Friday, May 02, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 2, 2008

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New York Times
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-First Thing, Muzzle the Clergy?
Wouldn't it be nice if, in the name of ecumenism, certain clergymen couldreach an understanding about why 3,000 people died on Sept. 11, 2001? MostNew Yorkers probably never thought that the victims had it coming. But somegentlemen of the cloth seem to know better.

Washington Post
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-Operator of D.C. Call-Girl Ring Is Dead in Apparent Suicide
Deborah Jeane Palfrey, facing a likely prison term of four to six years forrunning a Washington area call-girl ring, apparently hanged herself Thursdayin a storage shed behind her mother's mobile home in this small Gulf Coastcity, authorities said.

Express Gay News
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-Harris credits Stiller's wife with defining sexual identity
Gay actor Neil Patrick Harris once dated Ben Stiller's actress wifeChristine Taylor.

-Robert Loupo
Co-founder and executive director of Safe Schools South Florida (formerlyGLSEN South Florida)
Express: What do you think about the current Safe Schools Bill in theFlorida Legislature that was just approved by the House?
Robert Loupo: First, it's about time! Safe schools legislation has died inthe Florida Legislature each year for the past 10 years. This bill -although it does not specify categories, including sexual orientation - is agreat start. It does include the intent of protecting GLBT students asrecorded in legislators' recent discussions about the bill. It would requireall 67 Florida school districts to adopt anti-bully policies and reportingprocedures and to collect reliable data regarding bullying incidents.

-The Ridiculous Notion of Gay Privilege
Watching Tim Wise today has me wondering... how do we do the same thing inthe LGBT community? How do we push hard against someone else, make someonesmaller, less than in order to feel our privilege?

-Survey shows gays 'ignorant' of basic rights issues
Majority of respondents flunk test on U.S. laws
Few gay Americans understand their basic rights, according to an analysisreleased this week.

-Can't "lesbians" belong to us all?
Residents of the Greek island of Lesbos are going to court to fight a gayrights organization from using the word "lesbian." If successful (cha!),they plan to fight international use of the term. Later, for a finale,perhaps they can bang their heads on a brick wall.

-A different kind of Southern belle
'Mississippi Sissy' author Kevin Sessums is a true survivor
"I want to be Arlene Francis," pleaded the 8-year-old boy. Yes, forHalloween, Kevin Sessums wanted to dress up as the panelist on thetelevision show "What's My Line?"

-Gay life in the 'other Florida'
Gays and lesbians in rural Polk County endure despite challenges
The older members of the estimated 26,000 gays and lesbians who live inrural Polk County, Fla., consider themselves to be living happily out of thecloset. But they don't like to be identified by name in newspaper articles.

-It's time to focus on our ailing health-care system
We should realize that it is not just AIDS that threatens us
by Phil LaPadula
Events of the past few weeks have focused attention on our ailinghealth-care system. AIDS Walk Miami and the Florida AIDS Walk were heldApril 20 and April 27, respectively. In addition, this week, April 27 to May3, is Cover the Uninsured Week - a goal that presidential candidates havebeen talking about for decades but which never happens.

-Friend or Foe?
Proctor & Gamble and The American Family Association
Our Friend of the Week is Proctor & Gamble, which has stuck with a gaystoryline on its CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns" despite pressurefrom far-right groups to kill it.

-Friend or Foe? By PHIL LaPADULA
Proctor & Gamble
Producers of 'As the World Turns'
Our Friend of the Week is Proctor & Gamble, which has stuck with a gaystoryline on its CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns" despite pressurefrom far-right groups to kill it.
The American Family Association
Our Foe of the Week is the deceptively named American Family Association,which apparently doesn't believe gay people should be depicted on TV as partof American family life. The AFA issued an "Action Alert" on its websiteafter the CBS soap opera "As the World Turns" featured a gay kiss on itsApril 23 broadcast. "Proctor & Gamble promotes explicit open-mouthhomosexual kissing," AFA screamed on its website. AFA also included a videoof the gay kiss and described it as "repulsive."

-Obama And The Gays
It's so strange to me that some believe that Obama's politics representssome kind of messianism, while he consistently tells people that they haveto be the change they want in the world and that no leader can do it forthem. And that's also his message to gays:

-Right Wing Attacks 'Dear Abby'
As this morning's Washington Times reports, right wing activists areattacking 'Dear Abby,' the world's most widely-read advice columnist, forhaving the audacity to suggest that, among other things, parents should lovetheir lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children. One conservativeactivist tells the Times that Abby "is a disciple of the sexual revolution,"and offers up "radical advice."

Miami: Aqua Girl 2008 Events
14 culturally diverse events for everyone to choose from.
Aqua Girl is more than a party, it's a weekend for a cause.
>> Tickets & Passes NOW ON SALE <<
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for this spectacular weekend

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-Polls Show Drift To Clinton
(Washington) Polls showed voters drifting toward Hillary Rodham Clintonbefore crucial Democratic primary votes next week, but the all-importantparty superdelegates - whose backing is now essential for the nomination -were falling increasingly in line behind Barack Obama.

-Geography May Help Obama In Indiana
(Indianapolis, Indiana) Barack Obama is looking for a little home cooking innext week's Indiana primary. Counting on it, in fact.

-Defection Jolts Clinton
(South Bend, Indiana) Hillary Rodham Clinton was jolted by the defection ofone of her longtime superdelegate supporters, a former national partychairman who urged fellow Democrats to "reject the old negative politics"nd unify behind Barack Obama.

-Conservatives Urge Congress To Maintain Gays In Military Ban
(Washington) A conservative lobby group is urging Congress to rejectlegislation that would repeal "Don't Ask, Don' Tell", the ban on gays andlesbians serving openly in the military.

-Canada Raises Age Of Consent
(Ottawa) Canada's age of sexual consent has been bumped up two years to 16beginning today.

-Monument To Be Erected In Israel To Gay Holocaust Victims
(Tel Aviv, Israel) A monument will be erected in Tel Aviv honoring gays andlesbians persecuted during the Holocaust.

-Florida Passes Anti-Bully Law
(Tallahassee, Florida) Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) is expected to signlegislation that would require school districts to prohibit bullying andharassment.

-Nepal Gay Leader Wins Election To Parliament
(Katmandu) Nepal has elected its first openly gay person to Parliament.
Sunil Plant, the founder of the LGBT rights group Blue Diamond Society, wona seat representing Katmandu, the capital.

-Gay Candidate Seeks to Make History
North Carolina is no longer the state that repeatedly sent Jesse Helms tothe U.S. Senate.
Jim Neal, an openly gay man running for the U.S. Senate in the southernstate, vows this is the case. He's counting on a changed state and anelectorate eager for even more change to send him to Washington in place ofElizabeth Dole.

The Advocate
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-Poll: Only 2.9% of Americans Are LGB
Hunter College released a new LGB-specific poll that reveals fresh insightsabout the LGB population, how its men and women differ, and an emerginggenerational divide.

-London Vote for Mayor, Gay Candidate Included, Has National Implications
Londoners voting for a mayor on Thursday chose among a gaffe-prone formerjournalist, a gay ex-policeman, and a left-wing incumbent, while ballotingfor local councils around the country could gauge Prime Minister GordonBrown's chances of winning the next general election.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Vanderbilt to Launch Full-Time GLBT Office
A full-time and fully staffed office to support the gay, lesbian, bisexualand transgender community at Vanderbilt will launch this fall.The K.C.Potter Center will replace a part-time resource center. The search for afull-time director has begun, and another for program director willfollow.The K.C. Potter Center will be named in honor of a former dean ofresidential and judicial affairs at Vanderbilt who was supportive of theGLBT community.

-GLBT Life in Clarksville Thrives Despite Setbacks
Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville. These three major Tennessee cities all haveone thing in common: they contain a thriving GLBT community. Yet, nestledamong the farm lands and miles of forest of Montgomery County lies a stretchin the road known as Clarksville, and much like the crops budding around thecity, it too is rapidly growing. But what is there to say about a city witha population over 100,000? Two words: a lot. Clarksville may not have a lotto offer as far as dazzling clubs, bars and streets flagged as "GLBT." Itdoes, however, offer many sites and sounds not found elsewhere. Yet, to knowClarksville like a true Clarksvillian, you first got to know what makesClarksville so unique.

-Boston Men's Chorus Will Present Crescendo
The internationally acclaimed Boston Gay Men's Chorus will presentCrescendo, its annual benefit gala, on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 7 pm at theRoxy Ballroom. More than 500 Chorus patrons and friends are expected toattend the celebration which includes entertainment by special guest MissRichfield, live and silent auctions with one-of-a-kind items up for bid, asumptuous array of gourmet desserts, and cocktails and socializing.

-Archambault and iTunes Pull Anti-Gay Reggae Songs
It appears the chickens are coming home to roost: After years protesting theanti-gay lyrics of several dancehall reggae performers, Canadian activistshave convinced Canadian music retailers Archambault and Apple's iTunes toremove some anti-gay dancehall songs from their catalogues.

-Presbyterian Church Court Acquits Lesbian Minister
The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (USA) has acquitted a lesbianminister with local ties of performing a same-sex marriage, but it isunclear whether the ruling will affect a similar case ongoing in PittsburghPresbytery. The Permanent Judicial Commission ruled this week that the Rev.Jane Spahr could not have performed a marriage -- even though she claimed tohave -- because same-sex marriage is impossible under church law. Theconstitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) defines marriage as the unionof a man and a woman.

-Youth Commission to Honor Boston Pride, PFLAG Leaders
The Friends of LGBT youth will honor Boston Pride Committee President LindaDeMarco and Greater Boston PFLAG Executive Director Pam Garramone at thisyear's Sunset Soiree at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge on May 8.

-Miami-Dade Domestic Partners Final Reading Postponed to May 20
Join us on Tuesday, May 20 at the Commissioners Chambers for the Final Voteon the Domestic Partners and Family Health Insurance OrdinanceMark your calendars for the final vote on the Domestic Partners and FamilyHealth Insurance Ordinance! The final reading of this ordinance by theMiami-Dade County Commissioners has been deferred until Tuesday, May 20th.

