Monday, May 12, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 12, 2008

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-Irish Lesbian Writer Nuala O'Faolain Dies
Nuala O'Faolain - a journalist and feminist who gained international famewith her outspoken 1996 memoir "Are You Somebody?'' - has died of lungcancer, weeks after revealing her illness on state radio. She was 68.

-Obama: From Political Obscurity To Verge Of History
The amazement was on their faces. Hundreds waited for Barack Obama on thatevening in South Carolina, 15 weeks ago, to claim victory - a surprisingvictory, surprisingly large.

-Clinton Outwardly Confident As Hopes Dim
Hillary Rodham Clinton was just warming up the crowd in a cramped and muggymiddle school gymnasium when she switched her pronouns.

-25 Years After Discovery Of HIV Search For Vaccine Goes On
The despair that set in after the failure of the latest effort to develop anAIDS vaccine has given way to a renewed determination on the part of thescientific community, says the Canadian scientist leading an internationaleffort to maximize global activity in the field.

-Conservative Law Group Urges Pastors To Break IRS Ban On Partisan Politics
Conservative legal advocates are recruiting pastors nationwide to defy anIRS ban on preaching about politicians, in a challenge they hope willabolish the restriction.

-Prison Boss: Sex Change Poses Security Risk
Allowing a convicted killer to get a sex-change operation would poseinsurmountable safety and security problems for the state prison system, theMassachusetts corrections chief said.

The Advocate
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-The Believers
Three years after the furor over a teenage boy who was forcibly sent to oneof its camps, the ex-gay movement may be losing steam. Meanwhile, ex-gaysurvivors are gaining strength. But are the two groups really thatdifferent? Tim Murphy finds out.

Pink News - UK
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-How will the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill benefit lesbians?
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill aims to make it easier forlesbian couples to access NHS fertilisation services and ensure that alesbian or gay couple can become the legal parents of their children.

-Belgian surgeons to perform Cuba's gender reassignment operations
The head of Cuba's National Centre for Sexual Education, Mariela Castro, hasrevealed that 30 gender reassignment operations have been approved.

-We don't want gay blood, says Polish MP saved by transfusion
Poland's Blood Donation Centre is considering a ban on blood donations fromgay men. Doctors at the centre said they are not prejudiced, but think theban will reduce the risk of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis.

-Plight of gay asylum seekers to be highlighted on IDAHO
Details of more events marking the International Day Against Homophobia havebeen announced.

-AIDS charity wants compulsory sex education about condom use
The National AIDS Trust has released a new survey that found 49% of Britishpeople do not always use a condom with a new sexual partner.

-Police look on as fascists attack gays at Moldova's banned Pride
Lesbian and gay activists in Moldova have begged the European Union and theCouncil of Europe to intervene after their attempt to hold a Pride event atthe weekend was banned and then blocked by police inaction and violence.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Hidden Gay Life of Macho Hip Hop Stars
American rap music is an industry ruled by machismo. It is a place wherereputations are made by shady pasts, the aura of violence andultra-masculinity. But now an explosive new book is lifting the lid on oneof hip hop's most unexpected secrets: that many people in the business aregay. Terrance Dean, a former executive at music channel MTV, has penned amemoir of his life and times in the hip hop industry as a gay man. It is anexplosive exposé of a thriving gay subculture in an aggressively malebusiness, where anti-gay lyrics and public homophobia are common.

Marriage Equality News
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-Wednesday's ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court striking down benefitsfor domestic partners at public institutions verifies a fairly obvious,straight-forward reading of the state constitution. The ruling exposes, too,the obvious deceit of some who sold the 2004 marriage amendment to thepublic as merely an attempt to ban gay marriage in Michigan. In fact, it didmuch more. The result is detrimental to the reputation of a state thatshould be open and inclusive of all, including gay and lesbian people. Thedecision certainly hurts those who will lose their health care, or be unableto obtain any, because of it. Too, it hamstrings universities and otherpublic employers in recruiting world-class thinkers and researchers. Theunfortunate truth is that a majority on the court, and probably the state,don't seem to care. [...] The marriage amendment, enacted by a solid votermajority, reads: "To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for oursociety and for future generations of children, the union of one man and onewoman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage orsimilar union for any purpose."

-When Tracey Arledge worked for the University of Michigan, she had thechance to sign up her lesbian partner and their three children for healthbenefits through her employer. Now, she said, a new high court ruling thatderailed the practice could mean an unintended hit to the pocketbook fortaxpayers if same-sex couples are forced off employer-based health plans andinto state-supported coverage.

-On Sunday night's season finale of the ABC show, "Brothers and Sisters,"the characters "Kevin" and "Scotty" got married -- in what was billed as thefirst gay marriage on a network television drama. In Maryland, a push tolegalize gay marriage has stalled in Annapolis -- and in Marylandcourtrooms. Right now, no form of same-sex marriage is recognized by statelaw. Some people want to overturn the law; others want to make it evenstronger by placing into the state's constitution. State Delegate Don DwyerJr. has no doubt what the producers of "Brothers and Sisters" were trying todo with the marriage of "Kevin and Scotty." "It's clearly to normalize andbuild social acceptance for the issue on a national basis," Del. Dwyer said.

