Thursday, December 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 11, 2008

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Washington Post
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-Day to `call in gay' finds few willing to strike

-Showtime develops coming-out series
By James Hibberd
Showtime is developing a reality series documenting gay people coming out to friends and family. The project is titled "Way Out." In each episode, a closeted individual reveals their true sexual orientation during a group meeting.

-Bill Ayers's Unreal Past
Charles Lane
Three decades after the end of the Weather Underground, he's still justifying its means.

Steve Rothaus
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-Ricky Martin shows off his babies

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-Looming marriage battle in New York
By James Withers
It's not a good sign when a politician issues a threat to a reporter, but that is what state senator Ruben Diaz Sr. did. Elected to the New York State Senate in 2002, Diaz, Sr. has been in the news recently as one member of the Gang of Three, a trio of Democrats who promised to support state Senator Malcolm A. Smith as leader of the senate as long as he followed certain rules. One of those regulations was to keep same-sex marriage from being voted on.

-Gay soldiers (not) home for Christmas
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief,
Lee Quillian, now retired from the Navy, remembers one holiday season when she was serving on a ship in the Middle East. "They risk outing their partner." All the other sailors were going to a special room to film video messages to their sweethearts. But not Quillian. She didn't record a message.

-Nobel Prize ceremony honors AIDS discovery
(Stockholm) Scientists who discovered the AIDS virus, an outspoken U.S. economist and a Finnish diplomat who helped solve some of the world's thorniest conflicts were honored Wednesday with the 2008 Nobel Prizes.

-Illinois civil union bill likely dead
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Legislation to allow civil unions for same-sex couples in Illinois appears to have little chance of coming to a vote as the state grapples with the nationwide economic crisis and the scandal that has enveloped Illinois over Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

The Advocate
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-U.S. Still Unattached to United Nations' First Gay Rights Statement
A United Nations joint statement calling for countries to decriminalize homosexuality and keep LGBT people safe has been backed by nearly every Western nation -- except possibly the United States.

-Obama to Name Out L.A. Deputy Mayor to Environmental Post
A Democratic aide has confirmed to The Advocate that President-elect Obama will be naming Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley, who is gay, as a senior member of his environmental team, as reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.

-Video: [This is a must see]
Daily Show's Jon Stewart Corners Mike Huckabee on Gay Marriage Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee dropped by Jon Stewart's Daily Show Tuesday to promote his new book, Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America.

-LGBT Band Marches for Inaugural Parade
President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural parade on January 20 will be the first in history to include an openly LGBT group. The Lesbian and Gay Band Association will march down Pennsylvania Avenue following Obama's swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol.

Marriage Equality News
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-The New Religious Right
Link: The Advocate
Mormons make up only 2% of California's population, so the fact that they played such an outsize role in the Yes on 8 campaign testifies to their rigid and efficient organization as a religious community. Because the church requests that members tithe 10% of their annual income, LDS leaders are able to gain an accurate picture p of how much their congregants earn. With this information in hand, bishops in local communities went from house to house in California asking for specific amounts of money for the Yes on 8 campaign -- an incredibly effective fund-raising tactic. Mormons boast high rates of involvement in church-related activities, including commitments that can be quite demanding, such as missionary work, whereby members spend up to two years proselyting, often in far-flung overseas locations.

Pink News - UK
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-Nepal to support LGBT rights statement at UN
The Prime Minister of Nepal has instructed his country's UN Ambassador to support an oral statement on the universal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The statement will be read out at the UN General Assembly next week.

-New York Democrats refuse to give in on gay marriage
A power struggle between Democrats in the New York State Senate that at one point threatened the party's commitment to gay marriage continues.

-South Africans still not OK with same-sex relationships
82% of the adult population of South Africa think that sex between two men or two women could be considered 'always wrong,' according to the latest South African Social Attitudes Survey.

-Gay political leader pledges to cut German aid to homophobic countries
An openly gay politician in Germany has said that if he is appointed Foreign Minister next year he will cut aid to countries that discriminate against women or sexual minorities.

-Italian TV channel attacked for showing cut version of Brokeback Mountain
Italy's national broadcaster has said it will show gay cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain in full after it came under fire for broadcasting a cut version.

