Saturday, December 13, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 13, 2008

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New York Times
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-When Your Beliefs and My Civil Rights Collide

...To the Editor:
Re "Showdown in the Big Tent" (Op-Ed, Dec. 7):
Caitlin Flanagan and Benjamin Schwarz categorize gay marriage, and homosexuality in general, as "matters of morality and lifestyle." "Lifestyle" in this context is a trivializing term, and connotes that it is a choice, on a par with deciding whether you drink red wine or white, or deciding to dye your hair. Choice is the lynchpin of the religious right's campaigns to keep discrimination against gay people legal. Their "special rights" argument is particularly specious. If it's not a choice, there can be no question of morality or that gay marriage, for example, is a civil right. To those who blandly assume that it is a matter of choice, please ask yourself: Did you choose your sexuality? If you did, how? And if you didn't, why do you think I did? What all of us do choose are the beliefs we hold and follow. We are individually responsible for those choices.
Edward Hobler
Santa Fe, N.M., Dec. 8, 2008

...To the Editor:
The deep repugnance and aversion to homosexuality held by the black church-going community revealed in the passing of Proposition 8 in California are not a wedge in the progressive agenda. They are simply a very common human failing. It is human to scapegoat. This is an opportunity to make the tent even bigger, if it is construed as an opportunity to examine prejudice from the other side. Progressives should invite the black church community to engage in the dialogue. The result would allow all those in the tent to feel and work better with each other. The tent would become an even better tent. It would even make it easier to reach out to those still outside the tent. Name-calling means we have learned nothing.
Catherine Barinas
New York, Dec. 7, 2008

-A Huggable Evangelical
By Nicholas Kristof
Sad word today from Washington that Richard Cizik, who helped lead the evangelical Christian movement away from the culture wars and gay-bashing to tackle global poverty and climate change, has been pushed out of his job. Rich had headed the Washington office of the National Association of Evangelicals, and for many years he had played a critical role in the rebranding of evangelicals.

-White House Ready to Aid Auto Industry
The Bush administration said on Friday that it was prepared to intervene to prevent the collapse of General Motors and Chrysler after Republican senators blocked a compromise proposal to rescue the automakers.

Washington Post
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-Gay anti-violence group: 2008 attacks might be up
A rash of attacks against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country _ including the severe beating of a New York man whose attackers believed he was gay _ suggests the number of reported assaults could rise in 2008, an advocacy group said. The number of reported attacks against LGBT people increased 24 percent in 2007 over 2006, and they were expected to jump in 2008, said Sharon Stapel, executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

-A Religious Case for Gay Marriage
Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife, Sarah, was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel -- all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments -- especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple -- who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love -- turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

-R. Gustav Niebuhr
In too many discussions of gay marriage, its opponents' default position seems to be that marriage is an "institution" sorely needing defense. A rather soulless word, institution, especially in this case. Yet I'm willing to buy that label if we imagine marriage as an alliance whose principal benefits lie in what it confers financially and politically on the partners. Two powerful families unite to preserve their worldly influence and fortune. Don't kings always marry other kings' daughters?

-C. Welton Gaddy
Whether or not there is a religious or scriptural basis for gay marriage depends entirely upon who is answering that question as well as the religious background of the respondent and the methodology of his/her scriptural interpretation. One of the great blessings of the religious freedom embraced and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution is every person's right to believe or not to believe when it comes to religion generally and, if one believes, to decide specifically in whom or in what to believe.

-Birth certificates to reflect NY gay-marriage move
State officials will now let married same-sex couples list both their names on their children's birth certificates in a policy shift deeply important to many gays and lesbians. The decision, which echoes similar provisions in states that allow gay marriages or civil unions, is one of many changes since Gov. David Paterson ordered state agencies in May to respect out-of-state gay marriages.

-On Dating: Gay Man Rejected by eHarmony Wins Lawsuit; Company to Set Up
Alternative Site
By Ellen McCarthy
It was the stories that got to Eric McKinley. Stories of happy couples who were totally compatible, completely in love. "Who wouldn't want that?" McKinley thought when he decided to sign up for eHarmony, hoping to become another swooning success story.

-Evangelical Leader Quits Over Gay Union Remark
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
A prominent evangelical lobbyist resigned yesterday over his remarks in a National Public Radio interview, in which he said he supports permitting same-sex civil unions. The Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), later apologized for the remark, said the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the 30 million-member organization.

Steve Rothaus
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-Will New York become first state to have an out U.S. senator?
From New York Daily News:
Randi Weingarten, the out president of the New York City teachers union, is among those vying to replace Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate. Weingarten, who would become the first openly gay U.S. senator, said in a statement that she is "very flattered and honored" to be considered for the post by New York Gov. David Paterson.

-Early-bird specials till Jan. 7 for 2009 Winter Party Festival
News release:
Buy Passes Early and Save Big Bucks, Plus a Special Deal for Floridians
Miami, FL, December 11--- The early bird catches the worm and saves a ton on ticket prices for the 2009 Winter Party Festival, February 21 through March 2, 2009. Special discounted multi-event pass prices are in effect through January 7th only. The week-long celebration produced by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force features parties at some of the most popular nightclubs in South Beach and Miami, as well as an expanding line-up of cultural events and programming for specific segments of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. For more information on these packages, tickets and a description of the events, visit

South Florida Blade
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-Leader of the gay pack: Gary Resnick
New Mayor of Wilton Manors discusses politics, parking woes, and GLBT pride
Gary Resnick, the newly elected openly gay mayor of Wilton Manors, was sworn in to office last month along with Justin Flippen and Tom Green, two other newly-elected openly-gay commissioners.

-Trapped in Thailand by political upheaval
Victoria Park residents get more than they asked for during vacation

-Holiday productions light up SoFla
'Reindeer Monologues,' 'Miss Twinkleton's' open this weekend

-Crowded marriage meeting yields no consensus
D.C. activists support proposed bill, unsure on timing
By LOU CHIBBARO JR, Washington Blade | Dec 12, 3:35 PM

-Activists meet with Obama's team
Meaningful appointments, policy changes urged
By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade | Dec 11, 2:36 PM

-Getting over the 'ick' factor
Forget religion-our enemies are motivated by a fear of gay sex

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-Corvino: Friends with the enemy
By John Corvino, columnist,
Glenn Stanton is a friend of mine. He's also badly wrong about same-sex marriage, and I tell him so-frequently, publicly, and sharply.

-Ruby-Sachs: Reflecting on Calling in Gay
By Emma Ruby-Sachs, Blogger, 365gay Agenda Blog 12.11.2008 4:12pm EST
The call in gay day has been met with mixed reviews. Perhaps the most understandable critique is that a day off work is a hard thing to orchestrate in these economic times. Asking even the most out gay employees to call in when they are not sick or they do not have a family emergency is asking for a lot.

-Video: Newsweek's religious case for gay marriage
By Barbara Simon, Executive Producer, 365gay News
Newsweek's provocative cover story this week explores what the Bible really says about gay people, gay marriage, even gay sex.

-Withers: Looming marriage battle in New York
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog 12.11.2008 8:22am EST
It's not a good sign when a politician issues a threat to a reporter, but that is what state senator Ruben Diaz Sr. did. Elected to the New York State Senate in 2002, Diaz, Sr. has been in the news recently as one member of the Gang of Three, a trio of Democrats who promised to support state Senator Malcolm A. Smith as leader of the senate as long as he followed certain rules. One of those regulations was to keep same-sex marriage from being voted on.

-Judge Removes Child From Lesbian Parents
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The West Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a lesbian couple's appeal of a lower court ruling that removed a child they had reared from birth because the judge wanted the child placed with a married opposite-sex couple.

-Rights Group Slams Mormon Attack Ad
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(New York City) A full page ad in today's Salt Lake Tribune slams the Church of Latter Day Saints and other religious conservatives for accusing gays of "mob violence" over protests against Proposition 8.

