Wednesday, July 02, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - July 02, 2008

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New York Times
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-Gay Marriage: Until Deportation Do Us Part?
Rita Boyadjian wishes she were in a better mood to celebrate the weddingsof fellow gay friends after California began legally marrying same-sexcouples last month. But her partner of six years is a German woman whoseU.S. student visa runs out soon. Even if they were to legally marry inCalifornia, Margot (not her real name) could not stay in the United Statesbecause the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage forimmigration purposes.

Washington Post
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-Obama courts conservatives with new faith program
Taking a page from President Bush, Democrat Barack Obama said Tuesday hewants to expand White House efforts to steer social service dollars toreligious groups, risking protests in his own party with his latestaggressive reach for voters who usually vote Republican.

-California mayor takes step toward governor's race
Mayor Gavin Newsom has taken his first public step toward seeking higheroffice, filing papers to form an exploratory committee for a potentialgubernatorial bid in 2010. Newsom, a Democrat best known for challengingCalifornia's ban on same-sex marriage in 2004, is six months into his secondand final term, which expires in 2011. Speculation over whether he would runto succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has pursued him since before hisre-election, but the mayor always deflected it by saying his attentionremained fixed on the city.

Steve Rothaus
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-Rosie O'Donnell: No truth to report she's breaking up with Kelli Funnygal Rosie O'Donnell laughed off published reports that she and partnerKelli Carpenter are on the outs. "We're hearing that the togetherness ofRosie O'Donnell and Kelli Carpenter, the handsome blonde gal Rosie calls herwife, may not be so together anymore . . . whatever other difficulties sucha breakup might cause, there is also a house full of adopted kids they'reraising," wrote New York Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams.

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-Newsom Takes Step Toward Race For Governor
Mayor Gavin Newsom has taken his first public step toward seeking higheroffice, filing papers to form an exploratory committee for a potentialgubernatorial bid in 2010.

-Spurned Man Castrates Gay Lover
(Manila) A man who discovered his boyfriend had an affair with a woman isaccused of castrating his lover in a jealous rage.

-Lawyer In Anti-Gay Case Wants New Wis. Supreme Court Hearing WithoutJustice Who Cast Deciding Vote
A lawyer who was ordered to pay nearly $90,000 in costs wants the WisconsinSupreme Court to rehear the case but without Justice Louis Butler.

-Sheikh Convicted Of Beating American Man Who Rejected His Advances
(Geneva) The brother of the ruler of the United Arab Emirates was convictedTuesday of using a belt to beat an American man who rebuffed his sexualadvances in a Geneva hotel in 2003.

-Gay Suit Thwarts Democracy Group Charges
California gay marriage advocates are attempting to subvert democracy byattempting to block a proposed constitutional amendment that would barsame-sex marriage the state Supreme Court has been told.

Express Gay News
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-Connecticut: Justices of the Peace split on civil unions
Sonia Osuna beamed as she declared the woman in a white dress and the womanin a suit standing before her as life partners. It was the latest of about30 civil union ceremonies Osuna has performed as a Stratford justice of thepeace since they became legal under Connecticut law in October 2005.

-New Hampshire: Civil unions, six months later
Couples reflect on changes in their lives
Six months ago today, more than 40 same-sex couples rang in the new year bysaying "I do" on the State House lawn. With that, their lives changedimmediately.

-Republicans, beware of marriage politics
In his Ideas piece for Tuesday's Politico, "Can gay marriage save the GOPagain?" former presidential candidate Gary Bauer makes misleading andinaccurate claims. Bauer argues that the issue of gay marriage helpedcatapult the GOP to electoral success in 2004 and directly led to PresidentBush's reelection. But that theory, long rumored in the aftermath of the2004 election, has been disproved.

-Clergy reject gay 'false gospel'
Traditionalists within the Anglican church have promised an alternative towhat they call a "false gospel" on issues such as homosexuality. The group,the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, has been meeting to discuss settingup a "church within a church".

