Wednesday, May 07, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 7, 2008

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Express Gay News
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-Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff would support 'Don't Ask' repealAdmiral Mullen spoke at West Point Sunday

-FBI raids office, home of OSC director
Bloch has record of targeting gay federal employees

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-Gay Candidate Loses Bid To Challenge Dole
(Chapel Hill, North Carolina) Chapel Hill businessman Jim Neal finished adistant second in the race for the Democratic primary for the US Senate fromNorth Carolina.

-Pressure Mounts On Clinton To Quit
(Washington) Hillary Rodham Clinton needed a game changer. Instead, it'salmost game over.

-NY High Court Refuses Gay Marriage Case
(New York City) The Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State,Tuesday declined to hear a case challenging an appeals court ruling thatfound the marriages of same-sex couples married in jurisdictions where theyare legal must be recognized in New York.

-Top Vet In Congress Calls For Repeal Of Ban On Gays In Military
(Washington) Rep. Sestak (D-PA) is the latest in a growing number of formermilitary brass calling for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law banninglesbian, gay and bisexual personnel from serving openly in the military.

-FBI Raids Office Of Special Counsel
(Washington) The FBI has raided the office of U.S. Special Counsel ScottBloch in an inquiry of whether he obstructed justice by having his computerfiles erased.

-Judge: Breakaway Anglicans Must Share Churches With Diocese
Three breakaway southern Ontario Anglican parishes won'tget to take their churches with them, says an Ontario Superior Courtjustice.

-Government Apologizes For Gay Kiss Bust
(George Town, Grand Cayman) A gay couple from Massachusetts has received anapology after being detained by police after kissing on the dance floor of apopular club on Grand Cayman.

The Advocate
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-Gay Senate Hopeful Jim Neal Loses Primary
Gay businessman Jim Neal lost his bid Tuesday for the Democratic nominationfor U.S. Senate from North Carolina. He received only 19% of the primaryvote, while Kay Hagan, currently a state senator, had 61%, with 53% ofprecincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.

-Gay Penguin Tale Tops List of 'Challenged' Children's Books
A children's story about a family of penguins with two fathers once againtops the list of library books the public objects to the most.

-LGBT Students Rally for Safer Schools
About three dozen students rallied at the California state capitol inSacramento Monday to call for new protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual,and transgender students, in hopes of preventing further tragedies like theshooting death of gay Oxnard teen Lawrence King.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Surrogate Mothers Fulfilling Gay Men's Parenthood Dreams
An ever-growing number of gay couples are paying tens of thousands ofdollars to have surrogate mothers carry their babies, turning America'sconcept of traditional family on its head. It took two women and two men fortwo-year-old twins Katherine and Connor to come to life. Their fathers,Michael Eidelman and A.J. Vincent, who have lived together for years,invested love, time and all their savings to build their family in NewYork's Chelsea neighborhood.

-OC AIDS Walk Aims for Million Mark
With only a week away until OC AIDS Walk at Angel Stadium of Anaheim onSaturday, May 10th, event organizers are hopeful that the Walk will farexceed its goal of $750,000. Although past years has rendered it difficultfor the Walk to raise over $600,000 at its former location on the campus ofUC Irvine, a change of location to Angel Stadium of Anaheim and moving theday from Sunday to Saturday has proven effective in just the first year.
"Bringing OC AIDS Walk to Angel Stadium of Anaheim was a wonderful way toappeal to a greater amount of individuals and families," said Doug Vogel,Director of Public Affairs for AIDS Services Foundation Orange County (ASF).
"As American as baseball and apple pie, the Walk even includes a pie eatingcontest," said Vogel.

