Saturday, July 05, 2008


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New York Times
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-Despair Drives Suicide Attacks by Iraqi Women
In Diyala Province, a trend of bombings by women may be due partly tosuccesses in fighting a terrorist group.

-Cause for Alarm
Symbols of patriotism have replaced the hard work and sacrifice required tokeep a great nation great.

-As Gas Prices Soar, Elderly Face Cuts in Aid
Fuel costs have stifled agencies that deliver meals to or providetransportation for senior citizens.

-Jesse Helms, Beacon of Conservatism, Dies at 86
Jesse Helms, the former North Carolina senator with the courtly manner andmossy drawl who turned his hard-edged conservatism against civil rights, gayrights, foreign aid and modern art, died early Friday. He was 86. [...]Perhaps his most visible accomplishments in the Senate came two decadesapart. One was a 1996 measure that tightened trade sanctions against theMarxist government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. The other, a 1973 amendment tothe Foreign Assistance Act, prevented American money from going tointernational family planning organizations that, in his words, "provide orpromote" abortion. He also introduced amendments to reduce or eliminatemoney for foreign aid, welfare programs and the arts.

-Burial Exposes Racial Rift in Texas
The corpse of a white woman whose 2007 killing barely made headlines is nowat the center of a peculiar racial conflict over the desegregation of thecemeteries in a rural Texas county.

-Early Hitch for Ambitions of San Francisco's Mayor
Gavin Newsom, the popular and telegenic mayor of San Francisco, declaredthis week that he was forming an exploratory committee to consider a run forgovernor in 2010. His move was not surprising: convincingly re-elected lastfall, Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, is riding a wave of local adoration. Hisembrace of same-sex marriage, and the California Supreme Court's ruling inMay legalizing the marriages, also put him in the national spotlight.

-In Montana, Obama Tries to Rally Support on Iraq
As he finished a weeklong tour of states that have voted Republican inrecent presidential races, Senator Barack Obama said on Friday that thenation had "hit a crossroads and we've got to make a fast turn," urgingvoters at an Independence Day celebration to support his candidacy if theywanted to end the war in Iraq.

-Beliefs: Obama Sets Off a Debate on Ties Between Religion and Government
On Tuesday, Senator Barack Obama did his best to reclaim for Democrats theidea of partnerships between government and grass-roots religious groups -and except for six little words he did a very smooth job.

-White House Memo: Tiptoeing on Bush and Convention
What if your family was planning a big end-of-summer bash (a Grand OldParty, you might call it) but preferred that you not be seen - or heard?That is the question hanging over President Bush, with eight weeks to gountil Republicans gather in St. Paul to nominate Senator John McCain as hissuccessor. Convention planners, the White House and the McCain campaign arewrestling with how to choreograph a proper send-off for Mr. Bush - sure, hispoll numbers are in the tank, but he is still the party leader and presidentof the United States - while hustling him out the door in time for Mr.McCain to look like his own man.

Washington Post
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-Two Speeches, Two Truths About America
Sen. Barack Obama's speech on patriotism this week at the Truman MemorialBuilding in Independence, Mo., stands in sharp relief to FrederickDouglass's Fourth of July oration before the Rochester Ladies' Anti-SlaverySociety in 1852. The two men's remarks, touching on loyalty, race and thecountry's moral foundation, underscore the difference 150 years has made inthe life of our nation.

-Crackdown in Zimbabwe Conducted From the Top
In aftermath of March 29 election loss, Mugabe decides to rely on themilitary to prosecute a campaign against opposition, new details reveal.

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-Serena v. Venus
The Williams sisters' first coach talks about his 'discovery' just beforethe two faceoff for the Wimbledon title today.,0,2148122.column

Miami Herald
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-SUPREME COURT: Guns create more tragedy than safety
The Supreme Court has spoken: Thanks to the court's blockbuster 5 to 4decision Thursday, Washingtonians now have the right to own a gun forself-defense. I leave the law to lawyers, but the public health lesson iscrystal clear: The legal ruling that the residents of Washington, D.C., cankeep loaded handguns in their homes doesn't mean that they should.

-U.S. DOLLAR: It's amazing how far we have fallen
Paris was hardly empty of U.S. visitors last week. But there were far fewerAmerican voices than in past years, and the ones you heard were sayingthings like, ``It's so ex-PEN-sive!'' The U.S. dollar -- which once carriedthe adjective ''mighty'' before it -- is now a shadow of its formerswaggering self. In 2000, one U.S. dollar could buy 1.21 euros, the then-newEuropean currency. Now, one euro equals about $1.56. Another downhill markerwas reached in March, when the combined gross domestic product of the 15countries that use the euro passed that of the United States.

-Obama courts evangelical Christian vote
The Rev. Joel Hunter, pastor of a Florida mega-church and a Republican whovoted twice for George W. Bush, was among 30 religious leaders invited to aprivate meeting with the 2008 presidential nominee. The Democratic nominee, that is.

Fort Report
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-Black Republican group uses MLK to promote itself
A black Republican group has put up billboards in Florida and South Carolinasaying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, a claim that blackleaders say is ridiculous.

-Obama's Odds
Despite poll data that seem to forecast a big Democratic win, most analystsprivately expect another close race. If you believe the Intrade bettingodds, Barack Obama has a 65 percent chance of beating John McCain inNovember. Similarly, in the Iowa Electronic Markets, Obama has a 64 per-centchance of winning. Indeed, a look at much of the polling data might lead oneto conclude that Obama does in fact have a 2-1 chance of becoming the nextpresident. And yet most trial heats show the presumptive Democratic nomineewith an advantage of just 4 to 6 percentage points--a fairly insignificantedge and certainly not one to warrant such favorable odds.

-Obama may accept nomination at Invesco Field
Barack Obama's campaign is considering having him accept the Democraticpresidential nomination at Invesco Field at Mile High instead of the PepsiCenter, the chosen site for the Democratic National Convention, two peoplewith knowledge of convention planning said Thursday. The two spoke oncondition of anonymity because nothing has been confirmed.

-What John McCain didn't learn in Vietnam
In spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the former POW insists wecould have won. No wonder he talks of occupying Iraq for a century. Nobodyhas denigrated the service of John McCain or his suffering in captivity as aprisoner of North Vietnam, as much as his supporters wish to pretend thatsomeone did. Nobody has denied that his valor in captivity offers insightinto his character. But so far almost nobody has asked the most importantquestion about McCain's military experience, which is how his past mightinfluence his future as president.

-Bush's Legacy and the Damage Done
With President Bush attending his last G8 summit in Japan, it is a good timeto assess the foreign policy legacy of his Administration-and what a legacy!From the Middle East to Latin America to Europe to South Asia, Bush'spolicies have created multiple disasters.

-Jesse Helms, John McCain and the Mark of the White Hands
Jesse Helms was a segregationist, and a nasty one at that. Long after hiscontemporaries abandoned old "Jim Crow," Helms kept playing the race cardwhen it served him politically. And when he was not picking onAfrican-Americans, he picked on ethnic minorities, immigrants, tradeunionists and gays and lesbians.

-Why Barack Obama may be lonely in 2009
What Europe wants now: right-wing leaders with left-wing ideas
When Barack Obama lands in Europe for his first big international tour thismonth, the Democratic presidential candidate may be shocked to find himselfstanding in the middle of a vast, blood-soaked plain littered with thebodies of his political allies.

-Decider on the High Court
The most dramatic stories in any field of competitive endeavor are thosethat recount events that almost never happened. It's the scoreless ballgamesthat end with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth that linger in thepsyches of winners and losers -- not the 9-3 walkovers.

-Decision 2008: Muslims feel ignored by McCain, Obama
Dr. Abdul Raheman Nakadar, a retired cardiologist and political activist,says he finds a particular aspect of the 2008 campaign for the U.S.presidency curious. Why, Nakadar asks, are the campaigns of Senators BarackObama and John McCain not reaching out to Muslim leaders in Metro Detroit,like campaigns in elections past, to arrange for public meetings andcampaign appearances?

-Environmentalists gird for battle with Bush over rule changes
Environmentalists are bracing for a final battle with the Bushadministration over its efforts to weaken clean water, air and toxic wasteregulations before a new president moves into the White House.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - July 05, 2008

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The Board of Directors
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council cordially invites you to our Summer Party - Sunday, July 27 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Grandview Gardens Bed & Breakfast
1608 Lake Avenue in West Palm Beach
Join Palm Beach County's elected officials, candidates for office and civic leaders for cocktails and conversation. $125 per person
For information call: (561) 845-6545
During election years, the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council presentsan opportunity for members of the GLBT community and our supporters to meetand mingle with public officials, candidates, and other local movers andshakers. Funds raised at this event help defray the cost of our electionyear mailings. Please mark the date on your calendar and plan to join us.To attend, please mail checks made payable to "PBCHRC" for $125 per personto: PBCHRC - P.O. Box 267 - West Palm Beach, Florida 33402
Feel free to pay on-line by using the "Make a Donation with PayPal" link.

