Saturday, November 22, 2008

GLBT DIGEST November 22, 2008

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Letters: Is Gay Marriage a First Amendment Issue?
Re "Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage" (front page, Nov. 15):
The involvement by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in supporting Proposition 8 in California was an illustration of the influence of a church seeking to encourage the State of California to discriminate. If 30 years ago, when the Mormons denied men of African descent the right to be ordained to their priesthood, the state had intervened, challenging church-sponsored racial discrimination, the state would have been accused of violating the separation of church and state.

-Gay-Rights Advocates Use Web to Organize Global Rally
The Internet played an unprecedented role in rallying voters during this year's election. In the aftermath of the election, Web 2.0 tools are continuing to play a role in other causes, astonishing long-time advocates with the power and speed with which it gets their message out. The latest example is a series of international protests scheduled for Saturday in opposition to California's Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban that passed on Nov. 4. Join the Impact, a Web site built the morning of Friday, Nov. 7, has rallied hundreds of thousands of people who are gathering this weekend in eight countries, 50 states and 300 cities.

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-4 sex-trafficking suspects arrested in South Florida
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, in coordinated South Florida raids, arrested four suspected sex traffickers and rescued nine trafficking victims who had been forced into prostitution in several brothels, federal authorities said late Friday. Officials said actions occurred in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. In a statement, authorities identified the four suspects arrested Wednesday as Arturo Rojas-Gonzalez, Elodia Capilla-Diego, Fidel Gutierrez-Gonzalez and Rosalio Valdez-Nava.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Day of Protest for equal rights
Protestors rally in South Florida against GLBT discrimination
Hundreds of voices thundered "Equal Rights" in unison Saturday, the sound bouncing off the walls of Miami City Hall. The chants and fervent speeches occasionally overpowered blaring car horns from passing motorists in support of same-sex equality rights. In Fort Lauderdale, local activist Bishop SF Mahee led a procession of hundreds from City Hall to Broward Boulevard, singing "We Shall Overcome," as dozens of demonstrators carried a nearly block-long rainbow flag.

-Check out protest photos here!
Galleries for Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Lake Worth

-Rally seeks enhanced AIDS fight
Obama's election gives activists 'a lot of hope'

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Obama caving on Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
This is what I was worried about. According to the Washington Times, Obama's
team is saying that even ASKING for a repeal of the ban on open gays in the military may not happen until 2010. First, he wants to build consensus. Fair enough.

-Report: HIV/AIDS spreading fast in Russia
Russia's anti-AIDS coordinator says the number of registered HIV cases is growing 10 percent a year despite increased government funding.

-Canadian province contacts more than 1000 people who may be infected by dirty syringes
(Edmonton, Alberta) Alberta Health says it has contacted more than 1,000 people who may have been infected by the re-use of single-use syringes in the High Prairie area.

-Hundreds in Chile not told of positive HIV tests
Chile is scrambling to reach people who could be unknowingly spreading AIDS.
Health Minister Alvaro Erazo told legislators that public health services failed to tell 512 people that they had tested positive for HIV.

-HIV tests not yet as routine as cholesterol checks
Two years after the government urged making HIV tests as common as cholesterol checks, there are small gains but still one in five people infected with the AIDS virus doesn't know it, scientists say.

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Many With HIV Unaware
In 2006, nearly 25 percent of the 60,000-plus Americans who had newly contracted the HIV virus were not aware of it, and thus weren't getting treatment or protecting their sexual partners. Today it's 21 percent -- an improvement, but nowhere near enough, said speakers at an HIV/AIDS conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. ''It's crucial to understand how important routine HIV testing is at every level of American society so everyone knows their status; it's the first step in controlling the HIV epidemic,'' said Dr. Veronica Miller, executive director of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research. Read More...,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Analyzing the Two Key Arguments in the California Supreme Court Case
Regarding the Anti-Same-Sex Marriage Prop 8
This week, the California Supreme Court decided to hear a case posing two important questions. The first is whether the voter-adopted state constitutional ban on gay marriage passed in the November election, Proposition 8, was validly enacted. The second is - assuming Proposition 8 was indeed validly enacted - what is the status of the same-sex marriages that were entered into between the California Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling last spring and the enactment of Prop. 8? (As readers will recall, the court had previously ruled in May 2008 that the then-existing statutory ban on same-sex marriage violated the state constitution.) In a series of columns beginning with this one, I will take up these complex questions in detail.

-The Dismal Gay Legacy of the George W. Bush Years
By Duane Wells | Gaywired
"As we respect someone's rights and profess tolerance, we shouldn't change-or have to change-our basic views on the sanctity of marriage. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. It's very important that we protect marriage as an institution, between a man and a woman. I proposed a constitutional amendment. I was worried that activist judges are defining the definition of marriage, and the surest way to protect marriage between a man and woman is to amend the Constitution."
President George W. Bush, Bush-Kerry debate, Tempe AZ Oct 13, 2004

-Boyzone Video's "Deadly Message" of Gay Equality Upsets Presbyterian Minister
By Tony Grew | Pink News
The decision of a boyband to give its gay member a male love interest in their latest video has provoked comment from the somewhat unlikely source of an obscure Northern Ireland preacher. Reverend David McCullough, minister of Dromore Reformed Presbyterian Church, turned his hand to video reviewing in the town's local paper and gave a full account of the limited boy-on-boy action on show. He expressed his concerns about the influence Boyzone's latest video could have on the world's youth.


[Send your comments about articles to]

FLORIDA DIGEST November 22, 2008

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


Ft. Lauderdale: Transgender Day of Remembramce - Today!
Date: Saturday November 22, 2008
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: Sunshine Cathedral
Notes: On Saturday November 22, Ft Lauderdale's Transgender community, with family, friends and allies, will gather at the MCC Sunshine Cathedral to remember and honor transgender victims of violence. The 10th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance observance starts in the Chapel of the MCC Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Avenue, Ft Lauderdale, FL Saturday November 22, at 6:30 pm. The program includes invited speakers followed by a candlelight vigil. A reception will follow immediately in the Cathedral courtyard. Ft Lauderdale's Transgender, Lesbian, Gay & Bi Community extends a warm welcome to all who would like to attend this important event to memorialize our dead and underscore the seriousness of the suffering of our communities. There is no charge for this event.

Domestic Partnership Benefits? They are after those too.
We knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time until the backers of Florida's Amendment 2 proved exactly how dishonest they were during their lie-filled campaign and went after domestic partnership benefits in Florida- despite saying it would have "no effect on benefits" and it was "only about one thing- marriage."

Sunshine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale
Pastor Durrell Watkins to perform Mass Wedding on November 30th
On Sunday, November 30th, Sunshine Cathedral will offer a "Mass Wedding" ceremony in protest of Amendment 2. If you and your life-partner (regardless of your genders and whether or not you have had a union or marriage ceremony before) would like to be part of this event, simply stand with us on the front lawn at 11:30 am on Sunday, November 30th (the first day of Advent, the beginning of the Christian year). During our "Mass Wedding" ceremony, we will affirm the dignity of all people and the holiness of mutual affection. The Senior Pastor will then confer the Rite of Blessing on all couples in attendance. All couples, gay, lesbian, and straight who believe in marriage equality are invited to participate. Those who wish to have a certificate commemorating the Rite of Blessing can register for the ceremony by clicking here. There will be a $5 administrative fee for those who wish to obtain a certificate. Certificates will be mailed to those who register; however, one need not register or ask for a certificate in order to participate in the Mass Wedding ceremony. Finally, it should be noted that this ceremony does not confer the legal rights of matrimony or civil union; but it will send a clear message to the world that at least one church recognizes the sanctity of love and commitment regardless of the genders involved. Please join us on the front lawn with your significant other on Sunday, November 30th, as we demonstrate our commitment to justice and equality for all.

Florida GLBT Democrats
Some Big Wins, and a Really Big Loss
by Stephen Gaskill
First, the good news. Florida's GLBT community made tremendous strides on November 4, despite some high profile losses. Openly-gay candidates won countywide races in two counties, and one town regained its majority-gay Commission.
Hillsborough County voters elected Kevin Beckner to the County Commission, ousting incumbent Brian Blair. A 37-year-old financial planner and former police officer, Beckner won a convincing victory, defeating Blair by 10 percentage points. The Hillsborough County Commission has a history of taking anti-GLBT positions, and just a few years ago voted to bar the County from recognizing Gay Pride activities. (The resulting flap helped catapult then-Commissioner Kathy Castor into Congress in 2006.) In endorsing Beckner, the Tampa Tribune said of Blair, "He chose to focus on trivial issues and inflame cultural wars over religion and sexuality.(he) used his commission pulpit to denigrate gaysand non-Christians." Elected countywide, Beckner brings a much needed change in tone to Hillsborough County.
Monroe County voters overwhelmingly elected Heather Carruthers to an open seat on the County Commission. Carruthers trounced architect Carlos Rojas by more than 30 percentage points in a countywide election. Owner of Pearl's, a popular women's guesthouse in Key West, Carruthers is an instrumental member of Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe (FIRM), which helped lower windstorm insurance rates in the Keys.
In Wilton Manors, the gay mecca that abuts the gay mecca of Fort Lauderdale, longtime commissioner Gary Resnick was elected mayor. Resnick defeated the incumbent, Scott Newton, whose gay-friendly reputation was marred among Broward County's GLBT leaders when he ran a nasty and some say homophobic campaign against Mark LaFontaine when both were competing in the August primary for a State Legislature seat. Both were defeated by a third candidate, which allowed Newton to run for the mayoral post in the November contest. Wilton Manors voters also elected Justin Flippen and Tom Green to the Commission, meaning three of the five seats in that town are held by openly-gay representatives. When Resnick becomes mayor his Commission seat will open, and potential candidates are lining up to run. Look for more GLBT candidates and a possible return attempt by Newton.
Now for the bad news. Florida voters passed Amendment 2, the so-called "gay marriage ban" which in reality could strip away rights, benefits and protections from any unmarried couple in Florida, whether gay or straight.
Constitutional amendments in Florida require 60 percent of the vote to pass, and Amendment 2 earned 62 percent of the vote - a narrow win for the proponents, but a crushing blow to those of us who think the Constitution should be used to expand rights, not take them away.Amendment 2 purported to limit marriage to "one man and one woman," but the ballot language included a provision banning the "substantial equivalent" of marriage - something which has no definition in the law. John Stemberger of Florida4Marriage, the initiative's sponsor, said the amendment was necessary to keep infamous "activist judges" from changing the definition of marriage, but it will be precisely one of those judges that will rule on what the "substantial equivalent" of marriage actually means when a legal challenge arises.
Stemberger claimed throughout the campaign that his organization has no intention of challenging domestic partner benefits. However, his allies have a track record of making the same claims during a campaign and disregarding those promises once the amendment is on the books - as public employees in Michigan found out. They lost health benefits because of a similarly-worded amendment in that state. Howard Simon, Florida ACLU executive director, is skeptical of Stemberger's claims, yet admits that opponents of Amendment 2 must remain in a defensive posture. Until benefits are challenged, the implications of its language remain a mystery. Should benefits be pulled because of Amendment 2, the ACLU will become their main defender. With two fulltime attorneys focused on GLBT issues in Florida, from marriage to adoption, the ACLU is among the GLBT community's strongest allies in protecting and expanding our rights. Florida made history on Election Day 2008, both good and bad. Here's hoping our community's newly elected leaders do us proud -- and along the way help raise awareness and educate our fellow Floridians that regardless of exclusionary and discriminatory measures, we are ALL equal under the laws of the land.

