Saturday, June 14, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 14, 2008

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New York Times
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-California Braces for 'New Summer of Love'
The groom was shopping for the perfect diamond for his betrothed - the othergroom. As Rey Almeida, a 47-year-old elementary school principal, perusedthe Equality Forever rings (a same-sex wedding special at 40 percent off ifpurchased from June 16 to June 26), he couldn't help reflecting on thesymbolism.

-Pure Tyranny
Righteous indignation is so easy, so pleasant, when you can sit back andfling it overseas. I had that edifying experience on the D.C. MetroWednesday morning, reading in the Times about the Muslim women in France whoare going to cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacement surgery so that theycan bleed as seeming virgins on their wedding nights. It's a practice thathas, apparently, become relatively common in the immigrant communities ofEurope. But, of course, it seems like hair-raising news in a country likeours, where a young woman's right to do with her body as she sees fit has,for decades, been enshrined as perhaps the most essential part of herGod-given human dignity. As my 11-year-old says, Yeah, right. Right after Ifinished reading the Times piece, I called the French Embassy to find outunder what conditions French social security would pay for thehymen-restoration procedure.

-Bending Gender Every Which Way
It's a mystery why sometimes a few people moving on a stage in apparentlyrandom patterns can look so right. In the first 10 seconds - maybe 5 - ofDance by Neil Greenberg's "Quartet With Three Gay Men," the oddly graceful,undulating movements of the four dancers, the jangly sounds of Zeena
score, and Michael Stiller's clear, bright light have the immediate effectof a poem. Meaning is compressed and harbored, to be released in thrillingfragments, inconclusive and richly layered.

-Stewart R. Mott, Longtime Patron of Liberal and Offbeat Causes, Dies at 70
Stewart R. Mott, a philanthropist whose gifts to progressive and sometimesoffbeat causes were often upstaged by his eccentricities, like cultivating alarge garden atop his Manhattan penthouse, complete with 460 plant species(including 17 types of radishes) and a chicken coop, died on Thursday night.
He was 70 and had homes in North Salem, N.Y., and Bermuda.

Washington Post
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-Outlook: Long Road Remains for Gay Marriage
California's Gay Marriage Fight Distracts From Real Struggle in Washington
"This week should be a joyous one for those of us who believe in the rightto marry the person you love. A month after the California Supreme Courtoverturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, gay couples will walk intocounty offices here and secure the same marriage license to whichheterosexual couples such as my wife and I are entitled. ... Gay rightssupporters should toast the happy couples, but they might want to waitbefore raising a glass to the state. The ruling will hardly changeCalifornia, a place blissfully devoted to its live-and-let-live ethos. ButCalifornia -- with its dysfunctional politics and government -- may hurt thecause of same-sex marriage. ... For gay couples and their supporters,California could become an expensive, time-consuming quagmire -- gaymarriage's Vietnam."

-University of California law professor Larry Levine, a frequent panelist,lecturer, and speaker on legal issues involving torts and sexualorientation, will be online Monday, June 16 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss theimplementation of the recent California Supreme Court ruling in favor of gaymarriage, and the fight ahead. He'll be joined by Stuart Gaffney and JohnLewis, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court lawsuit who have been partners for 21years and will get married early Monday.
Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.

-"I went into stripping for all the wrong reasons."
After Craig Seymour Took It All Off, He Wrote It All Down
Before Washington leveled Southeast's gay clubs for a stadium, whenneighborhood men could get up close and sweaty together without being in theNats lineup, Craig Seymour, 39, took the stage in a G-string. A PhD studentand stripper. This fall, he joins the journalism faculty at NorthernIllinois University. He'll discuss "All I Could Bare," his memoir ofdisrobing, at the DC Center on June 19.

-California Gay Marriage: The Ruling and One Couple's View
University of California law professor Larry Levine, a frequent panelist,lecturer, and speaker on legal issues involving torts and sexualorientation, will be online Monday, June 16 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss theimplementation of the recent California Supreme Court ruling in favor of gaymarriage, and the fight ahead. He'll be joined by Stuart Gaffney and JohnLewis, plaintiffs in the Supreme Court lawsuit who have been partners for 21years and will get married early Monday.