-Governor Bill Richardson to Receive International Role Model Award
Equality Forum, a national and international GLBT civil rights organization,will recognizeNew Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with its 13th annualInternational Role Model Award, and Wachovia Corporation will receive its2008 International Business Leadership Award. The awards will be presentedat the International Equality Dinner at the National Constitution CenterinPhiladelphia on Saturday, May 3 during Equality Forum 2008.

-House Gives Initial Approval to Pro-Equality Amendments
Late Wednesday night, the Massachusetts House of Representatives gaveinitial approval to several amendments that, if passed, would increasefunding for programs supporting GLBT youth, seniors and victims of domesticviolence in fiscal year 2009.

-Czech Republic: First Gay Candidate Runs For Senate
Well-known gay and lesbian rights activist Jirí Hromada has become the firstopenly homosexual candidate to run for the Senate in the Czech Republic.
Nominated by the Green Party April 19, Hromada's name will be on the ballotin the upcoming fall elections. Following reports of his nomination, newsservers such as Novinky and Aktuá had to shut down online discussionsbecause they were full of homophobic and vulgar comments. The right-wingextremist National Party immediately issued a press statement brandingHromada a "homosexual deviant." Despite years of hard work by many gay andlesbian activists, it seemed from such reactions that homophobic feelingsare still a part of the national culture, and Hromada's candidacy in theupcoming election could serve as a test of the public's tolerance andopen-mindedness.

Marriage Equality News
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-If the point is getting straight people to take same-sex marriageseriously, getting them to recognize the numerous injustices that bans onsame-sex marriage rain down on the heads of committed gay couples and wockawocka wocka, I don't think mass, Moonie-style marriage ceremonies are reallythe best approach. Moonie marriages are legal, of course, recognized by thestate and all that, but does anyone take them seriously? Well, The MatthewShepard Foundation is planning a group commitment ceremony to kick off gaypride events in L.A.

-Nearly 300 protesters marched into the Fort Worth Convention Center onThursday morning in a negotiated disruption of the United Methodist GeneralConference. The protest was in reaction to the delegates' votes Wednesdayaffirming the denomination's position against same-sex unions, thathomosexual activity is against the Bible, and that ordaining ministers orappointing practicing homosexuals to churches is incompatible with Christianteaching. The protesters -- some wearing arm bands or buttons with "Allmeans all" or other slogans -- walked down the center aisle in a statementarranged with conference leaders. Protest leaders and several bishops thenwent to meet in a private area for conference officials called "holyconferencing." It was not known how long the meeting would be or whetherthose meeting would issue a statement later today.

-In 2007, "Dear Abby" author Jeanne Phillips publicly - andcontroversially - spoke out in support of gay marriage. Since that time, shehas become a target of conservatives. Today, the Washington Times highlightsa recent analysis by the right-wing Culture and Media Institute, whichconcludes that Phillips has repeatedly "rejected traditional morality":
"Abby has flown under the radar for years dispensing radical advice onmatters of sexual morality while enjoying a reputation for hard-nosed,common-sense advice," says Robert Knight, director of the institute. "Wethought people ought to know there's a pattern here that's consistentthroughout her career."

-With a sagging economy and a divisive war occupying Americans' minds, willsocial issues be overshadowed in campaign 2008? Quite possibly - but itwould be foolhardy to write them off. National polls - and more than 50state and national experts contacted for this column - broadly agree thatAmericans' deepening concerns about the economy are currently overshadowingthe kinds of polarizing social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage,that have helped shape recent federal and state races. This year, socialissues do not yet seem to be motivating voters as strongly as they did in2004, the last presidential election year, when exit polls showed that manyvoters placed a heavy emphasis on moral values.

-California: Groups on both sides of an initiative that would amend thestate constitution to ban same-sex marriage are trying to raise millions ofdollars in coming months. "We will continue working to raise as much as wecan and intend to mount a very strong campaign," Geoff Kors, executivedirector of Equality California, the statewide LGBT group leading the effortto defeat the amendment, wrote in a statement to the Bay Area Reporter .
"The other side raised close to $2 million just to buy their way onto theballot and they are saying they will raise in excess of $10 million for thecampaign. We will need to match them dollar for dollar."

-The likelihood that California will be convulsed by another fight oversame-sex marriage at the polls in November is casting a shadow on the heatedSenate race between two of the state's most powerful gay lawmakers. Nowthat anti-gay groups are claiming they have collected enough signatures toplace a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballotthis fall, the question arises who is better suited to lead the fight todefeat it: state Senator Carole Migden or Assemblyman Mark Leno?

Pink News - UK
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-Tories soar to 44% in local elections
Conservative activists are celebrating after the party made significantgains in last night's local council elections in England. They won aprojected 44% of the national vote. The Lib Dems on 25% beat Labour, on 24%,into third place.

-Homophobe Mugabe beaten in Zimbabwean election
The results of last month's Presidential election in Zimbabwe have finallybeen published. The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, MorganTsvangirai, won 47.9%. Robert Mugabe of the Zanu/PF party won 43.2%.

-Homophobic football chief invited to gay World Cup
The Gay Football Supporters Network has said it is "amused" by the commentsof Luciano Moggi, formerly managing director of Juventus, that "a homosexualcannot do the job of a footballer."

-Hillary "makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy" says governor
Wrapping up a three-day campaign blitz in North Carolina, Senator HillaryRodham Clinton nabbed a high-profile endorsement from the state'shighest-ranking member, Governor Mike Easley. He officially endorsed Clintonat a joint appearance at North Carolina State University on Tuesday.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Russia: The authorities of St. Petersburg have unexpectedly changed theirdecision and will not approve the mass rally dedicated to theInternational Day of Silence
As was already reported, the city's LGBT community members will holdan event on May 3, from 12 pm to 2 pm, dedicated to the InternationalDay of Silence. The organizers made a decision to somewhat alter theformat of the event from that originally reported. The "Day ofSilence" will take the form of a series of individual rallies.
According to Russian legislation, individual rallies do not requirepreliminary notification of and approval by the authorities.

-Interreligious Council of Russia:
Letter to Mr. Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights, Council ofEurope Please be informed that Russian sexual minorities are planning to hold aso-called pride parade this May in Moscow. You are well aware that it is notthe first attempt to hold a public march of people of non-traditional sexualorientation in the Russian capital city. The earlier attempts ended inviolent disorders. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that anoverwhelming majority in Russian society do not believe homosexuality to bea norm in sexual relations. The unity in this matter is based ondeeply-rooted moral perceptions of the traditional religions in Russia:
Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. The faithful of these religions havebeen educated from times immemorial for the respect of traditional family,which is the union of man and woman. We believe this attitude to marriageto be the only right one, while its distortions expressed among other thingsin homosexuality to be a sin damaging human dignity. Our fellow-citizensare free to build in their own country a legal system that would notcontradict their conscience. With all responsibility we state that thebeliefs of most Russians exclude a public propaganda of such things ashomosexuality, the legal recognition of the same-sex families in any form,the possibility for people of non-traditional orientation to adopt childrenand artificial promotion of a positive attitude in society includingchildren towards sexual deviations through the education system and the massmedia. Any coercion of our society's conscience in this matter isinadmissible and lawless.

From Truth Wins Out
by Wayne Besen

-APA Quack Forum May Be Cancelled
New York - Sources have informed TruthWinsOut.orgthat Monday's symposiumfeaturing infamous "ex-gay" therapist Dr. Warren Throckmorton may becancelled. The forum, "A Pastoral Approach for Gay & Lesbian People Troubledby Homosexuality," suffered a major blow when panelist, Episcopal BishopGene Robinson, pulled out of the event. Robinson expressed concern that thesymposium, scheduled to take place the same week as the APA's annual meetingin Washington, would be used as a public relations gimmick for Focus on theFamily. "The cancellation of this forum is welcome news because it gave thewrong impression that the American Psychiatric Association endorsed 'ex-gay'therapy, when, in fact, the organization soundly rejects such therapies,"said TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen. Predictably, on his blog,Throckmorton claimed that the APA is "apparently afraid of a conversation."
What he conveniently failed to mention was that this discussion ended threedecades ago and his side was defeated because they lacked scientificcredibility. They have yet to provide a shred of evidence supporting theefficacy of ex-gay therapy, while there is evidence that such methods causea great deal of harm. "Throckmorton 'counsels' vulnerable gay people toeither live a lifetime of loneliness or a lifetime of lies.This is neitherhealthy nor therapeutic and it's a diagnosis for disaster," said Besen.

-Top Researcher Says Focus on the Family Grossly Distorted work
Dr. Gary Remafedi Says Conservative Group Guilty of "Gross
Misrepresentation" And Questions If Focus Actually Read His Article BeforeMisquoting It
NEW YORK - published a letter today from a researcher whoclaims Focus on the Family twisted his work. In the letter, Gary Remafedi,M.D., M.P.H., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota,asked Focus on the Family's leader James Dobson to stop misrepresenting hisfindings from a key 1992 study. "I want to draw your attention to a grossmisrepresentation of our research at the website of Focus on the Family,"Remafedi wrote in his letter to Dobson. "More important, had the authors of"Myths and Facts" actually read the article, they would have found nosupport for their contention that 'many children experience a period ofsexual-identity confusion when they can be influenced in either direction.'"
(Full Text of Letter Below)


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New York Times
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-Obama Leaves the Stage to Mix With His Skeptics
There was no music, no sea of screaming admirers and only a light dabble ofapplause when Senator Barack Obama walked across the green carpet of the OakPointe retirement center here on Thursday at his first campaign stop of theday.

-Notes From the War on Terror
For more than a year, President Bush has refused to honor legitimaterequests from the Democratic majority in Congress for legal documents thathe used to justify ordering the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners.
This week, the Justice Department finally agreed to show some papers tomembers of the House and Senate.

-The Cognitive Age
If you go into a good library, you will find thousands of books onglobalization. Some will laud it. Some will warn about its dangers. But they'llagree that globalization is the chief process driving our age. Our lives arebeing transformed by the increasing movement of goods, people and capitalacross borders.

