Tuesday, October 28, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - October 28, 2008

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Washington Post
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-Sean Penn's new gay drama avoiding publicity
The opening of "Milk," director Gus Van Sant's account of California's first openly gay politician, is four weeks away. Yet you wouldn't know it. Unlike the hoopla over Focus Features' previous gay-themed awards magnet, "Brokeback Mountain," which was drawing calls of agenda-pushing from right-wingers months before it opened in 2005, there's been hardly a peep in editorial pages or on talk radio.

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-FBI: Hate crime incidents decreased in 2007 despite increase in crimes against gays
Hate crimes incidents decreased slightly last year despite a surge in those targeting gays and lesbians. The FBI reported more than 7,600 hate crimes incidents in 2007, down about 1 percent from the previous year. The decline was driven by decreases in the two largest categories of hate crimes - crimes against race and religion. But incidents linked to prejudice against sexual orientation, the third-largest category, increased about 6 percent, the report found.

-Wait, Lindsay Lohan's not gay? We're confused
So Lindsay Lohan has been dating Samantha Ronson for quite some time. And the inseparable sapphic sisters are openly very affectionate, kissing, hugging and holding hands.

-A look at gay adoption laws by state

Miami Herald
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-Consumer confidence hits record low; home prices drop
Household wealth has evaporated, home equity shrank and job losses mounted. The dimming outlook signals consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, will deteriorate further, deepening the U.S. slump.

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-Scientists claim to find Transsexuality Gene
A team of Australian and American researchers claimed Monday to have found a gene that plays a role in transsexuality.

The Advocate
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-Republicans Against 8 Pairs With Milk Scribe Dustin Lance Black for PSAs
The latest round of grassroots No on 8 public service announcements started with a simple conversation. Republicans Against 8 campaign director Scott Schmidt ran into Milk scribe Dustin Lance Black, who Schmidt says wanted to know if there was anything more than fund-raising he could do to fight Proposition 8, California's proposed ban on same-sex marriage.

Marriage Equality News
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-Howard Simon: Florida Amendment 2 is not about gay marriage
Link: The Gainesville Sun
We know some of what the forces behind Amendment 2 have in mind. When the City of Gainesville adopted a domestic partner health insurance program to provide coverage for the unmarried partners of city workers, the same folks who drafted Amendment 2 filed suit against the health insurance program. They claimed the program illegally treated city workers and their domestic partners "as if" they were married. The courts rejected the challenge. While proponents claim that taking away health benefits from unmarried partners, including seniors, is not their aim, Attorneys General in Michigan, Kentucky, Idaho and Nebraska have ruled that the same type of language in Florida's Amendment 2 requires states to deny health insurance to the domestic partners and children of public employees. Earlier this year, the Michigan Supreme Court upheld the State Attorney General's ruling.

-Gay Marriage Target Date In CT Is Nov. 10
Link: The Hartford Courant
Since the state Supreme Court's ruling this month legalizing same-sex marriage, couples from Connecticut and New York have asked Beryl Weinstein, a justice of the peace in Guilford, to marry them. And when he does, Weinstein said, he'll use the exact same marriage ceremony he's used for years - except for one slight change. "Rather than say 'bride and groom' or 'husband and wife,' I'll use the term 'partners for life,'" Weinstein said.

-San Diego City Council votes 6-2 to oppose Prop. 8
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
The San Diego City Council voted 6-2 on Monday to oppose Proposition 8, the Nov. 4 state ballot measure that would institute a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. [.] The council chamber was crowded, and the vote was preceded by 30 minutes of passionate speeches and applause by people on both sides of the issue. Peters, the council president, limited their comments to 15 minutes per side, so there were seven speakers in support of Proposition 8 and four speakers against. Another 60 people turned in so-called "speaker slips" to support the ballot measure, and another 100 people had lined up to speak against it.

-Signorile: Explanation on Amendment 2 Voter Guide
Source: The Gist
by Michelangelo Signorile
Signorile wrote yesterday about the inexplicable wording on Florida's
Amendment 2 in the League of Women Voters election guide --
Excerpt: I spoke on the show today to Derek Newton of Florida Red and Blue about this issue regarding the League of Women Voters. Astoundingly, he told me that the LWV is opposed to Amendment 2 rather than being neutral on it. Why, then, is the wording of the "pro" and "con" and "summary" on their voter guide so hideous, as I described in the post? He said they word it the way each side gives it to them. So the religious right tells them the "pro" is that it "protects" marriage and "protects children" and we tell them some innocuous thing that doesn't mean anything -- so as not to use the word gay, it appears to me. Newton said that his group in fact gave them the wording for "con" -- which doesn't really spell out anything bad about voting against it. I just don't understand this logic. Why don't we say it will "hurt" (gay) families? Why don't we say it will "hurt" children rather than "protect" them?

