Thursday, June 26, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 26, 2008

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New York Times
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-AIDS A Growing Global "Disaster"
HIV/AIDS infection rates are growing among intravenous drug users, prostitutes and gay men around the globe but they are often viewed as outcasts and refused treatment, according to a report issued on Thursday. The report, from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, also called on governments and humanitarian agencies to pay more attention to AIDS in their response to natural disasters and armed conflicts.

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-Organizers abruptly cancel Cuba's first gay pride parade
HAVANA - Cuba's first gay pride parade was abruptly canceled Wednesday,moments before it was to begin. The unofficial march, organized withFlorida's Unity Coalition, was not sanctioned by Cuba's National Center forSex Education, which is headed by Mariela Castro, the daughter of PresidentRaul Castro.,0,2049184.story

-ISSUE: Seven senators block global AIDS bill.
The global fight against AIDS now rests on the shoulders of seven U.S.senators blocking a bill that would increase spending for an acclaimedanti-retroviral program launched by President Bush.,0,428129.story

Express Gay News
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-Ex-Miami priest accused of sex abuses is sued twice more
Two more lawsuits were filed against a former Archdiocese of Miami priestaccused of sexually abusing more than a dozen South Florida boys. A retiredCatholic priest, already facing criminal charges in Broward County and adozen lawsuits claiming he sexually abused several boys in South Florida, isbeing sued by two other accusers.

-Ariz. same-sex marriage ban not heading to ballot
Measure will be reconsidered at later, unspecified date
The Arizona Senate has rejected a proposal that would have asked voters toamend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage. The 14-11 votefell two votes shy of what was required to send the proposal to the Novemberballot. Senators later voted to reconsider the measure at anotherunspecified date. The proposal would define marriage as a union between oneman and one woman. Supporters say the proposal would provide additionallegal protection needed to prevent marriage from being redefined by a courtor future lawmakers. Opponents argued that the existing law makes theamendment unnecessary and that it insults gays and represents an attempt toexploit marriage for political purposes. The 14-11 vote fell two votes shyof what was required to send the proposal to the November ballot. Senatorslater voted to reconsider the measure at another unspecified date.

- McCain meets with gay Republicans
Log Cabin confirms talks with presumed GOP nominee

-Kmart exec resigns to join California marriage fight
Leaves behind six-figure salary to take volunteer position
The openly gay chief marketing officer for Kmart is about to embark on a newrole that will drastically change his standard of living. Bill Stewartrecently resigned from his executive position at Sears Holdings, where heearned a six-figure salary and had stock options and opportunities forbonuses. He is also giving up his vintage apartment in Chicago worth $1million to live in an efficiency apartment in San Francisco.

-Sharpton 'outs' Anderson Cooper?
The blogs are abuzz today with this clip from Anderson Cooper's show lastnight. In a debate between James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Rev. AlSharpton and journalist Roland Martin, Sharpton managed to "out" AndersonCooper! "I may have some very conservative personal feelings, but I feelyou have the right to live your life differently. I may think that what youdo, Anderson, is gonna put you in Hell, but I'm gonna defend your right toget there," he said. Whoa!

-To the class of '88: Yep, I'm gay
This year marks my 20th year from graduating from Tullahoma High School and,boy, does that make me feel old. I've got gray hairs, more wrinkles and anot so trim figure to show for the past two decades since I crossed thestage set up on the football field to get my diploma.

-Gay challenger for Senate seat takes wider view
If elected this fall, Needham psychologist Sara Orozco could be the onlyopenly gay member serving in the state Senate. But some gay-rights advocatessay attitudes in Massachusetts have shifted enough that her sexualorientation no longer represents the electoral hurdle it once was.

-Retiring with equality
Gay federal gov't employees have options for leaving a pension to a partner
Are you a gay federal government employee with a life partner? Think you can't leave a portion of your CSRS or FERS pension to your partner? Think again.The next time you visit your financial adviser ask the following question,"How can I leave a portion of my FERS or CSRS pension to my life partnerwhen I die?" When your adviser stops laughing and tells you it can't bedone, pull out this article and watch their response. You can leave aportion of your federal government CSRS or FERS pension to a domesticpartner, but as with all government processes, there's bureaucracy tonavigate.

-Kick Bolthouse Farms Out of Your Refrigerator
As reported by Alex Blaze on The Bilerico Project, William Bolthouse,founder and 43% owner of Bolthouse Farms, a farm in California that providesorganic juices, lemonades, and smoothies to places like Whole Foods andother organic market places, has just recently given a donation of $100,000to proponents of a campaign to strip California couples of the right tomarry.