Steve Rothaus
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-More than 5,000 delegates and 120 choirs from 40 states and six countrieswill gather in Miami, Florida, from July 12 through 19, 2008, to help GALAChoruses celebrate its 25th anniversary at Festival 2008. GALA ChorusesFestival 2008 is the largest GLBT performing arts event in the world. [...]GALA Choruses is an internationally recognized advocacy organization forgay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) choruses. The group's weeklonggathering of singers, choirs and clinicians boasts a full schedule ofperformances, commissioned works, workshops and social events. The eventwill be held at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts,formerly known as the Carnival Center. For more information, please visit

Express Gay News
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-Tensions rise as Billerica selectmen vote to recognize Gay Pride Week
BILLERICA, Mass.: Police Sgt. Jerry Roche said he was moved that a majorityof the selectmen voted last night to support a proclamation recognizing GayPride Week, but angry that Selectmen Marc Lombardo and Mike Rosa did notattend the meeting and are refusing to sign the proclamation. "I have beenon this department for 22 years, decorated by the governor, twice by theselectmen, and received several commendations from the chief," he said afterthe meeting. "I have served this community and I deserve respect as aperson. Am I any less of a person because I am gay? It angers me to no endthat I do not get the respect they would give anyone else."

-Homosexuality is 'sport's last taboo'
Graeme Le Saux played more than 400 matches for Blackburn, Chelsea andSouthampton, winning a Premier League title and 36 international caps. CNN'sDon Riddell talks to the former England star about homophobia and racism inthe game.

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-Move To Broaden Chicago Gay Partner Benefits
(Chicago, Illinois) An openly gay Chicago alderman is proposing changes tothe city's domestic partner benefits plan to ensure that the partners ofcity workers remain insured if they marry in California.

-Straight Couples Rush To Wed Before Ban Goes Into Effect
(Bakersfield, California) Heterosexual couples are rushing to get married ina conservative California county that plans to halt all civil weddingceremonies as gay marriage is set to be legalized.

-Bingham Cup Attracts Gay Teams From Around The World
(Dublin) Hundreds of sports enthusiasts from around the world are in Dublinthis weekend for the gay rugby world cup.

-Budapest Police Lift Gay Pride March Ban
(Budapest) Under international pressure Budapest's police chief Fridaylifted a ban imposed a day earlier on this year's Gay Pride parade.

-Campaign: Michelle Obama Never Used Word Whitey
(Washington) The Barack Obama campaign said that Michelle Obama never usedthe word "whitey" in a speech from the church pulpit as it launched a Website to debunk rumors about him and his wife.

-Fox News Accused Of Slurs Against Barack, Michelle Obama
(New York City) Fox News Channel referred to Michelle Obama as "Obama's babymama" in a graphic on Wednesday, the latest in a trio of references to theDemocratic presidential campaign that have given fuel to network critics.

The Advocate
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-McInerney's Lawyer: I Won't Gay-Bash
As the arraignment of Lawrence King's accused killer, Brandon McInerney,gets postponed again, both the prosecuting attorney and the public defendertalk to The Advocate. Commemorates California Marriage Equality
Starting Monday, June 16, the day before same-sex marriages can officiallybegin throughout the entire state of California, the online dating will offer a free seven-day membership to anyone living inCalifornia, according to a press release from the company. The website,whose mantra is "come as you are," is inviting LGBT Californians (and theirstraight allies) to meet someone special on "This is afantastic moment for California," a company representative said in therelease, "and we hope we can start some new relationships in that state."

-Ex-GOP Official Pleads Guilty to Oral Sex Charge
The former chair of the Clark County, Ind., Republican Party pleaded guiltyThursday to criminal deviate conduct, which could land him in prison for upto six years. Glenn Murphy Jr. is accused of performing oral sex on a manwho was asleep while the act took place. Along with the prison sentence,Murphy would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life,according to the Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky.

-Poll: Montana Voters Favor Employment Protections for Gays
A survey by the Montana Human Rights Network shows that a majority of votersin the state favor protecting gays and lesbians from employmentdiscrimination. According to KTVQ TV in Billings, a CBS affiliate, nearly90% of those polled were in favor of such protections. Activists are usingthe findings to push legislators to pass a bill that would bandiscrimination against gay and lesbian workers. "We really need to launchan educational effort so that people understand they're not alone in thesekinds of feelings," Montana Human Rights Network executive director and outstate senator Christine Kaufmann said. "When they accept and understand thatemployment discrimination is wrong no matter who it's directed at; that hate
crimes are wrong no matter who it's directed at."

-Friends and Foes List
The Advocate's list of our best friends and worst enemies when it comes topreserving the right of same-sex couples to marry in California. Here's yourchance to get involved!

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Homosexuality Takes Congress by Storm
The two openly homosexual members of the U.S. House of Representatives haverecruited 50 of their colleagues to officially join them in promoting thehomosexual agenda in Congress. Democrats Barney Frank of Massachusetts andTammy Baldwin of Wisconsin are the only open homosexuals serving inCongress. They have joined with Republicans Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Floridaand Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and 50 other Democrats to create theHouse Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Caucus. Peter LaBarbera,president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says it is a sad daywhen Congress enshrines official promotion of sexual immorality.

