Friday, June 27, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - June 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-H.I.V. Diagnosis Rates Continue to Rise Among Young Men, African-Americans
Diagnoses of H.I.V. and AIDS in men who have sex with men rose significantlybetween 2001 and 2006 while declining in other demographic groups, thefederal Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday. The increase indiagnoses was especially high among males between the ages of 13 and 24,with an annual increase of 12.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent for menoverall. The annual increase was still higher among young African-Americanmen who have sex with men, nearly 15 percent. Among African-American men ofall ages who have sex with men, the annual increase in diagnoses was 1.9percent.

Washington Post
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-George Michael keeps the faith at L.A. concert
The audience at Los Angeles' Forum gave George Michael a special presentjust before the second half of his two-hour performance Wednesday: aspontaneous arena-wide "happy birthday to you" for the English singer, whoturned 45 on Wednesday. There were more birthday rounds toward the end ofthe night, including one from his band, plus a cake from actress Bo Derek. But Michael already had given his fans the gift of a stylish,career-spanning show as part of his first North American tour in 17 years,returning to this venue after two decades.

-HIV Rate Up 12 Percent Among Young Gay Men
Steepest Rise Is in Black Males Ages 13 to 24
The number of young homosexual men being newly diagnosed with HIV infectionis rising by 12 percent a year, with the steepest upward trend in youngblack men, according to a new report.

-Deadly Consequences -- But the Right Call
Few landmark Supreme Court rulings have been so widely predicted asyesterday's decision striking down the District of Columbia's ban onhandguns. The mere fact that the court agreed to hear the case was a prettygood indication that the justices were itching to make some kind of bigstatement about the Second Amendment. Questions from the bench during oralarguments in March left little doubt as to which way the wind was blowing.

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-"A Jihad for Love": Muslims on gay life, faith
Parvez Sharma's A Jihad for Love looks at the plight of gays still faithfulto their Muslim beliefs, even as the majority who share that faith areexplicitly opposed to homosexuality. Same-sex acts, socializing or evenvaguely defined offenses like "debauchery" are criminalized and punishableby fines, whipping, jail - even execution. The predicament of the victimsmakes the documentary kin to 2001's Trembling Before G-d, about gay OrthodoxJews. Both films share the same fascination and limitation. Their subjects'bravery is impressive, their situation moving, but so few are willing tospeak, and the cultures they come from so unwilling to accept them, that acertain repetitiousness soon settles in.,0,2866858.story

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-Michelle Obama: Barack Will Fight For Gay Equality
Barack Obama will fight for equal rights for gays just as he fought to helpworking-class families overcome poverty, the Democratic presidentialhopeful's wife told a gay Democratic group Thursday night.
Also: AFL-CIO Endorses Obama

-CDC: Quarter Of Those With HIV Do Not Know
Today is National HIV Testing Day and the Centers for Disease Control hasissued an ominous warning - about one-fourth of the more than one- millionpeople living with HIV in the United States don't know they are infected.

-NYC Urges Docs To Do Routine HIV Testing On Adults
Health officials are trying to persuade doctors to offer HIV tests to nearlyevery patient in a New York City community hit harder than most by AIDS.

-Lesbian Mom, Two Others Plead In Child Torture Case
Three women have pleaded not guilty to child abuse and other chargesinvolving a 5-year-old boy who was burned, starved and beaten.

-House Holds Historic Hearing On Transgender Discrimination
For the first time a House subcommittee has heard firsthand of widespread discrimination against transgender men and women.

-Thousands Attend Jerusalem Pride
(Jerusalem) More than three-thousand people attended Jerusalem's gay prideparade on Thursday but unlike previous marches police reported only minorhomophobic incidents.

-Gay Republicans Laud Supreme Court Gun Ruling
Log Cabin Republicans applauded the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling Thursdaystriking down Washington, DC's 32-year-old ban on hand guns.

Express Gay News
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-Judge OKs Christian group to hand out fliers at PrideFest
Said ban would be unconstitutional
A federal judge says a Christian ministry has the right to distributeliterature and discuss its religious viewpoint at the annual gay Pride eventknown as Pride Festival this weekend in St. Louis.