-Get out. Organize. Care.
Strengthened by controversy over a proposition that could glue a gaymarriage ban into the Florida constitution, community activists put on aworkshop Sunday about the importance of getting involved.
The weekend's two-day training session, which attracted dozens of people tothe Courtyard by Marriott on Cypress Creek Road, was run by the Human RightsCampaign, the nation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civilrights organization. The program was part of a national event to helpencourage volunteers to elect candidates the organization considers to befair-minded, and defeat discriminatory ballot measures.

-When Michigan voters headed to the polls in 2004 to decide the fate of aproposed amendment to the state Constitution, they were told the followingby its lead proponent: "(This) has nothing to do with taking benefits away.
This is about marriage between a man and a woman," said Marlene Elwell,campaign director of Citizens for the Protection of Marriage. Citizens forthe Protection of Marriage's Web site declared the group's purpose was "fordefining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Period." And itsbrochure told voters: "This is not about rights or benefits or how peoplechoose to live their life."

-When Phil Miatkowski created an online group to support civil unionlegislation in Illinois, it was meant to be just an easy way to keep friendsinformed. A year later, the group on the social networking site Facebookhas swelled to nearly 9,000 members. The legislation's sponsor sought theirhelp to lobby for the measure which would be the first of its kind in thestate. And they've generated thousands of faxes and e-mails to statelawmakers, organized rallies and circulated petitions. "Every time I logon, it's getting larger, so it's exciting to see," said Miatkowski, a LakeForest College sophomore.

By Deb Price
Mich. court condones misleading ballot tactics
When Michigan voters headed to the polls in 2004 to decide the fate of aproposed amendment to the state Constitution, they were told the followingby its lead proponent:
"(This) has nothing to do with taking benefits away. This is about marriagebetween a man and a woman," said Marlene Elwell, campaign director ofCitizens for the Protection of Marriage.

From Waymon Hudson
President of Fight OUT Loud

-Apologies if you receive multiple copies of this message, but better toomany than your missing this important announcement. If you have not alreadyheard, a dangerous thing happened this week that poses a very serious threatto the transgender and allied community, and could potentially impactlesbian, gay, bisexual, and allied people as well. The AmericanPsychological Association (APA) recently appointed Dr. Kenneth Zucker tochair the task force responsible for updating of mental health language andtreatment of diagnoses such as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) for theupcoming DSM-V (Diagnostics and Statistics Manual, Fifth Edition).
Don't let his recent appearance on NPR sounding like a nice guy fool you. Ata time when the American Medical Association (AMA) is supporting stoppingdiscriminating against and stigmatizing transgender people, Dr. Zucker is awidely recognized proponent of reparation ("ex-gay") and aversion therapyfor children and youth. These techniques have been proven to be ineffectiveat best and--more often--severely damaging to the mental health of peoplewho are LGB or T.
Dr. Zucker holds the fate of our young people in his hands. WE MUST ALL TAKEACTION to remove Dr. Zucker as well as his cronies from this all-importantAPA working group, based upon his approach to clinical treatment oftransgender and gender non-conforming identity in children & youth. Pleasesign this petition to remove the most outrageous members from the DSM-V GIDcommittee, and then the link on to everyone you know:
http://www.thepetit petition/ 412001300

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Cuba will mark world day against homophobia
Havana, May 5th. Next Saturday the 17th, Cuba will mark, world day ofstruggle against homophobia for the second time. This is no longer asmall gathering of interested people, like last year, but a broadpublic program, the National Center for Sexual Education (Cenesex)reported.
It could be called a public "coming out of the closet" celebration.
On Monday, Cenesex put on its website ( ) a callfor activities "aimed at displaying and combating all kinds ofdiscrimination, based on sexual orientation and gender identity. "
A year ago, Cenesex recalled the date with a movie-discussionsession, with the showing of the film Boys Don't Cry (KimberlyPierce, 1999), based on the true story of a transsexual girl. But theturnout at the downtown cinema 23 y 12 was small, less than a hundredpeople, mostly participants in some of CENESEX sexual diversityprograms.