-NJ Governor Urges Action On Gay Marriage Report
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Trenton, New Jersey) New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) is urging lawmakers to "seriously review" a report submitted by a blue ribbon state-appointed panel that found civil unions were not working and the law needs to be amended to provide for full marriage for same-sex couples.

The Advocate
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-W.Va. Couple Battle for Adoption Rights
A lesbian couple who have been raising a foster child since December 2007 are being blocked from adopting her by the child's legal advocate, who argues that she would be better off with a "traditional" married couple. Kathryn Kutil and Cheryl Hess will go before the West Virginia supreme court March 11 to appeal a November decision by a lower court, according to the Associated Press.

-Till the Census Do Us Part?
By H. Alexander Robinson
National Black Justice Coalition CEO H. Alexander Robinson discusses the U.S. government policy that "requires all federal agencies to recognize only opposite-sex marriages for the purposes of administering federal programs." The examples of the unfairness of the second-class status of America's gay and lesbian couples continue to mount. Though married, my husband, Greg, and I -- along with tens of thousands of married same-sex couples -- will be unmarried in the eyes of the U.S. government unless something is done quickly to fix the upcoming census.

-The New Religious Right
By James Kirchick
Does the organizational and fund-raising prowess displayed by the LDS church during California's Proposition 8 campaign augur future political might? In june the governing body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to every Mormon congregation in California asking that a message be read to members at Sunday services stating that "marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God," and "local church leaders will provide information about how you may become involved in this important cause." The cause was Proposition 8, and church members were implored to "do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time."

-Segregation High -- and Lows
The age-old question of assimilation vs. separation hits the Chicago public schools, leaving a proposed high school for gay students lost in the shuffle.
By Jessica Reaves

National Gay News,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/
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-Lesbian and Gay Band Association to Perform in Obama Inaugural Parade
The Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA), a musical organization comprising marching and concert bands from across the United States and around the world, has been chosen to perform in the parade for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009. This is the first time in history that a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group will march in a Presidential Inaugural Parade. The 177-piece LGBA band will join groups from across the country as well as from the Armed Forces in the historic parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, which follows President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the Capitol. Read More...

-Who Will Save America's Gay Hockey Team?
Like a burning forest fire, the global financial panic is burning everything in its path; businesses are folding, workers are being laid off, and now the burning embers of recession threaten to melt the ice for GForce, America's national LGBT hockey team. The team, made up of LGBT athletes from L.A., New York, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and elsewhere across the country lost their sponsors this year - and the team's continued existence is in peril. Read More...

Pink News - UK
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-Elton John loses defamation case against The Guardian
A spoof column satirising gay star Sir Elton John was not defamatory, the High Court in London has ruled. The singer had claimed the humourous article, by Marina Hyde, made fun of Sir Elton's charity work and joked thathe held events such as the White Tie Ball for self-promotion and to meet celebrities and not to raise serious funds.

-MEPs call on Vatican to embrace LGBT rights
Members of the European Parliament have called on the Vatican to support a statement on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans rights to be read out at the UN next week.

-Obama's environmental protection team brings first LGBT appointment
The first prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans person to be appointed to President-elect Barack Obama's new administration is the current Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles.

-Video: Republican party must take "long hard look at itself"
A leading Republican has said that the party needs to change if it wants to have a future in America.

-Same-sex couples denied EU right to freedom of movement
Gay and lesbian couples who have legal same-sex marriages or unions are being denied their rights to move and reside freely within the EU.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-When the Result Enables the Religious Right
Fredrick Clarkson | Talk to Action
Let me start out by saying that I know the leaders of the liberal, Washington, DC-based think tank Faith in Public Life are progressive people with a record of good works. But there are times when it is important to tell friends and colleagues that we differ on matters of importance. Especially when they are eggregiously wrong. Writing in response to Sarah Posner's important article at Religion Dispatches, "Katie Paris and The Faith in Public Life Team" issued what amounts to a long press release titled "Common Ground Gets Results." They say they are "proud" of their "results-based" approach. Results is certainly a fair way to measure any organization's work, but we need to look at the bad as well as the good results, however unintended they may be. In this case, FPL has promoted the ambitions of conservative, anti-abortion, anti-LGTB equality Republicans under the banner of finding common ground. Many question the value of the excercise, but for an organization that stakes it's reputation on dialog and finding common ground with people who do not necessarily agree, their statement in response to Posner's article is a textbook example of the difference between public relations deflection and authentic engagement. There is much that we could discuss here, but I will develop just one point, (raised by Posner and ignored by Katie and the Team), since it is of such historic consequence regarding the ever-changing role of the Religious Right in American public life. Read more

South Florida Blade
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-Colin Powell on 'Don't Ask'
General Colin Powell was on "The Situation Room" last night, where he answered a question about the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays. He said: "It's been 15 years since we put in 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which was a policy that became a law. I didn't want it to become a law, but it became a law. Congress felt that strongly about it ... I think it's time for Congress to have a full review of it, and I'm quite sure that's what President-elect Obama will want to do." Steve Ralls, formerly of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, had this to say on the Huffington Post. Video:

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-English Catholics defy Vatican?
A Catholic Rebellion?
In contrast to the homophobia of the Pope, Catholic Bishops in England and Wales are urging understanding and acceptance of gay people By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

-A Rare Meeting with Nepal's Openly Gay MP, Sunil Panth
By Kalki Subramaniam, published Dec 11, 2008
He is tall, slender and handsome and could make for a model. Surprisingly he is a politician. Sunil Panth is an MP from Nepal, the country that has recently become a democratic country throwing the king's rule. In an event organized by the human rights organization Sangama in Chennai, Mr. Panth addressed the audience who were all sexual minorities and their supporters. It was a fascinating evening for both me and Rose, fellow Transgender activist and a TV person. For the first time we were able to meet and interact with lesbians, gays, transwomen and transmen all under one roof. It was a wonderful moment as the air was filled with the scents of flowers and musks. We were taken aback by the masculinity of the transmen whom we met at the doorsteps. They were cool and determined. Moreover, they really made us comfortable with their warm reception. There were exciting introductions, hugs, laughter, cordial 'hellos' and 'how are you's.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-UN: General Assembly to Address Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
Statement affirms promise of Universal Declaration of Human RightsAs the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the UN General Assembly will hear a statement in mid-December endorsed by more than 50 countries across the globe calling for an end to rights abuses based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A coalition of international human rights organizations today urged all the world's nations to support the statement in affirmation of the UDHR's basic promise: that human rights apply to everyone. Nations on four continents are coordinating the statement, including: Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Gabon, Japan, the Netherlands, and Norway. The reading of the statement will be the first time the General Assembly has formally addressed rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

-"The Vatican must end denying human rights at UN."
"The Vatican must end its resistance to ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and support the French initiated UN Declaration on decriminalisation of homosexuality" said the European Parliament´s LGBT Intergroup. On 1 December the permanent representative of the Vatican at the United Nations Mr.Celesto Migliore stated that the forthcoming UN Declaration on decriminalisation of homosexuality should not be endorsed. According to the Vatican, the Declaration would create discrimination against countries which do not recognise same-sex marriages or partnerships. 'We are born equal and all people should be treated equally. The Vatican has a sad history of intolerance on these issues and whilst I respect the beliefs of others these beliefs should not be imposed on or used to deny people equal treatment or civil liberties." said Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup. "It is plain wrong to suggest the proposal of the French will bring about gay marriages or civil partnerships. If only that were true. Truth is that the Declaration is calling to stop cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and even capital punishment against LGBT people. We must end such barbaric attitudes." "The Vatican should teach the word of Jesus Christ and not the values of the Old Testament. It is worth noting in these harsh economic times that there are approximately 30 references to Usury as a sin and approximately three references to homosexuality as a sin! If the Vatican is serious in implementing policy based on the Old Testament then it should call for the closure of banks, Building societies and credit Card companies." added Michael Cashman.