-"Welcome To The Family"
Source: The Daily Dish | The Atlantic
by Andrew Sullivan
Full text by permission. Source retains copyright.
A reader echoes what I discovered about the m-word: I met my first partner on October 20th 1978 and met his relatives shortly after. 19 wonderful years later, after a short illness, he died. I don't wear jewelry but he had worn the same chain round his neck since the day we met. Impulsively I decided to wear it in his honor. His mother saw it and awkwardly asked me to give it to her - "Because we want it to stay in the family". She said it thoughtlessly but without malice and, later that week, kindly returned it to me saying that "the family" wanted me to keep it.

Pink News - UK
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-Leading Muslim doctor before GMC over homophobic letter
A fitness to practise hearing has been told that a GP who wrote a homophobic and transphobic letter to a medical magazine has changed his story several times. The offending medic, Dr Muhammad Siddiq, is President of the Islamic Medical Association.

-American gays demand apology from broadcaster over "fag" comedian
A gay group that monitors the media has criticised Australia's Channel Ten for broadcasting comedian Jerry Lewis' comments about cricket.

-Iranian "queer railroad" to help LGBT asylum seekers

-Significant minority want recriminalisation of gay sex in the UK

-Relationships counsellor who refuses gay couples to go to tribunal

Daily Queer News
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-Google Serving Anti-Gay Marriage Ads on Gay Community Site
Blogo Scope
Real classy, Google keyword matching algo (or Google targeted advertising). serving an anti gay marriage ad on a gay community/ interests site! The AdSense ad in question was shown on Bilerico.com, which has the motto "daily experiments in LGBTQ" (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual & Questioning). The ad reads "What really happens if we don't pass Prop 8 - You Might be Surprised", and points to ProtectMarriage.com. That site urges you to vote "Yes on 8" on a mission of "Restoring Marriage & Protecting California Children." California Proposition 8, as Wikipedia explains, "is an initiative measure on the 2008 California General Election ballot" which is titled "Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry". If passed, Wikipedia explains by quoting from a government site, the proposition would "change the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California." Bilerico.com asked Google about this, and was directed to the AdWords advertising policies page which reads: Read more

-Rick Warren Endorses Prop 8 California Marriage Amendment
By Michael Foust | Church Executive
LAKE FOREST, CA-Pastor Rick Warren has publicly endorsed a proposed California constitutional marriage amendment, giving supporters a boost in what is expected to be a close vote Nov. 4. The pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif. - who hosted a presidential forum with both major candidates in August - made the endorsement of Proposition 8 in an Oct. 23 e-mail to church members. His statement comes as ProtectMarriage.com, the main organization supporting Prop 8, tries to raise enough money to purchase additional television ads and fight off a well-funded final push by opponents. If passed, Prop 8 will overturn the May decision by the state high court that legalized "gay marriage." "For 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion - not just Christianity - has defined marriage as a contract between men and women," Warren wrote. "There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage.' Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage. Read more

-Jerry Brown's Wording May Trip Up Prop. 8
Phillip Matier,Andrew Ross | San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, October 26, 2008
California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
If same-sex marriage survives next week's ballot challenge, it will largely be due to state Attorney General Jerry Brown. It was Brown's office that decided on the final ballot description for Proposition 8, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay and lesbian weddings. And by changing the way the measure was framed in its title and summary, Brown just might have tipped the balance in what looks to be a close election. Here's the story: Prop. 8 asks voters to affirm that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California" - a concept that voters overwhelmingly backed when they approved Proposition 22 in 2000.

-Gay Priest is True to His Faith, at Odds with His Church
Steve Lopez | Los Angeles Times
So who is this Catholic priest from Fresno who stood up and spoke out against Proposition 8, putting his career on the line? As a gay man who finds the church's views on homosexuality so objectionable, why has he been a priest for more than 20 years and subjected himself to such moral conflict? After reading my colleague Duke Helfand's story about Father Geoffrey Farrow and his recent career-suicide from the pulpit, I was curious. Farrow agreed to meet me for lunch in the middle of a schedule that's gotten very busy since he became persona non grata to his employer. He's been asked to appear all over the state for rallies against Prop. 8, which would amend the California Constitution to say marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Father Farrow, who was suspended by his bishop two weeks ago, strolled into the lobby of the Kyoto Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles wearing the collar. "I'm still a priest," he said over lunch, though he fully expected to be disciplined for speaking to his congregation about Prop. 8 and wouldn't be surprised if he's ultimately fired. Read more

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Army's Continued Use of "Stop Loss" Policy
Reveals Failure of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Today, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) criticized the U.S. Army's continued use of "stop loss" as further evidence that the discharge of over 12,500 service members based on sexual orientation since 1993 under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "The continued use of stop loss illustrates how the discharge of over 12,500 qualified service members under 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' has greatly strained military readiness at a time when our armed forces are already stretched far too thin around the globe," said SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis. "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' undermines the military's ability to attract qualified personnel of all backgrounds in order to keep pace with increasing deployment needs." [...] A "Guide to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' " for journalists is available at:


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