Wednesday, December 17, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 16, 2008

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Washington Post
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-God's Word Is Bigger than Either Side Admits
Precisely because I believe that scripture is the infinite gift of an infinite God, I believe that there are infinite ways to understand its words. So the short answer as to whether one can make a scriptural case for gay marriage is definitely. But the fact that one can make such a case does not mean that one should or that such a case is the only "proper" interpretation of the text. The same infinite text which makes the case for gay marriage can be used to argue against it.

-Don't Impose Theology on Matrimony
Whether or not there is a religious or scriptural basis for gay marriage depends entirely upon who is answering that question as well as the religious background of the respondent and the methodology of his/her scriptural interpretation. One of the great blessings of the religious freedom embraced and guaranteed by the United States Constitution is every person's right to believe or not to believe when it comes to religion generally and, if one believes, to decide specifically in whom or in what to believe.

-Bottum, Reynolds, Porter
No Case for Homosexuality in Bible
In the latest issue of Newsweek, editor Jon Meacham explains: "To argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt--it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition." Indeed, he continues, "this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism." Curiously, he intends this as a defense of Lisa Miller's cover story, which announces that we should approve homosexual marriage because the Bible tells that Jesus would want us to.

-Scriptural and Religious Cases for Gay Marriage
Let me begin "sectarianly," to show how high the scriptural bars can be. We seventy million Lutherans around the world acknowledge the Holy Scriptures as the "only source and norm" of Christian teaching, life, and service. We also acknowledge vast cultural adaptations depending upon the era or the culture in which Christians teach, live, and serve. Most of the things Chrisians do today, in politics, economics, the arts, family life, and culture, they do without depending on a scriptural case. They do take seriously teachings and practices which clearly violate scriptural sources and norms. That is why so many of them debate same-sex marriage, even though the Bible does not anticipate most features of today's debates.

Miami Herald
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-Hungarian court annuls domestic partnerships law
The Associated Press
Hungary's Constitutional Court says it has annulled a law giving rights to domestic partners because it would diminish the importance of marriage.

-Berlin memorial to gay victims of Nazis vandalized
The Associated Press
Berlin's memorial to gay victims of the Nazis has been vandalized for the second time in four months. Berlin police say a window on the outside of the memorial has been broken, probably with a stone.

South Florida Blade
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-GLBT Domestic Violence
By Dan Renzi
Program tongiht sponsored by the Gay & Lesbian Domestic Violence Coalition
Florida's GLBT scene has had a rough few months lately, and it doesn't seem the government is on our side, with the various anti-gay measures put into law. Then in light of a recent shooting at Dillard High School, where a teenage girl shot a fellow (also female) classmate, after being rejected by friends and family for being gay-it's time to take matters into our own hands once again.

-Florida Governor weds amid demonstrations
GLBT activists stage vigil to ask when will they be fully recognized By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

-Obama selects green energy, environment team
Out lesbian Nancy Sutley will lead Council on Environment Quality

-Sioux City mulls opposition to same-sex marriage
Resolution asks for statewide vote on issue

-Fight over gay marriage looms
Equality Maine has 33K signatures to send to lawmakers

The Advocate
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-Will Marriage in 2010 Be Any Different?
Since the passage of Prop. 8, many gays and lesbians have been searching for clarity on why we suffered a close loss at the ballot box. With emotions high, suggestions, criticism, and questions somehow seem out of bounds.

Pink News - UK
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-Sweden's highest court rejects same-sex marriage case
By Staff Writer,
A gay couple who got married in Canada should not be regarded as a married couple under Swedish law, a court has ruled. Lars Gårdfeldt and Lars Arnell lost their case against the Swedish tax authority.

-Sir Elton lashes out at X Factor
By Staff Writer,
Singer Sir Elton John has expressed his disdain for reality TV show X Factor in typically forthright language. Sir Elton, who is one of the best-selling artists of all time, told an audience at London's O2 Arena that he would rather have his "c**k bitten off by an Alsatian" than watch the televised talent show.