Next week, in an historic event for the global gay community, for the very first time a declaration in favor of the universal decriminalization of homosexuality will be presented at the United Nations and read from the podium of the General Assembly. This declaration has already been formally signed and endorsed by the governments of 55 UN member states. Unfortunately, the U.S. is not among them. According to a detailed report released this past May by the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which represents LGBT groups in more than 100 countries, "In 2008, no less than 86 member states of the United Nations still criminalize consensual same-sex acts among adults, thus institutionally promoting a culture of hatred. Among those, seven have legal provisions with the death penalty as punishment." (A link to the report appears in the online version of the editorial at The idea for a statement of principal by the United Nations in support of decriminalizing homosexuality globally was the brainchild of Professor Louis-Georges Tin, the founder of IDAHO, the International Day Against Homophobia, and the president of the Paris-based International Committee for IDAHO. The campaign for the declaration was launched in November 2006 when IDAHO, at a Paris press conference, unveiled a list of hundreds of VIPs who supported it, including five Nobel Prize winners, ten Pulitzer Prize winners, two former French prime ministers, and six Academy Award winners (see "Bold Move for UN Action," November 21-27, 2006.) This past May, after a year-long lobbying campaign by IDAHO and an alliance of French LGBT groups spanning the political spectrum from right to left, the French government promised to push for "a European initiative calling for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality," according to a statement released by French Minister Of Human Rights Rama Yade after conferring with a delegation from this gay alliance (see "France Fights for Decriminalization," May 22-28, 2008, a link to which appears on the online version of this editorial at

-Put Mugabe on trial for murder and torture
I tried and failed. It's time someone else arrested Robert Mugabe
We flunked an opportunity to jail Mugabe in 1999 and prevent eight years of murder, mayhem, starvation and disease
By Peter Tatchell, LGBT human rights campaigner, Outrage!

-Portugal: Homosexual acts to be penalised with 40c fine
A list of rules, regulations and cash fines for bad behaviour of players from the Caldas da Rainha 'Casa do Benfica' junior football team is causing controversy due to its peculiar content, which includes a 40 cent fine for homosexual behaviour in the changing rooms'. Being late for practice and missing practice are other misdemeanours that are punished with 20 cent and three euro fines, respectively, but it is other odd rules such as being fined for 'slapping a colleague's bottom' that are making the list a talking point. Currently circulating on the Internet, the list was originally posted in the changing rooms of the Caldas da Rainha 'Rainha D. Leonor' sports pavilion, where the local junior team trains.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-FDA advisory panel backs new female condom
Female Health Co's new, potentially less costly version of its female condom, won crucial backing from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Thursday. The FDA panel of outside advisers, in a 15-0 vote, said the company's data supported FDA approval of the FC2 Female Condom as long as some changes were made to the product's label. The company is seeking to market the new version as a method to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. The FDA usually follows its panel's advice.

-Human Rights Campaign Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund & Leadership
Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, PFLAG, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Black Justice Coalition, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Equality Federation, Freedom to Marry, BiNet USA, DignityUSA, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Coalition for LGBT Health, LGBT Community Center of NY, International Federation of Black Prides, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, and Family Equality Coalition present:
The LGBT community commemoration of Barack Obama & Joe Biden's Inauguration
Tuesday, January 20 - 7 p.m. - Midnight
Mayflower Hotel
1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C.
Tickets are on sale at

-Survey: Teens sharing nude images online
Recent survey finds that sex, tech and teens make bad bedfellows

-New Hampshire Upholds Citizens' Right To Make Sexual Content
The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that a man who offered to pay two adults to have sex while he videotaped the act is not guilty of a crime. Robert Theriault was charged under New Hampshire Revised Statutes 645:2, which holds that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if that person "[p]ays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay another person to engage in sexual contact as defined in RSA 632-A:1, IV or sexual penetration as defined in RSA 632-A:1, V, with the payor or with another person."

Truth Wins Out
by Wayne Besen

-Truth Wins Out Praises Rich Cizik For His Courageous Decision To Step Down
From the National Association of Evangelicals
Evangelical Leader Takes Heat For His 'Shift' On Same-Sex Relationships Truth Wins Out praised the National Association of Evangelicals' top lobbyist today for resigning in a storm of controversy after he said on a Dec. 2 "Fresh Air" NPR broadcast that he had shifted his position on gay relationships. The Associated Press reported that he told Fresh Air, "I'm shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say I believe in civil unions. I don't officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don't think." "We applaud Rich Cizik for opening his mind and speaking from his heart," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "It would have been easier for Cizik to have remained silent and continued collecting a paycheck. Instead he did what he thought was right and one can only admire such courage."

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-Soulforce Releases Marriage Equality Video --
Featuring the Music of Ray Boltz, "Don't Tell Me Who To Love"
Have you seen the new Soulforce video yet? Featuring the music of Ray Boltz, the video captures the powerful images of committed same-gender couples and families -- mixed with Prop 8 protest signs -- to demonstrate our community's resolve to resist injustice until marriage equality becomes a reality for all people. View the video by clicking here.
Please help us share it on MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites. We know you'll love Ray's upbeat and inspiring song, "Don't Tell Me Who To Love," and it's available as a free MP3 download at Enjoy!

Human Rights Campaign - HRC
How many times have you had to hear opponents of marriage equality cite passage after passage from the Bible? How many times have you wanted to know exactly the right response to their literary acrobatics?
Newsweek's recent cover story, "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage" provides just that - debunking all the popular myths. The response? On the first day, Newsweek was "bombarded" with 20,000 emails in opposition to its article. Stand up for equality and fairness - send Newsweek a note today.
The current cover story of Newsweek magazine titled, "The Religious Case for Gay Marriage" should be read by each and every member of our community. The piece provides an in-depth debunking of many of the popular myths about Scripture that the religious-right has used time and time again. How refreshing to see a major, mainstream American news outlet speaking the truth in such a courageous way. But, as you would fully expect, the right-wing has launched a massive uproar to the piece by flooding Newsweek's editors with thousands of letters in opposition. Last night, I interviewed Lisa Miller, Religion Editor for Newsweek Magazine and the article's author, on my Sirius XM radio show, The Agenda. You can hear Lisa in her own words describe how on the first day the story came out Newsweek was "bombarded" with 20,000 emails in opposition to the article. Friends, when someone is courageously willing to stand up and take on the those who have for so long twisted the words of the Bible and gone unchecked - it is our obligation to make sure they know that there are also millions of us standing right on their side. Don't let the voices of extremists silence those of inclusion and truth. Join me by sending a letter of support to Newsweek today. You too can make sure that the voices of equality and fairness aren't drowned out by those who oppose our families.
Joe Solmonese

Mark's List

-Movie: "Doubt" centers on a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him of sexually abusing a new black student, but the priest denies the charges. Much of the film's quick-fire dialogue tackles themes of religion, morality and authority. Doubt is an film adaptation of the John Patrick Shanley play Doubt. Starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, the film is directed by Shanley, produced by Scott Rudin and shot in New York City.

Gay manger scene?
Is a Dutch group going too far by putting a gay spin on one of the holiest events of Christianity? Weigh in now.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 13, 2008

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

New York Times
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-Op-Ed Contributor: When the Cars Go Away
Detroit. THIS week, as Washington has tried to decide whether to rescue the automobile industry, Americans have wondered what it looks like when a giant automobile company goes under. The answer can be found in Detroit.

-New York Housing Chief Picked for Slot in Cabinet
Published: December 13, 2008
WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama has picked the widely respected housing commissioner for New York City, Shaun Donovan, to be the secretary of housing in his cabinet.

