Thursday, July 10, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - July 10, 2008

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Washington Post
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-DEAR AMY: My partner and I have been together for 23 years and recentlyadopted a child. Now, with the California Supreme Court decision on gaymarriage, we very much want to get married, for both practical and emotionalreasons -- and for our son. But wow -- weddings cost a fortune! We want tohave a beautiful party for our friends and family, but the idea of spendingmany thousands of dollars is daunting -- especially now that we're savingfor our son's education. Is it horribly gauche to suggest to my gueststhat, if they feel compelled to buy a wedding gift (completely optional, ofcourse), they might consider making a contribution to the celebrationinstead? Our household is well-established. Everyone contributing to theshared celebration seems more logical and less selfish to me. My futurehusband, however, thinks I'm greedy and tacky.
We agreed to ask you. -- Hopeful Groom
DEAR HOPEFUL: I'm trying to figure out why your friends should kick in topay for an extravagant party that you aren't even willing to pay for. Yousay you'd rather spend your money elsewhere -- and your friends might feelthe same way. Some cultures welcome and expect monetary gifts handed overduring the wedding reception. Some couples erect "money trees" at thereception as a handy way to collect cash. It doesn't sound as if you comefrom a culture where this is an accepted practice. Your partner thinks youridea is "tacky," and so do I. You could cut costs by doing some creativebartering or by simply scaling back your dreams a tad. Recalibrating yourdreams is one of the challenges (and potential joys) of marriage, and nowwould be a grand time to start.

Miami Herald
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-Stats are 'wake-up call' for AIDS prevention
On Jan. 15, Stephon Louis tested positive for HIV at age 19. Weeks earlier,in a ''night of pleasure,'' he failed to use protection. ''When temptationrises, it's hard to think about HIV/AIDS,'' confessed Louis, now 20, who waskicked out of his home for being gay four years ago. ``At my age, you thinkthat nothing is going to happen to you.''

-Wrong on Helms
In the July 5 story Sen. Jesse Helms, co-author of Helms-Burton Act, dies,Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said, ''Sen. Helms understood the terrifying natureof dictatorships and was helpful in the cause of freedom for oppressedpeople everywhere.'' The truth is that Helms was a segregationist who never gave up on Jim Crow. When he was not going after African Americans, he turned his attention to immigrants, ethnic minorities, trade unionists and gays and lesbians. Ros-Lehtinen does what she always does by forgetting whom she represents. I hope that this is her last term in Congress. STAN MARTIN, Fort Lauderdale

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-Jackson Apologizes For Crude Comment About Obama
Barack Obama's campaign tried yet again to contain a political storm kickedup by a vocal Chicago supporter as the Rev. Jesse Jackson apologized forcrude comments picked up by a live microphone about the Democraticpresidential candidate.

-Obama Stokes VP Speculation
Barack Obama stoked vice presidential speculation Wednesday with anunannounced stop at the Washington law firm of a search team member and thena flight to New York fundraisers with potential pick Hillary Rodham Clintonand a second vetter.

-Kennedy Makes Brief Return To Senate
Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, battling a brain tumor, walked througha wall of applause and into the Senate on Wednesday and cast a dramatic,decisive vote on long-stalled Medicare legislation.

-Drifter Sought In Murder Of Gay Miami Man
Miami-Dade Police have issued a murder warrant for a Mexican nationaldescribed as a drifter in the killing of a 68-year old gay man in January.

-Court: Pelting Gays With Eggs Protected Free Speech
(Budapest) Four of more than a dozen people arrested for throwing eggs at agay pride march in Budapest on Saturday received minor fines on Wednesday,while charges against three others were dismissed and charges against theothers were dropped.

-Episcopal Leader To Explain Gay Stance To World Anglicans
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was installed as headof the U.S. church less than two years ago, inheriting a mess not of her ownmaking.

-Good Samaritan Beaten Protecting Trans Woman
A priest who attempted to protect a 21 year old transwoman from four teenswho were hitting and verbally harassing her was beaten in front of a shelterfor gay and trans young people.