Family Equality Council
We've got some good news and some not-so-good news. The good news is 73 families have stepped up to the plate in our Spread the Cheer Challenge! What is the Spread the Cheer Challenge? If we reach 300 donations by December 21st we will receive $25,000 for our families. The not-so-good news is that we are still 227 donations away from winning this challenge. We can do it-but we need your help to make it happen. 2009 promises to be a critical year for family equality-please stand with the Family Equality Council team, and all of our families across the country by making a contribution today. 73 donors have made a difference, 227 to go-please be our 74th donor and help us win $25,000. Together we are making a difference.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-No On 'Gay is Black'
Patricia Nell Warren | The Bilerico Project
"Gay is the new black." It's slick as a slogan, but dangerous as a dogma. I understand what its purveyors are trying to do with it. But it's dangerous ground to stand on, and already is blowing up in their faces. I agree with activist Michael Crawford that it's proving to be divisive and hurtful, and doesn't represent the positioning of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered/intersex people who are black. The slogan promotes a habit of equating one civil-rights cause with another. Equating is ignorant and presumptuous. Just because two groups are aiming for equal protection under U.S. law doesn't mean that their issues are alike in any way. So "gay is the new black" is provoking resentful reactions from some African Americans. They state that we gays should not dare to equate our situation to their centuries in slavery - that they suffered far more than we did. But how do they know how much we suffered? The conservative churchgoers among them would probably not stop and consider what it was like to be burned for sodomy in Renaissance Italy, or hung for sodomy in the American colonies. After all, they believe that we're evil and deserved the punishment. Read more

-In the Name of God, Sod Off
Andrew Brown | The Guardian
The headline on this piece was actually taken from life: it was the conclusion of a letter sent to Lord Runcie at Lambeth Palace by a disaffected Anglican. It's by no means the nastiest thing ever sent to a liberal bishop by fellow Christians. Others have had dogshit sent them or been told they should have their balls cut off with rusty scissors. But every once in a a while, usually in the USA, a liberal bishop gets into self-expression too. Here is the Bishop of Washington explaining the Anglican schism to his flock. To understand what follows, you have to know something that none of the British press actually reported last week, which was the latest stage in the Anglican schism. A number of splinter groups, with perhaps 350 congregations between them, in the USA and Canada announced they were leaving the Episcopal church there and forming their own, which they hope will be recognised eventually by the rest of the Anglican Communion, whatever that may be. In the first place, they want recognition from the Gafcon grouping, some of whose members have already consecrated some of the new splinter groups' bishops. Anyway, it all made a front page story in the New York Times. Read more

-CA: More attacks, lies and threats
Equality California
Anti-gay extremists are trying to intimidate justices on the California Supreme Court by threatening a recall if they rule that that Prop 8 is invalid. "You will see a mobilized group like you have never seen in the state of California. There are grounds for a recall. We saw that with Gray Davis. We have an oligarchy, an oligarchy in judges' role in the state of California."1 Protect California leaders who stand with us-make a donation today. More . . . .

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Obama urged to back UN LGBT rights statement
by Peter Tatchel:
Decriminalisation statement now expected 15 to 20 December
Still time to lobby governments to support UN initiative
"I urge Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the US Congress to speak out in support of the forthcoming UN statement on LGBT human rights," said Peter Tatchell of the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights movement, OutRage! "To draw a line under the homophobic policies of the Bush administration, they need to publicly endorse this UN initiative for LGBT human rights. "If the US government does not sign up, it will be aligning itself with homophobic non-signing regimes like Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and Belarus," he said. The presentation of the ground-breaking statement on LGBT issues to the UN General Assembly is now expected to take place between 15 and 20 December (not 10 December, as previously reported). The exact date is yet to be finalised. It partly depends on other UN business. [...] See the global survey of homophobia, published by the International Gay and Lesbian Association:

-Analysis: What does the UN statement on LGBT rights say?

-Vienna - When Stefan Petzner said after the death of Joerg Haider in October that the far-right leader was his "Lebensmensch", the most important person in his life, he probably did not guess that Austrians would vote the term as buzzword of the year. Although the word usually describes a close, important friendship, the public saw Petzner's use of the term as having a more intimate meaning, said professor Rudolf Muhr, the head of the panel of linguists at the University of Graz who announced the results of the online vote Thursday. "It was seen as a public acknowledgment of homosexuality," he said about the comment by Petzner, who was Haider's deputy as leader of the Alliance for the Future of Austria and is now a member or parliament. As Haider had carefully maintained his image as a mountain-climbing family man, Muhr said, "the word was like a bomb falling from the sky." When the 58-year-old Alliance leader and governor of the Carinthia province died on October 11 in a car accident, he left behind his wife Claudia and two grown-up daughters.,haiders-sexuality-inspires-austrian-word-of-the-year--feature.html