-Sorry, Obamas, Early Check-In Isn't Available
CHICAGO - To the list of people having trouble finding somewhere in Washington to stay in early January, there can now be added one more entry: the Obama family. President Bush's aides have turned down a request from President-elect Barack Obama to move from Chicago into Blair House, the official guest residence across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, in time for Mr. Obama's daughters to start school in Washington on Jan. 5.

Washington Post
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-'All Just One Big Lie'
By Binyamin Appelbaum, David S. Hilzenrath and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writers
Bernard Madoff was a Wall Street whiz with a golden reputation. Investors, including Jewish charities, entrusted him with billions. It's gone. Deborah Coltin learned yesterday morning that the $8 million foundation she has led for a decade, which supported a wide range of Jewish programs on the north shore of Massachusetts, did not actually exist.

-Al Franken gets boosts in Minnesota Senate recount
Democrat Al Franken won a pair of victories Friday before the state board overseeing the Senate recount, including a decision that as many as 1,500 incorrectly rejected absentee ballots should be included. The board also opted to recommend use of election night results in a Franken-leaning Minneapolis precinct where 133 ballots went missing, a decision that could have cost him 46 votes if it had gone the other way.

-An Old Rage to Quell
By David Ignatius
Barack Obama wrote in "Dreams From My Father" of his days as a student at Occidental College, groping for his political identity: "We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Frantz Fanon, Eurocentrism and patriarchy."

-Dealing With Revisionist Russia
By Ronald D. Asmus
Among the foreign policy challenges facing President-elect Barack Obama is the need for a new strategy toward Russia. Moscow is a partner and competitor: We need to work with the Russians on issues such as Iran and counterterrorism, but Moscow today is also a nationalistic revisionist power bent on rolling back Western values and influence on its borders with Europe. Russia is seeking major changes to the ground rules of European security, a desire underscored recently when Moscow pressed the West to agree to a new European security charter proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev.

-Lead Us Not . . .
Basic campaign finance reform might discourage future 'pay for play' chicanery. AS THE EXAMPLE of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) illustrates in profane, sickening detail, you can't legislate morality. But you can reduce the opportunities for temptation. Illinois offers useful guidance on how to accomplish that.

Wall Street Journal

-Mitch McConnell's Finest Hour
The same can't be said for President Bush on the auto bailout. In the Senate's Thursday night automobile showdown, the United Auto Workers said "No thanks" to a bailout with strings attached. Most Senate Republicans took them at their word and voted to block the bill. But within hours, President Bush blinked and Treasury is now scrambling to use money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Who'd have thought Mr. Bush would want to join the long line of Detroit executives in caving to the UAW?

Miami Herald
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-Raúl Castro may not maintain ties to Venezuela's Chávez
Unlike his older brother, Cuban President Raúl Castro, who visits Venezuela this weekend, may keep an arm's length from Hugo Chávez.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Meet the GOP's wrecking crew
By Alex Koppelman and Mike Madden
Why did a small group of Southern Republicans turn the auto bailout into a demolition derby? Introducing the senators who hate unions and love foreign cars. On July 15, Bob Corker was a happy man.

-Editorial: Clinton should close our diplomats' religion deficit
A secretary of state's day is so filled with the pressing conflicts of the moment that it's extraordinarily difficult to find the time to think about the larger trends shaping the world. The job prizes action more than reflection.

-Poll Shows Obama Gains Support
Public Roots for His Success in Face of Economic Crisis but Is Wary of Big Spending
President-elect Barack Obama is entering the White House with an enormous reservoir of goodwill from an American public that is rooting for his success in the face of bad economic times, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.


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FLORIDA DIGEST December 13, 2008

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


From Safe Schools South Florida

-Jamaican Lesbian Spoken Word Poet Staceyann Chin
Comes to Miami January 19-23, 2009
Featuring Tigertail SpeakOut Workshops & Slam for Gay Youth
Tigertail Productions continues its SpeakOut project for the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered) community with a weeklong residency with nationally recognized New York-based Jamaican lesbian spoken word poet and performer Staceyann Chin. School and community workshops, as well as a poetry slam evening, geared towards GLBT youth, and a reading and panel discussion for the general audience, take place throughout Miami-Dade County. All events are free. For more information and a full schedule visit or call Tigertail Productions at 305 324 4337. [...] In addition, there will be a similar open-to-the-public teen workshop held at Pridelines Youth Services, 180 NE 19th Street in Miami, on Tuesday, January 20 at 6:00 pm.
WHEN: January 19-23, 2009
*Workshops for gay teens at high schools and community venues, Tuesday through Thursday, January 20-22
*Slam and open mic for gay teens, Thursday, January 22, 5:30 pm, at Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach Panel Discussion, Race, Sex and Gender Panel Discussion, Monday, January 19, 7:30 pm, The Light Box at Miami Light Project, 3000 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100, Miami
*Reading and Performance, Friday, January 23, 7:30 pm, Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables
*All events are free. For more information call 305 324 4337 or online at


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Gov. Crist weds in St. Petersburg
By Brendan Farrington | The Associated Press
Gov. Charlie Crist became the first sitting Florida governor to wed in nearly 42 years, exchanging vows Friday evening with New York socialite Carole Rome in a church ceremony. Crist, 52, and Rome, 39, met at a dinner in New York City in September 2007 and the romance took off quickly. Less then 10 months later, Crist proposed, giving the millionaire socialite a sapphire engagement ring at his rented condo in downtown St. Petersburg.,0,5029608.story

-Funds put Everglades on road to restoration
$1 million allocated to help solve water flow problems with the Tamiami Trail
By David Fleshler | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Bush administration officials gathered Friday at Everglades National Park to announce additional restoration funding and prepare to hand over to a new administration the difficult, frustrating, lawsuit-producing job of restoring the South Florida wilderness.,0,1616547.story

Miami Herald
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-Florida Gov. Crist's wedding tonight marries money to politics
By Fred Tasker, Miami Herald
The weather should be beautiful -- crisp and clear, in the low 60s -- at 9 p.m. tonight when Charles Joseph ''Charlie'' Crist Jr., 52, weds Carole Rome, nee Oumano, 39, before 200 or so friends and allies at the United Methodist Church in St. Petersburg.

-Florida pulling plug on Port of Miami tunnel
Florida pulled the plug for a Miami tunnel that's been in the works since the late 1980s. Will the DOT reallocate more than $1.3 billion to other projects?

-Miami shows off its help for the homeless
Many big cities are reporting a rising homeless population, but Miami isn't one of them.

-Deerfield Beach mayor arrested on felony corruption charge
The mayor of Deerfield Beach, who once claimed the city would be better off in his hands, was spending Friday night in Broward County Jail. Albert Capellini, who has held public office for almost two decades, was charged with corruption by the state attorney's office on Thursday.

Fort Report
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-Challenge to Florida Democratic Party chairwoman folds
By Michael C. Bender
Miami-Dade Democrat Bret Berlin just closed his campaign to unseat Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman. Continue reading for his letter explaining why.

-Florida Crystals opposing state deal with US Sugar
A major competitor of U.S. Sugar filed a complaint alleging its $1.34 billion dollar deal to sell the state land won't advance Everglades restoration and only lines the pockets of U.S. Sugar, a spokesman for Florida Crystals said Friday.

-Previous deals cloud new House speaker
By Alex Leary
House Speaker Ray Sansom appointed key policy leaders for the 2009 Legislature on Tuesday, but the news remained in the shadow of a controversy that has been the talk of the Capitol for weeks.

-House speaker sold political soul, and at a bargain price
Sunday, December 07, 2008
At first, the job that one of Florida's three most powerful politicians took
at a state college just looked bad. Now, it looks awful. House Speaker Ray Sansom, R-Destin, accepted a $110,000 administrative position at Northwest Florida State College last month on the same day he was sworn in as speaker. It looked bad because, according to what was known at the time, Rep. Sansom this year had sponsored a bill to let the former Okaloosa-Walton Community College in Rep. Sansom's Panhandle district get a new four-year mission and a new "State College" designation.


