Wednesday, May 14, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 14, 2008

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-New York: Woman mistaken for man settles discrimination suit
A popular restaurant has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a lawsuit filed bya lesbian who said a bouncer chased her out of the women's bathroom andforced her to leave because she looked masculine.,0,7953116.story

-PFLAG is a support group for parents, family and friends of lesbian, gay,bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the coming-out process. Call954-476-6076 or 954-629-8731.,0,3609435,print.story

Express Gay News
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-Gay candidate reflects on loss in N.C. Senate race
Neal faults fundraising failures; others criticize HRC

-Episcopal Diocese sues for control of Groton church
Dispute over theology, appointment of gay bishop in play

-Toledo: UT offered Dixon alternate position prior to termination
A former UT administrator who was fired for opinions she expressed on ToledoFree Press' Web site said the university offered her a demotion and pay cutprior to terminating her employment.

-Jonathan Siden strives to ease path for other gay teens
After completing his studies at Pioneer High School in January, Jonathan"Yoni" Siden hasn't stopped trying to improve the school's climate for gayteenagers.

The Advocate
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-Survey: Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil Get Low Marks for Gay-FriendlinessWal-Mart, Dunkin' Donuts, and Exxon Mobil earned the lowest marks in asurvey among LGBT adults that rated companies for their gay-friendliness.

-Gay Artist Robert Rauschenberg Dead at 82
Robert Rauschenberg, whose use of odd and everyday articles earned him areputation as a pioneer in pop art but whose talents spanned the worlds ofpainting, sculpture, and dance, has died, his gallery representative saidTuesday. He was 82.

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-Fla., Mich. Remain Key In Clinton Game Plan
(Sterling Heights, Michigan) An embattled Hillary Rodham Clinton is urgingthe party leaders who are key to the Democratic presidential race to take ahard look at her West Virginia win and slow their march to Barack Obama.
Also: Clinton Wins Large But Symbolic Victory In W.Va.

-Hagee Apologizes To Catholics
(Washington) John Hagee, an influential Texas televangelist who endorsedJohn McCain, has apologized to Catholics for his stinging criticism of theRoman Catholic Church and for having "emphasized the darkest chapters in thehistory of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews."

-Prosecution: Jail House Confession In Gay Producer Murder
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) One of two men accused of killing gay pornproducer Bryan Kocis in 2006 confessed to fellow inmates in jail accordingto papers filed by the prosecution.

-Anti-Gay Writing Gets University Official Fired
(Toledo, Ohio) The University of Toledo has fired a senior administrator whopenned a column for a local publication attacking LGBT civil rights.

-Federal Court Rules For Gay Students In Button Case
(Ponce De Leon, Florida) After a two-day trial in which a Florida highschool principal testified that he believed clothing, buttons or stickersfeaturing rainbows would make students automatically picture gay peoplehaving sex, a federal judge today ruled that the school violated the FirstAmendment rights of students.

-Lesbian Settles Bias Suit With NYC Restaurant
(New York City) A lawsuit by a lesbian who was ejected from a New York Cityrestaurant following last year's LGBT pride march when a bouncer thought shewas too masculine to use the women's rest room has settled her lawsuitagainst the business.

New York Times
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-Woman Wins a Settlement Over Her Bathroom Ouster
A West Village restaurant where a woman said she was asked to leave thewomen's restroom, and then the premises, because she looked too much like aman will pay her $35,000 and has agreed to change its workplace practices.

-McCain Backer Regrets Comments on Catholics
The Rev. John C. Hagee, whose anti-Catholic remarks created a controversywhen Senator John McCain received his endorsement for the Republicanpresidential nomination with fanfare, has issued a letter expressing regretfor "any comments that Catholics have found hurtful."

Washington Post
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-Phobia at the Gates
Twelve countries ban HIV-positive visitors, nonimmigrants and immigrantsfrom their territory: Armenia, Brunei, Iraq, Libya, Moldova, Oman, Qatar,the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sudan and . . . theUnited States. China recently acted to remove its ban on HIV-positivevisitors because it feared embarrassment ahead of the Olympics. ButAmerica's ban remains.

-Moral Scales in the Senate
How much do seven members of the U.S. Senate weigh?
Eyeing them -- Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, Jeff Sessions, Saxby Chambliss, DavidVitter, Jim Bunning, Richard Burr -- I'd guess they probably come in atabout 1,300 pounds. These are the Republicans who have signed a hold letter,preventing action on the reauthorization of the President's Emergency Planfor AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Gay & Lesbian Consumer Study Lists Gay-Friendly Brands
Bravo, Apple, Showtime, HBO, Absolut, and Levi's, are the gay-friendliestbrands, while WalMart, Dunkin Donuts, Cracker Barrel, Exxon Mobil, andSamsung earn the lowest marks from gay and lesbian consumers, according tothe 2008 Prime Access/PlanetOut Gay and Lesbian Consumer Study releasedtoday.