-NJ City Ordered to Pay Millions to Victims of Anti-Gay Harassment
A jury has awarded a gay couple nearly $3 million in damages as part of alawsuit against the city of Seacaucus, NJ. The couple, Peter DeVries andTimothy Carter, were awarded $2.84 million by the jury after the judgepresiding over the case, which was heard in a state Superior Court, ruledagainst the city.

-Winning Isn't Everything
After pouring over $100,000 of his own money into his campaign, Jim Nealonly took second place in this year's primary for the Democratic nominationto challenge North Carolina's Republican U.S. Senator Elizabeth "Liddy"Dole. Yet he's amazingly calm and upbeat. "I am in anything but depression,"Neal told me in a recent phone interview. "I was passionate about what I wasdoing, and I continue to be passionate about the issues that drove me torun."

-HIV and Parenthood: Poz Men Find New Hope with Surrogates
Men living with HIV are finding new hope of creating biological familieswith their own sperm through a new program created by the California-basedGrowing Generations, which provides surrogates and egg donation services toHIV-positive men. Recent technological advances have made testing semen forthe HIV virus viable. Along with the implementation of Californialegislation that allows the use of semen from someone with HIV for assistedreproduction, Growing Generations, the nation's largest surrogacy agency,has been able to launch the groundbreaking new program.

-HIV Prevention Goes Digital
As HIV infections continue to rise in some sectors of the gay community, NYUand Public Health Solutions this week debuted an innovative new tool aimedat reducing high-risk sexual behavior among gay men. HIV is Still a Big Dealis a new online video series that follows a character named Josh, a younggay man living in Manhattan, negotiating everything from love to friendshipsin addition to the agony and ecstasy attendant upon each. In the first twoepisodes alone-entitled "The Morning After" and "The Test"-Josh deals withissues like online hookups, unprotected sex, disclosing HIV status, andgetting tested for HIV.

Marriage Equality News
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-Video: Let My Partner Stay
Gay, lesbian and transgender city employees who go to California,Massachusetts or other states to get legally married would keep theirdomestic partner benefits under an ordinance introduced this week byChicago's first openly gay alderman. Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) proposed thechange in the wake of a recent California court decision affirming gaymarriage.

-Because same-sex marriages are not recognized in the United States, certainmarital benefits, like the advantage of permanent residency for a foreignborn partner, are denied to bi-national spouses. This commonly results inthe foreign partner being forced to leave the United States, and their lovedones, behind. Brittany and Joanna's story is one of thousands.

-The balance of public opinion regarding gay marriage is more positive nowthan it was during the 2004 campaign. However, Republicans and whiteevangelical Protestants, in particular, remain staunchly opposed to allowinggays and lesbians to marry, and increasing numbers of Republicans and whiteevangelicals say that gay marriage will be very important in their votingdecisions.

Pink News - UK
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-Queer as Folk creator receives an OBE
Queer as Folk creator Russell T Davies has been awarded an OBE in theQueen's Birthday Honours List. Mr Davies who revived Doctor Who for the BBCin addition to creating spin off Torchwood has been honoured for services todrama.

-Google removes HIV "cure" ad after complaints
Internet company Google has said that adverts supplied by its AdSenseservice to websites across the country should not include ones that claim to"cure" HIV.

-Sir Elton John: Diana trusted "the wrong people"
Sir Elton John has claimed that the late Diana, Princess of Wales trusted"the wrong people" towards the end of her life.

-Drag Queen Lily Savage to receive MBE from the real Queen
The gay comedian Paul O'Grady is among a number of high profile celebritiesto have been bestowed an award in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. MrO'Grady, who first shot to fame as drag queen Lily Savage now hosts a chatshow for Channel 4.

-Spanish judge ordered to marry British gay couple
A judge in the Denia region of Spain has been forced to marry a British gaycouple she had previously refused.

-Dublin shows its Pride at 25 years of progress
Dublin's 25th Gay Pride festival opens tonight with a launch party to markthe beginning of the ten day festival taking place in the George on SouthGreat George's street.

-Confusion over Kazakhstan's first ever Pride parade
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association in Kazakhstan hasannounced it intends to hold a parade in the city of Almaty on June 21st.

-Travel on the "Orient-Express of the North"
Britain's railways have romantic history. It began with steam trains andblossomed into a golden age of opulent rail travel during the 1930s. Theheady romance may have gone from everyday rail travel, but it still lives onin the Orient-Express.