In a moving ceremony in the Hobart Town Hall last night, the Hobart City Council apologised for banning a gay law reform stall from the city's popular Salamanca Market and ordering the arrest of those staffing and supporting the stall. In 1988 a stall gathering petition signatures to repeal Tasmania's laws against homosexuality was shut down on Council orders and over subsequent weeks more than 100 people were arrested defending the stall in what became Australia's largest ever act of gay rights civil disobedience. The apology delivered by Lord Mayor, Rob Valentine, to an emotional audience of 200 former arrestees, LGBT community members and civic leaders including State Premier, David Bartlett, coincided with the 20th anniversary of the the arrests and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Outdoor drag shows at Miami Beach bar get OK to continue
The drag queen show at the Palace Food Bar will go on. Miami Beach put a stop to the Ocean Drive bar's outdoor performances, citing noise complaints and a need to keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians. But at a Nov. 26 hearing -- attended by several female impersonators decked out in platform boots and colorful wigs, as well as a throng of supporters -- the city's Planning Board unanimously agreed to give owner Tom Donall a permit that allows performances on the terrace of the restaurant and bar at 1200 Ocean Dr.The entertainers, who previously would leave the bar to perform for passersby, will still be barred from singing and dancing on the sidewalk or across the street. The shows have been a South Beach staple for two decades.

Truth Wins Out
by Wayne Besen

Today, I took a big risk for equality. I placed a $6,000 full-page ad in the Salt Lake Tribune with the limited funds of a small organization in tough economic times. [...]
Together, we can stand up to anti-gay lies and win full equality. The days of sitting back and doing nothing are over. Please join our "Group of Sixty" by giving a $100 gift right now. You have always been able to count on T.W.O. to speak the truth, and now, we are counting on you. P.S. If you are able to give more we would greatly appreciate it. If you are unable to give at this level, please consider a gift of $10 or more and help us fight back. Every dollar helps.

Jesse's Journal
by Jesse Monteagudo

-Miami's Gay Bar Scene in 1974
Miami in the 1970's was a great time to be young and gay. As my fictional alter-ego, Joe Martinez, said in one of his adventures, "Miami was a candy store for a young gay guy just out of the closet." With no AIDS in sight, and most venereal diseases treated with a simple shot, it was "the golden age of gay sexuality." It was also a golden age for Miami-Dade County's lesbian and gay bar scene. Not only were there far fewer raids than before, but local laws that made it a crime for "known homosexuals" to be served liquor or congregate in a tavern were overturned. The legal drinking age was 18, which made things very convenient for a young gay man who was just coming out.
Contact Ray's List for the full article.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's - GLAAD

"The Best & Worst of National News"
November 2008

-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Gives Heartfelt Special Comment Against the Passage of Proposition 8
During the November 10 broadcast of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the host devoted six minutes of the program to a highly personal special comment concerning the passage of Proposition 8. Olbermann stated, "In a time of impermanence and fly-by relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option." The host called upon those who had voted for or supported the anti-gay legislation and asked them to examine the impact that taking marriage away form loving, committed same-sex couples has had on so many, gay and straight alike. He continued, stating, "They want what you want. A chance to be a little less alone in the world. Only now you are saying, 'No.'" Olbermann also said of the passage of Prop 8, "This vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart. And if that sounds corny, so be it."
GLAAD encourages you to contact Keith Olbermann and thank him for talking about the significance of marriage for same-sex couples.
Keith Olbermann
Countdown with Keith Olbermann

-The New York Times Calls Attention to the Murder of Duanna Johnson
Earlier this month, Duanna Johnson, a 40-year-old African American transgender woman, was murdered in Memphis, Tenn. While local coverage was slow and often missed the mark, The New York Times reporter Robbie Brown penned a respectful and informative piece about Johnson on November 17 titled, "Murder of Transgender Woman Revives Scrutiny." Johnson's story first garnered media attention when she was the victim of police brutality in February. The incident was caught on tape, which led to substantial local and national media coverage. The news of her death did not garner the same volume of coverage, with the exception of this article in The New York Times. Reporter Robbie Brown spoke to local advocates who put Johnson's murder in context and helped to underscore the human side of the tragedy. "Duanna Johnson's case was tragic before, and now it's an almost unimaginable loss,"said Jared Feuer, Southern Regional Director of Amnesty International.
GLAAD urges you to contact reporter Robbie Brown and The New York Times and thank them for bringing national visibility to Duanna Johnson's tragic death and the pervasive problem of hate violence against transgender people.
The New York Times