-Another Year Without the Passage of Any Anti-GLBT Bills in Tennessee?
We reported in October that Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper supportsadoption by same-sex couples. There are no current laws in the state thatspecifically bar gay couples from adopting. Now Tennessee Equality Project(TEP) President Chris Sanders is telling HRC Back Story that his state mayget through another year without anti-gay legislation. Says Sanders:

-R Family Vacations Congratulations
Last night at New York's Chelsea Piers, Lambda Legal presented KelliO'Donnell and Gregg Kaminsky, founders of R Family Vacations, with the 2008National Liberty Award. The Lambda Legal Liberty Award is presented annuallyto individuals or groups who demonstrate Lambda Legal's mission in theirlives or work.

-"Homosexuality" is 140 Years Old Today
One hundred and forty years ago today, on May 6, 1868, the wordhomosexuality was invented. Before then, there were very few value-neutralwords to describe people who experienced romantic or sexual attractionstoward others of the same sex. Pejoratives such as "bugger," "molly,""sodomite," or "pederast" were common, words loaded with condemnation andshame. But as the budding science of sexology began to grow, and as same-sexloving defenders began to speak out about what same-sex love was all about,their first problem was with how to name it. "Abominable vice" wouldn't do.

-LGBT Farmworkers Fight Discrimination
Two hours south of San Francisco in the agricultural hub of Salinas, Calif.,a Mexican immigrant worked as a foreman in a produce packing plant,supervising nearly 100 people for eight to 10 hours a day, sometimes sevendays a week. In three years on the job, there were never any problems withcoworkers or the boss -- until the foreman began transitioning to be awoman.

-When Equity Official Takes Anti-Gay Stance
At many colleges, human resources officials are leaders in promoting equityand diversity among those who study and work together. And while collegesperiodically debate views of various officials that are seen as biasedagainst various groups, it is highly unusual for the head HR official at auniversity to be the source of such a controversy. But at the University ofToledo, a column in a local paper by Crystal Dixon, the associate vicepresident of human resources, has set off such a debate and resulted in herbeing placed on a paid leave, pending possible further action.

-Human Rights Campaign Announces Clergy Call 2009 Engages Local Communities
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the nation's largest gay, lesbian,bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today announced thelaunch of Clergy Call 2009, a year-long educational effort to facilitatefaith-based mobilization within congregations and local communities. Theeffort builds off Clergy Call 2007, where the HRC Religion & Faith Programbrought 230 religious leaders from all 50 states to Washington, D.C.Beginning this summer, HRC will support faith-based trainings throughout thecountry with a particular targeted emphasis on transgender education in 40ommunities. The trainings will lead into the national Clergy Call event May4-5, 2009 and will propel faith leaders to organize and advocate locally forGLBT equality.

Marriage Equality News
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-The Rev. James Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity.
Take gay marriage. Speaking in support of a proposed state constitutionalban on same sex unions in Florida, one Rev. Hayes Wicker of First BaptistChurch in Naples, Fla., was recently quoted by the Naples Daily News assaying, "This is a tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue ofslavery." As asinine as that remark is, it is perfectly in step with muchof modern Christianity, which has spent years demonizing gay men andlesbians. And then there's Mr. Lawson, who spoke last weekend at the 10thanniversary conference of Soulforce, a group that fights church-basedhomophobia. Few things could be more "out" of step. Mr. Lawson, you mayknow, is an icon of the civil rights movement; it was he who invited theRev. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis to support the striking sanitationworkers.

-In a case of first impression for North Carolina, on May 6 the state'scourt of appeals upheld a decision by Durham County District Judge AnnMcKown to award joint custody of a child to Joellen Mason and IreneDwinnell, former lesbian partners. McKown found that Dwinnell, the birthmother of a boy conceived through anonymous donor insemination, hadwillingly created a de facto parent status for Mason that she could notunilaterally dissolve when the women ended their partnership. Mason v.Dwinnell, 2008 Westlaw 1944823.
Mason and Dwinnell lived as domestic partners for eight years. Afterdeciding that they wanted to raise a child together, they held a commitmentceremony, researched their options for conceiving a child, and jointlydecided that Dwinnell would bear a child through donor insemination thatthey would then raise together as a family.