ArtsUnited Events Calendar
Thru November Laura Hardesty photos at Storks, 2505 NE 15th Ave Wilton Manors. Free

-November 20, 8pm
Arts NightOUT with "1000 Homosexuals" at the Arscht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. Miami. Tickets $35 at:

-November 25, 6pm
Through the Eyes of Love Opening Reception at The Galleria at Fort Lauderdale, 2414 East Sunrise Blvd. Free

-"Koi Lily Pond" by Hildana Ciser
Thru December Hildana Ciser paintings at Storks, 2505 NE 15th Ave, Wilton Manors, Free

-December 1, 3-7pm
World AIDS Day
Afternoon of Hope, 3pm Evening of Rememberance and Candlelight Vigil, 5-7pm
Huizenga Park, at Las Olas & Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.

-"Red Ribbon" by Dennis Dean
December 6, 2008
Ribbons for the Children, Red Tie Gala at Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale for The Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center. Tickets $25 RSVP at 954.728.1088
Save the Dates!

-February 7-21, 2009
ArtExplosion '09, Lea Delaria, Scott Ryan & musical guest Levi Kreis. Finale Tickets available for ArtsUnited members for $36/24 with password ARTSUNITED at:

-April 24-25, 2009,
Gay and Lesbian Literary Arts Festival, features two days of workshops, master classes, seminars and presentations by some of the biggest names in GLBT Literature.

-Around Town Member Exhibits & Shows
Now thru March 23 Coming of Age, American Art 1850s-1950s at the Museum of Art Fort Lauder- dale, explores the most formative century in American Art and includes work by gay artists Marsden Hartley, Josef Albers and Goergia O'Keefe just to name a few. While you're there, be sure to see the exhibit Picasso/Luna.

-November 21, 7-10pm
ArtWalk, the Wilton Drive monthly tradition continues its third season. The Precise Agency, 2376 Wilton Drive, presents a solo exhibition of the art of Julio Green, 78 Degrees Spa features Sylvester Q at 2153 Wilton Drive, and several artists including Keith Clark and Alfred Phillips, are exhibited at ArtExpressions Gallery, 1438 NE 26th Street.

-November 22, 7:30pm
Hot Hollywood Glam at Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, is a Red Carpet event with silent and live auction, and fashion show to benefit the Center, 1650 Harrison Street, Hollywood.
Tickets are $85 at:

-December 2, 7-9pm
"Guided by Principles"
Artist Reception at Creek 28 features Jeremiah Jenner among the juried work exhibited during Art Basel at 2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami.

-December 6, 7pm
"Artists We Love" artists reception for group exhibit features Carlos Cesar Alves, Wynwood Fine Arts Gallery, 2750 NW 3rd Ave, Miami. Exhibit runs Dec. 4-8.

-Do you have an exhibit or show you want to tell other AU members about?
On space available basis.


-Broward County Humane Society is seeking a professional in the area of video production to make an HR training video. Anyone with professional experience in this area or if you know of a professional who may be interested in donating some time to make a training video, please contact Agnes Storrings, Human Resources Generalist at (954) 266-6852 or by e-mail at


[Send your comments about articles to]

Thursday, November 20, 2008

GLBT DIGEST November 20, 2008

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Tennessee: Ex-Officer Is Indicted
A former Memphis police officer faces civil rights charges in the jailhouse beating of a transgender woman being held on a prostitution charge. The beating was captured on video. An indictment accuses the ex-officer, Bridges McRae, 28, of using unreasonable force by repeatedly striking Duanna Johnson in the intake area of the Shelby County Jail. Mr. McRae pleaded not guilty. Ms. Johnson, a biological man who lived as a woman, was being booked on a prostitution charge. A videotape of the beating was shown on Memphis television and online in June, leading to the firing of Mr. McRae and his partner, James Swain. Ms. Johnson was shot to death this month on a Memphis street by an unknown assailant. The killing is still under investigation, and no arrests have been made.

-Adult Children, Aging Parents and the Law
At the end of my mother's life, for six months, a year at most, Medicaid paid for her care in a nursing home. She was broke by then, after living on a pittance since she was widowed at 58, using the proceeds from her house to pay for six years of assisted living and part of her nursing home stay and never seeing a penny from a long-term care insurance policy that cost a bundle but covered none of what she needed. She had given my brother and me no up-front money to hasten her eligibility for Medicaid and died with $26 to her name and nothing to leave to her children. The good news was we didn't even have to put her will in probate.

-Top Court in California Will Review Proposition 8
Responding to pleas for legal clarity from those on both sides of the issue, the California Supreme Court said Wednesday that it would take up the case of whether a voter-approved ban on same-sex unions was constitutional. The court, however, stopped short of suspending the ban, which California voters passed as Proposition 8 two weeks ago after an expensive and hard-fought campaign.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Calif. Supreme Court to take up gay marriage ban
California's highest court agreed Wednesday to hear several legal challenges to the state's new ban on same-sex marriage but refused to allow gay couples to resume marrying before it rules.

-Gay advocates upset at shelving of Chicago school
As far as Miguel Garcia is concerned, Chicago already has a gay high school. Jones College Prep, where the 16-year-old is a junior, has the city's largest Gay Straight Alliance, an organization of more than 100 students that he and other members say wields considerable influence at their downtown campus. When he heard about the now-scuttled proposal to open a gay-friendly high school, Garcia said to his classmates, "Don't we already have that?"

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Amendment 2 blame game
Ego, turf wars hindered progress on marriage amendment battle
Florida's GLBT community is having a hard time being cheerful after the Nov. 4th election. Barack Obama's victory and the public's so-called mandate for change is overshadowed by the passage of Amendment 2, along with other anti-gay measures in California, Arkansas and Arizona.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Cynthia Nixon, Joy Behar Talk Prop. 8
Joy Behar guest hosted and Cynthia Nixon dropped by Larry King Live Friday to talk about Prop. 8. Check out what the Emmy and Tony winning actress had to say.

-Proposition 8: All Hands, Black and White, On Deck
The high number of African-Americans who voted to pass Proposition 8 may have surprised some people, but not the folks at the National Black Justice Coalition, a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering black LGBT Americans. NBJC's CEO offers some insights about the black-white divide and how to mend it going forward.

-Setting the Agenda ... the Gay One
COMMENTARY: Prior to the election of Barack Obama, the gay rights agenda risked becoming nothing more than a wish list. But after nearly 30 years during which no major piece of gay rights legislation has been passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the president, it is time to make a a real push for true equality. Our time at the back of the bus must end. Now.

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

-President-Elect Obama's Plan To Strengthen Civil Rights Up On The Web -
Large LGBT Section
Source: Pam's House Blend
by Autumn Sandeen
President-Elect Obama's agenda for civil rights has been published by the Obama-Biden transition website Excerpts of the future President's civil rights agenda for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people:
. Combat Employment Discrimination: Obama and Biden will work to overturn the Supreme Court's recent ruling that curtails racial minorities' and women's ability to challenge pay discrimination. They will also pass the Fair Pay Act, to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

-Andrew Sullivan: California Scheming
Source: The Daily Dish | The Atlantic
by Andrew Sullivan
Full text by permission. Source retains copyright.
They will hear the challenge to Prop 8. The best pragmatic summary of the possible consequences (I'm leery of this and would prefer to challenge the ban at the ballot box next time) came from a reader. While I don't like this idea for philosophical reasons, he's pretty persuasive:
What are the possible forms a backlash might take if the CA Supremes overturn Prop 8 on procedural grounds? Opponents of gay marriage will be angry and have their own protests for awhile, but to what effect? Honestly, what's left for them to do to us?

-Commentary: A Marriage Manifesto... Of Sorts
Source: The Devil's Advocate | ReligionDispatches
by Tom Ackerman
I no longer recognize marriage. It's a new thing I'm trying. Turns out it's fun.
Yesterday I called a woman's spouse her boyfriend.

-Commentary: The NAACP Gets It
Source: Pam's House Blend
by Terrance Heath
Well, the NAACP has shut my mouth on this one. I was pretty hard on them this summer, when I got wind of a PFOX exhibit at an NAACP event. But it looks like the outcome off the proposition 8 vote has raised some alarm with civil rights groups, including the NAACP. [Via Kip.]
Meanwhile, five civil rights groups asked California's highest court Friday to annul the ban on the grounds that Proposition 8 threatens the legal standing of all minority groups, not just gays.

-Commentary: The Anti-Gay Blacklist
Source: Huffington Post
by Emma Ruby-Sachs
On November 12th, it was widely reported that Scott Eckern, the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre, resigned after the Yes on Proposition 8 donation list revealed his $1,000 contribution. Turns out, the idea of boycotting companies to get homophobic employees fired has caught on.
I spent Saturday at a rally in Chicago protesting Proposition 8 and the anti-gay marriage movement. One of the speakers talked about a blacklist of companies that donated to Proposition 8. Still high from the protest, I looked up the Anti-Gay Blacklist, a collection of names and affiliations lifted from the public record of political donations to the Yes on 8 campaign.

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

-US braces itself for Day Without A Gay protest against gay marriage discrimination
The passing of a ballot measures banning gay marriage in California, Florida and Arizona earlier this month has led to a new surge in activism across the US, sometimes referred to as Stonewall 2.0. Individuals have been using mobile phones, social networking sites and other technology to organise and protest.

-BBC Radio documentary will chart how AIDS changed America
A special documentary to mark the 20th anniversary of the first World AIDS Day has been commissioned by BBC Radio 2. How AIDS Changed America will be presented by actor Paul Michael Glaser, of Starsky and Hutch fame, and will air on BBC Radio 2 at 10.30pm on December 2nd.

-Immigration activists target BMI over deportation of gay artist
A major airline faces a "day of action" organised by activists who oppose migration controls. No Borders South Wales wants people nationwide protest against BMI Airlines for their part in the forced removal of migrants from the UK.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Iranian Refused Asylum
Dear Iranian Queer Alliances,
We are writing to draw your attention to the case of a gay Iranian man, who is refused his asylum, and about to be expelled from Cyprus and deported back to Iran. As is well known and documented, gay people in Iran are subjected to persecution and severe punishment, including execution. If the person returns to Iran, Cyprus will be committing a serious miscarriage of justice and a gross violation of human rights. We have asked you to sending support letter to Cyprus MEPs and Panayiotis Demetriou responded: "Following your letter, I have communicated with the Minister of Interior in Cyprus. Despite the fact that you did not disclose the name of the Iranian asylum seeker the Minister told me the following: (a) The deportation is duly reasoned. (b) The finding of the Immigration Office based on European Court of Human Rights is that homosexuality is not a reason by itself for execution in Iran. (c) Despite the above the extradition order for this person will be suspended."
More. . .