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Thursday, December 11, 2008

GLBT DIGEST December 11, 2008

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

Washington Post
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-Day to `call in gay' finds few willing to strike

-Showtime develops coming-out series
By James Hibberd
Showtime is developing a reality series documenting gay people coming out to friends and family. The project is titled "Way Out." In each episode, a closeted individual reveals their true sexual orientation during a group meeting.

-Bill Ayers's Unreal Past
Charles Lane
Three decades after the end of the Weather Underground, he's still justifying its means.

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Ricky Martin shows off his babies

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-Looming marriage battle in New York
By James Withers
It's not a good sign when a politician issues a threat to a reporter, but that is what state senator Ruben Diaz Sr. did. Elected to the New York State Senate in 2002, Diaz, Sr. has been in the news recently as one member of the Gang of Three, a trio of Democrats who promised to support state Senator Malcolm A. Smith as leader of the senate as long as he followed certain rules. One of those regulations was to keep same-sex marriage from being voted on.

-Gay soldiers (not) home for Christmas
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief,
Lee Quillian, now retired from the Navy, remembers one holiday season when she was serving on a ship in the Middle East. "They risk outing their partner." All the other sailors were going to a special room to film video messages to their sweethearts. But not Quillian. She didn't record a message.

-Nobel Prize ceremony honors AIDS discovery
(Stockholm) Scientists who discovered the AIDS virus, an outspoken U.S. economist and a Finnish diplomat who helped solve some of the world's thorniest conflicts were honored Wednesday with the 2008 Nobel Prizes.

-Illinois civil union bill likely dead
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Legislation to allow civil unions for same-sex couples in Illinois appears to have little chance of coming to a vote as the state grapples with the nationwide economic crisis and the scandal that has enveloped Illinois over Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

The Advocate
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-U.S. Still Unattached to United Nations' First Gay Rights Statement
A United Nations joint statement calling for countries to decriminalize homosexuality and keep LGBT people safe has been backed by nearly every Western nation -- except possibly the United States.

-Obama to Name Out L.A. Deputy Mayor to Environmental Post
A Democratic aide has confirmed to The Advocate that President-elect Obama will be naming Los Angeles deputy mayor Nancy Sutley, who is gay, as a senior member of his environmental team, as reported Wednesday by the Los Angeles Times.

-Video: [This is a must see]
Daily Show's Jon Stewart Corners Mike Huckabee on Gay Marriage Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee dropped by Jon Stewart's Daily Show Tuesday to promote his new book, Do the Right Thing: Inside the Movement That's Bringing Common Sense Back to America.

-LGBT Band Marches for Inaugural Parade
President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural parade on January 20 will be the first in history to include an openly LGBT group. The Lesbian and Gay Band Association will march down Pennsylvania Avenue following Obama's swearing-in on the steps of the Capitol.

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

-The New Religious Right
Link: The Advocate
Mormons make up only 2% of California's population, so the fact that they played such an outsize role in the Yes on 8 campaign testifies to their rigid and efficient organization as a religious community. Because the church requests that members tithe 10% of their annual income, LDS leaders are able to gain an accurate picture p of how much their congregants earn. With this information in hand, bishops in local communities went from house to house in California asking for specific amounts of money for the Yes on 8 campaign -- an incredibly effective fund-raising tactic. Mormons boast high rates of involvement in church-related activities, including commitments that can be quite demanding, such as missionary work, whereby members spend up to two years proselyting, often in far-flung overseas locations.

Pink News - UK
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-Nepal to support LGBT rights statement at UN
The Prime Minister of Nepal has instructed his country's UN Ambassador to support an oral statement on the universal rights of all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The statement will be read out at the UN General Assembly next week.

-New York Democrats refuse to give in on gay marriage
A power struggle between Democrats in the New York State Senate that at one point threatened the party's commitment to gay marriage continues.

-South Africans still not OK with same-sex relationships
82% of the adult population of South Africa think that sex between two men or two women could be considered 'always wrong,' according to the latest South African Social Attitudes Survey.

-Gay political leader pledges to cut German aid to homophobic countries
An openly gay politician in Germany has said that if he is appointed Foreign Minister next year he will cut aid to countries that discriminate against women or sexual minorities.

-Italian TV channel attacked for showing cut version of Brokeback Mountain
Italy's national broadcaster has said it will show gay cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain in full after it came under fire for broadcasting a cut version.

Family Equality Council
We've got some good news and some not-so-good news. The good news is 73 families have stepped up to the plate in our Spread the Cheer Challenge! What is the Spread the Cheer Challenge? If we reach 300 donations by December 21st we will receive $25,000 for our families. The not-so-good news is that we are still 227 donations away from winning this challenge. We can do it-but we need your help to make it happen. 2009 promises to be a critical year for family equality-please stand with the Family Equality Council team, and all of our families across the country by making a contribution today. 73 donors have made a difference, 227 to go-please be our 74th donor and help us win $25,000. Together we are making a difference.

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

-No On 'Gay is Black'
Patricia Nell Warren | The Bilerico Project
"Gay is the new black." It's slick as a slogan, but dangerous as a dogma. I understand what its purveyors are trying to do with it. But it's dangerous ground to stand on, and already is blowing up in their faces. I agree with activist Michael Crawford that it's proving to be divisive and hurtful, and doesn't represent the positioning of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered/intersex people who are black. The slogan promotes a habit of equating one civil-rights cause with another. Equating is ignorant and presumptuous. Just because two groups are aiming for equal protection under U.S. law doesn't mean that their issues are alike in any way. So "gay is the new black" is provoking resentful reactions from some African Americans. They state that we gays should not dare to equate our situation to their centuries in slavery - that they suffered far more than we did. But how do they know how much we suffered? The conservative churchgoers among them would probably not stop and consider what it was like to be burned for sodomy in Renaissance Italy, or hung for sodomy in the American colonies. After all, they believe that we're evil and deserved the punishment. Read more

-In the Name of God, Sod Off
Andrew Brown | The Guardian
The headline on this piece was actually taken from life: it was the conclusion of a letter sent to Lord Runcie at Lambeth Palace by a disaffected Anglican. It's by no means the nastiest thing ever sent to a liberal bishop by fellow Christians. Others have had dogshit sent them or been told they should have their balls cut off with rusty scissors. But every once in a a while, usually in the USA, a liberal bishop gets into self-expression too. Here is the Bishop of Washington explaining the Anglican schism to his flock. To understand what follows, you have to know something that none of the British press actually reported last week, which was the latest stage in the Anglican schism. A number of splinter groups, with perhaps 350 congregations between them, in the USA and Canada announced they were leaving the Episcopal church there and forming their own, which they hope will be recognised eventually by the rest of the Anglican Communion, whatever that may be. In the first place, they want recognition from the Gafcon grouping, some of whose members have already consecrated some of the new splinter groups' bishops. Anyway, it all made a front page story in the New York Times. Read more

-CA: More attacks, lies and threats
Equality California
Anti-gay extremists are trying to intimidate justices on the California Supreme Court by threatening a recall if they rule that that Prop 8 is invalid. "You will see a mobilized group like you have never seen in the state of California. There are grounds for a recall. We saw that with Gray Davis. We have an oligarchy, an oligarchy in judges' role in the state of California."1 Protect California leaders who stand with us-make a donation today. More . . . .

