Saturday, April 12, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 12, 2008

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New York Times
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-Obama Says Some Voters Are Angry, Bitter
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) -- In the midst of an assault from his rivals, adefensive Barack Obama said Friday that many working-class Americans areangry and bitter over economic inequalities and have lost faith inWashington -- and, as a result, vote on the basis of other issues such asgun protections or gay marriage.

-Schwarzenegger: No to Marriage Amendment
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Friday that he would fightan initiative to amend the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriageif it qualifies for the November ballot.

Washington Post
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-Freedom and Faith on Campus
Mindless dogmatism is not part of the Catholic intellectual tradition. Asstewards of that tradition, Catholic colleges and universities engage in therobust "dialogue of faith and reason" that the church expects of us,exploring the complex mysteries of God, the profound meaning of human life,the social-justice imperatives of the Gospel.

-A Pope With A Talent for Clarity
Five hundred years ago, when Protestants were locked in a theological cagefight with the Church of Rome, Martin Luther described the papacy as "trulythe kingdom of Babylon, yes, the kingdom of the real Antichrist!" But today,Protestants are more likely to praise the pope for his messages of moralclarity, and the incendiary language of the past is relegated to blogs suchas "666, the Pope, Anti-Christ & Vatican -- for Dummies!"

Miami Herald
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-Flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer seeks crossover success
MIAMI -- If the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards and the musician Liberace everhad a Spanish-speaking love child, it would be Puerto Rican astrologerWalter Mercado.

Express Gay News
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-Pa. lawmakers hear testimony on same-sex marriage amendment
Head of Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh says 'married people form thebackbone of society'
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh says that marriage isone of humanity's oldest institutions and married people form the backboneof society. Bishop David Zubik testified Thursday at a hearing in Pittsburghin favor on a proposed state constitutional amendment that would definemarriage as a union between a man and a woman exclusively. Supporters saythe proposed legislation is intended to bolster an existing statutory ban onsame-sex marriages in Pennsylvania. But opponents argue that its passagewould be tantamount to institutionalized discrimination. City CouncilPresident Douglas Shields says the proposed legislation was wrong forPittsburgh and Pennsylvania. Shields says the amendment would trumplegislation passed in the city 12 years ago that grants domestic partnershiprights.

-Transgender Lobby Day is next week
Next Monday and Tuesday, the transgender community will gather on CapitolHill to rally for a trans-inclusive ENDA, among other things. The NationalCenter for Transgender Equality will lead the effort, which begins with aday of preparations on Monday and ends on Tuesday with lobbying lawmakers.
The NCTE is offering a resource sheet to help activists make appointmentswith their members of Congress. utumn Sandeen wrote a blog for Pam's House Blend today in which she said that after weighing the facts, she's concluded that neither Democratic presidential candidate would rally hard enough for a trans-inclusive ENDA. A day like Transgender Lobby Day on Tuesday is needed to help change that.

-Day of Silence
This morning, Jeanine and I were treated to a fourth grade presentation onthe civil rights movement in the southeast region of the country. It was atimeline of PowerPoint presentations, from slavery to the civil rightsmovement. Our son Zachary presented the book he read with a classmate. Excellent work.

-For Gay Republicans, Politics is Not Just One Issue
Log Cabin Republicans meet in San Diego for their annual convention thisweekend. Among the speakers: Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger. Sexual preference transcends political party. And gayRepublicans are out to prove they're no oxymoron. KPBS reporter AndrewPhelps has the story.;id=11389

-Jay Leno & Ryan Phillippe Still 'Friends' After Interview Controversy
There's no hard feelings between Jay Leno and Ryan Philippe, the TV hostinsisted Thursday night - after the recent controversy in which Leno askedthe actor for his "gayest look." When asked if there's any tension now between him and Phillippe, he replied,
"That's all silly, of course.",,20190732,00.html

-HRC Staffer Responds To Trans "Conspiracy Theories"
With regard to this morning's post about HRC calling the cops on transprotesters, an HRC staffer sent us this note:
Houston is not a unique situation. In fact, the same protests have happenedin NY, DC and Philly. And at all three, the police were present to keep theorder - and did not shut any protest down. So, why is Houston all of asudden a hot bed of conspiracy theory about HRC calling in the swat teams?
The fact is that the standard procedure is when we are notified of aprotest, then it is our obligation to notify the hotel/venue. Thehotel/venue then takes the necessary precautions to make sure their guestsare safe and that any protests happening outside of their property is alsodone so in a safe manner. One of those precautionary steps that thehotel/venue takes is to notify the local police department. This was done inDC, NYC, and Philadelphia previously without any problems, complaints, orconspiracy theories. So, with all that being said we are looking forward to a great Houston dinner which will be attended by the Mayor of Houston. And was the case atprevious dinners, those who want to wear their stickers and stand in protestwill be more than welcome to do so.
And there you have it.

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-Az. Marriage Amendment Resurrected
(Phoenix, Arizona) A proposed amendment to the Arizona state Constitutionthat would ban same-sex marriage that appeared dead a week ago has suddenlybeen revived by GOP lawmakers.

-Pa. Lawmakers Warned Anti-Gay Amendment Could Cost Jobs
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) Supporters and opponents of a proposed amendmentto the Pennsylvania constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sexcouples filled Pittsburgh's Allegheny County Courthouse for a publichearing.

-Gay Foes Target Marriott Over Adult Movies
(Tupelo, Mississippi) Several conservative groups, including the AmericanFamily Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop givinghotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexualcontent - gay and straight.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Thomas Beatie is Not the First Transgendered Man to Get Pregnant
Thomas Beatie is actually not the first man to get pregnant. Almost a decadeago, a San Francisco transgendered man named Matt Rice got pregnant and hada cute son. Several years after that, I met another pregnant transman in SanFrancisco. He was telling his story, with his wife, at a feminist open mic.So why is Beatie getting all the credit, and why now?

-GED Program Launches for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Youth
It's tough enough to be a teenager today, but for Boston teens who are gay,lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it can be traumatic. They often deal withhomophobic bullying, have alarmingly high school-dropout rates, and many arehomeless.

-Gay Truckers Feeling the Bite at the Pump
Trucker A. J. Billsby remembers when he used to pay $500 to fill his250-gallon fuel tank on his tractor-trailer. Now filling up costs him$1,000. Billsby, a gay trucker from the Dallas area is just one of the manyindependent truckers who are hurting.

-Love Electra Donates Thousands of Products to the 2008 GLAAD Media AwardsEvent
Love Electra will be donating thousands of its inspiring t-shirt products tothe national media advocacy and anti-defamation organization the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) for the commemoration of its19th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, an extended event that will be celebrated infour cities across the country.

-Introducing Olivia Fling Long-Weekend Event Packages for the Vibrant, Youngand Out Lesbian
Leading lesbian travel and entertainment company Olivia is enhancing itsservice offerings with the summer debut of extended-weekend "Olivia Flings."
The new series of three- and four-night travel and entertainment vacationpackages will launch over Labor Day weekend in Seattle, before hosting otherevents in Las Vegas and Palm Springs, Calif.

-Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy Launches New HIV/AIDS Web Site
Walgreens (NYSE:WAG)(NASDAQ:WAG) announced today that Walgreens SpecialtyPharmacy has launched a new HIV-focused Web site,, toexpand the availability of HIV/AIDS information to patients and caregivers.
The new site complements Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy's current HIV/AIDSpatient support services. It gives patients the opportunity to get expertadvice from an HIV-trained pharmacist in the comfort and privacy of theirhomes and provides information about HIV/AIDS, including signs, symptoms,treatment and medication management. Patients and caregivers can also accessa list of HIV-focused Walgreens pharmacy locations across the country on thesite.

-Schwarzenegger Stands in for McCain at Log Cabin Confab
Sen. John McCain and the Log Cabin Republicans don't see eye to eye onissues like marriage equality and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," but that's notthe reason McCain is sending Cal. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a surrogateto this weekend's LCR national convention.

-Booming Industry: Lesbian and Gay Weddings
The gay-and-lesbian-wedding industry is booming in Massachusetts,Connecticut, New Jersey and New Hampshire where same-sex civil unions ormarriages are legal, reports The New York Times. Often, out-of-state couplestravel to these states for ceremonies even though their unions may only berecognized by a handful of states. But the travel industry in the Northeastrecognizes those unions as dollar signs. Competition has spiked amongwedding sites, hotels, resorts and inns throughout the Northeast becausesame-sex ceremonies can draw scores of guests, who turn these destinationsweddings into weekend stays. "When my mom started our business in 1999, shewould go to stationery shows and people would just look at her like she wascrazy," Kathryn Hamm, a same-sex-ceremony consultant in Virginia, told TheNew York Times. "A couple years later she went back and all of these vendorsremembered her, and now they are begging her, 'What can we do to help?'"
Read why gay marriage is good business.

The Advocate
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-Clinton Announces 71-Member LGBT Steering Committee in Pennsylvania
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton on Wednesday announced theformation of a 71-member LGBT steering committee in Pennsylvania,underscoring her work for a solid win in the state's competitive April 22primary election. Committee members who will offer her campaign opinions andadvice include elected officials, teachers, health care professionals, andbusiness owners as well as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Carson Kressley.

Marriage Equality News
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-Considering that in Colombia 1.) Military service is mandatory, 2.) Gaysare allowed to serve in the military and 3.) Married heterosexual couplesare exempt from mandatory military service, common sense would say thatsame-sex couples would also be exempt from mandatory service - if only theywere recognized as a family unit. Well, according to an article from today'sEl Espectador, the nation's Procurator General's Office (or, translateddifferently, Inspector General's Office) sent a "concept paper" toColombia's Constitutional Court arguing just as much and calling itdiscriminatory to deny the privilege to same-sex couples who can demonstratethat they are in a conjugal partnership.