-I Feel Your Pain, Rosie, Ellen & Melissa
By Marsha West |
On November 4th California upheld traditional marriage by passing Proposition 8 by a half million votes, thus amending the state's constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman. The homosexual community is not taking this lying down. Before the week was out bitter gay-rights activists challenged the will of the people with litigation.
OneNewsNow reports that: "The homosexual movement for special rights has become louder, and in some cases violent, in the aftermath of losses at the ballot box in Florida, Arizona, and California. Florida Family Association notes the increased intensity in rhetoric from the self-proclaimed 'champions of tolerance' and diversity."[1]
More . . . . .

-Letter: Let's Dialogue on Racism and Homophobia
MCC News San Francisco
As pastors serving within the GLBT and allied communities, we are concerned that the emerging discourse in the wake of the Obama presidential victory and the passage of Proposition 8 has exacerbated tensions between and among members of the communities we serve and the African American community in particular. The targeting of a segment of African American voters who voted for Obama and also in favor of Proposition 8 is leading to scapegoating and is doing nothing to create meaningful conversations about racism and homophobia. We urge all those we serve, and especially those of us in the GLBT community who are white, to consider these points:
1. It was church-going voters of every race who aided the passage of Proposition 8, and this is a painful acknowledgment on our part. As clergy we believe it is imperative that we find ways to engage Roman Catholics, Mormons and Evangelical Christians in face to face dialogue.

-Pope's New Edict on the Priesthood
Los Angeles Times
The Roman Catholic Church requires its priests to refrain from any sexual relationship, whether heterosexual or homosexual. So one might think that the sexual orientation of an aspirant for the priesthood would be a nonissue - especially in light of the distinction the church has drawn between homosexual conduct, which is considered sinful, and homosexual orientation, which is not.
One would be wrong. The Vatican recently issued a statement re-emphasizing that even chaste gay men are to be barred from the priesthood. Never mind that large numbers of gay priests - estimates range from 25% to 50% - already serve the faithful, with most adhering to their vow of celibacy.

-MA: 5 Years Later, Views Shift Subtly on Gay Marriage
By David Filipov, Globe Staff | Boston Globe
When the Supreme Judicial Court handed down its landmark decision five years ago tomorrow allowing same-sex couples to wed in Massachusetts, opponents warned that traditional marriage would be endangered, while supporters envisioned an equality movement that would spread across the nation. Over 11,000 same-sex marriages later, neither has happened. Massachusetts has yet to become, as former governor Mitt Romney predicted, the "Las Vegas of same-sex marriage." Gay marriage rates leveled off at about 1,500 a year - about 4 percent of all state marriages - in 2006 and 2007. The divorce rate in Massachusetts has remained the same - and the lowest in the country. And only one other state now allows same-sex marriage; 30 states have a ban against it.

-IL: Gay Friendly Schools
Chicago Tribune
If there's a high school student in your home, then you know that something as small ("You call that SMALL???") as a newly sprouted zit is reason enough to stay home sick, or try to. Teenagers have an astonishing capacity to wound, and to be wounded, and high school is a target-rich environment. Kids can be ostracized for showing up with nerdy glasses, for raising their hands too often in class, for revealing the wrong style of briefs in the locker room. When it comes to sexual identity, kids who are perceived as different are particularly vulnerable. A 2007 study by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network found that 86 percent of gay, transgender or "questioning" students reported being harassed by classmates because of their sexual orientation, and 44 percent said they had been physically harassed. More than half said they didn't feel safe in school; nearly a third had missed a day of class in the last month because of that fear. Their grade-point average was almost half a point below the norm. Other studies have found that up to 28 percent of gay students drop out of high school. Several years ago, a Chicago Public Schools survey found that gay and lesbian students were three times as likely as their straight peers to skip school because they felt unsafe. Those numbers are behind CPS chief Arne Duncan's plan to open a gay-friendly high school in 2010. Read more

-Admirals, Generals: Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
By BRIAN WITTE | Associated Press Writer | Seattle Times
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - More than 100 retired generals and admirals called Monday for repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays so they can serve openly, according to a statement obtained by The Associated Press.The move by the military veterans confronts the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama with a thorny political and cultural issue that dogged former President Bill Clinton early in his administration. "As is the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly, our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion, and sexuality," the officers wrote. While Obama has expressed support for repeal, he said during the presidential campaign that he would not do so on his own - an indication that he would tread carefully to prevent the issue from becoming a drag on his agenda. Obama said he would instead work with military leaders to build consensus on removing the ban on openly gay service members. More . . . .

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Belarusian Gay Activists Discuss Homosexuality with Homophobic Far Right Groups
Extraordinary seminar held in Minsk
Three of the leading gay activists in Belarus came face to face with representatives of the 'far right' at a seminar in Minsk yesterday. With the theme 'Do radical organizations have the right to exist', the seminar was organised by the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. "It was very good that we and our opponents could see each other face to face and to talk," commented Sergei Androsenko of the Belarusian Initiative for Sexual and Gender Equality. "We will continue broad presentation of LGBT movement during the events
GayRussia.Ru, UkGayNews.Org.Uk

-India: Stop 'Social Cleansing' in Bangalore
Illegal Mass Evictions Against a Transgender Community
Police in Bangalore forced about 100 hijras (working-class transgender people) from their homes on November 10, 2008, suggesting a spreading pattern of prejudice-driven violence and abuse in the city, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and local authorities. Following the arrests on October 20 and 21 of more than three dozen hijras and human rights defenders, the incident points to an organized police campaign of social cleansing in Bangalore. To read the letter from Human Rights Watch to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, please visit:

-Anti-gay violence an almost daily occurrence in the Netherlands
Many more homophobic attacks than expected
More Police needed
In the first half of this year the police received more than 150 reports of violence against homosexuals. In total 1512 incidents of discrimination based on race, sexual orientation or religion were reported. That's the finding of a report on homophobic violence produced by the Ministry for Home Affairs and Justice. However, because of the reluctance of many people to report these kinds of incidents Minister Ter Horst believes the actual number of homophobic incidents to be much higher. This is the first time that police have specifically recorded anti-gay violence. It represents 10% of all discriminatory incidents which is much higher than expected. The police will now pay more attention to gay meeting places since it is now clear that physical violence is on the rise.
Best regards,
Rod Evan
Coordinator, Aputheatre

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Go to the links for the following articles:
Contact if can't access the article

-Iowa: Gay marriage supporters, opponents prep for case
The battle to legalize gay marriage in Iowa is intensifying as both sides brace for a pivotal court battle next month that will decide whether gay couples can receive the same tax, medical and social rights as married heterosexuals. Same-sex marriage supporters continued their push Tuesday in Des Moines as they prepare for the landmark case before the Iowa Supreme Court. The case, Varnum v. Brien, will decide whether gays and lesbians in Iowa can legally marry and qualify for the same benefits given to heterosexual spouses.

-Today the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law reported that laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace are used as frequently by LGBT workers as laws prohibiting sex and race discrimination are used by women and people of color. Currently, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; thirteen of those states also prohibit gender identity discrimination. Analyzing employment discrimination complaints filed with state agencies in states prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, the study finds 5 out of 10,000 LGBT people in the workforce file sexual orientation employment discrimination complaints each year, compared to sex discrimination complaints filed by 5 out of 10,000 women in the workforce and race discrimination complaints filed by 7 out of 10,000 people of color in the workforce.

-The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Kay Longcope Scholarship Award. The scholarship award, to be given to a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) student of color who plans a career in journalism and is committed to furthering NLGJA's mission of fair and accurate coverage of the LGBT community, was created thanks to a generous gift from Longcope's estate and with the guidance of her partner Barbara Wohlgemuth. Deadline for applications to the Leroy F. Aarons Newsroom Internship program is Friday, December 12, 2008.
Media Contact:
Thomas Cashman Avila
202-588-9888, ext. 17

Creates Harmful Environment That May Affect Health, Well-Being Amendments that restrict civil marriage rights of same-sex couples - such as Proposition 8 that recently passed in California - have led to higher levels of stress and anxiety among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults, as well as among their families of origin, according to several new studies to be published by the American Psychological Association. One quantitative and two qualitative studies on the impact of anti-GLBT legislation appear in a special issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, published by APA. That issue of the journal, to be published in January, will be titled: "Advances in Research with Sexual Minority People."

-Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown urges high court to let Prop. 8 take effect
His office, which has the responsibility of defending the initiative, also asks justices to review the lawsuits against the measure 'to provide certainty and finality.',0,3163076.story

-Calif. Appeals Court Revives Transgender Inmate's Claim Against Prison System Breaking new ground in California, a state appeal court ruled Friday that prison guards owe their inmates a special duty of care, potentially exposing prison officials to negligence suits if they fail to protect their charges. The subject of Friday's unanimous decision by the 1st District Court of Appeal has been addressed by other states and federal courts, but never before in California. "Prisoners are vulnerable. And dependent. Moreover, the relationship between [jailers and prisoners] is protective by nature," wrote Justice James Richman. "This, we conclude, is the epitome of a special relationship, imposing a duty of care on a jailer owed to a prisoner, and we today add California to the list of jurisdictions recognizing a special relationship."

-Why Prop 8 Passed in California: The Myth of the Black/Gay Divide
In the wake of Barack Obama's historic victory, a false and reactionary narrative has emerged that blames Black voters for the gay marriage ban that passed by a 52 to 48 percent margin in California. While Florida and Arizona also passed same-sex marriage bans, the vote for Prop 8 in the politically progressive state of California is widely attributed to the enormous surge of Black voters, 70 percent of whom approved the ban reversing the state's May 2008 Supreme Court decision allowing lesbians and gays to marry. The exit polls showed that 53 percent of Latinos voted for the ban, as well as around 49 percent of white voters. The state's Black population is 6.2 percent, and it accounted for 10 percent of the overall vote. In other words, blaming African Americans for the referendum's passage ignores 90 percent of the vote.

-Ted Haggard claims he was abused as a child

-5 civil rights groups in CA seek to annullProp 8,arguing it threatens the legal standing of all minority groups,not just gays

Anything but Straight
by Wayne Besen

-Anything But Straight
I can understand why white gay people are angry. I certainly am. But, let's take a step back and look at this dispassionately. I believe our failure with the African American vote (70% voted in favor of Prop. 8) has more to do with education levels than race. In general, people with lower levels of education - of any race - do not vote for gay rights. White people are twice as likely to graduate college as black people. This accounts for the difference by race on Prop. 8. Think of it this way. 57 percent of white people with a college education voted No on Prop. 8. Yet, 58 percent of white people with no college voted yes on 8. In other words, uneducated urban black people vote very much like uneducated rural white people. Uneducated people - black, white and Hispanic - often derive their power from physical strength. They perceive being gay as weak and antithetical to real manhood. By voicing support for gay rights, they lose status and often fear rivals may perceive them as gay. The easiest way to gain status is dissing faggots. I see this attitude all the time in Brooklyn - in the gym and on the basketball court, where I often play. (Not the best sample, I realize this)

-A Petition to Punish Churches That Abuse Tax Exempt Status
A petition is circulating to support the legal effort to amend our tax laws such that the Mormon Church, and other transgressing churches, would lose tax-exempt status if they continue lobbying for state propositions.