Express Gay News
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-California United Methodists make strong pro gay rights statements
In a move likely to fuel controversy within the broader denomination, oneUnited Methodist Church legislative body in California has gone on recordsupporting those who enter into same-sex marriage and another has commendedpastors who agree to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.

-State employee won't lower flags for Helms
'I don't see how anybody could celebrate his career'
A longtime North Carolina state employee has chosen to retire instead oflowering flags to honor former Sen. Jesse Helms, saying in an e-mail thatthe late conservative had a "doctrine of negativity, hate and prejudice."U.S. and state flags flew at half-staff on Monday and Tuesday following anorder from Gov. Mike Easley. Helms died Friday.

-HIV-positive Va. man wins early victory in case against TGI Friday's
McCray will file federal lawsuit
A commission in Alexandria, Va., has unanimously ruled in favor of a gay manwho alleges that the company that owns TGI Friday's restaurants fired himfor being HIV positive, meaning a lawsuit against the business could beimminent.

-Baldwin named to Dem platform drafting panel
Obama campaign to consider gay, transgender issuesU.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), one of two openly gay members ofCongress, was among 20 people appointed this week to the Democratic NationalConvention's Platform Drafting Committee.

-Romney: 'Now is not the time' to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, in speaking to CNN's SuzanneMalveaux about his backing of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for president, saidthat the timing isn't right to repeal the military's ban on openly gaypersonnel.

-Gay Mormons hopeful about meeting with church leadership
When he was 16, David Nielson divulged his attraction to men, knowing itcould cost him the two great pillars of his life: his parents and his Mormonfaith. "When you come out, the philosophy here has always been 'Say goodbyeto your family because they will say goodbye to you,'" the 24-year-oldpostal worker says. "But I believe - and hope - that the climate is finallychanging."

-The Drumbeat for Sam Nunn
There's been a lot of debate and concern among LGBT activists about thistake on what the former Democratic Georgia senator Sam Nunn -- the man whobrought us the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy -- could mean for Barack Obamaas a VP running mate.

- California Boycott -- Fighting Back Against Hate
As gay and lesbian couples express their love and commitment throughweddings, an extremely well funded campaign has placed an initiativeconstitutional amendment on the November 4th ballot to define marriage asonly between a man and a woman. They spent millions to qualify thisamendment, and have vowed to raise in excess of $20 million to removemarriage equality in California. Much of the money to qualify theinitiative constitutional amendment came from within our own San DiegoCounty. We feel that if these individuals, businesses, and organizations soadamantly desire to take away our right to marry, then the LGBT community,our families and our friends should fight back against these purveyors ofhate.

The Advocate
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-Teens Arrested in Attack at Gay Shelter
Four teenagers have been arrested on charges that they harassed and struck apriest who runs a Queens, N.Y., shelter for transgender and gay youth onMonday night, reported The New York Times.

-HIV and Film: A Rare Combo
The most famous AIDS movies are often lily-white and dripping withprivilege. But as the recent film Before I Forget proves, HIV sees noboundaries. Here are 10 movies that did the same.

- Australia Cardinal Denies Cover-up of Sex Abuse
Australia's top Roman Catholic cleric has denied trying to cover up a sexualabuse case involving clergy, attempting Tuesday to fight off an embarrassingscandal just days before Pope Benedict XVI arrives for a visit. CardinalGeorge Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, was responding to an AustralianBroadcasting Corp. television report Monday that said he had givenmisleading information to a man who accused a priest of sexually assaultinghim more than 25 years ago.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Man Gets Life in Fla. For Drag Queen's Slaying
A man convicted of killing a Florida drag queen in July 2007 was sentencedMonday to life in prison. Cesar Israel Villazano, 19, was convicted ofkilling Mario Oscar Mosqueda, 37, outside a nightclub in Daytona Beach, Fla.Mosqueda appeared as Thalia for drag performances, according to the DaytonaBeach News-Journal. Mosqueda was celebrating a friend's birthday at DiscoGaribaldi the night he was murdered. Mosqueda was shot in the back at 2 a.m.on July 29, 2007 in the parking lot of the club. Villazano claimed he actedin self-defense from an unwanted sexual advance, the Orlando Sentinel

