Tuesday, June 03, 2008

GLBT NEWS Tuesday June 3, 2008

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New York Times
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-‘Sisters’ Colleges See a Middle Eastern Bounty
Women’s colleges are a dwindling breed in the United States. So this spring the admissions deans of the five leading women’s colleges — Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley and Smith — went recruiting to a place where single-sex education is more than a niche product: the Middle East.
For three weeks they visited schools in Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, describing what a liberal-arts women’s college can offer academically ambitious students. (They skipped Saudi Arabia, where, their trip coordinator warned, they might need a male escort.)Everywhere, they talked about how women benefited from having their own colleges where women make up a large part of the faculty and students are encouraged to excel in male-dominated fields like science and math. And they flaunted their accomplished alumnae, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Emily Dickinson, Diane Sawyer, Katharine Hepburn and Madeleine K. Albright.
“We still prepare a disproportionate number of women scientists,” Jenny

-Ex - basketball star running for Calif. mayor race
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Known as a scrappy, hard-nosed fighter on the basketball court, three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson is finding out that politics can be every bit as rough. Johnson's campaign to unseat two-term incumbent Heather Fargo in Tuesday's mayoral election has been dogged by old sexual abuse allegations, complaints about his nonprofit development agency and criticism from gay activists over a remark about same-sex marriage. It has been a rude awakening for the 42-year-old hometown hero who had hoped to talk more about his success in turning around the academic fortunes of his old high school and rebuilding the economy of the tough Oak Park neighborhood where he grew up. Johnson, who earned a political science degree while playing basketball at the University of California, Berkeley, became an NBA star during his 12 seasons as a point guard with the Phoenix Suns.

-Gay marriage ban qualifies for California ballot
California's Secretary of State says an initiative that would again outlaw gay marriage in the state has qualified for the November ballot. Debra Bowen says a random check of signatures submitted by the measure's sponsors showed that they had gathered enough for it to be put to voters.The measure would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union ''between a man and a woman.''It would overturn the recent California Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage in the state if it is approved by a majority of voters on Nov. 4.

Washington Post
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-Outgoing U.N. rights chief slams treatment of women and gays
GENEVA (Reuters) - Outgoing United Nations human rights chief Louise Arbour hit out on Monday against mistreatment of women and gays in many countries and called for equal condemnation of rights violations wherever they happen.
In a farewell speech to the U.N. Human Rights Council, she also urged it to condemn anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia, and to speak out against abuse of minorities, immigrants and people from perceived lower castes. "A key aspect of women's legal disenfranchisement in many countries is the limitation placed on their ability to own or manage property, including through unjust divorce or inheritance laws," she told the 47-nation body, where Islamic countries have a strong hold on the agenda. The "perpetuation of prejudices continues to deny equal rights and dignity to millions worldwide on the basis of nothing more innocuous than their sexual identity or orientation, or their ancestry in the case of caste discrimination," she said.

Steve Rothaus
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-Still No. 1: Jake Gyllenhaal again tops gay AfterElton.com's Hot 100

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-Uganda shuns gays in anti-HIV drive
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's government said on Monday it would not focus any of its HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes on outlawed homosexuals because the east African country is short of funds.
"Gays are one of the drivers of HIV in Uganda, but because of meagre resources we cannot direct our programmes at them at this time," the chairman of the Uganda AIDS Commission, Kihumuro Apuuli, told reporters in the capital Kampala.

National Gay News
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- Male Rape Victim Shares His Story
The U.S. Justice Department says one in every 10 rape victims is male.
According to a national study, about three percent of American men (2.78 million) have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape. Around 60 percent of these men identify as gay or bisexual. Despite the sobering figures, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network says male victims are less likely to file a crime report. Much of this has to do with the myths attached to male-on-male rape.

-Trans Activist Awarded for Leadership
This week as part of Los Angeles’s Gay Pride celebration, trans activist Masen Davis will be honored with the Berman/Schaffer Award, recognizing his leadership skills in inspiring self-esteem and building strategic partnerships that further the LGBT movement. Davis, the Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center, California’s statewide ransgender civil rights organization, identifies as a “queer trans guy who wants to get stuff done.” He maintains, the trans community has, “some brilliant people in our community who’ve…done some amazing community work…and have been great at creating support systems…and social spaces.”

-Wake Drops Sodomy Case Against Men
RALEIGH: Citing a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, Wake County
prosecutors dropped charges Friday against a pair of Raleigh men charged with having sex in private.Nelson Keith Sloan, 39, and Ryan Christopher Flynn, 25, were each charged with crimes against nature last Saturday after Sloan called police to report that he was assaulted by Flynn.

-Biggest Ever AIDS/LifeCycle Pedals Into Santa Cruz
Peter Lavoie is HIV positive. He has been for 10 years.
"I was in West Hollywood during the '80s and virtually all my friends are dead," he said. "So I ride for them. They're definitely more with me when I ride, especially on the uphills."Lavoie is not too different than many of the cyclists who stopped through Santa Cruz on Sunday after the first leg of the seventh annual AIDS/LifeCycle. A group of 3,000 participants -- 2,500 cyclists and 500 roadies -- are traveling 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles over seven days.