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Obama urged to back UN LGBT rights statement
by Peter Tatchel:
Decriminalisation statement now expected 15 to 20 December
Still time to lobby governments to support UN initiative
"I urge Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the US Congress to speak out in support of the forthcoming UN statement on LGBT human rights," said Peter Tatchell of the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights movement, OutRage! "To draw a line under the homophobic policies of the Bush administration, they need to publicly endorse this UN initiative for LGBT human rights. "If the US government does not sign up, it will be aligning itself with homophobic non-signing regimes like Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Uganda and Belarus," he said. The presentation of the ground-breaking statement on LGBT issues to the UN General Assembly is now expected to take place between 15 and 20 December (not 10 December, as previously reported). The exact date is yet to be finalised. It partly depends on other UN business. [...] See the global survey of homophobia, published by the International Gay and Lesbian Association:

-Analysis: What does the UN statement on LGBT rights say?

-Vienna - When Stefan Petzner said after the death of Joerg Haider in October that the far-right leader was his "Lebensmensch", the most important person in his life, he probably did not guess that Austrians would vote the term as buzzword of the year. Although the word usually describes a close, important friendship, the public saw Petzner's use of the term as having a more intimate meaning, said professor Rudolf Muhr, the head of the panel of linguists at the University of Graz who announced the results of the online vote Thursday. "It was seen as a public acknowledgment of homosexuality," he said about the comment by Petzner, who was Haider's deputy as leader of the Alliance for the Future of Austria and is now a member or parliament. As Haider had carefully maintained his image as a mountain-climbing family man, Muhr said, "the word was like a bomb falling from the sky." When the 58-year-old Alliance leader and governor of the Carinthia province died on October 11 in a car accident, he left behind his wife Claudia and two grown-up daughters.,haiders-sexuality-inspires-austrian-word-of-the-year--feature.html

In a moving ceremony in the Hobart Town Hall last night, the Hobart City Council apologised for banning a gay law reform stall from the city's popular Salamanca Market and ordering the arrest of those staffing and supporting the stall. In 1988 a stall gathering petition signatures to repeal Tasmania's laws against homosexuality was shut down on Council orders and over subsequent weeks more than 100 people were arrested defending the stall in what became Australia's largest ever act of gay rights civil disobedience. The apology delivered by Lord Mayor, Rob Valentine, to an emotional audience of 200 former arrestees, LGBT community members and civic leaders including State Premier, David Bartlett, coincided with the 20th anniversary of the the arrests and the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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

-Outdoor drag shows at Miami Beach bar get OK to continue
The drag queen show at the Palace Food Bar will go on. Miami Beach put a stop to the Ocean Drive bar's outdoor performances, citing noise complaints and a need to keep sidewalks clear for pedestrians. But at a Nov. 26 hearing -- attended by several female impersonators decked out in platform boots and colorful wigs, as well as a throng of supporters -- the city's Planning Board unanimously agreed to give owner Tom Donall a permit that allows performances on the terrace of the restaurant and bar at 1200 Ocean Dr.The entertainers, who previously would leave the bar to perform for passersby, will still be barred from singing and dancing on the sidewalk or across the street. The shows have been a South Beach staple for two decades.

Truth Wins Out
by Wayne Besen

Today, I took a big risk for equality. I placed a $6,000 full-page ad in the Salt Lake Tribune with the limited funds of a small organization in tough economic times. [...]
Together, we can stand up to anti-gay lies and win full equality. The days of sitting back and doing nothing are over. Please join our "Group of Sixty" by giving a $100 gift right now. You have always been able to count on T.W.O. to speak the truth, and now, we are counting on you. P.S. If you are able to give more we would greatly appreciate it. If you are unable to give at this level, please consider a gift of $10 or more and help us fight back. Every dollar helps.

Jesse's Journal
by Jesse Monteagudo

-Miami's Gay Bar Scene in 1974
Miami in the 1970's was a great time to be young and gay. As my fictional alter-ego, Joe Martinez, said in one of his adventures, "Miami was a candy store for a young gay guy just out of the closet." With no AIDS in sight, and most venereal diseases treated with a simple shot, it was "the golden age of gay sexuality." It was also a golden age for Miami-Dade County's lesbian and gay bar scene. Not only were there far fewer raids than before, but local laws that made it a crime for "known homosexuals" to be served liquor or congregate in a tavern were overturned. The legal drinking age was 18, which made things very convenient for a young gay man who was just coming out.
Contact Ray's List for the full article.

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's - GLAAD

"The Best & Worst of National News"
November 2008

-MSNBC's Keith Olbermann Gives Heartfelt Special Comment Against the Passage of Proposition 8
During the November 10 broadcast of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the host devoted six minutes of the program to a highly personal special comment concerning the passage of Proposition 8. Olbermann stated, "In a time of impermanence and fly-by relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option." The host called upon those who had voted for or supported the anti-gay legislation and asked them to examine the impact that taking marriage away form loving, committed same-sex couples has had on so many, gay and straight alike. He continued, stating, "They want what you want. A chance to be a little less alone in the world. Only now you are saying, 'No.'" Olbermann also said of the passage of Prop 8, "This vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart. And if that sounds corny, so be it."
GLAAD encourages you to contact Keith Olbermann and thank him for talking about the significance of marriage for same-sex couples.
Keith Olbermann
Countdown with Keith Olbermann

-The New York Times Calls Attention to the Murder of Duanna Johnson
Earlier this month, Duanna Johnson, a 40-year-old African American transgender woman, was murdered in Memphis, Tenn. While local coverage was slow and often missed the mark, The New York Times reporter Robbie Brown penned a respectful and informative piece about Johnson on November 17 titled, "Murder of Transgender Woman Revives Scrutiny." Johnson's story first garnered media attention when she was the victim of police brutality in February. The incident was caught on tape, which led to substantial local and national media coverage. The news of her death did not garner the same volume of coverage, with the exception of this article in The New York Times. Reporter Robbie Brown spoke to local advocates who put Johnson's murder in context and helped to underscore the human side of the tragedy. "Duanna Johnson's case was tragic before, and now it's an almost unimaginable loss,"said Jared Feuer, Southern Regional Director of Amnesty International.
GLAAD urges you to contact reporter Robbie Brown and The New York Times and thank them for bringing national visibility to Duanna Johnson's tragic death and the pervasive problem of hate violence against transgender people.
The New York Times

-The Washington Post Brings Attention to the Struggles of the Gay Community in India
A national debate over equal rights erupted in India this past summer when Section 377 of the Indian Penal code, which criminalizes being gay, was unsuccessfully challenged. Unfortunately, there is very little media coverage of the LGBT community in India. But in an article published on November 15 for the The Washington Post, titled "For Gays in India, Fear Rules," Emily Wax explores the struggles that members of the LGBT community in India face every day. With no protection from the state and coercive societal pressure to marry members of the opposite sex, gay people are forced to find solace in secret and commonly face threats of being blackmailed or outed. But as Wax points out, there is a growing support coming from younger Indians, many of whom work for multinational companies with LGBT-inclusive policies. The overall story is a vital reminder of the persecution faced by members of the LGBT community abroad.
GLAAD encourages you to contact Emily Wax and The Washington Post and thank them for bringing much-needed attention to the current discrimination LGBT people face in India.
Emily Wax
Washington Post

-Fox's Bill O'Reilly Continually Misses the Mark in November Coverage of LGBT Issues
In the weeks following the election, Bill O'Reilly has continued to provide a platform for anti-gay views and misinformation about LGBT issues. The host gave former House Speaker Newt Gingrich a platform to spew incendiary defamatory anti-gay rhetoric, going so far as to associate the gay community with "secular fascism." On the November 14 broadcast, Gingrich stated, "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. I think it is a very dangerous threat to anybody who believes in traditional religion." Earlier in the month, O'Reilly made a similarly appalling comparison, stating that the marriage ruling in Massachusetts was a result of "fascism." But that wasn't all for O'Reilly this month. On the November 12 broadcast, Dennis Miller made a sophomoric and juvenile jab at openly gay Chairman of the House of Financial Services Committee Barney Frank. When O'Reilly suggested that Frank be arrested, Miller stated, "Barney might want to be arrested," to which both responded with laughter, exaggerated gestures and innuendo. Additionally, following the passage of the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California, O'Reilly devoted several segments to debates that pitted African American and LGBT communities against each other. The host consistently categorized the African American community as largely or uniformly anti-gay, despite the availability of data and information that indicates otherwise. Instead, O'Reilly chose to misrepresent the issue and misinform his viewers.
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.12.08: Proposition 8
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.12.08: Dennis Miller
Fox News - The O'Reilly Factor 11.14.08: Newt Gingrich
GLAAD urges you to contact Fox News executives and remind them that the LGBT community and our allies will continue to call out Fox News Channel and the producers of The O'Reilly Factor for the harmful anti-gay sentiments he perpetuates, which continue to reflect poorly on the News Corporation brand.
Mr. John Moody
Senior Vice President, News Editorial
FOX News Channel
Ms. Sharri Berg
Senior Vice President, News Operations
FOX News Channel

