Saturday, November 01, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - November 01, 2008

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New York Times
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-If Elected ...Hopefuls Differ as They Reject Gay Marriage
Several gay friends and wealthy gay donors to Senator Barack Obama have asked him over the years why, as a matter of logic and fairness, he opposes same-sex marriage even though he has condemned old miscegenation laws that would have barred his black father from marrying his white mother.

-San Francisco's Prostitutes Support a Proposition
When Proposition K was added to Tuesday's ballot, many people likely snickered at the possibility that San Francisco might take its place alongside such prostitute-friendly havens as Amsterdam and a few rural counties in nearby Nevada.

-Law Enforcement and Civil Rights Groups Divided Over California Ballot Measures
On Tuesday, California voters will consider three ballot measures that propose wide-ranging changes to the state's criminal justice system but also pit law enforcement officials against civil rights advocates. One initiative, Proposition 5, would increase financing for drug rehabilitation programs and reduce penalties for some drug- and addiction-related crimes. Another, Proposition 6, would increase financing for law enforcement and increase penalties for drug- and gang-related offenses. And a third, Proposition 9, would expand victims' roles in criminal and parole proceedings, prioritize restitution payments to victims and reduce the frequency of parole hearings for offenders.

Washington Post
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-The Wrong Way to Win Gay Marriage Rights
These days, Californians may be forgiven for feeling as though they are playing host to a dinner party whose guests keep arguing in nastier and nastier terms. Proposition 8 -- the statewide initiative that seeks to add a ban on same-sex marriages to the California constitution, reversing this spring's court decision legalizing such unions -- has turned into a bitter and expensive campaign, even by this state's standards. (In the worst of the rhetoric, the president of the Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative group supporting Prop 8, publicly compared the fight against same-sex marriage to the fight against Hitler.) Money has been pouring in on both sides of the issue, from churches, businesses and interest groups around the country. With nearly $70 million raised for and against the initiative, contributions to Prop 8 already exceed the combined total of all donations in the 22 previous campaigns over gay marriage measures in other states around the country.

-Anxious eyes on Calif. measure over gay marriage
Five months and thousands of weddings after California's highest court sanctioned same-sex marriage, anxious eyes around the nation will closely follow voters Tuesday as they decide whether to turn back the clock. Given the state's size and influence, the vote on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has become a referendum on sexual orientation and civil rights. Both sides call it the "Gettysburg" of the power struggle between the gay rights movement and the Christian right, with the victors capturing momentum in other states.

-McCain's veep choice sailed into a holy gale
The lower 48 haven't seen the last of Sarah Palin, win or lose. The presidential campaign has had an odd effect on Palin's unsettled place in political life. It punctured down-home myths about the Alaska governor and trimmed her down to size. Yet it may have helped her to be taken more seriously as a candidate in her own right, in a future election.

Miami Herald
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-McCain's veep choice sailed into a holy gale
The presidential campaign has had an odd effect on Palin's unsettled place in political life. It punctured down-home myths about the Alaska governor and trimmed her down to size. Yet it may have helped her to be taken more seriously as a candidate in her own right, in a future election. Palin came to the country's attention as a woman in the mold of the man at the top of the Republican ticket. Reformer, independent operator, foe of the status quo. You know, maverick.

-An unfair, shameful proposal
''Gay marriage'' is not on the ballot in Florida. What is on the ballot is prohibiting the legal recognition of anything ``that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof.'' [...] We know some of what the forces behind Amendment 2 have in mind. When 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 it 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, the 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.

South Florida Blade
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-Swing-state push
Obama's coordinated GLBT effort courts community
Cocktails, private dinner parties, and pub crawls through South Florida gay bars. Special appearances by A-list celebrities and openly-gay politicians. As the media blitz around the presidential election builds to frenzy in this battleground state, GLBT voters are among the key constituents of Barack Obama's campaign coordinators.

-Queen's gay marriage comments ignite flap in Spain
Spain legalized gay marriage in 2005
A journalist on Friday defended the accuracy of a book in which she quotes Spain's Queen Sofia as criticizing the country's legalization of gay marriage, dragging the normally tightlipped monarchy into a rare public spat.