-(Denver, CO) The trial for lesbian couple Kate Burns and Sheila Schroederis scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 14th at the Denver City and CountyBuilding located at 1437 Bannock Street, in Courtroom 117M. The two werearrested for trespassing on September 24, 2007 when they peacefully remainedat the Denver Clerk and Recorder Office after being denied the opportunityto apply for a marriage license. Burns and Schroeder will be represented bylead counsel Mari Newman of Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Their sit-inprotest was an effort to achieve basic fairness and marriage equality forall of Colorado's families. Numerous religious leaders have registered theirendorsement for the couple by submitting affidavits in support of marriageequality.

-Many people in Brazil believe gay and lesbian couples should not be allowedto form civil unions, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha deSao Paulo. 45 per cent of respondents share this opinion, down four pointssince August 2006. In March 2004, judge Clademir Missaggia ruled that theRio Grande do Sul state government must recognize same-sex unions, and allowgay and lesbian couples to jointly own property, and claim pensions andpossessions if either partner dies. The remaining Brazilian states do notoffer legal recognition to same-sex partners.

-In 1991, Tom Lukiwski stood in a campaign office in Saskatchewan, lookedinto a video camera and made some very derogatory remarks about gay men, tothe giggling delight of whoever was filming. In 2008, with Mr. Lukiwski aConservative member of Parliament, a rival political party unearthed thevideo (by accident) and released it to the media (on purpose). Everyone hasagreed, at least in public, that the type of remarks Mr. Lukiwski made wouldbe unacceptable today. If the video had been made last week or last month,some say, the calculations about his fitness for government would bedifferent. But the rules were not the same in 1991, the argument goes, andwords uttered 17 years ago should not be judged by today's standards -especially when it comes to an issue such as homosexuality, on which publicattitudes have changed so markedly.

Pink News - UK
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-Gay Eurovision fans threatened by Serb thugs
The honour of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest has fallen to Serbia thisyear, and fascist groups in the country are already promising violenceagainst people attending the festivities.Gay men are a particular target,according to the president of the fascist organisation Obraz, who announcedhis violent intentions in the pages of daily newspaper ALO! earlier thisweek. The newspaper ran a story on April 7th, calling Eurovision "gay youthday."
click here for the full article

-EXCLUSIVE: Rail company apologises for homophobic incident
The Customer Service Director of rail operator First Capital Connect hassaid she was "both appalled and embarrassed" by an incident at London StPancras station when a gay couple were told to stop being affectionate. Theincident occurred at around 6:30am on Sunday, March 30th. A publicannouncement was made by a First Capital Connect staff member, directed atthe gay couple, requesting "passengers please keep their hands to themselvesand refrain from kissing."
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-Map of the world plots LGBT rights
A global gay rights federation is celebrating its 30th anniversary with anupdated map of gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans rights across the globe.
Founded in 1978, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) is afederation of more than 600 groups in 90 countries campaigning for lesbian,gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) rights. "A print version of themap will be sent to all members of ILGA in the following weeks," aspokesperson said.
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-80% of insurance companies failing gay men
New research has found that many leading insurance providers in the UK arestill sending gay men for unnecessary HIV tests. In a survey insurancecompany staff were all asked to provide their company's limit at which anapplicant would be sent for an HIV test. Two companies, Royal Liver andBright Grey, were praised for their industry-beating limit of £1,000,000 ofcover without HIV testing for gay men within a civil partnership.
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-Nigerian Sharia court punishes lesbian couple
Two women in Kaduna, Nigeria have been sentenced to six months in prison and20 lashes each for having a lesbian relationship. The Sharia court said thatMalama Hauwa and Hajiya Ai'sha were violating the tenets of Islam and theteachings of Sharia law. The women claimed in court to have been married forfive years. Ai'sha said she had paid a dowry of 5,000 Nigerian naira (£21)to her 'wife' at the start of their relationship.
click here for the full article

-Gay group reminds people to register to vote
Stonewall, the largest lesbian, gay and bisexual equality organisation inthe UK, has reminded people to register to vote ahead of the elections onMay 1st. All councils in Wales and 135 local authorities in England willhold elections. The Mayor of London and the city's 25-member Assembly willalso be elected that day.
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Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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Police raids mark pre-Olympic repression as leading AIDS activist is jailed
The wave of repression and intimidation of human rights activists anddissidents in China in advance of the Beijing Olympics has also targetedhomosexuals, according to China's best-known gay and AIDS activist. In anemail, Dr. Wan Yanhai reported that the month of March saw numerous policeraids on gay gathering spots in Beijing and Shanghai, and he said that theevidence of a new pre-Olympic crackdown on gays is so widespread it is clearit is being orchestrated "at the national level." Wan is not just anybody.
A former official of China's Ministry of Public Health, he was fired in 1994for his participation in AIDS information and prevention campaigns and forhis support of full equal rights for homosexuals. After being purged fromthe ministry, Wan founded the AIDS-fighting Aizhixing Action Project (theChinese characters for "Aizhixing" represent love, knowledge, and action,and are a play on the Chinese word for AIDS). The association also works forfreedom of expression on the Internet and is active on behalf of LGBTrights.

From Marc Adams
Founder/Executive Director

-Just a quick followup note to the most recent email about the politicalcandidates and their visit to Messiah College. Some of your are new to ourlist and are unfamiliar with the faith-based anti-GLBT stance of MessiahCollege. Here's a quick way to find out more about this religiouseducational institution's faith-based anti-GLBT bullying from their ownperspective. Just go to and in the search box at thetop of the home page, simply type in "homosexuality" (without the quoatationmarks) You will then be treated to the commonplace info presented at thisschool which isn't too much different from many many other schools.
HeartStrong holds religious educational institutions to a high standard.
Those standards are set forth on the front page of the HeartStrong website.
These are no different from what everyone should expect from any educationalinstitution. This is a great opportunity to find out more about a schoolwhich promotes religiously based 'changing your behaviour' schemes. We areleaving right now to embark on our outreach trip. Thanks for all of thenotes and positive thoughts!

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-This week in Washington Blade...

Muscle mania molding the 'ideal' male body type
New book reveals widespread influence of gay gym culture
By Jesse Monteagudo
Contact for the full article.

-In the gay TV series "Queer as Folk" (2000-2005), gay friends Brian,Michael, Emmett, Ted and Ben spent much of their time in their Pittsburghgay gym, where they worked out, talked about their lives, socialized and (inthe case of Brian) cruised. The gym in "Queer as Folk" encapsulated gay lifemuch more accurately than did the mythical sex-Mecca Babylon. In fact, itcould be said that the gym has more influence on urban gay male life thananything else in our culture except the gay rights movement and AIDS. Duringthe past 20 years, working out and acquiring a muscular body have becomemajor components of many gay men's lives. Because of the gym, the gay malephysical ideal changed from slim, youthful and androgynous to hard, muscularand masculine. Gay gym culture influences the way we look, the way we dress,our aesthetic and erotic sense, our sexual activities and our socialcalendar. Furthermore, thanks to our role as social trendsetters, the gymhas also become a major part of mainstream culture.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Mideast nations crack down on gays
Police in Kuwait, Egypt, Morocco and elsewhere are visibly cracking down ongay behavior in an effort to appease religious elements, according to thisreport. "Meaningless crackdowns have become a regular thing. If not gays,devil worshippers. If not devil worshippers, apostates. The government needsto outbid Islamic opponents as guardian of morals," said Hani Shukrallah ofthe the Cairo-based Heikal Foundation for Arab Journalism. Bloomberg (4/8)

-Five Egyptian men found guilty in gay-sex case: Five men in Egypt were foundguilty on Wednesday of the "habitual practice of debauchery" -- a legal termused to describe consensual homosexual acts -- and sentenced to three yearsin prison. The arrests were part of a crackdown on people with AIDS,according to Human Rights Watch; four of the five men were found to have HIVin forced testing done after their arrests. Google/Associated Press (4/10)

-Frank showing savvy on economic issues
This article looks at the newfound clout of out U.S. Rep Barney Frank,D-Mass., among the nation's top economic leaders through his chairmanship ofthe House Financial Services Committee.

-Anglican Church head takes stand against "un-Christian bullying" byanti-gay forces
BBC (4/10)

-Anti-gay group to try for marriage ban for Maine ballot
Portland Press Herald (Maine) (4/9)

-Conference: LGBT Minnesotans have less access to health care than straights
Twin Cities Daily Planet/Minnesota Monitor (4/9)

-Blogger believes in adage about keeping enemies closer
Good As You blogger Jeremy Hooper believes it's better to take the high roadwhen answering anti-gay rhetoric by critiquing their misguided opinions butrefraining from personal attacks. "So I don't yell at my gay-unfriendly penpals," he writes. "I tell them in a fair but firm voice: 'You have no way ofwinning because you've chosen a losing position. Wanna go have some coffeeand discuss your inevitable defeat?' " (5/6)

HRC leader stands by non-inclusive ENDA decision
'Learned the degree of pain' from community
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-Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign in WashingtonD.C., told BTL last week that he and his organization stood by theirdecision to support a non-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Actbill on the House floor, but they had underestimated the pain such anaction would cause. "What we learned obviously was the degree of pain thatit was going to cause in the community," Solmonese said during a wideranging 45 minute interview. "For all of the rational arguments about this as a building block towards something bigger, the sentiment particularly in thetransgender community that this was code for - you know- 'we areleaving you behind.""


