Monday, May 19, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 19, 2008

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-Banning gay marriage is simply prejudice
Banning gay marriage is just another form of predjudice.
Just as we should not accept the banning of inter-religion or inter-racial
marriage, we should not accept the banning of gay marriage.
Barbara Adler
Boynton Beach,0,5345428.story

-Do I smell sexy? Here's a new reason to swap spit
For members who submit a saliva sample, dating website plays matchmaker using DNA and smell. Swapping spit: The term takes on a more refined meaning at the new dating site A prerequisite for signing up -- in addition to having a bit of cash to spare -- involves swishing a cotton swab inside your cheek and mailing a juicy sample of skin cells and saliva.,0,3543624.story

-On-line Poll: Should gay marriage be banned in Florida?
Cast your vote - it's tied right now.,0,4389131,post.poll

Express Gay News
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-Cuba holds large gay rights rally
Raul Castro's daughter presides at government-backed event
Cuba's gay community celebrated unprecedented openness - and high-rankingpolitical alliances - with a government-backed campaign against homophobiaon Saturday.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Cuban Government Backs Calls to Combat Homophobia
Cuba's gay community celebrated unprecedented openness - and high-rankingpolitical alliances - with a government-backed campaign against homophobiaon Saturday. The meeting at a convention center in Havana's Vedado districtmay have been the largest gathering of openly gay activists ever on thecommunist-run island. President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela, who haspromoted the rights of sexual minorities, presided.

-California Chief Justice Says Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Was One of HisToughest
In the days leading up to the California Supreme Court's historic same-sexmarriage ruling Thursday, the decision "weighed most heavily" on ChiefJustice Ronald M. George -- more so, he said, than any previous case in hisnearly 17 years on the court. The court was poised 4 to 3 not only tolegalize same-sex marriage but also to extend to sexual orientation the samebroad protections against bias previously saved for race, gender andreligion. The decision went further than any other state high court's andwould stun legal scholars, who have long characterized George and his courtas cautious and middle of the road.

-Transgender Couple Wed
A couple who both changed their sex married today in Mexico's firsttransgender wedding, as the traditionally conservative country loses some ofits inhibitions. Mario del Socorro, formerly Maria, and Diana Guerrero, whoused to be Jose, held an austere ceremony for friends and relatives in acommunity centre. The couple said they hoped media coverage would pressureMexico's Congress to pass a proposed law that would let people get sexchange operations in public hospitals and then be able to change their namesand genders in public records.

-Gay and Lesbian Cruises Soar in Popularity
Despite last year's shakeup among gay travel companies, gay and lesbiancruises are gaining in popularity. Here's a sampling of offerings in thenext year from the major providers. (Note: All fares are per person, doubleoccupancy. Add $200 to $300 more per person for taxes, fees, fuel surchargeand gratuities.) R Family Vacations: The Rosie O'Donnell-fronted company,which focuses on gay and lesbian families with kids, is headed for Canadaand New England this July, a weeklong round trip out of New York aboard theNorwegian Dawn (2,200 passengers). Stops will include Halifax, Bay of Fundy,Bar Harbor, Maine, Provincetown, Mass., Newport, R.I. The voyage is July13-20; fares start at $999 per person (double occupancy), including port andgovernment fees and gratuities. Visit

-SF Hopes For Big Slice of Gay Marriage Money
San Francisco's tourist industry is betting that gay marriage will lead to aboon in same-sex wedding and honeymoon packages. Nationally, gay tourismamounts to a $60 billion-a-year industry. Thanks to Thursday's ruling by thestate Supreme Court striking down the ban on same-sex marriage, Californiastands to become a destination spot for gay and lesbian couples from aroundthe world who want to get hitched.

-Schools Can't Hinder GSAs Based on Fear
We understand why some administrators have been hesitant to actively supportgay-straight alliances in their schools. It's one thing to allow such clubsto exist, as required by federal law. It's quite another to fund and sponsorsuch groups, thereby implicitly encouraging sexual behavior many parents andstudents might find morally objectionable. But we sense that some of theresistant local schools highlighted in today's front-page and Storytellerarticles on GSAs have based their decisions on fear, not moral opposition tohomosexuality. Rather than risk a backlash of anger from the public, theyinstead do very little to foster a safe and healthy climate for all theirstudents.