-The Washington Post Brings Attention to the Struggles of the Gay Community in India
A national debate over equal rights erupted in India this past summer when Section 377 of the Indian Penal code, which criminalizes being gay, was unsuccessfully challenged. Unfortunately, there is very little media coverage of the LGBT community in India. But in an article published on November 15 for the The Washington Post, titled "For Gays in India, Fear Rules," Emily Wax explores the struggles that members of the LGBT community in India face every day. With no protection from the state and coercive societal pressure to marry members of the opposite sex, gay people are forced to find solace in secret and commonly face threats of being blackmailed or outed. But as Wax points out, there is a growing support coming from younger Indians, many of whom work for multinational companies with LGBT-inclusive policies. The overall story is a vital reminder of the persecution faced by members of the LGBT community abroad.
GLAAD encourages you to contact Emily Wax and The Washington Post and thank them for bringing much-needed attention to the current discrimination LGBT people face in India.
Emily Wax
Washington Post

-Fox's Bill O'Reilly Continually Misses the Mark in November Coverage of LGBT Issues
In the weeks following the election, Bill O'Reilly has continued to provide a platform for anti-gay views and misinformation about LGBT issues. The host gave former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a platform to spew incendiary defamatory anti-gay rhetoric, going so far as to associate the gay community with "secular fascism." On the November 14 broadcast, Gingrich stated, "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion." Earlier in the month, O'Reilly made a similarly appalling comparison, stating that the marriage ruling in Massachusetts was a result of "fascism." But that wasn't all for O'Reilly this month. On the November 12 broadcast, Dennis Miller made a sophomoric and juvenile jab at openly gay Chairman of the House of Financial Services Committee Barney Frank. When O'Reilly suggested that Frank be arrested, Miller stated, "Barney might want to be arrested," to which both responded with laughter, exaggerated gestures and innuendo. Additionally, following the passage of the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California, O'Reilly devoted several segments to debates that pitted African American and LGBT communities against each other. The host consistently categorized the African American community as largely or uniformly anti-gay, despite the availability of data and information that indicates otherwise. Instead, O'Reilly chose to misrepresent the issue and misinform his viewers.
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.12.08: Proposition 8
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.12.08: Dennis Miller
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.14.08: Newt Gingrich
GLAAD urges you to contact Fox News executives and remind them that the LGBT community and our allies will continue to call out Fox News Channel and the producers of The O'Reilly Factor for the harmful anti-gay sentiments he perpetuates, which continue to reflect poorly on the News Corporation brand.
Mr. John Moody
Senior Vice President, News Editorial
FOX News Channel
Ms. Sharri Berg
Senior Vice President, News Operations
FOX News Channel

-Clear Channel Refuses to Issue an Apology for Jim Quinn's Attack Against the LGBT Community
During the November 6 broadcast of the nationally syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Jim Quinn made highly offensive and ignorant statements regarding the gay community. In a discussion on the passage of the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California, he asserted, "[G]ay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." On November 7, GLAAD issued a Call to Action, asking the community and its allies to contact Clear Channel Communications and voice their concerns. Despite numerous complaints, Clear Channel has refused to issue an apology and has not disciplined Quinn for his disgusting and unacceptable remarks.
GLAAD urges you to contact Clear Channel Communications and express your concern over the complete lack of responsibility taken by the syndicate in response to Quinn's reprehensible statements.
Lisa Dollinger
Chief Communications Officer
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
Kathryn Johnson
Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
Sanda Coyle
Clear Channel Radio
(210) 822-2828

-University of Washington Student Paper Publishes Juvenile Anti-Gay Defamation
A November 25 op-ed in the University of Washington's student newspaper The Daily likened marriage for same-sex couples to bestiality, among other defamatory comparisons. The column was illustrated with a highly offensive graphic of a man standing next to a sheep. In the column, writer John Fay repeatedly makes a series of offensive statements about the gay community throughout the op-ed, titled "Gay marriage? Let's stop and think about this." After making a host of illogical arguments, he suggests that "homosexuality is more of an emotional condition," claiming that if same-sex couples are given the right to marry, "�why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it's wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?" Such ignorant remarks serve to distract and sensationalize rather than focus on the real issue of extending protections for same-sex couples in marriage.
GLAAD urges you to contact John Fay and The Daily and let them know that publishing such grossly offensive commentary and defamatory imagery is unacceptable.
John Fay
Sarah Jeglum
The Daily


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