Wednesday, June 25, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 25, 2008

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Detroit News
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Snapshots show California embraces gay marriage

-The moment California became the second state to start marrying gaycouples, America's wedding album gained memorable snapshots. Who could notbe touched by seeing Del Martin, 87, cutting a three-tiered wedding cakefrom her wheelchair, helped by her 83-year-old bride, Phyllis Lyon?

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-A community rally in solidarity with Cuba's first Gay Pride parade
Who: Sponsored by Unity Coalition and Ambiente Magazine
When: 5:30 p.m. today
Where: Club Azucar, 2301 SW 32nd Ave., Miami
For more information: Call 786-356-1665,0,3345019.story

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-Catholic Church Denounces Move By Cuba To Support LGBT Rights
(Havana) Cuba's Roman Catholic Church is protesting the communistgovernment's growing support of gay rights, including a daylong eventraising awareness against homophobia and a law allowing sex-changeoperations.

-Powerful Gay Marriage Opponent Bruno Won't Seek Re-Election To NYS Senate
The top Republican in New York State and its most vocal opponent of LGBTcivil rights, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, has confirmed he will notseek re-election.

-Ireland Unveils Plans For Gay Civil Partnership Law
(Dublin) The Irish government moved a step closer Tuesday to legalizingcivil partnerships for same-sex couples, unveiling details of the proposedlegislation.

-Hospital Sued After Dying Lesbian's Partner Denied Access To Her
A lawsuit will be filed in Miami Wednesday against a hospital that refusedto allow the partner of a dying lesbian to see because they were notconsidered family.

Express Gay News
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- Marion Barry announces support for gay marriage
D.C. Council member breaks long silence on issue
D.C. Council Member Marion Barry said that he would vote for a billlegalizing same-sex marriage in the city, if such a measure is introduced.It's the first time the former mayor has publicly revealed his position on amarriage bill. His remarks came on June 18 at a meeting of the GertrudeStein Democratic Club, Washington's largest gay political group, Until theStein Club's meeting last week, Barry had declined to say whether he wouldsupport legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

-S.C. school district OKs clubs instead of banning gay group
Principal quit in protest last month. A South Carolina school district hasvoted to allow all student clubs rather than risk a lawsuit by banning agay-friendly student organization. But another part of the policy approvedMonday night by the Lexington-Richland School District 5 school board givesparents the option of not letting their minor children participate in anyschool club.

-Archdiocese forbids gay service during Pride fest
Catholic church will hold 'peace' service instead
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has told a liberal RomanCatholic church in Minneapolis that it can't hold its annual gay prideprayer service because the event goes against the teachings of the church.St. Joan of Arc Church has held the prayer service for several years inconjunction with the annual Twin Cities Pride Celebration. The archdiocese,however, suggested that the church hold a "peace" service Wednesday with nomention of rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

-India: Indian activists plan Pride parade
Will protest anti-gay laws, social taboos
Several hundred gay activists plan to march in three Indian cities thisweekend in the largest ever display of gay pride in a country wherehomosexuality is illegal, an activist said Monday. The marchers plan tosing, give speeches and hold candlelit vigils in simultaneous parades in NewDelhi, Calcutta and Bangalore on Sunday, said Gautam Bhan, a writer and gayrights activist involved with organizing the marches.

-I now pronounce you male applicant and female applicant
As everyone must know by now, on June 16, California began allowing gaycouples to wed. That's great news for Californians, but it doesn't reallyhelp you if you want to tie the knot in, say, Virginia (and don't want totravel). Hence one of the odder pieces of news we've gotten recently: anarticle from the Associated Press titled "Virginia Groom Passes as Bride,Could Face Charges."

-Gay Marriage Recognition Appears Close
An appeals court in Brooklyn appears poised to allow state officials torecognize same-sex marriages performed outside of New York State.

-Duanna Johnson: The tip of a "tremendous number" of cases in Memphis
I just got off the phone with Murray Wells, the lawyer representing DuannaJohnson. You might remember Johnson from the video last week of her beingheld down by one cop and beaten by another. After the incident she wascharged with assault for defending herself against officer Bridges McRae(the one who was beating her with the handcuffs). That was dropped. Theprostitution charge, what she was originally picked up for, was alsodropped.