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New York Times
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-Fewer Options Open to Pay for Costs of College
Parents will have to navigate unfamiliar and difficult terrain when it comestime to pay for college this year, with student loan companies in turmoiland banks tightening their standards and raising rates on other types ofborrowing.

-Time for the Colombian Trade Pact
American workers are understandably anxious. Their incomes went nowherethrough six years of economic growth. Many are losing their jobs as theeconomy slips into recession. Yet concern about workers' plight should notlead Congressional Democrats to reject the trade agreement with Colombia.
This deal would benefit the American economy and further the nation'sbroader interests in Latin America.

-Losing Our Will
I wonder what the answers would be if each American asked himself or herselfthe question: "How is the war in Iraq helping me?" While the U.S. government continues to pour precious human treasure and vast financial resources into this ugly war without end, it is all but ignoring deeply entrenched problems that are weakening the country here at home.

-Catholic Schools Face Changing Fortunes
THE grammar school at St. Lawrence O'Toole Roman Catholic parish here openedin 1926, in a two-story building at the crest of a gentle slope near thetrain station. For decades, nuns lived in the rooms upstairs and taughttheir students in classrooms on the first floor.

Washington Post
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-It's Our Fault, Too
The federal deficit halfway through this budget year is at an all-time high,the Treasury Department announced Thursday, and the national debt is growingas well. But before we blame Washington politicians for theirirresponsibility, stupidity and cowardice -- and we should -- we may want tolook at another culprit: the American people. We, too, bear someresponsibility for our $9 trillion federal debt and $50 trillion ingovernmental promises of future benefits.

-Marketing McCain(TM)
Campaign Plays Up a Political Brand That Stands for Independence From GOPRepublican Sen. John McCain is a champion of an unpopular war, he is tryingto succeed an unpopular GOP president, and he is a member of an increasinglyunpopular party in a year when the historic race of his rivals has causedhundreds of thousands of voters to register as Democrats.

-Australia to China: Let's Not Be Friends
Does the West have a new secret weapon in dealing with China in the personof Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister of Australia?
Rudd is the only Western leader who speaks Chinese, and his Chinese ispretty good at that. But deeper still is Rudd's understanding of China.

-Bush Approved Meetings on Interrogation Techniques
President's Comments to ABC News Prove Top-Level Involvement in AllowingHarsh Coercion
CRAWFORD, Tex., April 11 -- President Bush said Friday that he was aware histop national security advisers had discussed the details of harshinterrogation tactics to be used on detainees.

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-Answers to last-minute reader tax questions
Still haven't filed your tax return? With three days to go until the IRSdeadline, here is the final installment of our reader taxquestion-and-answer column.,0,986882.story

Miami Herald
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-Equal-rights law is long overdue in Fla.
`Iron my shirt! Iron my shirt! Iron my shirt!''
The caustic chant came from the middle of an auditorium filled with voterslistening to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, one day before NewHampshire's presidential primary.

Showdown pushes Haiti toward new crisis
Haitian Prime Minister Jacques-Edouard Alexis may become the latest casualtyin Haiti's recent food riots.

Fort Report
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-Late-night comics sock it to democracy, some fret
NEW YORK - John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are in a rowboat inthe middle of a lake. The boat rolls over. Who's saved?
The United States.,1,4244103.story

-Iraq's all or nothing for Bush, but not for the rest of us
The problem with the debate over our future course in Iraq is that the twosides are not even talking about the same things.

-McCain Coasts on Illusion We Want to Believe: Margaret Carlson
April 11 (Bloomberg) -- As I was watching General David Petraeus beingquestioned in congressional hearings, I finally got why Senator John McCainhas an even chance of being president in spite of supporting a war that mostAmericans are against.

-Clinton's record shows trade support
On the trail, the candidate has made a point of critiquing free tradeagreements, saying they cost U.S. jobs.
WASHINGTON -- Campaigning across Pennsylvania and other sections of the RustBelt in recent months, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has stressed herdetermination to put a hold on trade agreements, which she says are costingAmerican jobs.,0,5178534.story

-CAMPAIGN '08: Why Gov. Bill Richardson didn't endorse ClintonGov. Bill Richardson, shown here in New Mexico on Tuesday, has drawn criticism from supporters of Bill and Hillary Clinton for endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. "I was loyal," Richardson says. "But I don't think that loyalty is transferable to his wife.... You don't transfer loyalty to a dynasty." The New Mexico governor says he was dismayed by pressure from the Clinton camp, and impressed by Obama's optimism. Besides, 'you don't transfer loyalty to a dynasty.',1,6948327.story?track=rss


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FLORIDA DIGEST April 12, 2008

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Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs
To Testify at Congressional Hearing

-"Water" Commissioner Speaks on Clean Water Restoration Act of 2007
One of South Florida's principal environmental advocates, Broward CountyCommissioner Kristin Jacobs, has been honored with an invitation to testifybefore Congress. On April 16, Commissioner Jacobs will be testifying beforethe U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation andInfrastructure regarding the critical importance of the passage of HR 2421,the Clean Water Restoration Act. The Clean Water Restoration Act issponsored by Congressman James Oberstar (D-Minn). Commissioner Jacobs wasinvited to address the committee by Congressman Oberstar, who serves asChair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The needfor the new legislation was brought about by a 2006 Supreme Court decisionthat called into question the language used and the intent of Congress inthe creation of the original Clean Water Act of 1972. It is the goal of theresolution sponsors to provide clarification for both the language and theintent of Congress, while restoring environmental protections that have beenin place for more than 20 years. Co-sponsors of the resolution includeCongressman Ron Klein (D-Fla), Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fla) andCongresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla). "Restoring the Clean WaterAct protections to all water bodies has taken on even greater significancesince the inception of the Clean Water Act over 20 years ago," saidCommissioner Jacobs. "Restoring these critical protections will preserve ourchildren's water and resources for decades to come."

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-Commissioner Hutchinson's reputation damaged
ISSUE: Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson lies about ethics breach.
Let's be clear. The cloud of distrust that has hung over Fort LauderdaleCity Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson has little to do with money. It's moreabout character, and a deliberate attempt to deceive the public when caughtin an ethical blunder.,0,2811646.story?track=rss

-NRA in driver's seat
Florida will have Take Your Gun To Work Day because Republicans want JohnMcCain to be president.
Twice before, the National Rifle Association demanded that the Legislatureprevent private businesses from making their property firearms-free. Bothtimes, the NRA failed. But this election year, with most NRA members likelyMcCain voters, the bill whizzed through. Gov. Crist, who for weeks has paidmore attention to Sen. McCain than to Florida, will sign it because "peoplebeing protected is most important to me."

-Sheriff Lamberti raises a mountain of campaign cash
Sheriff Al Lamberti, a career officer little known outside law enforcement ayear ago, has raised an eye-popping campaign war chest in the first threemonths of the year.
Lamberti took in $310,590 from Jan. 1 through March 31 from 960contributors, campaign reports show.,0,6230830.story

Miami Herald
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Butterworth slams cuts in social services
DCF Chief Bob Butterworth said state lawmakers are writing 'the meanest'budget in years -- one that will hurt Florida's children.
TALLAHASSEE -- In his long public career, Bob Butterworth has taken on BigTobacco, Major League Baseball and a television psychic. As Broward Countysheriff, he arrested crooks. As a judge, he sent them to jail. And asFlorida attorney general for 16 years, he worked the Legislature to get themoney to prosecute them.

-Miami-Dade jails reform ahead of U.S. probe
As federal authorities examine Miami-Dade's six jails, officials sayconditions are improving. Experts say the reforms are long overdue.WhenNikki Poitier picked up her son on the Miami courthouse steps in March 2007,his face was so bloated that she didn't recognize him. Red, itchy scabscovered his back, arms and neck.

Fort Report
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-'Beau of the Ball'; Foley Shrugs Off Sex Scandal
Foley Re-Emerges in Palm Beach Society at a Charity Event
Called the "Beau of the Ball," former Congressman Mark Foley has re-emergedin Palm Beach society at a charity gala, his transgressions with formerteenage pages and sexually explicit messages apparently forgotten andforgiven.

-Abortion bills target women's wallets
TALLAHASSEE - The abortion issue has electrified the state House and Senatethis month with bills that would require ultrasounds before first-trimesterabortions.
But there's more to the debate than privacy and morality. At issue isanother topic near and dear to all Floridians: cash.

-Crist signs bill, awards Crotzer $1.25 million for wrongful imprisonmentFor the nearly quarter century he was in prison for crimes he didn't commit.
For the two years he struggled to persuade the Legislature to compensatehim.
On Thursday, that struggle ended and Crotzer said he is free of hate.

-Comprehensive sex education needed
Some years ago at a party, I was talking to this man who passionatelybelieved that talking contraception to teens was to encourage temptation,not prevention.
He pointed to his teenage daughter as an example. He claimed she was avirgin, all because he had stressed to her the importance of remaining thatway until marriage.

