Wednesday, June 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST June 04, 2008

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New York Times
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-Suit Seeks to Block State Policy on Same-Sex Unions
Five state lawmakers, backed by a conservative Christian policy group, suedGov. David A. Paterson on Tuesday, seeking to block the governor's orderdirecting state agencies to recognize same-sex marriages performed outsideNew York. The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in the Bronx, came asthe Senate Republican conference all but ruled out taking any action to tryto challenge the governor.

-Same-Sex Marriages Performed in Greece
Defying governmental wrath, the mayor of a remote Greek island performed thecountry's first same-sex marriages on Tuesday, wedding two men and twowomen.

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-Leno Defeats Migden In Calif. Senate Primary
In what was characterized as a grudge match between two of California's most prominent gay politicians, Assemblymember Mark Leno has defeated incumbentstate Sen. Carole Migden in the Democratic primary.

-Anti-Gay Former NBA Star Headed For Runoff In Sacramento
Former NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson survived his first political test, forcinga runoff election for mayor against the two-term incumbent in California'scapital.

-Presidential Campaign Officially Underway
Change is coming, that much Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama agree on asthey plunge into a five-month campaign for the White House.

-McCain, Obama Polar Opposites
Heartily sick of the status quo, Americans will choose between RepublicanJohn McCain and Democrat Barack Obama this fall, two men who campaign asbipartisan reformers yet are polar opposites on virtually everything else,from ideology and biography to appearance and experience.

-Obama Seals Nomination, Clinton Mulls Future
Before a crowd of cheering thousands, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois laidclaim to the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, taking ahistoric step toward his once-improbable goal of becoming the nation's firstblack president.
- Group: McCain Record Shows History Of Opposing LGBT Rights

-Court Declares Turkish Gay Rights Group Immoral, Orders It Closed
Turkey's largest LGBT civil rights group said Tuesday it will appeal aruling that it has violated the country's laws against immorality and thatit be closed.

-Ky. Gov. Reinstates Gay Protections
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has signed an executive order prohibitingdiscrimination against LGBT state employees.

-Suit Seeks To Stop Recognitions Of Gay Marriages In NY
A Christian legal organization says it has sued to stop New York fromrecognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

Express Gay News
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-Sociologist who helped craft 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' dies
Moskos acknowledged that policy was imperfect
Sociologist Charles Moskos, an expert on the attitudes of servicemen and
women who helped formulate the "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gays inthe military, has died.
The retired Northwestern University professor died of cancer Saturday at hishome in Santa Monica, Calif., his family said. He was 74.
His surveys on military personnel issues, such as morale and recruitmenttrends, made him widely quoted in the news media. But he was best known forthe advice to the Joint Chiefs of Staff that led to "don't ask, don't tell."

-Barr says federal gay marriage ban is 'tail wagging the dog'
Libertarian presidential candidate would repeal part of Defense of Marriage Act he sponsored
Bob Barr, the Libertarian nominee for president and the main author of theDefense of Marriage Act, says the gay marriage ban that was signed into lawby President Bill Clinton in 1996 has become the "tail wagging the dog."
In a June 2 interview with Southern Voice, Barr delineated between twosections of DOMA: a full faith and credit clause that protects the rights ofeach state to implement its own definition of marriage and, a section thatdefines marriage to be between one man and one woman in federal law.
"This [second part] was intended to apply to federal programs, such assurvivor benefits, Social Security [and others]," he said. Barr said it is the second part of DOMA he would work to repeal if elected president.

-California Sees No Rush Of Gay-Wedding Bookings
As California prepares to lift its ban on same-sex marriages, hotel proprietors like Cosette Trautman-Scheiber are wondering where all the matrimony-minded gay couples are.California's Supreme Court ruled May 15 that the state's ban on gay marriage violated its constitution, paving the way for such marriages to begin June 17. Yet Ms. Trautman-Scheiber, who owns the Hope Merrill House bed and breakfast in the Sonoma wine country, is puzzled that she hasn't received any inquiries about her new elopement and honeymoon packages targeted at gaycouples.

