Saturday, June 21, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 21, 2008

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-Poll: 70 Percent In Jamaica Oppose Any Rights For Gays
(Kingston) There is little chance laws against homosexuality will berepealed in Jamaica if a public opinion poll released Friday is anyindication.

-Pride Bans Gay Soldiers
(Hamilton, Ontario) Gays and lesbians have been part of the Canadianmilitary since 1992 when the armed forces lifted its ban on gays fromserving.

-Presbyterian Pastor To Officiate At Ga. Gay Wedding
Now that gays and lesbians can legally marry in California, a retiredPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister is again challenging herdenomination's position on same-sex marriage by officiating the wedding oftwo women.

-Tasmania Mulls Gay Marriage
(Hobart, Tasmania) The Australian state of Tasmania could be the first areain the country to legalize same-sex marriage.

-Abstinence Only Program Moving Toward Renewal
Despite a growing body of evidence showing it is not only ineffective butalso discriminatory toward LGBT youth a renewal of the Bush administration'sabstinence-only-until-marriage program for schools appears likely inCongress.

-Obama, Clinton To Campaign Together
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama's campaign announced Fridaythat he will campaign with former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton next week, astep toward unifying a fractured Democratic Party after a bruising primaryfight.

-Obama Team Weighs Nunn, Edwards For VP Slot
Former Sens. John Edwards and Sam Nunn are on a list of potential runningmates for Democrat Barack Obama, a congresswoman said, one day after she metwith members of Obama's team vetting possible candidates.

-Pressure Mounting On NJ Lawmakers To Legalize Gay Marriage
LGBT rights activists are stepping up their pressure on New Jersey lawmakersto take up legislation that would convert the state's civil unions law toprovide for marriage.

-Gay Marriage Foes Protest At NYS Capitol
Conservative Christian pastors from throughout New York State have staged anoisy protest in front of the Capitol to denounce Gov. David Paterson (D)for requiring state agencies to recognize the same-sex marriages of NewYorkers who went to areas where they could legally wed.

-Study: Treating Herpes Does Not Prevent HIV
(London) Doctors have long suspected that people with herpes are more likelyto catch HIV. So they thought that by treating herpes, they could also cut aperson's HIV risk. But a new study that tested this strategy found theassumption may have been wrong.

-New Transgender Policy For NY Juvenile Jails
Transgender youth in New York's juvenile detention centers are now allowedto wear whatever uniform they choose, be called by whatever name they wantand ask for special housing under a new anti-discrimination policy drawingpraise from advocacy groups.

New York Times
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-Michael Shernoff, 57, Gay-Health Therapist, Is Dead
Michael Shernoff, a psychotherapist who beginning in the early years of theAIDS epidemic wrote widely on its emotional toll on gay men and whoorganized an early safe-sex workshop, died on Tuesday at his home inManhattan. He was 57. The cause was pancreatic cancer, his brother Jeffreysaid.

-A Global AIDS Campaign Stalled
A handful of Republican senators is blocking action on a bill that wouldgreatly increase American funding to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malariaaround the world. If their delaying tactics succeed, the United States willlose considerable leverage in trying to persuade other advanced nations tocontribute substantially more money to fight against global disease at theupcoming meeting of the Group of 8 industrial nations.

Washington Post
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-Gay rights advocates seek to stop marriage measure
Gay rights advocates asked California's highest court Friday to keep off theNovember ballot a citizens' initiative that would again ban same-sexmarriage.

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-Universalists plan five-day gathering in Fort Lauderdale with caucuses,issues, rallies Gay rights, immigrants, the environment, paganism - next week's gathering ofUnitarian Universalists can seem like a collision of social caucus and NewAge festival. But the five-day event, starting Wednesday in FortLauderdale, does have a few philosophical anchors.,0,7291026.story

Miami Herald
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-Saudi Arabia arrests alleged gays in raid
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi newspaper says religious police havearrested 21 allegedly homosexual men and confiscated large amounts ofalcohol. Al-Medina daily says the Commission for the Propagation of Virtueand the Prevention of Vice, which employs the religious police, was toldFriday of a large gathering of young men at a rest house in Qatif, ineastern Saudi Arabia.