To All MedicaidAdvocates.Com members, Friends and Allies
From Bill Rettinger, Co-Founder

-As you are all aware by now, both the Florida House and Senate have votedon their respective versions of the PROPOSED State Budget for the nextfiscal year beginning July 1, and NEITHER version is good for thoseFloridians that rely on the Medicaid Medically Needy Share of Cost Programto help them stay alive.
The Senate Version of the Budget COMPLETELY eliminates the Medically Needy
Program EXCEPT for Pregnant Women and Children (Which they are MANDATED tocover by Federal Law) and the House Version JUST eliminates Hospital Care(Both In-patient AND Outpatient, which would INCLUDE lab-work) for those onthe Medically Needy Program. At the same time, many "Pet Projects" whichbenefit large corporations ARE being funded in both versions of the proposedbudget. Cuts to Health and Social Services, according to stories in the Sun-Sentinel, would include:
Senate: $1.1 billion cut, including:
Medically Needy: Save $350 million by only covering pregnant women andchildren
Child Abuse Investigators: 71 state positions eliminated
Medicaid: Hospitals lose $330 million
Services cut to 24,000 aged and disabled who now get institutional care,hospice services or home and community based services (This WOULD include"Community Based Waivers Programs!)
House: 800 million cut, including:
Medically Needy: Save $170 million by eliminating hospital careChild Abuse Investigators: 71 state positions eliminatedMedicaid: Hospitals lose $200 million
HOWEVER, there IS a "glimmer" of hope to PRESERVE and SAVE the MedicallyNeedy Share of Cost Program, both this year and into the future, and thathope is contained within SB 2790, the Senate Bill to increase the taxes paidon a pack of cigarettes by $1.00 per pack, referred to as a Cigarette UserFee. This Senate Bill INCLUDES a provision that a portion of the revenueraised by this increased "User fee" is to be earmarked to FULLY FUND theMedically Needy Share of Cost Program.
There is a Coalition of Organizations, which includesMedicaidAdvocates.Com, that have banded together to lobby support for thisproposal, and NOW we need all of your help! This proposal is to be heard onTuesday by the Senate Health Policy Committee and it is IMPERATIVE that ALLof the members of this Senate Committee hear from as many people aspossible, urging them to pass this PROPOSED legislation out of Committee andonto the Senate Floor for Passage. The information needed to contact theCommittee Members is below.
Feel Free to contact me if you need further information.


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Friday, April 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 11, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
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-A Red Carpet for Gay Weddings
LAST summer, when Kimberly McHugh and Laura Pazarena, a couple inWashington, decided to celebrate their union, they quickly ran into the sameproblems that any couple faces.

-Mexican Wrestler Puckers Up to Fight
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- In a hot-pink Mohawk haircut and leotard to match, hepirouettes before taking down his muscle-bound enemies with a swift kick tothe groin.

-McCain Has Abundance Of Tough Sells In VP Search
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Republican presidential candidate John McCainstarts thinking through who he wants as a vice presidential running mate, hemay find that many potential picks carry risks as well as rewards.

Express Gay News
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-Gay-support club, GPS at odds over promotion
A Gilbert high school club that promotes safe schools for gay students saysit has been barred this year from spreading the word about the Day ofSilence on April 25, an observance meant to raise awareness of bullying.

-In the middle of two worlds
Jason Stuart, an edgy gay comic and actor, is out and successful inHollywood In the middle of his career, Jason Stuart, an openly gay Hollywood actor andstand-up comic, finds himself on the fairly stable ground - especially forbeing in show business.

-Pride is about not accepting the role of the helpless victim by Phil LaPadula
We should focus on preventing anti-gay attacks and gaining respect
A couple of years ago, a well- known gay marketing company issued a pressstatement suggesting that gays and lesbians should tout the financialbenefits of gay marriage to local tourism industries and wedding businesses.
The piece basically argued that if more straight people thought about howmuch money they could make from gay and lesbian marriage, they would be moreaccepting of the idea of gay marriage in mainstream America.

-Friend or Foe?
Republican Senator Jeff Atwater and Florida Family Association
Sen. Jeff Atwater Republican, North Palm Beach
By agreeing to co-sponsor an anti-discrimination bill that would add sexualorientation as a protected class in Florida Civil Rights Act, Sen. JeffAtwater (R. North Palm Beach) becomes something gay rights advocates inFlorida have been seeking for a long time: a powerful Republican ally whocan generate support for gay - friendly legislation.

-Gay ceremonies reshaping Las Vegas wedding industry
More GLBT couples exchanging vows in Sin City's exotic settings
Like most gay and lesbian couples in committed relationships, Ellie Kennedyand Peggy Higgins are eagerly waiting for the day when they can legallymarry. They registered as domestic partners in San Diego six months ago andexchanged rings. But they're holding out on the champagne and weddingreception until the laws change.

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-McCain Erases Obama Lead
(Washington) Republican Sen. John McCain has erased Sen. Barack Obama's10-point advantage in a head-to-head matchup, leaving him essentially tiedwith both Democratic candidates in an Associated Press-Ipsos national pollreleased Thursday.

-Hillary In The Shadow Of Bill
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) She can implicitly criticize him and publiclyembrace him, sometimes in the same day. But Sen. Hillary Rodham Clintoncannot escape the shadow of her husband, the former president whose hugepersonality and fame sometimes threaten to overwhelm her efforts to controlthe daily message and tone of her presidential campaign.

-Romney Still Running
(Boston, Massachusetts) Republican Mitt Romney is still running - perhapsfor vice president this fall or the White House in 2012 or 2016.

-Tax Time Hits Gay Couples Harder
(Mount Laurel, New Jersey) For gay couples, the April 15 tax filing deadlinecan be a reminder of the disparities they face, even in a nation that isbecoming more accepting of same-sex couples.

-Maine Measure Would Wipe Out LGBT Protections
(Augusta, Maine) A conservative Christian group is mounting a referendumeffort that could wipe out all protections for LGBT citizens in Maine.

-Florida GSA Suit Dismissed
(Okeechobee, Florida) A lengthy lawsuit by the ACLU against the Okeechobeeschool district over its refusal to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance to meet oncampus came to an end on Thursday when a federal judge dismissed the case.

-Study: LGBT Parents More Involved In Schooling
(New York City) A study of LGBT parents has found they are more likely to beinvolved in their children's K-12 education than the general parentpopulation.

-Court Tosses Suit Over Anti-Gay School Speech
(Ashland, Kentucky) A high school student won't be allowed to proceed witha lawsuit against his school district for instituting a policy that barredhim from expressing his opposition to homosexuality, a federal appeals courthas ruled.


-American Family Outing Aims to Find Common Ground with Families in Six of Today's argest Mega-churches - Family Research Council Responds with PanicRecently supporters of the Family Research Council received an envelope stamped with he words "EXPOSED: Radicals' plan to attack churches!" What was the nature of he "plot" that had FRC in such frenzy? Well, in December of 2007, Soulforce, OLAGE, the National Black Justice Coalition, and the Universal Fellowship of etropolitan Community Churches sent letters to:
.Rev. Joel Osteen and the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas
.Bishop T.D. Jakes and The Potter's House in Dallas, Texas
.Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. and Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland
.Bishop Eddie Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia
.Rev. Bill Hybels and Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, llinois
.Dr. Rick Warren and Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California
In these letters we expressed a desire to share a meal with leaders and families in heir congregations on a designated weekend between Mother's Day and Father's Day 008 (see complete schedule at Our goal is simply to raverse any division and try to find common ground, despite our differences on the ssues of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Turkey:Unexpected Police "Visit" to Lambdaistanbul Cultural Center
On 7 April 2008, during the afternoon around 5.30pm, a group of more than 12lainclothes police came to the Lambdaistanbul Cultural Center with a searchwarrant. The policemen were reluctant to let the Lambda members present atthe center to read the full text of the warrant, and they did not givesatisfactory answers to members' questions on the subject.
The officers remained in the center for approximately two hours, duringwhich time they examined the premises and all materials in the office, andalso collected the identity cards of everyone who entered the center. At theend of their search they were not able to find evidence of a criminaloffence; however, they took with them some important documents regardingLambda's financial and membership systems.
The next day, Lambda's lawyer discovered that an accusation had been lodgedagainst the association for participating in illegal prostitutionactivities, procuring transgender sex workers and sharing their earnings.
Lambda has been informed that the police have been observing the culturalcenter and had taken note of frequent visits by transgender people.
According to the public prosecutor, this was proof enough to issue a searchwarrant.

Marriage Equality News
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-Many people in Brazil believe gay and lesbian couples should not be allowedto form civil unions, according to a poll by Datafolha published in Folha deSao Paulo. 45 per cent of respondents share this opinion, down four pointssince August 2006. In March 2004, judge Clademir Missaggia ruled that the Rio Grande do Sul state government must recognize same-sex unions, and allow gay and lesbiancouples to jointly own property, and claim pensions and possessions ifeither partner dies. The remaining Brazilian states do not offer legalrecognition to same-sex partners.

-In 1991, Tom Lukiwski stood in a campaign office in Saskatchewan, lookedinto a video camera and made some very derogatory remarks about gay men, tothe giggling delight of whoever was filming. In 2008, with Mr. Lukiwski aConservative member of Parliament, a rival political party unearthed thevideo (by accident) and released it to the media (on purpose).
Everyone has agreed, at least in public, that the type of remarks Mr.Lukiwski made would be unacceptable today. If the video had been made lastweek or last month, some say, the calculations about his fitness forgovernment would be different. But the rules were not the same in 1991, theargument goes, and words uttered 17 years ago should not be judged bytoday's standards - especially when it comes to an issue such ashomosexuality, on which public attitudes have changed so markedly.