-Says Nunn: It might be time to take another look at 'don't ask, don't tell'
Former Georgia senator Sam Nunn, who helped push through the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law that established the terms under which gays and lesbians could serve in the U.S. military, said Tuesday that it's time to review the policy. "I think [when] 15 years go by on any personnel policy, it's appropriate to take another look at it - see how it's working, ask the hard questions, hear from the military. Start with a Pentagon study," Nunn said.

The Advocate
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-New York Assembly Passes Gender Identity Protections Bill
The New York State Assembly voted Tuesday 102-33 to amend the state's humanrights law to include anti-discrimination protections based upon genderidentity and expression. The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act(GENDA) bans discrimination against transgender people in housing,employment, credit, public accommodations, and other areas of everyday life.
"The Assembly has solidly demonstrated once again that it is the leader oncivil rights and providing equality for our community where it didn't existbefore in New York," said Empire State Pride Agenda executive director AlanVan Capelle.

-Protections Extended Once Again to Gay Kentucky State Employees
Kentucky's Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, signed an executive order Monday that prohibits state officials from making hiring or firing decisions based on sexual orientation or gender identity. "Experience, qualifications, talent, and performance are what matter," Beshear said in a statement to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Former governor Ernie Fletcher had removed sexual orientation from the list of specifically protected characteristics as part of an executive order he signed in April 2006 after it had been included in 2003 by then-governor Paul Patton.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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- Gays Have $712 Billion Buying Power
The total buying power of the U.S. gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender(GLBT) adult population in 2008 is projected to be $712 billion, accordingto the recently updated analysis by Witeck-Combs Communications and PackagedFacts. The estimate was originally derived in a joint study by bothorganizations entitled, "The U.S. Gay and Lesbian Market." In 2007, the gaybuying power projection was estimated at $690 billion.

-GLBT Real Estate Benefits Mark Optimistic Progress with Recent Court Ruling
To practice real estate in the USA means to first go to real estate school,where much of the curriculum is devoted to studying - and learning how toabide by - Federal Fair Housing Law. The Architectural Barriers Act, theAmericans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and half adozen Presidential Executive Orders all provide various kinds of protectionand legal rights that fall under the broad category of Fair Housing Law.
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 - the Fair Housing Act - forinstance, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing ofdwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color,national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. Thefamilial coverage is extended and interpreted to include children under theage of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, andpeople securing custody of children under the age of 18.

-Pride Center Set to Open in Tel Aviv as City Holds Gay Parade
The Pride Center is scheduled to open with an art exhibition in Tel Aviv's Gan Meir with Friday's Gay Pride Parade, and will house everything from an art gallery to plays, conferences, a café, and HIV/AIDS support groups, city council member Itai Pinkas told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. He said the center would be open to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. "We conducted a survey of over 3,000 people to see if such a center is needed, who would use it and what people want to see in it," Pinkas said. He initiated the project after promising a center for the gay and lesbian community in his election campaign five years ago.

-Mayor Faces Jail Over Gay Weddings
The mayor of a tiny Aegean island faced criminal charges after conducting Greece's first same-sex marriage ceremonies. Tasos Aliferis held the civil ceremonies for two Greek gay and lesbian couples shortly after dawn on Tilos, angering conservative church officials and the country's justice minister. "This is a huge step forward for human rights in Greece," said Evangelia Vlami, one of the newlyweds. "It is a very important day for us."

-HRC Releases Comprehensive Report on Sen. John McCain's Record on GLBTIssues
The Human Rights Campaign PAC, the federal political action committee of thenation's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rightsorganization, today announced the release of a comprehensive report -"Senator John McCain: A Record of Opposing the Interests of GLBT Americans."
As the general election nears, Sen. John McCain will tout his reputation asa maverick, an independent and a moderate, but a review of Sen. McCain'srecord paints a different picture. The report provides an in-depth view ofSen. John McCain's record on GLBT issues and the likelihood that a McCainpresidency would be similar to that of President George W. Bush. The fullreport and a summary can be viewed online at

-Rights Groups Fear for Gays in West Africa
Human rights groups say they fear for the safety of homosexuals in West Africa following the arrest of two Spanish men for allegedly making homosexual proposals to taxi drivers. The arrests come after Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh threatened to cut off the head of any homosexual found in The Gambia. Ricci Shryock has more from Dakar. Human rights groups say Monday's arrest of two Spanish men in The Gambia for allegedly making homosexual advances is part of a continuing human rights problem in West Africa. Cary Alan Johnson, the Senior Africa Specialist for New-York based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission comments.