The Advocate
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-New York Senate Shakeup Might Help Move Marriage Equality
New York's senate majority leader, Joseph Bruno, a 32-year institution inthe state senate, announced his retirement Tuesday just as the GOP andDemocrats gird for an election season that will determine the fate of thechamber and, potentially, New York's gay marriage bill.

-First Cuban Pride Results in Arrests
Cuban activists with the aid of Florida's Unity Coalition organized thenation's first pride parade on Wednesday. The group met in Havana's DonQuixote Park at 10 a.m. and planned on marching to the Ministry of Justiceto deliver a series of demands, according to Unity.

-Italian Gays to Exchange Symbolic Vows
Same-sex couples are planning on exchanging vows all over Italy this fall inthe hope they can one day be recognized by the state, according to prideorganizers on Tuesday.

-Staying Gay: Top Gay-friendly Hotel Companies
Some mainstream hotel companies trot eagerly out of their way to make LGBTtravelers welcome at their properties, from putting together gay-specificwebsites and Pride packages to offering discounts and local scene advice togay and lesbian travelers. These five homo-loving hotel companies deserveparticular recognition for their efforts in making our overnights away fromhome a real treat.

Pink News - UK
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-UK: Shocking new report shows one in five gays are victims of homophobicviolence
A new survey of gay, bisexual and lesbian people has revealed that they areregular targets for physical and verbal abuse, yet many do not trust thepolice to take action.

-Limbaugh: US shock jock claims Democrats will "bend over" for gays
A conservative Talk Radio host hit a home run this week when he told acaller "Democrats will bend over, grab the ankles, and say have your waywith me" to black and gay voters.

-Gay experiences of war and conflict on show at Imperial War Museum
An exhibition focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people'sexperiences in the military from 1945 to the present day will open nextmonth at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

-Condom activists target Pope's trip to Australia
Pope Benedict XVI has been branded 'anti-condom' ahead of his visit toSydney for World Youth Day next month.

-Pride London hit by volunteer walkout
Members of Pride London's production team have walked out with just ten daysuntil he event. Volunteer producer Ryan Haynes, who has been organizing main stage acts or Pride London for six months, will hand over his dutiesthis week.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-European Parliament Intergroup Backs First Gay Pride in Bulgaria
BRUSSELS, June 26, 2008 - Politicians from the European Parliament'sall-party 'intergroup' on gay and lesbian rights said last night that theywarmly supported the Gay Pride scheduled to take place on Saturday in Sofia.It will be the very first Pride event to be held in Bulgaria,"I call uponBulgarian authorities to give the Pride support and, where necessary, properand adequate policing," said Sophie in `t Veld, vice-president of theintergroup for ALDE. "Sofia has the opportunity to set an example oftolerance and diversity in Europe," she added.

-Homoglobia: Out in Africa
16-year-old Emma poses in her classroom. If you thought you had it toughgrowing up, try being young and gay or lesbian in Liberia, says JessLangley. "I'm more nervous than a go-go dancer at a Madonna audition,"quips Samuel down the line in a mellow West African accent. "The dancingqueens are fired up and we're ready to go!" It's karaoke night in Monrovia,the Liberian capital, and I'm bumping down Tubman Boulevard in a rattly LandCruiser. Dressed 1980s punk style, I've applied safety pins to my clothes,written 'love' on my knuckles, and wound a studded belt around my neck. ANigerian peacekeeper cocks his head at the next checkpoint. I lift my darkglasses to give him a smile, and he nods and waves me through, one finger onthe trigger of his assault rifle.

-MSM Account for 30% of New HIV Infection Cases in Hong Kong
Of the 89 new HIV cases reported from January to March this year, 28acquired the infection via homosexual or bisexual contact. Homosexual orbisexual transmission has been cited as the major route of new HIV infectioncases from January to March this year, a diseases prevention official told apress conference on Tuesday. Dr Wong Ka-hing, Consultant (SpecialPreventive Program) of Center for Health Protection reported that of the 89new cases, among whom 70 were men, have raised the cumulative reported HIVinfections to 3,701 in Hong Kong since 1984. Of the 89, 27 acquired theinfection via heterosexual contact, 25 via homosexual, 3 via bisexualcontact and 10 via intravenous drug use. The routes of transmission of theremaining 24 cases were undetermined due to insufficient data.

-Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent
Marjorie Cohn says, "Scalia bolstered his hysterical claim that theBoumediene decision 'will almost certainly cause more Americans to be killed'with stale information that was proven to be false a year ago." To bolsterhis argument that the Guantanamo detainees should be denied the right toprove their innocence in federal courts, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in hisdissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hithertoreleased from Guantanamo have returned to the battlefield." It turns outthat statement is false. According to a new report by Seton Hall Law Centerfor Policy and Research, "The statistic was endorsed by a Senate MinorityReport issued June 26, 2007, which cites a media outlet, CNN. CNN, in turn,named the DoD [Department of Defense] as its source. The '30' number,however, was corrected in a DoD press release issued in July 2007, and a DoDdocument submitted to the House Foreign Relations Committee on May 20, 2008,abandons the claim entirely." The largest possible number of detainees whocould have "returned to the fight" is 12; however, the Department of Defensehas no system for tracking the whereabouts of released detainees. The onlyone who has undisputedly taken up arms against the United States or itsallies, "ISN 220," was released by political officers of the DoD against therecommendations of military officers.

-MI: Grand Rapids Hospital Looking into Comments Made to Lesbian Couple
A is investigating a claim by a lesbian couple that a physician told themsame-sex unions are contrary to his Christian beliefs. The incidentoccurred at Spectrum Health's South Pavilion in Cutlerville. AshleighHaberman notified Spectrum by e-mail that she and her partner, Erica Schaub,had gone to the urgent care center for treatment of Schaub's lingering cold. Schaub told The Grand Rapids Press for a report published Sunday that thedoctor asked who she was in relation to Schaub, and Schaub replied they were"life partners." "She didn't even have that out of her mouth before hesaid, 'So, what do you guys feel about your ruling in California?'" Habermanrecalled. "As soon as he looked at us, he knew we were gay, and he waslooking for an opportunity to start that conversation."

-Obama's Aim: 14 Bush States and Local Races
Barack Obama will focus his resources largely in 14 states George W. Bushwon in 2004, his chief field operative said Tuesday, hoping to score upsetsin places like Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia. But winning the White Housewon't be his only goal, deputy campaign manager Hildebrand told Politico: Inan unusual move, Obama's campaign will also devote some resources to statesit's unlikely to win, with the goal of influencing specific local contestsin places like Texas and Wyoming. "Texas is a great example where we mightnot be able to win the state, but we want to pay a lot of attention to it,"Hildebrand said. "It's one of the most important redistricting opportunitiesin the country." Texas Democrats are five seats away in each chamber fromcontrol of the state legislature, which will redraw congressional districtsafter the 2010 census.

-McCain's Position on Abortion Pushes 'Critical Bloc' of Women Voters toObama, Poll Finds
Republican and independent women who support abortion rights in 12presidential election "battleground" states were more likely to favor Sen.Barack Obama (D-Ill.) when told of Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) position onabortion rights, according to a poll released Monday by NARAL Pro-ChoiceAmerica, U.S. News and World Report reports. According to some pollsters,the results indicate that Obama could win that "critical bloc" of swingvotes in the general election in November (Halloran, U.S. News and WorldReport, 6/16). The poll was conducted by Democratic polling firm GreenbergQuinlan Rosner Research between May 29 and June 8 among 1,788 likely womenvoters who support abortion rights in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan,Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginiaand Wisconsin. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points(NARAL Pro-Choice America release, 6/16).

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-School District Settles Student Harassment Case
A Northern California school district has agreed to a comprehensive seriesof steps to protect students from anti-gay harassment and discrimination.

-Cliffhanger In Arizona Over Anti-Gay Amendment
A proposed amendment that would limit marriage in Arizona to opposite-sexcouples has more lives than a cat and still could appear on the Novemberballot.

-Czech Government Bans Anti-Gay Protests
(Prague) Authorities have banned two anti-gay rallies that were to havetaken place Saturday to coincide with an LGBT pride march in Brno, SouthMoravia.

-HIV Drug May Raise Heart Attack Risk
(Toronto, Ontario) A drug used in combination with other antiretrovirals totreat HIV infection has been linked with an increased risk of heart attack,the medication's manufacturer is warning.

-Claire McCaskill: The Other Woman In Obama's Life
Claire McCaskill, senator from Missouri, is hardly a household name outsideher home state. But Barack Obama knows who she is.

-Obama Asks Donors To Help Clinton With Debt
Democrat Barack Obama is asking his finance team to help Hillary RodhamClinton pay off a debt of at least $10 million from her failed presidentialcampaign, setting the stage for joint appearances by the two former rivalslater in the week.