-People Do Stupid Things That's What Spreads HIV
When Elizabeth Pisani began her career as an HIV epidemiologist, fewer than1.5m cases of Aids had been reported across the world. Within a year, by theend of 1997, 30 million people were estimated to be infected with HIV. AsPisani wrote in her first report for World Aids Day, that meant one in every100 sexually active adults aged between 15 and 49 worldwide. Today, justover a decade later, the global figure is estimated to be closer to 40million, with more than 1.5m new infections every year. Yet there is awidespread impression that the world is now winning the fight against thevirus. The perception that it threatens only sex workers, heroin addicts andgay men has been replaced by the urgent consensus that this is a universalproblem - backed by mind-boggling sums.

-Austin Elects First Out Council Member
Randi Shade was elected Saturday to become Austin, Texas' first openly gayelected city council member.
Shade beat incumbent Jennifer Kim with 64 percent of the vote to win thePlace 3 seat. She was endorsed by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. "I knewit would be an uphill battle to run against an incumbent," Shade, 41, toldthe American-Statesman newspaper Sunday. "But we built a broad coalition ofsupport, and I think people are ready for a change."

-Sex And The City Star Cynthia Nixon Plans to Marry
Despite being the flaming redhead, Miranda's love-life was never as red-hotor risque as that of her Sex And The City pals. The single working mum wassassy but sensible, cool and collected - set against Samantha's sexyshenanigans, Carrie's eyebrow-raising escapades and Charlotte's madcapmarriages.

-Transgender Legal Defense Lawyer's Cross-Dressing History
"I used to dress up in my mother's clothes every chance I got," recallsMichael D. Silverman, executive director of Transgender Legal Defense &Education Fund (TLDEF). "Her makeup bag was my favorite toy. I'd wear mymom's stockings or play with her high heel shoes. I loved it." Silverman, thelawyer who runs TLDEF-a non-profit law office dedicated to achieving equalrights for transgender people-isn't trans-identified himself; but, like manyother gays and lesbians, Silverman shares a gender bending personal historywith his trans clients.

-More Homosexuals, Fewer Felons?
During the last week of April, a group dedicated to overturning the "don'task, don't tell" rule for homosexuals in the military chose San Diego --with its huge Marine Corps base and sprawling U.S. Navy installations - tobegin a six-city tour aimed at getting Congress to repeal the regulation.
The "don't ask, don't tell" rule took effect in 1993 during the presidencyof Bill Clinton and was seen as a compromise between military leadersseeking an outright ban on military service for homosexuals and those whowant no prohibition whatsoever based on sexual preference.

Marriage Equality News
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-A Sister Islands' MLA said last week that Cayman's now infamous gay kissingincident has raised doubts in voters' minds about the country's proposedbill of rights. "I must say that the news headlines of this pastweek.certainly have caused the conservative be a little bit leery," said Julianna O'Connor-Connolly during her budget debate in theLegislative Assembly. "Assurances were given that these things wouldn' we have this test case." One of the major concerns expressed inthe ongoing constitutional review process has been that, if Cayman placed abill of rights in the country's new constitution, it would be forced toaccept same sex marriages or same sex unions similar to marriage.

-Florida: Among the many critical selections voters must make in November,Amendment 2 certainly is not one of them. This is the rather sillyreferendum that would ban already-banned gay marriages. [...] Critics,including the former state director of the AARP, fear the amendment couldpenalize seniors who often live together rather than get married to avoidSocial Security penalties. It also threatens benefits for couples indomestic-partner relationships. This has happened with some state employeesin Michigan after a gay-marriage ban was enacted there.

Pink News - UK
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-MEPs to raise Moldova Pride violence in Euro Parliament
Members of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Lesbian and Gay Rightshave spoken of their dismay at events in Moldova at the weekend. Lesbian andgay activists in the central European nation had their attempt to hold aPride event banned.

-Statue of gay rights hero to be unveiled next week
Harvey Milk, the first out gay male politician in American history, is to behonoured with a statue in San Francisco City Hall. The memorial will beunveiled next Thursday. Caymans will not accept gay partnerships
In the wake of an incident in which a gay man was detained by police on theCayman Islands after kissing his boyfriend in public, a politician in theBritish Overseas Territory has questioned why he received an apology.