The Advocate
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-Sex Citations Dampen Fire Island Fun
Two incidents involving men having public sex along the dunes of New YorkState's Fire Island resulted in National Park Service-issued citations thathas the gay resort mecca buzzing. According to New York gay publicationNext , one incident in the area known as Carrington Tract on June 15produced a citation for disorderly conduct and another for possession of acontrolled substance. Another incident in the same area on June 21 resultedin three citations for disorderly conduct. Park Service representatives,who were responsible for the citations, said no arrests were made and thereis no formal sting on gay sex in Fire Island, but added that the Fire IslandNational Seashore received extra funding this year that allows more patrolpersonnel.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Lesbian to Sue Miami-Dade Public Health Trust After Death of PartnerJanice Langbehn, a Lacey, Wash., social worker who accused Jackson MemorialHospital of refusing to let her see her dying partner, is expected to file afederal lawsuit today against the Public Health Trust of Miami-Dade County,which governs JMH. She'll speak at a 9 a.m. news conference at MiamiMarriott Biscayne Bay. The allegations include negligent and intentionalinfliction of emotional distress, says her local lawyer, Donald Hayden. Herepresents her pro bono. Co-counsel is Beth Littrell of Lambda Legal, anonprofit that tackles gay legal issues.

-Rea Carey Appointed Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian TaskForce
Rea Carey, longtime leader and activist in the lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) movement, has been appointed executive director of theNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The Task Force was the first nationalLGBT rights organization and remains the community's uncompromising,progressive voice committed to building grassroots political power throughadvocacy, training, organizing and cutting-edge research and analysis.

-International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics: Goes Out With a Splash
The 2008 International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA) swim meet went out witha huge splash this year as over 150 swimming records fell during thefour-day event. Swimmers from around the world descended on Washington, DCthis past weekend for the annual event, which this year was hosted by theDistrict of Columbia Aquatic Club (DCAC) and the Washington Wetskins waterpolo team.

-Ireland: Legal Rights For Gay Partners
'Within a Year'. Gay and lesbian couples will have legal recognition oftheir relationships within a year, according to the Minister for Justice.But the Government will not allow marriage or adoption for same-sex couplesunder the proposed laws. Government ministers approved the heads of theCivil Partnership Bill yesterday.

-A May-December Love for All Season
The three-and-a-half-decade relationship of the British writer ChristopherIsherwood and the American portrait artist Don Bachardy is one of theultimate true stories of a proto-gay-marriage succeeding in a forbiddingclimate. Defying social conventions of the 1950s and '60s, the two mennavigated Hollywood society as an openly gay couple, withstanding the slingsand arrows of homophobes like the actor Joseph Cotten, who during a dinnerparty at David O. Selznick's house made loud, derisive remarks about"half-men."

-The Distortions of James Dobson
Anything But Straight by Wayne Besen
It is remarkable that Focus on the Family's James Dobson would accuse anyoneof "distortions" considering his ignoble record. But, that is exactly whatthe right wing ideologue did this week when he said on his daily radio showthat democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama distorted the Bible. "Ithink he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of theBible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said."" -- He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

-More Businesses Adopt Gay-Friendly Policies
Because of an increasingly common policy at U.S. companies, VivienneArmstrong can choose from two different plans when she considers her healthinsurance: the one offered by her employer and one offered by her partner's.Armstrong, a registered nurse, gets her health coverage through the defensefirm Raytheon Co., which offers domestic partner benefits to her partner,Louise Young. Young, a senior software engineer in the Plano, Texas, office,said Armstrong chose Raytheon's plan simply because it has strongerbenefits.