Chris Chiari wins Broward, Palm Beach, and State AFL-CIO Endorsements
Building on the momentum of the Broward Teacher's Union endorsement lastmonth, Chris Chiari won support from the Broward, Palm Beach, and FloridaAFL-CIO. All three boards shifted their support away from the incumbent,State Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, whom they had endorsed in previousyears. "Working families in Palm Beach and Broward Counties will be thewinners when Chris Chiari gets elected to the Florida House in District 91.Labor has endorsed a winner," said Pat Emmert, President of the PalmBeach-Treasure Coast AFL-CIO. "The workers of this state deserve leadershipthat's going to stand firm on their behalf. As Representative, I will workhard to repair the damage caused by the reckless Rubio-Bogdanoff budget cutsthat are devastating the working class across the state," said Chris Chiari.I'm grateful to all of the AF L-CIO locals across the state for supportingthis race, and look forward to working with them to bring much needed changeto Tallahassee," Chiari added. More information about Chris Chiari and theDistrict 91 race may be found at


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-Hearing impaired advocates angry that Palm Beach County may drop signlanguage services
Sign language in storms may get cut on TV
Debbie Meranski, of Boynton Beach, hasn't forgotten her panic on the nightHurricane Jeanne thundered into South Florida nearly four years ago. Andunless you are hearing impaired, you can only imagine her fright. Livingalone, new to Florida, and deaf, Meranski was caught off guard. Now she'samong those frustrated over a possible move by Palm Beach County officialsto eliminate the use of a sign-language interpreter during live localemergency broadcasts. Because of budget cuts this year, the county'sinterpreter services may be discontinued for good.,0,188816.story

Miami Herald
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-Media attention on Crist inspires VP murmurs
Is the Florida governor's headline-grabbing behavior typical or is healigning himself for vice presidential consideration?

Palm Beach Post
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-Is Flood Insurance Necessary?
It's hurricane season again, and the big question is: Do you need floodinsurance? A national consumer public survey cited last week by Florida'sChief Financial Officer Alex Sink found that that the number of residentswith flood insurance in the South is 17 percent, down from 20 percent a yearago.

-Crist's fifth engagement
Charlie Crist, the state's first bachelor governor in more than 35 years,proposed Thursday to girlfriend Carol Rome on the balcony of his condo inSt. Petersburg. The couple has been dating for nine months. "Thank God shesaid yes," Crist said. "It's a very happy day."

Fort Report
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-Amendment 5 worries local businesses
They fear tax bill will only pass undue woes onto them
The atmosphere is not peachy at Sky Advertising in Satellite Beach, whereowner Jackie Barker worries that the passage of Amendment 5 this fall wouldlead to an exodus of her agency's clients to Georgia.

-Study finds racial bias in doctors
If you are a patient and happen to be black, it apparently doesn't matterwhether your color shows up in pigments or pixels. A doctor may be lesslikely to hear your complaint, either way. That's the conclusion of a newstudy from the University of Florida.


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Friday, July 04, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - July 04, 2008

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Washington Post
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-Gay-Marriage Opponents To Boycott McDonald's
A group that opposes same-sex marriage has called for a boycott ofMcDonald's, saying the fast-food giant has refused "to stay neutral in thecultural war over homosexuality." The American Family Association (AFA)launched the boycott yesterday because McDonald's joined the National Gayand Lesbian Chamber of Commerce several months ago and placed an executiveon the group's board of directors, in addition to donating to the chamber.

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-'Pregnant man' gives birth to baby girl
A transgender man who made national news earlier this year when he revealedhe was pregnant has given birth to a girl, ABC News reported on Thursday.Thomas Beatie, 34. who became pregnant through artificial insemination, gavebirth Sunday to a healthy baby. The Oregon man was resting and healthy,according to ABC. The birth was natural.,0,2641456.story

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-Anti-Gay Adoption Initiative Faces Names Crunch
An organization collecting signatures to place an initiative on the Novemberballot to ban unmarried couples from adopting or fostering children inArkansas said Thursday it will submit its petitions by Monday's deadline butwill likely need more time to get the number required.

-Firebomb Attacks In Advance Of Budapest Gay Pride
(Budapest) For the second time in less than a week a gay business has beenfirebombed.

-Teens Arraigned In Taped Assault On Lesbian Classmate
Two female Michigan high school students who were videotaped attacking aclassmate have been formally arraigned on charges of aggravated assault.

Express Gay News
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-UK: Teacher's diary of gay taunts
A newly qualified teacher from Manchester has kept a diary of the abuse hehas suffered from pupils for being homosexual. An actor reads from the diary.

-Team Florida swims to gold
The three most revered words in competitive swimming command silence fromswimmers of all ages and orientations, and at the recent Intern ational Gayand Lesbian Aquatics championships (IGLA), they sparked record-settingperformances from a strong South Florida contingency of both gay andstraight adult swimmers.

-Arkansas: Partial victory for anti-adoption group
The group that wants to make adoption and foster parenting in Arkansas moredifficult (and punish gay people in the process) has announced that it hasenough signatures to qualify for an extension in signature gathering for itsproposed initiated act. This is to say that, with almost 62,000 signaturesneeded, the group has obtained that many, but knows that many will bedisallowed, either as improperly gathered or not those of registered voters.Every signature must be individually witnessed. A petition can't be left ina church vestibule for unmonitored signatures, for example.

-Having A Gay Husband Is Kind Of.Queer
Last night, BBC America aired the documentary My Husband Is Gay. I thoughtit would be about straight women and gay men who make the choice to getmarried and start a family together, kinda like that Next Best Thing movie.But it was actually about women who married men who were pretending to be orbelieved at one time that they were straight. Anyway, most of the couplessplit amicably, but one couple, Sam and Dave, decided to create a marriageon their own terms, in which they raise their daughters and live as man andwife in every aspect - even still share a bed - except sexually. You know,to each his own, but I came away from it thinking that Sam was settling fora raw deal, since Dave is going out having gay weekends in Brighton, andshe's at home with the kids and celibate. Clip above.

The Advocate
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- Police Woman
Long before Sam Adams made waves as Portland, Ore.'s gay mayor, the machoworld of Oregon police enforcement was crashed by lesbian Jennifer Bills.Oregon is becoming one of those places, like California and New York, thatis known to look beyond gender and orientation lines. Last month Portlandelected openly gay Sam Adams as mayor of the esteemed Rose City, but longbefore that -- 14 years, to be exact -- lesbian Jennifer Bills became policelieutenant of Oregon's second largest city, Eugene. Strangely enough, Billsgained a reputation as an anti-authority figure who often clashed withpolice while attending the University of Oregon in Eugene as a young woman.

-Arizona Governor Opposed to Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage
Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona announced her opposition this week to aconstitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, according to The ArizonaRepublic. While Napolitano made it clear that she believes marriage is aunion between a man and a woman, she is not in favor of the proposal andfinds it unnecessary at this time.

Marriage Equality News
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-NC: Anti-marriage constitutional amendment sought
Excerpt: Opponents of same-sex marriage are making another attempt to amendthe state's constitution to ensure such unions do not become law in NorthCarolina. On Wednesday, they announced new legislation that gives votersthe opportunity to vote for a constitutional amendment that defines marriageas "the union of one man and one woman at one time." Several Republicanlawmakers at a news conference said the recent court decision in Californiathrowing out that state's ban on marriage of same-sex couples makes iturgent that lawmakers here take up the legislation. North Carolina lawalready prevents such marriages.

-Oklahoma Supreme Court Sends Mixed Signals on Same-Sex Divorce Dispute
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a trial judge's decisionto vacate his order granting a divorce to a same-sex couple, but ruled thatthe party who had petitioned for the divorce, Cait O'Darling, is entitled toa hearing before her case is dismissed. The July 1 ruling reversed the trialcourt's action in dismissing the case upon learning that Cait and StephanieO'Darling are both women. O'Darling v. O'Darling, 2008 Westlaw 2600682. Thefacts of the case as set forth in the opinion by Justice Rudolph Hargraveare rather sketchy.

Pink News - UK
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-Tories will walk with Boris at their first Pride London
Up to 20 young members of the Conservative party will be accompanying theMayor of London on his first Pride march tomorrow.

-Australia's gay Olympian attacks PM over same-sex marriage
A 20-year-old diver set to represent Australia at the 2008 Olympic Games inAugust has said that the country's Prime Minister is "narrow-minded" foropposing marriage equality for gay couples.

-Tabloid attack on Armed Forces at Pride London is "misinformed"
A Royal Navy officer has said a story in The Sun that claimed servicepersonnel will be paid travel expenses to attend Pride London when they aredenied them when attending Royal garden parties is inaccurate.

-Amid petrol bomb attacks, 400 police committed to gay beauty pageant
While gay activists in Budapest are complaining that the police are notprotecting gay businesses in the city, the organisers of Mr Gay Europe haveannounced they will have "400 policemen and women to protect them during thefinal."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-RWANDA: Military to lead the way in male circumcision
The soldiers in the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) will be the first men tobenefit from a government policy to use male circumcision as a tool in thefight against HIV/AIDS, according to senior health officials. Early in2008, the Rwandan Ministry of Health declared its intention to includecircumcision - scientifically proven to reduce a man's risk of contractingthe virus from an infected sexual partner by as much as 60 percent - in itsHIV prevention programmes. The voluntary circumcision programme is expectedto start in August.

-Ugandan Lesbian Prossy Kakooza today won the latest fight in her battle forasylum in the UK.
A senior immigration judge dismissed a previous Immigration Tribunal ruling,denying Prossy asylum, calling the judgement "a mess". Prossy fled Ugandaafter being tortured and raped by police officers. Her family haddiscovered Prossy and her partner in bed together and had marched them,naked, to the police station where they were detained. Prossy was subjectedto horrific sexual attacks and physical torture. She escaped to the UK afterher family bribed the guards to release her - as they wanted to deal withtheir family shame by having Prossy killed.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-SAS Scandinavian Airlines has launched a gay site on its website, thereby becoming the first European airline with awebsite dedicated to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender/transsexual(GLBT) market. Even more unique, the website builds on SAS' popular crewtips, providing tips from its own gay crew of the best that Stockholm andCopenhagen has to offer. The new site,, has been launchedin time to celebrate EuroPride, which is taking place in Stockholm July 30 -August 2. And next year, Copenhagen is hosting the World Out Games 2009,once again bringing a major gay event to Scandinavia, SAS' home market. SASis the proud Strategic Partner of the World Out Games 2009 and also itsofficial airline.