-Arkansas Unmarried Adoption Ban Targets Gay Couples
The Little Rock, AR based organization largely responsible for placing aconstitutional ban against gay marriage in Arkansas in 2004, is back in 2008with an anti-gay adoption ban. On Monday, the Family Council ActionCommittee (FCAC) met a deadline to submit 61,974 signatures to the Secretaryof State to place a proposed law banning unmarried couples from adoptingchildren on the November ballot. While the initiative bans both same-sex andopposite-sex couples, the organization's website lists banning gay andlesbian couples from adoption as a goal of the law.

-Suspect Targeted Gay Man For Murder
An arrest warrant has been issued for a Mexican national in the robbery andmurder of Miami man earlier this year. On January 3rd, a caretaker foundthe body of 68-year old Alexio Bello inside his ransacked El LagoCondominium in the 55-hundred block of Northwest 7th Street. Bello's murderwas the first recorded homicide of 2008. During the investigation, Bello'sfriends told police he had recently befriended 21-year old Jorge EspinozaNavarrete a few days before his death. Navarrete, who grew up in Mexico, hadrecently moved to South Florida from North Carolina and Georgia.

Marriage Equality News
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-NY: Married Lesbian Couple Sues Blue Cross Blue Shield for Refusing toProvide Benefits
Following up on its landmark legal victory that recognized lesbian and gaycouples' valid out-of-state marriages, the New York Civil Liberties Uniontoday filed a lawsuit in the Erie County Supreme Court against an insurancecompany for denying spousal health care benefits to a validly marriedlesbian couple. The New York Civil Liberties Union is an affiliate of theAmerican Civil Liberties Union that operates in New York State.

-CA: County releases workers' protests on gay marriages; Only sixtransferred or were reassigned
Link: San Diego Union-Tribune
County employees recalled their upbringings, cited religious beliefs anddescribed their discomfort as they sought to opt out of performing gaymarriages prior to the unions becoming legal June 17. [...] The employees'objections were expressed in a series of e-mails obtained by The San DiegoUnion-Tribune through the California Public Records Act. The county now says24 of its 112 deputized employees raised objections, up from 14 previouslydisclosed.

-Marriage equality: 'Sound Business to the Tune of Billions'
Link: Edge Boston
Social conservatives have loud rhetoric when it comes to marriage equality,but even so they might not be able to drown out a new sound associated withweddings for gays and lesbians: the din of cash registers.

-Opposition: Family Research Council to Host Panel Discussion on CaliforniaSame-sex Marriage--The Impact on Religious Liberty
Link: Family Research Council
This event announcement is posted as an example of the major emphasis thatanti-marriage activists are placing on purported threats to religiousliberty when the freedom to marry is recognized. Note that the event isbeing webcast. Join FRC for a panel discussion on the California SupremeCourt ruling on same-sex marriage and its impact on First Amendment rightsand religious liberty protections. The panel of legal and policy expertswill address questions that concern religious organizations. Will churchesbe able to deny "marriage" to homosexual couples? Will they be able to denyaccess to their facilities? Will other Christian organizations retain theirreligious identity and beliefs in light of the court's decision?WHO: Kevin J. "Seamus" Hasson, Becket Fund for Religious LibertyBenjamin Bull, Alliance Defense Fund
Professor Teresa Stanton Collett, University of St. Thomas School of LawNathan J. Diament, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of AmericaProfessor Chai R. Feldblum, Georgetown University Law CenterTony Perkins,Family Research Council

-'MA legislature readying to take up repeal of 1913 law preventing
out-of-state gay marriages'
Link: Edge Boston
The state legislature will likely take up a bill to repeal the 1913 law thatprevents non-resident same-sex couples from marrying before the close of thelegislative session at the end of this month. According to MassEqualityCampaign Director Marc Solomon, "there is a serious effort on the part ofthe Senate and then the House to advance a repeal of the 1913 law ...sometime in the next week or so."