Forwarded from Gay Asylum - UK
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-Iran: Guarantee Fair Court Hearings for Two Kurdish Women !!!!!!!!
Harsh Sentences May Await Two Rights Activists
Iranian judicial authorities should guarantee two Kurdish women's rightsactivists transparent court proceedings when their cases come up for ahearing, Human Rights Watch said today. Activist Hana Abdi is appealing afive-year prison sentence, while Ronak Safarzadeh is on trial on chargesthat could lead to a death sentence. Human Rights Watch urges Iranianauthorities to ensure fair and open court proceedings for both women. Thegovernment's previously documented patterns of restricting freedom ofassociation and expression using broad security laws raise concern that theofficials are prosecuting both women only on the basis of their involvementin Kurdish rights and women's rights activism.

-Syria: Repression of Activists Continues Unabated
Engagement With Damascus Should Include Human Rights
Western countries looking to increase engagement with Syria should know thatSyrian authorities continue to arrest, try, and harass political and humanrights activists, Human Rights Watch said today.

-Gambia: President Should Disavow Reported Homophobic Threats
Dangerous Remarks Fuel Tension and Promote Violence
President Yahya Jammeh's reported threats to expel or kill lesbian and gaypeople not only encourage hatred, but also contribute to a climate in whichbasic rights can be assaulted with impunity, Human Rights Watch said todayin a letter to the president. Human Rights Watch called on Jammeh tocompletely disavow all such statements, and to work toward repealing thecountry's colonial-era sodomy law, which allows arbitrary and discriminatoryarrests and invasion of privacy.

-Police expect far-right attacks during gay pride parade
The Budapest Times
Budapest police are preparing for organised attacks by Hungary's far rightduring the upcoming gay pride parade. Far-right leaders Gyorgy Budahazy andLaszlo Toroczkai have published a statement on the internet, inviting"Hungarian patriots" to travel to Budapest on July 5 to "protect Hungary'shonour" from the international gay community. A cross-European paradedubbed "Rainbow Rampage" leaves Brighton, UK, on June 27 and arrives inBudapest a week later. Police are reluctant to say how many far-rightprotesters they are expecting to disrupt the event and decline to give anydetails of police preparations for security reasons.

-Czech amendment to registered partnership law takes effect
Prague- Czech President Vaclav Klaus has neither signed nor vetoed theamendment regulating conditions for concluding marriage or registeredpartnership by foreigners so the law will take effect, his secretaryLadislav Jakl said today. Klaus by his signature does not want to supportsteps that, in his opinion, lead to the raising of same sex couples'partnership to the position close to marriage, Jakl said. Klaus at the sametime did not use his right to return the legislation to the Chamber ofDeputies for reappraisal, Jakl added.

-Bulgaria Extremists Want Public Display of Homosexuality Incriminated
The nationalist Bulgarian National Union led by Nikolay Rasate demands thatthe changes in the country's legal code be made in order to incriminate thepublic display of homosexuality. The BNU held Wednesday its round tableentitled "How to Limit and Fight the Harms from Homosexuality and Pedophiliain Bulgaria?" The forum is part of a whole week of events called "Week ofIntolerance" organized by the nationalist extremists as a countermeasure tothe gay parade planned to take place in the Bulgarian capital Sofia onSaturday,
June 28.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-First South Asia LGBTI Partnership Building Workshop
We are very pleased to announce the first South Asia LGBTI PartnershipBuilding Workshop organized by LLH Norway and Blue Diamond Society,Kathmandu. The workshop will take place at Hotel Astoria in Lazimpat area ofKathmandu September 3 and 4, 2008. The aim of the workshop is to formpartnership amongst South Asian LGBTI groups and communities, shareexperiences, learn form each other and support LGBTI movements in South Asiato advance our rights and ensure justice. We also aim to strengthen ourknowledge in the field of South Asian social and cultural sexuality.

-Iran: Guarantee Fair Court Hearings for Two Kurdish Women !!!!!!!!
Harsh Sentences May Await Two Rights Activists
Iranian judicial authorities should guarantee two Kurdish women's rightsactivists transparent court proceedings when their cases come up for ahearing, Human Rights Watch said today. Activist Hana Abdi is appealing afive-year prison sentence, while Ronak Safarzadeh is on trial on chargesthat could lead to a death sentence. Human Rights Watch urges Iranianauthorities to ensure fair and open court proceedings for both women. Thegovernment's previously documented patterns of restricting freedom ofassociation and expression using broad security laws raise concern that theofficials are prosecuting both women only on the basis of their involvementin Kurdish rights and women's rights activism.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Victory! Same-Sex Couples and Their Families Will Be Protected FromDomestic
Violence Under Family Court Access Law
The New York State Legislature has just unanimously passed a bill thatallows domestic partners - including same-sex couples - access to theprotections granted by Family Court. The bill is now expected to be signedinto law by Governor Paterson, and as soon as it is, it will enable FamilyCourt to give civil orders of protection to all victims of domesticviolence, including unmarried committed couples and those in datingrelationships. This victory means that same-sex partners who werepreviously blocked from the Family Court because they didn't have theability to get married will now have equal access to protection fromdomestic violence.