-World now has 10 million millionaires
Add an extra zero to the ranks of the millionaires club. The number ofpeople around the world with at least $1 million in assets passed 10 millionfor the first time last year, according to a new report. And their bankaccounts are growing even faster. The combined wealth of the globe'smillionaires grew to nearly $41 trillion last year, an increase of 9 percentfrom a year before, Merrill Lynch & Co. and consulting firm Capgemini

Marriage Equality News
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-California churches prep for ballot battle
Link: Press-Enterprise
Excerpt: More than 80 churches throughout California will participate in amassive conference call today to discuss strategy to pass a Novemberinitiative that would prohibit same-sex marriage. At least 15 Inland churches have signed up for the phone meeting, which willfocus on ways churches can get involved in the ballot campaign and will helpdevelop a coordinated message.

-IL: Commissioners advance benefits proposal for gay married couples who work for Cook County
Link: Chicago Tribune Excerpt: Same-sex couples who work for Cook Countywon't lose their benefits if they get married in other states under aproposal county commissioners advanced Tuesday. The amendment, offered in light of recent decisions legalizing gay marriagein California and Massachusetts, would change a 9-year-old ordinance thatextended the county's medical and other benefits to same-sex couples whowere living together. Under the ordinance, same-sex married couples areineligible for the benefits. "We weren't thinking about this possibility" of marriage in other states,said Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-Chicago).

-Presidential race could sway outcome of California's marriage initiative inNovember, pundit says
Link: San Francisco Chronicle Politics Blog by John Wildermuth
Excerpt: Whether they're a card-carrying member of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club or have Rush Limbaugh on speed dial, voters can all agree that November's ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in California is going to be a multi-partisan free-for-all, with political repercussions extending far beyond the boundaries of the state. On the top of the ticket, both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds, although for a presidential candidate, a CBS poll taken earlier this month that shows only 30 percent of Americans favor legalizing marriage for same-sex couples could qualify as the word from on high.

-OH: Marriage opponent running for attorney general
Link: AP via Fox28
Excerpt: The daughter of a conservative Christian activist who helped spearhead Ohio's ban on gay marriage is among the Republican Party's top choices to run for attorney general in the November election. Stephanie McCloud of Reynoldsburg served as chief counsel under former Attorney General Jim Petro and as an assistant deputy legal counsel to former Gov. George Voinovich. She also is the daughter of Phil Burress , who is president of Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values. Along with gay marriage, the group also has led battles against pornography and abortion.

- Open Letter to California Mormons
Link: Affirmation by Jeffrey S. Nielsen
I am a member of the Mormon Church, a married heterosexual, and a supporterof marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. I am asking you to pauseand give sincere thought to the letter from our religious leaders you haveheard read, or will soon hear read, over our church pulpits asking you toget involved and oppose marriage equality in California. Please think deeplyabout this, not only as a member of a particular church, but also as acitizen of a democracy. To press for an amendment to a civil constitutionthat would legalize discrimination against an entire class of people is nosmall matter, but of the greatest significance. When the argument, no matterhow well intentioned, is based solely upon a religious proclamation; then, Ibelieve, it is a serious contradiction of the wisdom of our foundingfathers.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-First Gay Pride Parade to Take Place in Bulgaria This Weekend, AmidNationalistic Opposition
In a milestone event for the country, the first ever gay pride parade inBulgaria is scheduled to take place in the capital this Saturday, amidprotests and threats by nationalistic groups. The parade, organised by thenational advocacy non-profit gay organisation Gemini, will start at 4:30pmat the National Palace of Culture in Sofia,continue down the boulevards ofVitosha, Tsar Osvoboditel and Vasil Levskiand end at the Red House forCulture and Debate on 15 Luyben KaravelovStreet. The parade is dedicated tothe Family and will be held under the motto "Meand My Family" because,according to the organisers, they are "fathers anddaughters, mothers andsons, brothers and sisters."

-Are you interested in participating in a study on Dating Violence???
My name is Kathleen Kline, a doctoral candidate of the ClinicalPsychologyProgram at Walden University. As part of my dissertationresearch, I amconducting a research study on the help-seeking behavior ofthose who arevictimized by dating violence in their dating relationship.[...] If you decide to participate in my study simply go to the securedsurveywebsite provided below which hosts the packet of questionnaires foryou tocomplete. If you need to, highlight the hyperlink below, hit the"controlkey" and click on it to get to the survey or point your browser tothe URLbelow. The password is: Butterfly007.