-Does Germany Have a Problem With Gay Hate Crime?
Migration to Germany from countries including Turkey and Russia, wherehomosexuality is taboo, has led to a rise in crime against gays. Gay-bashing hip-hop music isn't helping, either. So how shouldliberal-minded Germans deal with less tolerant immigrants?,1518,562638,00.html

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Last August, the Lambda Literary Foundation launched its most ambitiousproject to date: a week-long intensive residency for emerging writers. Thisyear, 32 carefully chosen and highly promising students will participate inworkshops with Rigoberto Gonzalez, Claire McNab, D.A. Powell, ElanaDykewomon, Katherine V. Forrest, and Eloise Klein Healy. In addition, theywill benefit from presentations by literary agents and publishers. We havemore requests for financial aid than we are able to grant. We have raised$6,000 to date for scholarships, and our goal is to raise an additional$10,000 by July 15. A full scholarship is $1,500.

-"Intergroup demands Hungary to properly protect Pride participants."
On 5 July a Pride parade will take place in the streets of Budapest. TheEuropean Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights supports theevent and requests the government of Hungary to provide proper and fullprotection to all people taking part in Pride events. "Violence as seen lastyear must not be repeated", said Michael Cashman, President of theIntergroup. "Police forces must be able to protect people exercising theirdemocratic rights to peaceful assembly." Sirpa Pietikäinen, Vice-Presidentof the Intergroup for the EPP-ED added, "Last year, because of negligenceand inactivity of police, people were attacked before, during and after theparade. This year we will closely watch the ability of Hungarian police toprotect every citizen against violence."

From Transgender Equality
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-Transgender woman murdered in Memphis
TEP and TTPC warn against increasing 'transphobia'
Memphis (Tenn. ) - Memphis Police are investigating the death of Rodney Whitaker, age 20, an African American transgendered woman who was found on July 1, just steps away from a daycare, an abandoned apartment complex and a strip club. WREG-TV in Memphis broke the news and reported that Whitaker was left naked and that police were investigating the crime as a possible murder. A daycare worker discovered the body around 7 a.m. Tuesday and WREG said that parents at the daycare say this is the second murder there in a year. One man said he heard a gunshot early in the morning, but police are not providing any details about this case other than to say an adult male was dead on arrival, according to WREG.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrier
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-Trevor Project offers lifeline to LGBT youth
The work of The Trevor Project, the only national 24-hour suicide preventionhot line in the U.S. for LGBT and questioning youth, is highlighted in thisarticle. "There's a high level of stress that youth face in the transitionfrom youth to adulthood," said Charles Robbins, executive director of TheTrevor Project. "Add on top of that the challenges of sexual orientation orgender identity and we get 15,000 calls a year." CNN (7/2)

-Better gay than grey, say EU citizens
European Union citizens would prefer to elect a gay leader than have onethey consider too old, a study released in Brussels has revealed. Accordingto the Eurobarometer study of 27,000 EU citizens across the bloc, just 17per cent of Europeans would be totally comfortable with someone over the ageof 75 in their country's highest elected post.

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-They swim, they dive, they kiss!
Take a look at the incredible athletes at this year's International Gay andLesbian Aquatic championships! You won't want to miss the next one. Puthundreds of men in tiny bikinis and try not to have a good time!

-Swimming: 152 records fall at IGLA!
Hundreds of men and women descended on Washington, D.C. this past weekend toattend the 2008 International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Championships (IGLA).The IGLA is always an exciting time with a lot of fun events taking placebut don't let the atmosphere fool you. These are true athletes who takethis event and their sport very seriously. To put to rest any doubts ofthat, an incredible 152 U.S. Masters and FINA world records were brokenduring this years events.

-The college sports challenge!
When ran an exclusive coming-out interview with college diving champ Greg DeStephen, we knew it would be a big deal. And it was: This story of a strong young student athlete bravely coming out was's most popular feature of all time. Not only did you read it, your comments of thanks and congratulations were immediate -- and amazing.

-We've got gay sports covered!
If you haven't seen the Gay Sports Blog, you're missing out! From breakingsport news to hot athletes, it's all here waiting for you.


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New York Times
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-Rove's Third Term
The Wesley Clark affair revealed something important about John McCain. Nowwe know what a McCain administration would represent: namely, a third termfor Karl Rove.

-Target: Barack Obama. Strategy: What Day Is It?
Despite a three-month head start, Senator John McCain has struggled tosolidify lines of attack against Senator Barack Obama for the generalelection, Republican operatives say and some of his own advisersacknowledge, running into problems that bedeviled Senator Hillary RodhamClinton's primary campaign against Mr. Obama.

-2nd Terror Suspect Released in Britain
LONDON - A 45-year-old Algerian described by American prosecutors as themastermind of an abortive plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airportduring millennium celebrations in 1999 has been released on tight bailconditions after seven years in British jails, court officials saidThursday.

Washington Post
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-A Special Patriotism
by Eugene Robinson
Love of country among African Americans may be complicated, but it is deepand strong and honest. [...]Think about Colin Powell -- but also thinkabout the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a former Marine. And consider, as wecelebrate Independence Day, how steadfast and complicated black patriotismhas always been. The subject is particularly relevant now that the firstAfrican American with a realistic chance of becoming president, BarackObama, has felt compelled to give a lengthy speech explaining his ownpatriotism.

-We Gotta Have Faith by E. J. Dionne Jr.
With his plan to engage religious groups, Obama may succeed where Bushfailed. [...] His latest foray is on a subject dear to my heart: the effortto find constitutional ways to build partnerships between government andfaith-based groups doing essential work for the poor and the marginalized.The outline Obama offered Tuesday suggests that he wants to learn fromPresident Bush's failures in this area, not simply reject an idea because ithas Bush's name on it.

-Free at Last
Colombia's dramatic hostage rescue strengthens the case for a tradeagreement.
SUPERLATIVES FAIL in describing the Colombian army operation that rescued 15hostages from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. Havingpainstakingly infiltrated the guerrilla organization's communicationsnetwork, the Colombian forces apparently deceived the captors into handingthe hostages over to Colombian troops disguised as guerrillas. The rescuersplayed their roles superbly, even adding a touch of the rebels'characteristic cruelty as they bound the hostages and shoved them aboard ahelicopter. Once all were airborne, the soldiers subdued the rebels who hadescorted the hostages, then removed the captives' restraints. Thus were theFrench-Colombian citizen Ingrid Betancourt, three American defensecontractors, and 11 Colombians liberated from years of captivity -- withouta shot being fired. Europe and the United States, as well as Colombia, owethese brave and skilled men, and their commander in chief, President ÁlvaroUribe, a large debt of gratitude.

-Latin America Policy at a Crossroads
McCain Trip to Region Makes Clear That Election Outcome Will AffectRelationship
MEXICO CITY, July 3 -- Sen. John McCain's trip to Colombia and Mexico thisweek made one thing clear: The shape of the United States' relationship withLatin America will hinge on the outcome of the 2008 election.

-Debate Over Guantanamo's Fate Intensifies
The Bush administration is developing a long-range plan to empty theGuantanamo Bay military prison that could include asking Congress to spellout procedures for scores of suspected terrorists whom the government doesnot plan to bring to trial, administration officials and others familiarwith high-level White House discussions on the issue said yesterday.

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-Obama visits traditionally-Republican Montana
Barack Obama is celebrating the 4th of July in Butte, Montana, attending aparade and picnic. It's a state that usually gives its three electoral votesto a Republican. Only two Democrats have carried Montana since 1948. Republicans typically take it for granted and Democrats usually write ifoff. But this year, Obama is spending a sizeable amount of time and money totry to win it.,0,930455.story

Miami Herald
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-At the nuclear crossroads: How much longer will the 'have-nots' wait forthe 'haves' to do what they promised? [...] Forty years ago this week, onJuly 1, 1968, in Washington, London and Moscow, world leaders signed theTreaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The grand bargainof the NPT was that the non-nuclear weapon states agreed never to produce oracquire nuclear weapons, and the nuclear weapon states agreed eventually toget rid of theirs. No, that is not a misprint. Forty years ago, ourgovernment committed itself to negotiate the elimination of its entirenuclear arsenal. And, with the other nuclear weapon states, to abolishnuclear weapons from the face of the earth forever.

-FOCUS ON ISRAEL: A heartbreaking transaction
In a land that never lacks for intense emotions, a moment will come in justa few days when the two extremes of joy and sadness will overflow atprecisely the same time. Through the dramatizing magic of modern technology,we will watch those scenes from our living rooms:
. From Lebanon, boisterous celebrations of triumph will fill the screen as afreed prisoner comes home.

Fort Report
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-Believe Me, It's Torture
What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, andwhether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience. The authorundergoes the controversial drowning technique, at the hands of men who oncetrained American soldiers to resist-not inflict-it.

-Today's Must Read
The "Swift Boaters" from 2004 are back at it. A group of top Republicancontributors who financially fueled the famous "Swift Boat" campaign adsthat helped sink Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign back in 2004 arestarting to regroup.