-Transgender Rights, Transgender Perks
India: Hijras are people who belong to a socially and spiritually recognized third
gender in India. They are also the most universally-despised citizens ofthat country. When you're a hijra, you can't get a job. If you've got thecourage to risk getting beaten up, you can go begging, or you can do sexwork. That's about it. But hijras have an universally known and respectedadvantage: they have the power to bless or to curse. For example, you can'thave a wedding in India--or give birth to a boy child--without hijras beingpresent to bless the occasion. You certainly don't want one of their curses.Nevertheless, you're not likely to go long in your life as a hijra withoutbeing raped or beaten-up. That's what happens to sex and gender outlaws inmost countries.

The Advocate
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-McCain Officially Endorses California Marriage Ban
The Log Cabin Republicans have confirmed that Sen. John McCain has switchedfrom holding a neutral position on California's anti-gay marriage measure tosupporting it. John McCain's position on California's marriage amendmenthas officially switched from supporting the voters' right to define marriageas they see fit to endorsing efforts to prohibit same-sex marriage byamending the state's constitution, according to a statement by the Log CabinRepublicans.

-N.Y. Gay Couple Files Discrimination Case Against Online Adoption ServiceLambda Legal filed a discrimination complaint Tuesday with the New YorkState attorney general on behalf of a gay couple who were barred fromposting their profile at an online adoption service. Rosario Gennaro andAlexander Gardner of New York City claim the Arizona-based Adoption ProfilesLLC and Adoption Media LLC violate New York State antidiscrimination laws.The companies' website,, allows only opposite-sex couplesto register.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Last Days For Lesbian Lounge
RUBYFRUIT, the beloved West Village lesbian bar and restaurant, is closingafter 15 years - a victim of rising rents and smaller crowds. "It was thefirst of its kind as a meeting place for local lesbians and those visitingNew York from all over the world," owner Debra Fierro told Page Six.

-Habbo Joins Forces with the Matthew Shepard Foundation
Habbo, the largest global virtual community for teens, and the MatthewShepard Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting understanding,compassion and acceptance among young people, announced today that they haveentered into a new relationship in an effort to educate online users aboutdignity and respect. The Foundation, through its "Erase Hate" project, willhost an ongoing series of conversations among users in the Habbo.comInfoBus.

-New Study Focuses on Obesity in the Lesbian Community
Obesity is an epidemic, and lesbians are nearly twice as likely to beoverweight than heterosexual women. Sarah Fogel, Ph.D., R.N., associateprofessor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, is using anxtraordinarily successful, predominately lesbian weight loss group inAtlanta, as a model system for discovering how to target obesity in alesbian population. Fogel is studying the group, and her findings are givingher a different view on weight loss.

-Atlanta Pride's Human Rights Exhibit
Focuses on Struggle for Equality
Human rights and motivating Atlanta's lesbians, gay men, bisexuals andtransgender persons to take action locally is the focus of the Human RightsExhibit on display during the Atlanta Pride Festival. The event, one of thelargest Pride celebrations in the U.S., opens on Friday and continuesthrough Sunday. The exhibit focuses on the challenges LGBT Georgians facein healthcare, employment and relationships. Through a partnership withGeorgia Equality, the exhibit provides ways for taking action throughlobbying lawmakers to pass gay-friendly legislation that would crack down onanti-gay bullying in schools and ban hiring and firing based on sexualorientation. In Georgia, it remains legal to fire someone based on sexualorientation and gender identity.

Marriage Equality News
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-Commentary: 'Puzzling Obama on Same-Sex Marriage'
Link: The Volokh Conspiracy
Excerpt: [...]Is there any way to reconcile opposition to gay marriage withopposition to the California amendment? I can think of three ways toreconcile these views, none of which is cited by the Obama campaign. First,I suppose one could oppose writing the definition into the stateconstitution as opposed to state statutes. This would leave the statelegislature and governor with the flexibility and the power to make the callat a later time. But the problem with that is that the state supreme courteffectively wrote the new definition into the state constitution, removingthis very power from the state legislature and the governor.