-Field Poll: Gay marriage campaign tightens
No on 8 crowd has small lead

-Catholic bishops give $200K to ban gay marriage
Knights of Columbus lead with $1.4 million in donations

-Statewide amendments on ballot made easy
What Florida GLBT voters face besides Amendment 2

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-Ruby-Sachs: Gay reporters on the campaign trail
This morning, a friend of mine sent me an article about the reporters covering the McCain and Obama campaign. According to Out magazine, many of these reporters are gay. It doesn't seem so significant at first. There are gay professionals all over the place and while the visibility doesn't hurt the equality fight it doesn't ramp it up and send it on its way to victory either.

-Teens charged in football team sodomy hazing
(Las Vegas, New Mexico) Six youths were charged with conspiracy and other crimes stemming from a hazing case at a high school football camp in which young players were allegedly sodomized with broomsticks.

-Vatican calls for psych tests to weed out gays
(Vatican City) The Vatican said Thursday it is considering psychological testing for prospective priests to screen out candidates "with strong homosexual tendencies" and heterosexuals "unable to control their sexual urges."

-Ariz. anti-gay amendment battle focuses on undecided voters
Arizona has been a disappointment to anti-gay marriage activists since 2006, when the state became the first in the nation to reject a ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.

-More equality ride arrests at Christian colleges
Three members of the nondenominational Soulforce Equality Ride have been released on their own recognizance after being arrested when they entered the campus of Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie.

The Advocate
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-Poll: 49% of Likely Voters Oppose Prop. 8
A poll released on Thursday shows that 49% of likely California voters oppose Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. The Field Poll also showed that 44% of likely voters were in favor of the measure, while 7% remained undecided. The results indicate a narrowing of opinion since the last Field Poll in mid September, when 55% of respondents opposed Prop. 8 and 38% supported it.

-Hindus Urged to Vote Against Prop. 8
Navya Shastra, the international Hindu reform organization based in Troy, Mich., sent out a press release Friday urging California voters to reject Proposition 8, which would eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry under California law.

-In the Belly of No on 8
When former Log Cabin Republicans president Patrick Guerriero came to San Francisco to visit the No on 8 headquarters, he didn't know he'd wind up staying to run the biggest LGBT rights political campaign in history. But with a measly million in the bank and the Mormon church raising money hand over fist, No on 8 needed help, and Guerriero stepped in to close the gap -- and, with any luck, make history.

-Ohio Republicans Still Targeting Gays in Critical State Legislative Races
Ohio has passed both a law and a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but that hasn't stopped the GOP from trying to stir up antigay sentiment in order to keep its four-seat advantage in the state house of representatives.

Marriage Equality News
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-Today: Double Your Donation To Prop 8 With The Help Of Tim Gill
Source: Joe. My. God.
Tim Gill, the founder of software giant Quark and gay social network Connextion, has made a $100K matching donation to No On 8. Gill said "Proposition 8 needs all of our support to be defeated and protect marriage for gays and lesbians not just in California, but across the country. This amendment would eliminate the equal treatment of all Californians and write discrimination into the state constitution." Gill will match dollar for dollar all donations made by midnight tonight via the Connextion giving link.

-Andrew Sullivan: Children and Marriage Equality
Source: The Daily Dish | The Atlantic
by Andrew Sullivan
A reader writes:
My 7 year old just learned about gay marriage. Not form his school or teacher, but by the Yes on Prop 8 ad on radio while carpooling to school. He asked me about it and I gave an age appropriate answer. I have no doubt that many other kids will learn about the gay marriage thanks to prop 8 ads. I hope the theocrats realize the irony ... Irony isn't their strong point.

-Ward Connerly: Prop. 8 is discriminatory, plain and simple
Source: Sacramento Bee
by Ward Connerly
During my 12-year term as a regent of the University of California, I had to confront a number of very difficult issues and I know I angered many of my fellow Californians because I actively promoted a principle that goes to the core of who I am as a person. That principle is the right to equal treatment by our government regardless of race, skin color, sex, ethnicity or national origin.

