Wednesday, June 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 11, 2008

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New York Times
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-First the Announcement, Then the Understanding
"Anyone and Everyone," which looks at how various couples took the news thattheir child is gay, ultimately decides to be an advocacy film rather than adocumentary. But before it does, it tells some truly moving stories of thepower of parental love.

Washington Post
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-Obituaries: Dolores Neuman, 66; Photographer, Advocate
Dolores Neuman, 66, a freelance still photographer and independent-filmpromoter who worked extensively for public interest and advocacy groups,died June 5 at the Washington Home hospice. She had kidney cancer.

-Dems reluctant to take on 'don't ask, don't tell'
Democrats say the nation should be ashamed of its ban on gays serving openlyin the military. It discourages qualified people from joining the ranks at atime when the armed forces are stretched by two wars, they say, and isdegrading to those willing to serve their country.

-Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Bar Nunn
If Obama taps Sam Nunn for VP, he risks alienating gay men and lesbians. [...] As Sen. Barack Obama considers potential running mates, he shouldcontemplate Sam Nunn with caution. As chairman of the Senate Armed ServicesCommittee in 1993, Nunn helped lead the fight against allowing gay men andlesbians to serve openly in the military and was the force behind thedisastrous "don't ask, don't tell" compromise. In the process, Nunnengendered the enduring enmity of a loyal voting and fundraising bloc of the Democratic Party. That Nunn's name keeps appearing on vice presidential shortlists makes sense. A Southerner who spent 24 years in the Senate, he would give Obama entree to voters who chose Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. His moderate-to-conservative positions would balance out Obama's liberal street cred. More important, he would add foreign policy heft.

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-Young voters could have big impact in November
The Millennial Generation. Echo Boomers. Generation Y. Whatever you callthem, voters under 30 have gained prominence across America and will have ahuge influence on the November presidential elections and beyond.,0,7462276.story

-3 from Lesbos sue gay group over 'Lesbian' name
Three islanders from Lesbos told a court Tuesday that gay women insult theirhome's identity by calling themselves lesbians. The plaintiffs -- two womenand a man -- are seeking to ban a Greek gay rights group from using the word"lesbian" in its name.,0,2303436.story

Miami Herald
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-Number of military discharges under 'don't ask, don't tell'
Discharges under the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy since 1997:
1997 - 997
1998 - 1,145
1999 - 1,034
2000 - 1,212
2001 - 1,227
2002 - 885
2003 - 770
2004 - 653
2005 - 726
2006 - 612
2007 - 627

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-Will Gay Marriage Save Cash-Strapped Calif?
With the country facing the potential of recession California businesses seegay marriage as a cash cow.

-Longtime Couple To Kick Off Gay Marriage In Calif.
Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon's nuptials at City Hall ignited the gay weddingspree that thrust San Francisco into the national spotlight in 2004.

-LGBT Groups Issue Warning To Out-Of-State Couples Marrying In Calif.
Four LGBT legal organizations and five other leading national LGBT groupsissued a warning Tuesday to couples planning to go to California to marrythat they should mot use their marriages to fight for recognition in federalcourt.

-ACLU Cites Gay Issues In Major Push In Heartland
The American Civil Liberties Union announced by far the largest fundraisingcampaign in its 88-year history this week, eying a dramatic expansion of itswork on social justice issues in relatively conservative states such asTexas and Florida.

Express Gay News
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-Dismissal of gay vets' suit upheld
Plaintiffs had been discharged under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuitfiled by 12 gay and lesbian veterans who had challenged the military's "don't
ask, don't tell" policy.

-Pittsburgh minister still charged with banned gay wedding
Charges for performing ceremony improperly dropped
A Presbyterian minister from Pittsburgh still faces two charges that sheconducted a prohibited gay wedding ceremony. But the Rev. Janet Edwards willnot face charges for performing the ceremony improperly when her churchtrial resumes in October.

-Oklahoma: Henry vetoes 'Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act'
Gov. Brad Henry on Friday vetoed a controversial measure to protect religionin schools. Henry vetoed House Bill 2633, called the "Religious ViewpointsAntidiscrimination Act," by Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, and Rep.Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City.

-Really, Boston Herald?
The Boston Herald's Inside Track section has a story today promoting theappearance of 'Top Chef' lesbian couple Jen Biesty and Zoi Antonitsas at alocal Macy's. The article mentions that Jen and Zoi have been together fora long time. "She was chosen as a contestant on the show together with Zoi,her lesbian partner of four and a half years," it reads. Well then whydisrespect the relationship with a headline that reads: "'Top Chef' galpalswill heat up Macy's"? GALPALS? Regarding straight couples, would they call apartner of four years a "buddy"? Maybe I'm overreacting. But why couldn'tthey just say "couple"?