-Clergy warned away from politics
With clergy involvement in politics having stirred debate during therecently concluded presidential primary elections, the Denver CatholicArchdiocese has instructed its priests and deacons not to endorse or donatemoney to political candidates involved in the upcoming general election.,0,4537130.story

-THE OTHER BUSH: McCain gets brotherly support
The senator runs into a Bush in Mexico City
Even when he's south of the border, John McCain can't shake the Bushconnection. The senator was joined by Bush as he toured Mexico City'sBasilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Thursday morning. No, it wasn't thatBush. It was Jeb, the former governor of Florida and the president's youngerbrother.,0,5898398.story?track=rss

-McCain visits Mexico, says more border walls needed
John McCain warned Mexicans that more border walls are needed before heattempts to overhaul U.S. immigration laws again, an unpopular position in acountry where he had hoped to boost his standing with Hispanics. During atrip to Mexico City, the Republican senator also said he opposedunilaterally changing parts of the North American Free Trade Agreement, asliberal Mexican politicians and his rival Barack Obama have suggested.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - July 04, 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
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-Stonewall Festival robbed
Stonewall Street Festival profits alledgedly stolen by imposter volunteerWilton Manors Police are looking for a man who posed as a volunteer at theStonewall Street Festival Saturday night and made away with up to $4000worth of donations from four bar booths set up along Wilton Drive. Severalbartenders told police the man, who wore a volunteer t-shirt and identifiedhimself only as "Howard," helped the bartenders get supplies and madeseveral rounds, before collecting funds from cash boxes. The incident is thesecond time that a theft occurs at a Wilton Manors street festival. Lastyear thieves stole an electric golf car from the back parking lot of PetalsPanache. Police recovered the vehicle three weeks afterward at an abandonedFort Lauderdale golf course. No suspects were caught in the electric cartheft; likewise, the Stonewall Street Festival imposter remains at large.

-Working for gay votes
With an emphasis on diversity, Cindi Hutchinson proposes a change inattitude
Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cindi Hutchinson is no stranger to the gaycommunity. As she makes her bid in what is expected to be a contentiousmayoral race that will draw additional candidates, she is working to securestrong support among the city's growing gay population and its leaders. Gayleaders have hosted fundraising events for her, including Dean Trantalis,who announced his own mayoral bid June 23 as a candidate who will representgay issues in City Hall. Hutchinson said she was surprised when Trantalistold her about his plans over lunch at Galanga Restaurant about a weekbefore his announcement. She said her strategy remains to focus on the city's diversity, not just one voting block.

Please join AVER (American Veterans For Equal Rights)
Their 3rd annual Fundraiser
July 4th Independence Day from Noon to 5pm at theNew Moon Bar 2440 Wilton Dr. Wilton Manors, FL 954-563-7660
Hamburgers $5.00, Chicken Sandwiches $5.00, Hotdogs $2.002-4-1 Drinks all day! / Raffles, prizes and give-a-ways

Equality Florida
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We've just finished the Equality Florida 2008 June donation drive. We didn'tquite make it to our goal, but we sure did come close! We hit an all-timerecord of 1936 donations by July 1st 2008 - just 64 gifts short of our goal.You stepped up this past month and contributed at unprecedented levels. Inthe 10 year history of Equality Florida, we have never seen anything likeit. THANK YOU! When we set a goal of 2,000 donations by July 1st, we knewit was a very aggressive goal, but we decided to shoot for the stars. We gotthe moon and we're thrilled. During our weekly phone banks, our staff spoketo many friends across the state, and we want to thank you for the words ofencouragement and the appreciation you expressed for the important workEquality Florida does everyday in Florida. And speaking of important work,our election plan is in place and every contribution will be put to workeducating voters about candidates and where they stand on issues that impactthe lives of Florida's LGBT community members. We'll use your combineddonations to defeat Amendment 2, the harmful "marriage protection" amendmentthat will strip protections like health care and hospital visitation fromFlorida's families, including: seniors, firefighters, law enforcement,teachers and others. Because of you, Equality Florida will be able tobetter represent Florida's LGBT community as Florida voters make decisionsin the next four months will impact all Floridians and all Americans for ageneration or more.
Ray's note: Please do your part! Donate now ....

Gay & Lesbian Community Center of
South Florida (GLCC) eVOICE

-Free WomenNet Financial Forum at the GLCC
Monday July 14, 2008
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Topics: Financial, Legal, and Insurance

-"Dealing with Side-Effects Associated with Protease Inhibitors"
Dr. Robert Heglar will share an exciting, informative presentation to helpequip HIV+ individuals better manage medication side-effects, includinglipid abnormalities.
Catered Dinner Provided
Date: Thursday, July 24, 2008 Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: GLCC 1717 N. Andrews Ave Ft. Lauderdale
To attend, please RSVP by Friday, July 18:
954.463.9011 or


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-8.3 inches of rain in June is average for month in S. Fla.
South Florida averaged 8.3 inches of rain in June, about the historicalaverage for the month, according to the South Florida Water ManagementDistrict. The June-November rainy season produces an average of 35 inchesof rain, which is two-thirds of the region's annual rainfall. BetweenMemorial Day and the Fourth of July the region receives 11 inches or about20 percent of its annual rainfall. This year, the region received 9 inches.,0,3002296.story

-Safety advice for Fourth of July fireworks
While many South Floridians will mark the Fourth of July holiday withpicnics and a day off, doctors expect to spend the day treating aninevitable rise in fireworks-related injuries. Fireworks played a part in9,800 injuries treated at emergency rooms in the United States in 2007,with64 percent occurring in the one-month period surrounding IndependenceDay, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Florida firedepartments put out 137 fires involving fireworks last year.,0,5094901.story

-Gov. Charlie Crist gets engaged
Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday asked Carole Rome, his girlfriend of ninemonths, to marry him at his St. Petersburg apartment. Crist said she saidyes without hesitation. They are eyeing a fall wedding. "I'm very, veryhappy," the governor said. "I love her.",0,3129460.story

-Tropical Storm Bertha poses little danger to U.S.
Tropical Storm Bertha sprang up in the far eastern Atlantic on Thursday andwas initially projected to churn toward the northwest on a path posinglittle threat to the United States. However, because long-range predictionscan be in error, officials at the National Hurricane Center in Miami-DadeCounty recommended people keep an eye on the storm.,0,4301754.story

New York Times
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-Governor of Florida Is Rebuffed on Gambling
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Charlie Crist oversteppedhis authority when he negotiated a deal last year that let the SeminoleTribe of Florida install slot machines and offer table games like blackjackand baccarat at its Florida casinos. The court said that Mr. Crist couldnot allow the tribe to conduct types of gambling that were currently illegalin the rest of the state. Although slot machines have been approved byvoters in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, state law prohibits other typesof gambling like blackjack.

Miami Herald
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-Questions and answers on the Seminole gambling ruling
Questions and answers about the Florida Supreme Court ruling Thursday onSeminole gambling
Q: What did the court rule?
A: The Florida Supreme Court said Gov. Charlie Crist overstepped hisauthority when he reached an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that allowedit to offer blackjack and other tables games and Las Vegas-style slots.
Q: How did we get to this point?
A: After Crist signed the compact with the tribe last November, House Speaker Marco Rubio sued the governor, saying Crist needed the Legislature's approval for the agreement because blackjack and the other tables games are illegal in the rest of the state.
Q: What happens now?
A: That depends on what action the different sides decide to take. The governor could appeal the high court's ruling, likely in federal court. The U.S. Department of the Interior, which ultimately has jurisdiction over Indian gambling, could act on its own. The governor could also try to persuade the Legislature to sign off on the compact, though he would face broad opposition from the many legislators who are against any expansion of gambling.
Q: Will the games at the Seminole casinos continue?
A: The tribe says the games will continue for the moment, but their ultimate fate will remain unclear until the courts or the federal government act.

-LAKE OKEECHOBEE: Steady rains give big lake a big boost
One of South Florida's most important water sources has risen by a foot since last year but is still below its normal level. [...] it remains nearly four feet below its historic average.

-AIRLINES: Spirit Airlines to cut 250 jobs by fall
Spirit Airlines made plans to cut flights, retire aircraft and lay off 250employees, many in South Florida, to cope with sky-high fuel costs. SpiritAirlines will cut 6 percent of its capacity this fall, eliminate about 250jobs and curtail its growth plans for the year, as it tries to cope withrecord-high fuel prices. The Miramar-based low-cost carrier also plans toslash 15 percent of its nonfuel costs, retire five of its 35 aircraft andraise nonticket revenue, selling more items onboard flights like PeopleMagazine.

Fort Report
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-Four GOP seats: Getting squishy?
The non-partisan Cook Political Report has shifted its ratings of fourRepublican-held U.S. House seats in Florida, including the seat held by GusBilirakis of Palm Harbor. The seats held by Bilirakis, who is facing formerPlant City Mayor John Dicks, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami weremoved from "solid Republican" to "likely Republican."

-Palm Beach County elections supervisor apologizes for miscount
Palm Beach County should launch an inquiry into ways to avoid the "mishapsand irregularities in vote tabulation" that have plagued elections in recentyears, County Commissioner Jeff Koons said Thursday. On the same dayElections Supervisor Arthur Anderson apologized for the miscount in lastweek's West Palm Beach city election and blamed the problem on the county'snew optical-scan voting machines, Koons said it's time to ask Secretary ofState Kurt Browning for recommendations on "remedying the ongoing problemswith the elections office.",0,3910602.story

-Elections workers didn't know about security software
Nearly 700 votes initially went uncounted in the West Palm Beach CityCommission race on June 24 because elections workers weren't aware of a newsoftware feature in the vote tabulation system, Palm Beach County Supervisorof Elections Arthur Anderson said Thursday. The elections office didn'trealize the votes were uncounted until the day after the election, when amandatory audit was conducted. The official results were released two dayslater.


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Thursday, July 03, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - July 03, 2008

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

Washington Post
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-Obama Opposes Gay Marriage Ban
Barack Obama does not support a proposed California constitutional amendmentto ban same-sex marriage in the state, he announced in a letter sent to theAlice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club of San Francisco this week. "I opposethe divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the CaliforniaConstitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those ofother states," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote.

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-Sexuality is not a lifestyle choice
In your June 24 article, "Most Floridians believe in God, pray study says,"you refer to the "gay lifestyle." It is offensive whenever my sexuality isdescribed as a "lifestyle," as if my sexuality is something I choose as amatter of style or preference, such as wearing a plaid shirt instead ofstriped. Sexuality is at the core of a person's identity. To describeanyone's sexuality as a "lifestyle" is demeaning.
Peter Zimmer
Fort Lauderdale,0,4161186.story

Miami Herald
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-Amid petrol bomb attacks, 400 police committed to gay beauty pageant inBudapest
While gay activists in Budapest are complaining that the police are notprotecting gay businesses in the city, the organisers of Mr Gay Europe haveannounced they will have "400 policemen and women to protect them during thefinal."