-Are you interested in participating in a study on Dating Violence???
My name is Kathleen Kline, a doctoral candidate of the ClinicalPsychologyProgram at Walden University. As part of my dissertationresearch, I amconducting a research study on the help-seeking behavior ofthose who arevictimized by dating violence in their dating relationship. [...] If you decide to participate in my study simply go to the securedsurveywebsite provided below which hosts the packet of questionnaires foryou tocomplete. If you need to, highlight the hyperlink below, hit the"controlkey" and click on it to get to the survey or point your browser tothe URLbelow. The password is: Butterfly007.

Anything But Straight by Wayne Besen

The Distortions of James Dobson
It is remarkable that Focus on the Family's James Dobson would accuse anyoneof "distortions" considering his ignoble record. But, that is exactly whatthe right wing ideologue did this week when he said on his daily radio showthat democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama distorted the Bible. "Ithink he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of theBible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said."" -- He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter." Why do people still listen to what this serial liar has to say? In the pasttwo years, at least seven researchers have accused Dobson of manipulating orcherry picking their results to back his anti-gay teachings. Letters andvideos documenting the concerns of these respected professors can be viewedat

Pink News - UK
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-UK: 1,300 sign online petition calling for Heinz gay ad to be reinstatedAt least 205 people have so far complained to the Advertising StandardsAuthority about an advert featuring two men kissing.

-Pride seems to be the same all over the world
Although I have probably been to as many Gay Prides in the last year as FredPhelps, I won't be going to any of them this weekend.

-Will Smith shows Letterman why once you go black ..
David Letterman has greeted many a guest with a warm embrace, a kiss on thecheek, but none quite so intimate as the pucker he got last night from WillSmith.

-Homophobia a vote winner in Jamaica
A new survey conducted in Jamaica has found that the Prime Minister'sstridently anti-gay statements have boosted his popularity.

-Austrian gays claim "act of aggression" over residence permits
Austria's gay rights record has taken a turn for the worse with reports thatthe government is to make residency more difficult for bi-national same-sexcouples.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Researcher Interviews GLBT People in Kansas
Tami Albin said she was tired of hearing stereotypes about Kansas,especially regarding the lives of gay and lesbian people. Some people showedAlbin, KU undergraduate instruction and outreach librarian, pity once theylearned she lived in Kansas. "They made comments, just derogatory commentsthat had no bases," Albin said. "Kansas, full of tumbleweed a wasteland,nothing was happening here. There wasn't any kind of progressive politicshappening in the entire state." In response, Albin started an oral historyproject, "Under the Rainbow," in the past year to challenge stereotypesabout gay and lesbian people living in Kansas. She interviews gay, lesbian,bisexual, intersex and queer people, or GLBTIQ, in Kansas to find out howthey feel about living in the state. She received several research grants,including a two-year fund from the KU Center for Research.

-Cuban Church Protests Support for Gay Rights
Cuba's Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday protested the communist government'sgrowing support of gay rights, including a daylong event raising awarenessagainst homophobia and a law allowing sex-change operations. "Respect forthe homosexual person, yes," said an editorial in Palabra Nueva, the monthlymagazine of the Archdiocese of Havana. "Promotion of homosexuality, no."The editorial signed by magazine director Orlando Marquez referred toactivities held May 17 by Cuba's Sex Education Center, which is directed byMariela Castro, daughter of President Raul Castro. The center alsoannounced this month that the health ministry has approved a law authorizinggovernment-paid sex changes for 28 people who have undergone extensive studyafter requesting the surgery.