The Advocate
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-S.C. School District Debating Ways to Ban GSAs
A South Carolina school district has delayed until later in the month a voteon whether to ban all student clubs that don't relate to academics or sportsas a way to close a gay student organization.

-Gay Students Fight for Equality on Christian Campus
A dozen LGBT students at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., includingstudent Andy Swenson, have formed an informal gay-straight alliance oncampus, Newsweek reports.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Who Still Dies of AIDS, and Why
In the video, filmed last November, Mel Cheren appears understandablydismayed. He's being interviewed by a reporter for CBS News on Logo, agay-temed news program; he's sitting in a wheelchair, and he's talkingabout the indignity and the irony of dying from AIDS at a time when AIDSshould be a chronic disease, not a fatal one. Cheren, a music producer andfounder of West End Records, had been an AIDS activist since the earliestdays of the epidemic. It was Cheren, in 1982, who gave the Gay Men's HealthCrisis its first home, providing a floor of his brownstone on West 22ndStreet. In the interview, Cheren talks about what it's like to lose morethan 300 friends to the AIDS epidemic, outlive them all, and then getdiagnosed yourself at age 74.

-S.F. Same-Sex Couple Ready to be First Again
When same-sex marriages start at 5 p.m. June 16, San Francisco will stage arepeat of the ceremony that started the 2004 Winter of Love, when thousandsof gay and lesbian couples married at City Hall. This time, though, DelMartin and Phyllis Lyon's wedding will be legal. Mayor Gavin Newsom saidMonday that the ceremony, which he will officiate, will be the only one heldin City Hall that day. Martin and Lyon have been together more than fivedecades, and they were the first couple to marry four years ago.

-ACLU to Ramp Up in the Flyovers
The American Civil Liberties Union announced by far the largest fundraisingcampaign in its 88-year history Monday, eyeing a dramatic expansion of itswork on social justice issues in relatively conservative states such asTexas and Florida. The campaign's goal is $335 million, with $258 million already raised through behind-the-scenes solicitations over the past year, ACLU executivedirector Anthony Romero said.

-Grandfather Plans Rights Suit Over Boy Using Girls Bathroom
Jasmine Smith, 13, is concerned that next year the fifth-grader at Asa Adams Elementary School who identifies as a girl will be changing in the girls locker room. At a press conference Monday night in front of the municipal building, the seventh-grader said that because she has seen the fifth-grader in the girls bathroom after school she assumes the student will be allowed to use the girls facilities at Orono Middle School.

-Treating TB is Key to Saving Lives of AIDS Patients
People suffering from both AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) are more likely to dieof TB, a Zambian infected with HIV said here Monday. Winstone Zulu, anAIDS/TB activist, told a press conference that four brothers, who like himwere diagnosed with both AIDS and tuberculosis, had died because they didnot have access to treatment for TB. He said he was able to lead a normallife because he was fortunate to have
received TB treatment.

-Gay Rights Group Denounces McCain; Endorses Obama
Senator John McCain wants gays and lesbians to think of him as beinggay-friendly, or, at least, gay-comfortable. For instance, he has kept mumon gay nuptials in California set to begin next week. And a recentappearance on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show where he gently spars withthe openly-out DeGeneres on marriage was suppose to appear respectful ofgays. For gay rights group Human Rights Campaign (HRC) that was not enough. In a new video and campaign, posted at its website, the nation's largest gay rights group argues that McCain is no friend of GLBT people.

-2008 Pride Erie Picnic on June 28th
Once again, the Pride Erie Picnic will be held at Presque Isle State Park atthe Rotary Pavilion. The picnic is later than usual this year! It is beingheld the LAST Saturday in June (June 28) and we will run from 1 PM to 6 PMYou can now register online before the event and not have to fill out thepaper registration form when you arrive! We will have a hard copy of everyone who registered online, so all that you have to do is give us your name. Easy! We are again at the nifty Rotary Pavilion, which is close tothe 3 cabins near the Waterworks Beach. Photos of the site are here. There will be signs at the park for the location.

