Saturday, May 31, 2008

GLBT NEWS Saturday, May 31, 2008

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New York Times
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-States Seek Delay in California Marriage Ruling
SAN FRANCISCO — Concerned about the national ramifications of same-sex marriages in California, attorneys general from 10 states have asked the California Supreme Court to stay its decision legalizing the marriages, which are set to begin on June 17. In a letter to the court’s chief justice, Ronald George, the attorneys general — all Republicans — asked that the marriages be put off until after the November election, when California voters are expected to vote on a measure that would ban same-sex marriages.
The attorneys general said that allowing same-sex marriages now could unnecessarily open the door to legal challenges from gay residents of other states who get married in California. Upon returning to their home states, the newlyweds could demand equality in everything from tax-filing status to testimonial privileges in civil suits, the attorneys general said. “Absent a stay of the mandate in this case, that number will certainly be very large indeed,” Mark L. Shurtleff, the Utah attorney general, wrote on behalf of the group in a letter delivered on Thursday and released publicly on Friday.
“And unnecessarily so if a majority of California’s voters favor in November the proposed ballot measure.”

-Calif. clerk hopes to have 1st legal gay marriage
MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) -- For 18 years, Stephen Weir has been in charge of the office that hands out marriage licenses in California's ninth-largest county. And for just as long, Weir has been unable to get a license himself because the love of his life is a man. The irony did not escape him.''Always the bridesmaid, never the bride,'' he quips with a rueful smile. So Weir hopes the citizens of Contra Costa County understand if their clerk-recorder invokes executive privilege and opens up for business a little early on June 17, when same-sex couples may be able to legally wed in California. He and his partner, John Hemm, want to be first at the counter that day. They plan to be the first to exchange vows and kisses in the conference room Weir converted into a wedding chapel that hosts 1,200 couples a year, but that he could never use.

-Paterson Faces Suit Over Order on Marriage
ALBANY — An Arizona-based conservative Christian group said on Friday that it planned to sue Gov. David A. Paterson to block his directive to state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside New York.Brian Raum, the senior legal counsel for the group, the Alliance Defense Fund, said that it would file a lawsuit next week claiming that Mr. Paterson’s order sidestepped the Legislature. The Alliance, which was founded by the Rev. James C. Dobson and others, has been active in efforts in other states to limit marriage to heterosexuals. “This is directly the province of the egislature,” Mr. Raum said. “The Court of Appeals said marriage in New York is one man, one woman. And if that’s going to change, it has to come from the Legislature. What Paterson is doing is circumventing that process.”

-Latvian Gays Hold March Amid Strong Police Presence
RIGA (Reuters) - About 400 gay men and women and their supporters held a parade in the Latvian capital on Saturday, accompanied by a strong police presence and chants and insults from anti-gay activists. The annual gay pride event attracts controversy in a nation where open homosexuality is rare. The head of the Catholic church in the former Soviet state protested against it, but the president supported people's rights to express themselves. "We are all different, but we only have one country," Linda Freimane, head of the Mozaika group, which organized the event, told a crowd of supporters after the march. The event was peaceful, but police had sealed off both ends of the road where the march took place, as well as all nearby streets. March participants, including people from Scandinavia and Britain, as well as representatives from rights group Amnesty International, were taken away in buses when it was over.

Washington Post
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-DEAR AMY: I was reading your column about "Betsy," a lesbian who was sexually harassing her co-workers.
I was surprised to read that you don't think Betsy's sexuality is a choice.
That is very desensitizing to youth.
I am a high school teacher. Homosexuality is a choice and a very bad and unnatural one at that. It is moral perversion, and it is sex outside of marriage. I have two daughters 12 and 10, and they won't ever hear me say it is OK to be gay. -- David
DEAR DAVID: There is some likelihood that a percentage of your high school students are gay, whether or not they are foolish or naive enough to admit it to you. There is also the chance that one or more of your children could be gay. I can only hope that your thinking evolves and that you learn to withhold judgment of people based on such an elemental issue as their sexuality.