Express Gay News
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-Principal's resignation stirs debate over clubs
School board will vote on Monday
The idea of a gay club at a high school outside of Columbia was enough tomake the principal resign.

-Reassignment possible for gay wedding refusals
At least 14 employees raised religious objections
Employees who refuse to perform gay wedding ceremonies at the San DiegoCounty Clerk's Office are facing reassignment.

-Mistrial declared as jury can't agree on hate-crime charge in fatal fight
Jury can't decide if accused got in fight because he thought the victim wasgay. A mistrial was declared Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court onhate-crime charges against a man linked to a volatile feud at Lake Natomalast summer that killed Satender Singh.

-City of West Hollywood Officials to Conduct More Than 100 Civil Ceremonieson Saturday, June 21, 2008 at West Hollywood Park

-Abstinence-only funding is like an evil Energizer Bunny
It really just keeps going and going. And we just continue to bedisappointed. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health andHuman Services, Education, and Related Agencies voted yesterday to continuefunding the Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) program despiteresearch over the last year that has proved over and over again theinefficacy of abstinence-only education.

-Paul Cameron Urges Russia To Suppress Gays
Paul Cameron is continuing his tour of Moscow, where he's spreading hisvirulent form of anti-gay propaganda masquerading as "science" to receptiveaudiences. Yesterday, he spoke at a round table sponsored by the RussianOrthodox Church, where he claimed that gays are twice as likely to abusealcohol and drugs, and avoid paying taxes. That last one is a new one, butlikely a key part of his Nazi-inspired "homosexuals-as-parasites" argument.

-"Can't I Just Have Mayonnaise?" Whines O'Reilly Over "Gay" Commercial
One almost feels bad for Bill O'Reilly. The right wing blow hard simply can't wrap his little head around Heinz's new mayonnaise commercial, whichfeatures a two men kissing. In an effort to digest the mayonnaise advert,which began airing in Britain this week, O'Reilly brought it up on hiseponymous show. See short video:

The Advocate
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-Obama And One-Man, One-Woman Marriage
Sen. Obama reminded us this week that he believes marriage is between a manand a woman, something LGBT people might have easily forgotten over thecourse of the primary. [...] More precisely, Sen. Obama said, "I believemarriage is between a man and a woman," shortly after being asked if heopposed same-sex marriage, to which he responded, "Yes." This positioning isnot new for Sen. Obama. He has uttered those words plenty - during a debatewith Alan Keyes in 2004, on the Senate floor in 2006, even in his 2007 HumanRights Campaign candidate questionnaire. But if LGBT people across thecountry bristled at the one-man, one-woman construction, they can beforgiven. After scouring the web, drawing upon memory and scanning my notes,this reporter cannot remember the senator using those words during theentire primary season from January right through until Sen. Hillary Clintonconceded the race to Obama on June 7. In fact, I don't believe he has usedthem in any one of the 20-some Democratic debates.

-N.J. Congressman Has Change of Heart on Gay Marriage
New Jersey congressman Steve Rothman announced this week that he supportsthe legalization of same-sex marriage, according to the Bergen Record . Thearticle says Rothman's change in position was motivated by the recentmarriage of his lesbian stepdaughter (and the subsequent addition of threenew stepchildren to the family).

-Amnesty International Urges Chicago to End Police Brutality Toward Gays
The Chicago Sun Times reported Friday that Amnesty International has takenan active role in trying to end the police brutality suffered by some of thecity's LGBT citizens. According to civil rights activists, the ChicagoPolice Department has a contract in place that prevents any investigation byor involvement from the Independent Police Review Authority. The activistssuggested that this contract offers too much protection for the city'scrooked cops.