-Spinster sisters assured there will be no evictions
A government minister has told the House of Lords that two elderly Britishsisters who lost their case in the European Court of Human Rights overinheritance tax will not be evicted when one of them dies.

-Eurovision's gay fans advised to be discreet while in Serbia
Use common sense and appropriate discretion in public. That is the advicefrom gay groups and the British Embassy in Belgrade to gay people planningto visit the city for the Eurovision Song Contest.

-"Gay American" Governor and wife head to divorce court
The former Governor of New Jersey Jim McGreevey and his estranged wife Dinahave failed to come to a settlement and their divorce case is due to begintoday. They reached a deal on the custody of their only child last week.

Anything But Straight by Wayne Besen

The AIDS Blame Game
"What is it about gay sex that makes U.S. health officials want to playChicken Little with AIDS prevention and public safety?" Tony Valenzuelawrites in the latest Poz magazine, where he criticizes, "The cluelesstabloid and public health hysteria over man-on-man sex." Valenzuela pointsto "an imaginary 'super strain of HIV to the sci-fi MRSA superbug." And, heis correct that it seems the media and society seem to always take on theabsurd posture that gay sex is a mysterious ticking time bomb. It isimportant to remember that gay bashing is a multi-million dollar industry.
There is a vested interest by fundamentalist groups to convince the publicthat gay people are morally inferior and diseased, thus a threat tochildren, society and themselves. The notion that AIDS is a punishment fromGod is a staple of right wing literature. Instead of focusing on thecondemnation of unsafe sexual practices, extremist groups say that the verynature of being gay makes one a candidate for an early death. For example,the so-called "ex-gay" group Exodus International uses the Bible to justifytheir belief in God's wrath and fury against homosexuals.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-"Time to recognise that human rights principles apply also to sexualorientation and gender identity"
A number of people around the world - including in Europe - continue to bestigmatised because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation andgender identity. In some cases these individuals are still being deniedtheir right to education, health care, housing and work. Some of them areharassed by the police, get no protection when attacked by extremists or aredeported to countries where they risk torture or execution. Also, some oftheir organisations are denied registration or are refused a permit toorganise peaceful meetings and demonstrations. Too few leading politiciansstand up against these or even worse homophobic and transphobic expressions.
It is sometimes said that the protection of the human rights of lesbians,gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT) amounts to introducing newrights. That is a misunderstanding. The Universal Declaration of HumanRights and the agreed treaties establish that human rights apply to everyoneand that no one should be excluded.

-"EU should re-consider relations with Moldova after Pride violence."
On Sunday, 11 May participants of the Pride parade in the capital ofMoldova, Chisinau, were attacked by violent members of the neo-fascistmovement "New Right". Fifty participants of the parade were blocked in a bussurrounded by several hundred aggressive protestors shouting "Beat them todeath" and "Don't let them escape". After being forced by the neo-fasciststo destroy their pride materials - colourful balloons, posters withanti-discrimination slogans and flags of the EU - Pride participant's buswas eventually allowed to go. Police forces merely observed the violence andattacks and did not bother to intervene.
"How can you fail to uphold the basic right to protection against violenceand freedom of movement?", said Michael Cashman, President of theIntergroup. "I will raise this issue within the European Parliament. I willalso ask the Moldavian government for an explanation." "It is unacceptablethat Moldova exposes its own citizens, along with foreign visitors, to suchviolent attacks," said Raul Romeva, Vice-President of the Intergroup forGreens/EFA. "Perhaps the European Union should reconsider its relations witha state so gravely breaching International Human Rights Obligations."

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-LGBT people showing leadership in unlikely places
This article profiles four activists in Nepal, Russia, Nigeria and Chile whoare working to bring LGBT rights in conditions that are at best hostile andat worst deadly to gays and lesbians. As Nigeria's Sewedo Joseph Akoro said,"An openly gay man in Nigeria is doomed, as all of his fundamental humanrights are stripped away."

-HRC kicks off "Camp Equality" in Fort Lauderdale
The Human Rights Campaign last weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., held thefirst of 13 "Camp Equality" training sessions around the country to helpactivists defeat anti-gay ballot questions in November. Florida voters inNovember will decide the fate of a proposed constitutional marriage ban.

-No backlash after GOP lawmaker's marriage vote
Republican New York state Assemblywoman Teresa R. Sayward has garnered muchsupport for her vote in favor of marriage rights -- and her decision tospeak openly about having a gay son -- from her constituents in herconservative upstate district. "We did get some of those very heated phonecalls and letters as we expected to get," Sayward said. "But we didn't getas many as you'd think. We got an excellent reception."