Palm Beach County Human Rights Council
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-Palm Beach County Domestic Partners Prevail in Equal Health InsurancePremiums
The Palm Beach County Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) ruled this week thatthe School District of Palm Beach County discriminated against two lesbianemployees with domestic partners by charging excessive health insurancepremiums. "School District administrators have been under the mistakenbelief for years that they did not have to comply with the county's equalemployment ordinance," said Rand Hoch, President of the Palm Beach CountyHuman Rights Council. "Hopefully these two rulings will now put an end totheir discriminatory practices." For more than twenty years the Palm BeachCounty Human Rights Council has been lobbying for GLBT-inclusive laws. TheCounty's equal employment ordinance now prohibits discrimination inemployment, housing, and public accommodations based on race, color,religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genderidentity or expression, familial status, and marital status.

Gay American Heroes Foundation
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-News from Gay American Heroes Foundation
Honoring all LGBT persons who have been murdered because of their sexualorientation and-or gender identity All people who live honestly about their sexual orientation or genderidentity are heroic, as it takes great strength and courage to face thedaily struggles for personal freedom in the face of enormous opposition; toultimately give their life for said freedom makes them...HEROES.

-Gay Murder in Detroit, Jermey Waggoner openly gay hairdresser, 37 year-oldsuffered violent death June 10, 2008. Another HERO to be remembered onthe Gay American Heroes National Memorial?
Contact: Scott Hall (321) 586-8738
Cell Phone: 321/ 586-8738

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Norway becomes sixth nation to allow gays, lesbians to marry
Norway has become the sixth country in world to grant equal marriage rightsto same-sex couples. The new marriage law, approved by a vote of 84 to 41,also permits gay and lesbian couples to adopt children and allows lesbiansto be artificially inseminated, according to this article. Google/AgenceFrance-Presse (6/12)

-Groups: Timing wrong for federal marriage lawsuits
Out-of-state couples heading to California to marry should bide their timeand refrain from filing federal lawsuits seeking federal recognition oftheir unions, according to a coalition of nine LGBT groups, including LambdaLegal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Freedom to Marry. "Pushingthe federal government before we have a critical mass of states recognizingsame-sex relationships or suing in states where the courts aren't ready islikely to get us bad rulings," the groups said in a joint statement. "Badrulings will make it much more difficult for us to win marriage, and willcertainly make it take much longer." (6/10)

-Are Democrats all talk on lifting military ban?
Although recent opinion polls show a majority of Americans favor lifting the
military gay ban, most top Democrats reportedly are reluctant to take on theissue in an election year and when the party lacks a veto-proof majority inCongress. One who disagrees is former Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., who said,"Many [party] members underestimate where Americans are on this." SanFrancisco Chronicle/Associated Press (6/11)

-Baldwin, ex-ambassador discuss DP benefits for federal workers
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act and a gay-inclusive hate-crimes billhave more chance of being enacted by Congress in the next session than billsaimed at reversing the marriage and military gay bans, according to out U.S.Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Her comments came during a panel discussion -- whichalso included U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., former Secretary of StateMadeleine Albright and former U.S. Ambassador to Romania Michael Guest -- ona pending federal bill to offer gay federal workers equal benefits for theirpartners as those given to employees' spouses. Washington Blade (6/11)

-Brazil's leader backs civil unions and making homophobia a crime
Calling homophobia the "the most perverse disease impregnated in the humanhead," Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, pledged to "do allthat is possible" to enact civil unions and to make homophobia a criminaloffense. Lula made his comments at the First National Conference of Gays,Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals. (U.K.)(6/11)

-Do you want to work for the next President of the United States?
The Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute is leading a community-wide effort toidentify strong candidates to serve the next president of the United States.
GLLI's Presidential Appointments Project serves as the talent bank foropenly LGBT professionals seeking appointed positions in the nextpresidential administration. If you've ever considered working for thefederal government, now is the time to start thinking about whether you havewhat it takes to work for the president and help to bring about positivechange in our country. GLLI's partners in the project include the HumanRights Campaign, The Task Force, National Black Justice Coalition and theNational Stonewall Democrats. For more information and to submit yourresume, go to

-LGBT voters could stay home if Nunn tapped as Obama's VP
Choosing former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn to fill the vice-presidential slot on theDemocratic ticket could alienate top LGBT fundraisers, well as LGBT voters,over Nunn's prominent role in enacting the military gay ban, according toWashington Post editorial page staffer Jonathan Capehart. Nunn recently saidit would be "appropriate" to take a new look at the military ban, but thatmay not be enough to reassure those who question his support of LGBT issues.
"If Obama taps Nunn, he could end up adding gay men and lesbians to the listof disgruntled Democrats," Capehart writes. "They might not vote for McCain,but they might very well stay home." The Washington Post (6/11)

