Thursday, January 22, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - January 22, 2009

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Washington Post
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-Ore. AG to investigate mayor's affair with teen
The state's attorney general agreed Wednesday to investigate claims made by the mayor of Portland that he lied to cover up a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old boy. Portland Mayor Sam Adams admitted this week that he lied to cover up his relationship with a teenage legislative intern because a potential mayoral candidate had spread rumors that Adams had sex with a minor.

-Colorado group lobbies in Wyoming on gay marriage
A national conservative Christian group has begun a telephone lobbying campaign in Wyoming in support of a gay-marriage ban in the state Senate. Focus on the Family Action, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is pushing to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would stop the state from recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

-Defense for Canada polygamists cites gay marriage
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Canada's decision to legalize gay marriage has paved the way for polygamy to be legal as well, a defense lawyer said Wednesday as the two leaders of rival polygamous communities made their first court appearance. The case is the first to test Canada's polygamy laws.

-Online-Porn Law Is Allowed to Die
High Court Won't Hear Bush Appeal
By Robert Barnes
The Supreme Court yesterday ended Congress's most recent attempt to protect children from sexually explicit and other objectionable material on the Internet. The court without comment refused to hear the Bush administration's attempt to save the Child Online Protection Act, which has
been challenged as unconstitutional since its passage in 1998 and which has never taken effect.

Pink News - UK
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-New study claims 16% of Iranian men have had gay relationships
By Staff Writer,
A sociologist at an Iranian university has presented a new study that shows high levels of homosexual experiences among the country's population.

-Polish MP disciplined after asking if former Prime Minister is gay
By Staff Writer,
A member of the ruling party in Poland is to be removed as the chair of a parliamentary committee after he publicly questioned if one of his political opponents is gay. Jaroslaw Kazcynski was Prime Minister from July 2006 until his Law and Justice party was defeated in the November 2007 election.

-Court rules New Orleans can grant benefits to same-sex partners
By Staff Writer,
A homophobic Christian group has failed in its attempt to stop the city of New Orleans granting health benefits to the domestic partners of employees. The Alliance Defence Fund, who claim to "aggressively defend religious liberty," had appealed an earlier court ruling in favour of the city.

-Gay judge reveals homophobic interrogation on his way to the bench
By Staff Writer,
The first High Court judge to be open about his homosexuality has revealed that he had to face questions about his sex life by a "special tribunal" of inquisitors when he applied to be a part-time recorder. "What followed was somewhat bizarre and depressing," Sir Adrian Fulford told a meeting about diversity in the law, The Times reports.

-Amnesty highlights ongoing violence against trans people in Honduras
By Staff Writer,
A leading human rights group has said that transgender women who work as sex workers in Honduras are frequently attacked by clients or police officers. Three trans women have been killed in the last three months while working in the area of Comayagüela, near Palmira.

-Advertising watchdog rejects investigation into whether God "probably" doesn't exist
By Tony Grew
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has said that an athiest bus poster campaign does not break the advertising code. The ASA comments follow complaints led by Christain Voice, an anti-gay evangelical movement that claim that the advert's claim that God "probably" doesn't exist was misleading.

-Comment: Gay bishop's eyewitness account of Obama's inauguration
By Comment
Gene Robinson, the Anglican Bishop of New Hampshire, has returned to blogging after a break of several months to share his experiences of the inauguration celebrations in Washington DC. His latest entry on Canterbury Tales From The Fringe relates a short exchange with controversial preacher Rick Warren, the view from the Presidential Platform and where Oprah was sitting. Not to mention Aretha Franklin's hat.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Sexual Dishonesty on the Rise at Catholic Seminaries
Michael Airhart | Truth Wins Out
Under pressure from the Vatican to deny the existence of homosexuality and to expel same-sex-attracted aspirants, Catholic seminaries are now telling the Vatican what it wants to hear: that "difficulties" regarding seminarian "homosexual behavior" (whatever that is) have been "largely overcome." Meanwhile, the prevalence of sexual abuse among priests remains poorly surveyed, as the Vatican falsely believes that the expulsion of gay celibate seminarians and the suppression of gay celibate priests will somehow cure priests and seminarians who are attracted not to men or women, but to kids. The report by the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education implies that more should be done to police seminarians' thoughts and routine daily behaviors, according to the National Catholic Reporter: Read more