-Op-Ed Columnist: Party of Denial
During Barack Obama's Sunday appearance on Fox News, the interviewer askedhim for an example of "a hot-button issue where you would be willing to buckthe Democratic Party line" and say that Republicans have the better idea.

-The Lurita Doan Story
It has been 11 months since investigators found that Lurita Doan, chief ofthe General Services Administration, violated the Hatch Act's ban onpoliticking on the job, asking her staff how they could "help ourcandidates." This week, the White House finally got around to ousting Ms.Doan from the government's principal agency for awarding rich contracts ingoods and services.

-Labor Suffers Losses in British Local Elections
Britain's ruling Labor Party headed for a crushing defeat at the hands ofthe opposition Conservatives on Friday in local elections depicted as afurther dent in the political fortunes of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

-Tibetan Envoys Head to China
A week after the Chinese government offered to meet with representatives ofthe Dalai Lama, the Tibetan government in exile in India announced Fridaythat two envoys were on their way to an undisclosed location in China for"informal" discussions. But in a signal of low expectations, theannouncement predicted that the visit would be "brief."

-Louisiana Democrat Holds His Party at Bay for a Chance at Victory
A Democrat stands a serious chance of taking a seat in the House ofRepresentatives from Republicans in a special election here on Saturday. Butto achieve that chance of victory in this Republican fortress, the candidatehas labored to dissociate himself from the Democratic Party's nationalleaders.

-An Initiative on Reading Is Rated Ineffective
President Bush's $1 billion a year initiative to teach reading to low-incomechildren has not helped improve their reading comprehension, according to aDepartment of Education report released on Thursday.

Washington Post
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-Obama-Wright Rift Reveals Divided Loyalties in Black Church
Sen. Barack Obama's break with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is putting blackpastors and their congregations in a difficult position, their loyaltiesdivided between a politician who could be the first black president and acelebrated preacher who many believe has been vilified.

-McCain's Birth Abroad Stirs Legal Debate
His Eligibility for Presidency Is Questioned
The Senate has unanimously declared John McCain a natural-born citizen,eligible to be president of the United States.

-McCain slowly but surely distancing self from Bush
Slowly but surely, Republican presidential candidate John McCain is puttingsome distance between himself and unpopular President George W. Bush.

-Fair Play for False Prophets
Do white right-wing preachers have it easier than black left-wing preachers?
Is there a double standard? The political explosion around the Rev. Jeremiah Wright was inevitable, given Wright's personal closeness to Barack Obama and the outrageous rubbish the pastor has offered about AIDS, Sept. 11 and Louis Farrakhan.

-The Campaign Nonsense Du Jour
There's something maddening about this presidential campaign. It has becomeirrelevant whether anything the candidates say actually makes sense. Allthat matters is how their words will "play" with voters who are presumed tobe too stupid to realize that they're the ones being played.

-Ideology's Rude Return
Ideology matters again. The big development of recent years is the rise notonly of great powers but also of the great-power autocracies of Russia andChina. True realism about the international scene begins with understandinghow this unanticipated shift will shape our world.

-Secular and Antidemocratic
In Turkey, another attempt to reverse the elections won by moderateIslamists IN MANY countries where elections and Islam overlap, religiouspolitical parties are suspected -- often rightly -- of trying to use thedemocratic system to advance an illiberal agenda. Turkey, the most advanceddemocracy in the Muslim world, has the opposite problem. Its mildlyreligious ruling party has led the way in introducing progressive politicaland economic reforms and preparing the country for membership in theEuropean Union. Its secular opposition, meanwhile, has repeatedly resortedto antidemocratic tactics.

Miami Herald
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-NATIONAL ANTHEM: Hand over your heart
`When did the protocol of putting your hand over your heart during thenational anthem change?"

-CAMPAIGN 2008: Plan to boot Russia from G-8 `impossible'
John McCain's proposal to kick out Russia from the group of industrialdemocracies would be blocked by other nations.

-Obama reveals Top 10 'surprising facts' on Letterman
Barack Obama's critics say it's what you don't know about him that matters.
With a little help from talk-show host David Letterman, the senator isopening up.

Pew Research center
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-Obama's Lead Over Clinton Disappears; Unfavorables Rise for Both Candidates
Barack Obama's slipping support for the Democratic nomination reflects amodest decline in his personal image rather than improved impressions ofHillary Clinton. Meanwhile, more Democrats see the unresolved contest as aproblem for the party. Both Democratic contenders, however, retain anadvantage over John McCain as the economy tops the public's list ofconcerns. Read more

-Party Pooper
In four separate surveys conducted since March 20, when asked about each ofthe Democratic candidates, between 25% and 31% of the public say theiropinions have recently become less favorable. Read more

-Court OK for Indiana Voter ID May Prompt Other States to Follow Suit
With bills pending in state legislatures across the country, more states maymove to require photo identification for voters in November. Read more

-Who Wants To Be Rich?
Anyone who thinks that Americans worship at the feet of the almighty dollarshould ask the American public. In fact, a new Pew Social Trends surveyfinds only 13% of adults say it's "very important" for them to be wealthy,ranking this personal priority far behind six others measured. Read more

-Gas Pumps Past Politics
Despite filling only 2% of the newshole, rising gas prices topped thecampaign for news interest, a rare occurrence during the presidentialprimary season. Read moreChurch and State

-Courts Not Silent on Moments of Silence
An Illinois statute, now on temporary hold by a U.S. District Court, hasgiven rise to the latest in a long line of constitutional cases involvingrequired moments-of-silence in public schools. Read more

-Daily Number
40% - Republicans Feel More Favorable to John McCain
A relatively large minority of Republicans and Republican-leaningindependents (40%) say they have come to feel more favorably toward GOPpresidential nominee John McCain in recent days. Check back every weekdayfor another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-Obama wins support on opposition to gas tax holiday
Barack Obama boasts a growing list of experts and newspaper editorial boardsbacking his opposition to a summer gas tax holiday.

-Support for Republicans Falls,
But Race for President Is TightMcCain
Only 27% of voters have positive views of the Republican Party, according tothe latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, the lowest level for eitherparty in the survey's nearly two-decade history

-Mass. GOP losing ground
Will contest about 58 legislative seats In the two election cycles since 2004, as Massachusetts Republicans lost the governor's office, every congressional race they contested, and a net of five seats in the Legislature, it was tough to imagine that things could get any worse for the chronically beleaguered state GOP

-Journalist, senator were an item
Barbara Walters reveals longtime affair with Edward Brooke
He was a prominent Republican senator from Massachusetts, married but afixture on the Washington party circuit. She was a rising star in televisionnews, twice divorced and the co-host of the "Today" show.

-Obama wins support on opposition to gas tax holiday
Barack Obama boasts a growing list of experts and newspaper editorial boardsbacking his opposition to a summer gas tax holiday.

-Ron Gettelfinger: Labor Voices
McCain succumbs to special interests
GOP presidential nominee is out of touch with middle America

-Obama narrows superdelegate gap
The Democratic nomination race is murkier than ever. Hillary Rodham Clintonis rising in the polls while Barack Obama is gaining ground amongsuperdelegates who will decide the winner.


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-Saturday: Community Flea Market, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Gay and LesbianCommunity Center, 1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-463-9005.

-Friday: The Stonewall Library and Archives will host its monthly filmseries "Behind the Lavender Screen: Cinema Classics," featuring the romanticcomedy, Pillow Talk at 7 p.m. today. The screening will take place insidethe library, at 1717 N. Andrews Ave. Stonewall is one of the nation'sleading libraries on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender culture andhistory. The event is free and open to the public. Call 954-763-8565.

-Las Olas restaurant becomes third in Mark's group to close in recent weeks
Group recently shut down two other sites
Mark's Las Olas, a Fort Lauderdale foodie favorite since 1994, unexpectedlywent out of business Thursday.,0,5417818.story

-Florida House slashes school funding to balance budget
The Florida House approved a $66.2 billion budget Thursday that carvesdeeply into school funding and an array of health-care programs as a resultof the biggest one-year drop in revenue in state history.,0,3696820.story

-Deerfield commission resumes clergy-led prayers at meetings
DEERFIELD BEACH - Under heavy political pressure, city commissioners haveresumed clergy-led prayer during public meetings and will partner with theconservative Liberty Counsel, which will defend the city free of charge iflawsuits challenge the decision.,0,7404729.story

-Finally, Florida has condo rules that make sense
ISSUE: Condo, HOA rules approved.
It's sad that Big Brother has to prescribe a code so people in condominiumand homeowner associations will know how to be neighborly. But, indeed,that's what it has come to,0,4666088.story

-At least 3 Broward judges face unusual election challenges
The genteel days of yore, when few dared challenge a sitting Broward Countyjudge for election, are crumbling.,0,3690996.story

Miami Herald
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-Partial step toward righting wrongs

-HOLLYWOOD: No. 1 in math: Oakridge kids nation's tops
Students from Oakridge Elementary in Hollywood were feted for theirmathematic know-how.

-INSURANCE: Citizens rate is frozen for 1 more year
The Legislature passed an insurance bill that bolsters some consumerprotections and gives state regulators more power to keep the industry inline.

-CONDOMINIUM OWNERS: New rules protecting condo owners become law
Gov. Charlie Crist signed into law a new set of protections for condominiumowners. The measures were pushed by two Miami-Dade legislators.

-LEGISLATURE: Health plan for uninsured near passage
A bill to offer health insurance to Florida's 3.8 million uninsuredresidents appears close to passing the Legislature.

From Democracy for America
Florida Matters
You know how important this November's election is going to be for Florida.
We have opportunities up and down the state to pick up key seats in theFlorida House and Senate as well as the U.S Congress. We have a hatefulstate constitutional amendment banning gay marriage to defeat and aPresidential election to decide. Florida matters more than ever this yearand the DFA Campaign Academy has scheduled two campaign trainings in Floridathis year to help you win these crucial elections. The DFA Campaign Academybrings together dozens of local activists and candidates for two days ofintensive campaign training. Top campaign professionals give you astep-by-step guide to running a winning grassroots campaign. Sessionsinclude: field planning and targeting, voter contact, fundraising,communications, volunteer recruitment and much more.
Orlando - May 17th & 18th
Miami - July 12th & 13th
Hope to see you there.