-Marriage Ruling Boosts Newsom Statewide
Emboldened by Thursday's historic California Supreme Court rulingoverturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage, the San Francisco mayorsaid he might swing by for a visit someday soon. "This is not just SanFrancisco," Newsom told reporters minutes after the court's verdict wasannounced. "It's Walnut Creek. It's Long Beach. It's the southern part ofthe state in San Diego. It's in Riverside. ... It's in Fresno that this isnow appropriate and legal. I may go to Fresno to support their countyclerk."

Marriage Equality News
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-When the California Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage came down Thursday morning, a deafening cheer went up in many places across this city. But by Friday evening, as the after-work crowd nursed drinks at the Twin Peaks Tavern in the Castro, a decidedly more subdued mood was settling in. In fact, it took only a few hours for the decision to slip into the past tense, replaced in many ways by the stark prospect that same-sex marriage could be banned again by voters in November. "I wish it felt like a huge leap forward, but it's feeling more like one of those up-and-down roller coasters - and it's a shame that it has to be that way," said Nathan Draper, 40, a middle school science and health teacher, who was rinking a beer at the Twins Peaks. "It's frustrating, because we're talking about something so basic: equality."

-A new California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriages in thatstate is adding fuel to the push here for a constitutional ban. But the oneman who can put that issue up for a final vote to send it to the ballot inNovember has so far not done that - and is refusing to commit to doing so.
Senate President Tim Bee, R-Tucson, is the prime sponsor of one version of ameasure to constitutionally define marriage in Arizona as solely between oneman and one woman. And a bill with identical language was approved earlierthis week by the House. But Bee has so far failed to put the measure on theSenate calendar for its action - the only thing standing in the way ofsending the issue to voters. Nor is he guaranteeing that he ever will bringthe measure to the Senate. "Decisions about ballot measures will be madetoward the end of (the legislative) session, after the budget's complete,"he said.

-Massachusetts: Gay rights activists stood on the steps of the Statehousetoday [Friday] holding a sign commemorating the fourth anniversary of theday that same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts.
The anniversary is actually Saturday, said Tom Lang, co-director, but the activists wanted to get their message out on aweekday while the Legislature was around. Lang said it will also be thefourth anniversary of his own marriage to Alex Westerhoff. "We do thisevery year to commemorate and thank Massachusetts on our anniversary. Westand all day with the sign. It's the same sign; we just change the number,"he said.

-India: Two women, who allegedly shared a lesbian relationship, committed suicide by setting themselves ablaze after their families abused and tried for overa decade to separate them. The police recovered the charred bodies of thewomen, who died hugging each other, from the residence of one of the womenat Sathangadu, near Thiruvotriyur, on Saturday, Times of India reports.
Family members noticed thick smoke emanating from the house where the womenstayed the previous night. They peeped through the window and saw the bodieslying as if they had died hugging each other. Police identified the womenas Christy Jayanthi Malar (38) and Rukmani (40).

Pink News - UK
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-Tory battle over lesbian parenting and "need for a father"
A significant number of Conservative MPs and some Labour members are set toback an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill that willretain a controversial requirement.

-Amnesty International highlights Pride problems across Europe
A leading human rights group is calling on governments in Europe to securethe right of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Solitary Gay Pickets General Prosecution Headquarters in Russia's CapitalFollowing Ban
Criminal prosecution of Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov demanded Legaldifficulties prevented more than one person picketing the office of theGeneral Prosecutor in Moscow yesterday, International Day AgainstHomophobia. So Nikolai Alekseev, the organiser of Moscow Gay Pride, staged aone-man picket calling for the criminal prosecution of Moscow MayorYuriLuzhkov. There was no interference from the watching police as he displayeda placard reading saying "No one repealed Article 149 of the Criminal Code.
Mayor Luzhkov's homophobia should be prosecuted". GayRussia.Ru,UkGayNews.Org.Uk