Miami Herald
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-Gay marriage ruling falling on deaf ears?
For conservative Christian activists, this month's California Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage provides an opportunity to rekindle interest in an issue that has fallen well behind the price of gas in the national onsciousness. But it won't be easy, and not just because of pressing secular issues like the housing downturn and an unpopular war in Iraq.
Voices within evangelicalism are pushing for a broader agenda, and evidence suggests younger evangelicals are more accepting of gays and lesbians.
Meanwhile, anti-gay marriage amendments are on the ballot in only a few states and the issue doesn't play to presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain's strengths. Yet gay marriage opponents say the California ruling will help them broaden their religious coalitions to include more Hispanic Catholics and evangelicals. The ruling, they say, made their argument for them: Constitutional measures are needed to prevent judges from subverting the will of the people and reinventing a sacred institution they believe is central to society's well-being and part of God's design.

Express Gay News
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-Gay couples vow to wed in Greece despite opposition
ATHENS --Couples who have found a legal loophole to hold the first gay weddings in Greece are determined to go ahead with the services despite threats from prosecutors and the wrath of the powerful Orthodox church.
Taking advantage of Greek civil law not clarifying the gender of people wishing to marry, a gay and a lesbian couple are planning to marry on the tiny Aegean island of Tilos. While many European Union countries have established legislation allowing gay marriage or "registered partnership" rights to same-sex couples, neither are allowed in Greece. A senior Greek prosecutor said on Friday the mayor of Tilos would face criminal charges if he proceeded with the weddings. "Neither civil law nor the country's constitution refer to gay marriages," Greece's supreme court prosecutor, George Sanidas, said in a statement. "If the Tilos mayor proceeds, he will have committed the criminal act of breach of duty." But the Greek Gay and Lesbian Community (OLKE) said the weddings would go ahead as planned but would not reveal details for fear they may be disrupted.

-Wis. judge upholds state's ban on gay marriage
Lawsuit had been brought by state university
A judge upheld Wisconsin's constitutional ban on gay marriage Friday, rejecting a challenge that claimed the 2006 referendum was improperly put to oters. Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess dismissed a lawsuit brought by a University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh political science instructor claiming the referendum wrongly put two issues to voters at the same time.
The referendum asked voters whether to rewrite the constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman and outlaw the state from granting a similar legal status to unmarried individuals. Nearly 60 percent of voters pproved. "Today's ruling defeats a legal challenge that was aimed at undermining the will of Wisconsin voters," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican whose office defended the amendment.

-Constitutional amendment against gay marriage introduced in Congress
Ga. Rep. Paul Broun, 29 others sponsor legislation
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) introduced an amendment to the U.S. Constitution on May 22 to ban same-sex marriage, a result of the backlash by lawmakers upset with the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling legalizing gay marriage. Broun, a freshman Congressman from Augusta, announced his intent to introduce the legislation on May 20 and got 29 co-sponsors to join him in introducing the bill, named the Marriage Protection Amendment. Other eorgians who have signed on as co-sponsors are Republicans Lynn Westmoreland and John Linder. One co-sponsor, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), said in a statement posted on his website May 28 he was joining Broun as a co-sponsor because, “The recent decision by the California Supreme Court to overturn the state’s ban on homosexual marriage is an assault on the Judeo-Christian values of America.

-Gay political blog left out of DNC National Convention
Webmaster says less worthy sites granted access over, a rising gay blog headed by Bil Browning and host to nearly 100 contributors, was not granted blogger credentials to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. Browning is angry. He wanted to bring a troop of six bloggers, including himself, one transgender, bisexual white woman, one transgender black woman, two gay activists from Indiana, a lesbian from Arizona, and Eric Marcus, a gay man and New York Times bestselling author.
The rejection letter stated: “As you may know, we've had overwhelming interest in the credentialed blogger program this year. Several hundred great blogs submitted applications. But we have very limited space.
Unfortunately, your blog will not be credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.”
Damon Jones, DNC spokesperson, reiterated those points. In 2004 in Boston, the convention committee credentialed 30 bloggers, while this year, 120 are being given access. Still, hundreds of applications were received for that limited number of spots, he said. Browning figured Bilerico would be a shoo-in, with its wide variety of writers and the diversity among them. He skipped the state pool for Indiana, where Bilerico originates, and tried for the general pool, leaving that spot open for Blue Indiana.