-Ready to run? Join us in St. Louis!
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute is partnering with PROMO, Missouri'sstatewide LGBT organization, to hold its Candidate & Campaign Training inSt. Louis, Mo. June 5-8. This training is designed to teach future LGBTcandidates and their campaign workers how to build winning politicalcampaigns. If you've ever considered a run for office at any level, or ifyou want to help someone who's going to run, this is the very best place tostart. Hundreds of our trainees have gone on to run for seats on citycouncils, state legislatures and even in the U.S. Congress. Learn more andapply to attend here. For more information, contact Lauren Peters

-Defense in King murder trying to blame victim, school
Blogger Sara Whitman is horrified by the defense claims for BrandonMcInerney, the accused killer of gay teenager Lawrence King, that both thevictim and the school are to blame because King was open about his sexualityand the school tried to support him. "The crime was ... McInerney's when hepulled the trigger," Whitman writes. "He's a kid. He believed it was okay tokill someone. He needs help. [The] defense only reinforces the belief thatit's okay to kill someone who is different."

-Price: Anti-marriage ruling hurts Michigan families, businesses
A Michigan Supreme Court decision that the state's marriage ban precludespublic employers from offering domestic-partner benefits -- despiteanti-marriage activists' statements to the contrary -- not only threatensLGBT families but also could deliver a financial blow to the generalpopulation, according to columnist Deb Price. "Already, Lambda Legal, whichrecently created a 'Safety Scale' of states as guidance for conventionplanners as well as gay couples planning to travel or relocate, putMichigan, once a leader on gay rights, in the worst class," Price writes.

-Sarvis: Time for military leaders to help end gay ban
Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network,is hopeful that military brass will do the right thing -- and support therepeal of the gay ban -- when asked their opinion by the next president andCongress. "I believe America's armed forces should truly reflect ourcountry -- all of us," he writes.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Help a student get his doctoral degree...Online Research Study onDual-Identity in Black MSM
My name is Justin Brown and I am a graduate student at the CUNY-GraduateCenter. I am conducting a study of Black Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
Specifically, I am interested in perceived stress and how it affectsidentity in Black MSM. My goal is to help the public learn more about whatit means to be a Black MSM in the United States today as well as showresearchers the importance of looking at issues specific to this subculturewithin society. Hopefully this will lead to future work and fundingtargeting this understudied population. All participants must be at least 18years of age.
If people would like to participate, the process is really easy. All aparticipant has to do is logon to:

-U.S. Soldiers Protest PX Porn Ban
'Taking that away would be like a knife in the chest'
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany - Apparently, some U.S. soldiers know just what they'refighting for in foreign climes: Their constitutional rights. "We all read'em," said Pfc. Paul Rubio, 31, of Bakersfield, Calif., currently stationedat Grafenwöhr Air Force Base. "There are times we just read 'em for thetechnological parts like the new gadgets that come out. They have goodstories sometimes too."The "'em" in the above quote refers to "certain men'smagazines" like Penthouse and Playboy that a new bill from Rep. Paul Broun(R-DeutschlandUberAlles), humorously titled the "Military Honor and DecencyAct" (H.R. 5821), would ban from sale at military post exchanges (PXes). "Asa Marine, I am deeply concerned for the welfare of our troops and theirmission," Broun said on April 17. "Allowing the sale of pornography onmilitary bases has harmed military men and women by escalating the number ofviolent sexual crimes; feeding a base addiction; eroding the family as theprimary building block of society; and denigrating the moral standing of ourtroops both here and abroad. Our troops should not see their honor sulliedso that the moguls behind magazines like Playboy and Penthouse can profit.
The Military Honor and Decency Act will right a bureaucratic - and moral -wrong."

-LGB Physical Health and Chronic Illness Online Questionnaire
I would be most grateful if you would consider completing an online surveywhich is being conducted by my PhD student Adam Jowett. Adam's questionnaireis about physical health and chronic illness and is relevant for people bothwith and without a chronic illness. The questionnaire is accessible at:

-A Fundamental Right
"Marrying at Rikers: Few Frills, Many Rules" (news article, May 10) makes animportant if unintended point: Although prison nuptials are grim andcheerless, the civil right to marry is so fundamental that it is not deniedto inmates convicted of very serious crimes, even if they will not be freeto live with their spouses for years, if ever.
But same-sex couples in this country, except in Massachusetts, are notallowed to marry even if they are exemplary citizens making valuablecontributions to their communities, even if they have been living andraising children together for decades. Isn't it time to end such a blatantinjustice?
Judy Olinick
Middlebury, Vt.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Eskridge surveys history of U.S. sodomy laws
Just because someone constructs an analogy, it doesn't mean they'veunearthed a similarity. For instance, in 1972 Edward Davis, chief of the LosAngeles Police Department, claimed that "ostentatious merchandizing of theconcept of homosexuality is a clear and present danger to the youth of ourcommunity. It's one thing to be a leper. It's another thing to be spreadingthe disease."

