelsgrowing up. Raised by his single mother and grandmother, Majette says theywere his mentors, and he wasn't ashamed to be close to them. "I never had todeal with [teasing], not at all," he says. "I'm black, so maybe it'sdifferent for me. I am a mama's boy. I love my mom. She taught meeverything I know." Majette now works for Sprint in Atlanta while alsoserving as the CEO and founder of, a website that promotes urban gay events acrossthe nation. He came out to his mother when he was 18. At first, she wasuneasy with her son's sexual orientation, but he says she was supportive,they remain close, and she became even more welcoming as he got older.

-Q&A: Doctors on Puberty-Delaying Treatments, May 8, 2008 . A small group of doctors around the world haveintroduced a controversial approach to the treatment of preteens andteenagers who believe they are the opposite sex.Right before puberty begins,they prescribe children hormone-blocking medication. This allows the childto continue growing without developing physical characteristics such asbreasts, facial hair or Adam's apples. Later, the child can elect to resumetheir natural puberty development or can begin a gender transition by takingthe sex hormones of the opposite sex.

-We, participants of the 7th Moldovan LGBT pride "Rainbow over the Dniester"protest over the decision of the Chisinau city hall to ban the peacefulpublic manifestation in support of tolerance an non-discrimination inMoldovan society, organized by NGO "GenderDoc-M". The manifestation wasplanned for 11th of May 2008 at 11:00 am, and we have decided to proceedwith our plans despite the city hall ban. The latter is unlawful, asaccording to Moldovan laws only the court can prohibit a march, and not alocal authority. Moreover, in 2007 the Supreme Court has found a similardecision of the city hall as violating Constitution and the EuropeanConvention for Human Rights. It is already sixth time that a peaceful LGBTdemonstration is banned in Moldova, despite pressure and criticism of theCouncil of Europe, European Union and the Organisation for Security andCooperation in Europe.

-Verizon Shareholders Vote Down Protections Based On Gender Identity AndExpression
Verizon LogoA shareholder proposal to amend Verizon Communications Inc.'swritten equal employment policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination basedon gender identity was voted down May 1, but backers of the plan say theywere encouraged by the amount of support it got, and the group that proposedthe resolution will bring it back next year. Preliminary results showedthat the resolution, which was opposed by the company's board of directors,won 17 percent of shareholder approval. It takes 3 percent for a proposal tocome back, which it achieved. According to Alberto Canal, of Verizon mediarelations, more than 2 billion votes werecast. Canal said the company has 340 employees in the Bay Area. I believethe most disgusting piece of news from the Bay Area Reporter piece was theposition of the LGBT employee group at Verizon (emphasisadded): When asked about the board's stance on the resolution, Verizon'sCanal reiterated the company's "zero tolerance" policy. He also said thatGLOBE, the company's LGBT employee resource group, supported the position.
As a customer that identifies as transgender and transsexual, next monthI'll be cancelling my service with Verizon -- no matter what the financialcost. I won't do business with a company where even its LGBT group won'tsupport a written policy of employment equality for its transgenderemployees.

-Killer Gay Sex!
The clueless tabloid and public health hysteria over man-on-man sex may behindering HIV prevention efforts. From an imaginary "super strain" of HIV tothe sci-fi MRSA superbug: What is it about gay sex that makes U.S. healthofficials want to play Chicken Little with AIDS prevention and publicsafety?

-This week in the Bay Windows:

-This week in Washington Blade

-Talking Taboo with Obama at 30,000 Feet
PORTLAND, ORE. -- So this is what a presidential candidate in thehomestretch toward his party's nomination looks like. Barack Obama, who hasgenerally avoided spending more time than he needs to fraternizing with thereporters and photographers on his tail, last night retreated to the presssection of his plane for an unlikely and potentially risky event: anextended game of Taboo. The game, as some readers may know, is aword-association variation on charades: A player draws a card with a word,name or phrase on it and must then, under time pressure, offer a definitionto draw his teammates into identifying the mystery term, but withoutresorting to five "taboo" words listed on the card.

-Trustees of the University of Southern Indiana willvoting tomorrow, Saturday, May 10th, on a proposal to offer domestic partnerhealth care benefits to university faculty and staff. With this vote, USIwill join a growing number of public and private employers across thecountry that recognize domestic partner benefits as an inexpensive option toattract and retain the best employees and to promote fairness and equalityin the workplace. Ball State University, Butler University, DePauwUniversity, Indiana University, Indiana State University, IndianaUniversity-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University, and theUniversity of Notre Dame, provide similar benefits, along with a majority ofthe Fortune 500 companies andmany major Indiana corporations, including Abbott Diagnostics, Cummins, DowAgroScience, Eli Lilly & Company, Guidant Corporation, Hill Rom Company,National Collegiate Athletic Association, and WellPoint.

-Jewish OutLook, a South African organisation that caters for the Jewishlesbian, gay, transgendered and intersex (LGBT) community, requested anofficial position to be adopted by the Psychological Society of South Africa(PsySSA) in relation to reparative therapy for 'treatment' of sexualorientation. This request follows several attempts in the last two years bya religious organisation to promote such therapies in the Jewish communitynewspaper, the 'Jewish Report' to which Jewish OutLook has been responding(see latest JONAH example attached). The outcome was this letter (seeattached) published in the week of 28 April 2008 in the Jewish Report wherePsySSA rejects reparative therapy and treatment of homosexuality as an'illness'. Written by Dr Juan Nel at the request of PsySSA in his capacityas PsySSA representative on INET (the International Network for Lesbian, Gayand Bisexual Concerns and Gender Identity Issues in Psychology), theresponse can thus be considered as a further indication that organisedPsychology in South Africa is willing to endorse a LGBT-affirmativeposition.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-First out black man elected in Virginia
Lawrence Webb won his race for the Falls Church, Va., City Council, becomingthe first out black man to win election to public office in the history ofthe Commonwealth of Virginia. Washington Blade (5/7) , Falls Church (Va.)News-Press (5/8)

-Mich. Supreme Court rules against health benefits for gay partners
The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled local governments and stateuniversities cannot offer health insurance to partners of gay workers. Theeffect of the ruling is unclear, however, because after an appellate courtsupported a gay marriage ban, universities changed their health insuranceeligibility policies to read "other qualified adults" rather than domesticpartners. Google/Associated Press (5/8)

-Alabama close to final passage of hate-crimes bill
A measure to add sexual orientation to the Alabama hate-crimes law hascleared the state Senate Judiciary Committee and could receive a vote on May19, the final day of this legislative session. The bill got the go-ahead onTuesday from the state House. WRCB TV Channel 3 (Chattanooga,Tenn.)/Associated Press (5/8)

-McCain fails to speak out against Hagee's anti-gay views
When asked by Fox News talk-show host Bill O'Reilly whether he agreed withthe alleged anti-gay and anti-Catholic views of right-wing pastor JohnHagee, likely Republican presidential nominee John McCain took exceptiononly to the anti-Catholic comments reportedly made by Hagee, according tothis blog posting. Read more at

-Retired NBA player continues off-court work against homophobia
Out retired NBA player John Amaechi continues to help bring attention to theproblem of homophobia in sports, and to draw distinctions between his mostlypositive coming out and that of the British soccer star Justin Fashanu,whose 1990 coming out was greeted with derision by fans and players,according to blogger Rod McCullom. Fashanu reportedly committed suicide in1998. Read more at Rod 2.0.


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