-The Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York State, Tuesday declinedto hear a case challenging an appeals court ruling that found the marriagesof same-sex couples married in jurisdictions where they are legal must berecognized in New York. The decision not to accept the case means the lowercourt ruling will stand.
On February 1 the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court reversed ajudge's ruling in 2006 that Monroe Community College did not have to extendhealth benefits to an employee's lesbian partner.

Pink News - UK
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-Boris appoints gay deputy Mayor
The new Mayor of London has announced that veteran London Tory RichardBarnes will serve as his deputy. He is a former leader of the Conservativeadministration in the London Borough of Hillingdon.

-Russian extremists call for recriminalisation of homosexuality
Russian Vanguard, an ultra-religious monarchist group, has picketed theKaliningrad concert of performer Boris Moiseyev because he is openly gay.The extreme nationalist group said it would not target the singer's fans.

-Munich's gay-themed maypole attacked by vandals
A maypole featuring depictions of gay and lesbian life in the German city ofMunich has been subjected to a suspected homophobic attack. The communityresource was only erected last week.

-Memorial to gay Holocaust victims to be unveiled this month
A memorial to the persecuted homosexual victims of Nazism will be officiallyunveiled in Berlin on May 27th. It takes the form of a gray concrete slab,with a window to allow visitors to view a video.

-Admiral turned Congressman calls for end to gay military ban
The most senior US military veteran in the House of Representatives hascalled for an end to the ban on openly gay, lesbian and bisexual peopleserving in the country's Armed Forces.

-Lesbian footballer player murdered in homophobic attack
A prominent female football player gang-raped and murdered in South Africalast week was the victim of homophobic violence, according to activists.
Midfielder Eudy Simelane, 31, was buried earlier this week.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-British churches still homophobic, says outgoing LGCM leader
The Rev Richard Kirker, an Anglican deacon who steps down during 2008 afterthree decades leading Britain's Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, believesthat if the worldwide Anglican communion separates over homosexuality, theonus of responsibility will fall upon "those who walked away" - writesMartin Revis. "If we are in any way held responsible for a schism, then sobe it. But I think the onus should be on those who choose to walk apart. We
have never asked those who disagree with us to leave the church," said Kirker, who isto hand over the role of the movement's chief executive to the Rev SharonFerguson, on 31 August 2008.

-2 tributes unveiled in Germany to gay-rights activist persecuted by Nazis
Seventy-five years ago, the Nazis ransacked the offices of Germansex-researcher and gay-rights activist Magnus Hirschfeld, seizing hundredsof books that were burned in a towering pyre four days later. To markthe day Tuesday, Berlin dedicated a stretch of the Spree river toHirschfeld, while the city's Charité hospital opened a new exhibition of hiswork called "Sex Burns." The tributes to Hirschfeld are "a clearacknowledgment for gays that a persecution has taken place and thatreparation is necessary," said Alexander Zinn, head of Germany's Lesbian andGay Association, at the dedication ceremony. "That is a first step in theright direction" Nazi Germany declared homosexuality an aberration thatthreatened the German race and convicted some 50,000 homosexuals ascriminals. An estimated 10,000 to 15,000 homosexuals, mostly men, weredeported to concentration camps, where few survived.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Arsham Parsi IRQO condemns Islamophobes and Islamophobia
Personally, as a Muslim gay man, it is painful for me to see how myfellow Muslims deny and condemn the existence of homosexuality withinIslam, and refuse to accept me as a member of their community. It isequally discomforting for me to see how some Western queer activistsviciously attack Islam and its perceived intolerance of sexualminorities, not realizing that often it is us, the queer Muslims, whoare at the receiving end of these harsh criticisms. Since I was bornqueer and was raised a Muslim, through no choice of my own, it isneither desirable nor possible for me to disregard one aspect of myidentity to protect the other. The truth is that I belong to bothcommunities: the global queer village and Muslim society.