-Progress on effort to repeal ban on HIV-positive visitors
Senate Dems push for vote before July 4 recess
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Wednesday night thatDemocratic and Republican leaders appeared to have settled differences overa global AIDS relief bill that includes a provision repealing a 15-year-oldlaw banning foreign visitors and immigrants with HIV from entering orseeking permanent residence in the U.S.

-British lawmakers speak out on Heinz commercial
Say pulling ad was 'bad move'
A group of British lawmakers said Thursday that foodmaker Heinz Co. waswrong to withdraw a television advertisement that showed two men kissing.Six legislators from the governing Labour Party filed a House of Commonsmotion saying the decision to pull the ad was "ill-considered" and likely tooffend gay people. They called on Heinz to reconsider. Heinz pulled the adfor Deli Mayo last week after some viewers complained.

-Gay teens coming out of the closet: it's talked about more, but stilldifficult
It was a black, stretch-velvet dress that outed Shawn Fowler at the age of14. Hours earlier, the sexy number had been tucked secretly away in hisbedroom - along with a wig, lipstick and mascara. Yet there was his sister,sashaying through his grandparents' house, only she was donning the frock.

-Art museum goes gay(er)
Sexuality through the ages explored in 'Gay Art: From Ancient to Modern'Rare homoerotic photographs by turn-of-the-century German photographerWilhelm Von Gloeden are on display as part of a new exhibit, "Gay Art: FromAncient to Modern," at Miami Beach's World Erotic Art Museum.

-Again with the down low
Today I received a disturbing press release from JL King, who got his momentof fame on Oprah's show when he discussed his down low lifestyle (and hisbook "On the Down Low"). His newest work apparently is a DVD, "The Top 10Signs of Down-Low Behavior.and More." His press release states, "Afterwatching only 10 minutes you will have received your money's worth. It isSHOCKING!!!!" (Caps and overuse of exclamation points courtesy of therelease.)

-Beckner: Being gay shouldn't be headline news
"It seems to be headline news when somebody is gay or somebody is lesbian,"said Victory Fund endorsee Kevin Beckner. "I still struggle to understandwhy it's a breaking story when you talk about somebody being gay or beinglesbian. This isn't a lifestyle. This isn't something we have chosen to be;it's who we are."

-State Department Weighing Boy George
Who says foreign policy can't be fun?! An intrepid reporter this week askedState Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey on the very pressing matter ofBoy George's visa holdup. Mr. George planned on coming to the States for atour this summer, but the current investigation into his alleged kidnappingof a Norwegian hooker gave American officials pause.

-The sanctity of (closeted, loveless) marriage
We often struggle with which of our opposition's anti-marriage equalityarguments are the most frustrating. Some are disturbing in the way they usebiased studies or outright lies to dehumanize gay people and discreditsame-sex commitments. Others are annoying in their baseless illogic (likethe idea that marriage is "about children," even though (a) kids are not amarital requirement and (b) gay folks also raise children). But when itcomes to sheer dull-wittedness, no argument strikes us as inane as the onethat Janet Chastain is recycling in a new WorldNetDaily commentary: Thelaw that has governed traditional marriage is in no way discriminatory. Amarriage applicant does not have to declare his or her sexual preference toapply for a marriage license, and there is no test for a gay gene, as onedoesn't exist. Homosexuals always have been free to marry. Many have beenmarried in the past and likely will enter into heterosexual marriages in thefuture. They simply were not free to marry a person of the same gender.

-Queery: Bobby Kyser
Chairman of the Stonewall Street Festival - Wilton Manors, Florida
The tents were taken down, the floats have been dismantled, and 30 cubicyards of trash have been cleaned up. Thus marks the end of the 9th AnnualStonewall Street Festival in Wilton Manors.

The Advocate
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-Historic Video Gives New Look Into LGBT Movement
New York's LGBT Center releases new video in honor of Pride month thatdocuments the community's pre-Stonewall trials and celebrates the leaderswho jump-started our movement at the time.

