Thursday, December 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 04, 2008

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New York Times
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-Episcopal Split as Conservatives Form New Group
Conservatives alienated from the Episcopal Church announced on Wednesday that they were founding their own rival denomination, the biggest challenge yet to the authority of the Episcopal Church since it ordained an openly gay bishop five years ago.

Washington Post
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-Poll: Calif. gay marriage ban driven by religion
Voters' economic status and religious convictions played a greater role than race and age in determining whether they supported the Nov. 4 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California, a new poll shows.

Miami Herald
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-Poll: Calif. gay marriage ban driven by religion
Voters' economic status and religious convictions played a greater role than race and age in determining whether they supported the Nov. 4 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California, a new poll shows.

Steve Rothaus
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-Sean Penn hopes 'Milk' will help gay movement

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-Gays, Asians seek visibility in Obama Cabinet
Barack Obama, soon to be the first black U.S. president, is on the road to making good his pledge to have a Cabinet and White House staff that are among most diverse ever, although some supporters are asking him to go even further. He added to the minority representation at the top of his administration Wednesday when he named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Hispanic, as Commerce Secretary.

-Besen: Is NY backtracking on gay marriage?
It turns out that a few Democrats in the New York state senate are floating the idea of backtracking on marriage equality. All I can say is "forget about it."
Last year, the State Assembly voted 85-61 in favor of marriage equality.
Under the control of Republicans, the Senate refused to act. Democratic Gov. David Patterson said that he would sign marriage equality into law if it reached his desk.

-Florida, adoption and why marriage isn't enough
by Diana Rudolph
One of the top LGBT stories in the past week has been the Florida court ruling that found the state ban on adoption by lesbian and gay people was unconstitutional. The decision means that the two boys fostered by plaintiff Frank Martin Gill for the last four years are now his legally adopted sons.

-Another Bush mulls move on Washington
Still popular in Florida, former Gov. Jeb Bush said Wednesday that he's interested in the seat Sen. Mel Martinez is giving up, and the field of possible candidates could quickly narrow to make way for the president's younger brother.

-Iraqi journalist sent to prison for writing about homosexuality
(Sulaimaniyah, Iraq) International media watchdog groups called Wednesday for the release of a freelance journalist jailed in northern Iraq for violating a public decency law by writing a story about homosexuality. homosexuality/

-UK: Anti-Gay ad violated standards
(London) Britain's advertising watchdog has banned the re-publication of an ad that condemns homosexuality.

-Conservative Christian university official busted in gay sex sting
The chief financial officer of Cincinnati Christian University has pleaded not guilty to prostitution charges.

-Poll: Majority support gay couple rights
The first national survey on LGBT rights since the passage of Proposition 8 in California shows that three-quarters of Americans favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

The Advocate
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-Do or Die for "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Gay rights activist with an actor-model-author hyphenate, Reichen Lehmkuhl kicks off his column with a blunt look at the state of "don't ask, don't tell," promises made by President-elect Obama, and why gay Americans can't let the passing of Prop. 8 distract us from continuing to fight to overturn the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

-Lesbian Activist Short-listed for Position of Labor Secretary
Mary Beth Maxwell could become America's first openly gay cabinet member if chosen to lead the Department of Labor in Barack Obama's administration. Maxwell is the founding executive director of the labor organization American Rights at Work, established in 2003. Before that she was a national field director at Jobs With Justice and the deputy field director of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

-Kalamazoo, Mich., Adopts Antidiscrimination Ordinance
The city of Kalamazoo, Mich., passed a measure Monday banning discrimination against gay people in housing, public accommodations, and employment. All seven members of the city commission voted in favor of the ordinance, and nothing but support was voiced during the public-comment portion of the meeting, the Kalamazoo Gazette reports.

-People of the Year Extended: Amy Balliett
It started as one of those great ideas people have when they can't sleep -- set up some domain names and galvanize the gay community to come together and fight for equality. Five months later, after the passing of Prop. 8, Amy Balliet put to use -- and managed to rally a million people at protests around the world in the process.

Pink News - UK
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-Catholic adoption agency tells Cardinal that Jesus taught love without prejudice
The leader of Scotland's Roman Catholics has resigned as chairman of an adoption agency because it plans to comply with the law.

-Homophobic preacher stands by Leviticus quote in banned advert
The leader of Sandown Free Presbyterian Church has claimed that a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority interferes with religious freedom.

-Gay humanists condemn Vatican's stance on universal decriminalisation
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has condemned the Vatican's opposition to a declaration against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

-EU framework for tackling racism could lead to recognition of homophobic crime
The new Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia has been adopted by the European Council of Ministers, exactly seven years after it was first presented by the European Commission.