Marriage Equality News
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-Six in 10 Americans say the government should not regulate whether gays and lesbians can marry the people they choose, a survey finds. As same-sex couples line up to get marriage licenses in California on June17, the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found that 63% of adults say same-sex marriage is "strictly a private decision" between two people. That the government has the right "to prohibit or allow" such marriages was stated by 33%, and 4% had no opinion.

-California: Two things already can be said about the pro- posed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that on Tuesday qualified for the Nov. 4 ballot. One is that the coming campaign is sure to be nasty and divisive; the other is that recent history suggests that such electoral struggles over fundamental rights are likely to have unintended consequences. It's easy to foresee a bitter campaign. Any time one group of Californians uses the ballot box as a tool to have another group declared less or different than everyone else -- and, therefore, entitled to fewer rights -- people take it personally and things get rough.

-Jay Leno will be among the boldfaced names at a gay marriage celebration and rally tomorrow night at the Abbey in West Hollywood. T.R. Knight will join the Matthew Shepard Foundation's Judy Shepard and Loveand Pride jewelry designer Udi Behr for a group wedding of gay and lesbian couples at the landmark gay pub on Robertson Boulevard. The Tonight Show host decided to make an appearance in support of the recentlegalization of gay marriage by California's Supreme Court. "He said that he is from Massachusetts and that the sky did not fall in their state when marriage equality became the law of the land there," a rep for the event said. "He wants to impress upon everyone here in California that the sky will not fall here either." The event will also encourage people to vote "no" on the upcoming ballot initiative that would reverse the court's decision.

-Sen. John McCain says he is glad California voters will get to weigh in on a ballot measure that seeks to overturn the recent state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The Republican presidential candidate's campaign released a statement Tuesday in which McCain said California residents should decide who can marry "rather than having that decision made by judicial fiat."

Pink News - UK
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-New website campaign wants club drug criminalized
A drug common on the club scene is "massively misunderstood" and salesshould be banned, claims a new online campaign. GHB (Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate)is already Class C drug.

-Soho village fete to raise money and awareness for GALOP
Last minute preparations are underway in the run up to 'Galop Big Gay Fete.'
The fete will take place this Saturday in St Anne's Church, Soho.

-Actress denies affair with Bill Clinton
Gay and lesbian icon Gina Gershon is smokin' mad about a new Vanity Fairarticle alleging her friendship with former President Bill Clinton mighthave gone to the next level.

-Advice for gays considering a holiday in the Gambia - try Greece
Gambia is fast becoming a popular holiday destination among British holidaygoers. Log onto any large travel agency website and it won't be long beforeyour blitzed with deals.

-Turkey's gays invite world to Pride week
The courts may just have ordered them to close down, but Turkey's leadingLGBT group is planning a week-long celebration of gay life.

-UK updates travel advice for the Gambia
British tourists in the Gambia are being advised that the government hereis "actively enforcing" laws against gay people.

-Gay Russian attacks activists for pushing homosexual acceptance
One of the few openly gay pop stars in Russia has criticised the organisersof Moscow Pride for being too persistent. Performer Boris Moiseyev said gaysshould not insist on acceptance.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Riga, Latvia: Pride photos

-Riga, Latvia: Videos:

-The Annual Phallus Festival in Greece
Each year on the first Monday of Lent, the people of the tiny Greek town ofTyrnavos go crazy about penises, singing lewd songs and urging passersby tokiss their model phallusses. The pagan fertility festival is one of themost famous parties in Greece.,1518,553070,00.html

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Whistler, BC (June 3/08)- The first nationwide search for Mr. Gay
Canada is set to take place September 18-21st, 2008. Hosted in theidyllic mountain resort of Whistler, BC, the primary purpose of theMr. Gay Canada (MGC) is to identify leaders who will takeresponsibility not only in his own community but also on a globalstage speaking out for equal rights. Mr. Gay Canada is a positiverole model and will work on humanizing being gay and act as an LGBT(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Tourism Ambassador for Canada.

