Tuesday, January 06, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - January 06, 2009

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New York Times
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-Editorial: The Best Interests of the Child
W.H., an infant, was reportedly removed from her parents by Arkansas's Department of Human Services after she was taken to a hospital with injuries that strongly suggested abuse. Fortunately for W.H., her grandmother, a registered nurse, was eager to take her in. But there was a hitch. Her grandmother lives with another woman, and a ballot initiative recently passed in Arkansas makes it illegal for gay and unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt or become foster parents. Arkansas courts should strike down this offensive new law.

Washington Post
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-Calif. court sides with Episcopals over property
The state's high court ruled Monday that three Southern California parishes that left the U.S. Episcopal Church over its ordination of gay ministers cannot retain ownership of their church buildings and property. In an unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that the property belongs to the Episcopal Church because the parishes agreed to abide by the mother church's rules, which include specific language about property ownership.

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-Proposition 8 backers say Calif. Attorney General invites 'constitutional revolution'
Sponsors of California's voter-approved gay marriage ban accused Attorney General Jerry Brown on Monday of advancing a far-fetched legal theory to justify overturning it. In papers submitted to the state Supreme Court, lawyers for the Protect Marriage coalition argued that Brown had "invented an entirely new theory" by asking the justices to trump the electorate, which approved Proposition 8 to amend the state Constitution to limit marriage to a man and a woman.

-AP source says former eBay chief Whitman plans to run for governor of California - Backed Prop 8
Former eBay Inc. chief executive Meg Whitman plans to run for governor of California, a person with knowledge of her political aspirations said Monday. The 52-year-old Republican plans to run in 2010 for the seat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is leaving but is not ready to make a formal announcement, said the person, who was not authorized to talk publicly and spoke Monday on condition of anonymity.

Steve Rothaus
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-Group: Lobby Congress to pass ENDA
From Michael Rajner of Broward:
In just a few hours, Members of Congress will raise their right hand and swear to uphold the Constitution as they begin the new legislative session.

South Florida Blade
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-Obama selects gay man for White House role
Brad Kiley to oversee salaries, budgeting
President-elect Barack Obama announced today that an openly gay man will serve as director of the White House Office of Management & Administration.

-Warren's inauguration prayer could draw more ire
Evangelicals expect clergymen to use Jesus' name
President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation drew one kind of protest. Whether the evangelical pastor offers the prayer in the name of Jesus may draw another. At George W. Bush's 2001 swearing-in, the Revs. Franklin Graham and Kirbyjon Caldwell were criticized for invoking Christ. The distinctly Christian reference at a national civic event offended some, and even prompted a lawsuit.

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-New LGBT equality laws go into effect in Calif.
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Three new laws broadening protections for California's LGBT community have gone into effect. The laws protect seniors in assisted living and young people in schools and foster care.

-New federal law protects retirement savings of gay couples
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
A new law signed by President Bush will protect domestic partners who inherit retirement savings.

-Louisiana to appeal gay parent ruling
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The state of Louisiana is preparing to appeal a federal court ruling that both names of a gay couple must appear on the birth certificate of their adopted son.

-Uproar after Italian TV edits 'Brokeback Mountain'
By The Associated Press
(Rome) Gay rights groups charged Wednesday that Italy's state television censored Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" when it aired the Oscar-winning movie by cutting scenes of gay sex.

-Gay foes rally in Madrid
By The Associated Press
(Madrid) Tens of thousands of people attended a Mass in central Madrid just before Christmas designed to promote traditional family values in a predominantly Roman Catholic country that has legalized gay marriage and made it easier for people to divorce.

The Advocate
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-Al Franken Likely Minn. Senate Winner, but GOP Standing by to Fight
Despite calls for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken to be seated in the U.S. Senate as soon as possible after it convenes Tuesday, the GOP has said it will block any attempt to seat Franken before an expected court case is finished and an official election certificate is issued.

-Gay HIV-Positive Man Named to South Africa's High Court
South Africa has appointed a gay HIV-positive man to the country's highest court, reports South African newspaper The Star. President Kgalema Motlanthe named vocal AIDS activist Edwin Cameron to the post on New Year's Eve.

-British Soccer Stars to Blast Homophobia
Hoping to battle antigay sentiment in the world's most popular sport, the governing body of British soccer has agreed to fund a video featuring high-profile players blasting homophobia. "After years of lobbying, the Football Association has agreed to approach top footballers to make an MTV-style video against homophobia," said Peter Tatchell of the gay rights group OutRage! Tatchell and his group have been pushing the association to take measures against homophobia among European soccer fans.

Pink News - UK
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-111th United States Congress convenes with new gay member
By Tony Grew
The first openly gay man to be elected to the United States House of Representatives as a non-incumbent will be sworn in today in Washington DC.

-British tourists arrested in Bahamas after in-flight homophobic abuse
A flight from Manchester to the Dominican Republic had to make an emergency landing in Bermuda when three passengers traded homophobic abuse with cabin crew. All three were arrested in Bermuda and 35-year-old Grant Smith from Burnley has been charged by British police.

-Judge warns Australian teen of danger from "ugly, hairy men" in prison
By Staff Writer, PinkNews.co.uk
A magistrate in Australia has tried to warn a teenager off a life of crime by giving him a stark warning about life in prison. Brian Moloney made his unusual comments from the bench in Sydney, when dealing with a 19-year-old facing his third conviction for driving offences.

Detroit News
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-New Congress is friendly to gays
Deb Price
If you want a feel for what to expect on gay rights legislation from the freshman class of the 111th Congress, take a peek at the Web site of one of its most encouraging Senate members: Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire. Shaheen points out she is "proud" to have signed 1997 legislation banning job and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation in New Hampshire as well as the 1999 repeal of a ban on gay adoptive or foster parents. She also notes she supported passage of her state's 2007 civil unions law, which gives gay couples many of the same rights as married heterosexuals.


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