Marriage Equality News
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-Gay Marriage: It's a generational thing, you could say, grinning just alittle as you do so. It's because younger people today - those youngerthan, say, 45 or so - have been far more exposed to more fluid notions ofgender and sexuality, to the idea of homosexuality as a common,nonthreatening, what's-the-big-deal shrug, and, therefore, they/weunderstand that allowing gay people to wed doesn't mean our shaky notions ofGod and family and society will collapse. This, I think, was perhaps themost fascinating tidbit of insight to emerge from the most recent poll ofCalifornians in which, for the first time in state history, a majority ofthose polled said they support the idea of same-sex marriage and/or oppose anew and vile push for a state constitutional amendment to ban it outright. And that majority consists, by and large, of the young.

-It's not surprising that religious conservatives are trying to get thedecision reversed via referendum this fall; they have genuine religiousconvictions on the issue. What is peculiar, however, is their obsession withsame-sex marriage and bizarre insinuation that monogamous gays pose agreater threat to marriage than adulterous straights. Even if gays andlesbians are at odds with Biblical teachings, it's difficult to argue thattheir relationships put heterosexual marriages at risk.

-California: Couples can no longer tie the knot at the clerk's office inButte County.
Butte County Clerk Candace Grubbs says the county can't afford to continueperforming wedding ceremonies. About 200 couples a year marry at the clerk'soffice. Grubbs said her decision has nothing to do with the CaliforniaSupreme Court's ruling last month legalizing gay marriage. The state hasdirected county clerks to start using new gender-neutral marriage licensesonce the ruling becomes final at 5 p.m. on June 16.

-Marriage equality in California is only a week away and thousands of samesex couples are planning to race to pick up marriage licenses. Reports arethat in the Palm Springs area, the Riverside County Registrar's office hasfilled appointments for 500 couples an hour during the first days after June17, 2008.

-Charges against a gay couple from Roslyn who refused to leave Oyster BayTown Hall when their request for a marriage license was denied weredismissed yesterday. Judge Fred Hirsh said the couple posed no threat to thecommunity and had cooperated with authorities.

-Shannon Minter, the legal director for the National Center for LesbianRights, who argued the case before the California Supreme Court on behalf ofthe 14 couples and Equality California, and Geoff Kors, Equality Californiaexecutive director, sat down with The Desert Sun recently to discuss thelandmark decision.

Pink News - UK
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-US brewer backs Matthew Shepard Foundation's campaign to erase hate
Coors Brewing Company has become the first US corporation to become asponsor of a new campaign to highlight and eradicate hatred in Americansociety.

-Obama's birth certificate latest battleground in Presidential race
As Barack Obama settles into his role as the presumptive Democraticpresidential nominee, his opponents on the right are circulating rumoursquestioning his eligibility.

-Progress on gay rights in the Americas
A group of nations in the Americas have passed a unanimous resolutioncondemning human rights voilations based on sexual orientation and genderidentity.

-Ugandan bishop attacks European attitude towards gays
An Anglican bishop has urged the government of Uganda to keep homosexualityillegal. Eria Paul Luzinda said that "not all that comes from Europe issuperior and must be taken up."

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Faux News Strikes Again By Waymon Hudson
Does anyone even think Fox News is really a news station anymore? In asegment discussing Barack and Michelle Obama's now famous fist-bump, FoxNews anchor E.D. Hill decided to turn an innocent expression of love betweena couple into something insidious and dangerous. What did Hill call thebump? "A Terrorist Fist Jab." Ugh.

-Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's Stand Against Same-Sex Marriage
A few people on the left are wondering how the Religious Right, who hatesboth Muslims and gays, will reconcile Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's rejection ofcounsel because of same-sex marriage, either in Massachusetts or California.
From the Wall Street Journal:

-The Predator Argument Doesn't Work with Transgender Fifth Graders
I feel like I've been talking about public restrooms way too much of late.Blame the news cycles; blame conservative Christians - LGBT civil rights andpublic accommodation issues seem to be boiling down to which publicrestrooms transpeople are going to be using. It's of special concern, itseems, which public restrooms transwomen are going to use. It's theperpetrator thing. Frankly, many women look at men who are strangers to themas potential predators, and these same women (along with their maleprotectors) perceive visibly transgender women who use women's publicrestrooms as potential male rapists. And if these same women (and their maleprotectors) have female children, they perceive visibly transgender womenwho use women's public restrooms as potential pedophiles. There's hasn'tbeen any studies that have substantiated or unsubstantiated this fear ofcrossdressed males abusing women and children in women's public restrooms,but this fear of crossdressed, male, public restroom perpetrators is beingused in an attempt to shape public policy on LGBT civil rights and publicaccommodation legislation - most recently in Montgomery County, Maryland andColorado.