-"Islamofascism" is a term frequently employed by persons trying to drum-upsupport for war against Iran. Although she didn't use this term, HillaryClinton's recent threat to "obliterate Iran" if that nation attacked Israelis an example of threats against Iran that go back to the toppling by theCIA in 1953 of the popular Mosaddeq government in Iran. The subsequentbrutal rule of the US-sponsored Shah of Iran may be among many chapters ofUS intervention for empire unknown to most Americans, but one wellremembered by Iranians.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Ontario: People can't invite violent sex acts, judge rules
A willing partner to "rough sex" could not legally consent to be choked intounconsciousness and sexually violated, an Ottawa judge has ruled in abizarre case involving a couple whose eight-year relationship featured araunchy sex life. Judge Dianne Nicholas, of the Ontario Court, convicted thedefendant of sexually assaulting his partner during a sex session in which he choked herinto unconsciousness and then committed a sex act on her inert body.

Join us in New York City for SAGE's Fourth National Conference on LGBT
will take place October 12-14 2008 and is sponsored by AARP.
Why should you go?
Over the next quarter century, the number of seniors in America is projectedto grow geometrically from 12% to 20% of the total population. Since 6-8% ofthese individuals are likely to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender(LGBT), by the year 2030, LGBT seniors age 65 and above are expected jumpfrom 2.5 million to as many as 4.7 million. With 2.5 million LGBT seniorstoday, and another 2 million joining them in the next 25 years, shouldn'tyou be prepared?

-Note the obituary, in today's New York Times, of Mildred Loving, the blackwoman who married a white man in the 1950s and violated Virginia's RacialIntegrity Act. In Loving v. Virginia (1967), the U.S. Supreme Court struckdown state bans of interracial marriage as violating the Equal ProtectionClause. The obit's final paragraph reads:
"Mrs. Loving stopped giving interviews, but last year issued a statement onthe 40th anniversary of the announcement of the Supreme Court ruling, urgingthat gay men and lesbians be allowed to marry."

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-R.I. lawmakers to hear testimony on gay marriage, divorce
House lawmakers plan to debate two bills that would allow gay coupleslegally united elsewhere to divorce in Rhode Island courts.

-More on the pregnant man
When Oregon transman Thomas Beatie first told the world that he was pregnantin The Advocate in March, readers learned that he transitioned about 10years ago, underwent a double mastectomy and began testosterone injections.

-Pioneering Dallas activist earns yet another honor
Louise Young will be first to receive award from Jewish group for work inthe LGBT communityPioneering LGBT activist Louise Young is breaking new ground, yet again.

-California: no oath, no job
Autumn sent me this one. From the Golden State, a bizarre and ridiculousfiring of a teacher for not signing a loyalty oath.

-Sacramento Bee endorses gay candidate for California State Assembly
The Sacramento Bee lent its endorsement to Victory-endorsed candidate ChrisCabaldon, who is running for a seat on the California's State Assembly inthe 8th District.

-Arizona constitutional marriage ban refuses to die
Even after openly bisexual Arizona legislator Kyrsten Sinema helpedsuccessfully orchestrate a move to sideline a ballot question writinganti-gay discrimination into the state's constitution, the issue of banninggay marriage has once again presented itself to the state legislature.

-Study: Gay Americans Few in Number, More Active Politically
One widespread conception of the number of gays and lesbians in the generalpopulation places the rate of homosexuality at one person in ten. But a newstudy suggests that the number may be far lower than that, with a highdegree of civic engagement accounting for GLT political might.

-Upcoming Gay Pride events and dates to remember
We are heading into the busy season for LGBTI festivals and Gay Prideevents. Some dates to mark are the first Sunday in June for the huge, annualNew Jersey Pride festival in Asbury Park thelast Sunday in June for the granddaddy of them all - the Heritage of PrideParade in New York City Saturday, August 23, forJCLGO's wonderful gay festival at Exchange Place in Jersey City and closing the season,Trenton's Gay Pride,

-Lesbian Couple On Trial In Trespassing Case
Judge Bars Defense From Arguing Constitutionality Of Gay Marriage Ban

-Saddam, Scientist
According to the just-released diary of Saddam Hussein, the late Iraqidictator feared that his American captors would give him AIDS by using hisprison clothesline to dry their clothes.