-Very good video of Moscow Pride 08. Have a look.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Report outlines blacks' attitudes toward gay marriage
A new report obtained by the Bay Area Reporter by the National Black JusticeCoalition shows that African Americans are more likely than whites (65percent versus 53 percent) to oppose marriage equality for gays andlesbians.
That finding was a key element in the report, "At the Crossroads: AfricanAmerican Attitudes, Perceptions, and Beliefs toward Marriage Equality," thatcompiled and reviewed all existing polling data on the subject. It was ajoint effort of the National Black Justice Coalition and Freedom to Marryand is being shared with other organizations but not being released to thepublic.
In response, Herndon Davis, director of communications for NBJC, said in ane-mail to the B.A.R. that the purpose of the report "was to provide marriageproponents with a snapshot of African American opinions on marriage for samegender couples.">

-Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Rising In Michigan
The number of violent crimes targeting Michiganders because of their sexualorientation jumped 133 percent last year, according to a new report from theTriangle Foundation.

-Colorado: Colorado Democratic Gov. Ritter made a promise to sign the billduring his campaign and then signed it despite enormous pressure from Focuson the Family, which is headquartered in Colorado. Focus on the Family evenran ads that were meant to scare Coloradan's by claiming that childpredators would be entering public restrooms if the bill passes, because"all public restrooms, including those in our public schools, will be opento anyone of any sex."[snip]

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Maltese Government's "Inhumane" Treatment of Trans Bride
A court has backed the Director of Public Registry who will not releasemarriage banns for a transsexual woman and her male partner in Malta.
In February 2007 Justice Gino Camilleri ordered the director, AnthonyGeraldi, to issue the banns on the grounds that the union is legal.
He ruled, as the bride to be has now become a woman, there was nocontravention of marriage legislation.
However, the Civil Court has now overturned that ruling.

-Liddy Dole Fuels the 'Brown Menace' Fears in Ad from Pam's House BlendBlender keithan81 pointed me to my incompetent MIA Senator Liddy Dole's newtelevision ad. He said it's airing in the Triad area of the state (I haven'tseen it here in the Triangle). It's a naked appeal to fear of the BrownMenace, featuring a bunch of sheriffs from around the state talking aboutthe "illegals" and how Liddy is tough on immigration, or as the campaignrefers to it - "combatting the criminal illegal alien problem."
Note her campaign managed to find a black law enforcement officer to addsome color to put a break in the string of the white, tough-talkinggood-old-boys. Dole doesn't say anything in the commercial other than theusual tagline at the end; it's a series of clips, wonderfully shot, of herwalking, nodding, smiling, etc.

-Sullivan on the "Gay Diaspora" by Chris Crain
Urged on by what one reader called a "gaping hole" in the New York Times'coverage of the same-sex marriage issue in New York, Andrew Sullivan hasbeen sharing reader mail on how the California marriage decision, andsubsequent actions by New York Gov. James Patterson on gay marriage, hasraised the hopes and inflamed the anguish of families affected bybi-national gay relationships that are denied U.S. federal legal recognitionof any kind by the Defense of Marriage Act. (As is well-known to readers ofthis blog, Chris and I fall into that category of families as well, as weboth were forced to move to Brazil to be with our partners.)

-Is the Religious Right or In Transition?
These days, you can hardly pick up a newspaper, open a news magazine, or logon to the Internet without encountering articles with the theme "Whither thereligious right?" Fred Clarkson, a veteran journalist, co-founder, and author of the 1997 Eternal Hostility: The StruggleBetween Theocracy and Democracy, recently noted that, "It seems that everyfew weeks someone who ought to know better announces that the religiousright is dead, dying, or irrelevant."
Since the advent of the modern religious right in the 1970's, some analystshave consistently seen the latest misstep, defeat, or scandal as portents ofthe movement's decline. Meanwhile others have chattered on about anunstoppable juggernaut exemplifed by a presidential administration stockedwith graduates of the religious right's culture war classrooms andGOP-linked "value voters" flocking to the polls in record numbers.