-Sam Harris: I'm a Dad
Actor, singer, and all-around entertainer Sam Harris talks about his journeyof adoption and the joys of taking on his latest title: father. I'm a dad. Ican't believe I get to say those words. "I'm a dad." When I was growing upit wasn't possible for a gay man to utter that phrase unless he'd once had astraight family. There was often shame, sadness, and guilt around thehusband that fathered children and then shocked his wife and kids byflinging the closet door open and attending his son's graduation accompaniedby his new Yves Saint Laurent-donning male lover. Studies have illustratedthe difficulties kids suffer when they feel they are the product of a lie. The wives aren't usually thrilled about it either. But many of them do comearound, then everyone spends Christmas together: the kids (all grown up andmarried themselves), Mom (who never remarried but has a lot of cats), andDad and Bob (who just got a summer home in Amagansett and "everyone isinvited for clam season!!").

-Calling a New Army of Lovers - An Essay by Armistead Maupin
In California and beyond, we're marrying for love. Our time has come. We will not be denied. Four years ago, when the mayor of San Francisco made history by marrying gayfolks down at City Hall, his fellow Democrat Dianne Feinstein voiced herdispleasure in no uncertain terms. "Too much, too fast, too soon," was theway she put it, and the ice water in her veins was almost audible. Thesenator's 26 years in the national spotlight had been launched by ahomophobic assassin, yet she still found a quarter of a century "too soon"for the full establishment of gay civil rights. How much more time had sheneeded, for God's sake? For years Feinstein had seen the full-blown horrorsof AIDS and watched same-sex love in action -- sturdy, unwavering,unconditional love -- as LGBT families cared for the dying. She knew as wellas anyone alive what we'd endured at the hands of a callous government andorganized religious hatred. She had lived throughMatthew Shepard'scrucifixion and scores of other antigay atrocities. When exactly, Iwondered, would it be convenient for her to stand up for a constituency thathad consistently returned her to office?

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Cuba's First GayPride Parade Cancelled
Cuba's first gay pride parade was abruptly cancelled yesterday, momentsbefore it was to begin.The unofficialmarch, organised with Florida's Unity Coalition, was notsanctioned by Cuba's National Centre for Sex Education, which is headed byMariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro.Activist Mario Jose Delgado said two organisers who were to deliver a set ofdemands to the Justice Ministry were detained on Tuesday.

-They Shoot Gays, Don't They? Even before last winter, Lawrence "Larry"King, an eighth grader at E.O.Green Junior High in Oxnard, Calif., had itrough. His classmates in theschool, north of Los Angeles in Ventura County,routinely picked on him. "Hey you gay kid, you want to wear lipstick?" oneof King's friends recalledof the taunting. Another classmate told the LosAngeles Times, "You'd hear,'Faggot! Hey faggot!' That was happening in everyclass."For King, who had been adopted and then recently removed from theonlyfamily he knew by child protective services, every day must have been anightmare.

-Is Anderson Cooper Going to Hell?
Rev. Al Sharpton seems to think so, and while appearing on AndersonCooper360 to discuss Rev. James Dobson's recent accusations that Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is distorting the bible, Sharpton feltcompelled to say something."I may have some very conservative personalfeelings but I feel you have the right to live your life differently,"Sharpton said. "I may think that what you do Anderson is gonna put you inHell, but I'm gonna defend your right to get there."

-Monogamous Same-Sex Adultery
I argue against same-sex marriage in part because I think the gay andlesbian community barely understands marriage, particularly the part aboutfidelity. Thus, I am accused of extrapolating the nonmonogamy of a few gaycouples to an entire community, and reminded of the widespread cheating andswinging in the straight community.

-Gender Confusion Goes to the Hill
Today [Thursday] Congress will hold its first-ever hearing dedicated to theplight of transgender employees. This morning on Capitol Hill, the HouseHealth, Employment, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee will be holding ahearing titled "An Examination of Discrimination Against TransgenderAmericans in the Workplace."

Marriage Equality News
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-Mississippi: Opinion--'Why are we all so afraid of allowing gay marriage?'
Link: Delta Democrat Times by Ross Reilly
Excerpt: Who knew that marriage needed protecting? Apparently U.S. Sen.Roger Wicker, R-Miss., believes that to be the case. On Wednesday, Wickerintroduced the Marriage Protection Act, which would amend our Constitutionto declare that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It hasalways baffled me why so many of us have a problem with gays and lesbiansgetting married. And please don't answer back with a lot of double talkabout what the Bible says. There are plenty of Biblical scholars andreligious leaders, including some in the Mississippi Delta, who have notrouble with either homosexuality or gay marriage.