Pink News - UK
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-Lesbian "tug of war" custody case goes to Supreme Court
A lesbian woman who is attempting to use a US state law banning gay marriageto exclude her former partner from custody of their daughter will have hercase heard in the Virginia Supreme Court next week. Janet Jenkins (formerlyMiller-Jenkins) and Lisa Miller (formerly Miller-Jenkins) were joined in acivil union in Vermont and shortly thereafter had a child. After the womenended their relationship, Miller moved to Virginia with the women'sdaughter.
click here for the full article

-Three poofs to run the London Marathon for THT
This Sunday tens of thousands of people will take to the streets of Londonto run the annual marathon, and among the famous faces this year will bethree men who are professionally known as poofs. David Roper, StephenDe-Martin and David Wickenden are best-known as three-quarters of 4 Poofsand a Piano, the house band on the popular BBC1 show Friday Night WithJonathan Ross. They will be donning their running vests and tackling the 26mile course, while fourth poof Ian Parkin will be cheering them on from thesidelines.
click here for the full article

-Obama and Clinton's accessibility to gay media assessed
Democratic US Presidential contender Barack Obama has faced increasingcriticism in the LGBT community in recent weeks for refusing to speak to thegay and lesbian press. While rival Hillary Clinton has gone on record withgay media outlets such as Logo and the Philadelphia Gay News, Obama hasturned down repeated requests for interviews. Now Obama is speaking out atlast directly to the gay community in an exclusive interview with TheAdvocate.
click here for the full article

From Marc Adams
Executive Director HeartStrong

-On the eve of our Spring Outreach Trip, we have learned the distressingnews that two candidates running for President of the United States aremaking an appearance at the rabidly anti-GLBT Messiah College inPennsylvania. And you can rest assured they will not be there to talkabout the faith-based anti-GLBT bullying at that school.
For many years, we have spoken about how political leaders in this countrycan nearly glamorize religious educational institutions which causeimmense pain and hardship for GLBT students. This is yet another example.
It was just a short time again that another of the presidential candidatesvisited Liberty University, again giving credibility and undue attentionto a religious educational institution responsible for causing greatdamage to so many of our GLBT brothers and sisters.
We grieve when the leaders or those who wish to be leaders of this countrybow down to the seductive glance of approval from members of the religiousright. Especially when we have spent more than ten years and more than3000 volunteered hours helping to heal the wounds caused by these schoolsand inflicted upon our students. (Messiah College and Liberty Universityare two of these schools.)

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-(New York, April 9, 2008) Comparing the importance of speaking up for humanrights to the basic act of breathing, Archbishop Desmond Tutu gave anhistoric speech to the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and intersex(LGBTI) community at Grace Cathedral, San Francisco last night. A crowd of500 people heard the Nobel Peace Prize recipient condemn the persecution ofLGBTI people, apologize on behalf of his Church for ostracizing gay people,and challenge China to improve its human rights record-all in the first everdirect address by the Archbishop to a large gathering of the LGBTI communityin the United States.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-2008's Freedom Riders
Since 2006, young LGBT and allied activists engaged in Soulforce EqualityRides have visited 52 colleges and universities with histories and policiesof silencing or excluding queer students. The young riders, many of whomcome from religious and faith backgrounds, have brought Soulforce's uniquestyle - combining what the group calls a "dynamic 'take it to the streets'"activism with the uncompromising non-violence principles championed byGandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. - to challenge religion-based and otherhomophobia, in schools ranging from Bob Jones University in South Carolinato the US Military Academy in upstate West Point.

-Illinois high court favors deceased poz man's parents
The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a deceasedHIV-positive man's parents, affirming the Appellate Court's reversal of anaward for his fiancee, who argued his parents should have revealed hisstatus to her.

-Texas County Chooses Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund-Supported Candidate
Barring the unlikely victory of a write-in candidate, Travis County, TX ispoised to elect the first woman D.A. in its history this Nov.
According to Gay, which identified winning candidate RosemaryLehmberg as having received the support of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund,the post of Travis County District Attorney is extremely powerful in termsof prosecutorial power when it comes to state politics, because thatspecific post brings with it the Public Integrity Unit, which looks intocorruption.

-BREAKING: Lansing neighborhood marred with anti-gay graffiti
LANSING- Residents and business owners are responding to a series ofanti-gay tags spray painted on buildings in the city's historic Old Townlate Tuesday night, or early Wednesday morning. The area is known for itsartist community, trendy lofts, and two of the city's three bars catering toLGBT clients.

-Equality for all? Not in Utah.
Ariana Losco, a transgender woman living in Utah, publicly spoke on the needto get a law protecting LGBT workers on the books in her state. Little didshe know her voice would get her fired.

-A Hope for Audacity
Who's better for gay equality, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? The answerdepends on a consideration of three main factors: the issues, actuallegislative records, and likely commitment.

-Gay rights: You've come a long way, baby
In 1991, Tom Lukiwski stood in a campaign office in Saskatchewan, lookedinto a video camera and made some very derogatory remarks about gay men, tothe giggling delight of whoever was filming. In 2008, with Mr. Lukiwski aConservative member of Parliament, a rival political party unearthed thevideo (by accident) and released it to the media (on purpose).

-Views: Thomas Beatie's pregnancy: What does it change?
Thomas Beatie, a transgender man who has retained his female reproductiveorgans and is six months pregnant, recently appeared on The Oprah WinfreyShow.

-Student 'Day of Silence' observance meets with opposition
Cleveland--The Cleveland LGBT Center will take the Day of Silence out ofschools and into the Tremont neighborhood with a Breaking the Silencecelebration at Pilgrim Congregational UCC on April 25.

-Being Gay At Work - New Gay Market Research Reveals Most Gays and LesbiansThink Being 'Out' Can Harm Their Careers
- New research reveals that most gays and lesbians worry being openly gayharms promotion prospects
- Harassment problems reported by many gays and lesbians in UK workplaces

-When Straights Take Over the Gay-borhood
Last month, my girlfriend, Jackie, and I went on our first vacationtogether. We went to New York to visit a Santa Barbara friend who movedthere to broaden her professional horizons and, for an added bonus, date afew ladies. Despite having lived in Santa Barbara for a good three years, myfriend had never really met any dateable gals. The one time she did end upwith a girl's phone number, we were at a club in West Hollywood. After a fewpleasant phone conversations, WeHo Woman got a little obsessed and wouldn'tstop calling my friend. Chalk up another failed attempt with the ladies.

From Deb Price

-Here's a little known fact about me-I don't go to see scary movies. Life is scary enough why should I pay for it. So that means I mostly watch silly romantic comedies, movie musicals, Star Wars and Indiana Jones type films, istorical dramas and documentaries. Of late, I've been glued to HBO's John Adams. It's been great watching Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney play John and Abigail as a couple who though separated a great deal share a passion for life and for each other. Out of town as much as I have been the last few months, I haven't made it to many movie theatres-thank god for Movies on Demand. I will, however, make it my business to get over to Proctor's in Schenectady next Wednesday, April 16th for a screening of For the Bible Tells Me So. (For those of you not familiar with New York's Capital District, Schenectady is about 15 minutes west of Albany-our state's capitol-and Proctor's is a wonderful, newly restored former vaudeville theatre that brings Broadway road tours, films and other sorts of culture to our community here in upstate NY.) A documentary that's won numerous awards, For the Bible Tells Me So opens the doors to five very American, very Christian families-including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson-to discover how people of faith deal with having a gay or lesbian child. For those of you who may not know, Dick Gephardt's daughter Chrissy is a lesbian born to a Baptist dad and a Catholic mom. Gene Robinson is the openly gay, non-celibate Episcopal Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.


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FLORIDA DIGEST April 11, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

It's All About Pride this weekend! Join Mark's List, 411 Magazine, ExpressNews and tens of thousands of people from all over Florida and the World forone of the largest annual Pride Festival's in the United States.

From GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale

-Gay Bingo - Saturday, April 12 - Matzo Bingo! 7:00 p.m.
join us for a night of fun and fundraising!- Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Comehungry the kitchens open!

-PrideFest 2008 - Come to the GLCC Booth, April 12 & 13
The weekend long event will be taking place in Holiday Park. There will belots of food, beverages, music and merchandise. Show your pride and visitus at Booth #608 & 609.

-The Broward County Health Department is collaborating with Levine &Partners, Inc., a producer of the Hepatitis A and B vaccine, to offer freevaccinations at Pride Fest on April 12 and 13 from 12 to 6 PM. Hepatitis Aand B are both preventable diseases. Hepatitis B disproportionately affectsgay and bisexual men. Please come by the Broward County Health Departmentbooths to begin the vaccine series. A list will be provided for thelocations where follow up vaccines can be done.

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-'I should have gotten caught,' Fort Lauderdale mayoral candidate says
Mayoral candidate Cindi Hutchinson offered apologies for an ethics breachduring her first public political appearance since last week's imbroglioover her use of city of Fort Lauderdale resources to mail fundraisinginvitations.,0,1674290.story

Express Gay News
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-Your guide to the Pride in the Sun festival
Pride South Florida's Pride in the Sun festival, which will be held in FortLauderdale's Holiday Park on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 and 13, promisesto be one of the largest Pride celebrations on the East Coast, attractingthousands with dance tents, more than 250 vendors, Florida's largestdispla­y of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and nationally recognized entertainers.

-It's Cho time in Miami
Controversial comedian says she's a 'quatrasexual'
While many young gay Fresh off the Australian leg of her hilarious new tour,"Beautiful," the controversial comedienne gabs about her latest gig, why herheart belongs to homos, her passion for Perez Hilton and when she'sreturning to a TV near you - which may be a lot sooner than you think.

-Gay swim team may lose practice pool
Hammerheads coach says contract dispute 'reeks of discrimination'
SINCE 2004, THE HAMMERHEAD Aquatics swim team has been training in the poolat Sunrise Middle School in Fort Lauderdale. During that time, the team haswon two international gay and lesbian swim titles and its leader, JohnGrzeszczak, was named to coach the U.S. masters swim team at the FINA WorldMasters Championships in Perth, Australia.


