Thursday, September 25, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - September 25, 2008

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Washington Post
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-D.C. Aims to Publicize City's HIV-AIDS Epidemic
The District will embark on a large-scale "social marketing" campaign to publicize the facts of its staggering HIV-AIDS epidemic and the plans to help curb it, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said today.

Miami Herald
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-Fans react as Clay Aiken reveals that he's gay
The revelation that Clay Aiken is gay hasn't fazed Simon Cowell. [...] The "American Idol" judge reacted in typically sarcastic form, telling the entertainment news show "Extra": "Wow. That's a shock. It's like being told Santa Claus isn't real. Unbelievable." Getting serious, Cowell said: "Good for him. If he said it, it's the right thing for him. ... I don't think anyone cares. Let's face it. It's 2008. You know. Who cares?" [...] Kevin Jennings, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, said he hopes Aiken's announcement will help promote tolerance for families headed by gay parents. "If you're gay, once you have a kid, it's everybody's business, whether you want it to be or not," Jennings said. "All of our members who are gay parents say that what they didn't anticipate was as soon as they had a kid, staying in the closet was impossible. Because what do you say when you go to parents' night?" The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation also applauded Aiken's public admission. [...] Aiken, who considers himself a born-again Christian, said he knows he may turn off some fans with his admission and his decision to have a child outside traditional marriage.

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-Religious leaders call for fast in support of gay marriage ban
Hundreds of pastors have called on their congregations to fast and pray for passage of a ballot measure in November that would put an end to gay marriage in California.

-Besen: No more gay Republicans
Until now, I have always thought there was a place for the Log Cabin Republicans within the GLBT movement. There was a need for a group that could advocate from inside the belly of the beast and do the dirty work that few intellectually honest people wanted to do. The logic behind this organization was that it made more sense to fight for the soul of the Republican Party than run away and support the Democrats - which members of this organization have traditionally disagreed with on fiscal and national security matters.

-Gay man shot on Baltimore street
A gay Baltimore man is in critical but stable condition after being shot in what police say is a suspected hate crime. Police say the victim, whose name is being withheld for his own security, was walking with his partner when they approached by a man on a bicycle.

The Advocate
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-McInerney Family Seeks Firing of Public Defender; Court Representative Appointed
A California judge Tuesday appointed a guardian to protect the interests of 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, the accused killer of openly gay 15-year-old classmate Lawrence King, the Ventura County Star reports. The move came after McInerney's family said it wanted to fire the public defender's office, which is currently representing McInerney, in favor of a private law firm that has reportedly agreed to defend the case for $1.

-New Study Puts Cost of Federal DP Benefits at $43.5 Million;
Senate Holds Hearing
A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA has found that providing domestic-partner benefits to federal employees in a same-sex relationship would add $43.5 million to the federal budget in the first year of coverage and about $675 million over the course of the next decade.

-Gay Survivor Spills a Reality Secret
Twenty-nine-year-old Charlie Herschel, who makes his reality-TV debut on Survivor: Gabon Thursday night, was a confidant of Clay Aiken's before Aiken decided to come out of the closet this week. Here, Charlie talks to The Advocate about their friendship, impending television fame, and how he managed to take seven weeks leave from his New York law firm to film in Africa.

-The Right Hook
With no foreign policy credentials, next to no national profile, and having served in the statehouse for less than two years, Palin has such a thin record -- both legislatively and in terms of public statements -- that it's difficult to predict just what sort of vice president she might soon become. As for issues affecting gay Americans, there's only a handful of legal decisions -- made early in her tenure as governor -- that can help us divine where she stands.

Marriage Equality News
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-Poll: Same-sex marriage ban not wooing voters
Link: San Francisco Chronicle
Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, is in dire straits, with 55 percent of likely voters opposed and 41 percent in favor of the ban. Making it even tougher for the measure's supporters, only 4 percent of those surveyed were undecided. "That 55 percent looks pretty strong," Baldassare said. "Now the supporters not only have to convince the undecided voters, but they also have to convince people who already have decided to vote no."

-Film: "Saving Marriage"
Link: On Top Magazine
Before Del Martin and Phillis Lyon became the first gay couple to marry in California and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's picture perfect gay wedding landed on the cover of People magazine, there was gay marriage in Massachusetts. Saving Marriage documents the first big win for gay marriage advocates in the United States - and the fight that followed to keep it legal in the State.