-CA Anti-Gays Either Completely Idiotic or Shameless Liars
Sometimes anti-gays do or say something so stupid, so plainly false, thatyou wonder who they think they're fooling. Today's example comes from theCalifornia anti-gay group Campaign for Children and Families and (whereelse?) Kern County. The Bakersfield Californian reported on the CountySupervisors meeting this morning. There, Randy Thomasson of the CCFpresented an proposed ordinance for considerationThe ordinance states "no employee of (blank) County, and no elected orappointed official of (blank) County, may issue a marriage license to anycouple other than a statutorily qualified man and woman." There Thomassonmade the rather bizzare claim that the County Supervisors could override thedecision of the State Supreme Court.

-TiVo Pulls Web Page Promoting FOTF's Super Dads Constest
Apparently, TiVo has been getting a lot of grief over the TiVo/Focus On theFamily SuperDads contest. That's the contest where everyone is supposed tosubmit an essay explaining why their dad is a "SuperDad," with winnersthroughout the month of June receiving free TiVo's. The problem is thatseveral LGBT folks have been submitting essays explaining why their dads areSuperDads, only to find their submissions disappear into the ether. This hasprompted tons of complaints to TiVo, as well as an online petition at theFamily Equality Council.

-Love Won Out Still Promoting Orientation Change
In recent years the ex-gay movement has toned down its message of "change."With occasional exceptions, gone are the days when one could hear Exodusspokespeople make direct and unambiguous claims that gay people who wentthrough an ex-gay program could become straight. It's unsurprising, then,that Love Won Out has taken steps to tone down some of its ownproclamations. In April, CitizenLink made an effort to clarify LWO'sposition: Love Won Out says it does not attempt to "fix" gays and lesbians,a charge heard often from its critics in the APA. "Such glibcharacterizations ignore the complex series of factors that can lead tosame-sex attractions," according to the Web site. "They also mischaracterizeour mission. We exist to help men and women dissatisfied with livinghomosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome. It is noteasy, but it is possible, as evidenced by the thousands of men and women whohave walked this difficult road successfully." As little as that statementactually says, it nonetheless would have been news to anyone who attended aLWO conference before Joseph Nicolosi disappeared from the roster. LWO maynever have specifically used the world "fix," but their website did at onetime openly state that homosexuality was "preventable and treatable" - amessage that hardly needs clarification.

-Former Official Sues NASCAR Over Harassment Claims
As an aspiring racing official, Mauricia Grant had grown used to working ina man's world. When she finally made it into NASCAR, Grant was appalled atthe way she says she was treated beginning from her first day on the job until her firinglast October. Now she's suing NASCAR for $225 million, alleging racial andsexual discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination.

-Hagee Down But Not Out
Despite the public flogging that Pastor John Hagee has recently received, itis too early to cast him off to the dustbin of history. While he may nolonger be accepted aboard Senator John McCain's "Straight Talk Express" norhave such easy access to the congressional offices of a bevy of Jewishlegislators-many of whom have welcomed him with open arms in the past-it isunlikely that either Hagee's Christians United for Israel (CUFI) or his SanAntonio mega-church will be closing its doors anytime soon.

-In Syria, Gay Iraqis Seek New Life
Damascus, Syria - Maybe one of the of most difficult situations that anIraqi could be in is to be gay, the Iraqi society in general discriminateagainst the gay and transsexual people, normally they consider them aspeople who left their gender and changed for sexual want. Even though mostgay people of Iraq have managed to live their lives, being born gay isalmost the same as being born with an assurance of death. Most Iraqis don'taccept that homosexuality is something you're born with, or which isassigned by your genes. Due to the Iraqi cultural and religious beliefs,homosexuality is forbidden and considered a mortal sin, and in many casesthe penalty of death is assigned as the solution for it. Some of the Iraqihomosexuals used to live in the Karrada neighborhood, practicing there lifenormally but still in secret. Although before the war as well they could notshow that they are gay, due to the risk of being attacked verbally by theneighbors or the people they live with.

-Asian Gay, Transgender Groups Fight for Their Rights
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups in Asia have agreed todevelop an international network to advocate protection of their rights intheir respective countries and at the regional level. Bali hosted a conference of the groups from June 2 to 6 in the tourismenclave Nusa Dua. The conference was attended by 21 participants from eightcountries - Indonesia, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Chinaand Thailand.