-Hawaii: Legislators should direct their attention in November to California
Link: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Excerpt: in deciding how to respond to the movement in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. At the very least, the Legislature should grant civil unions,giving gay and lesbian couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples.Same-sex couples have been rushing to the chapel since June 16, when theCalifornia Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have a state constitutionalright to marry. A proposed constitutional initiative is on the Novemberballot, and each side of the issue is expected to have raised $15 millionbefore the polls close, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Political Scientists Stick With New Orleans, Face Boycott
Link: Inside Higher Ed
Excerpt: The American Political Science Association moved its 2006 annualmeeting from the original site of San Francisco, where hotels were then inthe midst of protracted disagreements with unions, to Philadelphia. OnFriday, the association announced that it was rejecting calls to move its2012 meeting from New Orleans. Many gay and lesbian political scientists hadcalled for the convention to move because Louisiana has adopted one of themost stringent bans on gay marriage, applying the ban also to any proposedlegal relationship such as civil unions that could be seen as resemblingmarriage. Supporters of moving the meeting said that it is not safe for gayacademics or their partners to travel to cities where their relationshipshave no legal status. A boycott is now being organized of the 2012 meeting.

Pink News - UK
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-European Commission releases details of discrimination directive
Gay, lesbian and bisexual European Union citizens will be entitled to equaltreatment in the areas of social protection, including social security andhealth care.

-LGBT Christians must toughen up says Bishop Robinson
The only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion has said that peoplewho want to change the church to become more accepting should "expectsuffering."

-US Christian fundamentalists pressured Heinz to drop gay kiss advert
A right-wing and outspokenly homophobic group in the United States organiseda campaign against an advert that was only shown in the UK.

-Gays write to Russian president about governor's homophobic outburst
Gay rights activists in Russia have written a letter to the President of theRussian Federation in an attempt to put pressure on the government toprosecute the homophobic governor of Tambov.

-Gay Christian group denounces breakaway Anglicans
The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) has strongly criticised theformation of an Anglican group hostile to homosexuality.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-India: Man Who Had Sex-Change to Marry Boyfriend Now Spurned
It's a bizarre story that will probably become thestuff of jokes, but more significantly becomes yet another in an unfortunateseries showing the sometimes tragic effect of societal repression of LGBTexpression. A resident of Rangapani, India near Siliguri filed a policecomplaint against another local man with whom he said he'd had a gayrelationship. Dipu Ghosh told police that he was encouraged by his partner,Ajit Mondal, to undergo for a sex change. Ghosh said in his complaint thatMondal had promised to marry him after the sex change operation. But threemonths after starting the sex-change process - too late, according to Timesof India, to return to his male form - Ghosh told police that he found tohis dismay that his partner showed no interest in him any more.

-Marriage As We See It
By Chris Glaser | Newsweek
The two most sacred commitments in my life-my calling to the ministry and mysame-gender marriage-are under attack because they are deemed threatening toa church and a society troubled by the lack of family cohesion, so-called"traditional family values." Our culture fails to see this as a largely heterosexual problem but instead scapegoats homosexuals, just as we who are gay and lesbian attempt to maintain relationships within our biological families and establish our own family units. Our birth families often comeunder attack for supporting us; our chosen families are refused recognition. Our families of faith treat us as society once treated illegitimate children. In the body politic, rights taken for granted by heterosexuals arecalled "special" when applied to us. I've lived long enough in the gaymovement to witness those who oppose us come full circle in their reasonsthat we should be outcasts from church and society. Twenty years ago, gaylove was opposed because it supposedly didn't lead to long-term relationships and the rearing of children. Today gay love is attackedbecause gay people in committed relationships and gay couples with childrenare coming out. In the past, gays were denounced because we supposedly were"selfish" and "irresponsible." Now we're denounced if our selflessservice-from the ministry to the military-is revealed. This damned-if-we-don't-and-damned-if-we-do syndrome should offer a clue to our opponents that their basis for beinganti-gay is not reason.