-States turn down US abstinence education grants
Skeptical states are shoving aside millions of federal dollars forabstinence education, walking away from the program the Bush administrationtouts for slowing teen sexual activity. Barely half the states are stillin, and two more say they are leaving. Some $50 million has been budgetedfor this year, and financially strapped states might be expected to wanttheir share. But many have doubts that the program does much, if any good,and they're frustrated by chronic uncertainty that it will even be kept inexistence. They also have to chipin state money in order to receive thefederal grants. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, a Democrat, made his decision toleave based on the congressionally mandated curriculum, which teaches "thesocial, psychological and health gains of abstaining from sexual activity."Instructors must teach that sexual activity outside of marriage is likely tohave harmful psychological and physical effects.

-Czech authorities ban two anti-gay rallies
Brno- The authorities in Brno, South Moravia, have banned two Saturdayprotest rallies against a march of homosexuals through the town, RomanBurian, spokesman for the Brno-stred district, said. They were to be heldat the same time, closely to the route of the march Queer Parade. In suchcases, the law only allows to permit the first announced rally, which wasthe homosexuals' march, Burian said. Disagreement with the march was to bevoiced by the National Party (NS) and the civic group National RenewalAction 99. Protests are also planned by other groups, but they have notannounced them to the authorities.

-Sex offender law goes too far, court rules
Revision would have subjected computers to searches at any time
A federal court in Indianapolis ruled Tuesday that a major portion of therevised Indiana sex offender law cannot be enforced. The ruling came oneweek before the new law would have gone into effect.

Forwarded from Leon VanDyke
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-Sexual Antagonism
A genetic theory of homosexuality. By William Saletan
Gay couples can't have biological kids together. So if homosexuality isgenetic, why hasn't it died out? A study published last week in PLoS Onetackles the question. It starts with four curious patterns. First, malehomosexuality occurs at a low but stable frequency in a wide range ofsocieties. Second, the female relatives of gay men produce children at ahigher rate than other women do. Third, among these female relatives, thoserelated to the gay man's mother produce children at a higher rate than dothose related to his father. Fourth, among the man's male relatives,homosexuality is more common in those related to his mother than in thoserelated to his father. Can genes account for these patterns? To find out,the authors posit several possible mechanisms and compute their effects overtime. They conclude that only one theory fits the data. The theory is called"sexually antagonistic selection." It holds that a gene can bereproductively harmful to one sex as long as it's helpful to the other. Thegene for male homosexuality persists because it promotes-and is passed downthrough-high rates of procreation among gay men's mothers, sisters, andaunts.

-Peter Burke's Gay Tea Cruise! will sail again Sunday, July 6th celebratingFourth of July Weekend. Jump on board the new "Musette" Yacht in your "red,white and blues" for another gay afternoon on the Intracoastal. As always,there will be some new surprises including entertainment with Nikki Adamsand Deja on the first deck, DJ Izzy spinning your favorite dance vocals onthe 2nd deck while Hot Dancers spin it out or just enjoy the views from theobservation deck where there's always some craziness from passers by. There's always a new variety of sumptuous Hors D'oeuvres and snacks. Admission is $25 in advance and $30 day of cruise. (Ask about the new "TeaCruise VIP card". Purchase 6 cruises for $90 and it's good for one year.)
Call Peter at 954-649-1107.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
A five-day nationwide sweep targeting child trafficking for prostitution inthe U.S. resulted in 389 arrests and 21 child rescues

Forwarded from Bill Sterling
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-Pastor rallies clergy against gay marriage
Efforts will include a 40-day fasting period before election day and 100days of prayer. Eight years ago, when an initiative to ban gay marriage wason the California ballot for the first time, Pastor Jim Garlow of the2,500-member Skyline Church in San Diego County barely mentioned it from hispulpit.,0,1728079.story

From Transgender Equality
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-Watch the Congressional Hearing Live Via the Internet
If you would like to watch the first Congressional Hearing on transgender issues that is happening [Thursday] "An Examination of DiscriminationAgainst Transgender Americans in the Workplace," you may be able to watch it through the committee's live webcast at


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