-The Whole World Is Watching
The media spotlight turned to California last week as the first marriageswere performed. Although for the most part it was a rare glimpse at thehuman angle of our battle, sometimes their silence spoke louder than wordsGay marriages finally commenced in California, setting the pace for the restof the country. National newspapers approached the subject of gay marriagefrom a number of angles. They wrote stories that were giddy withanticipation; they spoke of gay marriage's bringing a reversal of fortunesto couples and the economy, and often, they warned people to proceed withcaution.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-In Lieu of Gifts, Same-Sex Couples, Opponents Requesting Donations For GayMarriage Campaign
Scot Hammond and Seth Lawrence have already had five commitment ceremoniesor weddings during their 14 years together. The last thing they need isanother blender. So instead of registering their July 6 wedding at adepartment store, the San Francisco couple entered their names in thewedding registry on the Equality California Web site, asking wedding guestsand friends to make a political donation to support gay marriage instead ofbuying them a wedding gift.

-Task Force Director Declares
Support for Homeless Youth Bill
Rea Carey, the director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ActionFund, has issued a statement in support of the federal Runaway and HomelessYouth Act, which the House of Representatives passed this month, accordingto a recent press release. The bill, if passed by the Senate - which it isexpected to do - would, among other things, connect homeless youth to familyreunification programs and provide access to housing and health services.

-Gay Group Launches Campaign on Voting
At first, there were "Get Out the Vote" campaigns. Then, politically mindedmusicians and other celebrities appealed to the MTV generation to "Rock theVote." Now, playing off those earlier slogans, Valley gay community leadershave launched their own voter drive ahead of this fall's high-stakeselection: Out the Vote.

Marriage Equality News
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-The Australian state of Tasmania could be the first area in the country tolegalize same-sex marriage. The opposition Greens Party announced plansFriday to introduce a marriage equality bill in the state Parliament when itresumes sitting on July 1. But the move already is drawing condemnationfrom both the state and national governments. Tasmania in 2004 became thefirst state in Australia to create a domestic partner registry for same-sexcouples.

-More than 250 evangelical Christian ministers came to the state Capitol onThursday to blast Gov. David Paterson for requiring state agencies torecognize same-sex marriages and to back the Senate for its opposition tolegalizing the same-sex unions. "We're here to take a stand for therighteous," said the Rev. Tom Stiles of Rochester. "This is just thebeginning of what we're calling a revival."

-Five years ago this month, the Supreme Court struck down Texas'consensual-sodomy law in a prosecution involving two men who were having sexin a private home. Justice Kennedy's majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texascontained some high-flying rhetoric insisting that lesbian and gay Americansare ordinary citizens entitled to respectful treatment. Justice Scalia'soutraged dissent charged the court with reading the entire "homosexualagenda" into the Constitution and, further, predicted that the majority'sanalysis spelled the end of all morals-based regulation of sexual conduct.At risk, Scalia warned, were laws against fornication, bestiality, adultery,bigamy, incest, obscenity, prostitution, and masturbation(!).

-Vermont: The Justice Department released a memorandum from its Office ofLegal Counsel advising the Social Security Administration that the federalDefense of Marriage Act presents no obstacle to paying Social SecurityDisability benefits to a child on account of the disabling condition of thechild's non-biological mother, who is in a Vermont civil union with thechild's biological mother. Although dated October 16, 2007, the memorandumwas made public on June 9.

Pink News - UK
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-Nigerian Archbishop claims there is "no hope" for Anglican communnion
A group of anti-gay senior Anglican clergy are gathering in Israel for aconference on the future of the church as one of their leaders claims theunified communion is effectively over.

-COMMENT: "Gay brain" study makes sweeping generalisations
Many of you have probably read about the recent study that says the brainmakeup of gay males is similar to that of straight women, and that holdstrue for gay women and straight men.

-HIV positive men more likely to have unsafe sex
A recent survey has revealed that HIV positive men who are aware of theirdiagnosis are more likely to have unprotected sex than men who are unawareof their status.

-No pre-nup for Ellen and Portia
Now that same-sex marriages are legal in the state of California, a slew of entertainers are quickly planning their nuptials.

-John Edwards on Obama's Vice Presidential list
The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus has revealed that former VicePresidential nominee John Edwards is on a list of potential running matesfor presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

-Tory claims "sex change" surgery is a choice
A Conservative MP has claimed that gender reassignment is a "matter ofchoice." Mark Pritchard, who represents The Wrekin, expressed his viewduring Business Questions in the House of Commons yesterday.