Lambda Legal - Fighting Back
Lambda Legal, along with NCLR and the ACLU, has filed a lawsuit directly in the California Supreme Court on behalf of Equality California and six same-sex couples challenging Prop 8. The California Constitution makes clear that a major change in the roles played by any branch of government must first be approved by two-thirds of both houses of the legislature before going to voters - a process ignored by those behind the antigay proposition. In addition, California Attorney General Jerry Brown agrees that all marriages performed between June 16, 2008 and the passage of Prop 8 are still valid and must continue to be honored by the state. This latest battle comes on the heels of a major national upset, in which four antigay proposition battles were lost in the states of Florida, Arizona, Arkansas and California.

Detroit News
Go to this link for the following article:

-GOP needs to court gay votes
by Deb Price
British Tory party offers lesson in reaching out to new constituents
As Republicans sift through the ashes of their defeat, the data shard that Democrats probably most hope their battered rivals ignore is this one:
Voters aged 18 to 29 -- who cast nearly one in five ballots -- favored Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain by 66-32 percent. In contrast, voters aged 65 and older -- about 16 percent of the 2008 vote -- favored McCain, 53-45 percent, exit polls show. Clearly, this old GOP elephant needs more than Botox and a hip replacement.

-Gay equality should be part of nation's change
by Deb Price
In his uplifting victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama told the story of 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper of Atlanta and the remarkable changes that have transpired during her lifetime. Born just one generation after slavery, when people like her were barred from voting both because of the color of their skin and their gender, she saw America overcome the Depression, crush the Nazis, dismantle racial segregation, land on the moon, and inspire freedom-seekers to knock down the Berlin Wall. "And this year, in this election," Obama said, "she touched her finger to a screen and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes, we can." For those of us who're gay, Ann Nixon Cooper's story is a well of hope to draw from as we continue our own difficult journey to equality after a bittersweet election.

Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
Go to this link for the following article:

-Suit forces eHarmony to offer gay dating service
Online dating service eHarmony has agreed to create a new website for gays and lesbians as part of a settlement with a gay man in New Jersey, the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General said on Wednesday. The website will provide a dating service with "male seeking a male" or "female seeking a female" options, the Attorney General's office said in a statement. eHarmony said it will launch the new same-sex dating site, named "Compatible Partners," by March 31. The settlement was the result of a discrimination complaint filed by Eric McKinley against eHarmony in 2005, which will be dismissed under the settlement agreement. eHarmony was founded in 2000 by evangelical Christian Dr. Neil Clark Warren and had ties with the influential religious conservative group Focus on the Family. The New Jersey complaint is not the only legal action to be brought against eHarmony for failing to provide a same-sex option. In March, lawyers in California brought a lawsuit against the company on behalf of San Francisco resident Linda Carlson, who was denied access to eHarmony because she is gay. "We believe that this case is now essentially moot, and we're confident that we will prove that in court," eHarmony vice president Antone Johnson said in a statement about the California case.

Forwarded from Leon VanDyke

-The Man Behind Proposition 8
by Max Blumenthal
The year of Rushdoony's death, Ahmanson gave $1 million to the Institute for Religion and Democracy, a conservative outfit in Washington focused on weakening the political influence of historically liberal mainline churches. The IRD immediately placed Roberta Ahmanson on its board of directors after receiving her husband's donation. Ahmanson's money was budgeted specifically to generate a smear campaign against the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, Eugene Robinson. The campaign's spearhead came in the form of a 2004 column by Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes titled "The Gay Bishop's Links." Barnes, who neglected to mention his membership on the IRD's board of directors in his column, falsely alleged that the Web site of a gay youth group Robinson founded contained links to "a pornographic website," and claimed without independent sourcing that Robinson "put his hands on" a Vermont man "inappropriately" during a church meeting "several years ago." The IRD circulated the column to various cable news networks, but only Fox News-which also employs Barnes as a regular pundit and host of a talk show-agreed to broadcast it. Though a panel of bishops investigating the charges discredited Barnes' smear, it helped widen the rift within the Episcopal Church and divide it from its global affiliates.


[Send your comments about articles to]

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST November 20, 2008

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Editorial: Flunking the Electoral College
On Dec. 15, the United States will endure a quadrennial ritual born in the economics and politics of slavery and the quill-pen era. Members of the Electoral College are scheduled to meet in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to formally choose the next president.

-Op-Ed Columnist: Obama, Misha and the Bear
TBILISI, Georgia
A wounded, angry bear is loose north of here, and it has people terrified.
The bear has ravaged this lovely country, a booming capitalist enclave that worships America, relies on a much-praised flat tax and has uprooted corruption almost overnight (in part by firing every traffic cop in the country).

-Editorial: The Former Attorney General's Legal Bills
The Justice Department has reportedly agreed to hire a private attorney to represent Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general, in a federal lawsuit that accuses him of politicized hiring. It is galling to think that Mr. Gonzales, whose department trampled over the rights of so many people, is having taxpayers pay for private counsel, but it may be appropriate.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-New York Police Fight With U.S. on Surveillance
An effort by the New York Police Department to get broader latitude to eavesdrop on terrorism suspects has run into sharp resistance from the Justice Department in a bitter struggle that has left the police commissioner and the attorney general accusing each other of putting the public at risk.

-Key Economic Indicators Suggest a Deep Recession
Businesses cut prices at a record rate last month, builders started fewer new homes than anytime on record, and last week more people filed for new unemployment benefits than in any week since 1992, according to government data, as the outlook for the economy continues to dim. The Labor Department announced this morning that new applications for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 last week. It also revised the figure from the previous week down to 515,000.

-Auto Execs Fly Corporate Jets to D.C., Tin Cups in Hand
There are 24 daily nonstop flights from Detroit to the Washington area.
Richard Wagoner, Alan Mulally and Robert Nardelli probably should have taken one of them.

-Ariz. Governor Said to Be Pick For Homeland Security Post
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), whose handling of immigration issues brought her accolades from fellow governors, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice to serve as secretary of homeland security, Democratic sources said late Wednesday. Napolitano, 50, was an early supporter of Obama and was the only elected official tapped to serve on his transition team. She was reelected in 2006 to a second term as governor of Arizona, the home state of Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in the race against Obama. Napolitano previously served as U.S. attorney and state attorney general for Arizona; she was the first woman in both of those posts.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Paulson, Bernanke, and Congress on the Bailout: Incompetence All Around
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke got beaten up pretty badly in the House Financial Services Committee yesterday. And on at least one point, I think, justifiably so. In his opening statement, Paulson acknowledged that at the time the Senate passed its version of the financial rescue package October 1 and the House passed the same version October 3, he had already decided that the Treasury Department would not embark on the program of acquiring toxic securitized mortgage and other paper from financial institutions, as he was telling Congress it would, and that it would instead use powers in the bill to inject capital into banks and other financial institutions. I think members of Congress have standing to complain when they are asked to approve a piece of legislation on the grounds that the administration will do A, but in fact the administration has already decided to use the broad powers in the bill to do B-and hasn't told Congress about its change of mind. Paulson in his opening statement hit back at that by noting that in the two weeks Congress had been considering the legislation-from September 19, when Paulson and Bernanke presented their three-page rescue package outline to members of Congress, until October 3, when Congress passed the bill-the stock market fell 9 percent. In effect, he's blaming Congress for dithering while $2 trillion of wealth was being destroyed. He's got an argument, too.

-Obama poised to rebrand America, experts say
President-elect Barack Obama is poised to restore the United States' image in the international community, but experts say the president-elect must show the world that his actions will live up to his rhetoric.

-Auto Chiefs Fail to Get Bailout Aid
The chief executives of Detroit's Big Three automakers departed Washington empty-handed on Wednesday night after two days of pleading for a financial lifeline on Capitol Hill.

-Op-Ed Contributor: Let Detroit Go Bankrupt
IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won't go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

-Obama taps Axelrod for senior White House adviser role
Longtime Chicago political operative elevated to role similar to Karl Rove's in Bush era,0,2527277.story?track=rss

-Lieberman On Obama, Post-Campaign Politics
He was a ubiquitous presence on the campaign trail. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice presidential candidate, stumped for his close friend, Republican Sen. John McCain.

-Obama seeks reforms in talk with UN chief
President-elect Barack Obama is urging the United Nations chief to embark on "far-reaching reform" of the world organization to help it address pressing global issues. At the same time, in a telephone conversation Wednesday, Obama told Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that the United States "should rededicate itself to the organization and to its mission," said Brook Anderson, chief national security spokeswoman for the Obama transition team.

-Rosa Brooks: Bush's land mines for Obama
Last-minute rules and regulations by the Bush administration could take years to undo. » Discuss Article You knew that W & Co. wouldn't go gently into that good night, didn't you?,0,3697638.column?track=rss


[Send your comments about articles to]

FLORIDA DIGEST November 20, 2008

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


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Amednment 2 protects meaning of marriage
November 16, 2008
The word "marriage" has forever meant the joining of one man and one woman.
Those who want to change the definition of the word to also mean man and man or woman and woman should realize that the majority do not want to change the original meaning. Why don't they get their own word for their union? An article in last Sunday's paper stated, "Local government leaders don't plan to retreat from offering domestic partner benefits" and "registries grant unmarried gays and straight couples decision-making rights." That's happening more and more all over the country. Besides, anyone can draw up a legal contract to give someone else anything that a married man and woman have. Please don't hijack the word from us if all you want is the same rights.
Alexandria Ostrowski, Delray Beach,0,1015465.story

-Unmarried partners can be health-care surrogates
Way too much worry is making the rounds about whether unmarried people, gay or straight, can make health care decisions for each other. They can. It's governed by Florida law, says William Bell, general counsel for the Florida Hospital Association. The law says a person can appoint another person to be a health-care surrogate. It doesn't say that person has to a spouse.,0,7824443.column

-The benefits of marriage are based on federal rules
The gay marriage ban that Florida voters added to the state constitution this month doesn't add up to a hill of beans, when it comes to unwed couples' personal finances. Unmarried people, gay or straight, have huge economic disadvantages compared with married couples.,0,5732932.column

-Local government leaders don't plan to retreat from offering domestic partnership benefits in the wake of voters' decision last week to rewrite the state constitution to outlaw gay marriage and anything similar to it. The governments and school districts of Broward and Palm Beach counties offer health insurance coverage to domestic partners of their employees, as do some cities. Both counties also have partnership registries that grant unmarried gay and straight couples certain visitation and decision-making rights.,0,3582971.story

-Palm Beach County School District passes new anti-bullying policy,0,5977956.story

-Black voters in Broward overwhelmingly supported amendment banning gay marriage
Their conservative views helped pass Amendment No. 2
Black voters in Broward County provided some of the strongest support for Amendment 2, which added a ban on same-sex marriage to the Florida Constitution. The amendment passed statewide this week, winning 62 percent of the vote. Adding an amendment to the constitution requires a 60 percent "yes" vote.,0,2073362.story

-Pine Crest School swimming coach confesses he had sex with minors
Fort Lauderdale's swimming coach Roberto Caragol confesses, criminal complaint says
A popular Broward County swim coach confessed he had sex with minors and traded hundreds of pornographic images of young boys via e-mail, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday in federal court. Now law enforcement officials are urging parents and students with any information about improper sexual contact by the coach to come forward.,0,2265365.story

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Letters to the Editor - Gays' rights denied
Why do I not deserve the same rights -- not special rights -- as any other person in this country? What happened to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I did not wake up one day and say that ''I think I will choose to be gay.'' My father did not wake up and say, ``I will be straight.'' I was not taught to be gay, despite what the religious right says. I have had family and friends of my parents say that they knew I was gay when I was 8. How would I have selected my sexual orientation at that age? I have been registered to my partner as domestic partners since 2005. We own a home together, pay taxes and have family that loves us as a couple.
MARC A. HANSEN, Fort Lauderdale

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-In Florida, Fallout from a Gay-Marriage Ban
Parishoners at a Tampa church voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama and a ban on gay marriage that critics say may have unintended consequences

-Howard Simon: Amendment 2 just delays the inevitable
The vote approving Amendment 2 (the "marriage protection" amendment) was a devastating but temporary setback for the cause of equal treatment for all.