Express Gay News
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Charity art show to benefit returning veterans
Local gay artists included in 'Freud Amongst the Arts' exhibit
Works by several local gay artists will be on exhibition when the SoutheastFlorida Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology (SEFAPP) holds its 15thannual "Freud Amongst the Arts" fund-raiser on Saturday, May 3, from 5 to8:30 p.m. at ArtServe's main gallery, 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard in FortLauderdale.

-Film festival tackles taboo topics
'Forbidden Love' series deals with underage sex, incest
Despite the sexual liberation of recent decades, underage sex and inceststill remain unacceptable - but not unthinkable.

-Woman murdered in Lauderdale shooting
Black leaders cite need for gay awareness
Shanesa Conaway defied the daily obstacles she faced as an African-Americanlesbian living openly in Sistrunk, one of the most impoverishedneighborhoods in Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Report
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-Clock winds down on Florida lawmakers
As Florida lawmakers close the 60-day session today, proposals for majoreducation reform and a $650-million commuter rail plan for Orlando appearoff the track.

-Florida House approves budget in party-line vote
The Florida House of Representatives just voted 75-44 for an election-yearbudget that cuts roughly $5 billion in spending, dealing big cuts toeducation, healthcare and other social programs.

-Abortion bill's close defeat leaves a chill
Putting aside our personal feelings about abortion - and, yes, that's a tallorder - we should all note something scary that almost happened inTallahassee this week.

-'Green' energy bill heads to governor
An expansive energy bill headed for the governor's desk is just the firststep in making Florida a national leader in clean energy, a lawmaker saidWednesday.


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Thursday, May 01, 2008

GLBT DIGEST May 1, 2008

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

Express Gay News
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay Dems working to re-elect San Diego's GOP mayor
Sanders won hearts of many after tearful embrace of gay marriage

-Robinson backs out of symposium on 'ex-gays'
Gay bishop denounces reparative therapy; APA disavows event

-Williams criticised by gay bishop
The first openly gay Anglican bishop has accused the Archbishop ofCanterbury of failing to confront critics of his appointment.

-Pansies, get over it!
Are we really so thin-skinned and politically correct that we're offended byuse of the word "pansy?" North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley's use of the wordduring his speech endorsing Sen. Hillary Clinton predictably triggered lotsof blogger indignation this week. Easley said Clinton "makes Rocky Balboalook like a pansy."

-Hillary's serious gay problem (Updated)
In Hillary Clinton's disturbing attempt to rebrand herself as aBible-totin', gun-slinging Annie Oakley, complete with right-wing talkingpoints, I guess it's not surprising that gays would end up with the shortend of the stick in Camp Clinton these days. Hillary has given lip serviceto supporting GLBT rights, but her actions over the past few months - not tomention the past few decades - have shown that Hillary is not only trying todistance herself from the gay community and GLBT issues but has done herbest to use anti-gay sentiment to her advantage. There's a disturbingpattern at work here, folks, that should outrage any true Democrat who caresabout equality.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Former DNC Leader Switches To Obama
(Washington) A leader of the Democratic Party under Bill Clinton hasswitched his allegiance to Barack Obama and is encouraging fellow Democratsto "heal the rift in our party" and unite behind the Illinois senator.

-McCain Vague On Paying For Billions In Promises
(Washington) Republican John McCain is making promises that would costbillions of taxpayer dollars, yet he is vague about how he would pay forthem.

-Call For Investigation Of Pro-Clinton Group
(Washington) Barack Obama's presidential campaign wants federal regulatorsto investigate fellow Democrats who are backing Hillary Rodham Clinton'scandidacy, taking intraparty discord to a new level of confrontation.

-Shareholders Reject Bid To Strip Gay Protections At Wells Fargo
(San Francisco, California) A motion by a Wells Fargo shareholder to removeprotections for LGBT workers from the company's non-discrimination policywas defeated this week at its annual meeting.

-Estate Of Murdered Gay Porn Producer Wins Civil Suit
(Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania) The father of Bryan Kocis has won a civillawsuit against two men charged with murdering the gay porn producer lastyear.

-Emotional Hearing Over Proposed Pa. Gay Marriage Amendment
(Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Opponents and supporters of a proposedconstitutional amendment that would bar same-sex marriage and civil unionsin Pennsylvania filled a committee room at the Capitol in one of thesession's most emotional hearings.

-Soccer Star In Transgender Hooker Scandal
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Ronaldo went into hiding Tuesday after a run-inwith transsexual prostitutes that prompted police to investigate whether tocharge one with trying to extort money from the soccer star.

The Advocate
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-Man Charged in Murder of Gay Activist
A man has been charged with murdering West Palm Beach, Fla., gay rightsactivist Scott Graham, who was found dead in his home on April 16, The PalmBeach Post reported Wednesday. Ricardo David Fuenes-Valle, 20, was arrestedon Tuesday near Tampa by Hillsborough County deputies and U.S. marshals. Heis being charged with first-degree murder.

-New Pastor to Head Obama's 8,000-member Chicago Church
When the Reverend Otis Moss III takes to the pulpit before a congregation
that includes Barack Obama, he's as likely to preach about Tupac Shakur orone of his favorite authors as he is the Apostle Paul.

-The Reality of Love
Transsexual actress Calpernia Addams discusses her experience on the realitydating series Transamerican Love Story, and how she allowed herself to stepaway from being the spokeswoman for trans people and decided to just have alittle fun.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Washington D.C. to Host Largest LGBT Aquatics Competition
The District of Columbia Aquatics Club (DCAC) and the Washington WetskinsWater Polo Team are extending an invitation to the LGBT community to supportthe upcoming 2008 International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships(IGLA) by either competing in or attending the annual tournament. More than1,200 athletes are expected to convene in Washington, DC during the four-daycompetition to be held June 19-22.

-Equality Forum 2008 Includes Conversation with Judy Shepard and NationalPolitics Panel
Equality Forum 2008 will include A Conversation with Judy Shepard at theNational Constitution Center on Sunday, May 4. The conversation will befacilitated by Patrick Guerriero, Executive Director of Gill Action Fund.
October 2008 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Judy and DennisShepard's 21-year-old son, Matthew. Determined to prevent others fromsuffering their son's fate, Judy and Dennis established a foundation tocarry on Matthew's legacy.

- Kathy Griffin is GLAAD to Represent the Gay Community!
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List is more than just a hilarious realityshow featuring the life of comedienne Kathy Griffin. According to the Gay &Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) the show is also doing somethingright when it comes to representing the gay community.

-John Hurt to Play 'Stately Homo' Naked Civil Servant Quentin Crisp - Again
John Hurt will reprise one of his most famous roles 33 years on when he donsQuentin Crisp's cravat once more in a sequel to The Naked Civil Servant. ITVis to produce An Englishman In New York, a new 90-minute drama, in whichHurt reprises his acclaimed role as the maverick gay icon.

- Polo, the Sport of Queens
Polo has been called "the sport of kings." It's now also the sport ofqueens. In Southern California, the Gay Polo League (GPL) is thriving. Itdoesn't matter if you can't tell a mallet's head from its shaft, or even ifyou've never mounted a horse. All comers are welcome.

Marriage Equality News
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Graham, Tiffany C. , "Exploring the Impact of the Marriage Amendments: CanPublic Employers Offer Domestic Partner Benefits to Their Gay and LesbianEmployees?" (April 2008). Villanova Law/Public Policy Research Paper No.2008-14 Available at SSRN: ,,,,The articlefocuses on an issue that is shaping up to be the new front in the same-sexmarriage wars: whether applying the terms of the more broadly-constructedamendments to public employers will bar them from offering domestic partnerbenefits to their gay and lesbian employees. The first part of the articleoffers an overview of domestic partner benefits plans and discusses themanner in which they are currently being threatened by the morebroadly-constructed marriage amendments. The second part takes a close lookat the litigation in National Pride at Work v. Michigan.

-Australia: The ACT [Australian Capital Territory] is on an imminentcollision course with the Federal Government over same-sex unions. The RuddGovernment is set to emulate the Howard government and override or disallowACT legislation, unless talks in the next 48 hours reach a compromise. TheFederal Government yesterday unveiled plans to fulfil election commitmentsto amend about 100 laws to ensure superannuation, taxation andsocial-security rights for same-sex partners.

-San Diego: It's not often you find gay Democrats working to re-elect astraight Republican politician, but then again, 2008 is turning out to be anexceptional year in politics. Stampp Corbin, a prominent Barack Obamasupporter, and San Diego City Commissioner Nicole Murray-Ramirez are gayDemocrats, but they're organizing gay support for the re-election campaignof San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Corbin and Murray-Ramirez. Theorganization run by Corbin is called 2008 GLBT Vote San Diego.

-Back in the old days, there were those who supported gay rights and thosewho opposed them - vocally. There was also a third group whose oppositionwas so deep that they objected even to discussing the issue. For them, todebate gay rights would be to dignify depravity, and depravity merits chillysilence, not invitations to dialogue. In the last decade or so, a fourthgroup has appeared mirroring the third. This group's support for gay rightsruns so deep that they object even to discussing the issue. For them, todebate gay rights would be to dignify bigotry, and bigotry merits chillysilence, not invitations to dialogue. While the above sketch is somewhatsimplistic, I think it captures an important shift in the gay-rights debate.
Increasingly, one finds people on both sides who object not merely to theiropponents' position but even to engaging that position. Why debate theobvious, they ask. Surely anyone who holds THAT position must be toostubborn, brainwashed or dumb to reason with.

-Australia: Imagine risking your life for your country in the armedservices, only to discover that if you die your partner will receive nocompensation or pension? Imagine not being able to fully provide for yourpartner after your death because you are not permitted to name him or her asthe beneficiary of your superannuation?