-Moscow's gay-bashing Mayor pledges continued intolerance
The Mayor of Moscow has said he will continue to ban gay "propaganda." Moscow Pride organisers have been denied the right to hold an event in May for three years running.

-Police investigation into Iris Robinson's homophobic comments is "active"
Serious crime officers from the Northern Ireland Police Service are involved in "active inquiries" into whether an MP broke the law when she spoke out against homosexuality.

-Kurdish doctor jailed for writing about homosexual sex
A leading press freedom organisation has called for the release from prison of a doctor sentenced to six months by a Kurdish judge for writing an article about homosexual sex.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Opposing Views: Fight Against Gay Marriage Will Lead GOP Over a Cliff
By Patrick Sammon | Fox News
President, Log Cabin Republicans
Republicans are making a huge mistake if they use results from California's Proposition 8 to justify a lurch to the right on social issues. Voters narrowly passed the proposition that rolled back marriage equality for gay and lesbian Californians. Prop 8 passed because the "Yes" campaign changed the subject and scared voters with false information. It alleged threats to religious freedom and school curricula, despite the facts that no church would be required to marry a gay couple and each local school district controls its own curriculum. By distorting the truth, the "Yes" campaign played to decades-old fears that gay and lesbian people seek to "convert" children and are hostile to religious freedom. Funding by the Mormon Church is the main reason Prop 8 passed. News reports say members of the LDS church provided at least $20 million of the "Yes" campaign's $35 million, helping sway 70 percent of African-Americans to vote "Yes," compared with 53 percent of Latinos, and 49 percent support from whites. It's painfully ironic that a religious denomination that faced terrible discrimination spent $20 million to promote discrimination against gay and lesbian families. Read more

-Many Duos Overlooked in Same-sex Ruling
Geraldine and Connie Barry are life partners in almost every sense of the word. Twin sisters, Connie, left, and Geraldine Barry, and a photograph taken when they were nine months old. The Rothesay siblings have lived together their entire life, but won't benefit from proposed changes to the provincial legislation governing same-sex benefits. The identical twins, 86, have lived together their whole lives, including the past 35 years where it's been just the two of them. Over the years, the Rothesay sisters have shared much: possessions, income and the pleasure of the other's company. More . . .

-Let Gays Adopt; Kids Need Them
News Press
Even people who don't want same-sex unions recognized legally as marriage ought to see the sense in a Miami judge's decision last week that the Florida law banning adoption of children by gay people has no legal or scientific basis. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman said the law - the last of its kind in the United States - violates the equal protection rights of children and their prospective gay parents, noting that gays are allowed to be foster parents in the state, a wild inconsistency. Lederman rightly rejected the state's claim of "a supposed dark cloud hovering over homes of homosexuals and their children." For the sake of religious and social tradition, many people want to see "marriage" keep its traditional definition: one man, one woman. But Florida's ban on gay adoption is different. It is based on the idea that gays make bad parents, presumably that their lives are intrinsically immoral and damaging to the health and welfare of children in their charge. This is demonstrably false. Read more

-'Confession' of a Gay Catholic
Boston Globe
Blocks from his former church in Downtown Crossing, Scott Pomfret takes a deep breath and confesses his literary sins. "My real sin was not having the proper amount of discretion," says Pomfret, a Boston attorney who recently wrote a gay Catholic memoir called "Since My Last Confession," which has ruffled some frocks at St. Anthony Shrine. Pomfret served as a lector at the church for eight years before officials there let him go in September because of his other role as an erotica fiction writer. "I do feel like I've lost my spiritual home," says Pomfret, 40, an enforcement attorney who fights fraud cases with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Referring to his spiritual work, he adds, "I know the good work that I've done." The church's executive director, the Rev. David Convertino, told the Globe and other local media that some people had concerns about Pomfret's role at the church. Read more

-Pride at Work Backs Candidacy of Mary Beth Maxwell for Secretary of Labor
Pride at Work
Pride at Work is proud to support the candidacy of Mary Beth Maxwell, Executive Director of American Rights at Work, for Secretary of Labor in the forthcoming Obama Administration. "Mary Beth Maxwell has been a strong voice for both labor and the LGBT community in Washington for years," said Jeremy Bishop, Executive Director of Pride at Work, the LGBT constituency group of the labor movement. "We believe that she would be an excellent choice for Secretary of Labor." If she is appointed to the position, Maxwell would be the first out LGBT person to serve as a federal Cabinet secretary. She has the strong support of former Representative David Bonior, a key labor adviser in the Obama campaign. More . . . . .

