Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 30, 2008

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New York Times
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-The Doctor's World: Leaving Platform That Elevated AIDS Fight
Dr. Peter Piot, the only head of the United Nations AIDS program in its 13-year history, is retiring on Wednesday. He is credited as the person most responsible for making heads of state understand the political, economic and social ramifications of a pandemic that rivals the worst in history.

-The Early Word: Administration Preview
By Michael Falcone
Though the economic crisis, along with renewed tensions in the Middle East, are likely to loom large as the curtain goes up on President-elect Barack Obama's first 100 days, it's not too early to take a look at the new administration's policies on issues that have attracted fewer headlines lately, starting with education.

-Lesbian Pair Wins Ruling Over Refusal of Ceremony
A lesbian couple from New Jersey who were barred from holding a civil union ceremony last year at a beachfront pavilion owned by a church group won a legal victory on Monday.

Washington Post
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-Maine bishop threatens to punish vocal activist
The leader of Maine's Roman Catholics has taken the unusual step of threatening to punish an outspoken advocate for people who were sexually abused by priests, possibly by denying him communion. Paul Kendrick of Freeport has been banned from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, and warned in a letter that if he tries again to contact Portland Bishop Richard Malone he risks losing any right "to participate fully in the sacramental life of the church."

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-Teens' sexuality struggles go with them to school
Identity struggles require understanding and support, activists say
By Akilah Johnson

-Miami chorus for gay men has big dream
Group aspires to be premier regional chorus
By Sarah Larimer
When Craig Fashbaugh was dying, he decided to spend his last years in South Florida. When doctors told him he still had time, Fashbaugh, who has a bass voice, decided to sing. About 20 years after an HIV diagnosis, Fashbaugh is on stage with about 80 other men, belting out holiday carols to an audience of 400. As founder of the Miami Gay Men's Chorus, he says the group is looking to build its reputation as a premier South Florida chorus - and an organization brimming with both acceptance and talent.

Miami Herald
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-ON THE TUBE: Celebrities are adopted, too
Jamie Foxx, Faith Hill and Keyshia Cole hope to help children find homes for the holidays. Speaking backstage last month after filming their appearances for the CBS special A Home for the Holidays, Foxx, Hill and Cole shared how they coped with being adopted.

South Florida Blade
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-Opponents weigh lawsuit over adoption, foster ban
News conference expected Tuesday
Opponents of an Arkansas law that bans unmarried couples from fostering or adopting children may be moving closer toward suing over the new restriction.

The Advocate
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-HIV Skeptic Christine Maggiore Dead at 52
The Los Angeles Times has confirmed with the Los Angeles County coroner's office that 52-year-old HIV skeptic Christine Maggiore died Monday, December 29.

-Man Avoids Hate Crime Charge, Gets 5-1/2 Years in Prison
A 25-year-old New York State man was sentenced Tuesday to 5-1/2 years behind bars after pleading guilty to attacking a gay man in March. Judge Richard Keenan added a year and a half to the sentence that Jesse Parsons was originally expected to receive after he made a plea agreement in September, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. He pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, which, as a hate crime, would have landed him up to 15 years in prison.

Pink News - UK
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-Catholic leader claims Pope's homophobic outburst "misrepresented"
By Rachel Charman
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and Archbishop of Westminster, has defended Pope Benedict XVI's controversial comments about gay people.

-Top legal website predicts gay marriage to be hot topic for 2009
By Rachel Charman
FindLaw, the most-visited legal site on the web, today released its Top Ten Legal Predictions for 2009. The list is a breakdown of what are expected to be next year's legal hot topics. In amongst the predictions is an expectation that gay marriage, civil partnership and the chaos caused by California's Propostion 8 will continue well into the new year, with both conservative and liberal groups still impassioned about the issue.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Gay Quakers to Meet in Oregon
Just Out
A nationwide Quaker organization, Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns, will hold its meeting in Oregon for the first time on Valentine's Day weekend. The 2009 Midwinter Gathering will be held at Camp Adams in Molalla. Local organizers include historian and artist Mitchell Santine Gould, and Bonnie Tinker of Love Makes a Family. The weekend offers sexual minorities and allies worship, education, entertainment, administrative duties, play and socializing. Click here for updates.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-The Top Five Heroes and Heroines in LGBT rights in 2008
by Michael A. Jones

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Help GLAAD Thank Campbell's for LGBT-Inclusive Ads
While GLAAD has been hard at work fighting defamation against our community in media this year, anti-gay activists continue to put time and money into targeting media that show our lives and community in a fair and accurate way. This month, the anti-gay American Family Association showed their "holiday spirit" by demanding their constituents respond to a LGBT-inclusive advertising campaign released by the Campbell Soup Company. The ads for Swanson broth ran in the national LBGT news magazine The Advocate. The campaign, entitled "Home for the Holidays," features a lesbian couple with their son and lists Swanson broth as a key element in the family's annual Feast of the Seven Fishes Christmas Eve celebration (see below). The ad was met with an alert from the AFA that called for e-mails and phone calls attacking the Campbell Soup Company, which owns Swanson's, for acknowledging that gay people "constitute a family and are worthy of support."

From Steve Krantz
PFLAG Director, Southern Pacific Region, and National Board Member,
Jews for Marriage Equality Founder,

-Parents' response key to health of gay youth
Kids with parents who reacted negatively 8 times more likely to try suicide
Young gay people whose parents or guardians responded negatively when they revealed their sexual orientation were more likely to attempt suicide, experience severe depression and use drugs than those whose families accepted the news, according to a new study. The way in which parents or guardians respond to a youth's sexual orientation profoundly influences the child's mental health as an adult, say researchers at San Francisco State University. The findings appear in the January issue of Pediatrics and are being released Monday. "Parents love their children and want the best for them," said lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, a social worker who directs the university's Family Acceptance Project. "Now that we have measured all these behaviors, we can see that some of them put youth at extremely high risk and others are wellness-promoting."

Anything but Straight
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-Religion and Morals
If 2008 taught the world one lesson, it is that religious people are not morally superior to those who are non-religious. Indeed, faith often shelters the shameless and provides cover for the most corrupt among us. Sanctimony was the sanctuary of Bernard Madoff, the con artist who bilked fellow Jewish people who never imagined this man of piety would mastermind a Ponzi scheme. A New York Times article summed it up: "...Jews all over the country are already sending up something of a communal cry over a cost they say goes beyond the financial to the theological and personal." The article quoted Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angles who said, "I'd like to believe someone raised in our community, imbued with Jewish values, would be better than this."

Detroit News

-Americans embrace gay-friendly proposals
by Deb Price
Gay Congressman Barney Frank likes to tell the tale of the mother who reacts with love and acceptance to the news that her son is gay, but warns him:
"Just don't tell your father. It would kill him." Frank's story illuminates a misimpression, even among gay-friendly Americans -- that other folks' internal thermometer toward gay people and our rights is stuck close to freezing. But as the nation prepares for a new Congress and president, a recent Newsweek poll indicates that politicians shouldn't run from gay-friendly feelings. What makes the Newsweek poll especially valuable is that the responses to its wide range of questions underscore that, other than on same-sex marriage, most Americans would embrace steps to pass laws to treat those of us who're gay equally.


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