-Australia: Same-sex couples will soon risk fraud charges if they keeptheir relationships secret from welfare authorities. Under new laws todeliver equal rights, they will face the same disclosure rules asheterosexuals when dealing with Centrelink. Same-sex couples who receiveany welfare benefit will have to notify the agency of their relationship,their partner's income, and any changes in their circumstances.

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Lesbos lawsuit "pathetic and scary" says activist
A publicity-seeking attempt by three residents of the island of Lesbos tosue a gay advocacy group has a serious side, says a lesbian rightscampaigner. The Greek island was home to the 6th Century BC poet Sappho.

-Age of consent in Northern Ireland to be lowered
The British government will bring the age at which people can consent to sexin Northern Ireland into line with the rest of the UK. Unionist politiciansin the province are expected to oppose the move.

-Costa Rica backs International Day Against Homophobia
Gay activists have welcomed the decision of the government of Costa Rica toofficially declare IDAHO Day on May 17. The International Day AgainstHomophobia (IDAHO) is marked in over 50 countries.

-Conservatives launch web campaign to retain gay military ban
An advocacy group in the United States has launched a Congressional petitionagainst calls for the country's military to allow openly gay people toserve.

-UK: Nurses speak up for gay teenagers
The Royal College of Nursing's annual Congress has overwhelmingly passed amotion in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people. Morethan 95% of delegates yesterday supported the call for the RCN Council to"develop and promote best practice."

-US star to divorce husband beset by gay rumours
It was the beginning of the end for Star Jones on hit US show The View. Awedding, complete with corporate sponsors and daily updates. America couldno longer relate to the talk show

-Trans playwright examines relationships with medical profession
"I've always been interested in the strange relationship that exists betweentransgendered people and the medical and therapist community," says theaward-winning trans playwright Tobias K. Davis.
He explores those issues in his latest play, Standards of Care.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Nepal gets its first gay representative in parliament
The wind of change that swept through Nepal in the form of a historicelection this month, dethroned its king, once revered as god, and insteadgave power to the former Maoist guerrillas, will also see a fresh socialrevolution with the first gay representative being nominated to the newconstituent assembly. Sunil Babu Pant, a 35-year-old crusader for gayrights who founded the first organisation to protect the rights of thesexual minorities and ushered in a social revolution, now becomes part ofNepal's political history as well after being chosen by a minor communistparty to represent it in the 601-member constituent assembly.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Contact if can't access the article

-FBI Director: 'We're Losing' Battle Against Child Porn
The Internet is helping child pornography expand, FBI head says.
WASHINGTON - FBI Director Robert Mueller was blunt in his comments on April23 during a House Judiciary Committee hearing when asked about issues ofcomputer crime and child pornography on the Internet. "We're losing," hesaid. Mueller said almost every imaginable crime has gravitated to the Internet,which he said can expand certain crimes. "That's certainly true with childpornography," he said.
The FBI and the Justice Department have held meetings with major Internetservice providers to discuss expanding data retention to go after childpornographers and those who provide the images on the Internet.
"I do believe that records retention would be of assistance in terms ofaddressing these problems," Mueller said. According to the National Centerfor Missing and Exploited Children, child pornography is a $20billion-a-year black-market industry that has been proliferating on theInternet.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-False Bravado: The Red Line
For three years I had weekly sessions with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, president ofthe National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality(NARTH). Dr. Nicolosi thought that homosexuality was a pathology, asublimated desire to reconnect with one's lost masculinity. The theory:under-attentive fathers and over-attentive mothers create gay children. Thepurpose of therapy was to put me in touch with my masculine identity andthereby change my sexual orientation.

-Homosexuality laws of the world
The countries of the world have a wide variety of laws relating to sexualrelations between people of the same sex - everything from full same-sexmarriage to the death penalty as punishment for homosexual conduct.

-Black Principal Outs Black Gay Students at Memphis Jr. High School
In a story from five years ago, principal Daphne Beasley compared herstudents to diamonds.

-The Rainbow Picket Fence
Both the New York Times and Details magazine have just published articlesthat look at the "settling down" of gay male culture. The Times, in a SundayMagazine cover story, explores the trend of even young gay men in their 20'sgetting married. Details looks at "The Gay Baby Boom."

-United Methodist Church May Change Policy on Homosexuality
The United Methodist Church meets every four years in a General Conference.
Currently they are meeting in Fort Worth, TX

-Methodists vote to stick with church's anti-gay policies
Delegates to the United Methodist Church's General Conference today turnedback attempts to liberalize its policy on homosexuality.

-New study: New Jersey has enacted 200 LGBT civil rights laws at the state,county and local levels since Garden State Equality's founding in July 2004,a national record

-SiriusOutQ presents The Michelangelo Signorile Show
Sirius Satellite Radio's Channel 109 presents the Michelangelo Signorile
Show each day from 2:00pm to 6:00pm ET. PageOneQ updates readers on theappearances of notable figures in the LGBT and allied communities (andsometimes those not so friendly to our community).

Fort Report
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-Texas agency investigates whether sect abused boys
Texas child welfare authorities are looking at the possibility that youngboys were sexually abused at a polygamist sect's ranch.,0,1818179.story


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**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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-As McCain Targets Center Can He Hold The Right?
Sen. John McCain is aiming for America's political center in the hopes ofhitting a political bulls-eye in the November U.S. presidential election.

-Loss and Furor Take Toll on Obama, Poll Finds
Senator Barack Obama's aura of inevitability in the battle for theDemocratic presidential nomination has diminished after his loss in thePennsylvania primary and amid the furor over his former pastor, according tothe latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

-As Euro Nears 10, Cracks Emerge in Fiscal Union
The euro turns 10 next January, a milestone that will be marked withcelebratory speeches, inch-thick scholarly papers and a commemorative 2-eurocoin, designed by a Greek sculptor. It was chosen from five candidates in anonline poll of European residents

-China Says Abusive Child Labor Ring Is Exposed
China said Wednesday that it had broken up a child labor ring that forcedchildren from poor, inland areas to work in booming coastal cities,acknowledging that severe labor abuses extended into the heart of its exporteconomy.

-While Clinton Focuses, Obama Is Distracted
Pumped up and focused, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is putting in 16-hourdays in Indiana this week as if she - and not her embattled rival, SenatorBarack Obama - needs a campaign-changing moment in Tuesday's primary here.

-The Gas-Guzzler Gambit
Senators John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton have hit on a new way topander to American voters: a temporary suspension of the federal gasolinetax between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The proposal may draw applause andvotes from Americans feeling the pain of nearly $4-a-gallon gasoline. But itis an expensive and environmentally unsound policy that would do nothing tohelp American drivers.

-Even Less Help in Hard Times
The troubled economy could soon create a major fiscal crisis for thestate-run Medicaid and children's health programs that would only beexacerbated by the Bush administration's efforts to cut these programs back.
Congress must provide temporary aid to the most beleaguered states and finda permanent way to protect Medicaid and children's health programs fromwrenching cuts every time a recession hits.

-Six Votes, Then and Now
When the Senate passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, only six Republicansvoted with obstructionist Southern Democrats against the historic measure,which outlawed discrimination across a broad swath of American life.

Washington Post
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-A Pastor's Influence
In his achingly slow steps toward repudiating the repugnant words of hisformer pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama has run the risk ofserious political damage by leaving vague what it was that attracted him tothis outspoken critic of American society.

-Gas Tax Gotcha
Sen. Obama's courageous stand in favor of fuel conservation
IF THE United States had a sensible energy policy, a higher federal excisetax on motor fuels would definitely be a part of it. Few measures would moreefficiently accomplish more worthy goals -- strategic, social andenvironmental. The Congressional Budget Office has calculated that a50-cents-per-gallon increase in gasoline taxes would contribute more than$300 billion to deficit reduction over five years, while reducing trafficcongestion, dependence on Middle Eastern oil and greenhouse gases. Actually,the federal gas tax has been stuck at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993,which means that, considering inflation, it has been shrinking for the past15 years.

-Clinton Gas-Tax Proposal Criticized
Economists Share Obama's View
A growing chorus -- including a top congressional Democrat -- labeled Sen.Hillary Rodham Clinton's proposal for suspending the federal gasoline taxineffective and shortsighted yesterday, even as she continued to paint Sen.Barack Obama as insensitive to drivers' woes for not endorsing the plan.

-Farrow Enters Hong Kong to Protest China-Sudan Ties
Actress and high profile activist Mia Farrow was allowed into Hong Kong onThursday, a day before the Olympic torch winds through a territory wheremost citizens support the Beijing Olympics and where officials have deniedentry to protesters against the controversial torch relay.

-Exxon Mobil 1Q profit up 17 pct, Wall Street expected more
Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, saidThursday record crude prices helped its net income grow 17 percent in thefirst quarter, but the results came in below Wall Street forecasts.

-White House Blocked Rule Issued to Shield Whales
White House officials for more than a year have blocked a rule aimed atprotecting endangered North Atlantic right whales by challenging thefindings of government scientists, according to documents obtained by theUnion of Concerned Scientists.

Fort Report
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-Clinton's unusual political bedfellows
Hillary Clinton apparently doesn't hold grudges, at least not with herpresidential hopes in the balance.

-Tension Mounts Over U.S. Bench Vacancies
A total of 28 nominees await approval; some deals are being madeRepublican senators are anxious about 28 judicial nominees awaitingconfirmation, the 46 total vacancies and the dwindling time left inPresident Bush's term to get more of his candidates on the federal bench.

-Dean has long-range vision for the Democrats
"We've basically gotten people to believe that they can be Democrats in Utahagain," Howard Dean says. "That matters enormously."The party chairman isstill an outsider inside the Beltway. He's standing by his 50-statestrategy, which is criticized there, but lauded elsewhere.,0,4281644.story

-Voters say Wright has hurt Obama -- but question how much
Black and white voters in next week's primary states agreed on one thingWednesday: Barack Obama's preacher had hurt the Democratic presidentialcandidate at a crucial time. The question was how much.