-Mormon Homophobia: Up Close and Personal
by Sheldon Rampton | Daily Kos
Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 09:24:12 AM PST
As a former Mormon missionary and someone who studies the public relations industry, I've been following with interest the PR nightmare facing the Mormon Church as a result of the prominent role it played this year promoting Proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage in California. At the urging of church leaders, Mormons spent about $20 million on the effort, which probably provided the margin that enabled the proposition to pass. There is some irony in the fact that Mormon pollster Gary Lawrence, who led the Proposition 8 grassroots campaign for the church in California, has a gay son, Matthew, who publicly resigned from the church to protest its anti-gay campaign. Matthew says that after his father's participation in "two anti-gay initiatives in eight years, it's impossible not to feel attacked." More . . . .

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Burundi: Assembly Abolishes Death Penalty, Criminalizes Torture
Amendments Needed on Homosexual Conduct, Spousal Violence, Abuse of Authority
The Burundian National Assembly adopted important human rights advances in a penal code voted in on November 22, 2008, including abolishing the death penalty and making torture, genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity punishable under Burundian law, Human Rights Watch said today. But three changes to the code are detrimental to human rights. These changes would make consensual homosexual conduct a criminal offense, decriminalize arbitrary detention by state agents, and limit the responsibility of the state to address spousal violence. To become law, the code must be approved by the Senate and signed by the president. "We applaud the National Assembly for its positive steps," said Alison Des Forges, senior advisor to the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch. "But we look to the Senate to retain the strong advances in the new penal code while amending the negative provisions concerning homosexual activity, spousal violence, and abuse of power by state agents."

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Tell Congress: it's time to repeal DOMA.
It's time for some real change we can believe in. It's time for the federal government to stop punishing loving same-sex couples. It's time to repeal DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act). President-elect Obama says he supports the repeal. Take action right now to make sure Congress sends him the legislation. Dear Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi, It's time to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). At this moment of change and progress, it's time to undo a serious mistake made by Congress 12 years ago. The federal government has no business discriminating against loving families by selectively withholding the 1,300 or so legal protections that only legal civil marriage affords. It's time for Congress to show leadership on this issue and send President-elect Obama legislation repealing DOMA which he has said he would sign.

-Lambda 10 Project aims to "Begin the Conversation"
by releasing the first of its kind Fraternity and Sorority Transgender Resource Guide
Release of Guide to be unveiled at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Fraternity Advisors in Denver, CO When theAssociation of Fraternity Advisors Annual National Meeting starts tomorrow in Denver, the nations fraternity and sorority professionals will be discussing a topic that, formany of them, will be Greek. Though fraternities and sororities oftenconjure up ideas about stereotypical gender roles, for the first time ever fraternities and sororities will be beginning theconversation about transgender members.During the conference, Greek Lifeleaders will receive a copy of the transgender fraternity andsorority resource guide titled "Beginning the Conversation." The guide was published by the Lambda 10 Project, an educational initiative of Campus Pride, and is also available online at

-Britain is among casual sex capitals of the Western world, research claims
The UK comes out ahead of Australia, France, the Netherlands, Italy and the United States when it comes to one-night stands, attitudes to casual sex and the number of sexual partners, it is claimed. Researchers said Britain's position on the international index may be linked to increasing social acceptance of promiscuity among women as well as men.

-Action Alert: UN Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity
In mid-December 2008, States from every region of the world will join together to deliver a statement recognizing human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the United Nations General Assembly.
The statement deals with human rights abuses, directed against people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, including violence, criminal sanctions, torture, threats against human rights defenders and discrimination in accessing economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health. Ø December 2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On this historic occasion, the joint statement will affirm that human rights truly are the birthright of all human beings, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Ø
Initiated by France, the joint statement is being coordinated by a cross-regional core group of States, including representatives from all 5 UN regions (Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Ukraine). Ø These States are seeking to send a powerful message by delivering the statement on behalf of as many States from different regions as possible. It has already attracted over 50 signatories. This initiative builds upon a previous joint statement delivered in 2006 at the UN Human Rights Council by Norway on behalf of 54 States. With your help, we would like to encourage as many countries as possible to join the statement, making it the largest-ever UN statement addressing human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It will also be the first to be delivered at the UN General Assembly, the UN's highest political body.

-Sex workers in fight for civil rights, too

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-Raise Money for HeartStrong & Get Great Gifts!
Here's a great way to help raise money for HeartStrong! Window Books is offering a special selection of social justice and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender books, dvds and magnets for sale especially to benefit HeartStrong. 15% of all sales will go directly to HeartStrong. This is a great opportunities to purchase gifts for yourself and other and help HeartStrong get much needed funds. It's simple to do. Just click on the link below and order from those special pages. That's it!


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