-Fox News Finally Identifies Karl Rove as McCain Adviser
ThinkProgress noted today that Fox News has finally identified Karl Rove asan informal adviser to the McCain Campaign, almost four months after hiringhim as an on-air political analyst.
Rove first appeared on Fox as an "FNC political contributor" on SuperTuesday (February 5), and it took the network 118 days to acknowledge hisaffiliation with McCain, according to ThinkProgress' "Rove Watch Clock."
The mention slipped out during an interview with Rove on Hannity & Colmes,when Colmes asked him a question about Obama (see video below):
"Look, Karl, I know you're supporting McCain. But how do you know - and Iknow you've helped informally advise McCain - but how do you know that he'sa weak general election candidate?"

-Civil Rights
Lynn Johnson didn't think she'd ever see the day same-sex couples could marry. But the Fort Worth woman did. California is preparing to allow gay marriages beginning this month, following the Netherlands, Canada and Massachusetts. "I didn't expect us to make this much progress in my lifetime," said Johnson, 63, who has lived with her partner for five years.
"All we are trying to do at this point . is make enough inroads to show people that it's not the big deal people think it is.

-Barney Frank: "All These Fears Are Baseless"
In 2004 as George W. Bush's catastrophic Iraq grew increasingly tragic forAmerica, the Republican Party pointed its crooked crosshairs towardhomosexual Americans. Our nation - beleaguered, undereducated, andfundamentalist bought the rhetoric. In a sweeping campaign, America'sgovernment defined its enemy as our own homosexual brother and sisters.
In an unprecedented move to limit rights to American citizens, PresidentBush proclaimed his infamous Constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sexmarriage. With Bush in power, America at war in Iraq, and the homosexuals tofault for God's seeming indifference, the three tenets of Adolf Hitler'sGermany are alive and well in the White House: Give the people a leader tofollow, something to do, and someone to blame. It's a dark hour for America,on par with Japanese Interment camps, the infamous "separate but equal" ofPlessy v. Ferguson, and the denial of women's basic rights. The blood onBush's hands isn't just from Iraq; it is from every American who had everdied or suffered for freedom's blind ideals.

-Same-Sex Parents in Albatross Colony
Cooperative breeding, in which an animal assists in caring for offspring that are not its own, is often found in nature. But researchers in Hawaii have uncovered a case that is not so common, involving long-term pairs ofunrelated birds of the same sex. Lindsay C. Young of the University of Hawaii and colleagues studied a colony of Laysan albatrosses on Oahu from 2004 to 2007. These birds are monogamous, and both parents participate in raising a single hatchling. The researchers conducted genetic tests and monitored the pairs'reproductive success. They report in Biology Letters that nearly one-third of the 125 pairs consisted of two unrelated females, and half of these stayed together for the duration of the study.

TruthWins Out
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-Controversial 'Ex-Gay' Conference In Orlando Strongly Opposed By Gay andLesbian Community Leaders
In Exclusive New TWO Video, A Survivor Tells Of His Escape From 'Ex-Gay'Ministries
A coalition of gay and lesbian community leaders held a mediaconference today to counter Focus on the Family's ex-gay Love Won Outsymposium, which will take place on Saturday. The ex-gay road show wasspecifically planned to coincide with Gay Days at Disney and to push Focuson the Family's election year political agenda, says (TWO).
"Love Won Out distorts gay life and confuses stereotypes with science, whileselling false hope to vulnerable people," said's ExecutiveDirector Wayne Besen, at the media conference. "The symposium promotesoutdated ideas that are rejected by every reputable mental healthassociation in America. Unfortunately, the real goal of this conference isto pass anti-gay laws and stigmatize gay men and women."
The conference is strategically timed in a presidential year that willinclude a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot that seeks toprohibit same-sex marriage and domestic partnership benefits. The event alsocoincides with Gay Days at Disney and takes place in the shadow of the monumental California Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
Focus on the Family has exploited these opportunities and promoted thisconference by placing offensive billboards in Orlando.
"This is a hurtful symposium that sends the toxic message that some peopleare inferior and need to change," said Besen. "Love Won Out dividescommunities and pits people against each other for political gain."


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