-Federal Office of Personnel Management opposes domestic partnership benefits bill
Link: Government Executive
A top official at the Office of Personnel Management told a congressional panel on Wednesday that extending federal health and retirement benefits to the domestic partners of same-sex couples could lead to insurance fraud. Howard Weizmann, OPM deputy director, said the agency opposes a bill (S. 2521) offering such benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees' partners because OPM requires state-issued marriage certificates to prove that heterosexual couples are married in case of a question or dispute -- and no comparable documentation exists for many same-sex couples. He said OPM would have to rely on sworn affidavits from couples in long-term committed relationships, and that some might not report the end of a relationship to keep insurance benefits.

Pink News - UK
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-Bosnia must respect gay rights to join EU say MEPs
The European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights has condemned the violence at the Sarajevo Queer Festival yesterday as "cowardly behaviour."

-Public bodies told to embrace equality ahead of new legislation
Police authorities, health trusts and care homes for the elderly should start working to promote equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, a government official has said.

-Serbian official praises police response to gay festival violence
An independent ombudsman that protects the rights of citizens and controls the work of government agencies in Serbia has defended the rights of gay people to hold public gatherings.

-London professor condemns fundamentalists for misinterpreting his research
A leading British academic has spoken out after his work into homosexuality and depression was presented as proof that gay people are mentally disordered.

-Website for gay men newly diagnosed with HIV launched
A new interactive website aims to tackle the isolation many gay men feel when they are first diagnosed as HIV+. 'What next?' is the first web resource of its kind in the UK.

-Czech vote on discrimination bill delayed until after elections
A key parliamentary vote that would bring the Czech Republic into line with other EU nations has been delayed.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Media Reporting on Palin's LGBT Record Misses the Mark
by Cindi | GLAAD Blog
Despite Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's clearly stated opposition to providing spousal benefits to same-sex couples, mainstream news media have been reporting her 2006 veto of such a bill as a sign of her support for LGBT people. The Associated Press, in an August 29th article, wrote: She brings a strong anti-abortion stance to the ticket and opposes gay marriage-constitutionally banned in Alaska before her time-but exercised a veto that essentially granted benefits to gay state employees and their partners.

-We Made It-The Equality Ride Will Roll Out
Your Ongoing Support Will Be Crucial as 18 Riders
Travel to 15 Schools Over The Course of 7 Weeks
Katie HigginsToday Soulforce came together and lifted the Equality Ride up like never before. As one of the many people who has been working on this Equality Ride day and night, I cannot tell you how scary it was to wake up one morning and realize that it may all be gone by day's end. But YOU stood up and did not let this inspiring chance to empower young adults slip away.

-Family Equality Council on Clay Aiken
The following can be attributed to Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director for the Family Equality Council.
""Much like Rosie O'Donnell, the announcement that Clay Aiken is gay reinforces a simple reality: the American public can no longer say it Does not know a gay or lesbian parent. Clay Aiken's desire to raise a child in an open and honest manner will make his life, and his son's, all the better. We hope he and his son find all the happiness they deserve, and the Family Equality Council will work toward the day that Clay and Parker Foster Aiken can enjoy the same rights as other American families."

-Has Sarah Palin Been Picked as the Titular Head of the Coming Police State?
By Naomi Wolf | Huffington Post | AlterNet
Please understand what you are looking at when you look at Sarah "Evita" Palin. You are looking at the designated muse of the coming American police state. You have to understand how things work in a closing society in order to understand "Palin Power." A gang or cabal seizes power, usually with an affable, weak figurehead at the fore. Then they will hold elections - but they will make sure that the election will be corrupted and that the next affable, weak figurehead is entirely in their control. Remember, Russia has Presidents; Russia holds elections. Dictators and gangs of thugs all over the world hold elections. It means nothing. When a cabal has seized power you can have elections and even presidents, but you don't have freedom.

-Methane 'Fart' from the Earth Poses Enormous Global Warming Risk
By Steve Connor | The Independent UK| AlterNet
The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists. The Independent has been passed details of preliminary findings suggesting that massive deposits of sub-sea methane are bubbling to the surface as the Arctic region becomes warmer and its ice retreats. Underground stores of methane are important because scientists believe their sudden release has in the past been responsible for rapid increases in global temperatures, dramatic changes to the climate, and even the mass extinction of species. Scientists aboard a research ship that has sailed the entire length of Russia's northern coast have discovered intense concentrations of methane - sometimes at up to 100 times background levels - over several areas covering thousands of square miles of the Siberian continental shelf.

