Thursday, May 22, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 22, 2008

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Express Gay News
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-Irmo High principal announces resignation over Gay-Straight Alliance
The Irmo High School Principal's announced resignation over a controversialstudent group is already drawing national attention.
Principal Eddie Walker told WIS News 10 his resignation won't take effectuntil June, 2009 - the end of the 2008-2009 school year.

-David Mixner's life in Clinton, gay politics
When David Mixner met Bill Clinton in 1969, they were both anti-waridealists who wanted to change America. They both came from small towns;
both grew up lower middle class or poor but managed to transcend theexpectations of their economic class. They were born three days apart.

-Polk County files response in same-sex marriage case
Lambda Legal filed lawsuit in 2005
More legal documents have been filed in a lawsuit that challenges Iowa's banon gay marriage.

-Court reinstates nurse's suit over 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Major suing Air Force for discharge after 18 years
Federal appeals court judges have reinstated a lawsuit brought against theAir Force by a flight nurse forced out of her job for being gay.

-Misunderstanding marriage in California
CALIFORNIA'S voters, unlike their counterparts in Massachusetts, will havethe last word on what marriage means in their state. When the highest courtin Massachusetts conjured up a constitutional right to same-sex marriage,170,000 Bay State voters petitioned for an amendment to the stateconstitution that would restore the age-old definition. Their effort died onthe vine when the Legislature derailed the measure before it could reach theballot.

-Congratulations California! Go Buckeyes!
Four years after San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's gay marriage block partygot shut down by a very testy legislature, the California Supreme Courtlifted the ban on gay marriage statewide. Woo Hoo! Make some noise! Tiestrings of tin cans on injustice's gas guzzling bumper as it lumbers out oftown.

-Shit's in the PI
Yesterday the Seattle P-I ran an opinion piece about Supreme Court ofCalifornia's ruling on gay marriage. The piece was by David Benkof and itargued, amongst other things, that gays and lesbians "shouldn't becelebrating" this historic victory in California. Why? Because the decisionharms people of faith. Says Benkof:
Because there certainly are harms-to religious liberty, to give just oneexample. For the past two weeks, I have been contacting "marriage equality"leaders all over California to ask about the impact of redefining marriageon religious freedom. All, including several prominent lesbian and gaylegislators and other leaders, have refused to disclose their opinions, somerepeatedly.

The Advocate
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-Oregon Plaintiffs Lose Appeal to Overturn Antimarriage Amendment
The Oregon court of appeals rejected arguments to overturn a 2004 ballotmeasure that amended the state's constitution to exclude gays and lesbiansfrom marriage.

-HRC Pledges $500,000 to Protect Marriage Equality in California
The Human Rights Campaign has pledged $500,000 to Equality for All toprotect the California court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage frombeing overturned by a constitutional amendment in November. This is anaddition to the $100,000 contribution the Human Rights Campaign made toEquality for All earlier this year.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Qrew Chicago: That's Row Biz
A group of fairly inexperienced rowers, all interested in competing in the2006 Gay Games in Chicago, founded Qrew Chicago in 2005. They ultimatelybraved the heat and humidity on that July race day, which hovered near 100degrees with 100 percent humidity-not to mention the anti-gay group that wasopposed to holding the Gay Games' rowing event in suburban Crystal Lake.

Marriage Equality News
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-Republican John McCain says same-sex couples should be allowed to enterinto legal agreements for insurance and other purposes, but he opposes gaymarriage and believes in "the unique status of marriage between and man anda woman." "And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on thatissue," the likely Republican presidential nominee said in an interview toair Thursday on "The Ellen DeGeneres show." McCain, who also opposes anamendment to the Constitution to ban same-sex unions, said people should beencouraged to enter into legal agreements, particularly for insurance andother areas where decisions need to be made.

-I wish I had clocked the minutes between the time that the Californiamarriage decision was announced, and the time that the liberal punditocracybegan whining about it. Yikes, those commitment-crazy gay people are goingto lose the election for the Democrats yet again! This kneejerk complaintis more than a little annoying, for several reasons. First is its sheercynicism. Let's remember, please, that we are discussing real people'sfamily lives. Would any Democrat complain out loud (or in print) about a winfor some other presumptively Democratic constituency--labor, poor people,African Americans, Jews--without even pretending to be glad their lives arebetter and that the world is now more fair?