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-Teens Arraigned In Taped Assault On Lesbian Classmate
Two female Michigan high school students who were videotaped attacking aclassmate have been formally arraigned on charges of aggravated assault.

-Gay Foe Limbaugh Gets 38M A Year
Rush Limbaugh will make about $38 million a year to continue his radio showover the next eight years.

-Middle Hard To Reach For Obama, McCain
They're the most fickle voters, and potentially the most powerful. Thus,with party nominations secure, John McCain and Barack Obama now are pushingtoward the center to win them over.

-Photographer Appeals Fine For Refusing To Take Gay Couple Pictures
An appeal was filed Wednesday by an Albuquerque photographer who was finedover $6,000 for refusing to take pictures of a lesbian couple's commitmentceremony.

-Bid To Repeal Oregon Partner Law Returns To Court
A three judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oralarguments next week in a lawsuit brought by conservative groups seeking torevive last year's failed referendum on Oregon's domestic partnership law.

-Musgrave Renews Call For Federal Anti-Gay Amendment
The architect of two failed attempts to amend the US Constitution to barsame-sex marriage is throwing her support behind a new bid to advance themeasure.

Express Gay News
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-Murder of Md. lesbian shrouded in mystery
Charred body found in Bowie house destroyed by fire
Investigators with the Prince George's County police and fire departmentshad yet to uncover a motive this week in the June 24 shooting death of a46-year-old lesbian whose charred body was found in a fire that destroyedher house in a quiet, upscale subdivision in Bowie, Md. Police said anautopsy revealed that Vilma Artis Butler, who lived in a two-story,single-family house on Jenkins Ridge Road, was murdered in an upper floorbedroom shortly before neighbors called 911 about 4:45 a.m. last Tuesday toreport that her house was on fire. Neighbors also reported hearing loudpopping noises that sounded like gunfire about an hour before they noticedthe fire.

-Sergeant sues LAPD for religious discrimination
Officer made anti-gay remarks during off-duty hours as pastor
A sergeant disciplined for anti-gay remarks during off-duty hours as apastor has sued the Los Angeles Police Department alleging religiousdiscrimination. Sgt. Eric Holyfield, dressed in black clergy attire, toldmourners during a 2006 eulogy for a fellow officer that homosexual acts were"sinful" and an "abomination" and would lead to condemnation in hell. LAPDDeputy Chief Charlie Beck, who was among the mourners, filed a formalcomplaint against Holyfield after the funeral. The Superior Court suitfiled June 19 says LAPD brass then passed him up for promotions and payraises in retaliation. The suit against the city alleges discrimination forhis religion and violation of his 1st Amendment rights. Cmdr. StuartMaislin, head of the department's risk-management office, says lawenforcement must be done impartially, "treating everyone with respect."

-'Austin 12' divided over McCain
Former gay Bush supporters unhappy with GOP, some turning to ObamaMembers ofthe "Austin 12," the group of prominent gay Republicans who famously metwith George W. Bush in 2000, are not exactly rallying around John McCain.Several members of the group told the Blade this week that they areconsidering voting for Barack Obama in November, while others announcedtepid support for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. In all, threesaid they either would vote for Obama or are seriously considering it; threeare undecided between McCain and Obama; three are backing McCain and threeothers declined to comment. The "Austin 12" gained notoriety after meetingwith Bush in Austin in April 2000, when Bush was still governor of Texas anda candidate for president. During the meeting, the "Austin 12" urged Bushto appoint open gays to federal offices, include an openly gay speaker atthe 2000 Republican National Convention and maintain President Clinton'sexecutive order banning discrimination against gays in the federalworkforce. Bush complied with each of those requests during his presidency.But Bush's record, most notably his endorsement of the Federal MarriageAmendment, has soured some members of the "Austin 12" so much that theyrefuse to support the Republican Party's presidential choice, even thoughMcCain voted against the FMA in the U.S. Senate. David Greer, who wasappointed to Bush's AIDS advisory board in 2003, left the Republican Partythat same year and has been a registered Democrat since then. He said gayRepublicans would never be a strong enough voice to influence the GOP andthat the party is more interested in exploiting gay Republicans forpolitical gain. "As long as there's a far right in the party, gayRepublicans are way too small in numbers . to have any effect on the party,"he said. "We actually end up doing greater and lasting harm to the wholeGLBT community."

-Body-builder sues gay newspaper, bar for leather-clad ad
An amateur body-builder is suing the Chicago Free Press and a North Side gaybar after the paper ran an ad featuring him clad in leather and chains,allegedly without his consent. Joel Rabb, who works as a personal trainerand a "national level amateur body-builder" claims his photo was used in anadvertisement for Bobby Love's bar, 3729 N. Halsted St., in the paperwithout his consent, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit CourtWednesday. The ad, which pictures a muscular man wearing chains and leatherchaps, reads, "Bobby Loves, tallest cock tail on Halsted" scrolled acrossthe man's face.,rabbsuit070208.article

-Marriage's Financial Pros and Cons
The California Supreme Court's recent decision legalizing gay marriage givesmore couples the chance to ask themselves: Should we vow to spend the restof our lives together? But before getting swept away with visions ofmatching tuxes or bridal bouquets, it may pay to ponder the monetaryimplications of 'til death do us part. Because while marriage-both gay andheterosexual-offers many financial benefits, it comes with potentialdisadvantages, too. (Only the state-regulated effects, however, apply tomarried gay couples, because the federal government does not recognize gaymarriage.)

The Advocate
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-Kmart Exec Takes a Break to Fight for Marriage
The former chief marketing officer for Kmart, Bill Stewart, officiallyjoined the Equality for All campaign to help defeat a proposed Californiaconstitutional amendment on the ballot this November that intends to bansame-sex marriage.

-Wisconsin Gay Couples Could Face Jail for Marrying in California
Same-sex couples from Wisconsin who go to California to marry could facecriminal charges when they return home. A Wisconsin law makes it a criminaloffense to enter into a marriage outside the state if that marriage wereillegal in Wisconsin.

-Venezuela's Pro-Chavez Priests Also More Accepting of Gays and Divorce
A fledgling church that openly backs President Hugo Chavez is raising theire of Venezuela's Roman Catholic hierarchy, preaching the Gospel alongsidesocialism. Founders of the newly created Reformist Catholic Church ofVenezuela, based in the western city of Ciudad Ojeda, say that supportingChavez's socialist ideals goes hand in hand with Christian aims of helpingthe poor. ''We don't side with any political banner, but we cannot fail torecognize and support the socialist achievements of this government,''Enrique Albornoz, a former Lutheran minister who helped start the church,said in a telephone interview on Monday. ''We back the social programs ofthis revolutionary government.''

-Gay Aussies Flocking to U.S. for Surrogates
More than 100 gay Australian couples have paid $80,000 to create a babyusing surrogate mothers in the United States, according to one LosAngeles-based fertility clinic. "We've seen more than 125 gay couples fromAustralia who have gone home with a baby," the Fertility Institute's medicaldirector, Jeffrey Steinberg, told the Australian Associated Press. ? "We'reup to six to eight a month now, which is a four-fold increase over two yearsago. That makes Australia one of our biggest markets, neck-and-neck withBritain," he said. It is illegal for gay couples to have children throughsurrogacy in Australia. Clients of the Fertility Institute pick an eggdonor from a list of 400 university students. The eggs are then implanted ina different woman, who bears the child. Most of the gay Australians who usethe clinics services are affluent, professional men who "desperately want achild," Steinberg told AAP.

-Staying Gay: Top Gay-friendly Hotel Companies
Some mainstream hotel companies trot eagerly out of their way to make LGBTtravelers welcome at their properties, from putting together gay-specificwebsites and Pride packages to offering discounts and local scene advice togay and lesbian travelers. These five homo-loving hotel companies deserveparticular recognition for their efforts in making our overnights away fromhome a real treat.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Pete Wentz's Gay Denial
Pete Wentz is tired of being the victim of a "gay witch hunt". The Fall OutBoy rocker, who is expecting his first child with new wife Ashlee Simpson,insists he is happily married and only interested in women. Wentz, who haspreviously referred to himself as "half gay", told Out magazine: "When I'mgoing down the street I get called a fag all the time. I'm still gettingcalled the same names as when I was 13.

-Brussels Overlooks Gay Marriage in New Rights Bill
New European Commission proposals to put an end to discrimination on thebasis of age, disability, sexual orientation or creed have been given alukewarm welcome by civil liberties groups, who say prejudice againstsame-sex couples who wish to get married is not adequately covered. Thecommission unveiled on Wednesday (2 July) a proposal for a directive aimingto ensure equal treatment in public services such as health care, socialsecurity and education, when buying products or making use of commercialservices. Similar protection already exists against discrimination in theworkplace.

-Christian Site's Ban on 'G' Word Sends Homosexual to Olympics
The American Family Association obviously didn't foresee the problems thatmight arise with its strict policy to always replace the word "gay" with"homosexual" on the Web site of its Christian news outlet, OneNewsNow. Thegroup's automated system for changing the forbidden word wound up publishinga story about a world-class sprinter named "Tyson Homosexual" who qualifiedthis week for the Beijing Olympics.