-A Battle for Love and Religion
Parvez Sharma believes the gay and lesbian Muslims in A Jihad for Love, hisnew documentary, are an unlikely but compelling group of storytellers.While discussing the challenges of being gay Muslims, they also are givingaudiences a glimpse into the world of Islam. "I think the greatest storiesof empowerment about a religion can be told through their most vulnerableminorities," Sharma said. "And I realize that deeply with gay and lesbianMuslims. . These are people who are deeply religious and who, in spite ofall the condemnations and sometimes interference by the state and bygovernments, have held on to their faith. And they talk about Islam in sucha profound and beautiful way." Their stories gave Sharma, who came out as agay man when he was 19 and living in his native India, more strength in hisown Muslim identity, he said. A Jihad for Love is the story of gay andlesbian Muslims in 12 countries. Sharma, 34, spent nearly six years filmingthe documentary that is showing at the Angelika Film Center at least throughJuly

-IA: Covering Gay Issues is Inappropriate
I was grieved by the June 12 article and pictures concerning the homosexualmarriage. It was a very sad day for Iowa when Sean Fritz and Tim McQuillanwere issued a marriage license. I was sorry to see your paper presentingtheir situation in a positive light. Sodomy is wrong in the eyes of God andin the eyes of most Americans. The story of the destruction of Sodom inGenesis reveals God's view of this city that was dominated by homosexuals.

-In Honor of Court Ruling,
Auto Club to Offer Gay Couples Who Marry Free Membership
Gay couples who marry this summer can drive off with something more thanjust a marriage certificate: a free membership from Better World Club. "It'sour wedding gift to them," announced Better World Club, the onlyauto/roadside assistance club dedicated to preserving the environment. OnMay 15, California's Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had the rightto marry. Today marks the start of the first full week of such marriageceremonies, as well as the one-week anniversary of the first marriagesconducted since the ruling. Better World Club is giving the newlyweds awedding present. They can obtain a free roadside assistance membership fromthe world's most innovative auto club, Better World Club, the first autoclub to recognize domestic partners - and now gay marriages - nationally.

-TX: Scales of Justice Can Swing Wildly
First came the poor man, barely 17 years old - too young to buy beer orvote, but an adult under the Texas penal code. He took part in a $2 stickupin which no one got hurt. He pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and wasput on 10 years of probation. He broke the rules once, by smokingmarijuana. A Dallas judge responded in the harshest possible way: Hereplaced the original sentence with a life term in prison. There TyroneBrown sits today, 16 years later, tattooed and angry and ponderingself-destruction. "I've tried suicide a few times," he writes. "What am Ito make of a life filled with failure, including failing to end my life?"Now the flip side of the coin, also from Judge Keith Dean's court: Awell-connected man pleaded guilty to murder - for shooting an unarmedprostitute in the back - and also got 10 years of probation. The killerproceeded to break the rules by, among other things, smoking crack cocaine.He repeatedly failed drug tests. He was arrested for cocaine possession inWaco while driving a congressman's car, but prosecutors there didn't presscharges.

-PA: Marriage Belief Doesn't Hold Water
This is in reply to Deborah Hamilton, a spokeswoman for Pennsylvania forMarriage Coalition ("Higher hopes for same-sex couples," story, Sunday, June22). The Declaration of Independence introduces the idea of inalienablerights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all men. TheConstitution guarantees separation of church and state. Marriage is a civilmatter and can be performed outside of the church. If marriage for gaycouples is approved in Pennsylvania or if we choose to go to California tobe married, we would not go to a church. As gay people, we have experiencedsevere discrimination from people who profess to follow the teachings ofJesus.

-MA: Boston Dropout Rings Up a Perfect Score
Sixteen was a long year for Alex Quince. A quiet teenager making A's and B's, he ran away from home, dropped out of school, and tried everything frommarijuana to heroin. He struggled with his sexual orientation. When hismother called his cellphone, sick with worry, he responded with a textmessage. "I'm gay," it said. "I'm not coming home." Now 18, Quince willgraduate tonight from the GED Plus program after earning a perfect score onthe reading section of the GED test. He plans to study photography andbusiness this fall at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. "We've hadabout 200 graduates since we started, and [Quince] is the second one" toreceive a perfect score, said Kathy Kihanya, director of the program, whichbegan in Boston 11 years ago and tonight will graduate 30 students.