-Rove refuses call to testify under oath
A House Judiciary Committee deadline passed Monday with former White Houseadviser Karl Rove standing by his refusal to testify about allegations thathe pushed the Justice Department to prosecute former Alabama Gov. DonSiegelman.

-The thorny issue of free speech
There's no doubt that the views expressed by radical Islamic groupHizb-Ut-Tahrir will be repugnant to anyone in Birmingham of a liberaldisposition.
The organisation, said to advocate executing gay people and Muslims whoreject their religion, was recently given a public platform in Small Heathat a meeting attended by Professor John Holmwood, the head of BirminghamUniversity's sociology department, who put the case for a secular society.

-'Cyprus will have to recognise gay marriage rights'
SOONER or later Cyprus, as an EU member state, will at least have torecognise same-sex marriages and civil partnerships, gay rights activistAlecos Modinos said yesterday.
Modinos, who spent years fighting for homosexuality to be decriminalised inCyprus, was commenting on a new report by Ombudswoman Iliana Nicolaou, whichhighlighted discrimination against same-sex partners.

-APA Symposium's Critical Flaw: What About The Ex-Gay Survivors?
Don't you hate it when you know that people are talking about you and you'renot there? And don't you hate it even more when they're talking aboutsomething that's directly relevant to your experience, and that the wholepoint of their conversation is to arrive at conclusions about how to dealwith you in the future? And you're not invited to be a part of theconversation?

-LaBarbera rants on like. well, LaBarbera
In response to our criticism of his alliance with racists, Peter LaBarberahas lashed out in his usual way, ranting and frothing and void of all reasonor accuracy.
Pete doesn't rebuke his allies David Duke and Ted Pike for their racism andanti-Semitism. He doesn't admit that he is fearful of the story that mightcome out in court if VanAdslen is prosecuted. He doesn't allow that "thehomosexual", the witnesses, and the police just might be telling the truth.
He doesn't acknowledge that his language contrasting Velasquez with the"strapping, clean-cut, All-American looking young man" lends itself toracism.

-Huffington Says McCain Was 'Hijacked by the Right'
In her new book, "Right Is Wrong," Arianna Huffington is critical of McCainand the Republican Party

-Diverse Approaches Reveal Complexity of Ex-Gay World
Since going public with the story of my ex-gay journey (odyssey?), one ofthe most encouraging signs I have seen is the large number of people whohave come forward to tell share their own stories. In addition to ex-gaysurvivors, we see many concerned citizens writing and speaking out againstthe de-gayification process and the forces behind it. (Just this week formerex-gay Noé Gutierrez added his own perspective.)

-Jay Bakker, son of Tammy Faye, meets with Osteen
Pastor called gracious, but the two men agreed to disagree on gaysMissions accomplished.
Jay Bakker flew to Houston last week to celebrate the memory of his famousmother, Tammy Faye Bakker Messner, and to pursue a meeting with LakewoodChurch Pastor Joel Osteen.

-Priest quits McKinney church after complaints about gay Web site
A longtime priest of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas resigned Tuesday fromhis new post at St. Michael the Archangel Church in McKinney amid complaintsabout his past participation with an Internet site for gay priests.
The Rev. Arthur Mallinson "felt [resigning] was in the best interest of theparish, his family and the diocese," said Annette Gonzales Taylor,communications director for the diocese.

-Gay Ball State student says attack was hate crime
A gay Ball State University student said he and his friends were attackedbecause of their sexuality, leaving him with a scratched cornea, a swolleneye, cuts and bruises.

-Florida School Must Allow Pro-Gay Students
We reported about David Davis, the principal of Ponce de Leon High Schoolwho forbid any support for gay students on campus. Now a judge hasdetermined that this censorship cannot be allowed.

-Crystal Dixon fired
Reports are slowly coming out that the University of Toledo fired CrystalDixon.
Dixon had written a column this week calling homosexuality a choice andsaying that she takes umbrage with the comparison of being black and beinggay. She also said she did not consider gay rights as civil rights.

-Growing up with HIV
The generation of babies born with the AIDS virus is reaching adulthood. Howare their prospects? Pretty good, except for having to live with a bigsecret.,0,6259665.story


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