-Clear Channel Refuses to Issue an Apology for Jim Quinn's Attack Against the LGBT Community
During the November 6 broadcast of the nationally syndicated radio program The War Room with Quinn & Rose, co-host Jim Quinn made highly offensive and ignorant statements regarding the gay community. In a discussion on the passage of the anti-gay Proposition 8 in California, he asserted, "[G]ay marriage doesn't produce anything that the state has an interest in. Gay sex produces AIDS, which the state doesn't have- or should have an interest in. They should charge homosexuals more for their- for their health insurance than they charge the rest of us." On November 7, GLAAD issued a Call to Action, asking the community and its allies to contact Clear Channel Communications and voice their concerns. Despite numerous complaints, Clear Channel has refused to issue an apology and has not disciplined Quinn for his disgusting and unacceptable remarks.
GLAAD urges you to contact Clear Channel Communications and express your concern over the complete lack of responsibility taken by the syndicate in response to Quinn's reprehensible statements.
Lisa Dollinger
Chief Communications Officer
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
Kathryn Johnson
Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations
Clear Channel Communications
(210) 822-2828
Sanda Coyle
Clear Channel Radio
(210) 822-2828

-University of Washington Student Paper Publishes Juvenile Anti-Gay Defamation
A November 25 op-ed in the University of Washington's student newspaper The Daily likened marriage for same-sex couples to bestiality, among other defamatory comparisons. The column was illustrated with a highly offensive graphic of a man standing next to a sheep. In the column, writer John Fay repeatedly makes a series of offensive statements about the gay community throughout the op-ed, titled "Gay marriage? Let's stop and think about this." After making a host of illogical arguments, he suggests that "homosexuality is more of an emotional condition," claiming that if same-sex couples are given the right to marry, "�why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it's wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?" Such ignorant remarks serve to distract and sensationalize rather than focus on the real issue of extending protections for same-sex couples in marriage.
GLAAD urges you to contact John Fay and The Daily and let them know that publishing such grossly offensive commentary and defamatory imagery is unacceptable.
John Fay
Sarah Jeglum
The Daily


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST December 11, 2008

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

New York Times
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-Calls for Governor to Quit in Scandal on Senate Seat
Leaders called for Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois to step aside, as elements of the case came into focus.

-Massacre in Congo, Despite Nearby Support
A spasm of violence is a study in the cruelty meted out by the armed groups fighting for power in eastern Congo and the problems that have plagued U.N. peacekeepers.

-Obama Team Set on Environment
Barack Obama picked a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Steven Chu, as his energy secretary.

-House Passes Auto Rescue Plan
The fate of the measure remained uncertain because of shaky support among Senate Republicans.

-Effort to Relax Pollution Limits Is Dropped
The Bush administration said Wednesday that it was abandoning its pursuit of two proposed regulations relaxing air-pollution standards for power plants, surprising both industry and environmentalists by ending its pursuit of one of the last remaining goals set out by Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force in 2001.

-Darfur, Another Year Later
The world is still waiting for Sudan to call off its murderous militias, stop obstructing deployment of a strengthened peacekeeping force and begin serious peace talks.

-Now They Say They Can Do It
Detroit's automakers should drop their increasingly untenable legal assault on California's efforts to regulate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks.

-Mr. Rangel's Problems Roll On
There can be no clean start until the House ethics panel answers all of the questions about Representative Charles Rangel of Harlem.

Washington Post
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-Pakistan Closes Charity's Offices
U.N. had declared group a front for a Pakistani terrorist organization linked to Mumbai attacks.

-Federal judges hear Fla. Christian fraternity case
A Christian fraternity asked federal judges Wednesday to recognize the group as part of student life at the University of Florida, despite a school rule that bars Gator groups from discriminating based on religion.

Wall Street Journal
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-Graft Case Touches
Jesse Jackson Jr.
The scandal surrounding Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat widened on Wednesday, threatening to taint rising Democratic star Jesse Jackson Jr. and pull in one of the nation's biggest labor unions.

-Obama Gets Strong Support in New Poll
Obama is entering the White House with a huge reservoir of goodwill from an American public that is rooting for his success in the face of bad economic times.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-That Barack Hussein Obama "name" thing
Should the incoming president use his middle name during next month's swearing in ceremony? It looks like Barack Obama will following in the tradition of other presidents. The issue has come up before, particularly from those who still want America to believe that our 44th president is either a Muslim, a foreigner who's ineligible to hold the office or the Antichrist. (He's neither!)

Fort Report
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-Obama mania grips the capital
By Mike Madden
With over 4 million expected for the inauguration, city services will be taxed to the max. But bar owners and locals with digs for rent hope to make bank. Hotel rooms for Barack Obama's inauguration are all booked, it's true. And yes, city officials expect up to 4 million people to flock to town next month to celebrate the first few moments of the Obama era. But even with an inaugural housing crunch, it's hard to fathom exactly what made the owners of a house in the Virginia suburbs -- a mile and a half away from the nearest subway stop -- think someone wanted to pay $10,000 to stay there for the week. In the District itself, people have gotten even more ambitious -- how else to explain the $40,000 townhouse rental listed Wednesday?

-RNC Field Sorts Itself Out
Although Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest is blotting out the sun in the political world, there has been a series of developments worth noting in the race to become the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.

-Can Obama Escape the Taint of Blagojevich?
By Massimo Calabresi / Washington
On more than one occasion during his stunning press conference on Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald bluntly said he has found no evidence of wrongdoing by President-elect Barack Obama in the tangled, tawdry scheme that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich allegedly cooked up to sell Obama's now vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. But for politicians, it's never good news when a top-notch prosecutor has to go out of his way to distance them from a front-page scandal. And indeed, there are enough connections between the worlds of Blagojevich and Obama that the whole thing has the potential to grow beyond a colorful Chicago tale of corruption to entangle members of the presidential transition team, test Obama's carefully cultivated reformist image and distract the President-elect just as he is preparing to take office.,8599,1865370,00.html

-Al Qaeda Remains a Threat
The terrorist threat remains real and dangerous, Christopher Brown writes
By Christopher Brown
In the last several months, there have been a number of voices, both official and unofficial, eulogizing al Qaeda. These voices have sounded a note of increasing triumphalism over the terrorist organization's perceived general defeat, citing al Qaeda's increasing withdrawal from Iraq, loss of standing within the Islamic world, and movement to the peripheries of Africa and South Asia. Unfortunately, this celebration is premature and perhaps even dangerous.