-Save the Date : International Day Against Homophobia
Our Senior Field and Policy Coordinator Kim Jones reminded me that IDAHO dayis coming. No, not for the state! IDAHO stands for International Day AgainstHomophobia. Kim reminds us.
"International Day Against Homophobia is coming up on May 17, 2008.
Originally developed as an annual event in Canada, this educational day isspreading as an annual event throughout the world. This year's theme ishealth-care issues. Please visit the website for more information on the dayand the activities taking place this year. While the activities listed arebased in Canada, reading about the work others are doing around theInternational Day Against Homophobia may spark an idea and create anopportunity for PFLAG chapters to plan an event in their community.
Materials for the day are also available on the"

-Deck stacked against Winnipeg trans youth
TRANS YOUTH / Activists chipping away at multiple barriers

-Hirschfeld, German gay-right pioneer, honored with multiple tributesBerlin today renamed a promenade along the Spree River after MagnusHirschfeld, a sex researcher and pioneer of the German gay rights movement.

-Spelling military inclusion without the T
Gay rights advocates said no to a trans-excluding ENDA, but it seemsanti-gay military policies are exempt from their 'all or nothing' rule

-Clinton gets bragging rights for Indiana. But it's basically a tie.
Overall, counting both states, Clinton won 1,273,696 votes; and Obama won1,528,897. It was a 55 - 45 percent win for Obama in the popular vote. Andit's now basically impossible for her to make a popular vote argument, evenwith Florida and Michigan. After the last month of unremitting Freak Showattacks, that's a remarkable show of strength and resilience. Obama'sdelegate lead grows. He will have the majority of the popular vote. He hasfar more money and far more donors. The logic of Clinton's remaining in therace dwindles to the point of vanishing altogether.
Know hope.

-Gays and Global Culture War
An Iranian feminist artist who goes by the alias Sooreh Hera, living inexile in the Netherlands, said she received death threats after attemptingto show her series of homoerotic photographs that include models depictedwearing masks of the Prophet Muhammad and his son-in-law Ali, reports FoxNews.

-Gay freshman elected, Q-Notes gets online revamp, Police harassment, 'NakedBoys' banned in Winston-Salem
The latest headlines from the May 3 issue of Q-Notes, Carolina's multimediaLGBT news source.

-Black, gay and mad as hell
I was reading something today that really bothered me.
An African-American by the name of Crystal Dixon wrote a piece criticizinghomosexuality. Nothing wrong with that because this is her right.

-'We have a big problem'
LGBT Methodists, supporters surprised by votes upholding anti-gay churchpolicies
Onlookers tearfully react to a vote Wednesday, April 30 at the UnitedMethodist Church's General Conference.

-Former Goodwill Employee Says He Was Fired for Being Gay
A former Goodwill Industries employee says that he was fired for beingopenly gay.
Bryan Simms came out as gay while still living in Cal. Two years later, hemoved to Colo., where for the last three years he has lived in ColoradoSprings, partly because he has relatives in the area, and also because closer to Tex. than Cal.; his ex-wife and his children now live in theLone Star State.

-The 2008 PlanetOut Travel Award for best airline goes to: VirginAmerica/Atlantic!
That Virgin America is the official airline of San Francisco Pride for 2008is really just the beginning. Its dedication to making flying great again isnot only expressed through temptingly low fares and cutting-edge amenities,but also through a deep and very public commitment to diversity in itsworkplace.
Runners-up: Jet Blue and American Airlines

-Gay powerlifter reaches Worlds
Chris Morgan, defending Gay Games powerlifting gold medalist, has qualifiedfor both this year's European and World drug-free championship Finals. Wehave featured Morgan's exploits as an openly gay powerlifter for severalyears.