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-Girl Power & standing for what is right
A year or so ago, HeartStrong launched a letter writing campaign toCalifornia Lutheran High School in Wildomar, CA. (Wildomar is locatedjust inland from Laguna Beach and just north of Temecula.)
The Christian school had expelled two girls for an alleged lesbianrelationship. (A perfect example of what we talk about all the time,religious schools expelling students based on suspicion of being GLBT.)The girls took their former school to court, saying they werediscriminated against for being suspected of being lesbian.
That is when many of you submitted letters to the school through theHeartStrong website.
As a general point, religious schools in the US and pretty much every othercountry (except Canada) have the right to do whatever they want to anystudent or employee as long as they have a religious reason to back uptheir actions.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Link: New York's Gay City News

-A gay man has been murdered in the Detroit area and Triangle Foundationneeds your help to solve this crime and bring justice for him and hisfamily. Jeremy Waggoner, a 37-year-old Detroit resident, was murdered earlythis week. Jeremy, a stylist at the Michael Angelo Salon in Royal Oak, waswell-known and deeply loved. On Tuesday, June 10, 2008, Jeremy Waggoner'sbody was found in a grassy field on Detroit's eastside. He was brutallybludgeoned and possibly stabbed. Police are not sure whether Jeremy waskilled in the grassy field or at another location and his body then dropped off. Few details of themurder, including the possible motive, are known at this time. His green1997 Mazda MPV has not been found. If anyone has information about themurder of Jeremy Waggoner, please contact Melissa Pope at 313-909-3634 orvia e-mail at

-This Week in Washington Blade - Pride Issue!

-U.S. Senator Larry Craig
Serving the citizens of Idaho
Honoring My Children On Father's Day
by Senator Larry Craig
Though the origin of Father's Day is not clear, fathers throughout theUnited States are made to feel special by their children every year, on thethird Sunday in June. Sunday, June 15, marks my 24th year as Dad to Mike,Jay and Shae. And in recent years, their seven children have made me adoting Granddad to boot, doubling the joy of our celebration. Throughoutthese years, I have never taken a Father's Day remembrance forgranted - perhaps because I adopted my children when I had the wisdom andmaturity to appreciate the pure joy of having them in my life. I havetreasured the handmade trinkets, the interesting ties and the simple melodyof their voices greeting me on that Sunday morning every year, "HappyFather's Day, Dad! We love you."
Father's Day always has been a time of reflection for Suzanne and me - tolook back fondly on our kids' achievements and to take pride in how theyhandled life's disappointments. I remember Shae's first date and her firstbreakup, Mike's first car and Jay's first soccer game. But nothing affectedme as emotionally as my children's love and loyalty during the dark days oflast August.

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-American Family Outing visits Bill Hybels & Willow Creek: Effort concludesthis weekend at Dr. Rick Warren's Saddleback Church Last weekend, over twodozen LGBT and straight-ally couples and families met with Bill Hybels andselect staff from Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington,Illinois. The conversation was frank, honest, and respectful at all times asdiscussions focused on theological understanding, relationships, andfamilies.
The following are links to stories of the meeting:
..Soulforce, Willow Creek, and Me, Julie Nemecek, AFO participant
..Willow Creek Welcomes Gay Rights Advocates, Chicago Tribune
..Gay Christians meet with Rev. Bill Hybels and Others at Willow Creek
Community Church in South Barrington, Chicago Tribune,0,1906519.story
..LGBTs have Historic Meeting with Influential Church, Windy City Times

-This Father's Day, June 15, a group of families will attend services atSaddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, the mega-church founded byRick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life. The following day thefamilies will join leaders from Saddleback Church for a private meal andconversation. The visit is the conclusion of a six-week journey, agay-friendly family road trip, to initiate dialogue with mega-churchcongregations across the nation.
For photos of the AFO visit to Willow Creek Community Church go

-Soulforce featured in Newsweek Magazine
The June 16th edition of Newsweek Magazine features the story of a young manat Bethel University who is fighting to start a Gay-Straight Alliance. Theamazing work of our young adults at Soulforce Q was a significant part ofthe story -- indicating their ability to offer hope and healing to so manystudents at campuses across America with the Equality Ride.
The final visit of the American Family Outing was also mentioned in thearticle. To read the Newsweek article, go to


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