-Rape, Torture and Humiliation in Women's Prisons: A Global State of Crisis
By Lys Anzia | Women News Network | AlterNet
"The strategy used in women's prisons now is one of humiliation rather than rehabilitation," said Jane Evelyn Atwood in her 2007 Amnesty International video documentary, "Too Much Time." For nine years, Atwood photographed and documented the conditions for women in 40 women's prisons worldwide including the US, Europe and Eastern Europe. In numerous locations around

the world the plight of women in prison is going unheeded.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Young men attack gay festival in Bosnia
Bosnian police clashed on Wednesday with young men attacking the country's first gay festival in Sarajevo. Police said at least eight people were injured when attackers dragged some people from vehicles and beat others in the street. A policeman was also injured.

-Link to BBC video report from Sarajevo in Bosnia

-Sexual cleansing in Iraq
Islamist deaths squads are hunting down gay Iraqis and summarily executing them
by Peter Tatchell
Some of the links in this article will take you to sites containing images of violence which you may find disturbing
The "improved" security situation in Iraq is not benefiting all Iraqis, especially not those who are gay. Islamist death squads are engaged in a homophobic killing spree with the active encouragement of leading Muslim clerics, such as Moqtada al-Sadr, as Newsweek recently revealed. One of these clerics, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa urging the killing of lesbians and gays in the "most severe way possible". The short film, Queer Fear - Gay Life, Gay Death in Iraq, produced by David Grey for Village Film, documents the tragic fates of a several individual gay Iraqis. You can view it here. Watch and weep. It is a truly poignant and moving documentary about the terrorisation and murder of Iraqi lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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$50,000 gift jump-starts training, networking and grants program
Unprecedented support will strengthen LGBT online movement Blogger Michael Rogers today announced the formation of the National LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative to support training and grants for the country's leading and emerging online voices. The program, established with a leadership gift of $50,000 from Jonathan Lewis, will bring together the online world with traditional organizations throughout the country. To date, over $70,000 has been committed to the Initiative.

-Judge Who Used Sex Device in Court Disbarred
The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday disbarred a former judge who served prison time for using a sexual device while presiding over trials. Former Creek County District Judge Donald Thompson, 61, was accused of using a "penis pump" in court and convicted in June 2006 on four counts of indecent exposure. Thompson was released in April after serving 20 months of a four-year prison term and has had to register as a sex offender. He was suspended from the bar association in late 2006.

-Looking past the "Down Low:" New research
EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier this month, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report from the HIV Incidence Surveillance System that identified several U.S. subpopulations as being at increased risk for contracting HIV. The report confirmed that black men who have sex with men, including those who also have sex with women, were among those at highest risk. Indiana University sexual health expert Brian Dodge has conducted research involving bisexually active men, and he co-edited a special section of the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, available now, that addresses this important issue.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The popular media in the U.S. have focused too much on moral issues surrounding black bisexual men who do not disclose their same-sex behaviors to female lovers, otherwise known as men "on the Down Low," with this focus creating a stigma that interferes with effective public health strategies, says Indiana University sexual health expert Brian Dodge.

-Black leaders organize for gay marriage ban
Could this be what puts the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage over the top?, the group pushing the amendment, says African-American leaders and pastors from across the Tampa Bay area will make a "major announcement" at 12:30 p.m. news conference today at Beulah Baptist Institutional Church in Tampa. "The press event will feature local leaders and special national guests," a flier reads. A new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll shows 58 percent of overall voters approve the proposal to define marriage as between a man and woman, just short of the required 60 percent. Support among African-Americans is even higher, 65 percent, reflecting more conservative views toward homosexuality.

New York, NY - On October 6th at 7:00 pm, the Ali Forney Center will host its first annual "A Place at the Table" event to benefit its ongoing work with New York City's homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. The event will take place at the Chelsea Art Museum and is co-hosted by Honorary Chairs Carson Kressley, Alan Cumming and Justin Bond. The evening includes a cocktail reception, an auction and a performance by renowned comedienne Sandra Bernhard. VIP guests will also enjoy a champagne reception and Open House at the Ali Forney Day Center.


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1 comment:

USpace said...

Sandra Bernhard's biggest attraction was always just an ugly woman trying to be funny. These Leftist women are really losing their minds. Rosanne wondered on Bill Maher's show whether McCain would take away women's right to vote. Even Maher's audience thought that was a nutso thing to think.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
never elect a woman

who's a conservative
she's just a gender traitor

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
just HOPE to pay more taxes

DREAM about high fuel prices
CHANGE PROGRESS to move backwards

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says

OR a minority
if they are Right of center

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