-Speaking at the London IDAHO event on 16 May, hosted by Amnesty
International and the Gay & Lesbian Humanist Association, Peter Tatchell ofthe LGBT human rights group OutRage! said: "Since 1999, the Labourgovernment has repealed most of Britain's anti-gay laws and introduced newlegislation to recognise same-sex partnerships and protect LGBT peopleagainst discrimination. "These positive lesbian and gay rights measures arebeing undermined by Labour's failure to tackle the homophobic andtransphobic bias of the asylum system. "The government seems more interestedin cutting asylum numbers than in ensuring fairness and justice for LGBTrefugees who have fled arrest, imprisonment, torture, vigilante attacks andattempts to kill them.

-Rainbow Flags passed within the crowded streets of the Russian capitalNikolai Baev and Anna Komarova celebrated their own "IDAHO day" lastSaturday in Moscow with little rainbow flags in solidarity with the 4thInternational Day Against Homophobia.The itinerary chosen by the twoactivists even passed in front of Moscow City Hall, the building wherehomophobes attacked gay men and women hoping to celebrate Moscow Pride inMay 2006 and 2007. Several gay activists were arrested both years at thespot."In fact we were afraid that we would be arrested for walking with therainbow flags in our hand in front of Citiy Hall," said Nikolai Baev."Surprisingly, the two policemen who saw us did not do anything."On their way to City Hall,several gays stopped them and ask for a Rainbow flag - and a band of streetmusicians also questioned them about the reason of this event. ButTverskaya, the main street of the capital, is also known to be a meetingplace for gays and lesbians. And the reaction of many of them was not veryjoyful. "They seemed not to look at us and just behind us they looked back.
Their faces showed astonishment and fear", said Mr. Baev.

Forwarded from Gay Asalyum - UK
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-Union Congress lays wreath at Iranian embassy
Unions mark International Day Against Homophobia
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU)will mark International Day Against Homophobia today (Saturday) by laying awreath outside the Iranian Embassy in London at 11am to commemorate thelesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people who have been killed bythe Iranian regime. There are 77 countries in the world today where it is acriminal offence to be gay. In seven countries " including Iran" women, menand children are punished for their sexuality with death sentences.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Gay campaigners criticised the Conservative Party last night after itshealth spokesmen attempted to force women to give the name of their spermdonor before being allowed IVF treatment.
Stonewall, the gay and lesbian campaign organisation, claimed that theTories are limiting lesbian couples' access to in vitro fertilisationthrough an amendment to the controversial proposals which would require suchchildren to have "a father or male role model".
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill returns to the House of Commonsfor two days' debate tomorrow. The Government had believed it had headed offdamaging internal divisions over the creation of hybrid animal-human embryosand "saviour siblings" by allowing Catholic MPs and ministers a free vote onthe most contentious elements of the Bill.
But campaigners on both sides of the genetic research and abortion rightsdebate have made it clear that they will return to the trenches tomorrowafternoon.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-2 Gay Men Beaten In Sacramento After Court Ruling
Three Sacramento men have been arrested after a beating that law enforcementofficials describe as a hate crime against homosexuals, police said Friday.

-Anti-Marriage Politics: A Losing Proposition
More GOP strategists see divisive marriage politics as a losing propositionthis year:
"At best, it doesn't move voters, and at worst for Republicans, it movesthem against them," said Matthew Dowd, President Bush's 2004 chiefstrategist. "Why are we having a discussion on this issue when we should betalking about things that matter, like the economy, health care, or the war?"

-Wherein homo-hostility turns herbicidal
Think you've seen every sort of attack on yesterday's historic ruling thatyou can possibly imagine? Well check out this little quip from the ChristianCivic League of Maine's Mike Heath, which was passed on to us by the lovelyand talented Pam Spaulding. It's certainly the first time in the past twodays that we've heard our lives reduced to weeds that needed to be yankedout by the root:
We must attack this problem at its root. If you want to get rid of a weedyou don't pull off the leaves. You destroy the root. The root idea ofso-called same sex marriage is special rights for citizens on the basis ofsexual wrongdoing. That is where the fight must be engaged.