-Multiple Factors Involved in Sexual Orientation: New Study
By Dr. Warren Throckmorton |
A new study of twins from Swedish and British researchers indicates thatsexual orientation may result from the variable operation of multiplefactors, both pre- and post-natal. The study, titled Genetic andEnvironmental Effects on Same-sex Sexual Behavior: A Population Study ofTwins in Sweden, was conducted and published by Niklas Langstrom, QaziRahman, Eva Carlstrom and Paul Lichtenstein online in the Archives of SexualBehavior. Here is the abstract of the article: There is still uncertaintyabout the relative importance of genes and environments on human sexualorientation. One reason is that previous studies employed selfselected,opportunistic, or small population-based samples.

-Ex-Gay Feels 'Censored' for Denial of Speical Rights
By Michael Airhart | Truth Wins Out
In comments at the Ex-Gay Watch blog, self-styled moderate ex-gay advocateKaren Keen defends a special "right" of ex-gays who oppose civil rights toappear at the conventions of organizations that support civil rights forall. Since it was created by the Family Research Council in 1996, Parentsand Friends of Ex-Gays has hosted private parental discussion forums thatpromote discrimination in employment and family law, ostracism in places ofworship, factual falsehoods about sexual orientation in schools, andsweeping defamations about the "lifestyle" of same-sex-attracted persons. Two PFOX webmasters - "Burning Black Triangle" and Gabriel Espinosa - haveadvocated antigay violence. More recently, PFOX vice president EstellaSalvatierra has apparently unleashed Fred-Phelps-like tirades at Virginiafair-goers in order to provoke physical altercations with passersby who areunfamiliar with PFOX's headline-craving tactics. PFOX advocates in Marylandagainst equal access to public facilities for gay and gender-variantMarylanders, and PFOX recently lost a Maryland battle against comprehensivesex education.

-Presidential Candidates Weigh in on CA Ballot Measure
By Paul Karr | GLAAD Blog
Both presidential contenders Sen. Barak Obama and Sen. John McCain areweighing in on California's proposed constitutional amendment prohibitinggay and lesbian couples from marrying. Citing his belief that marriage isbetween a man and a woman, the Sacramento Bee reported that Sen. McCainexpressed his support for the November ballot measure, but the initiative'sbackers say they will only tout McCain's endorsement rather than asking himto actively campaign for the ballot measure. On the other hand, in a letterto the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, Sen. Obama expressed hisopposition to the initiative, calling it "discriminatory" and "divisive."

-Anti-Gay Politics Arizon Style
By Jim Burroway | Box Turtle Bulletin
The Tucson Observer has published a first person account of the final hoursof the Arizona Senate's passage of the anti-marriage amendment. In thisLegislative Update by Representative Steve Farley (D-Tucson) you really geta sense of the boorish, contemptable behavior of a Republican majority withno regard for their own rules. And you also get a sense of how spinelessSenate President Timothy Bee was throughout all of this. After the budgetwas finished Thursday night, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Mesa) made an attempt toadjourn sine die and end the session right away. Unfortunately, he got thewording wrong, so Majority Leader Tom Boone (R-Peoria)-who had other plansin mind for a number of unfinished bills-made a substitute motion to recesswhich canceled out Biggs' motion when the vast majority of the body, unsurewhat to do, stood in support of Boone. That paved the way for us to comeback the next day for a horrible day of legislating where a whole lot of badthings happened, none worse than the resurrection of the anti-marriageamendment.

-OH: Marriage Ban, Doesn't Affect Child Custody
By Eric Resnick | Gay People's Chronicle
Columbus-The first test of whether or not Ohio's marriage ban amendmentaffects child custody will probably head to the Ohio Supreme Court after anappeals court ruled that essentially, it doesn't. The Tenth Ohio DistrictCourt of Appeals in Columbus on June 10 upheld a Franklin County ruling thatthe amendment has no effect on custody agreements. If the case goes to thehigh court, it will be the second time it has looked at the amendment. Lastsummer, the justices ruled that the measure bars only same-sex marriage andcivil union, and doesn't affect domestic violence laws. Almost immediatelyafter the amendment passed in 2004, Denise Marie Fairchild asked theFranklin County Common Pleas Court to invalidate a nearly four-year-oldparenting agreement with her former partner, Therese Marie Fairchild, nowTherese Marie Leach. Fairchild is the biological mother of a son, now 12,born of artificial insemination from an anonymous donor. The couple livedtogether for four years before he was born in 1996. Their relationship endedin 2001, six months after the custody agreement was entered.