-Parents Confront Memphis School Board About Outed Gay Students
At Monday night's Memphis School Board meeting, a small but vocal group ofparents and community members gathered in the back of the auditorium waitingto speak their minds.

-Dr. Jack Drescher Responds to Controversial APA Symposium Featuring Spin
The last AGLP Newsletter announced this year's APA annual meeting wouldinclude a symposium, "Homosexuality and Therapy: The Religious Dimension."
AGLP has no official connection to the symposium, although our conventionnewsletter routinely reports APA programs that may be of interest to ourmembers.

-NPR Reports on Gender Identity
This Wednesday and Thursday (May 7 & 8), National Public Radio's All ThingsConsidered will include two reports on gender identity issues.

-'Kevin and Scotty' to marry on 'Brothers & Sisters' season finale
In what has been described as a historic first for network television, thetwo actors that portray gay men on the ABC show "Brothers & Sisters" willmarry on the season finale of the show on May 11.

-Update: Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo says he is not gay
In a press conference meant to address an incident last week in whichBrazilian soccer super-star Ronaldo got caught soliciting three transgenderprostitutes for sex, Goal reports that the player wanted to clear up onething: "As for what happened, I did not have any sexual dealings with thosepeople, I must stress that I am not gay."

-'Lesbian Phobia' at Work to Feminize WNBA Players
Looking to give its players a makeover, the Women's National BasketballAssociation gave rookies lessons in how to handle the media, how to stay fitand healthy--and how to wear clothes and makeup.

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We've been super busy with our outreach and educational work. FromHuntsville AL to Albany GA to Hendersonville NC, our plate has been quitefull. We are however, feeling the extreme pain of ridiculous gas prices.
Anyone want to help HeartStrong get a Toyota Prius? At this point in ourmore than 11 years of work, a Prius is going to be the only responsiblevehicle for HeartStrong to use to do its work. We are also still behind inour fundraising for this year. In order to conserve funds we are combiningour April and May newsletters. So, if you are a monthly donor and rely ongeting the newsletter as a reminder for your donation, please remember toinclude your April AND May donations when you send your May donations in.
You can also make your donations online at Yoursupport is greatly appreciated.
We recently did visits to Southeastern Christian University, Bob JonesUniversity as well as a few religious high schools. As usual our visitswere simple and uneventful. Eleven years of school visits and we arestill able to walk on campus, do our work and walk off without any dramafrom the schools. This outreach/ educational trip continues until May 28.
If you live in GA or in FL, all of our educational forums are listed on theHeartStrong website. We are also busy working on scheduling our programsfor the rest of the year and they will appear on the schedule as they areconfirmed. Keep checking back!
Looking forward to hearing from you, Marc Adams Executive Director

From Transgender Equality
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-From The Philadelphia Inquirer
For school officials in Haverford Township, the challenge was daunting:
What do you do when a 9-year-old student, with the full support of hisparents, decides that he is no longer a boy and instead is a girl? Parentsof a third-grade student at Chatham Park Elementary School approached theadministration on April 16 to ask for help in making a "social transition"for their child. The Haverford School District consulted experts ontransgender children, then sent letters to parents advising them that theguidance counselor would meet with the school's 100 third-grade students toexplain why their classmate would now wear girls' clothes and be called by agirl's name.

Anything But Straight by Wayne Besen
The Bible Without Bile

No matter who wins the presidential election, it is quite clear that the bigloser in campaign 08 is religion. By far, the most strident political voiceshave come from renegade reverends that seem a bit hot under the collar.
These cantankerous characters (or caricatures) have transformed their housesof worship into a harbor of war ships with loose cannons lobbing invectiveinto an otherwise serene national conversation. The most cloying of theclergy is Barack Obama's self-promoting preacher, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright.
While he claims to represent the interests of African Americans, he may beremembered for giving a black eye to the black church, while sabotagingAmerica's first legitimate African American presidential contender. Wrighthas clearly turned the sanctuary into a sanitarium.


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