Marriage Equality News
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-Commentary: Catholic Charities--Let's Not Forget
Link: The Bilerico Project
by Dustin Kight
Excerpt: Many cases of carpal tunnel will be diagnosed before the bloggingabout Obama's faith-based programs announcement is over and done with. Letme contribute my two (wrist-destructive) cents: As someone who has seen thebest and the worst that organized religion has to offer, my reaction to theannouncement was cautious but open to begin with. Those who have commentedon the difficulties of putting nondiscrimination into practice are right onthe money, as are those who remind us that many faith-based groups do greatand necessary work, especially as anti-government forces have greatlydiminished purely civic and secular programs over the last 30+ years. Butone thing in the commentary thus far that needs to be addressed, forhistory's sake at least, is the example of Catholic Charities, lest weforget their adoption decision in 2006.

-Andrew Sullivan: Marriage And Discrimination
Pete Wehner is offended that his view that his relationship should be worthmore than mine under the law because he's heterosexual can be described as"discriminatory." How can it not be discriminatory? You may want to describeyour view as merely wanting "to preserve the traditional meaning ofmarriage," but when that preservation is entirely limited to keeping gaysout, and you want the law to enforce such a distinction, then it is simply afact that discrimination is your policy. You think it's good discrimination,but it's still discrimination unrelated to any civil marital responsibilitya gay couple is prepared to fulfill. This remains true however such a policyis maintained or arrived at - by courts or legislatures or, as is usuallythe case in the US, some combination thereof. What neither Wehner nor Obamahave fully grappled with is that there are really only two coherentpositions: civil equality or civil discrimination. Obama wants to enddiscrimination but not embrace equality; Wehner wants discrimination but notthe moral taint of being a bigot. These straddling positions are not unusualin the midst of social change. But we have reached a point at which theuseful fictions on which they rest are crumbling.

-MA: 'The bliss-off; Peabody Essex panel addresses gay marriage and art'
Link: Bay Windows
While enjoying the beautiful Wedded Bliss exhibit at The Peabody EssexMuseum, it is hard not to notice that something is missing. A survey ofweddings as artistic inspiration, the exhibit gathers together both artinspired by marriage and objects associated with marriage (such as Americanwedding dresses and Japanese furoshiki). As the Museum's Education Director,Peggy Fogelman, explained at a panel discussion last week, the exhibitionexplores courtship and weddings "across cultures, across centuries, andacross lifestyles." Yet same-sex relationships and marriage equality areall but ignored. Sharp-eyed viewers will spot a few gay couples in a videomontage of wedding imagery, and a copy of Courting Equality, a chronicle ofthe journey to the country's first same-sex marriages, on a table with otherbooks about marriage.

-Arkansas: Supporters to submit signatures for anti-adoption measure; lackof interest noted
Link: AP via KUAR
Excerpt: Supporters of a ballot measure targeting illegal immigrants andanother aimed at banning homosexuals from adopting or fostering childrensaid Wednesday they're ready to submit petitions to place their measures onthe November ballot. The director of the Arkansas Family Council ActionCommittee said the group has more than 62,000 signatures in support of ameasure banning unmarried couples living together from fostering or adoptingchildren. The group needs 61,974 certified signatures to get on the ballot.

-NM: Photographer Appeals Fine For Refusing To Take Gay Couple Pictures
Excerpt: An appeal was filed Wednesday by an Albuquerque photographer whowas fined over $6,000 for refusing to take pictures of a lesbian couple'scommitment ceremony. In April the state Human Rights Commission ruled thatElaine Huguenin, owner of Elane Photography, violated the Human Rights Actby discriminating against Vanessa Willock and her partner on the basis ofsexual orientation. Willock filed the complaint after Huguenin said shewould only photograph traditional marriages. Following an investigation andhearing the commission issued a one-page ruling, finding that Huguenin hadviolated the state Human Rights Act and ordered her to pay $6,637 forWillock's attorney's fees and costs.

Pink News - UK
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-Budapest gay sauna attacked with petrol bombs
A gay establishment in the Hungarian capital has been targeted, the secondattack in a week. Four petrol bombs were thrown into sauna called Magnum inthe early hours of yesterday morning

-Amid petrol bomb attacks, 400 police committed to gay beauty pageant
While gay activists in Budapest are complaining that the police are notprotecting gay businesses in the city, the organisers of Mr Gay Europe haveannounced they will have "400 policemen and women to protect them during thefinal."

-Young men among groups most at risk from HIV infection
A new report has identified the groups of gay men that are at highest riskof HIV transmission in the UK and are targets for HIV prevention work.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-OR: Ex-Teacher's Lawsuit Tied to Debate Over Play
BEAVERTON - A former teacher who proposed bringing a controversial play toSouthridge High School in 2005 is now suing the Beaverton School Districtfor $125,000 because he claims the district created an unfit workingenvironment that forced him to resign. In Wade Willis' wrongful dischargelawsuit, filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, the Portland manclaims he was "harassed, intimidated and humiliated" for attempting toproduce "The Laramie Project." The play is about the 1998 murder of gaycollege student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo. Willis says in the lawsuitthat Principal Amy Gordon disciplined him for failing to follow the school'sreview procedures in producing the play. Willis said he did follow policy.

-Outlaw All Hate Crimes Against Transgender People
In an effort to counter violence on our city's streets, the GreaterRochester Community of Churches, Faith Community Alliance and the BaptistMinisters Alliance have proposed the these 10 community standards to help usrealize "the Beloved Community" envisioned by the Rev. Dr. Martin LutherKing Jr. We use language that respects everyone. Every child is our own. Wemove out of our pews and into the streets. Our county is a community ofshared power.

-Gary Bauer Weighs in Gay Marriage, Barack Obama and California
Our colleague Dan Morain chatted up American Values' Gary Bauer Tuesdayabout gay marriage and Barack Obama's letter stating his opposition to aCalifornia ballot initiative (John McCain supports it). Morain points outthat two other states will have similar measures on their fall ballot -Arizona and Florida. While polls show California pretty safe for Obama andArizona similarly so for McCain, a gay-marriage fight in Florida could havescale-tipping consequences. Bauer, founder of the conservative Campaign forWorking Families political action committee, said he hasn't decided whetherto donate to California's "incredibly important" measure. "If thepro-same-sex marriage forces cannot win in California and Florida, it meansthat the people of this country still are resistant to radical socialchange," Bauer said.

-CO: In Springs Visit, Obama Calls for Service
COLORADO SPRINGS - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama vowedthat, if elected president, he would add 92,000 ground forces to the country's military and more than triple the number of AmeriCorps workers, expandingtheir role to "meet national goals" of providing health care and education,as well as restoring the country's standing in the world. Obama, whoventured into this Republican, evangelical stronghold to give his speech,encouraged Americans to serve their country by working in neighborhoods, themilitary, schools and overseas. "We need your service right now, at this moment - our moment - in history," said Obama to about 200 invited guests in the aptly-named Lions Den Gym on the University of Colorado.

-Gay Soldiers to be Paid Expenses for Attending Pride Marches
Gay troops have been told they can submit claims for their car mileage ortrain tickets to marches in London on Saturday and in Brighton next month.Heterosexual soldiers have criticised the move saying they are not allowedto claim money for trips to important functions, including the Queen'sGarden Party. It will also be the first time Army and RAF troops will beallowed to march in uniform, Royal Navy soldiers are already allowed.

-How a Gay Spanish Mayor Brought Back to His Village
As you push aside the foliage and descend the stone steps to FranciscoMaroto's house, a small rainbow-striped sticker by the door signals therevolution achieved in this tiny village north-east of Madrid.From theSpanish capital, you drive 78 miles across parched meseta and reach averdant valley overshadowed by the Ocejon mountain, where slate-roofedhouses dot the hillsides around Campillo de Ranas. Some are new, othersrestored, but they exude a prosperity rare among villages hereabouts, mostof which are dying. Mr Maroto, 44, Campillo's Socialist mayor, has buckedthe trend of rural depopulation by promoting his village as a venue forweddings, particularly gay weddings.

-Church of England Crisis: Mass Defections Loom as Rebel Faction Appeals toEnglish Clergy
Hundreds of English clergy appear poised to defect from the Church ofEngland to join a new conservative movement after a conference led by rebelarchbishops was swamped with delegates in London yesterday. The 750delegates attending the meeting in central London were asked to pledge theirallegiance to a 14-point manifesto issued last weekend in Jerusalem by theGlobal Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon), a coalition of traditionalistclergy who have challenged the authority of the archbishop of Canterbury.According to the conservative website, Anglican Mainstream, clergy andchurchwardens are asked to "stand in solidarity" with Gafcon by registeringtheir support online.

-Emirates Ruler's Brother Guilty of Assaulting Man in Bar
A Swiss court has convicted a brother of the United Arab Emirates' ruler ofassaulting an American man with his belt in a luxury hotel bar in Geneva.Sheikh Falah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was found guilty of inflicting"bodily harm with the use of a dangerous object" and ordered to pay a fineof 10,000 Swiss francs (£5,000), according to the judgment. If he fails topay, it will be converted into a 100-day prison term. In addition, thesheikh faces a suspended penalty of 540,000 Swiss francs, payable in theevent of another infraction in Switzerland during the next three years, andcosts. The court found the sheikh hit Silvano Orsi, from New York,repeatedly with a steel-buckled belt after Orsi declined a bottle ofchampagne in August 2003. The sheikh, a brother of Sheikh Khalifa bin ZayedAl Nahyan, who was appointed president of the UAE in 2004 after the death oftheir father, maintains he is innocent.