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Thursday, April 10, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 10, 2008

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
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-Obama: Repeal of ``Don't Ask'' Possible
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barack Obama says if elected president he won't requirethat his appointees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff support allowing gays toserve openly in the military.

-Court Tosses Suit Over School Speech
ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) -- A high school student won't be allowed to proceed witha lawsuit against his school district for instituting a policy that barredhim from expressing his opposition to homosexuality, a federal appeals courtruled Wednesday.

-No Partisan Politics for Pope in US
NEW YORK (AP) -- Organizers of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the UnitedStates next week have taken great pains to keep him out of presidentialpolitics. But the Roman Catholic teaching he's expected to emphasize -- on abortion,
human rights and other issues -- has policy consequences that partisans willinevitably spin for their own ends.

Washington Post
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-PlanetOut Signs LOI TO Sell Magazine and Book Business To Here Networks For$6 Million
The troubled online gay and lesbian portal PlanetOut (NSDQ: LGBT) has signeda binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with an affiliate of here! Networks to sellits magazine and book publishing businesses, for a total of $6 million incash. The deal is with Regent Releasing, an affiliate of NYC-based Here,which is a gay and lesbian TV network. This means it has disposed offwell-known magazines The Advocate and Out, their associated websites andAlyson books. It will now focus on its core online businesses,

Miami Herald
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Sex attack complaints caught in legal limbo
American women working in Iraq for U.S. government contractors say they facean uncertain legal course after being assaulted on the job.

Express Gay News
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-Univ. of Md. LGBT office faces staff cut
Official says 'queers get the short end of the stick' at College ParkOnce he realized that he was gay, Ayush Gupta said his life fell apart.
An immigrant from India and research associate at the University of Marylandin College Park, Gupta said he had no idea where to turn or whom to ask foradvice.

-Episcopal Diocese of Ohio suing over property rights
Congregations have broken off in protest over gay bishop's electionThe Episcopal Diocese of Ohio is suing over who holds property rights atchurches that broke away in protest over the election of a gay bishop andother doctrinal issues that have divided the denomination.

-Egypt sentences 4 men to 3 years in prison for 'debauchery'
Gay men are HIV-positive
An Egyptian judicial official says four HIV-positive men have been convictedof being homosexual and sentenced to three years in prison followed by threeyears of close police supervision.

-Don't blame GLAAD for 'pregnant man'
A post on Queerty today laments that GLAAD hasn't stepped up to publicly defend Thomas Beatie (aka "the pregnant man"), who has been ridiculed by Joe carborough and others on MSNBC. "That story broke on Friday, so we figured GLAAD wouldn't get involved until Monday. Well, they didn't. We were a bit disappointed in their silence," the post reads in part.

-Bolton Addresses Log Cabin Convention
Is there a place for gays in John McCain's Republican party?
John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and all-aroundtough guy conservative, thinks the answer is yes. He's among the featuredspeakers at this weekend's Log Cabin Republican convention in San Diego, CA.

-Gays Demand China Free AIDS Advocate at Olympic Torch Protest
A press conference was supposed to be held today at 11 AM at United NationsPlaza by Tibetans living in the US, to demand China end its occupation oftheir country. I went to it expecting 2 or 3 dozen Tibetans and theirsupporters would be standing behind a microphone tree, explaining what theyhope to accomplish as the Olympic torch passes through town.

-On New York Magazine's "Books in the New York City Canon": Uhh, Where AreThe Gays?
In which The Gay Recluse again laments the suffocation of the gay voice inAmerican literature.
If you're like us, when you scanned through the list of books included inNew York Magazine's recent "New York City Canon 1968-2008," you had onereaction: wtf! where are the gays? In every other format, gays arerepresented in numbers that are fairly typical, if not stereotypical: film(Todd Haynes); theater (pretty much everyone - "PME" - with a specialfeature on Tony Kushner); art (Andy Warhol and Keith Haring); television(the Robyn Bird show); architecture (Philip Johnson); classical music/dance(Franco Zeffirelli/PME); even pop music (Suicide - ? - and Magnetic Fields);there are others, of course, scattered throughout - we have listed only themost obvious.

-Referendum aims to undo gay rights
AUGUSTA - Marriage would be limited to heterosexual couples and civil unionswould be prohibited under a referendum being pursued by the Christian CivicLeague of Maine.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Rocket Man Rings The Hillary Cash Register
(New York City) Experience is central to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton'spresidential bid, and Wednesday night she tapped one of pop music's mostvenerable rockers to help fill her campaign coffers with $2.5 million.

-Obama Repeats Opposition to DADT
(Washington) Barack Obama says if elected president he will not require thathis Joint Chiefs of Staff be opposed to the "don't ask, don't tell" policythat prevents gays from serving openly in the military.

-Md. Gov. To Sign Partner Medical Bill
(Annapolis, Maryland) Legislation that would give domestic partners - gay orstraight - medical and funeral decision-making rights has passed its finalhurdle and is awaiting the signature of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

-Protestors Demand Redress From MP Over Gay Slur
(Regina, Saskatchewan) Chanting `homophobia has got to go,' members ofRegina's gay community rallied at the constituency office of a ConservativeMP who made homophobic comments on an old video.

-Detroit Bans Transgender Discrimination
(Detroit, Michigan) Detroit has become the latest city to ban discriminationon the basis of gender identity. City council voted 8-1 to amend the city's nondiscrimination ordinance which already bars discrimination againstlesbians and gays.

-Egypt Sentences 4 Gay HIV-Pos Men To Prison
(Cairo) An Egyptian judicial official says four HIV-positive men have beenconvicted of being gay and sentenced to three years in prison followed bythree years of close police supervision.

-Tutu Speaks Out On Gay Civil Rights
(San Francisco, California) Archbishop Desmond Tutu told an internationalLGBT human rights group that it has been impossible to keep quiet "whenpeople were frequently hounded...vilified, molested and even killed astargets of homophobia...for something they did not choose-their sexualorientation."

-Popular Textbook Criticizes Gay Supreme Court Ruling, Promotes Far RightAgenda
(Washington) Talk about a civics lesson: A high-school senior has raisedquestions about political bias in a popular textbook on U.S. government, andlegal scholars and top scientists say the teen's criticism is well-founded.

-Kern In New Anti-Gay Flap
(Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians andGays, which only two weeks ago reached out to an Oklahoma lawmaker who saidgays are "the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism,"is now involved in a new dispute with Rep. Sally Kern (R).

-Cable Operator Fined For Lesbian Kiss
(Singapore) Singapore's cable television operator has been fined for airinga commercial that showed lesbians kissing.

-Center Examines LGBT Military Deaths
(Santa Barbara, California) A University of California think-tank estimatesthat since the war in Iraq began 64 of the servicemembers who died were gay.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Being Gay Adds to Fears About Growing Old, Says Local Therapist
A Kalamazoo lesbian who did diversity training at local nursing homes saysshe wouldn't want to think about moving into a retirement home or having tolive in a nursing home. ``Wow, that's hard to picture,'' said RiverArtz-Iffland, who worked as the adult and senior services programcoordinator for the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center from 2002 to 2005and now works as a psychotherapist. ``I think everyone has fears aboutneeding so much physical care, about turning your life over to caregivers,and being gay or lesbian adds to those fears.''

-Same-Sex Couples Tend to Go Along, Get Along
Watching Silda Wall Spitzer and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan try toreconcile their idea of "room service" with their husbands', you mightwonder whether same-sex couples are better off. More understanding of eachother's needs and nature. Less conflicted about the whole monogamy meansmonogamy means monogamy concept. Happier, even. Isn't the problem betweenmen and women -- forgive me, dear -- men and women? Well, yes and yes.
Same-sex couples are more honest about monogamy and sex, researchers say.
They're also more mature, considerate and fairer to each other thanheterosexual couples. They're funnier and more affectionate when they argue.
Less controlling. They don't take everything so personally.

-Shareholder Plan Would Nix Bank's Gay Policies
At least one Wells Fargo shareholder is proposing that the bank eliminate"any matters related to sexual interests, activities or orientation," whichwould give the bank "a neutral sexual orientation employment policy." WellsFargo, which is based in San Francisco and has almost 160,000 employeesacross more than 80 businesses, is known for being supportive of the LGBTcommunity, and the proposal is not expected to succeed. It's relatively easyfor even a single shareholder to put a proposal forward, and the board ofdirectors has recommended that stockholders vote against this plan.

-Gay Couple Calls Off "Wedding" After Church Ban
A gay couple have cancelled their 'wedding' after a Lincolnshire deanrefused to sanction a church blessing - stating it was "not a properrelationship". Paul Sewell (41) and Andy Nicholson (42), from Metheringham,ear Lincoln, had planned a civil partnership ceremony at Lincoln RegisterOffice on June 21.

- Gay-Youth Safety a 'Concern'
More than 30 people attended a workshop sponsored by the Utah Pride Center
Wednesday night, with some saying they wanted to show support for gay,lesbian, bisexual and transgendered youths who may find growing up in UtahCounty difficult. The workshop for GLBT youths and their families was heldin the American Fork Library. It came a little over a week after StephenGraham of Standard of Liberty addressed parents in the same room of thelibrary about the dangers of same-sex relationships in society.

-Wife Files to Divorce Largo Ex-Manager
The wife of the Largo city manager fired after his sex-change plans becamepublic wants a divorce. Donna Stanton filed for divorce in February, about ayear after her husband revealed his plans to become a woman. The news madenational headlines and led to his firing from the top post in Largo, west ofTampa. Steve Stanton is now living as a woman named Susan while preparingfor a sex-change operation this spring. Both sides say the split wasexpected and negotiations are amicable. They've been married 17 years. SusanStanton has since applied for more than 100 positions in city management,and interviewed for top jobs in several cities.