-McCain backs California marriage ban
Link: AP via San Jose Mercury News
Excerpt: The sponsors of a ballotinitiative that seeks to ban same-sex marriage in California say Republican presidential candidate John McCain has endorsed the measure. campaign says it received an e-mail from McCain Thursdayin which the Arizona senator expressed his support for the group's efforts"to recognize marriage as a unique institution between a man and a woman."McCain has previously said that while he does not back banning same-sexmarriage at the federal level, he thinks it is appropriate for states to doso.

-Labor Moves Behind Marriage Movement
Link: Gay City News
In July, at the labor federation's biennial conference,
gay and lesbian union members will seek a resolution that "will call on alllabor unions and central councils to oppose the amendment," said JeremyBishop, executive director of Pride at Work. "This would encourage allunions to get involved in the fight. "They will also ask labor leaders tospeak out against the initiative and support same-sex marriage, as well asplace pro-same-sex marriage messages in labor newsletters. These are notinsignificant.

-Column: Why Havent Calif. Gay Marriages Destroyed Society Yet?
Link: CBS News
Something is amiss. A week and two days has passed since thestate of California began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, butthe sky is still in place, and generally some shade of blue. People arestill dying and paying taxes, the sun is still rising every day, north isnorth and south is south and Don Imus is saying stupid things. And somehow,the monolithic institution of marriage has not crumbled into a great pile ofrubble and crushed beneath it the legitimacy and sanctity of every unionbetween men and women in America. What is going on here? I was promisedcalamity and catastrophe and the end of all things good and decent.

-Domestic partnerships still valid, necessary
Link: Bay Area Reporter
"There are good reasons that people should be keeping their domestic partnerships," said Jennifer Pizer, senior counselfor Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in Southern California, one ofthe key groups behind the California same-sex marriage victory. "Thelandscape is a checkerboard right now for gay and lesbian couples, withstates respecting different kinds of legal status. And that puts a burden oncouples to use a belt-and-suspenders approach. "Kate Kendell, executivedirector of San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, anotherkey player in the state marriage case, agreed.

-Arizona Anti-Marriage Amendment Re-Vote Likely for Friday
Yesterday's vote by the Arizona Senate to advance an anti-marriage amendmentto the voters fell short. But amendment supporters today vow to bringthemeasure back for another vote on Friday.

Pink News - UK
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-Politics and showbiz unite to show support for gay asylum seekers
A Hollywood star, prominent politicians and leading gay-rights activistsshowed their support for LGBT asylum seekers and same-sex bi-nationalcouples at a fundraiser last week.

-Tabloid's front page gay kiss shows Heinz how it's done
A tabloid newspaper has responded to the Heinz gay kiss ad fiasco byprinting a photo of two men kissing on its front page this morning.

-"Eco-dildo" a useful bulwark against oil price instability
The makers of a wooden "eco-friendly" dildo have claimed that the productcan "help save the planet." The latest sex toy, called an Eco-Dildo, is madefrom carefully selected wood.

-New legislation will instruct public bodies to promote gay equality
The new Equality Bill published today includes proposals for all publicbodies to promote equality for gay and lesbian people.

-Pride London's delight at men in uniform
The UK's largest Pride parade will for the first time feature members of allthree branches of the Armed Services in uniform after negotiations betweenorganisers and the Ministry of Defense.

-Budapest police braced for disruptions to Pride
Budapest's police chief Gabor Toth is expecting harsher and more frequentdisruption to the city's Pride parade.

-Russian gays call for prosecution of homophobic governor
Two gay rights activists have called on the State Office of PublicProsecutor of the Russian Federation to start criminal proceedings againstthe Governor of the Tambov region.