-Rabbis Sit with Sheikhs to Deplore Gay Parade in Jerusalem
( Fenton, of the National Religious Party faction, has alsogathered the signatures of 25 city council members on a petition opposingthe holding of the week-long World Gay Pride events in Jerusalem. Sixcouncilmen, members of the Shinui and Meretz parties, did not sign. The GayPride event includes a "Youth Day" at the Knesset to be held on Monday, Aug.7. The World Pride internet site bills it as "Bringing Order to the Knesset:National and International Summit Meeting for Youth." The Hebrew-languagepromotional literature for the Youth Day states, "Youth on the map! Afterthis day, it will be impossible to ignore us. Everyone will understand andremember for a long, long time that the proud [Hebrew gaieh] youth has whatto be proud of. Ages 15-25 - boys, girls, lesbians, homos, trans, bi, thosewho are hesitating, and friends, come to take part in this exciting youthday, a joint production of the Open House and the Israeli Gay YouthOrganization, which will be held in the Knesset. Two-way transportation fromall over the country. We will meet lots of pals from all over Israel and theworld, and we'll sit together to work out important subjects that are veryrelevant to our daily lives as students, soldiers. youth with ideals andvalues. After lunch, we will meet with elected representatives of allstripes, and we will present them with our 'I Believe' about the life ofgaieh youth in Israel. And at the end of the day: 'Good Jerusalem Children - the greatest youth party in Israel."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Reform the homophobic asylum system
Labour is abusing gay asylum seekers
The government is being urged to "initiate urgent reforms to the asylumsystem to end the injustice whereby many genuine gay refugees being sentback to viciously homophobic countries like Iran, Uganda, Iraq, Nigeria,Pakistan, Jamaica, Belarus and Saudi Arabia." The call comes from gay humanrights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!. Speaking at a fringe meetingsupported by the GMB union at the TUC LGBT conference in London on 2 July,Mr Tatchell said: "We need urgent government action to implement five keypolicy changesto ensure a fair hearing for lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) asylum applicants:

-First South Asia LGBTI Partnership Building Workshop
September 3-4 2008, Kathmandu, Nepal
We are very pleased to announce the first South Asia LGBTI PartnershipBuilding Workshop organized by LLH Norway and Blue Diamond Society,Kathmandu. The workshop will take place at Hotel Astoria in Lazimpat area ofKathmandu September 3 and 4, 2008. The aim of the workshop is to formpartnership amongst South Asian LGBTI groups and communities, shareexperiences, learn form each other and support LGBTI movements in South Asiato advance our rights and ensure justice. We also aim to strengthen ourknowledge in the field of South Asian social and cultural sexuality.

Forwarded from Gay Asylum - UK
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-Messages In This Digest (11 Messages)
Contact Ray's List for the full articles listed below:
1. Ethiopia: Government Prepares Assault on Civil Society From: omar kuddus
2. Morocco: Drop Criminal Charges Against Rights Defender, Journalist From:omar kuddus
3. Bangladesh: Repeal New Terror Law From: omar kuddus
4. Swedes changes rules for gay Iranian asylum seekers From: omar kuddus
5. Gay MEP welcomes "excellent" EU report on gay discrimination From: omar
6. EU report highlights discrimination in Malta From: omar kuddus
7. Inequality for same-sex couples in different EU nations is "cause foFrom: omar kuddus
8. 2 Schoolboys Tortured, Killed : Muggers did the horrendous crime From:omar kuddus
9. Discreet gays should be safe in Iran claims Home Secretary From: omarkuddus
10 Human rights principally by definition, apply to all of us, simply bFrom: omar kuddus
11. NEW I PETITION From: omar kuddus

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-"Intergroup demands Hungary to properly protect Pride participants."
On 5 July a Pride parade will take place in the streets of Budapest. TheEuropean Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights supports theevent and requests the government of Hungary to provide proper and fullprotection to all people taking part in Pride events. "Violence as seenlast year must not be repeated", said Michael Cashman, President of theIntergroup. "Police forces must be able to protect people exercising theirdemocratic rights to peaceful assembly." Sirpa Pietikäinen, Vice-Presidentof the Intergroup for the EPP-ED added, "Last year, because of negligenceand inactivity of police, people were attacked before, during and after theparade. This year we will closely watch the ability of Hungarian police toprotect every citizen against violence."

Contact for the full article

-We are two days away from beginning our midwest outreach/educational trip.
This trip takes us through Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. We are veryexcited to be doing some work in theses states. Please check our calendar at to find out where the educational forums will beheld. If you live in the area or know someone who is, come and see us!
[...] We are about $1000 short for the funds needed for this first trip andabout $2500 short for the funds needed for the Colorado trip. Soeverythinghelps! Your gift is tax deductible and you can make it safely only byclicking right here right now HS uses PayPal forprocessing our online donations. It's safe and secure and you don't have tohave a PayPal account to make your donation to HeartStrong. [...] Help usout! And remember to come and see us at one of our forums!
Marc Adams - Founder/Executive Director

News from Michigan: Triangle Foundation
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-Triangle Events
..July 28, Ferndale: Sean's Farewell Roast! Join us as we poke fun and saygoodbye to one of Michigan's most prominent LGBT activists! 6-9pm. Via NovaRestaurant. Proceeds from the event will support the work of ourorganization. Contact Triangle Foundation 313.537.7000 for more information.
Third Friday of every month, the Detroit Eagle provides a fundraising nightfor the Triangle Foundation.
Out & About in Michigan
..July 13, Lenox Twp: Metra Picnic! 62000 Gratiot Ave - Lenox Twp locatedbetween 28/29 Mile Road. For more information visit or248.543.3500
..July 25 - 27, Traverse City: 17th Annual Northern Michigan Bike Tour forLGBT people and their friends. A weekend of camping and outdoor fun.Proceeds will benefit Michigan Equality and the Perceptions Saginaw ValleyScholarship Fund. Visit for more information andregistration details. ..July 26, Brownstown: 1st Annual Red Ribbon GolfOuting to benefit Ruth Ellis Center organized by the Red Ribbon Bowlers.Shotgun start at 8am is $100 per golfer. Contact Jack VanHecke at313.252.1950 or

A Little Humor from Ken:
Gummi Lighthouses: When Candy Design Goes Terribly, Hilariously Wrong


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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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-Hostages Freed in Colombia Return Home
CARACAS, Venezuela - Hours after Colombian commandos in disguise infiltratedthe FARC terrorist group in a daring rescue operation, three Americanhostages were flown to safety in the United States and another freedcaptive, a French-Colombian politician held for six years, was reunited withher family.

-Late-Period Limbaugh
'The Rush Limbaugh Show' goes on the air every weekday at 12:06 P.M. EasternStandard Time. At one time, Limbaugh did his program from a MidtownManhattan skyscraper he dubbed, with tongue-in-cheek grandiosity, theExcellence in Broadcasting Building. These days, he mostly broadcasts out ofa studio in Palm Beach, Fla., which he calls the Southern Command, anddescribes on the air as a "heavily fortified bunker."

-A Supreme Court on the Brink
Some of the most important decisions came on 5-to-4 votes - a stark reminderthat the court is just one justice away from solidifying a far-rightmajority.

-Don't Teach Our Children Crime
Jailing and criminalizing young Americans causes a lot more crime than itprevents. Congress should update and reauthorize the 1974 law on juvenilejustice.

-What We Learned in the War by GAIL COLLINS
Americans of all ages tend to both respect military service and ignore itwhen picking a president. John McCain presumably understands this.

-The Imprecise Meaning of War
Companies ripping off taxpayers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may neverbe fully prosecuted unless Congress does more to go after war profiteers.

-U.S. Is in No Shape to Give Advice, Medvedev Says
MOSCOW - Russia's new president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, less swaggering thanhis predecessor but as touchy about criticism from abroad, said in aninterview that an America in "essentially a depression" was in no positionto lecture other countries on how to conduct their affairs.

-The Struggles of Detroit Ensnare Its Workers
Their pickups and sport utility vehicles are not selling, and now GeneralMotors, Ford Motor and Chrysler have to pay thousands of auto workers not tomake them. With more than 15 of their assembly plants across the countryset to be idled or slowed because of shift cutbacks, the Detroit automakerswill temporarily lay off upward of 25,000 auto workers this summer and fall.

-Big Job Cuts Announced at American
American Airlines expects to cut nearly 7,000 employees by the end of theyear, or about 8 percent of its worldwide work force, as it reduces flightsand grounds aircraft because of high fuel costs, the airline told employeesWednesday.

-Personal Best
To Beat the Heat, Learn to Sweat It Out
YOU already know that if you exercise outside on hot and humid days, youshould drink plenty of water. And you are probably well aware of the risk ofheat stroke given the countless reports about the warning signs.

-Assisted Suicide of Healthy 79-Year-Old Renews German Debate on Right toDie
FRANKFURT - When Roger Kusch helped Bettina Schardt kill herself at home onSaturday, the grim, carefully choreographed ritual was like that in manycases of assisted suicide, with one exception.

Washington Post
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-Today on the presidential campaign trail
McCain to meet Mexican president on Thursday at end of Latin American trip... Obama, McCain competing for the center, an elusive, disengaged yetcrucial crowd ... Wary evangelical leaders discuss rallying around McCain,supporting Huckabee as VP choice

-A look at the political center
A recent AP-Yahoo News poll shows that 15 percent of the electorate _ peoplewho call themselves moderates and aren't solidly supporting a candidate _make up the persuadable middle. More than half are independents and, judgingby history, many probably don't vote party line. The center of theelectorate is where the White House is all but certain to be won or lost.Both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are aggressively goingafter these voters, the most prized group but also the most difficult toreach.

-One Nation No More? by David S. Broder
Is America's increasing diversity eroding its identity?

-The Bradley Project - "E Pluribus Unum"
Link to the report discussed above:

-Global Action to Save Global Growth by Ban Ki-moon
Global growth is the leitmotif of our era. The great economic expansion, nowin its fifth decade, has raised living standards worldwide and liftedbillions out of poverty. Yet today, many wonder how long it can last. Thereason: Plenty comes at an increasingly high price. We see it daily in therising cost of fuel, food and commodities. Consumers in developed countriesfear the return of "stagflation" -- inflation coupled with slowing growth oroutright recession -- while the world's poorest no longer can afford to eat.[...] Those of us who have benefited from the global boom must find waysto extend its benefits to those who have been left behind.