-How Extreme Are The Theocons?
More extreme even than Benedict. A reader notes:
The priest who denied communion to Doug Kmiec because he supports Obamaobviously didn't get the memo, that memo written in July 2004 bythen-Cardinal Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine ofthe Faith in response to a query from the American bishops, which said inpart:
"When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortionand/or euthanasia, but votes for the candidate for other reasons, it isconsidered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in thepresence of proportionate reasons."

-Noe Gutierrez Writes about the Ex-Gay Experience
In a post written for Ex-Gay Watch, former Ex-Gay Noe Gutierrez providesthoughtful insights into the ex-gay experiences. Much of what he saysresonates deeply with my own experience. He fills his article with richcommentary that I wish to explore for myself. I will start with this onequote.
Set against a biblical contrast of right versus wrong, ex-gay ministriesoften draw a direct link between the quality of a person's faith and theircommitment to make a choice in the "straight" direction. This value systemoften results in the ex-gay person being caught by a cycle of perpetualself-evaluation. Compelled to dissect every thought, every word, and everydeed into these black or white categories, the life of an ex-gay can becomeall about choosing sides. With homosexuality as the target, the goal thenbecomes to eradicate all thoughts and behaviors associated with "wrong"sexual attraction. This becomes the "calling" of the ex-gay person who findstheir purpose in the process of self re-orientation. I believe this mode ofthinking establishes a clear and distinct association between theeffectiveness of God in a person's life and that person's ability to committo ex-gay change.

-United Church of Christ Pastors Celebrate Marriage Equality
The United Church of Christ, along with the Reform Jewish movement and manyother religious organizations, believe that their morality their desire toknow God requires that they serve justice to those around them. They believethat denying equality to gay persons is not just bad politics, it's badreligion.

-In Search of Gay Money: How-to Manage Money With Your Domestic Partner
As a gay woman writing about money, I've grown weary of reading all thepersonal finance content that's written from the perspective of straightmarriages. So at Queercents, we've turned the tables on money andrelationship advice by asking: What if all of our favorite money columnistswere gay? Would their advice be more relevant to our lives?

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-In Ukraine rights for freedom of speech is violated.
Nikolaev local authorities ban action commemorating International DayAgainst Homophobia!
On 16-17th of May 2008 in Nikolaev an informational action with the elementsof flashmob* should have taken place. It was dedicated to the 17th of May -nternational Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) in the framework of thecampaign "All different - all equal" that is the youth campaign of theCouncil of Europe. Across the globe, this day directs people's attention tothe problem of human rights violation, humiliation of dignity, persecutionand discrimination on the base of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The organizer of the given action is Nikolaev Association for Gays, Lesbiansand Bisexuals "LiGA". The action aimed at overcoming prejudice andstereotypes towards people of homosexual orientation. The program of theaction included posters placement on the advertising boards of the city,conduction of three street actions by personnel of the organization andvolunteers of the Nikolaev Resource Center and showing of documentary filmin the office premises for representatives of LGBT community. According tothe current legislation of Ukraine, informational action is not amanifestation or meeting, march, protest rally and that is why it does notneed to be approved by local authorities. Representatives of ourorganization informed Nikolaev Regional Center for Family, Children andYouth on 14th May and Nikolaev Municipal Executive Committee on 15th Mayabout the action. Besides this, we have informed for several times ourpartner nongovernmental organizations and members of Coordination Council ontuberculosis, drug addiction and HIV/AIDS Counteraction about our intensionsto conduct the informational action in May 2008. Today, May 16 at 9 AM,Nikolaev Association for Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals "LiGA" was handed in awritten notification about prohibition of any activities or actionconduction at indicated time. Local authorities have referred [citation] ".
there was an appeal form leaders of several religious denominations .
representatives of Orthodox, the Roman Catholics, Christianity of Evangelistbelief, the Seventh Day Adventists, Eparchy of Christianity and Baptist,Union of Independent Orthodox churches. that represent almost ten thousandsof parishioners with the demand to local authorities to forbid theconduction of the action by representatives of sexual minorities".
Motivation of prohibition was explained by citation: "Conduction of thisaction creates danger of civil order, disturb public peace and incite tomass riots and conflicts"


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