-AVER Questions Recruiting of Felons
Within the last year or so the U.S. Military has begun to recruit convictedfelons to fill the quotas of active duty servicemembers. Our military hasalways claimed to enlist only the best the country has to offer in herdefense. One need only to remember some of these great contributors both tothe military and to society at large: John Paul Jones, father of the Navy;Lt. Tom Dooley M.C, hero of Laos; Walter Reed, USA, one of the developers ofthe treatment of Yellow Fever; Admiral Grace Hopkins, inventor of the COBALlanguage for computers. And the list goes on. Add to this the many unsungheroes that most of us know. The Soldier who puts himself between a grenadeand his men. The hospital corpsman who risks his life caring for his woundedMarine. The helicopter pilot who flies into danger to evacuate her troops.These are servicemembers of the highest caliber who daily demonstrate theirdedication to our country and respect for her laws.

-The Few, The Proud, One Less
The young Marine sergeant was yelling at me."Ma'am, we got to move now!"I stared at him and realized that it was time to act. I turned to look atthe three-man news crew that I was escorting and realized that I had to dragthem into our up-armored HMMWVs (AKA Humvees) quickly. It was like herdingcats, but we managed to get out of the line of fire after a few seconds ofcajoling and pulling. It was a dusty, hot July day in Fallujah, Iraq at ayet unfinished Iraqi police station in July 2005. My job was to serve asthe unit spokeswoman for the Marine Corps 5th Civil Affairs unit and escortmedia embeds through Fallujah. I was a Marine Corps Captain, who leftactive duty because of the stress of living under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, andI was called up out of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) to serve in Iraq.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-HRC takes stand against McCain, but Log Cabin still on fence
The Human Rights Campaign's "high-stakes strategy" to stop John McCain'selection -- a strategy that includes a video warning of the potential of"four more years of anti-gay policy in the White House" -- could lead to agay-community schism if Log Cabin Republicans decide to endorse the Arizonasenator, according to columnist Deb Price. However, Log Cabin, whichwithheld its endorsement from President George W. Bush in 2004, would likelydo the same with McCain if he were to choose an anti-gay running mate suchas Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or throw his support behind anti-gayamendments pending in California and Florida, Price writes. The Detroit News(6/9)

-New York couples in a California state of mind
The 12,000 gay and lesbian couples from New York who are projected to marryin California over the next three years will enjoy more than just a symbolicceremony. They're likely to receive the full state benefits of theinstitution, under a directive by New York Gov. David Paterson that stateagencies recognize the marriages. But the legality of the unions ultimatelyrests with the outcome of a November ballot measure in California that couldimpose a constitutional marriage ban. USA TODAY (6/9)

-Golden State clerks ready for new marriage reality: Most wedding officialsin California are adapting easily to the prospect of marrying same-sexcouples, although some resistance to the change is being reported. The KernCounty clerk-recorder has decided to end all marriage ceremonies, and a fewother officiants have said they will not marry gay and lesbian couples.However, Santa Clara County is conducting a special training session for 70volunteers who want to officiate at weddings. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)

-Philly's new top cop seeks to make force more gay-friendly
Philadelphia's new police commissioner, Charles H. Ramsey, is consideringcreating an LGBT unit based in the city's main gay neighborhood and wants toprovide gay-sensitivity training to all department personnel. Ramseysuccessfully launched an LGBT unit during his previous stint running theWashington, D.C., police department. "My goal is to create an environmentwhere officers don't feel intimidated in any way," Ramsey said. "If theywant to acknowledge [their sexuality], they should feel comfortable doingit." The Philadelphia Inquirer (6/9)

-Gay vets turned away by federal appeals court
Saying it had to defer to congressional authority, a federal appeals courthas upheld the dismissal by a lower court of a lawsuit filed by 12 gay andlesbian veterans seeking to overturn the military's gay ban. The plaintiffsclaimed that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates theirconstitutional rights to privacy, free speech and equal protection. TheBoston Globe/Associated Press (6/10)

-New York quietly sets new guidelines for LGBT youths in custody
The Village Voice (6/3)

-2008 International Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference
The Mayflower Hotel | Washington, D.C. | December 4-7
Registration is now open for the 24th International Gay & Lesbian LeadershipConference, the premier gathering of openly LGBT elected, appointed andcommunity leaders. This year the conference returns to Washington, D.C. justweeks after U.S. voters choose a new president. It will be an exciting timeto be in the capital city, and attendees will be at the center of it all inthe famed Mayflower Hotel just steps from the White House and Dupont Circle. There are a limited number of hotel rooms at the Mayflower at our specialconference rate of just $149 per night. Act now to enjoy 35% offregistration fees and receive your special code to book rooms at theMayflower.