-One Nation No More?
Civics Needs a Boost, but Our Identity Endures
Just in time for Independence Day, a conservative think tank has delivered acontroversial report asking whether America's national identity is erodingunder the pressure of population diversity and educational slackness.

-Conservative evangelicals discuss backing McCain
Conservative evangelical leaders met privately this week to discuss puttingaside their misgivings about John McCain and coalescing around theRepublican's presidential bid while urging him to consider socialconservative favorite Mike Huckabee as a running mate.

-San Francisco to Halt 'Sanctuary' Policy
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday that the city wouldbegin handing over for deportation juvenile illegal immigrants with drugconvictions, reversing a controversial policy of flying the youths back totheir home countries at the city's expense.

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-Colombian military tricks guerrillas into freeing hostages
In a daring rescue Wednesday, the Colombian military freed 15 hostages heldfor years by leftist guerrillas, including Ingrid Betancourt, the formerColombian presidential candidate, three Floridians working under a U.S.Defense Department contract, and 11 Colombian military and police.,0,2125213.story

-Zimbabweans seek refuge at US embassy in capital
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe says about 200people are seeking refuge at the American embassy in the capital. JamesMcGee said by phone Thursday that the group was from the oppositionheadquarters in Harare. Opposition supporters have been coming under attackfrom supporters of President Robert Mugabe. Riot police were seen at theembassy as well as people with small bundles of possessions. Police saidthey did not have immediate comment. McGee said embassy officials wereworking with humanitarian organizations to find accommodation for the group.,0,864918.story

-The 'mushy middle' hard to reach for Obama, McCain
They're the most fickle voters, and potentially the most powerful. Thus,with party nominations secure, John McCain and Barack Obama now are pushingtoward the center to win them over. Meet the "mushy middle," a complexchunk of people likely to decide the presidential election but difficult toreach and hard to please.,0,903861,print.story

Miami Herald
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-Five-year wait for Florida dad held hostage in Colombia ends
The 16-year-old son of one of the U.S. hostages released in Colombia ispreparing to see his father for the first time in five years. His father isgetting medical attention on Thursday in Texas.

-Colombia's Betancourt says she'll run for president
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Rescued hostage Ingrid Betancourt says she still aspires``to serve Colombia as president.'' Betancourt says she believes PresidentAlvaro Uribe's 2006 re-election was ''very good for Colombia.'' She says shesaw from her six-year jungle captivity that the military buildup he promotedhad great effect in debilitating her rebel captors.

-THE OPPENHEIMER REPORT: Obama's trade pledge may hurt U.S.
MEXICO CITY -- When I asked Mexican President Felipe Calderón aboutDemocratic presumptive presidential candidate Barack Obama's pledge torenegotiate the U.S. free trade agreement with Mexico, I expected him to saythat such a move would be catastrophic for Mexico. Interestingly, his firstreaction was to say that it would be catastrophic for the United States.

Pew Research center
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U.S. Traveler Advisory: Where in the World Is the Welcome Mat Still Out?The United States has lost much of its global popularity in recent years.Yet trip planners will be glad to know that recent surveys show that thecountries that Americans are most likely to visit are, for the most part,countries that like Americans. Read more

-A Time to Drill
Gas Prices Change Energy Priorities
Americans are giving higher priority to mining and drilling, rather than toenergy conservation; concern about the environment fades as support for ANWRdrilling rises. Read more

-Whither Republicans
Campaign Interest Not Bipartisan
Last week marked the largest partisan gap in campaign interest since thestart of the presidential race in early 2007. Democrats were almost twice aslikely as Republicans to say they followed the campaign very closely (52%vs. 28%). Read more

-Summer Rerun: Media Returns to Coverage of Divided Democrats
While differences between Barack Obama and John McCain over energy policyplayed a major role, most of the campaign narrative focused on Democrats'efforts to reunite the party. Read more

-Evangelical Evolution
American Evangelicalism: New Leaders, New Faces, New Issues
Scholar Michael Lindsay argues that the sharpest division in the movement isnot between the political left and right, or the young and old, but between"cosmopolitan" and "populist" evangelicals. Read more

-Internet Index
Home Broadband Adoption 2008
Even as many broadband users opt for premium services, access stalls amonglow-income Americans. Read more

-Education Examined
Explaining the English Language Learner Achievement Gap
A new analysis finds that lagging scores of students designated as Englishlanguage learners can be partly explained by their concentration inlow-performing schools. Read more

-Daily Number
44% - Bush's Third Term? Voters are split on whether a McCain presidencywould be a continuation of Bush's policies (44%) or a new direction (45%).Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-A short but sweet gathering
Barack Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee are toyingwith a convention scheduling change that has been broached before in theorybut never seriously considered: cutting the party's conclave in Denver shortby one day to give Obama an extra day of post-nomination bounce in thecrowded August calendar.,0,6789486.story

-Bush urges Americans to pressure Congress on drilling
President Bush urged American citizens to pressure their congressionalrepresentatives to allow for more domestic oil drilling on Wednesday, thelatest salvo in the ongoing battle with Congressional Democrats over highgas prices. "I want [the American people] to understand fully that we havegot the opportunity to find more crude oil here at home, in environmentallyfriendly ways, and they ought to be writing their Congress people about it,"Bush said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

-Is Barack A Typical Pol?
McCain wants you to think so--which is good, in the long run, for Obama.Two weeks ago, Obama was "Obambi"--a guy so innocent he'd struggle to crossa major intersection, much less survive a match-up against the GOP. ThenObambi opted out of the public financing system and stiff-armed McCain onsome town-hall meetings, and all of a sudden he was Lee Atwater. TheWashington Post's David Broder wondered whether Obama's "motives will beaccepted by the voters who are only now starting to figure out what makeshim tick." Within a week, Time's Mark Halperin--whose CW-setting powersrival Broder's in his prime--observed that Obama was looking "more like anordinary politician than an inspiring leader," thanks in part to hiscampaign-finance decision and some rightward shading on policy. Perhaps moretellingly, McCain abruptly made the contrast between his honor and Obama'scynicism the central theme of his campaign. "For John McCain, country firstis how he has lived his life," read a "memo" released by strategist SteveSchmidt last Thursday. "We have seen Barack Obama forced to choose betweenprinciple and the interests of himself and his party. He has always chosenthe latter."

-Obama Unlike Any Politician, Black or White
Democratic Sen. Barack Obama is the first nonwhite candidate in U.S. historyto win a major-party presidential nomination. That fact alone makes him atradition-breaking, political pioneer. Much less discussed is that Mr.Obama is an atypical, nontraditional African-American politician, too.

-Can Barack Buy the Presidency?
On the money front, how do Sens. Obama and McCain stack up? No contest, itseems. Since the campaign began, Mr. Obama has raised a staggering $295-plusmillion, versus Mr. McCain's almost $122 million. But that's misleading.Mr. Obama spent a lot to win the nomination. So how much cash did he and hisrival have when the general election effectively began in June? As of May31, Mr. Obama had $43.1 million on hand while Mr. McCain had $31.6 million -a significant but not overwhelming advantage.

-Hispanic Voters Back Obama
Hispanic voters may have preferred Sen. Hillary Clinton over Sen. BarackObama in the Democratic primaries, but a new Gallup poll shows them liningup slidly behind Obama over Sen. John McCain in the general election, 59%to 29%. Meanwhile, the New Mexico Independent reports that in New Mexicoand other "battleground" states with large Hispanic populations -- Colorado,Nevada, Florida, and possibly Arizona -- pollsters found Obama leadingMcCain in those states 57% to 26%.

-The Flip-Flop Fallacy
It may be wildly hypocritical for McCain to attack Obama as a flip-flopper,but that doesn't mean it can't work. My colleague Noam Scheiber argues inhis piece yesterday ("Is This Man a Typical Pol?") that John McCain's newcampaign strategy of painting Barack Obama as an unprincipled flip-flopperis bound to fail. Noam posits that painting Obama as a "typical politician"is not a damaging enough accusation in a year when the public overwhelminglyprefers a Democratic president. Maybe--but I think McCain's strategy is alittle more potent than Noam gives it credit for.

-The 'mushy middle' hard to reach for Obama, McCain
They're the most fickle voters, and potentially the most powerful. Thus,with party nominations secure, John McCain and Barack Obama now are pushingtoward the center to win them over. Meet the "mushy middle," a complexchunk of people likely to decide the presidential election but difficult toreach and hard to please.

-The Case Against Mitt Romney
On Wednesday, The Fix made the case that former Massachusetts governor MittRomney is an ideal vice presidential pick for John McCain. Today, theopposite case. Can't We All Just Get Along?

-McCain is no maverick
DURING the primaries, Barack Obama was said to be the darling of the newsmedia. Not anymore. While the 2008 John McCain literally embraced W andcourted the Religious Right, many in the news media believe he's secretlythe 2000 McCain, who campaigned against W and the Religious Right.

-Will of the people, will of the justices could become a war of the worlds
If the long conservative era that began with Ronald Reagan's election isover, will the judges appointed during the right's ascendancy be...If thelong conservative era that began with Ronald Reagan's election is over, willthe judges appointed during the right's ascendancy be able to block,frustrate and undermine the efforts of a new progressive majority?

-Is U.S. ready to serve?
Experts: Bipartisan support, societal woes could aid Obama's attempt toboost volunteerism
From Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy to Bill Clinton and George W.Bush, presidents and those who aspire to be president have long put forthcalls for greater public service. Some found success, while others fellshort of their lofty rhetoric.,0,5754842.story

-Talking Points for an Energy Crisis
Airlines are cutting back on water for plane toilets to save weight andfuel. They had better come up with a better business plan than that. And inthe face of the burgeoning oil-price crisis, America had better come up witha plan as well.


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