WASHINGTON, June 24, 2008-The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce(NGLCC) announced today the launch of BIZ, an online publication coveringall facets of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) businessworld. BIZ's Web address is As the only nationwideorganization dedicated to promoting the concerns of LGBT businesses andentrepreneurs, NGLCC created BIZ to showcase the contributions of LGBTbusiness owners and employees in communities all across America, to connectLGBT business owners with supplier diversity efforts in the corporate world,and to highlight the economic power of LGBT consumers. "BIZ not only shinesa spotlight on the actions that NGLCC, its state and local affiliatechambers, and its allies are taking to ensure fairness and equality for LGBTbusinesses, it's also a much-needed avenue for members of the LGBT businesscommunity to connect and find the vital news that they can't get anywhereelse," said Justin Nelson, co-founder and president of the NGLCC.

-Conservative Christian Book on the Faith of Obama
When Stephen Mansfield, a former evangelical pastor whose last bestsellerwas The Faith of George Bush, decided to research and explore the faith ofanother political leader-Barack Obama-the last thing he expected was to getattacked by the political and religious right. His book on Obama is not evenon the shelves yet, but he's already been accused of multiple forms oftreachery, and the hate mail is flooding in. How did this come about? Stephen Mansfield is a man of faith. He was a pastor for twenty years andrefers to himself as a "Christian writer" and a "patriot." He has writtenseveral books about other men of faith, including, most recently, one aboutTom DeLay. In No Retreat, No Surrender Mansfield was able to conclude that,in spite of legal troubles and an apparently insatiable lust for power, "TheHammer" (as DeLay has been called) is unquestionably a man of faith. Butthat's a story for another day. Now, Stephen Mansfield has taken the roadto what his publishers believe will be another smash hit; a book thatexamines the faith of Senator Barack Obama. The book is published by ThomasNelson, the world's largest Christian publisher, and will be released toretail outlets-including Christian stores, Wal-Mart, and secularbookstores-some time around the first week of August. But here's where thetrouble begins.

-R Family Vacations Recognizes Halifax, Nova Scotia
"Perfect" Gay Travel Destination
Halifax, NS - Halifax's reputation for gay friendly travel will bereaffirmed with the return of R Family Vacations' cruise with Rosie O'Donnell and guests this July. O'Donnell, along with more than 2000 gays, lesbians, their families and friends will disembark from the Norwegian Dawn in Halifax's historic port to enjoy the welcoming gay travel destination. When Rosie O'Donnell and the cruise first came to the city in 2005, Halifax received international recognition as a gay friendly travel destination. O'Donnellstrongly praised Canada for its openness and leadership in gay rights. Thetiming of the 2008 cruise coincides with preparations for Halifax PrideFestival, Atlantic Canada's biggest Pride Festival, which launches the weekafter Rosie and crew visit Halifax. "Everyone at R Family Vacations isexcited that our cruise is returning to Halifax again this summer," saysGregg Kaminsky, founding partner of R Family Vacations. "It is a port thatwe've known we wanted to visit again." Kaminsky says that Halifax is aperfect gay family travel destination because of the incredible variety ofexcursions and sightseeing opportunities. "In our five years, Halifax iscertainly one of the most welcoming ports we've ever experienced," he says.

-Film Review: ASK NOT
ASK NOT is the latest entry in what may be called a new genre of films aboutthe Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal movement; or at least somehow relating togay patriotic Americans serving in the military. Like last year's entry,TELL by independent gay filmmaker Tom Murray, ASK NOT is a documentarytelling several simultaneous stories woven together into a feature lengthfilm with a backdrop of historical footage. The title: ASK NOT, by JohnnySymons, is a clever play on the name of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell, Don'tPursue, Don't Harass" law enacted by Congress in 1994, which perverselypermits gay and lesbian volunteers to serve so long as they never ever saythey are gay nor act upon it, nor marry a same sex partner. Symons seemsalso to be brilliantly invoking the famed line from President John F.Kennedy's inspirational inaugural speech, "Ask not what your country can dofor you, ask what you can do for your country." Indeed, as Symons' filmdocuments, we simply seek to serve our country.