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-Gay Marriage Recognition in NY Faces Battle
(Albany, NY) Religious and social conservatives vowed Thursday to fight Gov. David Paterson's directive requiring state agencies to recognize gay marriages performed legally elsewhere, saying it flouts traditional values and is a big step toward legalizing same-sex unions in New York

-Obama Distances Himself from Another Clergyman
(Chicago)Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that he was "deeply disappointed" by a supporter's sermon at his church that mocked Hillary Rodham Clinton.

-NY Opposition Forming Against Recognition of Out-of-State Gay Marriage
Opposition is forming against Gov. David Paterson's directive to state agencies to recognize gay marriages legally performed in other states and countries.

The Advocate
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- For TV, 30 Years of Queers
At Los Angeles's Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, a group of writers, producers, and actors discussed the changing representation of LGBT people on TV

- The LGBT Literati
The Lambda Literary awards on May 29 brought the best and brightest LGBT writers and book lovers to Los Angeles for a celebration of queer literature dripping with bawdiness

-Fey singer Clay Aiken is going to be a daddy, the turkey-baster way, according to the folks at Aiken has apparently artificially inseminated his best pal and record producer Jaymes Foster, 50, the sister of producer David Foster. Aiken, 29, lives with Ms. Foster when he is in Los Angeles and will apparently play an active role in raising the child.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Flunking Gay Rights 101
Hunter college just released the results of a comprehensive study, touted by that institution as the most comprehensive study of lesbian, gay and bisexual attitudes and behavior to date. When the results went public, the headline news was its finding that roughly 2.9 percent of Americans are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Instinctively that number feels low to me (my kids might argue, in the context of that stat, that I know all the gay people in America).

-The Health Problem Hall of Shame
Disappointing? Sure. Embarrassing? Yep. But premature ejaculation, like flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea, may actually be completely natural.
The proof: A 1948 study by the noted biologist Alfred Kinsey revealed that a whopping 75 percent of men ejaculate within 2 minutes of initiating sex, and within a minute or even seconds after penetration. (Perhaps you can thank the adult-film industry for raising your expectations — and hers.)

-Mariners Respond to Lesbian Kissing Controversy
A Mariners spokeswoman has said staff acted on a guest complaint that the women were "groping and making out." Mariners staff are investigating the incident. Read below for more. A lesbian woman says she was targeted by a security guard at Safeco Field because of her sexual orientation (update: Mariners staff say it was a seating host, not a security guard. Read below for more).

-Transsexualism Far More Common Than Believed, Say Researchers
Prof Femke Olyslager and Prof Emeritus Lynn Conway have completely overturning those numbers showing Transsexualism far more common than thought. Hailing respectively from Ghent University, Belgium and the University of Michigan, USA, the two are respected researchers in Electrical Engineering who also happen to be transsexual women. As Prof Olyslager was in Singapore for a physics conference last week, Lo persuaded her as a friend to present her findings to the local and international press.

-New Mexico: Shendo Takes 'Lifestyle' Shot at Luján
The contest for the Democratic nomination in the 3rd Congressional District has included mudslinging, rumor mongering and innuendo regarding candidates' qualifications, past business problems and campaign donors. Now, the political fight has strayed into the topic of a candidate's sexuality. Benny Shendo Jr. caused a stir at a Monday night candidate forum in Farmington when he asked a question of Ben Ray Luján that implied Luján is gay. "You say that you stand up for the people of New Mexico," Shendo said, "and I want to know how you can stand up for the people of New Mexico if you can't stand up to your mom and dad about your lifestyle."

Marriage Equality News
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-What can we do to help preserve the freedom to marry we have just won?
We urge you to get involved today! Now that we have won this victory, all residents of California are better off, because strengthening any group of families makes stronger communities for everyone. All people who value families and fairness have a stake in preserving the freedom to marry for lesbian and gay couples. We cannot afford to wait, please act now. Many of our friends and family don't know that the freedom to marry we just won is already under threat. After you've made a contribution we need you to ask your friends and family to join the Equality For All campaign.

-Political hell has broken loose in New York State after the New York Times revealed on Thursday that Governor David Paterson had accepted the recommendation of his legal counsel to send a memo to state agencies calling on them to review their rules and regulations to come into compliance with recent state court rulings holding that same-sex couples who marry in other jurisdictions are entitled to have their marriages "recognized" in New York State. Republicans and Conservatives are fulminating about lawsuits or legislative action and accusing the governor of taking improper unilateral action. Stuff and nonsense.