-Positively Aware Magazine Takes Inside Look at HIV in the TransgenderCommunity
Positively Aware magazine takes inside look at HIV in the transgender community
A groundbreaking exploration of HIV in the transgender community heads for newsstands this week in the July/August issue of Positively Aware magazine. This expanded 64-page issue features an exclusive interview with HIV-positive transgender actress Alexandra Billings, who also appears on the cover. Billings has recently guest-starred on the hit network television dramas E.R. and Grey's Anatomy. Also included is an in-depth interview with noted transgender health expert and psychologist Walter Bockting, Ph.D., author of several books on the subject including Transgender and HIV (2001, Haworth Press). "This has been one of the single most important issues of Positively Aware in my five years as editor," noted Jeff Berry, Positively Aware editor and contributor. "There is such a paucity of research and information that currently exists for thetransgender community, specifically as it relates to HIV." A recent study showed that anywhere from 12-28% of transgender individuals may be infected with the virus. "There has been a major surge in primary prevention, which is good, but I think we have to go back and pay attention to the 28 percent who are positive," states Bockting. "They haven't gotten the attention that they deserve."

-Affirmative Action Imperfect, But Needed
By Sarah Melecki | Daily Nebraskan
Last week, I was sitting on a blanket at Jazz in June enjoying the niceweather, friends and a little background music. With thousands of peoplemilling about, it's easy to tune out the crowd. But when two people wearing"Decline to Sign" t-shirts showed up, the affirmative action debate reachedmy little blanket.To tell you the truth, I had wondered how long it wouldtake for the issue to come up at my seat. In fact, it wasn't a week ago whenI was last approached about signing a petition to support the Nebraska CivilRights Initiative, or a cleverly disguised ban on affirmative action inNebraska. The citizen group Nebraskans United has formed in opposition tothe Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative. This is the group that uses the term"Decline to Sign" when trying to keep people from signing the petitions thatare being distributed throughout the state.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Anti-Gay Fascists Successfully Confronted @ Chicago Pride Parade!!
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-Gay rights protestors thrown out of Anglican summit
By John Bingham
Gay rights activists have been thrown out of a summit of rebel Anglicansopposed to liberalisation of church teaching on issues such ashomosexuality. Campaigner Peter Tatchell and fellow protesters attempted tostorm the meeting in central London which follows the setting up of abreak-away group threatening the union of the world-wide communion. Holdinga placard accusing traditionalists of "crucifying" homosexual believers, MrTatchell had denounced moves to set up a rival communion opposed to liberalvalues. More than 750 Church of England clergy and wardens are attendingthe event at All Souls Church in London's Langham Place.

Anything but Straight

-The Ugly Phase Begins By Wayne Besen
For a brief moment, it looked as if the GLBT community might escapegratuitous gay baiting in the 2008 presidential campaign. Unlike the pastfew election cycles where the strategy was to secure the base at all costs,McCain and Obama were vigorously vying for moderate and Independent swingvoters. The pro-gay Obama was competing in all 50 states - thus tailoringhis general election message to the skeptical rather than the converted. McCain, for his part, appeared on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show and pointedlyrefused to exploit marriage as a wedge issue in California. The dreamscenario playing out was almost too good to be true. If Obama won with afirmly Democratic Congress in place, it would likely lead to the advancementof GLBT issues on Capitol Hill. If McCain emerged as the victor withoutpandering to the Religious Right, he would be free to pursue a moderateagenda and not be beholden to extremists. It is doubtful that this wouldlead to any advancement on GLBT equality, but it would set the GOP on a moremoderate course and curtail their anti-gay obsession.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-The Irish Ombudsman for Children published her Annual Report for 2007 ]...] concerning a trans young person.
"Discrimination in school admissions policy
During 2007 it came to the attention of the Ombudsman for Children that ayoung person in transition year was being denied access to a particularschool solely on the basis of her gender identity. Having been treated inthis manner, the young person did not then wish to attend the school so shechose not to appeal its decision to refuse her admission. However, she wasconcerned that other young people might face similar difficulties so sheasked this Office to seek clarification from the Department of Education andScience whether the school in this instance had acted in contravention ofrelevant legislation. [...] The Minister wrote back to confirm that arefusal to admit a student on the basis of gender (which includes genderidentity) violates Ireland's equality legislation and that guidelines on howthat legislation affects schools had been distributed to every school in thecountry.