-The Times They Are A Changin'
"Times change," Sam Nunn said Tuesday. Boy, do they ever! The former Senator offered this less than startling observation by way of explaining that maybe the ban on openly gay military service members that he was instrumental in passing in 1993 when he was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that maybe the policy deserved "another look." He did not go so far as to say that the policy was flat-out wrong and Congress should repeal the law, but hey, it's progress of a sort. "See how it's working," he said, "ask the hard questions, hear from the military. Start with a Pentagon study."

Forwarded from Gay Asylum - UK
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-Gay Asylum condemns "inhumane, anti-gay" Labour government
The campaigning group gayaylumuk today called the comments of British LabourHome Secretary Jacqui Smith about retuning gays and lesbians to Iran"outrageous, shameful, inhumane and anti-gay". In a letter to the LibDem MPLord Roberts, Smith echoed government policy by claiming that it was safe toreturn people if they were "discreet". Spokesperson, Paul Canning, said "weare calling for protest to be directed at Gordon Brown over the issue. Signthe petition." "We hope that gay and lesbian Labour voters in particularwill consider changing their vote if the policy isn't changed before thenext election. This is one way to get the message through on their hypocrisyregarding lesbian and gay rights issues - when embassies in other countriesare flying the rainbow flag they aren't doing this in Tehran, Kingston orKampala."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Month of violence in BELARUS!
It is the most fear month for gays for last 10 years in Belarus.
On 21 May 2008, in Minsk Edward Tarletski, famous Belarusian gay and memberof the Board of Lambda Belarus has been badly beaten. It has occurred nearby11 pm when Edward was on the way back home. According to Tarletski, he wasattacked by three young persons in the age of 20-25 years at an entrance ofhis home. [...] He said that he had no intention to report the incident topolice. "This would be a waste of time," he said, adding that this was thethird assault on him in the last five years.

-Vitaly (25) was drinking beer with his friends in the city park in Minsk on16 May 2008. "Then a guy walked by and decided that I was gay. He came upand punched me so hard that he knocked out a tooth. Others were shocked, butthey didn't react, because they just thought that the attacker had drunk toomuch. I did not report the incident to the police, because it is myexperience that the police in particular have a nasty and humiliatingattitude towards gays", - Vitaly said.

-On 22 June 2008, gay male Slava (24) was within the last visitors in thebar with his friend in Gomel. "The owner of the bar together with his sondecided to beat us up. They locked the door and we couldn't escape. Theybadly beat my friend . and I kicked the door in. The police showed up, butthey behaved as though I was the guilty one. We were taken to the policestation together with our attackers. The police let the attackers go,with­out even finding out who they were. The attitude toward us was veryhumiliating. It was as if we were the criminals, not the victims", - Slavasaid.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-SAFETY FIRST - A coalition to decriminalise sex work and prioritise safety.
New Zealand marks five years of successful decriminalisation ofprostitution. On the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the NewZealand Prostitution Reform Act (PRA), the NZ government has published adetailed evaluation report which confirms the positive impact ofdecriminalisation on sex workers' rights and safety.

-First Gay Pride Parade to Take Place in Bulgaria This Weekend, AmidNationalistic Opposition
In a milestone event for the country, the first ever gay pride parade inBulgaria is scheduled to take place in the capital this Saturday, amidprotests and threats by nationalistic groups. The parade, organised by thenational advocacy non-profit gay organisation Gemini, will start at 4:30pmat the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, continue down the boulevards ofVitosha, Tsar Osvoboditel and Vasil Levski and end at the Red House forCulture and Debate on 15 Luyben Karavelov Street. The parade is dedicatedto the Family and will be held under the motto "Me and My Family" because,according to the organisers, they are "fathers and daughters, mothers andsons, brothers and sisters."

-Helsinki Pride goes green
Finland's largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual event, is to beginon Monday. This year's theme is sustainable development. The organisers'goal has been to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable event.Ecology has been taken into account both when organising the event and inits programme content.