-Study on Travel Spending Reveals Different Impacts on Gay vs. Non-Gay Consumers
According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive®, 38 percent of gay and lesbian adults report they are absolutely certain or very likely to take their vacations as planned this year, compared with 34 percent of their heterosexual counterparts. However when asked whether they might decide to shorten their vacation, a slightly larger proportion of gays and lesbians – 18 percent -- were absolutely certain or very likely to do so while 15% of heterosexual adults similarly said they would do so.

-Talks at UT Promote Churches' Openness to Gays
A town hall meeting held in Toledo yesterday was aimed at getting the area's religious community to accept the gay and lesbian population.
EqualityToledo, the Northwest Ohio Faith Coalition, Equality of Ohio, and the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign sponsored the "Faith and Fairness" meeting at the University of Toledo college of law.

-A Court Ruling That's Aging Well By Deb Price
Five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court did something that's hard for anyone, let alone for the ultimate symbol of legal wisdom: It admitted it had been wrong. That remarkable admission -- offered just 17 years after the colossal legal error it was correcting -- came in a case challenging whether Texas could punish those of us who're gay for having consensual sex in the privacy of our own home.

-Porn Trial More Than a Simple Smut Case
Twelve local residents spent last week doing a dirty job for the rest of us.
Jurors in the federal trial of Paul F. Little, a California man who known by the nom de porn Max Hardcore, watched hours of explicit, violent pornography to determine if, among other things, Little violated community standards.

Marriage Equality News
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-During his sophomore year in high school, one of our sons mentioned at the dinner table that a classmate had come out of the closet. I can't even remember which of the two boys it was, and that's not only because my memory is now so bad that I can reread mystery novels and not recall whodunit. It's because the announcement was such a big nothing among the kids that it was only slightly more noteworthy than "pass the mac and cheese." Unlike my own high-school friends, these kids took gay for granted.

-The New York Insurance Department is "exploring the impact" on group health insurers of an order by New York Gov. David Paterson that state agencies must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, a spokesman said. The memo issued by Gov. Patterson raises the issue of whether group health insurers would be required to modify the language of plans they offer employers to cover these marriages. Observers said self-insured employers would likely be exempt under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

-Desperate times, it is said, call for drastic measures.
In the United States, the Republican Party is certainly desperate; it's in fundamentally worse shape in this presidential election than in probably any since Watergate. It's not surprising, therefore, that some conservatives want to capitalize on the recent ruling by the California Supreme Court overturning a ban on gay marriage to galvanize voters in the presidential election. The court decision will deliver a generation of children "straight into the arms of the homosexual activist community," warned James Dobson, the Christian evangelical leader. Dobson is calling on citizens in California and elsewhere to mount a protest.

Pink News - UK
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-Latvian MPs' attack gays for "immoral and hooligan behaviour"
A group of MPs from the Latvia First Party, referred to as the "party of priests," has attacked what it calls the "gross interference of a homosexual group of European Parliament members into Latvia’s internal affairs."

-Vanity Fair focuses on Bill's "post-White House escapades"
A new Vanity Fair article is ruffling feathers with statements implying that former President Bill Clinton has engaged in a series of extramarital affairs with high-profile women

-Beauty spot hosts first same-sex ceremony in Canberra
The first civil ceremony marking the registration of a same sex relationship has taken place in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

-Barr, the unknown Presidential hopeful
Largely ignored by the public at large, the American Libertarian Party wrapped up their nomination process last weekend with former Republican Bob Barr taking the nomination.

-UK commits £6bn to global AIDS fight
The government has announced details of a seven-year strategy to tackle the spread of HIV and AIDS. The International Development Secretary said the UK would be at the forefront of prevention, treatment and support provision.

-THT defends its support for ban on gay blood donations
The head of policy at Terrence Higgins Trust has defended the charity’s support for the National Blood Service’s policy of refusing donations from gay men.

-Godfather of haute couture dead at 71
Yves Saint Laurent, the iconic fashion designer, died last night at his home in Paris. He was 71. Saint Laurent was one of the greatest French couturiers of the 20th century.

-Met advisory group reports on drugs and the LGBT community
Drug and alcohol abuse is more prevalent among gay men than the rest of the population, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Advisory Group.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Court Shows Bias, Dissolves Lambda Istanbul
Human Rights Group Ordered Closed on Procedural Grounds
(A Turkish court’s decision to disband a human rights organization defending lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people shows that official repression poses a serious threat to democratic rights and freedom of association, Human Rights Watch said today. On May 29, 2008, the Third Civil Court of First Instance in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul ruled in favor of a complaint brought by the Istanbul Governor’s Office, and ordered the closing of Lambda Istanbul, a group advocating for LGBT people’s human rights. The complaint argued that Lambda Istanbul’s objectives are “against the law and morality.” The court failed to address these claims in its judgment and reached a decision that the association should be closed on purely procedural grounds. The ruling is the latest in a series of legal measures targeting organizations promoting the rights of LGBT people. “The judge’s arbitrary decision highlights the prejudiced proceedings,” said Emma Sinclair-Webb, Turkey researcher at Human Rights Watch, who attended the hearing in Istanbul. “If the authorities can close one organization on procedural pretexts, all of civil society is in danger.”