Pink News - UK
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-European Parliament demands US reconsider HIV ban
An amendment urging the European Commission to raise the issue of peoplewith HIV being exempted from entry into the US visa waiver programme hasbeen passed by MEPs.

-Christian groups halt gay rights event in Ukraine
LGBT groups in the Ukraine were prevented from marking the International DayAgainst Homophobia (IDAHO) last week after a last minute intervention bylocal religious groups.

-Foreign Office instructs embassies to push LGBT rights
The British government has adopted an official programme to support thehuman rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in other countries.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Gay human rights activists in San Francisco staged a speak out at theRussian consulate on May 16, in conjunction with IDAHO events around theplanet. Before showing up at the consulate, we sent emails to thestaff explaining why we were coming -- to press the government to grantparade permits to Moscow's gay pride event. We buzzed the security intercomand requested that an official come speak with us, and a man who gave hisname as Sergei stepped onto the sidewalk and accepted copies of recent newsstories about gay Russians' efforts to organize a peaceful march.

-JoJo Jako Yakob update
The gay Syrian refugee JoJo Jako Yakob is currently in legal limbo followinga 'sympathetic' Immigration Tribunal hearing. JoJo, 19, fled his homelandtwo years ago after being arrested, shot and beaten before being tortured ina Syrian jail when he was caught distributing anti-government leaflets. Hesuffered daily beatings when prison guards realised he was gay. One beatingleft him in a coma for 20 days. Campaigners, who include The Scotsmannewspaper and MSPs. have publicised how the Home Office offered Jojo £46 togo home, sent him a weekly letter asking his permission to be "repatriated"back to Syria and locked him up in a Young Offenders Institution. At TheTribunal, the Home Office called JoJo a liar, said that he was not gay andthat he had not been tortured,. The Tribunal judges rejected this, saying"we believe he is gay". Campaigners described the judges as "sympathetic".

-A crack in the UK's asylum edifice
It's very hard for most British gay men and lesbians to imagine what it's like to grow up in a country like Iran.
To fear what you are and to have to act with care 24 hours a day, lest your family finds out and perhaps takes your life in a so-called 'honour killing,' or the state discovers you and tortures you. So trying to understand the sheer torture of your boyfriend being discovered and executed, seeking safety from what you know is your certain, similar fate, in what you'd always thought was the 'civilised' West - and being disbelieved and rejected - is beyond most of us. Imagine how much harder this would be when you are still a teenager. Most of us couldn't begin to.
But this has been the life experience of Mehdi Kazemi, still only 19 years old.

Miami Herald
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-Federal court rules against military gays policy
The military cannot automatically discharge people because they're gay, a
federal appeals court ruled in the case of a decorated flight nurse who suedthe Air Force over her dismissal.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Hunter College just released the results of a comprehensive study, toutedby the institution as the most comprehensive study of lesbian, gay andbisexual attitudes and behavior to date. When the results went public,the headline news was that its finding that roughly 2.9% of Americans arelesbian, gay or bisexual While instinctively, that number feels low to me(I believe that my kids might argue, in the context of that stat, that Iknow all the gay people in America) But this is not the finding of mostinterest to me Or the most disturbing one. Respondents to the survey whoidentified as gay were tested on their knowledge regarding the law as itrelates to their rights ... Read the rest at

-Serbian Association of Medical Doctors: Homosexualityis not a Disease
A letter from the Psychiatric Section of the Serbian Association of MedicalDoctors, send to Labris - lesbian human rights organization upon requestthat this domestic institution confirm the official position the WorldHealth Organization has held for 18 years, stated that "homosexuality is nota disease." Apropos 17th May, the world Anti-Homophobia day, and within the"Are you homophobic?" campaign, Labris - lesbian human right organizationaddressed the Serbian Association of Medical Doctors, as well as to theSerbian Medical Chamber and the future Minister of Health, requesting thatthey confirm the position that homosexuality is not a disease immediatelyupon accepting the office. Labris - lesbian human right organization hasalso encouraged the person who will head this ministry in the futuregovernment to invite the Serbian Medical Chamber to include in its ethicalcodex statement that sexual orientation is a personal affection which cannotbe used to discriminate persons using medical services.


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