-Bulgarian 'Week of Intolerance' Targets Gays
The hardline Bulgarian National Union is planning a 'Week of Intolerance'ahead of Saturday's gay parade due to take place in the capital. The claimwas made by the group's leader, Boyan Rasate who on Sunday allegedhomosexuals in Bulgaria enjoyed strong political protection. "There arehomosexuals in all political parties that one can think of. I have not heardof homosexuals in the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union," Rasate said. Hesaid among the events being planned by the group is a round table on how torestrict 'homosexual ideas' in society.

Forwarded from Leon VanDyke

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-GLAAD Condemns FX Networks' Refusal to Correct Defamatory
Misrepresentation by Anti-Gay Activist on 30 Days
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today urged communitymembers to contact FX Networks to express their concerns about a defamatoryclaim by an anti-gay activist that will appear, unchallenged, in the June 24episode of 30 Days. 30 Days, FX Networks' original series produced by MorganSpurlock, "examines social issues in America by immersing individuals in alife that requires them to see the world through another's eyes,'" accordingto the show's Web site. In 2006, the series won a GLAAD Media Award forOutstanding Reality Program for the "Gay/Straight" episode. During the June24 episode, entitled "Same Sex Parenting," Kati, a woman who opposes gay andlesbian parents and their families, lives for 30 days with gay parentsDennis and Thomas and their four adopted sons. The episode includes thepersonal stories of kids raised by lesbian and gay parents. Regrettably, theepisode also features a defamatory statement by Peter Sprigg of the FamilyResearch Council, an anti-gay activist organization, who claims: "Homosexuality is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity,sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, domesticviolence, and child sexual abuse, and those are all reasons for usto beconcerned about placing children into that kind of setting."

-Panel on Religion and Sexuality in Sport
It Takes A Team! Director Pat Griffin organized and participated in apanelat the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Conference in Tampa,Fla., onApril 5 entitled "Seeking Common Ground: Conversations AmongLesbians,Christians and Christian Lesbians." Find out more about theconversation,which explored areas of common ground among women in sport whoholddivergent views and beliefs about homosexuality and the role of religioninsport.

-Swimming Out in the Open
Andrew Langenfeld has been on two college swimming teams and has come out toboth teams. Currently he is a swimmer for Purdue University. Hear fromLangenfeld about the teams' reactions, the coaches' reactions and his adviceto other students thinking of coming out to their teams.

-Transgender Student Not Allowed on College Team
The University of Chicago intramural men's soccer team refused to allow LukaCarfagna, a transgender student, to participate on the all-male team. Twoof the students snickered at his attempts to join the team. Carfagnaquestions the use of gender as a dividing line in sport. Find out moreabout his attempts to participate and the school's response.

-UNITY COALITION: First Gay Pride March In Cuba
Havana, Cuba ... On June 25 starting at ten o'clock, the first ever CubanGay Pride march under the slogan "You are not alone" will take place inHavana for the liberation and respect of sexual diversity in Cuba. The CubanCommission on Human Rights for people with HIV and Sexual Races, the CubanArenas in Memoriam, Elena Mederos Foundation, the Cuban Movement for GayLiberation, the Havana Transsexual Collective, Havana LGTB Cultural Centerand the Organization of Gay Political Presidio Reinaldo Arenas are allexpected to participate in this march.

Forwarded by Leon VanDyke

From Transgender Equality
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-I am writing as a friend to inform you of an exciting opportunity for trans-people in America. Jon Hoadley of National Stonewall Democrats and MaraKeisling of D.C. have created a portal with ACTBLUE, where people can donatemoney to Senator Obama and the funds be counted as money raised by thetransgender community. Never has our community been counted or even noticedat this level because there is no manner to do so. But now is the chance. You don't have to be trans but it would be fabulous if the trans portalcould raise $100,000 or $500,000 or even $1,000,000. Vickie

-I am very happy to spread the good word that T-HOUSE is finally here - toserve the Broward County transgender community! And, I would like to thankall of you for your considerable patience! I also must highlight thetremendous support of Lisa Agate at our local health department as well asTom Liberti at the Bureau of HIV/AIDS - who made T-HOUSE a reality!


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