-An Arizona-based conservative Christian group said on Friday that it planned to sue Gov. David A. Paterson to block his directive to state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed outside New York.
Brian Raum, the senior legal counsel for the group, the Alliance Defense Fund, said that it would file a lawsuit next week claiming that Mr. Paterson’s order sidestepped the Legislature.

-Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in California
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do I Need To Know About Getting Married In California?

-Though same-sex marriages may (as of June 17th) take place only in Massachusetts and California, such marriages are now recognized in New York and (perhaps) Rhode Island. In total 63 million Americans, or 20.7%, live in marriage recognition states. States that allow all or nearly all of the attributes of marriage under some other name, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Oregon, contribute another 18 million, or 5.9%. Those who offer limited recognition, Washington, Maine, Hawaii, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, have populations totaling 15 million or 5.0%.
In total 31.6% of US residents are able to avail themselves of protections for their same-sex families.

Pink News - UK
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-Council of Europe expresses concern over gay rights in Turkey
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has today issued a stark reminder to the Turkish government about freedom of expression and association.

-Gay reality winner explains trans remarks were not derogatory
Project Runway-winning designer Christian Siriano said recent comments he made in an interview with Time Out New York were not meant to be derogatory towards trans people.

-Test for Greek marriage law as mayor agrees to same-sex ceremony
Tilos many not be the best-known island in the Aegean Sea, but its mayor has made a bold move to put it on the map. Tassos Alfieries has offered to perform Greece's first gay wedding.

Soulforce Email Update
Our staff and dedicated volunteers are deeply immersed in creating nonviolent conversations. The American Family Outing has crossed the halfway mark and over the next three weekends we'll continue to reach out to some of the most influential leaders and mega-churches in the country. In this update you'll find: A Spirit of Integrity and a Gospel of Deception: The Starkly Different Theologies of Bishops T.D. Jakes and Harry Jackson, Jr.

-A Spirit of Integrity and a Gospel of Deception:
The Starkly Different Theologies of Bishops T.D. Jakes and Harry Jackson, Jr.

Video of Bishop Harry Jackson with our Families and CBN Interview Afterwards

Letter to T.D. Jakes, Letter to Harry Jackson, Second Letter to Hope

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Here is a report on sexual orientation and gender identity issues raised with countries reviewed during the second round of UPR: Benin, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Japan, Mali, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Romania, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tonga, Ukraine, and Zambia. As you will see, there were many sexual orientation and gender identity issues raised, some positive developments, and also a continuation of the backlash … Please note that many of these countries have reserved their positions on recommendations made, creating an opportunity for activists at the national level to lobby their governments to accept these recommendations when their reports are adopted by the Human Rights Council in the week beginning 9 June.
Contact Ray's List for the full report.

-Gay Pride on the Eve of Its Third Ban
Moscow Pride tomorrow, June 1, will take the form of a picket in front of the City Hall on the main street. This year, activists, journalists and protesters will meet at 1pm. We changed the date from today as it is more convenient for us — and the weather forecast is better. I was amused to read recently in the French paper Le Canard Enchainé that OMOH (riot police) went to Paris to learn from the French riot police how to react in demonstrations. We will see if the beatings we receive this year are softer!
Moscow Pride 2008 will be mostly Russian, even though it had officially twined with Sao Paulo Pride, the largest in the world, two weeks ago. The street of the economical capital of Brazil were coloured with pictures from Moscow Pride. It’s a symbolical support. So, why the absence of foreign participation this year?