-Bill Cotterell: Gay-marriage defense faces an uphill battle
As Alan Alda peeled an orange on the steps of the Old Capitol one sunny afternoon in the mid-1970s, the actor told a throng of Equal Rights Amendment supporters not to try punishing Florida's citrus industry.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Poll shows Floridians believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights Despite vote to bar gay marriage, equal rights are favored Floridians may not support same-sex marriage, but they overwhelmingly believe gays and lesbians should have equal rights in a number of other areas, a survey indicates. Gay activists are still reeling over a loss Nov. 4, when state residents voted 62 percent in favor of Amendment 2, which addsFlorida's existing ban on gay marriage into the state constitution. But a poll conducted as part of that campaign also asked another question unrelated to marriage: Should gays and lesbians have the same rights as everyone else with regards to housing, job opportunities and public accommodations, such as restaurants and movie theaters? The results showed 89 percent of respondents answered yes.

-Not a lost cause
LGBT groups seek silver lining after Amendment 2 defeat
Sweeping endorsements by editorial boards of major newspapers, a massive grassroots education effort, millions of dollars and a large turn out of GLBT votes Nov. 4 were not enough to defeat the constitutional amendment in Florida effectively banning same sex marriage. Voters approved Amendment 2 by a decisive 62.1 percent to 37.9 percent margin Tuesday. No On 2 strategists were relying on strong opposition to the measure from voters in liberal leaning Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade Counties. While Palm Beach and Broward voters rejected Amendment 2 by 48 and 47 percent the no vote in Miami Dade was 42 percent.

-Stonewall Library & Archives
The Arscht Center for the Performing Arts invites Stonewall and ArtsUnited members to an Arts Night OUT with "1000 Homosexuals" on Thursday, November 20, at 8pm at a special discounted rate. Also, don't miss this opportunity to view Stonewall's exhibition "Days without Sunshine: Anita Bryant's Anti-Gay Crusade" which will be on view in the Arsht Center lobby. "1000 Homosexuals" by Michael Yawney, tells the story of Anita Bryant's 1977 crusade against gay civil rights. The play is a documentary/fantasy/comedy presenting Anita just the way she would want: as a musical Joan of Arc battling a powerful and perverse gay mafia.The performances take place at the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Per- forming Arts, Carnival Studio Theatre from November 19-23, 2008. Stonewall and ArtsUnited members are invited to Thursday night's performance, on November 20, at 8pm, at a special rate of $30.25. To purchase discounted tickets for this offer, visit and enter the discount code ANITA. You must purchase tickets by 5pm this Tuesday, November 18, to get the discount. All online surcharges have been waived. This special offer is only available online for the date listed and is not available at the Box Office Window or through the Box Office Call Center. If you have trouble accessing the online discount, please call Group Sales at 786-468-2326

Congregation Etz Chaim Young People's Group: A New Vision
Congregation Etz Chaim, Wilton Manors's Reform Synagogue for the GLBT community, welcomes the Young Jewish People's Group (YJP) as it initiates its new social networking group for young Jews. YJP will bring together men and women in their 20's, 30's, and 40's to share in various social and religious events. YJP invites the community to join it on Friday, December 12, at 8 p.m. as it participates in Cong. Etz Chaim's Sabbath Services. YJP invites young GLBT Jews to come early and get acquainted with others from the greater South Florida area and socialize during a special Oneg Shabbat following the service. Congregation Etz Chaim is located at 1881 N.E. 26 Street in Wilton Manors. For more information, e-mail Andrew at

Please join us as we gather together to remember and honor all those whom have died as a result of anti-transgender bigotry, hatred, and violence. Brandon Teena, Rita Hester, Marsha Johnson, Gwen Araujo, Simmie Williams, & countless more. "Over two trans-persons have been reported murdered every month, since the turn of the new millennium!" Help us to end all violence against transgender and gender-variant people!
Observance will be held at:
MCC Sunshine Cathedral Chapel
1480 SW 9th Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33315
Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 6:30 pm
All are Welcome!

-Dolphin Democrats Annual Holiday Party
Wednesday - December 10 - 7:30-9:30 pm
Wilton Station Clubhouse
2605 NE 14th Ave
Wilton Manors FL
Donation $10 - Free with your paid renewal or 2009 membership
Go online to to renew today

Mark's List
-Wilton Manors Island City Art Walk
Stroll the shops along Wilton Drive in WilMa for this monthly event that brings the LGBT community out on Florida's enjoyable winter nights. The walk begins at 7 PM anywhere along the drive, just pick your starting point and take advantage of the cool dry night!

Safe Schools South Florida
John Bremer
It is with great sadness that we relay that long-time Safe Schools South Florida board member, community activist, successful businessman, bon vivant and friend John Bremer, 82, passed away Friday, November 14, after an extended illness. His legacy will continue as his dedicated work for Safe Schools South Florida has helped ensure that young peoples' lives are changed for the better for years to come. He is survived by his partner and long-time friend Rob Stauss. A memorial is being planned for January. In lieu of flowers, John asked that donations be made to Safe Schools South Florida, P.O. Box 24444, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33307.


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Kids' mixed gun message: Do as adults say, not as they do
In the past week, we've seen a fatal shooting at Dillard High and five other kids caught with guns at Broward schools, including four elementary students. It's only natural to wonder what in the world - or the Wild, Wild West - is going on. I could see how our kids might be confused. When it comes to guns, there's a barrage of mixed messages. You have adults buying and carrying firearms in greater numbers, with some viewing guns as the cornerstone of personal protection. You have the NRA and other gun-advocacy groups winning the battle of the second amendment to the point where courts and politicians consider "gun control" dirty words.,0,2997724.column

-South Florida home buyers step up as prices drop
Buying a South Florida home is in vogue again as prices continue to crater.
So who's snagging all these bargains? First-time buyers are stepping forward, overjoyed at the idea of finally being able to afford places of their own. Retirees paying all cash also are getting into the game, yanking their money out of the volatile stock market and putting it back into real estate.,0,613238.story

SAVE THE DATE: Dania Beach Historic Home Tour-December 13, 2008
$20/person - 2-6pm
1500 S.W. Second Avenue
Dania Beach, FL 33004-4209
LIBERTY SUITES: (954-927-0090)

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Ritter's ties to Obamas create speculation as she becomes Broward County
Ties to the Obamas could land her a new job - in Washington
Even before Stacy Ritter took over as Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports's mayor Tuesday, she received her first call of congratulations - from Michelle Obama.,0,7151867.story

-Jews, Muslims come together to discuss overcoming discord
In the wake of a U.S. election that broke new racial ground, Jewish and Muslim leaders met Wednesday night to discuss ways to overcome "a darkness of the heart" hurting their own communities. A Jewish-Muslim dialogue on "confronting Islamophobia and anti-Semitism" helped kick off what are scheduled to be 50 "twinnings" of mosques and synagogues in North America through the weekend. More than 350 people, including about 100 Muslims, gathered at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST November 19, 2008

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Daschle to Be Nominee for Health Post in Obama Cabinet
President-elect Barack Obama will nominate former Senator Thomas A. Daschle of South Dakota as secretary of health and human services, and is leaning toward former Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. as attorney general, people close to the transition said Wednesday.

-Hopes Dim for Quick Bailout for Automakers
Detroit automakers were poised to leave Washington on Wednesday without the $25 billion in federal aid the companies contend is critical to their long-term survival. After two days of testimony, the chief executives of General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler were unable to persuade lawmakers to aid their industry by tapping the $700 billion financial rescue program.

-Editorial: Getting to Yes
At one point during a hearing on the bank bailout in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said that he was being misunderstood about why he refused to use any of the $700 billion bailout fund to prevent foreclosures.

-Dow Drops Below 8,000 in Another Sell-off
Shares on Wall Street closed at their lowest levels in five years on Wednesday as hope dimmed in Washington for an emergency bailout of the auto industry. The late-day sell-off came in frenzy amid growing fears of deflation.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Giving Up on God
As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.

-Keep the BlackBerry
Barack Obama, poor guy, would just like to go out for a walk. One of the most poignant moments in the Obamas interview with "60 Minutes" came when Steve Kroft asked the president-elect how his life had changed since Election Day.

-Scientists Reconstruct Most of Woolly Mammoth Genome
Project Represents a First for an Extinct Species

-Christian Right Takes on "Terminator"
A major Christian Right organization is calling out Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the latest broadside in the post-election battle for the soul of the Republican Party and a clear sign that the culture war might be shifting back to the states.

-A Job for Henry Waxman
In the next two days, House Democrats will decide which of two senior members will chair a key congressional committee during one of those rare periods when genuinely nation-changing legislation may be passed. John Dingell, who has represented metropolitan Detroit since 1955, is the longtime chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. He has been challenged by the panel's second-ranking member, Henry Waxman, who is best known for exposing countless Bush administration misdeeds as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It was Waxman who uncovered much of the administration's suppression and distortion of scientific findings and of prewar intelligence on Iraq.

-Should GM Be Allowed to Fail?
The founder of General Motors -- the charming, risk-taking Billy Durant -- was never as famous as Henry Ford. But while Ford built reliable black boxes, GM focused on variety and color, feeding an exuberant American consumerism. During the initial months of the Great Depression, GM had the nerve to introduce the Madame X Cadillac boasting 16 cylinders. Who could be depressed with that kind of vroom? In the late 1930s, GM's "Parade of Progress" -- a traveling showcase of the latest auto technology -- visited 251 towns where 12 million Americans saw the shape of a gleaming, streamlined future.

Wall Street Journal

-Piracy Spurs Threats to Shipping Costs
The seizure by pirates of a giant Saudi oil tanker far off the coast of Kenya could enlarge the "war risk" zone that already is lifting insurance costs for thousands of ships heading west of Africa, further raising the cost of piracy to world-wide shipping. More vessels have begun avoiding the direct passage most often attacked by pirates and taking a much longer route around the southern tip of Africa. They're hoping to pressure governments along the direct route, through the busy Gulf of Aden, to crack down more effectively on piracy or lose revenues from cargo-ship traffic.

-Ford, GM: Bankruptcy Is Not an Option
Auto Makers Return to Capitol Hill to Press for Bailout
Chrysler LLC has worked out at least some contingency plans in case it has to file for bankruptcy protection, but General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have not, the chief executives of the auto makers said on Wednesday in testimony in the House of Representatives. Executives of Detroit's Big Three auto makers embarked on a second day of intense lobbying on Capitol Hill, telling the House Financial Services Committee that the domestic auto industry could collapse without emergency assistance from the government.