[Send your comments about articles to]


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

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Florida Senate rejects bill requiring ultrasounds before abortions
20-20 tie defeats abortion prerequisite
After 90 minutes of emotional debate, a splintered Florida Senate onWednesday killed a bill that would have forced women to undergo ultrasoundexams before getting an abortion - a requirement critics condemned asunconstitutional.,0,1547827.story

-Study says South Florida's air among cleanest in U.S.
South Florida received its usual high marks for air quality this week, in astudy released by the American Lung Association.,0,4359030.story

-Florida governor to get bill phasing out discharge of sewage into Atlantic Ocean
Discharges in S. Florida to end by 2025,0,1476555.story

-Fort Lauderdale's transit 'Wave' looks like a wipeout
As boondoggles go, I love this proposed light-rail transit system fordowntown Fort Lauderdale being pushed by the Downtown Development Authority.,0,1775526.column

-Interest-rate rate cut unlikely to help hard-hit Floridians
Today, the Federal Reserve is expected to deliver the seventh interest-ratecut since September in an effort to bolster the sagging economy, but thatmay not be enough to boost the spirits of beleaguered consumers.,0,3234618.story

-Florida Democrats protest in Washington, call for primary to be counted
Group demands party count Florida primary,0,3094315.story

-Floridians feel heat as homes facing foreclosure nationwide more than double
The number of U.S. homes heading toward foreclosure more than doubled in thefirst quarter from a year earlier, as weakening property values and tighterlending left many homeowners powerless to prevent homes from being auctionedto the highest bidder, a research firm said Monday.,0,1902181.story

-Florida legislators reach compromise on property insurance bill
Tallahassee - Florida House and Senate leaders struck a compromise lateWednesday night on a property insurance bill touted as a "homeowners' billof rights.",0,2686210.story?track=rss

-Florida Sen. Steve Geller, D-Cooper City, leaving office after 20 years
Steve Geller walked into the Legislature 20 years ago as a member of the"Broward Mafia," one of the Democrats from South Florida who controlled thestate House and, in many ways, the future of Florida.,0,7365608.story

Miami Herald
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-SCHOOL SAFETY: Anti-bullying bill passes Senate; signing expected
A bill to combat bullying in schools was unanimously approved by the Senateand is now headed to the governor.

-LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Engineers to aim for low, 'safe' level of Lake Okeechobee
Faced with conflicting threats of drought or dike burst, federal engineershave decided that, to the extent they can control Lake Okeechobee, they'llkeep its level lower than normal -- even if that risks water shortages forSouth Florida, The Palm Beach Post reported.

-LEGISLATURES: Fla. stuck with $3 billion sewage bill
The state Legislature passed a measure that requires South Florida countiesto halt the discharge of sewage into the sea, but the bill comes with ahefty price tag.

-Fence won't make good neighbors
In the poem, Mending Wall, Robert Frost questions whether ''Good fences makegood neighbors.'' In the Department of Homeland Security's push to completea 670-mile fence along the Mexican border, it's bullying and intrusivenessthat are making us a bad neighbor. By disregarding more than 30 U.S. laws,not to mention common sense, DHS will damage the environment and violateproperty rights in the region. Already the fence has raised hackles amongU.S. residents and Mexicans along the border. And it has drawn deservedconstitutional challenges.

A Message From GLAAD in Support of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
As a community co-sponsor of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's 10th anniversary, GLAAD has partnered with the amazing film "Affinity," a SarahWaters book adapted for the big screen. We encourage you to attend thescreening and support the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.
Saturday May 3 - 7:30 pm - The Colony - 1040 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL33139
For further information, including ticket prices, please click here

Palm Beach Post
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-Crist to host climate change conference
Gov. Charlie Crist will hold his second climate change conference in Miamiin June.

-FCAT importance could be halved
The anxiety-producing FCAT would make up only half of high schoolA-through-F grades in the future and would be taken later in the school yearin a measure the Senate is expected to approve today.

-Major budget cut to reduce nursing home care
Have a loved one in a nursing home?
They are going to receive less nursing care next year thanks to a major cutin state nursing home funding in Florida's budget that is expected to bepassed on Friday, lawmakers said today.

Fort Report
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-Our position: Florida's standards for concealed-weapons permit are dangerous
Would you go sky diving without extensive parachute training? Would you goscuba diving if you didn't know what to do if your tank runs out of air?
Would anyone try jumping on a black-diamond run in Colorado without firsthitting the bunny slopes?,0,6044141.story

-House approves August sales-tax holiday
The House unanimously approved a back-to-school sales tax holiday betweenAug. 2 and Aug. 8. Clothing, wallets, shoes and bags costing $50 or less andschool supplies priced at $10 or less could be exempt from state and localsales tax. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to send the bill to Gov.Charlie Crist. It has not yet held a vote on the tax break. The holiday isestimated to reduce state and local tax dollars by $23.4 million and $5.2million, respectively, this year.

-Powerful Florida House member sidesteps fundraising ban
Like his colleagues, Rep. Stan Mayfield is not allowed to raise campaignmoney when the Florida Legislature is in session, because of the perceptionthat lawmakers would be trading votes for donations.

-Dear Howard Dean: Sit down and shut up
Now don't get me wrong: I love Howard Dean. I voted for him. Back in theday, I thought he would be the kind of progressive-thinking president thiscountry needed -- a compassionate man with a great track record. But nowthat he's chairman of the Democratic National Committee, I've got to say tohim:,0,6091724.story

-Energy Bill Is Approved, Now In Crist's Hands
The way electric utilities generate power and retailers sell gasoline inFlorida would change under a comprehensive energy bill the Florida Senateapproved Wednesday in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

-Georgia water restrictions threaten Florida ecosystem, officials say
Florida environmental officials Wednesday blasted a federal proposal toreduce the water flowing from Georgia into the Apalachicola River, callingit deadly for rare species and the seafood industry.,0,6182367.story

Fairness for All Families
Please join us for a leadership reception To benefit Fairness for AllFamilies
At the magnificent estate of Brett Tannenbaum and Roby Casey
14 Isla Bahia Drive Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Thursday, May 15th, 2008 6:30pm-8:30pm
Fairness for All Families is a broad-based statewide coalition workingto defeat the 2008 so-called "marriage protection amendment" which threatensto strip away benefits and protections currently offered to a wide varietyof Floridians. Together with your generous support we can safeguard legalprotections, health care, and employment benefits for all Floridians.
YOUR 2008 BROWARD HOST COMMITTEE: Mark Adler & Michael Hannah · MichaelAlbetta · Hon. Elaine Bloom · Sarah Brown . Rabbi Harold Caminker · KathleenCarr · Mitch Ceasar Robert DeCamillo and Kenneth Sasser · Pastor Peg DohertyHoward Forman and Susan Foreman Ken Gottlieb and School Board MemberJennifer Gottlieb Marc Hansen · Gary Keating and Richard B. Schultz Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl and Ted Adcock Mark LaFontaine · Ron Mills · De Palazzo · Paul Palmer and Tony Sandonato Dan Pye · Tom Runyan · Bill Schoolman Brett Tannenbaum and Roby Casey
Can't attend? Click here to donate!
Please RSVP to 888-496-4255 Or **Pleasenote the city for which you are responding** Paid for and Approved by
Fairness for All Families, Inc.
P.O. Box 13184, St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

From Jacobs, Kristin
I am forwarding two articles which describe what's going on in Tallahasseeand the Legislature's efforts to deal with the State's budget. Today's MiamiHerald article clearly explains how local municipal and county governmentsare being squeezed. The second article, from yesterday's JacksonvilleTimes-Union may seem humorous - unless you consider education key to thefuture of our economy and state. Tell me what you think. Kristin

-Counties bear the costs of Legislature's 'mandates' [Miami Herald]
In the waning days of the session, legislators are poised to pass a budgetteeming with billions of dollars in cuts -- but also mandates that countyand municipal officials say will shift the burden to local taxpayers.
While the budget cuts spending on social service programs, education, andhealthcare, a series of other measures likely will cost counties throughoutFlorida up to $1 billion.
From funding local court programs, to figuring out how to finance recyclinginitiatives, local leaders say enacting these ''mandates'' will cause astrain on local governments that were already forced to slash their budgetslast year by the Legislature.

-Crist's extreme parsimony will take a big toll on state [The Times-Union]
A friend suggested a new state slogan: Florida - Welcome to the newMississippi.
That would be an insult to Mississippi.
Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature, following a path blazed by Jeb Bush,are positioning Florida in the bottom tier of states when it comes toproviding services to the poor, the elderly and children. Not satisfiedthat Florida is already a low-tax state, they want taxes to be even lower.
The net result is there isn't enough money to go around. A shining exampleof that is the budget deal House and Senate leaders agreed to on Sunday thatthe Legislature will vote on at the end of this week. The proposed budget,which will be rubber- stamped, cuts spending for public education by 1.8percent. That means the amount of money the state provides for each studentwill be less than this school year's funding at the same time fixed costssuch as health insurance and fuel are rising dramatically. And that meansschool districts will have little choice but to lay off teachers and cutprograms. Usually the first to go are math, art and physical education.


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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

GLBT DIGEST April 30, 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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-Australia to cut gay discrimination
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia will change a raft of federal laws toremove discrimination against gay couples, but will stop short of allowingsame-sex marriages, the government announced Wednesday.

-McGreeveys argue over allowing aide to testify at divorce
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The wife of former Gov. Jim McGreevey wants to bartestimony in their divorce trial from a former aide who claims he had sexualtrysts with the couple.

-New York City: Investigation of Council Said to Grow
The federal inquiry into how City Council members spend the discretionarymoney they control appears to be expanding, and city investigators havebegun questioning workers at a variety of nonprofit organizations thatreceived money, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

-Presbyterian Church clears minister in gay marriage case
The highest court of the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) has found that a Northern California minister did not violatedenominational law when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbiancouples.

Express Gay News
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-The Gay Baby Boom
Using adoption or surrogacy, more homosexual men than ever before arebecoming fathers. It's not a novelty-it's a movement. Look for it at aplayground near you.