-Being Gay in South Korea
Korea is one of the world's oldest civilisations, with some ancient leadersfamed for their same-sex liaisons. But what's life like for LGBT SouthKoreans nowadays? Like neighbouring China and Japan, South Korea doesn'tcriminalise male homosexuality, but nor does it have antidiscrimination lawsthat cover gay men, lesbians or members of the transgender community. Inaddition, military service discrimination and discriminatory censorship ofLGBT publications is also a problem.

-Danish Cemetery Sets Aside Section For Gays
A cemetery in Copenhagen, Denmark, has designated an area specifically forgays who wish to be buried among other gays. The Regnbuen (Rainbow)association rented space at the Assistens cemetery that can hold up to 45urns, according to the Agence France-Press. Each space will cost 2,500kroner ($526).

-Grandparent Urges Schools to Stand Against Homosexuality
A national push to force schools to take a stand against homosexuality hasreached the Gilbert Public Schools. A conservative coalition, Mission:America, launched the campaign before the April 25 Day of Silence, where gayand lesbian students and their supporter raise awareness of harassment andbullying by refusing to speak throughout the school day, or at least duringbreaks and outside of class.

-Enrique's Dad Speaks Out
The grand old man of Spanish crooners has taken a leaf out of the book ofHeineken. "If I was gay I would be the best gay of all history," said JulioIglesias.

The Advocate
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-The Full Interview: Obama Talks All Things LGBT with The Advocate
In an exclusive Chicago sit-down with The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld,Democratic front-runner Barack Obama discusses "don't ask, don't tell," Rev.Wright, and what he would do for LGBT Americans if he becomes president.

-Battle For LGBT Voters Rages On
Even as Barack Obama's campaign finalized an ad buy last week for fourfull-page ads in local gay weeklies in Ohio and Texas, Hillary Clinton wasconducting a conference call on LGBT issues and answering the questions oflocal reporters from the Dallas Voice and two Ohio publications: OutlookWeekly and Gay People's Chronicle. Altogether, Clinton has done interviewswith six LGBT outlets, including The Advocate, Logo, and The WashingtonBlade. Clinton also published a message to LGBT Americans on
Obama has given one interview to an LGBT news outlet: last October to TheAdvocate. Today he published an open letter to the LGBT community on theblog Bilerico Project, the second such post he has made to that site.

Marriage Equality News
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-What's the big deal, right? If a gay couple can't marry, does it reallymatter? Do they lose out on more than the chance to register for gifts? Dosingle, gay folks face different financial issues than single, straightones? Well, yes, they do. Consider this: If a married person dies, thecouple's assets pass seamlessly to the surviving spouse. If the deceased wasin a same-sex relationship, though, and not married, there's a good chancethat the surviving partner will be socked with inheritance taxes. InMaryland, for example, there would be a 10% hit, while in Pennsylvania, it's15%. Imagine having to pay $75,000 on a $500,000 "inheritance" when yourspouse dies. Meanwhile, you might think that domestic partnershiparrangements can fill most of the needs of same-sex couples, but they'reactually not enough. And the way they work may surprise you, too. Whencompanies extend benefits to domestic partners, it doesn't work the same wayas with married spouses. The benefits received are treated as taxableincome.

-Equality For All has issued an urgent call for volunteers in the finalweeks of an unprecedented campaign to prevent a discriminatoryconstitutional amendment from qualifying for the November 2008 ballot.
While right wing organizations are paying circulators for each signaturethey collect, Equality For All, through its "Stop the Initiative. SupportFairness" campaign, has successfully recruited over 2,000 volunteers toeducate voters, asking them not to sign the petition.

-Marriage would be limited to heterosexual couples and civil unions would beprohibited under a referendum being pursued by the Christian Civic League ofMaine. Under the proposed legislation, same-sex couples would not beallowed to adopt, sexual orientation would be removed from the Maine HumanRights Act and funding for the civil rights teams in the Attorney General'sOffice would be eliminated.
Michael Heath, the organization's executive director, initiated the processlast week. The effort will need to gather 55,087 signatures - a figure equalto 10 percent of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election - within 18months of the issuance of an approved petition by the Secretary of State.

-Salt Lake City Council members this week unanimously approved the namechange of Mayor Ralph Becker's domestic-partnership registry to themutual-commitment registry. Multiple council members thanked Becker forfighting for the ordinance, saying it was the right thing to do. "It took alot of guts to do this, mayor, with the climate at the Legislature,"Councilman Luke Garrott said. "I appreciate the courage."

-The Town of Ithaca is the second municipality in the county to establish adomestic partnership registry for same- and opposite-sex unmarried partners.
"Our neighbor, the city, has it and the town is so much more accessible insome ways to people who live in this general region and it's not just opento residents of the town, it's open to people in the area," said Town ClerkKaren Billings. The registry has been available for less than a month andthough no couples have registered yet, Billings said that in the two daysafter an announcement of the registry ran in the town newsletter, the townclerk's office fielded "at least four calls."

-IL: Play group benefits same-sex parents and their kids
On the surface, it was like any other play group. Shoeless children ranaround carrying inflatable balls and took turns driving a plastic pedal car.
Parents gathered along the perimeter, attempting conversation while keepinga wandering eye on their kids.

-NSW [New South Wales] Attorney General John Hatzistergos has blocked accessto a Law Reform Commission report on relationship recognition and same-sexparenting rights that has sat in limbo for two years, on the grounds he willtable it in parliament sometime in the future. But he revealed that same-sexde facto couples could have access to the federal courts to settle parentingand property disputes under plans with the Rudd Government.

Pink News - UK
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-Five more convicted in Egypt's HIV crackdown
Five men have been sentenced to three years in prison in Egypt forconsensual homosexual acts. Their convictions are the latest in what hasbeen characterised by human rights groups as "a police crackdown" on peopleliving with HIV/AIDS. At least 12 men have been arrested and four havealready been sentenced to a year in jail.
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-Tutu inspires gay audience in San Francisco
One of the most respected religious leaders in the world has apologised tothe gay community for the way his Church ostracised them. Archbishop DesmondTutu also expressed regret for making them feel as if God had made a mistakeby creating them to be who they are. His speech was the highlight of ACelebration of Courage, the International Gay and Lesbian Human RightsCommission's (IGLHRC's) annual gala awards ceremony held in San Francisco onTuesday.
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-Anglican leader condemns gay death threats
The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken out after the director of a grouprepresenting gay Anglicans revealed he has received death threats. Rev.Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, said that the threats againsthis life were encouraged by the outspokenly homophobic language and attitudeof some in the church. Dr Rowan Williams said the threats are the "latestround of un-Christian bullying." The row over the stance of evangelical andtraditionalist bishops in the Anglican church worldwide over gay issues hasexposed a deep division in the communion.
click here for the full article

-Sperm bank man gets 16 months for fraud
John Gonzales, who ran online sperm bank catering mainlyfor lesbians and single women, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison. Hepled guilty to five offences including fraud, forgery and perjury and wasalso disqualified from acting as a company director for five years. He wassentenced at Wood Green Crown Court today following an investigation andprosecution by the Department for Business and Enterprise (BERR).
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From the Triangle Foundation
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DETROIT, MI - Today Detroit added its name to the growing number ofjurisdictions that protect its workers, residents and visitors fromdiscrimination based on "gender identity or expression." In order to extendthese protections, the Detroit City Council amended the City'snondiscrimination ordinance. The ordinance passed 8-1 with only Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta voting against it. "The passage of this human rightsordinance is a great positive step forward for the City and we are pleasedto have been involved on the ground level to ensure the inclusion of genderidentity," said Kate Runyon, Interim Executive Director of the TriangleFoundation. "The City Council has shown tremendous leadership and couragetoday and we congratulate them on this declaration of the City's opennessand commitment to inclusion."

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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The Safe Schools Coalition's web site is so huge, we can't maintain itwithout your help! Please do these two things RIGHT NOW.
1) UPDATE YOUR OWN LISTING, if you work for an organization that providesservices to LGBTQ youth, parents, guardians or educators. It's easy. Go to and enter the name of yourown organization. See if you are listed and, if so, whether the listing(s)is/are current and complete and accurate!! If you are missing altogether orif your listing needs editing, please let us know exactly how you would likeit to read by clicking here:

-VILNIUS - The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will not reopen thecase against Lithuania filed by a female aiming to have a sex changesurgery -after losing the case in Strasbourg, the Baltic state will have toadopt a sex change law or pay compensation. The suit against Lithuania wasmade by a 29-year-old woman from Klaipeda who identifies herself as a man.
"It took a few years of efforts for the ECHR to protect her right to changesex, as stipulated in the Civil Code. The irresponsible conduct ofpoliticians has already cost a lot and may still have a higher price toLithuanian taxpayers," says director of the Human Rights MonitoringInstitute Henrikas Mickevicius, representative of the applicant to thecourt.

-VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna's Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday thathe regrets the exhibition of a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper ina museum linked to his diocese. The controversial work was exhibited inVienna's Cathedral Museum as part of a retrospective honoring Austria'srenowned artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who recently turned 80. Cardinal ChristophSchoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, said he had backed the exhibition withoutknowing the detailed contents. "I obviously would not have agreed to haveblasphemous or pornographic works exhibited. I therefore explicitly regretthat a work of this kind was exhibited without my knowledge," the cardinalsaid in a statement.