-'The Case for a Right of Marriage Recognition: Why Fourteenth Amendment DueProcess Should Protect Same-Sex Couples Who Change States'
Link: Findlaw
by Steve Sanders
Imagine a world where your marital status changed when you moved to a newstate. Imagine being denied insurance, medical decision-making authority, oreven parental rights by bureaucrats who dismissed your marriage license asif it were some worthless foreign currency. Imagine a world where, with nodue process, a state could effectively divorce you against your will.Absurd? Yes. Unimaginable? For most people it is, but not for gays andlesbians.

Pink News - UK
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-UK: "Gay rights don't trump religious rights" says Christian Institute
A Christian group opposed to gay rights has welcomed an employment tribunalruling that Islington council discriminated against a registrar.

-UK: Secularists horrified by "catastrophic" employment tribunal ruling
Today's ruling in favour of a Christian woman who wanted to opt out ofperforming civil partnership ceremonies because she feels they go againsther religion has alarmed the National Secular Society.

-Cayman Islands to ban gay marriage
An amendment to legislation in the Cayman Islands defining marriage asbetween a man and a woman is expected to get support from the government andopposition.

-TUC chief complains to Peter Robinson about his wife
The First Minister of Northern Ireland will be getting a letter from the TUCthis week complaining about his wife's claims that gay people can be turnedstraight.

-Controversial beauty spot's clean up may upset cruisers
A beauty spot on the Bristol Downs at the centre of a row last year whenfirefighters disturbed gay men having outdoor sex has become the subject ofa controversy again.

-Israeli civil rights organisation to be headed by leading gay activistThe former executive director of Jerusalem's community centre for the gaycommunity is to become the head of Israel's leading human rights group.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Russian gay community will picket the Embassy of Iran to protest againstexecutions of homosexuals
Activists of Russian gay movement intend July 19 to picket the Embassy ofIran in Moscow for the third time to protest against prosecution of sexualminorities in that country.

-Islington registrar decision enshrines discrimination
Homophobia is legitimate, says employment tribunal"This decision sanctionsthe right of religious people to discriminateagainst others who theydisagree with. It is a dangerous subversion ofthe democratic principle thateveryone should have equal rights andresponsibilities under the law," saidhuman rights campaigner PeterTatchell. He was commenting on the legaldecision in favour of Islingtonregistrar Lillian Ladele, who refused toconduct same-sex civilpartnerships on the grounds that it conflicted withher religiousbeliefs. "The tribunal has ruled that people of faith areabove the law," added Mr Tatchell.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Sex in the City: Big apple's big temptation
From Russia Today In New York, traditional relationships are becoming lessand less fashionable. Having several boyfriends or girlfriends is somethingof a lifestyle choice for many. However, critics say it just shows a lack ofresponsibility. You don't need to go far to see that New York is celebratingsexual lfreedom. Polyamory - literally meaning "multiple love" - orconsensual non-monogamy - is becoming extremely popular here.

-President may grapple with same-sex marriage, Supreme Court
President may grapple with same-sex marriage, Supreme CourtMcCain, Obama oppose gay marriages, but how to ban them is the issueWASHINGTON - With four months to go until the election, msnbc.comispresenting a weekly series, Briefing Book: Issues '08 which willassessissues and controversies that the next president must confront once hetakesthe oath of office. This week, we look at the courts and marriage. Cansame-sex couples marry?Is such a right is guaranteed by state constitutionsand by the UnitedStates Constitution? As these controversies make their wayto the Supreme Court, will the nextpresident have the opportunity to appointjustices who'll address these questions?
Why it's a problem
For same-sex couples, the California Supreme Court's May 15 ruling onmarriage is a historic victory. The state's highest court ruled that theCalifornia's constitution protects the right of same-sex couples to marry.In doing so, the court overruled the state's voters. In 2000, 61 percent ofCalifornia voters approved a ballot measure that said "only marriage betweena man and a woman is valid and recognized in California." But the rulingposes a thorny election-year problem for both Republican JohnMcCain andDemocrat Barack Obama.