-Malta: Woman born a man determined to win right to marry
A woman who was born a man but was legally declared female following gender reassignment surgery is determined to keep on fighting for her right to a married life after a court revoked a ruling that had givenher the green light to wedlock. Speaking to The Times, the woman - who insisted on describing herself as a person with gender identity disorder rather than a transsexual as labelled by the court - expressed her disappointment at the ruling. "One court allowed me to get married but another took it away fromme," she said, insisting she will pursue the legal battle to marriage. On February 12, 2007, Mr Justice Gino Camilleri, sitting in the Civil Court, ordered the director of Public Registry to issue the marriage banns for the woman after noting that the union between her - who had been recognised as a woman on her birth certificate - and her male partner did not contravene any provision of the Marriage Act.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Joint statement from Trans activist groups.
National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Transgender Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) Transgender Law Center (TLC) Transgender Youth Family Allies (TYFA) On May 1, 2008, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced the composition of work groups to review scientific advances and research-based information to develop the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). The composition and scope of the work group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders and two subgroups are of great interest to transgender people and therefore to our organizations. Though no consensus exists among transgender people about whether and how a GID diagnosis should be in the DSM-V, there is certainly agreement that decisions made by the APA about transgender and gender non-conforming people will deeply affect the lives of millions of transgender adults, adolescents and children.

-Crucial Developments in Max Hardcore Trial
TAMPA - This reporter has now learned an important lesson: Don't put away the notebook just because the judge has dismissed the jury for the day. "I fail to understand why you-all are playing all these videos," anapparently exasperated Judge Susan C. Bucklew said to Dan Aaronson, one of the attorneys representing Max World Entertainment in the federal trial charging Max World and Max Hardcore with interstate transportation of obscene material. As part of his cross-examination of postal inspector Linda Walker, Aaronson had begun to play the portions of Golden Guzzlers 7 which the prosecution had earlier refused to play, electing instead to allow the jury to see just 19 minutes of the compilation, including introductory material, copyright notices, the FBI anti-piracy warning, a promo encouraging sexually active people to get HIV-tested, a short segment of Max warning sensitive viewers not to watch what follows, and the disk's opening credits. She then proceeded to play one 11-and-a-half minute scene featuring Max, Fawna and Cloey Adams.

-This week in Washington Blade.

-Bestiality, Fisting Videos Seized in FBI Obscenity Bust
MORGAN COUNTY, Ind. - Hard2Find Videos owner Loren Jay Adams was released from Marion County jail on his own recognizance last Friday following his arrest on federal obscenity charges. In an exclusive interview with AVN, Adams revealed details of the three videos seized by the FBI during the bust. "Two of them were bestiality videos, and one of them was a fisting video," Adams told AVN. "I did not produce these; I did not make them. These are videos I've acquired over the years through trading." Federal agents ordered copies of the three DVDs from Adams' in February, requesting that the videos be sent via the U.S. postal service to an address in Martinsburg, West Virginia. A federal grand jury used that transaction to indict Adams on charges of distributing obscene materials through the mail.

-Lawrence v. Texas was always about much more than sex. Lambda Legal's Supreme Court victory vanquishing the nation's sodomy laws five years ago is often cast as protecting privacy in the bedroom. And indeed, our win in Lawrence did confirm that right. But it did so much more. In pitching the battle in the first place, we sought to banish the stigma and scars from the presence of criminal sodomy statutes - no matter how frequently or infrequently they were enforced in the country's riminal courts. These criminal provisions served as a platform for antigay forces to launch attacks that bled into multiple legal areas prioritized by Lambda Legal. In family law, sodomy laws were used to justify barring foster
care certification, to foreclose adoption possibilities and to deny gay men and lesbians custody of their biological children.

-From Donald E. Wildmon Founder American Family Association
Department of Defense ignoring law, selling p'orn
Urge your representative to co-sponsor Military Honor and Decency Act
According to some at the Department of Defense, porn is harmless entertainment. To them, porn should be made readily available to militarypersonnel. A decade-old law officially bars military exchanges from selling or renting videos or printed material with "the dominant theme of which depicts or describes nudity" or se-ual activities "in a lascivious way." But the Defense Department, despite the law, has deemed it appropriate to sell many se-ually-explicit publications to soldiers stationed throughout the country and around the world. It is hardly comforting to know that publications such as Celebrity Skin, Pl-yb-y's College Girls, and Playmates
In Bed are approved by the Defense Department. The por-ogr-phic industry has become a societal threat of monumental proportions. Its primary targets are men and boys, but families and society as a whole cannot escape its destructive impact. It leads men to adopt unrealistic expectations of their wives and demeaning views of women in general. It rips apart marriages and destroys families.

-Greetings from the Lambda Literary Foundation, tonight 21 books joined the collective treasure that are the Lammys, the country's largest awards program for LGBT books and authors. View the complete list of award winning books.


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