-Today participants in the 7th Moldovan Pride were precluded from marching peacefully in support of anti-discrimination legislation and tolerance in the centre of Chisinau. Police did not guarantee the right to freedom of assembly. Large aggressive coordinated groups, including extremist religious groups, members of the neo-fascist movement "New Right", and legionnaires blocked the bus with participants, forced the door, violently hit the windows, and attempted to remove the engine, while shouting "lets get them out and beat them up". The police distanced itself from the events by taking the role of passive observers. GenderDoc-M has informed local authorities and the ministry of internal affairs as early as 21st of April about the route of the march, and asked for protection. The law on freedom of assembly of Moldova guarantees peaceful assembly to everyone, and puts an obligation on the police to guarantee the exercise of the right and the safety of participants. The police did not facilitate the exit of pride participants from the bus into the street, did not side out the rival aggressive groups from intervention, and through their passivity encouraged escalation of violence and the built up of the all-permissive hostile atmosphere.
Independent human rights observers witnessed hatred shouts, such as "Beat them to death", "Don't let them escape". No medical emergency was foreseen.
You can find more photos from Moldovan Pride here:

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Gay Blood Ban Protests: England, N. Ireland, USA
University of Bradford students have converged on the city's blood donorcentre to call for donation not discrimination'.
The students, members of the University's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and TransSociety, say the current National Blood Service policy, which bans gay andbisexual men from giving blood for life, is archaic and should be reviewed.
Yesterday's protest was part of a campaign by the National Union of Students(NUS), which believes the policy of asking men if they have ever hadunprotected sex with another man is homophobic.
The campaign, outside the blood donor centre in Rawson Road, saw studentsencouraging friends, fellow students and passers-by to donate blood in placeof the district's gay and bisexual men.
Student Josh Bradley, 19, was one of those protesting. He said: "We had areally successful day and handed out about 150 leaflets.
"We got eight people to give blood for us, seven of whom were first timedonors. We have also managed to collect 72 signatures on our petitioncampaigning for an end to the ban."
Josh said the policy was homophobic because it did not take into accountwhether sex was protected or how long ago sexual activity took place.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Pant: Maoist attitudes are changing toward sexual and gender minorities
Sunil Babu Pant, a gay man who recently made history by winning a seat inNepal's parliament, recently gave an interview to Gay City News about hiselection and the country's changing attitude toward the LGBT community.

-Ken Hambleton: Thompson rebuilding her life again
Ten years of running the streets, shooting up meth, dangling between lifeand the twilight of drug addiction can be measured in feet.
Tressa Thompson threw the shot put 48 feet, 2 inches and finished ninth atthe Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., two weeks ago. That's about 13 feetshort of her career best in 1998. It's also about six feet short ofqualifying for the United States trials in late June in Eugene, Ore.

-Same-sex kissing not a 'Greek' myth
There must be something queer in the airwaves this month, as dudes on TV arecoming out, locking lips, and pledging commitments all up and down theprogramming schedule. First there was the Noah/Luke kiss on "As The WorldTurns." Then there was the proposal leading to the upcoming "Brothers andSisters" wedding. Earlier this week, there was the gay character coming outon "Gossip Girl." Last night there was both a gay soldier plot line on"Grey's Anatomy" and a brief "gay bomb" plot line on "30 Rock." And now, ourpop culture-focused buddies at AfterElton are letting us know that Calvinand Michael, two characters on the ABC Family dramedy "Greek," will share anon-screen kiss during the May 26 episode:

-How a gay friend helped change my mind about same-sex unions
It's not that big a deal to give homosexual couples equal rights, says LouisJacob
If gay couples want to get married, for Christ's sake, let them. Gaymarriage is going to happen someday so let them get on with it.

-Jayson Graves, David Pickup & the Exodus Connection
Gay bloggers recently had a field day with ex-gay counsellor David Pickup's"Increasing Manhood" video, one even speculating whether it was a spoof, inthe vein of Donnie Davies.

-Former Ex-Gay Spokesperson: "I Was Disowned"
Noé Gutierrez has experienced quite a few twists and turns in his younglife. He originally appeared in the gay-affirming video "It's Elementary,"which teaches school children the importance of respecting diversity. Later,he entered the ex-gay movement and was featured in Dr. Warren Throckmorton's2004 video "I Do Exist." In early 2007, he issued a statement regrettingthat his story became a part of the "divisive message of the ex-gaymovement." Now he talks about how quickly the ex-gay movement has disownedhim, an experience that has an eerily familiar ring among other ex-gaysurvivors I've talked to.

-LGBT Methodists reeling after General Conference votes
Gays and their allies struggle with decision on whether to stay and fight orleave UMC after church reaffirms anti-gay policies, ruling

-Walt Bayes: Schools need separate bathrooms for gay students
Homosexual and heterosexual students should have separate bathrooms andshowers in Idaho schools, a Wilder Republican running for the Idaho Housesaid Friday.

-The Shawnee Mission East class of '08 loves its gay homecoming king
On a cold February night, the Shawnee Mission East gym is packed. It'sSenior Night, and the boys' basketball team is taking on the rival ShawneeMission South Raiders. It's a close game, and the excitement and tensionthreaten to sweep the crowd into a frenzy.

-Lesbian songwriter finds acceptance at church
In 1969, Marsha Stevens, then 16, wrote a simple, heartfelt song that wouldbe the anthem for young Christian believers during the Jesus People movementof the '70s.,hi-stevens-050808-s1.article


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