-Gay social networking site launched in Jamaica
A new way for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people in the Caribbean tocommunicate and meet up has been launched.

-Report highlights Scotland's "invisible" gay youth
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans youth in Scotland are neglected due to alack of knowledge among professionals, a report claims

-Business advice offered to LGBT entrepreneurs
The Gay Business Association is hosting an Ask The Experts event as part ofthe Pride London festival, open to all LGBT professionals from charities,businesses and other organisations.

-Ukrainian gay groups form union
Three leading gay and lesbian organisations in the Ukraine have formed theUnion of Gay Organisations of Ukraine (UGOU).

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Gay Millionaire Tax Objector Might Face Jail
By Matt Comer | QNotes
An openly bisexual millionaire, related to the Merrill Lynch and Johnson &Johnson families, might be facing jail time for his decision to protest gayinequalities in the U.S. tax code. Charles Merrill - who once lived inHendersonville, N.C., and originally hails from Southern Pines, N.C., butcurrently lives in New York City and Palm Springs - decided in 2004 towithhold his income taxes to the government as a willful, civil disobedienceof U.S. tax law. Since then, he has withheld his taxes every year as aprotest against the inequalities present in the tax code and marriage lawsof the nation. The Internal Revenue Service will go to trial againstMerrill on Nov. 17, 2008 in the U.S. Tax Court in San Diego, Calif. The finefor each year of Merrill's civil disobedience is three years in jail or a$25,000 fine.

-Archbishop Peter Jensen Does A Nicolosi.Well Almost
Ex-Gay Watch
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr. Peter Jensen, is a central figure inthe opposition to same-sex marriages and homosexuals serving in the church.As such, he is also firmly against the appointment of openly gay GeneRobinson as the Bishop of New Hampshire. Earlier this year he attempted torally support against homosexuality in a rift that threatens to split thechurch. Curiously, Dr. Jensen is also consistent in rejecting theappointment of female bishops. Archbishop Jensen has also argued stronglyagainst the possibility of women bishops for the Anglican Church ofAustralia. Holder of the Licentiate in Theology and Bachelor of Divinity,Dr. Jensen failed to answer direct questions regarding several passages ofscripture that (most would agree) no longer apply in today's culture andcompare those to similar passages about homosexuality. The interview,conducted by CNNNN, demonstrates at what point Dr. Jensen becomes ratherless consistent.

Forwarded from Gay Asylum - UK
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-Catholics to come out at London Gay Pride
Gay Catholics from all over the country will be parading behind a'ProudlyLesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgendered & Proudly Catholic' banner intheimpending Pride London Parade. In excess of 500,000 people are expectedat the event in two weeks time,whose theme is 'Fairytales, Myths andLegends'. The two week Pride festival, of which the parade is a part, usestheatre,music, debate, art and entertainment to raise awareness ofdiscriminationand the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBTpeople aroundthe world. Gay Catholics have decided to choose the paradeevent to proclaim the banner's message to other LGBT communities, as well asthe rest of the Church.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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ILGA-Europe's monthly electronic LGBT political and legal news bulletin

-Sexual Reorientation
The gay culture war is about to turn chemical.
Last month, when the California Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage aconstitutional right, it repeatedly invoked the precedent of interracialmarriage. An attorney involved in the case protested, "There is no evidenceto establish that a homosexual lifestyle is an immutable characteristic suchas race." He's wrong. There's lots of evidence. More of it just came outthis week. It's been driving the gay rights debate all along, away from theclutches of religion and into the clutches of science. The trend isinexorable, but its implications are about to change. The culture war overhomosexuality is dying-and a chemical war is threatening to take its place.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Gay City News for Thursday, June 19, 2008