Pink News - UK
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-Test case for straight man who suffered homophobic abuse at work
A 56-year-old married man who was repeatedly taunted at work about being gay because he lives in Brighton has taken his case to the Court of Appeal. An employment tribunal and an appeal tribunal have both rejected his claims of discrimination.

-Call for action after tear gas attack on gay event in Guatemala
A gay human rights group has demanded action after recent attacks on gay events in Guatemala. The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission said that two incidents where tear gas was used need to be properly investigated by the Guatemalan authorities.

-Fire union backs sexual orientation questionnaire
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has defended an optional questionnaire it sent to all its staff asking them to state their sexual orientation. The service is working with gay equality organisation Stonewall to try and improve diversity within the organisation and conditions for gay, lesbian and bisexual staff.

-GP blackmailed by patient over 'gay massage' is struck off
The General Medical Council has struck off a doctor who masturbated a male patient while giving him a massage and then paid him £100 a week not to report the incident.

-Singapore's first gay protest postponed to allow for bigger event
A small outdoor protest for gay rights due to take place in Singapore next month has been postponed because of the positive response from the gay community. The Straits Times reports that the event, a first for Singapore, has been postponed until early next year.

-Doctor accused of homophobia storms out of disciplinary hearing
A GP who has given differing explanations about a letter published in his name that said gay people needed the "stick of law to put them on the right path" has stopped attending his disciplinary hearing. Dr Muhammad Siddiq, who is President of the Islamic Medical Association, dismissed his barrister at a General Medical Council fitness to practise hearing and then left the proceedings when he was refused an adjournement to find new counsel.

-Boris "thrilled" as London wins right to host World Pride in 2012
Pride London has won the right to hold World Pride during the summer of 2012, just ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

-Scottish Parliament to consider gay blood ban
The LGBT Network has submitted a detailed case to the Scottish Parliament calling for the removal of the ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood. On Tuesday the Public Petitions Committee at Hollyrood will reconsider a petition calling on the Scottish Government to review existing guidelines and risk assessment procedures to allow healthy gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-DC: 2 Eagle Customers Attacked in Hate Crime
LOU CHIBBARO JR | Washington Blade
D.C. police listed as a hate crime an incident on Oct. 24 in which two men leaving the D.C. Eagle, a gay bar on the 600 block of New York Avenue, N.W., were assaulted by a group of men shouting anti-gay names. Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, said the incident occurred near the corner of 7th Street and New York Avenue, N.W., a short distance from the Eagle's entrance. Read more

-Exploring Practices and Harm in Reparative Therapy
Ex-Gay Exposé:
Exploring Practices and Harm in Reparative Therapy
November 7-9, 2008; Denver, CO
During the weekend of November 7-9, NARTH, a national association of "gay conversion" therapists, is holding its annual conference in Denver. Two local survivors of ex-gay programs, Christine Bakke and Daniel Gonzales, along with Beyond Ex-Gay, and a coalition of local and other gay organizations, are forming a response to speak to the harm groups like NARTH can cause. Sign Up Here

-Indian Police Accused of Brutality against Trans Community
Pink News
Bangalore police have been accused of arresting and mistreating more than 40 people at a peaceful demonstration. The conflict reportedly flared when five hijras (working-class, male-to-female, transgender people) were arrested by police on October 20th in what the local Daily News and Analysis called a "drive against the city's eunuch menace." According to Human Rights Watch, police took them to Girinagar police station, verbally abused them, and beat one severely.

-Patchwork of Safe-Haven Laws Creates Confusion
By Anna Jo Bratton | The Associated Press | Lincoln Journal Star
OMAHA - While lawmakers prepare to tweak Nebraska's much-criticized safe-haven law that allows parents to abandon kids as old as 18, they'll find little nationwide consensus on what age limits should be written into such laws.
Nebraska was the last state to enact a safe-haven law, which is intended to protect unwanted newborns from being abandoned.
But since the law went on the books in July, 23 children have been dropped off at Nebraska hospitals - none of them newborns and three of them from out of state. Read more