-Emanuel Sets a Challenge
President-elect Barack Obama's incoming White House chief of staff challenged chief executives and other business leaders Tuesday night to join the new administration in a push for universal health care, saying incremental increases in coverage won't be acceptable. "When it gets rough out there, a lot of business leaders get out of the car and say, 'We're OK with minor reform.' I'm challenging you today, we're going to have to do big, serious things," Rahm Emanuel said, speaking to The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, a conference convened to elicit corporate opinion on the challenges facing the new president.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Dean: Keeping Lieberman As Chairman Is Shrewd Move
DNC Chair Howard Dean welcomed the decision to keep Senator Joseph Lieberman as head of the Homeland Security Committee and, consequently, in the Democratic Caucus, saying the move was pragmatic, magnanimous and politically shrewd.

-Obama's Attorney General
President-elect Obama has decided to tap Eric Holder as his attorney general, putting the veteran Washington lawyer in place to become the first African-American to head the Justice Department, according to two legal sources close to the presidential transition.

-Obama Election Night Backstage Photos (SLIDESHOW)

-Entrenched majority and Obama
After voting heavily against the first black U.S. presidential candidate, the white majority in this country seems bent now on declaring Sen. Barack Obama's victory as the end of racism in the republic.,0,2264981.column

-Democrats Gain as Stevens Loses Race
Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, convicted last month on federal ethics charges, lost his bid for a seventh term as final ballots were counted on Tuesday, giving Democrats at least 58 seats in the Senate for the first years of the Obama administration.

-Mayor in Idaho apologizes for kids' 'assassinate Obama' chant
The mayor of an eastern Idaho town where second- and third-grade students on a school bus chanted "assassinate Obama!" after the Nov. 4 election has publicly apologized, saying there's no excuse for such behavior. Rexburg Mayor Shawn Larsen wrote in a guest editorial sent Tuesday to local newspapers that he was saddened by the notoriety his community had received over the incident, both across the United States and abroad.,0,976537.story

-Schwarzenegger opens climate summit with Obama
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger opened his international climate change summit on Tuesday by upstaging himself with an even bigger political star - President-elect Barack Obama. Schwarzenegger, a Republican whose efforts to combat global warming in California have generated worldwide acclaim, wants to show that governments can balance environmental protection and economic growth. He hopes his summit will influence negotiations over a new climate treaty during a U.N. gathering in Poland next month.

-Peter Deutsch says he's the change Broward needs
Former Broward Congressman Peter Deutsch confirmed that he is running as chair of the Broward Democratic Party.

-In Florida, Fallout from a Gay-Marriage Ban


[Send your comments about articles to]

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

GLBT DIGEST - November 18, 2008

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-California Asks Court to Weigh Ban on Gay Marriage
The California attorney general asked the State Supreme Court on Monday to review the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the voter initiative passed two weeks ago that bans same-sex marriage. The attorney general, Jerry Brown, said in a brief that such a review was necessary to provide closure and clarity on the ballot measure, which has prompted protests across the country and several challenges filed with the court.

-Madrid Journal: Queen Sofia Unamused by a Book Quoting Her
MADRID - When the English monarch in Alan Bennett's novella, "The Uncommon Reader," decides to write her memoirs, she takes the prudent step of abdicating first. Queen Sofía of Spain may be wondering whether she, too,
should have waited for her husband, King Juan Carlos, to leave the throne before granting a Spanish journalist a series of uncharacteristically candid interviews.

-Murder of Transgender Woman Revives Scrutiny
The videotaped beating of a transgender woman in police custody in Memphis last February led to charges against two officers and national condemnation from gay rights groups. The officers were fired, and the Police Department overhauled some of its procedures and began sensitivity training for the entire force.

-Obama's Church Choice Likely to Be Scrutinized
Churches in the nation's capital have started extending invitations to President-elect Barack Obama and his family, touting their African-American roots, their ties to presidents past and to Obama himself.

-Rare Treatment Is Reported to Cure AIDS Patient
Doctors in Berlin are reporting that they cured a man of AIDS by giving him transplanted blood stem cells from a person naturally resistant to the virus. But while the case has novel medical implications, experts say it will be of little immediate use in treating AIDS. Top American researchers called the treatment unthinkable for the millions infected in Africa and impractical even for insured patients in top research hospitals.

-Diocese in Texas Leaves Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth on Saturday became the latest to break with the national church over a dispute that involves the ordination of an openly gay bishop, with clergy members and lay leaders voting overwhelmingly to align itself with a South American province.

-Gay Advocates Protest Marriage Ban Across Nation
Gay rights supporters waving rainbow colors marched, chanted and danced in cities coast to coast Saturday to protest the vote that banned gay marriage in California and to urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed. Crowds gathered near public buildings in cities large and small, including Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Fargo, to vent their frustrations, celebrate gay relationships and renew calls for change.

-They Couldn't Get Past the 'Mimbos'
NOT long after Nicole Caldwell became editor in chief of Playgirl magazine, she realized that looking at photos of naked men all day was not everything she had imagined it would be. When she would meet them, there was often a curious vapidity to the men, who Ms. Caldwell took to describing as "mimbos."

-The Seven-Day Itch
Susan Cheever is a sex addict. She wants you to know that she has had sex - a lot of sex - with all sorts of men. She has committed adultery. She has been up to hanky-panky in hotel rooms. She has made eyes at lawyers and book salesmen and the guys from the moving company.

-Op-Ed Columnist: The Moose Stops Here
ELECTION junkies in acute withdrawal need suffer no longer. Though the exciting Obama-McCain race is over, the cockfight among the losers has only just begun. The conservative crackup may be ugly, but as entertainment, it's two thumbs up!

-Across U.S., Big Rallies for Same-Sex Marriage
In one of the nation's largest displays of support for gay rights, tens of thousands of people in cities across the country turned out in support of same-sex marriage on Saturday, lending their voices to an issue that many gay men and lesbians consider a critical step to full equality.

-New York Observed: That Certain Feeling
I WAS at an election party at Room Service, a swanky gay bar in Midtown, the moment around 11 p.m. that CNN proclaimed Barack Obama the next president of the United States. A joyous roar erupted in the bar, and within seconds my cellphone vibrated, flashing my mother's number.

-To the Editor:
William Logan analyzes Bishop and Lowell's relationship through a problematically heteronormative lens, maintaining that Bishop and Lowell were "star-crossed lovers" despite the fact that Bishop's homosexuality precluded the possibility of a romance between her and Lowell. Logan also refers to the pair's "might-have-been affair"; however, it only might have been had Bishop been heterosexual or had Lowell been biologically female.
That is, only if they had been entirely different people.
Logan's emphasis on the hypo­thetical heterosexual romance between Bishop and Lowell performs a disservice to gay people by trivializing the legitimacy and immutability of their sexuality, while ignoring straight people's capacity to have friends of the opposite sex without being attracted to them. Bishop and Lowell's correspondence is substantially more significant in its actual status as a correspondence between friends and literary peers than in its hypothetical status as romantic love.
Katharine Olla
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-For Gays in India, Fear Rules
Blackmailers Thrive Using Law That Makes Homosexuality a Crime
BANGALORE, India -- Even with the white horse rented, his gold-speckled turban fitted and the wedding hall lined up, Mahesh did not feel ready to get married, at least not to a woman.

-Same-sex marriage ban to hit California economy: mayor
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - California's vote last week to ban same-sex marriage will hit the state's economy by making it harder for cutting-edge industries like biotechnology to recruit top talent, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday. Newsom said the passage of Proposition 8, which amended the state's constitution to halt same-sex marriages less than six months after a state Supreme Court decision legalized them, gives an edge to Massachusetts and Connecticut, which permit same-sex marriage and compete with California in key sectors.

-Gay couples can start to marry in Connecticut
A judge cleared the way Wednesday for gay marriage in Connecticut, a victory for advocates stung by California's referendum that banned same-sex unions in that state. Minutes after a judge entered a final ruling, the New Haven city clerk's office issued its first marriage license to a gay couple. It went to Barbara and Robin Levine-Ritterman of New Haven, one of the eight couples who successfully challenged a state law prohibiting gay marriage.

-Gay Veterans Gather To Honor Their Own
Military's Outsiders Commend the Fallen For Sacrifice, Service
It was a short ceremony, and not that many people came. Maybe 25, and one small white dog. People gathered around the grave. There was the American flag and the rainbow-colored gay movement flag. There was the singing of the national anthem and poetry and the remembrance of fallen soldiers and the playing of taps on a trumpet in the brisk winter air.

-TURNING POINT: The Center-Right Nation Exits Stage Left
Here's the main thought Republicans are consoling themselves with these days: Notwithstanding President-elect Barack Obama, a nearly filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and the largest Democratic majority in the House of Representatives since 1993, the United States is still a center-right country. Sure, voters may be angry with Republicans now, but eventually, as the Bush years recede and the GOP modernizes its brand, a basically right-tilting electorate will come back home. Or, in the words of the animated rock band the Gorillaz, "I'm useless, but not for long/The future is comin' on."

-Around the Nation: Calif. Gay Marriage Ban Spurs Protest Across U.S.
Tens of thousands of gay rights supporters rallied throughout the nation Saturday, protesting the California vote that banned same-sex marriage there.

The Wall Street Journal
Go to the links for the following articles:

-What if Voters Killed Interracial Marriage?
Your editorial "Voters and Marriage" (Nov. 6) on gay marriage in California leaves out some pertinent facts. The state legislature (the representatives of the electorate) passed gay marriage bills twice and the governor vetoed both bills on the grounds that it was up to the courts to decide. The courts did decide as you say "by judicial fiat" and now the voters have spoken. What would the vote have been had voters voted on interracial marriage when it was essentially forced on them by judicial fiat; or what about integration of the military by President Truman? By all accounts both moves would have been defeated by a much wider margin.
Should voters be able to take away rights based on equal protection under the law by a simple majority or any majority at all? Minorities beware.
Robert J. Del Bonta
San Francisco

-Gay-Rights Supporters Protest in U.S.
Gay-rights supporters in the state where same-sex couples first exchanged wedding vows gathered Saturday to protest the California vote that banned gay marriage there and to urge supporters not to quit the fight for the right to wed.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Gays' right to marry is nation's newest struggle
Imagine that you lived in a society where 90 percent of the people were gay. You were straight, and you were quite happy that way. You didn't want to change, and you didn't see yourself as "immoral," even though others labeled you as such. You paid your taxes, worked hard and tried to live by the Golden Rule.,0,6864362.column

-U.S. Rep. Mark Foley reveals the demons he faced after being abused in church as a child
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley says in an exclusive interview airing today on WPTV-Ch. 5 that he wishes he had "confronted those demons" of sexual abuse suffered as a child before launching a political career that collapsed amid national scrutiny of his private life. The Palm Beach County Republican served in Washington, Tallahassee and Lake Worth for nearly three decades until his resignation from Congress in 2006 after news reports of his sexually explicit online chats with congressional pages. "Torturous. Difficult. Embarrassing. I don't know how many adjectives I can throw at you to quantify what has been the experience," Foley said of the emotional fallout of his political scandal - a disgrace that presaged the defeat of other congressional incumbents in the 2006 elections.,0,5473143.story

-Mormon comments give gays hope for new Utah laws
Equality Utah asks for support on several bills
Gay-rights activists see opportunities for their cause in Utah thanks to Mormon church officials, who strongly supported California's proposition denying same-sex couples the right to marry but said they did not object to granting those couples certain other rights. The advocacy group Equality Utah is asking The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to support several bills that will be submitted to the Legislature supporting rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Mormon support - especially in the form of campaign contributions - was an important factor in the passage of California's Proposition 8, which rejected a state Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Puerto Rico bars bias against gay couples
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's outgoing governor said Monday he has prohibited government agencies from discriminating against same-sex couples, but the governor-elect indicated he will reverse the measure to avoid higher expenses for health care.