-"EU´s Fundamental Rights Agency confirms discrimination; calls upon MemberStates to take legislative actions."
On 30 June the European Union's Fundamental Right´s Agency (FRA) published alegal analysis on discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientationthroughout the European Union. In the report the FRA calls upon the EU andMember States to bring forward greater legislative protection in areas of EUcompetence in order for LGBT people to enjoy full and equal rights. TheEuropean Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights congratulates theFRA on an excellent Report and encourages Member States and EU institutionsto bring forward necessary legislative changes especially in regard tosame-sex couples and hate speeches. "This report compiled by an EU agencyconfirms once again what civil society has been telling us for a long time",said Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup. "Lesbians, Gays,Bisexuals and Transgender persons are experiencing severe discrimination insome parts of the European Union and it is the responsibility of theEuropean Commission to propose adequate legislation in the areas of EUcompetence to guarantee that every European citizen enjoy full and equalrights."

-Anglican rebels 'punched gay rights activists'
By Andy McSmith
Three gay-rights protesters say they were punched while being forciblyremoved yesterday from a conference at which rebel bishops were trying toattract recruits to a network for Anglicans who believe all same-sexrelationships should be condemned. The protest, led by Peter Tatchell,comes as the Anglican communion goes through what is possibly its greatestcrisis in 450 years, with many senior clergy predicting that a split in theChurch is almost inevitable. Yesterday's meeting, at All Souls Church,London, followed a conference in Jerusalem of Anglican bishops from aroundthe world who are defying the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams,because they believe he has failed to follow the biblical line onhomosexuality.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Task Force Weekly Update

-More view cohabitation as acceptable choice
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
An analysis of cohabitation, marriage and divorce data from 13 countries,including the USA, shows that living together has become so mainstream thatgrowing numbers of Americans view it as an alternative to marriage. TheNational Marriage Project study of a sampling of Western European andScandinavian nations, Australia, Canada and New Zealand found thatcohabitation elsewhere is far more common and indeed viewed as an option tomatrimony. The study found that anywhere from 15% to 30% of all couplesidentified themselves as living together, compared with about 10% right nowin the USA.

-Maltese law 'discriminates' on same-sex partners
An EU agency has held that Maltese laws discriminate against lesbians, gays,
bisexuals and transsexuals, and argues that Malta should start recognisingsame-sex marriages or partnerships contracted abroad. The conclusion wasreached in a legal analysis drawn up by the EU's newlyset up FundamentalRights Agency (FRA).

-Time for Non-Gays to Come Out of the Closet
Same-gender marriage is not a "gay issue." "Don't ask, don't tell" is not a"gay issue." Parity in child custody decisions is not a "gay issue."
by Dr. Marty Klein
These aren't "gay issues" because compromising the civil equality of anygroup in America compromises everyone's civil rights. A government that candiscriminate against a parent just because he's gay can (and of course does)discriminate against a parent just because she's a stripper or she's intobondage. A government that criminalizes the consensual sex acts of gays can(and of course does) criminalize other private consenting sex acts, such asthe use of vibrators and teens' right to have sex with other teens. The morethat legal questions about gay rights are in the news, the more we're toldto fear the monstrous Gay Agenda. So it's time for those pushing the GayAgenda to stand up and make it clear who most of its supporters are:non-gays. Heterosexuals.