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Cardinal Newman - nature thwarts Vatican plot
Catholic minister approved Pope's request
Government collusion with attempt to violate Newman's wishes London - "Nature has thwarted the Vatican's heartless plot to violate Cardinal Newman's request to be buried with the man he loved, Father Ambrose St John," said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. He was commenting on the revelation that Newman's body has decomposed to nothing, leaving an empty grave and frustrating plans by the Catholic Church to dismember his body and display his bones as holy relics. "The Vatican wanted to rebury the Cardinal's remains in a marble tomb, separate from St John, to dampen speculation that he might have been gay. "Newman's and St John's bodies have decomposed together, uniting them forever in the same soil. They cannot now be separated, as the Catholic Church planned. Cardinal Newman's wishes have triumphed over the Vatican's homophobia," said Mr Tatchell.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Guatemala: Action Alert-Demand an Investigation into Attack on "Our Gay Beauty" Event
On October 18, 2008, two Guatemalan organizations-Amigos contra el Sida and Asociación Gay de Samayac-organized an event called "Our Gay Beauty" in Samayac Suchitepéquez. The event itself was focused on HIV prevention in the context of the campaign by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. During the evening, someone threw a tear gas bomb into the space where the event was being held. While no one was seriously injured, people fainted, children became excessively tearful, and everyone was affected by the fumes. This is the second time this year that tear gas bombs have been used to attack events held by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community.

Gay activists have described as "crucial", final evidence presented today to the Tasmanian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in a case against the Australian gay blood ban initiated by Launceston gay man, Michael Cain. In a written statement, leading US epidemiologist and bio-statistician, Dr Scott Halpern, challenged calculations of risk associated with allowing gay blood donation that were also presented today by Australian epidemiologist and former Red Cross advisor, Prof John Kaldor. Dr Halpern said that Prof Kaldor had significantly over-estimated the prevalence of HIV in the gay community and failed to distinguish multiple from monogamous relationships in a way which "will result in the highest possible risk".
For more information on gay blood donation visit

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor at Hunter College in New York City, will be speaking in Squires 342 today at 8 p.m. His speech, sponsored by Virginia Tech's LGBTA, will be about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual issues as they pertain to the upcoming election. Read more at:

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-Urgent Request on Behalf of the Young Equality Riders
It's Halloween and some of you are preparing for a night out on the town or dressing up your kids so they can pretend to be someone else for the evening. But for young closeted LGBT students inside Christian colleges and universities, harassment is not a trick and life is not a treat. The reality is that they are forced to wear a mask every single day -- one they dare not remove or else face ridicule, condemnation, and expulsion. That's why the Equality Ride is so important -- it literally saves lives.
Can you help us finish the Equality Ride by making a $10, $20, or $50 donation today?

Anything but Straight
by Wayne Besen

-Utah Professor Says 'Ex-Gay' Therapy Group Deliberately Misrepresented Her Research
Dr. Lisa Diamond's Charges Come One Week Before NARTH's Annual Convention In Denver
Truth Wins Out released an exclusive video interview today with University of Utah professor, Dr. Lisa Diamond, who said that the National Association of Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) grossly and deliberately distorted her research on sexual orientation. Dr. Diamond's assertion comes one week before NARTH's annual conference in Denver, which will take place Nov. 7-9.

White Party
White Party Week Passes are currently discounted 15% off individual ticket purchase prices during the month of October. This discount will end Monday, November 3rd and all passes will be reduced to 10% for all purchases made during the month of November.
If you are planning on attending multiple events during the 24th Annual White Party Week, check out the entire line of passes that are available.
Set your clocks. This sale ends Monday!

This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.
-Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.
-The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.
-And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
-(Lucy Burns)
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.
-(Dora Lewis)
They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cell mate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.
-Thus unfolded the'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
-For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.
-(Alice Paul)
When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
-So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?
Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?
-(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)
-Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.
-(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York ) All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.
-(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)
My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry.
She was--with herself. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'
-HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.
-(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution] at [National Woman's Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace]
[Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))
-It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
-The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'
-Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.
-We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought sohard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote.
-(Helena Hill Weed, Norwalk , Conn. Serving 3 day sentence in D.C. prison for carrying banner, 'Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.')
History is being made.
-If any of you haven't seen 'Iron Jawed Angels', it's well worth the time to watch it.
See you at the polls!


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