-Democrats hurt by scandals
Blagojevich charges are more ammo for Republican Party
By Janet Hook | Washington Bureau
The charges against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich mark the latest in a series of scandals erupting around Democratic politicians-an ironic turn for a party that won control of Congress in 2006 in part by saying it would end a "culture of corruption" under Republican leadership.,0,7331110.story


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FLORIDA DIGEST December 11, 2008

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South Floridian Uses Education, Information To Fight Hate Crimes
There are some types of criminals who aren't after money or sex or drugs. They're after people like Jack Rutland. I'm a gay man. I'm 52, and I don't know anyone my age that hasn't been targeted," Rutland said. He says he's been chased, taunted and harassed simply because he's gay. "To a small degree -- being called names, to having beer bottles thrown at you on the streets or people chasing you," Rutland said. So, he's made it his life's work to make a difference. Rutland is the executive director of Stonewall Library in Ft. Lauderdale. It's an organization that, among other things, documents hate crimes. "This is a very thorough, very academic record of what goes on around the country," he said. One of the well known cases on file is the murder of Simmie Williams Jr., a 17-year-old who was wearing women's' clothing the night someone shot him to death. "I was so physically and emotionally overwhelmed by that," said Rutland. The library keeps records of cases, police reports and news articles as a way to educate the public and spot trends. According to Stonewall Library records, hate crimes are up, particularly on the playground. Rutland is hoping to slow it down through information and education. He said the more people know the better. He also feels it's important for people to file a police report when a hate crime happens so investigators can get an accurate reading on what's going on and where it's happening.

Bill Kamal, Former S. Fla. Weatherman Released From Prison
Former Channel 7 weatherman Bill Kamal has been released from prison. Kamal spent nearly the last five years in a Massachusetts federal prison after his conviction for allegedly using the Internet to arrange sex with a person he thought to be a teenage boy. The person turned out to be an undercover police officer. Kamal pleaded guilty and has been in prison since 2004. In an extensive jailhouse interview with Local 10 in 2005, Kamal denied committing the crime but said he pleaded guilty because he feared going to prison for the rest of his life. Kamal was released late last week to a halfway house program. He will be permitted to work during the day but must spend nights at the halfway house until his sentence ends in March. Prison officials confirmed Kamal's release into a Philadelphia-area halfway house program, but they would not say if he would remain in Philadelphia to serve out the halfway house sentence.

Women Sponsor Holiday Toy Drive
Lavender Events for Women at the GLCC is organizing a toy drive to benefit Children's Diagnositc Treatment Center. Please donate toys that are new and unwrapped and at least $10 in value. All Toys must be dropped off at one of the sites below by Saturday, December 13.
Drop-off Sites:
Gay and Lesbian Community Center - 1717 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale
One Tea Lounge - 2037 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors
Best Buy - 2829 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale
Sports Authority - 1901 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale
PC Lauderdale - 2412 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors

Holiday Lights benefiting Care Resource
December 3, 2008--For over 15 years, Holiday Lights display at the Enchanted Place has dazzled South Floridians. Located on 137th NE Terrace in North Miami, this amazing neighborhood light display is a must see holiday tradition. As you drive through the street to see the magical lights, Care Resource volunteers will hand out candy to the kids and they might even catch a glimpse of Santa. This event runs from December 5th - 31st from 6:00pm-11:30pm. There is no charge to see this display, but donations are welcomed. Care Resource is the beneficiary of this event. About Care Resource Care Resource is conveniently located in both Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and collectively provides services for over 8,000 clients. Our dedicated and loyal staff takes pride in creating and/or implementing prevention strategies within our affected communities. Our outreach and education initiatives, including testing, on-site medical care, research protocols as well as family counseling and support, offer a wide array of programs that respond to every need of our HIV at-risk and infected areas. We are pleased to announce that today over 3,000 HIV patients have benefited from participation in studies of promising new anti-HIV drugs conducted by our agency, resulting in 13 new FDA drug approvals.

Here's a great Holiday Gift idea:
Our Friends at the Broward Center have released the remaining tickets for the Kinsey Sicks performances of "Oy Vey In A Manger" at the Parker Playhouse this Saturday, as a 2 for 1 special; buy one ticket at regular price and get the second for free! That means you can get friends two tickets to see this great show for as little as $25 plus tax and fees. What a terrific present! Just call 954 462-0222 and use the code "KINSEY". This offer is by phone only The Kinsey Sicks is at the Parker Playhouse this Saturday, December 13 with shows at 6pm and 9pm. Sorry, but this offer is for additional sales only and does not apply to previously purchased tickets, or other promotional offers.

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told
Contains Nudity for the Holidays
Paul Rudnick's Hit Comed about Adam, Steve, Jane & Mabel
Rising Action Theatre - 840 East Oakland Park Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performances are Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 and Sundays at 7 pm. Saturday November 22 show is at 10 pm. For tickets go to or call 1 800-595-4849. Groups call 954 815-8826.

South Florida Blade
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-HRC Winterfest Boat Parade Party
Come to their best local fundraising event of the year


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-Low-cost health insurance coverage to start Jan. 5
Dec 11, 2008
The 3.8 million Floridians without health insurance will get a chance to buy low-cost but bare-bones coverage under a new program launched Wednesday by Gov. Charlie Crist. [...] As of Jan. 5, companies will offer 10 policies in South Florida that must insure all who apply to the Cover Florida program, even if they are seriously ill. Prevention-only coverage starts at $24 per month at age 19. A person age 64 can buy a policy with hospitalization for $225. By comparison, full individual coverage from an employer costs an average of $400. Insurance industry officials said the new policies would appeal mainly to people with chronic illnesses or pre-existing conditions who cannot find any other coverage, but they will offer little to healthy people who can already buy better coverage for like prices.,0,2414874.story

-Broward County Commission gets petty
There is petty. There is embarrassing. And then there is the Broward County Commission. Did we mention childish?,0,3886604.story

Miami Herald
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-Miami-Dade School Board votes to sue state over funding
The Miami-Dade School Board will sue the state to make up funding it says it's not getting from local taxes.

Fort Report
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-Chiles clan accuses Florida of neglecting children
By Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
The widow and son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles are using the 10th anniversary of his death to contend that Florida is backsliding on his signature issue, its commitment to take care of children. Former first lady Rhea Chiles and Lawton "Bud" Chiles III joined child advocates Wednesday in criticizing the state's current leaders for putting a higher emphasis on tax cuts than on human services for children.

-Florida House speaker keeps the dough, forfeits the authority
By Howard Troxler, Times columnist
Looks like the new speaker of the Florida House, Ray Sansom, is pretty dug in about keeping that $110,000-a-year community college job that he got the same day he became speaker.

-Florida's budget deficit jumps by $150 million to $2.3 billion
Florida's budget deficit widened to $2.3 billion, forcing state lawmakers and officials to consider many ideas, like cutting Medicaid and housing inmates in tent cities.

-Crist wedding: more homey than hoopla
By Stephanie Hayes, Times Staff Writer
Hey, paparazzi! Charlie Crist and Carole Rome are getting married! (Chirp. Chirp.) Didn't you hear? GOVERNOR. WEDDING.

-Farm bureau blasts U.S. Sugar deal; government group expresses concerns

-Amid Everglades deal, U.S. Sugar identifies other buyers
U.S. Sugar Corp., which has agreed to be bought by the South Florida Water Management District, has identified a number of other potential buyers and is set to begin discussions with them as early as next week, U.S. Sugar President and CEO Robert Buker said in a letter to employees and stockholders released Wednesday.

-State's hypocrisy on gay adoptions could tear apart this family
Mike Thomas | COMMENTARY
Frank Gill and his partner rescued two abused brothers, now ages 4 and 8, from a Miami crack house. The foster parents provided a loving home that healed physical and emotional damage. And now the Department of Children and Families, which gave the boys over to Gill, is trying to break up the family, spending $260,000 so far on the legal effort.,0,6798631.column?track=rss

-Who is eligible for low-cost health coverage?
Under the plan backed by Gov. Charlie Crist, anyone up to age 64 who has been uninsured for at least six months or recently unemployed, and who does not qualify for other government or job-based coverage, can apply starting Jan. 5. As of Jan. 5, companies will offer 10 policies in South Florida that must insure all who apply to the Cover Florida program, even if they are seriously ill.,0,6710285.story


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