-Gay Latinos 'minority twice over'
The growing gay Latino population in the United States is in a minoritytwice over, says Andres Duque, one of the community's leading voices.

-Study shows promising new approach to thwart HIV
Researchers have pinpointed a protein in a key humanimmune system cells needed for the AIDS virus to infect them, and found thatturning it off can greatly slow down the deadly virus.

-McCain's Glass House: Hagee
At a news conference in Florida this week, John McCain couldn't resist theopportunity to bring up remarks by Jeremiah Wright, calling them "beyondbelief." This, despite the fact that Bill Moyers, in an hour long interviewlast Friday showed the world the broader context in which the remarks weremade. McCain, who seeks to position himself above dirty politics, hasinstead positioned himself as a hypocrite.

-Memphis: Principal Outs Gay High School Couple
The ACLU is protesting the outing of two high school students by theirprincipal, who revealed the students' relationship to other students andteachers, then called one of the student's mother to reveal her son'sgayness and tell her that she would not tolerate homosexuality at herschool.

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-McGreeveys Argue Over 3-Some Testimony
(Trenton, New Jersey) The wife of former Gov. Jim McGreevey wants to bartestimony in their divorce trial from a former aide who claims he had sexualtrysts with the couple.

-Bones May Be Linked To Gay Serial Killer
(Indianapolis, Indiana) Cold case detective have re-opened a 13 year oldmurder case of an unidentified man to see if he was a victim of a serialkiller who preyed on gay men in the 1990s.

-Elderly Spinster Sisters Lose Bid For Inclusion In UK Gay Partner Law
(London) Two elderly sisters who live together have lost their final appealin a discrimination case that claimed they were victims of discriminationunder Britain's civil partner law.

-Presbyterian Church Clears Minister In Gay Marriage Case
(Tiburon, California) The highest court of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)has found that a Northern California minister did not violate denominationallaw when she officiated at the weddings of two lesbian couples.

-Gay Bar Settles With Woman Who Was Ejected
(Montreal, Quebec) A Montreal gay bar that caters to male clients hassettled a discrimination complaint with a woman who was thrown out of thepremises.

-Australia Offers Small Olive Branch To Gays
(Canberra) Australia's federal government announced Tuesday that it willamend about 100 laws to provide benefits to same-sex couples, but said itwould not consider either gay marriage or civil unions.

-Guyana Bans Homophobic Singer
(Georgetown) Guyanese authorities have banned a Jamaican reggae artist knownfor anti- gay lyrics from performing in the South American country.

The Advocate
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-HRC Endorsements Omit Neal
The Human Rights Campaign released a list Monday of U.S. Senate candidateendorsements -- 14 in all -- but more surprising than who was on the listwas who wasn't. Openly gay Democrat Jim Neal, who is running for ElizabethDole's seat in North Carolina, did not receive an endorsement in his primaryrace against state senator Kay Hagan.

-North Carolina governor Mike Easley, introducing presidential candidateHillary Clinton at a ceremony, told those gathered that the candidate "makesRocky Balboa look like a pansy." Clinton has yet to refute the remark.Classy!

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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- Help For Gay People Who Want to Adopt
Although Massachusetts law does not discriminate against GLBT people seekingto adopt children or become foster parents, it can still be an uncomfortableprocess, says Director of LGBTQ Training at the Home for Little WanderersColby Berger. The Home for Little Wanderers is a private,Massachusetts-based adoption center, that provides special services for GLBTpeople.

- Gay Sex: A Manual for Men Who Love Men
We live in a world obsessed with (and appalled by) sex. Open anymagazine--certainly any gay male magazine--and you will find it clogged withsexualized images. But a fundamental, hardcore American puritanism stillprevents open, honest, and useful discussions of sexuality. While this istrue for heterosexuality, it is even more so for gay men and lesbians.

-Author Demands That Courts Catch Up with Real World on G/L Marriage
In California, New York and Connecticut, the issue of whether same-sexcouples can be married or merely joined in a civil union has shown up in thecourts again. Even in states where civil unions afford gays and lesbians allthe legal and civil rights as married heterosexual couples, the inability touse the word "marriage" does real damage. Nona Caspers, author of theaward-winning collection of short stories "Heavier than Air," agrees.

-The Wrong Way on Job Bias
THE SENSATIONAL news about the pregnant man in Oregon has brought someoverdue national attention to transgender issues. Over the last severalyears, transgender people have become much more integrated into what is nowcalled the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community. Thatcommunity's leadership has been making a variety of demands, some of which -like a federal hate-crime law based on gender identity - have madesignificant progress, while others - like federal job-discriminationprotections based on gender identity - remain stalled.

-The Naked Playwright's Transgender Jesus
"The basic premise is that Jesus was FTM," says award-winning playwrightTobias K. Davis, describing his one-act play, Crossing, which retells thestory of Christ's crucifixion with this transgender twist. "His strugglesand persecution and crucifixion were motivated not only by his teachings andhow they threatened the Roman Empire, but by his gender, and how itthreatened the rigid binary society."

-We're the True Lesbians, Say Islanders
RESIDENTS of the Greek island of Lesbos have launched a legal case against agay group, insisting they are the real Lesbians. Two inhabitants of theisland of Lesbos along with a member of a nationalist pagan associationtoday launched a legal case to ban the Greek Gay and Lesbian Union (OLKE)from bearing the name "lesbian".

-Coming Out From Behind The Badge
Authors to speak next month at Gay Officers' Action League Conference inWashington DC to hundreds of gay and lesbian police officers and deputysheriffs from around the world. Greg Miraglia announced today that he andother contributing authors from "Coming Out From Behind The Badge" will bespeaking at the Mid-Atlantic Gay Officers' Action League (GOAL) AnnualConference in Washington DC. This unique group of writers will befacilitating a workshop on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 about coming out in thelaw enforcement work place and how to overcome law enforcement's unwritten,"don't ask, don't tell" policy.

-Second Annual Study of Gay and Lesbian Travelers
Harris Interactive® today announced that it has once again teamed up withWiteck-Combs Communications, Inc., the leading gay, lesbian, bisexual, andtransgender (GLBT) strategic marketing and communications agency to conductthe econd Annual GLBT Travel Study. This year's study - expected to bereleased in June/July 2008 -- will again examine the preferences, attitudes,spending patterns and behaviors regarding destination and brand choices forleisure travel (domestic and international) and contrast those findings withthe opinions of heterosexual adults.

-California Governor Takes New Staring Role By Deb Price
My nominee for Best Ex-Actor in a Very Supportive Role: ArnoldSchwarzenegger. In a few simple sentences, the muscular Republican governorof California did some heroically heavy lifting for all Americans whobelieve in equal marriage rights for those of us who're gay.

-A Day of Silence for Lawrence King By William Butte
Even before 15-year-old Lawrence "Larry" King came out to the few friends hehad at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., the sweet-faced,slightly built boy endured taunts and anti-gay slurs spewed at him dailyacross campus, from cafeteria to classroom. As one friend was quoted in theLos Angeles Times: "You'd hear, 'Faggot! Hey, faggot!' That was happening inevery class. A lot of teachers knew stuff was going on ... I guess they justdidn't want to get involved."

Marriage Equality News
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-Albany: More than 2,000 gay-rights activists gathered at the Capitol todayto urge the legislature to legalize same-sex marriage. The group of youngand old, black and white, male and female straight and gay people fromacross the state gathered on the Capitol lawn, some dancing and otherswaving signs. Everyone was cheering for same-sex marriage. Alan Van Capelle,executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, told the crowd that themajority of New Yorkers support gay marriage. Now the legislature has catchup. "New Yorkers don't care about these issues,'' he said. "They have a goodlive and let live attitude."

-WASHINGTON -- Some people marry for love, some for companionship, andothers for status or money. Now comes another reason to get hitched: healthinsurance. In a poll released today, 7% of Americans said they or someonein their household decided to marry in the last year so they could gethealthcare benefits via their spouse.

-Maybe I'm just trying to distract myself from "Democratic Celebrity DeathMatch." But I don't think so. I've been quite focused this week on the coverstory of this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine -- the story called"Young Gay Rites." Do take a minute to read it online if you haven't seenit. You will no doubt have varying reactions to it -- some will reflect onthe couples, some on the journalist, many on you.
The piece offers a very narrow swath of gay "married" life (maybe we shoulduse the word in quotes until we have all the same state and federal legalrights and responsibilities as straight people) -- young white men in their20s in the state of Massachusetts. The photography is clever ("kitschy"would be the gay adjective) and as a sociological portrayal of a smallniche, I suppose it was rather good. But a cover story? A cover that teasesthe piece this way: "Life among young men who are married (to men) inMassachusetts could not be more normal. Strange."

-I was reading that lengthy article in the NY Times about young gay coupleswho are getting married, but at about page 6 I wanted to jump out the windowso I could run around the street screaming, so I just stopped. It's one ofthe most irritating things I've ever read without being paid. It's hard tosee much of a point to Benoit Denizet-Lewis's profiling of these couplesother than to present an image of gay marriage that's rich, white, and,witout question, the best goddamned thing ever. Most of the couplesinterviewed by Denizet-Lewis at least present the signs of excessiveaffluence (monogrammed slippers, antique furniture from all over the world,catered sushi parties, jobs at law firms, and degrees from MIT) and the onegroup of young, gay men he interviewed was described as "five workingprofessionals" in their 20's and "two college undergraduates."

-Pennsylvania: Civil-rights attorneys, theologians and moms and dads onboth sides of the gay-marriage debate clashed again in Harrisburg today as astate Senate panel heard a third round of testimony on a proposal to bansame-sex unions in the constitution. "Clearly, what is proposed in SenateBill 1250 is a step backward into language of denial, devaluing,delegitimizing and in its simple wording, in my opinion, conceals awellspring of toxic and prejudicial feeling," testified Riess W. Potterveld,president of Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Pink News - UK
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-Royal calls gay sex claims "spurious"
The Royal at the centre of the gay sex blackmail trial has declared theaccusations of his sexuality as "spurious". The Royal, referred to only aswitness A told the court in a statement: "As far as these comments about mypersonal and professional life are concerned, I can only say they arespurious and without foundation."