Point Foundation Offers Higher Education Scholarships for Gay and Lesbian Students
Point Foundation, a scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students of merit, has announced the opening of its 2009 application season. Students who will be enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2009-10 school year are eligible to apply for the multi-year scholarships. The scholarship program's selection criteria include academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement, and financial need. Particular attention is paid to students who have lost the financial and social support of their families and/or communities as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. On average, a Point Scholarship awards $13,200 in direct financial support, in addition to programmatic support in leadership training and mentoring. The average amount of annual support devoted to each scholar is between $26,000 and $31,000. Point Scholars agree to maintain a high level of academic performance and to give back to the LGBT community through the completion of an individual community service project each year. In addition, scholars are matched with mentors from the professional world who lend their expertise and career guidance and serve as role models for scholars. For further information and application guidelines, visit the foundation's Web site.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Heartland Alliance and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), will host, "LGBT and HIV Asylum and Refugee Claims: Increasing Protection Under a New Administration " in Chicago, Illinois from March 26-27, 2009. The conference will bring together policy advocates and legal professionals working with LGBT and HIV-positive asylum seekers to share knowledge, expertise, and strategies for reforming United States protection of these individuals from harm in their original countries.

What's new?
Ø Over 60 States, from all geographic regions, have now endorsed the joint statement recognizing human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity!
Ø This historic statement, which builds upon years of advocacy by activists from around the globe, will be delivered at the United Nations General Assembly by the Ambassador of Gabon - most likely on Thursday, 18 December.
Ø There are just days left to contact your government, urging them to support the statement if they have not yet done so. A full list of endorsing States, and those that remain lobbying priorities, is below.
What can I do?
Ø Opponents of the initiative are working overtime to lobby against the statement. It is critical that you contact your government TODAY.
Ø The most important contact is your government's Foreign Ministry in your capital. Contact details for the Foreign Ministry of each country can be found at:
Ø It is also useful to copy any message to your country's Ambassador in New York. Contact details for the New York missions of each State can be found at:

-The first ever Baltic Pride will take place in Riga May 15 - 17, 2009
In May next year three organisations from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will organise the first ever joint Pride event in Riga. The Pride event is aimed at drawing attention to the situation for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people in the three Baltic countries and encouraging people of different sexual orientation to celebrate diversity and Baltic unity. The three organisations, who met for a first joint meeting in Latvia in early October, are Estonian Gay Youth (EGN), the LGBT and Their Friends Association Mozaika and the Lithuanian Gay League (LGL). All organisations agreed to establish a new tradition of organising joint pride events in the Baltic and to launch this initiative in Riga next year.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Spray-on Condom
Jan Vinzenz Krause, a 31-year-old German entrepreneur, says that condoms should be more like shoes. "You go into a shop, tell them your size and you get shoes that fit your feet," he says. "Not so with condoms." Aside from the occasional extra-large brand, condoms essentially come in one size: about 6.5 inches long. Penises, however, come in many sizes. This leaves many men squeezed into condoms so tight they cut off circulation (and impede erections) or so large they're floppy and nonfunctional. To fix this, Krause has invented the world's first condom that can be custom made for each man: the spray-on condom.>

-Leadership on AIDS must come from the White House
With all the excitement, hope and opportunities presented by the upcoming installation of President-elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, every progressive constituency group is hawking their first 100 days list. That includes our nation's efforts to combat HIV/AIDS which has spent the past 8 years in the Beltway wilderness. During the campaign and since his election, the President and Vice-President elect have promised to prioritize the fight against HIV/AIDS. If the incoming administration follows the plan being proposed by numerous AIDS advocates, we could have a national strategy for combating AIDS by 2010. In my view that seems like too long. After all, this is a matter of life and death, not to mention untold suffering for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

-Faith-Based Views Veer Off a Straight Political Line
Cheri Andes awoke one morning in March 2004 to disconcerting news. An article in The Boston Globe described the growing debate on same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, where the legislature was about to take up the issue for the second time. And in the article, Ms. Andes found two familiar names on irreconcilable sides of the issue. The Rev. Jennifer Mills-Knutsen, assistant minister of Old South Church in Boston, endorsed such marriages with the words, "This is a civil rights issue." The Rev. Hurmon Hamilton, pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, told The Globe that same-sex marriage was not "a solution."

-Colin Powell on Don't Ask, Don't Tell (and more)
Colin Powell Interview with Fareed Zakaria
Aired December 14, 2008 - 13:00 ET


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