-Why Do LGBT People Smoke Up to 200 Percent More than Straight People?
Michael A. Jones |
So we're a little more than three weeks into the New Year, and we imagine that a number of folks have "quit smoking" as one of their top resolutions for 2009. (Including, perhaps, our 44th President?) And though more and more locations are placing a ban on public smoking, cigarettes remain quite popular in LGBT circles. That's according to the National LGBT Tobacco Control Network, which estimates that LGBT people smoke anywhere from 35 to 200 percent more cigarettes than straight people. Further, the group estimates that between 35-40 percent of LGBT people smoke nationwide. Why is that? Karyn Haney, the openly lesbian project coordinator for Chicago's Howard Brown Health Center's "It's a Bitch to Quit" program, has a theory. Read more

-Why Ret. Gen. Colin Powell Owes American Soldiers an Apology
Scott Cohen | Daily Illini
Back in 1993, when Tom Hanks won an Academy Award for portraying a homosexual in Philadelphia, Colin Powell designed Don't Ask Don't Tell. For fifteen years, this policy has dictated that soldiers cannot display sexualities other than heterosexual in any way. If their non-heterosexual orientations are vocalized or displayed, they are dishonorably discharged, as has been the case for more than ten thousand soldiers. Before I get into the logistics of why DADT has failed, it is important to know that many see this as an atrocity to America's "principles" of non-discrimination. The policy states concisely that any inclination toward homosexual behavior "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." This proves that, as many have argued, DADT is not about homosexuality. Rather, this policy seems to reflect the homophobia that has plagued America since the pilgrims plowed into Plymouth rock. American society has created a nation of people who are fearful of those who are - gasp - not attracted to members of the opposite sex! Read more

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-Transgender model steals fashion show
By The Associated Press
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Rio closed its main fashion event of the year with less attention to the clothes than the model - a transgendered actress.

-Future of abstinence-only funding in limbo
By The Associated Press
With the exit of the Bush administration, critics of abstinence-only sex education will be making an aggressive push to cut off federal funding for what they consider an ineffective, sometimes harmful program.

-Paper Trail: How to Come Out
While most publicists keep their clients in the closet, I've developed a reputation in Hollywood as the go-to guy for stars who decide to come out. The first celebrities I took out of the closet were Dick Sargent, Darren number 2 on Bewitched, and Sheila Kuehl, now an elected official in California and initially an actor on the 1960s TV sitcom The Loves and Lives of Dobie Gillis. Ironically, on a personal note, when I was 13, I came with my family to California for a cousin's wedding. Somehow my parents and I got in to see the filming of Bewitched, which was filmed without a live audience. It was just shot in a studio. The only Hollywood stars I met on that trip were Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent, and Agnes Moorehead. Of those three, I ended up working with two of them, Montgomery and Sargent. Elizabeth always believed that Bewitched was the perfect metaphor for being in the closet. Anytime Samantha used her powers as a witch, she had to close the doors, pull the drapes, and make sure that no one could see what was happening. Today, Samantha might be able to come out of the closet herself and practice her witchcraft for all to see, but that's not how things were back then.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Free the Senegal Nine
Senegal! Stop persecuting human rights defenders
On the 6 January 2009, nine men, most of them HIV/AIDS campaigners,were sentenced in Dakar, Senegal, to eight years imprisonment. They were charged with "indecent and unnatural acts" and "forming associations of criminals," following a late night police raid on the home of a HIV outreach worker on 19 December 2008. "The nine men received five years jail on mere suspicion of homosexuality," said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!