-Anti-gay 'Day of Truth' fails to make its mark in US schools
Gay rights groups across America have breathed a sigh of relief after thehomophobic 'Day of Truth' failed to make an impact on American schools.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Attached is a list of civil society organizations that have been invited toparticipate in the UN's high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS this June. The listwill be voted on by UN member governments today.
Scott Long Director Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights ProgramHuman Rights Watch
The list is at:

-New guide available: Opening the Door to Transgender-Inclusion
Download this new publication, jointly produced by the Task Force and theNational Center for Transgender Equality, which guides LGBT organizationsthrough all the steps needed to make organizations fullytransgender-inclusive.

CEE Bulletin on Sexual and Reproductive Rights No 5 (61) 2008
Sexual and reproductive health and rights constitute fundamental humanrights, form a vital aspect of the women's empowerment and are key to theachievement of gender equality.

-PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe): Ground-breakingresolution on abortion in Europe. On 16th of April, a report entitled"Access to Safe and Legal Abortion in Europe" was adopted with 102 votesfor, 69 votes against and 14 abstentions after a four-hour debate. With thislandmark voting, the Council of Europe (CoE) calls upon its 47 member statesto guarantee access to safe and legal abortion (including financialcoverage) and to decriminalize it in countries where the law denies women'sright to decide freely over their bodies. It has to be highlighted that theCoE is the first international institution that speaks so explicitly andutterly in favor of the depenalization of termination of pregnancy.

-ITALY: Doctors refuse to perform abortion. Media report that about 70percent of Italian doctors refuse to perform terminations of pregnancy. Thusthe health care system faces a real challenge in providing medical servicesthat by the letter of law must be guaranteed to women. The ministry ofhealth released a report that shows that the percentage of gynecologists whorefuse to terminate pregnancies has risen by 10 points in comparison withthe year 2003. Furthermore, more than half of anesthesiologists also refuseto participate in providing abortion services. This disturbing trend can bepartly attributed to the anti-choice catholic lobby that is even more andmore influential in Italy.

-LITHUANIA: Anti-choice conference on Polish experience. During a conferenceorganized by Polish anti-choice activists in Vilnius that took place on the17th of April, Antoni Szymanski, a parliamentarian from Poland, said thatabortion law in Poland is well-monitored, data is very good - the number ofabortions is low, women's reproductive health has improved and almost allagree with the situation, nobody wants to change the policy. There has onlybeen one tragic death case.

-MALTA: The Malta Labour Party (MLP) speaks against abortion. Leo Brincat,member of the MLP reassured in his speech at the Council of Europe (CoE)that the political party always was, is and will be against thedecriminalization of abortion. Malta remains one of the very few countriesin Europe (as do other Christian countries like Ireland and Poland) thatuphold very restrictive anti-abortion law.

-NORWAY: Government considers adoption of Swedish-like law on sex work.
Norwegian Minister of Justice, Knut Storberget, stated that the plannedintroduction of criminalization of the purchase of sexual services is ameasure to counter trafficking in women to Norway. However, it needs to behighlighted that this statement is challenged and questioned by many expertsin the field of SRHR and anti-trafficking. It is claimed that penalizationof purchasing sexual services will not eliminate the phenomenon of sex workbut only push it into the so-called underground where women, including youngimmigrants, are even more vulnerable to abuse.

-Polish Women meet top officials of the European Commission. On April the7th a group of Polish women's NGOs met in Brussels with Vladimir Spidla - EUCommissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. Themain purpose of this meeting was to inform the Commissioner about the lackof adequate equality policies in Poland. The Commissioner seemed to be wellaware of difficulties in the Polish equality policies and lack of sufficientmechanisms and promised to look into it. He even said that if Poland is notgoing to comply with EU equality policies he might consider suing Poland toEuropean Court of Justice in Luxemburg. He also promised to come to Polandon our invitation.

-RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Attempts to restrict access to information on abortionservices. Russian lawmakers proposed a new bill that aims to significantlylimit of access to information on abortion services in the country. Thedraft law has been already introduced to the State Duma and it bans abortionads in all media. Although termination of pregnancy remains legal in Russia,such services can only be announced in the very specialized medicalperiodicals. The draft law can be perceived as blatant violation of theright to information and by these means restricts Russian women's access tosafe abortion. The situation is really alarming as this political initiativehas been supported by three out of four political fractions in the Duma: theUnited Russia, A Just Russia, and the Communist Party.

-RUSSIAN FEDERATION: Fertility rate on the rise raises social concerns.
Governmental programme aimed at boosting procreation (introduction offinancial allowances for children) is yielding results. Statistics show thatin some regions the fertility rate has even grown by six times in comparisonwith the 1990s. Russian health and social care minister, Tatiana Golikova,announces that in 2011 the birth rate will be sufficient to replenish thecurrent population. However, these optimistic views are confronted with lessoptimistic expert opinions according to which increased the fertility rateis leading to a serious social security crisis. bulletin:
Source: Rzeczpospolita Daily, 02/04/2008

-TAJIKISTAN: Political initiative to further restrict sex work. Recently,Tajik Interior Minister, Mahmadnazar Salihov, announced that hisadministration is now working on a bill which would further criminalizeprostitution in the country. When the draft law is elaborated, it will besent to Parliament and put under voting.
More information is available at:

-TAJIKISTAN: Poverty drifts baby trade. More and more cases of sellingnewborns by women living below the poverty line are being reported.
Tajikistan which is a poverty-stricken Central Asian state does not providewomen with many life options. An alarming percentage of the population, alsoon the outskirts of the capital (Dushanbe) live in terrible conditions withno money to get by. Poverty affects women in a specific way. Limited accessto contraception often leads to unwanted pregnancy and many women simplycannot afford to raise a child. The economic situation is also a barrier toabortion. Many Tajik women are left alone by their partners due toeconomical migration to Russia.

-UN report: Tracking progress in Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival. Thenew report has been released on April, 16 in Cape Town, South Africa, whereleading global health experts and policy makers gathered to discuss theeradication of maternal and child mortality, which is one of the MillenniumDevelopment Goals required to be achieved by the year 2015.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Contact if can't access the article

-I am writing to invite you to march in the 16th Annual Queens Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade and Festival scheduled for Sunday,June 1, 2008 (rain or shine). It's hard to believe that Pride is 16 yearsold in Queens!
The parade steps off at 12:00 pm on 37th Avenue from 89th Street to 75thStreet in Jackson Heights. Please assemble at 89th Street and 37th Avenueno later than 11:30 AM. The parade disperses into the Festival which is heldon 37th Road from 73rd Street to 77th Street. The Festival runs from 11:00AM until 6:00 pm. This year we are fortunate to have American Music Awardwinner and multi-Platinum recording artist Randy Jones (Original VillagePeople Cowboy) performing on our Main Stage at the Festival.

-My name is Hossein Alizadeh and I am the communication coordinator atIGLHRC. As a IGLHRC staff member who has worked closely with Iranian QueerOrganization (IRQO) over the past two years, and as an Iranian who extremelyproud of IRQO's activities and outreach, it is my honor and pleasure tonightto present the 2008 Felipa de Souza Award to Arsham Parsi, the founder anddirector of IRQO, who is here with us to represent his organization.
The Iranian Queer Organization is an all volunteer, grassroots organizationthat started back in 2001 as a listserv by a group of young Iranian gay andlesbian inside Iran. Despite the risk of wiretapping and infiltration by theIranian morality police, these brave Iranian queers decided to get togetherand form the virtual support group to empower members of the community whoface similar legal, political, and social challenges.

-This is the second in our week-long blog series of PFLAG dads speaking outin response to the recent Details Magazine article

about heterosexual fathers and gay sons. Today's entry is from PFLAG dadPaul Wertsch, M.D., of Madison, Wisconisn, who writes about his son Greg.
Paul also serves as Chair of the American Medical Association's Gay,Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues Advisory Committee.
Can a father be proud of a gay son? You bet!
I was quite sad after reading the article written by a man who thought thatit would be difficult to be proud of his son if he happened to be gay. Iwill admit that when my son came out to his mother and me that we werecompletely unprepared and felt ourselves very ignorant about the wholesubject of sexuality.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-They're young, they're gay -- and they're getting hitched
This article looks at the burgeoning trend of 20-something gay men optingfor marriage in Massachusetts. Journalist Benoit Denizet-Lewis tracked agroup of young couples over the course of a few months to see how the gayworld is adapting to the institution of marriage -- and vice versa. The NewYork Times (4/27)

-Gay, lesbian youth plan to settle down with partner by 30: More than 90% ofyoung lesbians and 80% of young gay men plan on being in a partnered,monogamous relationship by the time they're 30, according to a study by theRockway Institute. (4/24)

-HRC proclaims 2008 the "Year to Win"
"Year to Win" is a new national effort from the Human Rights Campaign to get"pro-equality" LGBT voters to take part in the 2008 elections. The projectwill include a "Camp Equality" program to train 1,500 volunteers in 13cities; voter information at more than 100 pride events; and support for thecampaigns of 14 candidates "to increase the fair-minded majority in theSenate." (4/28)

-HRC releases Senate endorsement list: The Human Rights Campaign hasannounced its backing for 14 U.S. Senate candidates. The group is not makinga pick for the North Carolina Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Doleuntil after the May 6 Democratic primary contest between openly gaycandidate Jim Neal and state Sen. Kay Hagan. Washington Blade (4/28)

-Court: No discrimination against lesbian teachers who sued Montana schooldistrict (4/25)

-Out Pittsburgh councilman calls on state lawmakers to vote down marriageban
Out Pittsburgh Councilman Bruce A. Kraus is calling on the PennsylvaniaLegislature to vote against a proposed constitutional marriage ban. "Today Iask you, as members of the state General Assembly, with the power to endthis discrimination before it can go any further, to not only vote againstSB 1250, but to speak out against it and the intolerance, prejudice anddiscrimination it represents," he writes. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (4/27)


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