-5 Lifestyle Activities That Can Get You Fired
Can having a bacon double cheeseburger and a cigarette put your job at risk?
Maybe. It may sound surprising, but many off-the-job actions and lifestylescould put your job in jeopardy. Fair Game? Employment experts point outfive key areas that a company may scrutinize:
* Smoking, drinking, and overeating. Due to the cost of health insurance,more and more employers view "unhealthy" habits as a threat to their bottomline.
* Risky behavior. Likewise, a company might see your bungee jumping hobby asa liability.
* Speech. Will your employer consider your blogging to be destructivegriping?
* Romantic relationships. Dating someone at a competitor's company haslanded employees in hot water. And some employers might take issue withunmarried coupling or even same-sex relationships (federal law doesn'tprotect employees from discrimination based on real or perceived sexualorientation).
* Political activity. Volunteering for Obama could be trouble if you have apro-McCain boss, and vice versa.

-Welcome to the July 1, 2008 newsletter of, the world'slargest encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queerculture.
NEW ON glbtq
..Political operative and advisor to President Clinton, Bob Hattoy(1950-2007) was deeply concerned about glbtq rights and the environment.
..The frequently outrageous cultural commentary and caustic criticism ofCamille Paglia (b. 1947) have made her both famous and controversial.
..Like most Scandinavian countries, Norway respects glbtq rights, andNorwegians are broadly tolerant of homosexuals.

GLAAD's "The Best & Worst of National News"
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-Houston Chronicle Captures the Voices of LGBT Youth
In a refreshing look at the hopes and struggles of LGBT youth, The HoustonChronicle published a June 23 article, "A better reception to being 'out.'"Reporter Maggie Galehouse contemplated the potential effects of marriage inCalifornia on young LGBT people in the Houston. "We all want to be able tolove who we love-and be respected," said A'Ja Lyons. But as Galehouse wenton to report, that respect is still hard to come by for many. A recentsurvey by GLSEN revealed that 90 percent of LGBT teens were victims ofharassment or assault last year. But at the same time-and on a muchbrighter note-Galehouse reported that many LGBT teens recognize a growth inacceptance for their generation compared to generations past. READ ARTICLE:

-Los Angeles Times Profiles One Committed Couple's Journey to Marriage
Amidst the flood of media attention that came from California this month,Francisco Vara-Orta's Los Angeles Times story on the ups and downs of onegay couple as they hurriedly planned for their California wedding stood outas a rich portrait. The June 16 article, "For one same-sex couple, marriagewas always the goal," took readers through the flurry of preparation andplanning required for Paul Waters and Kevin Voecks, who were thrilledfinally to have the opportunity to exchange vows after committing to oneanother so many years ago. "This is the statement we've waited for 15 yearsto make," Voecks said. The story reported that with a mere 13 days to planan entire wedding, Waters and Voecks wanted to take the first opportunity towed on June 17th, even in the face of the impending November ballotinitiative that could potentially write a ban on marriage for gay andlesbian couples into California's constitution. READ ARTICLE:,0,7346872.story

-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Spotlights Lessening Isolation for LGBT People inRural Areas
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a moving story on the LGBT communityin Washington County, Pa., in its June 18 edition. L.A. Johnson's article,"Out in the country; rural gays feel less isolated today, but stigmaremains," chronicled the journey of Patrick Arena, who grew up in the areaduring the 1960's and was ridiculed and harassed for being gay. He left inthe 1970's to seek refuge in New York City, but eventually returned home tocare for an ailing parent and found that the climate for LGBT people had notimproved significantly. "I thought that things would have changed somewhatin those 25-plus years. I found that there's a lot of homophobia here and ithadn't changed as much as I'd hoped it had." Thankfully, the story noted,there is now a Gay-Straight Alliance for youth in Washington County,although many young LGBT people in the area still experience harsh rejectionfrom their parents after coming out. One Washington County teen, PatrickCameron, eventually came out at school and became comfortable enough to talkabout it in class and went to a homecoming dance with the young man he wasdating. Cameron says, "You can live in Washington, Pa., have a hugecommunity of friends on the Internet and not be isolated and get the supportthat you need. It's just really a phenomenal thing." READ ARTICLE:


-New York Post Cartoon Takes an Immature Swing at Gay Couples
In the June 5 edition, the New York Post printed yet another immature, inanecartoon by Sean Delonas, this one containing a clueless swipe at marriagefor gay couples. On the heels of the California decision extending marriageto gay and lesbian couples, openly gay actor George Takei announced hisupcoming marriage to his partner in California. Delonas depicts charactersfrom the original Star Trek series, on which Takei played Sulu. The sceneshows Sulu getting married with his colleague Spock saying, "TotallyIllogical, Captain," as the other crew members of the imaginary USSEnterprise look on in disbelief. VIEW CARTOON:

-O'Reilly Makes Two Swipes at Gay and Lesbian People in June
Even after he was awarded the dubious "Pink Brick Award" in early June-BillO'Reilly, host of FOX NEWS' The O'Reilly Factor, still managed to do twomore faulty segments on LGBT issues in June. He started off his run of outof touch, clueless jabs on the June 9 edition saying that if bans onmarriage for gay couples are lifted, "plural" marriages should be permitted. And during the June 20 airing of The O'Reilly Factor, the host and hisguests deconstructed the British Heinz mayonnaise commercial which featureda kiss between two men. Heinz pulled the ad after receiving complaints. O'Reilly claimed that the commercial was "obviously a gay thing" and that he doesn'tknow what the message is other than "gay people like mayonnaise." He wentonto say, "I just want mayonnaise. I don't want two guys kissing."

Forwarded from Bill Sterling
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-City to pay gay officer up to $2.15 million
California: Huntington Beach settlement ends case in which officer allegedpeers repeatedly harassed him. Huntington Beach has settled adiscrimination lawsuit brought by a gay police officer who alleged his peersharassed him, including placing a gay escort ad in his locker, commentingthat he only handles gay sex crimes and suggesting that he was infected withHIV. Adam Bereki, 29, received a $150,000 lump sum payment to end hislawsuit as part of a settlement approved by the City Council in April,records show. He also will receive a monthly $4,000 disability payment forthe rest of his life - a payout that could reach upward of $2.15 million.The case - which resulted in an internal affairs investigation - hasprompted Police Chief Kenneth Small to plan to meet privately with accusedofficers this month. None of those officers, including officer YashaNikitin, who was named as a defendant, was placed on administrative leave.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Log Cabin faces dilemma over McCain endorsement
Washington Blade editor Kevin Naff writes of the "predicament" faced by LogCabin Republicans in deciding whether to endorse John McCain for president.The group reportedly alienated its conservative members by withholding itsendorsement of President George W. Bush in 2004. "I do not envy [Log CabinPresident Patrick Sammon's] predicament: Support McCain and risk landing onthe wrong side of history or withhold a McCain endorsement and face mutinyfrom the conservative wing of the organization," Naff writes. WashingtonBlade

-Anti-gay site shows how words matters
The American Family Association is responsible for some unintended laughsover its policy on its news outlet, OneNewsNow, to substitute the word"homosexual" for the word "gay" in all instances, according to blogger EdBrayton. The site's search-and-replace function turned Olympic-level trackstar Tyson Gay into Tyson Homosexual, as in a news report leading with:"Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster thananyone ever has."

Soulforce Email Update - July 1, 2008

Los Angeles Times
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-Can Obama rescue Bush legacy?
Breaking news! The ultimate White House insider plans a tell-all book aboutthe Bush years. With boasts of unprecedented access to the president'sthinking, it will run counter to almost everything we have been told aboutBush's radical presidency. Who will be the latest to break the code ofsilence after former White House press secretary Scott McClellan? George W.Bush. At least that's what went through my mind listening to the presidentduring a meeting with journalists in the Oval Office Monday. The session,maddeningly and often foolishly punctuated by long, off-the-record musingsand soliloquies, mostly dealt with foreign policy.,0,755653.story


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