-Russian gay singer asks gay parade activists "not to insist"
Moscow, June 2, Interfax - Russian gay singer Boris Moiseyev doesn't approveof Moscow gay pride parade organizers being so persistent in their desire toconduct a march in spite of the authorities ban and public protests."If society doesn't accept them (gays - IF), they shouldn't insist," Moiseyev said to the Kommersant daily polling on the necessity of introducing penal actions against s ex-minorities published on Monday.

-Greece sees first gay 'marriage'
The mayor of a Greek island has defied the threat of prosecution to carry out the country's first gay "marriages". Two men and two women were "married" by Tassios Alfieris in the ceremonieson the eastern Aegean island of Tilos. Mr Alfieris conducted the proceedings despite Greece's top prosecutor having issued a directive saying that same-sex weddings were outlawed.

-This year's LGBT Pride Week of Turkey will take place between June 23rd and June 29th, 2008. Many participants including activists, artists, politicians and journalists from Turkey and abroad will join the activities, such as film screenings, forums, parties, concerts, workshops and an LGBT Pride March. Following the march will be an award ceremony. In order to denounce homophobia we have been giving the Genetically Modified Tomato Awards since 2005 to individuals/institutions that have made homophobic statements throughout the previous year.

-Today the Dutch ambassador for human rights, Arjan Hamburger, objected in the Hague, the Netherlands to the remarks made by the President of Gambia about homosexuals. He summoned the representative of Gambia in the Netherlands to come to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The representative of Gambia declared that the president had not made any statement about “cutting the heads of homosexuals”. His other remarks (ordering homosexuals to leave Gambia within 24 hours, because their sexual orientation is against African culture and religion) had to be placed “within an internal Gambian context”, according to the representative. The Dutch ambassador for human rights declared that human rights are universal, that culture nor religion can interfere with human rights and that the criminalization of homosexuality in Gambia is a violation of basic human rights. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Dutch homosexual tourists not to disclose their sexual orientation, while in Gambia.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Ritter signs bill giving gays equal access to accommodations
Gov. Bill Ritter on Thursday signed a bill that makes it illegal in Colorado to discriminate against gays, bisexuals and transgendered people when buyinga home, renting an apartment or using public accommodations. "The governor felt that this bill, SB200, was about fairness and treating people equally," said Evan Dreyer, spokesman for the governor's office. "Itessentially updates anti-discrimination laws that in some cases have not been updated for 50 years."
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-How I Feel About Hillary Clinton, My Ex. by Joan Garry
In the spirit of full disclosure, I don't have a significant personal ex.
Eileen and I have been together forever. Trust me when I say I am proud to say I am a one woman gal. So Hillary is as close to an ex as I plan to have.
Just before the New Jersey primary, I left Hillary for Barack. At first, I felt like I was cheating on her. I was emotionally connected to her candidacy, her intelligence, her perseverance. As time went on, I began to listen more closely to Obama and became increasingly convinced that he might just be the real deal. He might just be able to restore optimism and hope and good will about America around the world. He might just have a better shot at beating McCain. And so I cast my vote for Obama and in so doing, I left Hillary.

-At 4pm on Monday 2 June, history was made as the rainbow flag was raised by the British Ambassador, Richard Moon over the British Embassy Building in Riga, Latvija at the end of the Riga Pride & Friendships Days to emphasise British Govt support of LGBT Rights across Europe. It also emphasised thatthis support is 24/7 365 days a year and not just for Pride.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Jamaican and Gay
Jamaica’s Prime Minister Bruce Golding caused a row on his recent UK visit when he stated that he would not have any gays in his cabinet nor have pro-gay values imposed on the country by outside pressure groups.
His comments has led to widespread debate and reinforced the image that the Caribbean island is massively homophobic. With such a volatile backdrop, reporter Garwin Davis in Jamaica ask one resident what it was like to be gay in such an environment.

-Soulforce to visit Atlanta megachurch
Pro-gay religious group seeks dialogue with Bishop Eddie Long
Two religious groups from opposite ends of the spectrum are expected to converge June 1 at Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to tackle the topic of homosexuality and the Bible. On Mother’s Day, Soulforce, a national gay religious activist group, began a six-week campaign of visiting conservative megachurches in what the group characterizes as an attempt to find common ground which churches that have publicly spoken against gay inclusion. Long has been a vocal opponent to gay rights, preaching from his pulpit against homosexuality as well as leading a 2004 march of thousands of people through downtown Atlanta to protest gay marriage among other things.


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