-Support for marriage, civil unions up 10% from 2004
Nearly six in 10 - 57 percent - of adults believe gay and lesbiancouplesshould be allowed to marry or form civil unions, according to aNewsweekmagazine poll .
Support for recognition of gay and lesbian relationships has climbed 10percent inthe Newsweek poll since 2004. A Time Magazine survey also found that astrongmajority - 58 percent - of Americans opposes amending the U.S.Constitutionto ban marriages between gay and lesbian couples.

-DNC Platform Committee Released
National Democrats will be guided by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano,along-time Barack Obama supporter, when they craft their platform attheconvention in Denver, the Democratic National Committee announced today.TheCopper State chief will head up the party's Platform Drafting Committeein advance of the full committee hammering out a draft to be voted on by theconvention. Napolitano will be joined by prominent Democrats from aroundthe country, including Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Rosa DeLauro, Patrick Murphy andLinda Sanchez, as well as Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, MarylandLieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Obama advisers Susan Rice and HeatherHigginbottom. The committee includes prominent Clinton backers, like Baldwinand Granholm, as well as Obama backers.

-"BUYCOTT" to show your support of McDonalds!
Woodhull Freedom Foundation calls for McDonald's BUYCOTT-that is buy more atMcDonalds by making an extra purchase regularly at McDonalds in recognitionof its action supporting Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right TheWoodhull Freedom Foundation (WFF) says that the McDonald's Corporation'srole in joining the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, giving ita $20,000 donation and placing one of its executives on the Chamber's boardof directors is a strong step toward reinforcing American values includingaffirming sexual freedom as a fundamental human right as recognized by theUSSupreme Court in Lawrence v Texas.

-Gender Portrayals in Commercials Affect Career Choices
Men at Work, Women Sell Food, Cleansers
A new study finds that portrayals of men and women in commercials canstrongly affect people's behavior in their private lives. Researchers atthe University of New Hampshire analyzed 1,538 commercials shown inprimetime over a one week period. Graduate researcher ValerieHooper found
* Men were the main characters a majority of the time (55%), and whentheywere the main characters they were more often shown at work (34%) andalmostnever in domestic settings (2%) cleaning, cooking or doing childcare.
* When women were featured, it was seldom outside the home (13%) andmostoften connected to selling home products including food,cleansers,furniture or items for personal care.

Stonewall Democrats Platform Meetings Coast-To-Coast
Yesterday, the Democratic National Committee and Barack Obama announced thatour national Democratic Party platform should be open to input fromDemocrats across the country. As the only organization for LGBT and alliedDemocrats, this is an important opportunity for Stonewall Democrats togather and talk about the issues you told us you cared about in theStonewall Census: fixing health care in America, protecting our civilliberties, advocating for full equality for LGBT people and our families,improving education, and ending the war in Iraq. Senator Obama isencouraging Democrats from across the country to host a platform meeting attheir homes, community centers and neighborhood gathering spots from July19-27. We are encouraging all of our members to take part in the process,host their own Platform Party, and let the concerns of LGBT and alliedDemocrats be known. Stonewall Democrats Platform Meetings Coast-To-CoastSign up to host your own Platform Party through the Obama website and letus know that you are hosting an event by emailing

From MoveOn.Org
Over 428,000 people have signed a petition telling FOX to stop their racistand hate-filled smears against Barack Obama. If we hit half-a-millionsignatures, we can draw media attention and put pressure on FOX'sadvertisers. Plus, Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films released a video thismorning documenting FOX's ongoing smears against Michelle Obama. Pleasecheck out the video, and then sign the petition calling on FOX to stoppeddling racism-and then tell your friends.


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