-PFLAG stages event outside "ex-gay" conference
Supporters and staff from PFLAG demonstrated at an "ex-gay" conference inOrlando, Fla., urging participants to accept their orientation. View a videoclip at The PFLAG National Blog.

-AIDS in New York, a decade after the drug cocktail
This article looks at the impact of anti-retroviral therapy, or so-calleddrug cocktails, which have been used for more than a decade to treat HIV, onthe spread of the virus and the consequences of infection in New York. "Dying from AIDS, or dying with an HIV infection, which may not be the samething, is a significantly less common event than it was a decade ago, butit's not nearly as uncommon as anyone would like," writes Gary Taubes. NewYork magazine (6/8)

-Opinion among residents in Oxnard, Calif., is split as to whetherprosecutors were right to try as an adult 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, whois accused of shooting to death a 15-year-old openly gay classmate, LarryKing. McInerney, who is charged with premeditated murder and a hate crime,could face a term of life in prison if he is tried and convicted as anadult. National Public Radio (6/9)

-Couple of 52 years makes bequest to help LGBT youths, stop AIDS
The Standard-Times (6/9)

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Same-Sex Marriage in Canada 5 years on
Five years ago today, I put on a white suit and my good luck shoes and wentto the office of the Ontario Court of Appeal to pick up a judgment. The case was Halpern et al v. the Attorney-General of Canada et al. Theresult: "The Clerk is directed to immediately begin issuing marriagelicences to same-sex couples." Within hours, our clients Michael Leshner andMike Stark were married in a Toronto courthouse. I could barely stand upduring the ceremony; I was so emotional, my co-counsel, Joanna Radbord, hadto hold me up. Over the next few weeks, we attended many marriages - of our clients,colleagues and friends - and wept throughout each one.

FALL 2008
"It was great to have my first college fair be one where I could askimportant questions about myself as someone from the LGBT community. Thistype of college fair was also very important for me as I have two moms - Iwant to be at a college where I can feel comfortable about my family."
Twin Cities, MN
Friday, October 3, 2008 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
300 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN
Philadelphia, PA
Saturday, October 11, 2008 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall
University of Pennsylvania
3417 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA
Registration and more details will be available online starting June 30,2008 at the LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index

-Progressive Religious Leaders Drowned Out in Conversations About Sex
"Are there any boundaries left in the USA or will most traditions cometumbling down?" asks self-styled moral arbiter Bill O'Reilly in an interviewlumping gay marriage in California with polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs'recently released photos kissing underage girls as young as twelve. Havingrisen to media stardom by fueling America's obscenely profitable culture warbetween God-fearing traditionalists and anything-goes secularists, O'Reillymorphs into the same threat a progressive court ruling for social justiceand the sexually abusive culture of a traditional family-values religion. But media blowhards with a conservative agenda are not the only ones whothink that progressive sex and family values don't mix.

-Former Senator Sam Nunn
Calls on Congress to Revisit "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Washington, DC - Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn said yesterday that hebelieves it is time for Congress to revisit the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" lawwhich bans lesbians, gays and bisexuals from serving openly in the military. Nunn, one of the principle lawmakers responsible for the passage of the 1993law, said in Atlanta, "I think [when] 15 years go by on any personnelpolicy, 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 Pentagonstudy." "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was bad law when Senator Nunn pushed itforward in 1993 and it is still bad law. It is still a violation of ourbasic civil rights," said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director ofServicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN).

-How Our Sexuality Is Being Restricted One Bad Law at a Time
With anxiety and anger about sexuality reaching a noisy crescendo, Congressmembers and state legislators are responding with laws that placate the mobdu jour -- laws restricting sexual expression that have little chance ofsurviving even the lightest Constitutional scrutiny. For example, Congresshas passed law after law attempting to rid the Internet of pornography.

-Texas recently passed a law requiring strip clubs

to pay a special tax of $5 per head (no jokes, please). This spring, Indianapassed a law requiring vendors of "sexually explicit" materials to registerwith the state and pay a $250 fee. But every federal law censoring theInternet has been derailed by a court. The Texas law was overturned by theirSupreme Court just two months ago. The Indiana law, you can be sure, will beoverturned before Labor Day.


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