Experts clash on gays' bids to adopt children
Dueling social-science testimony marked a trial over a gay North Miami man's petition to adopt his two foster children.

-NY eyes allowing gay marriage; opponents vow fight
Even as voters in California banned same-sex marriage in a tight referendum, Tuesday's election opened the door for the same debate in New York. The pending shift in state Senate control away from Republicans removes one clear obstacle to legalizing gay marriage in New York, though opponents aren't conceding anything yet and advocates say they have work to do.

-GAY RIGHTS: Some blacks forgot sting of discrimination
That's as good a summary as any of a sad irony from last week's historic election. You will recall one of the major storylines of that day was the fact that, in helping make Barack Obama the nation's first black president, African Americans struck a blow against a history that has taught us all too well how it feels to be demeaned and denied. Unfortunately, while they were striking that blow, some black folks chose to demean and deny someone else. Last week, you see, California voters passed an initiative denying recognition to same-sex marriages. This overturned an earlier ruling from the state Supreme Court legalizing those unions. The vote was hardly a surprise; surely there is nothing in politics easier than to rouse a majority of voters against the ''threat'' of gay people being treated like people.

-Palin and Co. abate election withdrawal
What's an addict to do? A dozen days since the election and I'm still in the grip of incessant compulsion. Can't read five minutes before the obsessive habit comes whispering in my ear. Causes me to lop off conversations mid-sentence, run to my computer. Watching TV, I feel the exigent craving rubbing up against me like a hungry cat demanding Kibble. More Kibble, dammit!

-CNN reports Amendment 2 vote percentages by religion
Reader Dan Friedman asks, 'Have you seen the breakout of the Jewish vote on the amendment?'

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Mormon comments give gays hope for new Utah laws
Equality Utah asks for support on several bills
Gay-rights activists see opportunities for their cause in Utah thanks to Mormon church officials, who strongly supported California's proposition denying same-sex couples the right to marry but said they did not object to granting those couples certain other rights. The advocacy group Equality Utah is asking The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to support several bills that will be submitted to the Legislature supporting rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Mormon support - especially in the form of campaign contributions - was an important factor in the passage of California's Proposition 8, which rejected a state Supreme Court decision allowing gay marriage.

-City elects nation's first trans mayor
Stu Rasmussen defeated incumbent Ken Hector
Plenty of politicians reinvent themselves, but few do it quite like Mayor-elect Stu Rasmussen. Rasmussen has been a fixture in Silverton politics for more than 20 years and had twice before been mayor of the small city 45 miles south of Portland.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Study illustrates need for LGBT anti-discrimination laws
A study released Tuesday by a University of California - Los Angeles think tank has found workplace discrimination against LGBT employees is as widespread as that against women and visible minorities.

-Gay-friendly rental car companies
Last summer, my partner and I flew to North Carolina for a friend's wedding. When we arrived at the Avis counter to pick up our rental car, I asked if I could add her as an additional driver, and was told it would cost $35. As the woman behind the counter ran my credit card, she casually drawled, "Yep. It's thirty-five dollars unless you're co-workers, spouses or domestic partners." My partner and I exchanged a look and I knew we were both thinking the same thing: "Is it worth thirty-five dollars to convince someone that we're gay? In public? In a red state?"

-Besen: Prop 8 and race
I can understand why white gay people are angry. I certainly am. But let's take a step back and look at this dispassionately. I believe our failure with the African American vote (70 percent voted in favor of Prop. 8) has more to do with education levels than race. In general, people with lower levels of education - of any race - do not vote for gay rights. White people are twice as likely to graduate college as black people. This accounts for the difference by race on Prop. 8.

-Doctor suspended for anti-gay remarks
(London) A well-known British doctor's medical license was suspended for one year after a homophobic letter he wrote was published in a medical journal. In a letter to the editor of Pulse - a journal for general practitioners - Dr Muhammad Siddiq, the head of the Islamic Medical Association, said that gay patients deserve neither help nor pity but they do need "the stick of the law to put them on the right path."

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay Is the New Black?
In the wake of California's passage of Proposition 8, protests are popping up around the country -- and so are comparisons between gays' and African-Americans' fights for equality. Is gay the new black? Michael Joseph Gross examines two struggles for civil rights. Plus: Photos from Wednesday night's rally in New York City.

-Focus on the Family Lays Off 202 Workers
Focus on the Family will eliminate 202 jobs, making it the biggest layoff in the history of James Dobson's Christian ministry, based in Colorado Springs, Colo. The nonprofit's budget has been adjusted from $160 million in the 2008 fiscal year to $138 million, according to The Gazette of Colorado Springs.

-Study: Gay Men Less Likely to Cut Spending Because of Economy
A new survey shows that gay men are less likely to cut back on spending due to the economy than heterosexuals or lesbians. The online Harris Interactive poll indicates that in several categories, gay men report being less affected by the looming recession.

-Trevor Project Gains Accreditation From National Suicide Group
The Trevor Project -- the nation's only 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youths -- received accreditation from the American Association of Suicidology this month. With the AAS endorsement, the Trevor Project is recognized as an exemplary suicide prevention program according to nationally recognized standards. To receive the accreditation the Trevor Project was required to undergo an evaluation process that looked at the organization's administration, training, and handling of life-threatening crises, among other topics.

-Ashton Kutcher Gets Emotional About Prop. 8
OK, so it doesn't really surprise us that Ashton Kutcher is against Prop. 8. It just sort of seems to go with his whole vibe. But the fact that he got so passionate about that fact that Americans are ever voting on civil rights took us off guard. Check out Ashton getting right down to the heart of why Prop. 8 is so wrong on Friday's Real Time with Bill Maher.

-Utah Leaders Push Forward on LGBT Rights Legislation
In the wake of Proposition 8, pro-gay Equality Utah is taking the comments of Mormon Church elders as a signal to move forward with legislation that will expand the rights of gays and lesbians in the state, reports The New York Times. Defending their members' estimated $20 million contribution to the passage of California's gay marriage ban, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said they are not antigay and wouldn't deny certain legal protections to gays and lesbians."We are taking the LDS Church at its word," Stephanie Pappas, Equality Utah's chairwoman, told The Times.

-Etheridge: No More Taxes!
Melissa Etheridge is vowing to stop paying her taxes now that California citizens have voted to bar gay couples from marrying. "I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen," the 44-year-old lesbian singer-songwriter wrote in a blog post on The Daily Beast. "I mean that would just be wrong, to make someone pay taxes and not give them the same rights, sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books." Etheridge goes on to say that she's excited about the enormous savings not paying taxes will bring her: "There is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California. Oh, and I am sure Ellen will be a little excited to keep her bazillion bucks that she pays in taxes too."

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Prominent Lesbian Blogger Launches Talk Radio Show
Genia Stevens, editor of the 6-yr-old lesbian blog SistersTalk, announces the launch of SistersTalk Radio - a weekly radio show hosted at SistersTalk Radio airs live on Sunday nights at 5pm central time. Archives are available for download after each show ends.,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

-Wanda Sykes Says She's 'Proud to be Gay'
Comedian Wanda Sykes says the passage of a same-sex marriage ban in California has led to her be more outspoken about being gay. "You know, I don't really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn't feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life," Sykes told a crowd at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. "Everybody that knows me personally they know I'm gay. But that's the way people should be able to live their lives," she said. Read More...,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/

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

-EDITORIAL: Healing the Gay/Black Divide
Link: Los Angeles Times
In a letter addressed to "Dear Community," a high-powered coalition of gay-rights leaders is calling for an end to the scapegoating of African Americans for the passage of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in California. Nine painful, anger-filled and vitriolic days passed before this request for calm appeared, and although the letter is sensible and encouraging, words alone will not undo the damage.

-Obama's Change.Gov Website Features Comprehensive LGBT Agenda
Link: Towleroad
A few weeks ago I was getting dozens of emails about President-elect Barack Obama's website and its lack of any mention of the words 'gay' or 'lesbian'. That has now changed, and the site, which echoes Obama's campaign positions, features a civil rights agenda for LGBT Americans more comprehensive than anything we've seen from an incoming president. There is no doubt, however, that demands for marriage equality from the masses will need to take the proper route and stand behind equality in action and name for all Americans.

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

-The Simpsons outs macho character as gay in latest show
Long-running TV comedy show The Simpsons has revealed that the character of Duffman is gay. The revelation comes in the latest episode of the programme, now in its 20th series. Sweet Conclusions follows Homer as he sets up a business breaking up with people on behalf of his clients.

-New report on Ireland's gays reveals isolation and discrimination
A new study of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in the West of Ireland has found that nearly 70% of them have suffered some form of discrimination. 90% felt isolated at times because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

-Slavic Gay Pride will unite Belarusian and Russian activists
Gay rights groups in Belarus and Russia have agreed to hold an annual Slavic Pride event. Organisers said there is good reason for Russian and Belarusian gays and lesbians to work together.

-Pakistan bans Bollywood "gay" buddy movie
The High Court in Lahore has issued ban on an Indian film after a petitioner claimed it "propogates homosexuality." Dostana, which is hyped as Bollywood's first gay-themed comedy, cannot be shown anywhere in Pakistan as a result of Friday's court ruling.

-Nepal's highest court confirms full rights for LGBT people
A Nepali MP has said his "eyes were filled with tears" when he read the full written decision of the country's Supreme Court on a writ petition from four organisations representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people. A summary decision was issued in December 2007, when the court issued directive orders to the Nepal government to ensure the right to life according to their own identities and introduce laws providing equal rights to LGBTIs and amend all the discriminatory laws.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Across US, Big Rallies for Same-Sex Marriage
SAN FRANCISCO - In one of the nation's largest displays of support for gay rights, tens of thousands of people in cities across the country turned out in support of same-sex marriage on Saturday, lending their voices to an issue that many gay men and lesbians consider a critical step to full equality. The demonstrations - from a sun-splashed throng in San Francisco to a chilly crowd in Minneapolis - came 11 days after California voters narrowly passed a ballot measure, Proposition 8, that outlawed previously legal same-sex ceremonies in the state. The measure's passage has spurred protests in California and across the country, including at several Mormon temples, a reflection of that church's ardent backing of the proposition. On Saturday, speakers painted the fight over Proposition 8 as another test of a movement that began with the riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York in 1969, survived the emergence of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and has since made enormous strides in societal acceptance, whether in television shows or in antidiscrimination laws. "It's not 'Yes we can,' " said Tom Ammiano, a San Francisco city supervisor, referring to President-elect Barack Obama's campaign mantra. "It's 'Yes we will.' " Read more

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Go to the links for the following articles:
Contact if can't access the article

-Syracuse man was killed for being gay, police say
SYRACUSE, NY - Dwight R. DeLee shot and killed Moses "Teish" Cannon with a .22-caliber rifle Friday night because he didn't like that Cannon was openly gay, Syracuse police said. Cannon, 22, and his brother, Mark Cannon, 18, both of 404 Arthur St., were shot as they sat in a car parked in front of 411 Seymour St., where they had been invited to a party. The bullet grazed the left arm of Mark Cannon, who was in the driver's seat, and hit Moses Cannon in the chest, police said.