-The first and second rounds of the new Universal Periodic Review wrapped upin Geneva on Friday, June 13th. ARC International will be producing a fullreport of the proceedings with a SOGI-specific analysis. However, we wantedto provide the list with a few highlights of the proceedings for those whohave been particularly interested in this new mechanism. These are just afew examples of note, and not a comprehensive overview.
...The Kingdom of the Netherlands produced one of the strongest and mostcomprehensive reports, which should act as a model for countries coming upfor review in this process.
...In contrast, South Africa's participation in the process could behighlighted as one of the weakest. ...The Czech Republic was presented witha recommendation with regard to the Yogyakarta Principles. In response theygave a very positive response and indicated that, "In 2007, the GovernmentCouncil for Human Rights set up a Working Group for the issues of sexualminorities.
...Ghana, in their report, completely ignored any SOGI recommendations madeby States at all. They were simply absent from the report. In contrast,Benin at least addressed depenalization in their oral presentation, and saidthe law is not applied, but they could not move forward with depenalizationat this time.
...Pakistan also did not address SOGI recommedations.
Instead, they included a paragraph in their written report called"Politicisation". It stated: " We accept the recommendation to continue tooppose the politicisation of human rights in the United Nations andelsewhere.
...Switzerland shocked many in the room by rejecting
recommendations to put in to place federal anti-discrimination law thatprotects against all forms of discrimination, including on the grounds ofSOGI, and a recommendation regarding same-sex couples.
...Groups in the Republic of Korea have been recently very concerned about the dropping of sexual orientation as a recommended ground for inclusion in the new draft Anti-Discrimination Act.
...Another highlight was the country report for Japan. They accepted the ecommendation in subparagraph 11 "to take measures to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity" in their written report.
Kim Vance
Co-Director, ARC International

-The Week in Washington Blade!

-Buck Angel, A Man With a Pussy: LGB Without the T
As transgenders push for respect, a rift grows with traditional gayleadership
As the undisputed king of transgender porn, Buck Angel thrives on hisability to deconstruct traditional notions of masculinity. He unabashedlypromotes himself as a man with a pussy. Headlining the 2006 Black Party wasa career high: "It was super-awesome-the audience was amazing," Angel says.
"Everything was really positive."
That was, however, far from the universal view among the thousands ofhyper-masculine attendees. The Black Party-the mega dance-and-flesh festheld every March at Roseland-reflects the hyper-masculine ideal thatdominates gayborhoods like Hell's Kitchen, South Beach, and the Castro. JoeJervis, live-blogging during the party, summed up the sentiments ofmanyattendees: "Men who have been fucked, fisted, shackled, flogged, andpissedupon have finally crossed a lurid and yet rarely discussed carnalthreshold. They have seen, in person, a pussy.",buck-angel-a-man-with-a-pussy-lgb-without-the-t,471440,15.html/1

Palm Center Scholar to Publish Definitive Story of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell";Appearance set for New York Panel Discussion and Film Premiere, June 13 & 14St. Martin's Press has announced that it will publish the much-anticipatednew book on gays in the military by Dr. Nathaniel Frank, the country'sleading expert on "don't ask, don't tell,"and a senior research fellow atthe Palm Center. The book, Unfriendly Fire:
How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America, will bepublished by the imprint, Thomas Dunne Books, in the winter of 2009. Basedon hundreds of exclusive interviews with service members, policy makers andother experts on gays in the military, the book builds on research andwriting Dr. Frank has published in major news venues such as the New YorkTimes, Washington Post and The New Republic. It is the first comprehensive,full-length book on the subject since the late Randy Shilts published thebest-selling Conduct Unbecoming in 1993.

From SunBurst - Sunshine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale
Q&A with Rev. Durrell Watkins
...Question: My mother believes I will go to hell for being gay, and she quotes the bible at me to make her case. How can I persuade her that isn't true?
...Answer: You may never persuade your mother that her homophobia isn't sharedby God. What is important is that you never allow yourself to believe thatyou are anything less than a child of God, filled with God's love. We can'tcontrol what others believe about us, but we can decide what we will believeabout ourselves.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Pride event resumes at DOJ
For the first time in five years, DOJ Pride held a pride event at theDepartment of Justice's Great Hall in Washington, D.C., after AttorneyGeneral Michael Mukasey approved a nondiscrimination policy in January. TheBush administration previously had prohibited the event from being held inthe Great Hall. Mukasey told the association for LGBT employees that they"have a right to be proud of who they are." Washington Blade (6/19)


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