-Our community won an important victory this week and I wanted to make sureyou knew about it because your support of the Pride Agenda helped make ithappen. For the first time, the New York State Office of Children and FamilyServices (OCFS) adopted a policy and guidelines that prohibitsdiscrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning(LGBTQ) youth in juvenile justice and other facilities it operates allacross the state. Having this policy and the detailed implementationguidelines in place are critically important because many youth infacilities operated by the OCFS have been verbally and physically bulliedand harassed simply because of who they are, sometimes by other youth andsometimes by staff. This harassment is particularly tragic since manyyouth end up in the juvenile justice system in the first place because theirsexual orientation or gender identity and expression led to life on thestreets after being kicked out of their homes or abused by a parent orguardian. Another exciting aspect of this new policy is that we believe thisis the first state agency that explicitly includes protections based upongender identity and expression in the services it provides to the people ofNew York.

Anything but Straight
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-Standing Up to the Stand-Up Comics
It was business as usual when Tonight Show host Jay Leno asked his guest,Ryan Phillippe, to give his "gayest look" because he once played a gaycharacter on the soap opera "One Life to Live." The mortified reaction ofPhillippe, however, combined with the outrage of gay rights groups,hopefully represents the end of a shameful era where it was acceptable toportray homosexuals as punch lines instead of people. While Leno apologized,the industry has a sorry record of thoughtlessly exploiting gays for cheaplaughs.


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New York Times
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-2 Camps Trying to Influence McCain on Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON - Senator John McCain has long made his decades of experience inforeign policy and national security the centerpiece of his politicalidentity, and suggests he would bring to the White House a fully formed viewof the world.

-New Roadblocks Delay Tribunals at Guantánamo
GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba - When military officials announced war crimes chargesagainst six detainees for the Sept. 11 attacks two months ago, the move waspart of an effort to accelerate the Bush administration's sluggish militarycommission system, which has yet to hold a single trial.

-Going Soft on Corporate Crime
The Bush administration has a well-known aversion to regulating bigbusiness. As it turns out, it is also reluctant to prosecute corporationsthat break the law. Federal prosecutors have been regularly offeringsettlements to companies for wrongdoing that, in previous administrations,would likely have led to criminal charges. It is another disturbing exampleof how this administration has taken the justice out of the JusticeDepartment.

-Asia's Republican Leanings
Europe votes Democrat, but Asia tends Republican.
That's the headline from the fastest-growing part of the world where, asthroughout a shrinking globe, the U.S. election is arousing passionateinterest. Many a Shanghai dumpling gets slurped to the accompaniment of chatabout superdelegates.

-Quality Care at Bargain Prices
Medicare could save tens of billions of dollars annually - without reducingthe quality of care - if all hospitals mirrored the practice patterns of theMayo Clinic.

-Another Heck of a Job
The Bush administration won't save the census, which is central to Americandemocracy. But Congress can.

-Nepal's Perilous Ascent
NEPALIS will vote today for the first time since a democratic uprising in2006 that rejected King Gyanendra Shah's absolute rule and led to a peacedeal that ended a 10-year Maoist insurgency. This is not an ordinaryelection. We will be voting for a 601-member constituent assembly that willdraft a new constitution that most likely will abolish the monarchy and willcertainly restructure Nepal.

-Olympic Torch Route Changed in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO - The nation's only chance to see the Olympic flame up closebecame an elaborate game of hide-and-seek here on Wednesday, as cityofficials secretly rerouted the planned torch relay, swarmed its runnerswith blankets of security and then whisked the torch to the airport in aheavily guarded motorcade.

Washington Post
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-Missing: Our Trade Strategy
President Bush has sent his trade pact with Colombia to Capitol Hill, andsuddenly Washington is not only ablaze with cherry blossoms but cluttered bychestnuts. Every old argument for the virtues of free trade is beingrecycled by the league of American editorialists, whose all-but-universalcommitment to a failed policy will surely excite the wonder of futurehistorians.

-The Sports World in Foul Territory
Having made a living for almost 50 years covering politics, I've never beenunder any illusions about where it stands in the larger scheme of things.
Politics has its fans, but it holds nothing like the fascination thatmillions of Americans have with sports.

-Drop Dead, Colombia
Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocks a trade deal with America's closestSouth American ally.
THE YEAR 2008 may enter history as the time when the Democratic Party lostits way on trade. Already, the party's presidential candidates have engagedin an unseemly contest to adopt the most protectionist posture, suggestingthat, if elected, they might pull out of the North American Free TradeAgreement. Yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared her intention tochange the procedural rules governing the proposed trade promotion agreementwith Colombia. President Bush submitted the pact to Congress on Tuesday fora vote within the next 90 legislative days, as required by the "fast-track"authority under which the U.S. negotiated the deal with Colombia. Ms. Pelosisays she'll ask the House to undo that rule.

-Pageantry and Protest
The Olympic torch relay sends an unexpected message.
THE MOUNTING protests surrounding the Olympic torch relay have promptedspeculation that the International Olympic Committee, ever protective of thefeelings of the Chinese government, will call off the 21-nation pageant.
Committee President Jacques Rogge was quoted yesterday as calling thereports "a misunderstanding," and we hope that's right. In fact the torchspectacle, which convulsed San Francisco yesterday, unexpectedly has becomean excellent vehicle for promoting understanding -- both in China andoutside it.

-China: Plot on Olympic Athletes Foiled
China's internal security apparatus announced Thursday that it had broken uptwo Islamic terrorist cells preparing to disrupt the upcoming Olympic Gamesby kidnapping foreigners, bombing hotels and government buildings andpoisoning food in Beijing and Shanghai.

-High School Seniors Get 'F' in Finance
WASHINGTON -- Young people's financial know-how has gone from bad to worse.
High school seniors, on average, answered correctly only 48.3 percent ofquestions about personal finance and economics, according to a nationwidesurvey released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve. That was even lower thanthe 52.4 percent in the previous survey in 2006 and marked the worst scoreout of the six surveys conducted so far.

Miami Herald
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-Beekeepers stung by disappearing bees
DADE CITY -- With a third of the nation's honeybees disappearing because ofa mysterious malady, Florida's beekeepers are working to restore their hivesand nurse their bee colonies back to health.

-WORLD AFFAIRS: McCain wrong on foreign policy
Having cheerfully confessed he knows little about economics, John McCain isadvancing himself as a foreign-policy president, a ''realistic idealist,''he told the World Affairs Council of Los Angeles.
But judging from the content of his speech, McCain is no more a realist thanhe is a reflective man.

Pew Research center
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-Bad Times Hit the Good Life
A new Pew Social Trends study finds that fewer Americans now than at anytime in the past half century believe they're moving forward in life. But atthe same time, two-thirds say they have a higher standard of living thantheir parents had. The report offers a comprehensive portrait of theAmerican middle class based on a new national survey as well as new analysisof government data. Read more

-That's What I Like About Me
Pew surveys find that Barack Obama's high favorable ratings are moreinfluenced by how he makes voters feel than by specific characteristics theyattribute to him. Hillary Clinton's image, in contrast, is driven byopinions about her own qualities. Read more

-Clinton Punches, Obama Bowls, McCain Reminisces
The Project for Excellence in Journalism's weekly campaign coverage analysisfinds that while Obama continued to attract the most coverage, and McCain'sbiographical tour earned him a return to headlines, Clinton generated theclearest story line with her "Rocky" self-characterization. Read more

-Petraeus Unfamiliar, Rice Popular
On the eve of his congressional testimony on Iraq, a Pew survey finds amajority of Americans (55%) saying they do not know enough about the topU.S. commander in Iraq to offer an opinion of him. The survey also foundSecretary of State Condoleeza Rice's favorability (56%) relatively unchangedsince March 2005. Read more

-Before the Court-Child Rape and the Death Penalty
Is capital punishment for child rapists constitutional? On April 16, theSupreme Court will hear arguments pro and con. A legal expert discussespossible outcomes and implications of the case. Read

-56% - Discontented Republicans
Republican dissatisfaction with the country's overall direction has risensignificantly in recent months with a solid 56% majority of Republicans nowsaying they are dissatisfied with the nation's course, and only 40%expressing satisfaction. Check back every weekday for another number in thenews. Read more

Fort Report
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-David Brock, Dems plan $40M hit on McCain
Wealthy Democrats are preparing a four-month, $40 million media campaigncentered on attacks on Senator John McCain. And it will be led by DavidBrock, the former investigative reporter who first gained fame in the 1990sas a right-wing, anti-Clinton journalist.

-U.S. Iraq deaths 'for what?' Wexler asks Gen. Petraeus
Rep. Robert Wexler mentioned the death of a South Florida soldier in Iraqwhen he questioned Gen. David Petraeus at a congressional hearing Wednesday.
Wexler said he spoke Tuesday night to Len Wolfer of Boca Raton, whose son,Army Maj. Stuart Wolfer, 36, was killed Sunday while working out in a gym inthe Green Zone in Baghdad.

-Edwards's wife backs Clinton on healthcare
John and Elizabeth Edwards are staying on the sidelines of the Democraticnomination fight, but she let it be known yesterday that she prefers HillaryClinton's healthcare plan - a plug that could be the closest the Edwardseswill get to an endorsement.

-Bush presence at Olympic gala uncertain
WASHINGTON-President Bush has said he plans to attend the Beijing Olympics,but the White House has not ruled out the possibility that he may miss theopening ceremony, which China hopes to use as an international showcase.

-Powell: Troops in Iraq must be reduced
WASHINGTON-Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday thatPresident Bush's successor will have to come to grips with the reality thatthe United States cannot continue to keep such large numbers of troops inIraq and Afghanistan.


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