-Sen. Sam Nunn discusses the "heterosexual problem"in the military
Did you know the first person discharged from the military for being gay was in 1778 at the hand of George Washington? If you missed Equality Arizona Radio on November 8th discussing Don't Ask, Don't Tell, you can hear a replay through our podcast of this informative and thought provoking episode. Emmy Award winning host, Donna Rossi interviews openly gay Admiral Al Steinman (Ret.) and others about the policy.

-Raped in the Military? You'll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit
By Penny Coleman, AlterNet
Sarah Palin's decision not to pay for rape kits when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, was an issue in the campaign for the White House. But allow me to introduce the large pink elephant that has been sitting quietly in the corner of the room: TRICARE, the Pentagon's Military Health System that covers active duty members, doesn't pay for rape kits, either. Spec. Patricia McCann, who served in Iraq with the Illinois Army National Guard from 2003 to 2004, raised the issue at the Winter Soldier Investigation in March. McCann read a memo issued to all MEDCOM commanders clarifying that "SAD kits" -- which are forensic rape kits -- "are not included in TRICARE coverage."

-Iowa Supreme Court to Review Nude Dancing Decision
The Iowa Supreme Court will review a lower court's decision that nude dancing is an art in Iowa. In August, a Fremont County judge ruled in favor of an all-nude dancing club owner, Clarence Judy, who has since sold the club in Hamburg. He was charged with violating the state's public indecent exposure law after a teenage girl stripped on stage.

-Gay arts group sues Milwaukee for discrimination
A gay arts group has sued the city of Milwaukee in federal court for violating its free speech rights three years ago when officials shut down a musical revue featuring nudity. The city temporarily shut down performances of "Naked Boys Singing!" in August 2005 while it considered the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center's application for a theater permit. The group later received a permit and reopened the show.

-Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon Announces Departure
National Board Conducting Search for Replacement
(Washington, DC)-Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon will be leaving his position early next year. "After five years at this organization and more than two years leading Log Cabin, I am ready to tackle new challenges. I'll be doing documentary filmmaking, which is what I did before joining Log Cabin's staff," said Sammon. "I told Log Cabin's national board earlier this year I would be moving on after the election. I'm proud of the progress we've made and I know Log Cabin is well positioned to impact the GOP's future direction."

-Norway: Bishops wants special homo-liturgy
Church must decide: Bishops wants special homo-liturgy From the New Year, the new gender-neutral marriage law will come into force, but the church has not decided upon a special liturgy for homosexuals who enter into marriage. "Adopting a new liturgy is now urgent. This is something that applies to many in the church, and for some of us it is starting to be a matter of conscience," says the bishop to NRK. At the annual Church Meeting this year, time has not been allotted to discussing how priests should relate to the gender-neutral law. As of today, it is up to each priest whether or not to perform consecration prayers.

-The Huffington Post
Gay Rights and Reproductive Rights: Why Don't People Get the Connection?
Supporters of New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center gathered on the evening of November 4 to watch history unfold as the nation, inspired by a powerful vision for change, elected Senator Barack Obama as its next president. The room shook as the audience erupted in applause, whistles, foot-stomping and cheers, as President-elect Obama told us, "It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. [...] We are, and always will be, the United States of America."

-Obama and the Gay Bishop: 'Three Private Meetings'
Read on to find out why Barack Obama sought out gay Bishop Gene Robinson not once but three times on the campaign trail for private talks.

-CA bumper sticker
CA voted that it's illegal for chicken farms to house hens in cages too small for them to turn around in.

-Gay marriage catastrophe in the US
For those wondering what went wrong in California - why a state that voted hugely for Obama also rejected equal marriage rights - here's an excellent article by my colleague Richard Kim about how gay rights advocates failed to understand the racial and ethnic diversity that the Obama campaign affirmed:

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

City Sees Most Significant LGBT Rights Demo in a Decade
Over 5000 LGBT people and allies rallied in Federal Plaza Saturday and then took to the streets in a wide ranging, 4-1/2 mile march against California's Proposition 8 and other anti-gay ballot measures that passed in early November. The event led all of the early evening newscasts and launched a firestorm of coverage in the blogisphere (see the huge, but still partial listing of links below).

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

A historical declaration against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity will be presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations between 15th and 20th December 2008. It is thought that this is the first time a declaration of this kind has reached the General Assembly of the UN. The initiative for the declaration follows a campaign by the IDAHO committee (the committee coordinating the International Day Against Homophobia) which has been supported by the French government following a meeting to mark IDAHO on 17th May 2008. All 27 countries of the European Union have signed the declaration and a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office has advised IDAHO-UK that they are supportive of the French efforts to increase the signatories to the statement and are working closely with the EU Presidency who are coordinating efforts.

-Turkey's sex workers seek to establish a union
ISTANBUL - Activists and sex workers in Turkey are working on a project to establish Turkey's first sex workers union. They are hopeful about finding a solution to their problems and changing society's approach toward sex workers. They will organize an awareness walk to bring attention to their issues

-Transvestism 'no longer a disease' in Sweden
New feature Double click on a word to get a translation
Transvestism, along with six other sexual behaviours, will be struck from Sweden's official list of medical diagnoses starting on January 1st, 2009. The National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) took the decision to declassify the behaviours as illnesses in order to avoid strengthening prejudices about them, said agency head Lars-Erik Holm. "We don't want to contribute to certain sexual behaviours being thought of as diseases. These individuals' sexual preferences have nothing to do with sciety," he explained in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

-Vatican backs psychological screening of seminarians
The Vatican has approved the psychological screening of seminarians in the wake of damaging clerical abuse scandals. In a long-awaited document the Congregation for Catholic Education said seminary candidates should undergo psychological evaluations whenever there is a suspicion of personality disturbances or serious doubts about their ability to live a celibate life. The document, entitled Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood, also controversially endorsed tests to root out men with "deep-seated homosexual tendencies" from seminaries. The statement echoed the language of a 2005 document which said candidates with deep-seated homosexual tendencies could not become seminarians.

-Defending human rights
Peter Tatchell interviewed
Peter Tatchell has been a prominent human rights activist for over forty years. He campaigned for aboriginal rights and against the war in Vietnam in his native Australia before moving to the UK and becoming involved in the movement for Gay rights and railing against countless other injustices. He has outed bishops, attempted to charge Henry Kissinger and has recently forced a debate about homophobia in national football. He has even had a theme tune written for him. He joined the Green Party in 2004 and is currently running a strong campaign as Parliamentary Candidate for Oxford East. Green World went to talk to him about the past, present and future of the fight for civil rights.

-Gay attackers usually young Dutch men
Most of the 150 cases of verbal or physical violence against gay men and women in the Netherlands in the first six months of this year were committed by native Dutch men or no attacker was listed, according to home affairs ministry figures. Police chiefs were asked to keep a record of instances of gay bashing following concerns that attacks were increasing and that young immigrants were largely to blame. There have been several high profile attacks on gay men over the past year, particularly in Amsterdam.

-Trans Indians Under Assault
Police target hijras as government debates sodomy law.
As India's gays, lesbians, and gender nonconformists struggle for legal recognition of their civil rights and the end to their criminalization, an ugly two-day incident of police violence against hijras - as the transgenders are known - and LGBT activists in the south-eastern city of Bangalore, the nation's third largest, illustrates their continued tenuous position in the world's second most populous country. According to reporting from the Times of India, the country's newspaper of record, and other local media as well as an October 24 press release from Bangalore's Campaign for Sexual Minorities Rights (CSMR), the incident began on the morning of October 20, when five hijras were arrested and charged - "falsely," says the CSMR - with "wrongful restraint" and "extortion" for begging. Although arrests of hijras for public begging are commonplace, and usually lead to them being sent to a "beggars colony," the use of the extortion charge allowed police to hold them, without bail, at a local police station.

-Military pay out to dismissed gay soldiers
Compensation to victims of military homophobia
London - The UK Ministry of Defence has revealed that it has paid £4 million in compensation to 65 former service personnel who were booted out of the armed forces because of their homosexuality. The average payout was £61,500. The ban on gays in the British military was overturned in 1999, after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that it was a violation of a person's right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

-"MEPs ask Bulgaria to grant a legal recognition to same-sex couples."
On 11 November the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights sent a letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Sergei Stanishev and Members of the National Assembly expressing concerns about draft legislation on domestic partnerships which excludes same-sex couples. "Unions between opposite-sex and same-sex couples are based on the same ground. It is a commitment and a declaration of love." said MEPs Michael Cashman, Lissy Gräner, Raúl Romeva and Sophie In´t Veld in the letter. "It constitutes a direct discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation if opposite-sex couples can legally register a partnership, but same-sex couples can not."

Budapest, November 10, 2008 - The Hungarian Parliament has adopted today two new pieces of legislation concerning LGBT people. The first one extends hate crime legislation to cover hate motivated crimes committed against a member of a group other than national, ethnic, or religious: from now on the Criminal Code contains a general formulation 'Violent act against a member of a social group', which is believed to include groups based on sexual orientation as well. The second piece of legislation makes it possible to initiate civil proceedings against a person who engages in degrading or intimidating behavior towards groups based on nationality, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

-For those wondering what went wrong in California - why a state that voted hugely for Obama also rejected equal marriage rights - here's an excellent article by my colleague Richard Kim about how gay rights advocates failed to understand the racial and ethnic diversity that the Obama campaign affirmed:

-Capleton Concert cancelled in Basel, Switzerland
Singer broke Reggae Compassionate Act agreement
A major reggae concert with the Jamaican singer Capleton, that had ben scheduled to take place tonight (6 November) in Basel, witzerland, has been cancelled by the organisers, according to the ocal LGBT rights group, Homosexuelle Arbeitsgruppen Basel (HABS). HABS, together with "Stop Murder Music Bern", opposed the concert because Capleton has performed songs encouraging violence against lesbian and gay people, in violation of his commitment to abide by the terms of the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA) - an agreement that he signed in early 2007, whereby he undertook to not perform "murder music" songs any more.

-20 November - The Transgender Day of Remembrance
On 20 November 2008, the 9th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance will be marked across the world and Europe. This Day was established following a murder of Rita Hester in 1998 and serves as a reminder of existing prejudice, hatred and discrimination against transgender people.

-Iran aims to establish Islamic studies departments in UK universities
Iran wants to fund Islamic studies in the UK
Institutions funded by the British taxpayer could be used to promote the extremist, homophobic, racist, and violent interpretations of Islam used in Iran. The Tehran Times reports that Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology "feels the necessity to help establish and strengthen departments of Islamic studies."


[Send your comments about articles to]