Sunday, May 25, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 25, 2008

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New York Times
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-Letter: 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Re "Fixing the Military" (editorial, May 18):
Your editorial notes that the Army is reducing its standards, admitting morerecruits without high school diplomas and granting waivers to convictedfelons. Retaining experienced troops and officers is becoming increasinglydifficult. There is an acute shortage of skilled personnel, including Arabicand Farsi translators. Yet gay men and women are forbidden by federal lawfrom serving openly in the armed forces. Since the inception of the lawknown as "don't ask, don't tell," more than 12,500 Americans have beendischarged because they "told" or someone told that they were gay orlesbian. In the last five years we have lost at least 58 Arabic linguistsfor the same reason. Abolishing this discriminatory law would help solve thepersonnel problems of the military, and restore the civil rights ofthousands of gay Americans who cannot serve their country without denyingan important part of who they are. And 58 more Arabic translators would beat their posts.
Aubrey Sarvis
Executive Director, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

Washington Post
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-R for Restoration Ribaldry
In Springtime, Their Fancy Turns To Love -- and Old Rakes
Unlace your bustiers: It's time for Restoration comedy, with a twist ofOscar Wilde. "A lot of people don't realize how dirty those plays were,"says playwright David Grimm, who takes the Restoration's flair for bawdyplots and witty implication to extremes in his "Measure for Pleasure."
Restoration comedies were a rowdy backlash against England'smid-17th-century Puritan rule, when theater was generally banned. WhenCharles II reclaimed the throne in 1660, the theaters were reopened andpredatory characters with amoral thirsts were common on the stage.

-Gay, Punk and Ever the Provocateur
WITH each passing year the British artist and iconoclast Derek Jarman seemsat once more important and more marginal. His place in history as apioneering gay filmmaker is secure, but his work remains little seen, andthe spirit in which it was made seems further away than ever.

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-Poll: Majority In Calif Would Ban Gay Marriage
More than half of California residents would support amending the stateconstitution to outlaw gay marriage, according to a poll published Friday.

-2 Pro-Gay Laws Signed In Maryland
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has signed two bills that will benefitsame-sex couples in the state.

-Cannes Stars Raise $10M For AIDS Research
The Material Girl parted with a few personal possessions - a custom-madewhite guitar and the contents of her handbag - at a benefit to raise moneyfor AIDS research.

-NY Gov: Clinton Should Stop Mich. Fla. Effort
New York Gov. David Paterson, a superdelegate who supports Hillary RodhamClinton, said she's showing "a little desperation" and should give up hereffort to count votes from renegade primaries in Michigan and Florida.

-Obama Tries To Reassure Jewish Voters
Barack Obama promises "an unshakable commitment to Israel's security" as heseeks to reassure doubtful Jewish voters. He also says he hopes to helpimprove relations between American blacks and Jews.

-Gay Foes Seek 5-Month Calif. Marriage Delay
A conservative legal group asked the California Supreme Court on Thursday toput off finalization of its decision legalizing same-sex marriage untilvoters got a chance to weigh in.

Express Gay News
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-Priest resigns over past ties to website for gay priests
DALLAS (AP) - A longtime priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas resigned from a new parish assignment amid complaints about his past involvement with an Internet site for gay priests. The Rev. Arthur Mallinson drew brief media notice in 2002 for his connection to the website, which no longer exists. He told the diocese he had contributed to the site - which used his picture - when its purpose was to support gay priests in a celibate lifestyle, said Annette Gonzales Taylor, spokeswoman for the diocese. He cut off his relationship with the site in 2001 after others began posting pornographic material, Taylor said. The episode was resurrected on a widely circulated Internet posting after Mallinson's new assignment to St. Michael the Archangel Church in McKinney, north of Dallas. A "small faction" of McKinney parishioners contacted the diocese, but many more complaints came from around the country, Taylor said.

Marriage Equality News
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-The First District Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court's ruling that same-sex partners could not maintain a consortium claim because under Florida law, a consortium claim is based on legal status that can only be achieved by marriage. Florida Statutes Section 741.212 prohibits marriage of homosexual couples. In Bashaway v. Cheney Bros., Inc., a woman brought a consortium claim for injuries sustained by her same-sex partner. Cheney Brothers moved to have that claim dismissed and the trial court granted it.
The woman then appealed to the appellate court. In the appeal, the woman argued two main points: 1) that the basis of a consortium claim should be based on how serious a relationship is, and 2) that there should be an exception for homosexual couples because they could not meet the existing legal requirements to bring such a claim.
In its rejection of the arguments, the court said that although courts have historically enlarged the right to a consortium claim, all those extensions applied to people who had a familial relationship. Here there was not one.

-The American Political Science Association is considering relocating its 2012 annual conference from New Orleans because of a state law concerning gay marriage and same-sex partner recognition. The association's board will meet late next month to discuss whether to move the four-day event to another city. At issue is the 2004 "defense of marriage" amendment to the state constitution that denies legal status to common law relationships, domestic partnerships and civil unions between gay and heterosexual couples.


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