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,

-Hidden Lives, Proud Service: Gays in the Military
As part of their Military Pride exhibition, the Imperial War Museum Northasked gay servicemen and women to come forward with their experiences in themilitary. Here are four of their testimonies. Keith, (main picture) born in Blackburn in 1950, joined up at 17 and servedin the Royal Navy between 1967 and 1982. Keith attained the rank of PettyOfficer. "I was in the ship's boiler room - it's the most frighteningthing. The steam is 950 - so a jet of it coming out of a leaking pipe wouldcut your head off straight away, you wouldn't know it had happened.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Ireland: Senator leads move to deny gay couples right to register
A group of Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators is seeking to reverse a Governmentdecision to allow gay and lesbian couples register their relationships withthe State. A party motion put forward last night by Wexford-based SenatorJim Walsh demanded that nothing should be done in the upcoming CivilPartnership Bill that would in any way lessen the "special status" enjoyedby heterosexual marriage under the Constitution. The issue is to bediscussed at next week's meeting of Fianna Fáil's parliamentary party, andthe Government is likely to ask the parliamentary party's justice committeeto consider it.

-"Intergroup congratulates Czech republic with the first Pride parade."
For the first time in the history of the Czech republic a Pride parade willtake place in the city of Brno on 28 June. The European Parliament'sIntergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights congratulates the Czech Republic withtheir first Pride event and sending support to organisers and participantsof the Pride parade.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Trembling before Allah: Parvez Sharma's Jihad comes to Boston
Jihad is a loaded word in America, freighted with associations of "the waronterror." But in fact jihad simply means struggle, a concept ParvezSharmaunderstands well. The filmmaker and journalist spent six years filminghisdocumentary, A Jihad for Love, traveling to a dozen countries andoftenshooting in secret, to follow the stories of Muslims struggling toreconciletheir homosexuality with their religion. Read

-In 1980, an 18-year-old student in Cumberland, Rhode Island took acourageous step that helped make it easier for LGBT students to have theprom experience they deserve. Aaron Fricke went to court to fight for hisright to take a male date to his high school prom, and, with GLAD's help, hewon. You can hear Aaron tell his story in this month's podcast, Tuxedoesfor Two

Fewer Partners and More Condoms Would Decrease Risk of Infections, includingHIV
More than One Third of Men Who Have Sex with Men and Who Have Multiple SexPartners Did Not Use Condoms Consistently

-What If the Justices Had Said No?
Five years ago today, we made history - and the world is literally adifferent place for LGBT people. Six justices said yes, the constitutionalguarantee of liberty applies to all of us. On June 26, 2003, the U.S.Supreme Court ruled all remaining state sodomy laws unconstitutional inLambda Legal's groundbreaking Lawrence v. Texas case. Writing for themajority, Justice Anthony Kennedy issued a ringing declaration of dignityand equality for gay and lesbian people: "The state cannot demean theirexistence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct acrime." This year Lambda Legal is proud to premiere "Overruled!," a shortdocumentary about Lawrence v. Texas and the monumental legal and culturalshift it inspired.

Dania Beach Innkeepers Become Community Legends
DANIA BEACH, Florida - June 26, 2008 - As the Fourth of July holiday weekendapproaches, Liberty Suites proprietors Joe Van Eron and Jack Zimmerman planon celebrating the success of their award winning Superior Small Lodgingwhich caters to the Gay & Lesbian market, and the impact and changes thatthey personally have achieved in their community. Their pioneering spirithas helped to transform and redevelop their Dania Beach Neighborhood andlead the way for tourism success for Dania Beach, Broward County and theState of Florida. According to Van Eron, "Our first ten years were aremarkable journey, and we are very proud to have had the opportunity toinfluence so many changes and to have created a very special GuesthouseHotel that continues to accommodate the needs of local, national andinternational clientele year after year".

Mark's List

-Wilton Manors - Stonewall Street Festival Parade - Links to Pictures

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Dublin: Discrimination against HIV carriers helps spread virus
Growing discrimination against people with HIV is causing the spread of thevirus, a soon-to-be-published study claims. The study, carried out by theGay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), cites growing ignorance about andstigmatisation of people with HIV. Among its findings, detailed at theannual all-Ireland Gay Health Forum in Dublin yesterday, are that peoplewith HIV are the third most discriminated against group in the State afterTravellers and intravenous (IV) drug users."Almost 40 per cent of peoplesaid that if someone in their family had HIV they would prefer to keep itsecret, while 24 per cent said they would have concerns about eating a mealprepared by someone who is HIV positive," said Ciarán McKinney, director ofgay HIV strategies with Glen.


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