-A new study by an Iranian University shows that 24% of Iranian women and 16% of Iranian men have had at least one homosexual experience. Parvaneh Abdul Maleki, a sociologist, who presented her findings in the "Third Conference on Well-being in the Family", also says that her research shows that 26% of women and 73% of men have admitted sexual self-satisfaction, an act that is considered a sin in Islam. This is the first time that the Iranian media have reported the occurrence of such a high percentage of sexual acts outside marriage. The media are usually not allowed to elaborate on sexuality, and the government imposes heavy punishments for any sexual relationship outside heterosexual marriage. The new research also shows the weak correlation between religiosity and sex outside marriage. According to the report, " 8.40% of those who masturbate, 4.16% of those who had same-sex relationships, 86.18% of those who had heterosexual relationships outside marriage, and 76.55% of those who have watched porn movies have said that they grew up in religiously conservative families.

-Transgender human rights defender (name known to Amnesty International) (f)
Killed: Cintia Nicole Moreno (f), transgender human rights defender Jazmín Zelaya (f), transgender woman
Police officers are alleged to have beaten up a transgender woman, who is an HIV/AIDS campaigner and sex worker, after she refused to give them her money. They subsequently threatened her with death if she reported the incident. Her life is at risk. Three other transgender women, most recently Cintia Nicole Moreno on 8 January, have been killed in a nearby area in the last three months.

-Cary Alan Johnson Appointed as IGLHRC's New Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Cary Alan Johnson as the organization's next Executive Director. He succeeds outgoing Executive Director, Paula Ettelbrick, whose six-year term ends March 1, 2009.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Homosexuality, the animal kingdom, and same-sex marriage
A few weeks ago, I read an article about gay penguins at a zoo in Northern China that I thought was cute and meaningful. Apparently, the pair had been segregated from the colony for disturbing other couples during hatching time. They wanted to be parents so badly that they were trying to steal eggs from other couples by substituting them with rocks. Awww. /pat After protests from zoo visitors, they were given a chance to act as foster parents and were found to be the best parents out of the lot: In response, zookeepers gave the pair two eggs laid by an inexperienced first-time mother.

-Stonewall Democrat Elected Highest-Ranking Democratic Official
Ray Buckle Elected Vice-Chair of DNC, President of State Party Chairs Today, the Stonewall Democrats congratulated board member and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair, the Hon. Raymond Buckley, upon his election as President of the Association of State Democratic Chairs. With his election, Buckley also becomes a Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee and the highest-ranking openly-gay official within the national Democratic party. Elected with an overwhelming 72% of the vote, Buckley will serve as ASDC President for the next two years. "The election of Raymond Buckley elevates another strong voice for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans within the DemocraticParty," said Jon Hoadley, Executive Director of the Stonewall Democrats.

-The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College
Conference (MBLGTACC) will hold its 17th annual conference Feb. 13-15, 2009 at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

From Kate Kendall
National Center for Lesbian Rights - NCLR

-Last brief filed in Prop 8 legal challenge
Our legal team has been working around the clock to meet the California Supreme Court's expedited briefing schedule in our Prop 8 legal challenge. We missed holidays, weekends, and plenty of sleep, but the hard work paid off and we just filed our final brief (pdf) in the case. Today's brief highlights the extraordinary breadth of support for our argument that Proposition 8 is invalid. Those supporting our argument represent the full gamut of California's and the nation's civil rights organizations and legal scholars, as well as California legislators, local governments, bar associations, business interests, labor unions, and religious groups. [...] Professors from the many universities and law schools in California and across the country authored briefs urging invalidation of Proposition 8, including scholars from Harvard University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of California (Berkeley, Los Angeles, Hastings, Davis, Irvine), University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, University of San Francisco, Loyola Law School, Santa Clara Law School, Chapman University, and Pepperdine University. [...] Next, we wait for the Court to schedule oral argument, which could happen as soon as March. We are confident in our argument, humbled by the support of such powerful allies, and hopeful that the promise of California's constitution will protect all Californians. We would like to pause and thank our partner, Equality California, and co-counsel, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, the Law Office of David C. Codell, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.


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1 comment:

California Employment Law said...

may be this is going to be rocking year for all of us