Saturday, September 27, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - September 27, 2008

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New York Times
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-British Invasion? No, Just Two Lads Playing Dress Up - Little Britain
On their most recent visit to New York, the British comedians Matt Lucas and David Walliams were pleased to meet a woman they described as "our fan in America." This admirer, they recalled, had never watched their hit BBC show "Little Britain," but had seen the pair on Jay Leno's show the night before, adored their accents, and told them, "I love Brit humor."

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Ireland: New 'hidden history' of homosexuality
A new "hidden history" book about homosexuality in Ireland has provided "an invaluable template" for gay people and future researchers examining the subject. Jeffrey Dudgeon, a founding member of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association, was referring to Terrible Queer Creatures - Homosexuality in Irish History at the publication's launch in Dublin last night. "Just as the women's movement sparked an interest in the hidden history of women, so it is argued that the hidden history of homosexuality has its role to play in the onward struggle for freedom from ignorance and prejudice," Mr Dudgeon said.

-Deborah Orr: I'm all for gay rights.
I'm also for the right to use London's parks
If heterosexuals began carving up common land in every town so they could shag each other with no strings attached, no one would consider it a great idea' Some years ago, when George Michael was arrested in a US lavatory, he found that people were surprisingly sympathetic about his sexual proclivities. Everything was laughed off, in a way that was rather cheering. It was all a sign that the population was relaxed, and that the battle for gay acceptance was being won. This week, however, Michael felt the need to apologise "for screwing up again" after he was caught with crack cocaine in an underground loo on Hampstead Heath, one that is well known to be a meeting place for gays. Maybe it is only the drugs that Michael is pologising for. But maybe he, and some other gay men, ought to start thinking again about the way in which they conduct their sexual lives also. Until recently, there were good reasons why men met in the dark, in sheltered public spaces, in secret, to have illegal encounters, and many people felt sympathy with what was rightly seen as a desperate plight. Now, after years of fighting for gay equality, men and women can marry others of their own gender and live happily ever after. They can pay, if they wish to, to go to clubs or spas where they know that not very discreet sex is on the agenda. They can advertise in the papers, in magazines, or on the internet. They are free to indulge in what Father Ted Crilly once called "the rough and tumble of homosexual life". But there appears to be no decline in clandestine activity.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Most testifying at Senate hearing favor DP benefits for federal workers
Howard C. Weizmann, deputy director of the federal Office of Personnel Management, during a Senate committee hearing on a bill to offer domestic-partner benefits to federal workers, cited "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," an Adam Sandler movie in which two men pretend to be a couple to get health insurance, as evidence that fraud could be a problem if the government were to offer the benefits, according to Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson. Weizmann was the only witness out of five to voice any objections to the measure, which reportedly requires a higher level of proof of eligibility for LGBT workers than it does for their straight counterparts.

Steve Rothaus
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-Fox affiliate won't let TV anchors emcee Orlando gay pride event
Organizers of Come Out With Pride, a gay pride event scheduled for Oct. 12 in Orlando, are scrambling to find a new emcee for the event: Fox affiliate WOFL-TV won't let news anchors Mike Dunston and Amy Kaufeldt appear at the event. Too political, a station rep told Mary Meeks, media/rally chair for Come Out With Pride.

-'Married with children' an option for gay men
Despite the high costs and legal complications, many gay men -- such as singing star Clay Aiken, a recent single dad who this week confirmed his sexual orientation -- are starting families.

-McKellen takes gay tolerance message to schools
Sir Ian McKellen has taken on a new role, giving talks to schoolchildren about homosexuality.

The Advocate
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-Palm Beach Schools Increases Domestic-Partner Benefits
The Palm Beach County School District has agreed to insure the children of its employees' domestic partners. As Floridians prepare to decide on Amendment 2 -- an initiative that could constitutionally ban same-sex marriage in the state -- on November 4, Palm Beach made a bold statement of gay tolerance by offering increased domestic-partner benefits.

-T.G.I. Friday's Fined for HIV Discrimination
The company that owns T.G.I. Friday's restaurants has been fined $5,000 for a Virginia outlet's wrongful termination of an HIV-positive employee. Alexandria, Va., city manager James Hartmann fined T.G.I. Friday's parent company, Carlson Restaurants, for violating the city's Human Rights Code in the case of former Friday's employee James McCray, according to the Southern Voice.

Pink News - UK
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-Nations pledge to support gay rights at UN meeting
Several countries have responded positively to recommendations on gay rights at the 8th session of the UN Human Rights Council. During the session Ireland and Slovenia expressed concern at the maintenance of the death penalty for homosexuality in Iran and criticised Nigeria for failing to follow up on recommendations to repeal the death penalty for consensual sexual conduct.

-Ugandan activists detained in "pattern of police harassment"
Two human rights advocates in Uganda were held for a week without charges after police accused them of "recruiting homosexuals."

-Indian government argues to retain ban on gay sex
A row between two government departments in India over the decriminalisation of "un-natural" sexual acts has resulted in a victory for those who oppose the change. The Home ministry has won out over the Health ministry, who are strongly in favour of liberalisation on the grounds that it will help the fight against HIV.


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