Wednesday, January 28, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - January 28, 2009

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New York Times
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-Arts, Briefly: Gay and Lesbian Group Lists Award Nominees
Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
"Milk," directed by Gus Van Sant, was among five movies nominated by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for outstanding wide-release film in itsannual media awards. The organization, which said its awards seek to recognize "fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," also named "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," "Brideshead Revisited," "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist" and "RocknRolla" in this category. Among TV series, "Brothers & Sisters," "The L Word," "South of Nowhere," "Torchwood" and "True Blood" were nominated for outstanding drama, and "Desperate Housewives," "Greek," "Reaper," "Skins" and "Ugly Betty" were nominated for comedy. Winners are to be honored at events in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco in the spring.

Washington Post
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-Foreign Policy Workers Ask U.S. To Back Benefits for Gay Partners
By Glenn Kessler
Nearly 2,200 government employees involved in foreign policy issues signed a letter delivered to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday calling on the government to give equal benefits to same-sex partners. The Bush administration had eased some rules, opening up some training to same-sex partners, but had resisted efforts to treat homosexual partners the same as married couples. But Clinton, during her confirmation hearings, indicated a greater willingness to explore the issue.

-Iceland to appoint first openly gay woman as PM
REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- Iceland is set to appoint the world's first openly gay woman as interim prime minister _ a former flight attendant who rose through the political ranks to become a cabinet minister. Johanna Sigurdardottir, the island nation's 66-year-old social affairs minister, is the pick of the Social Democratic Alliance Party to lead an interm government.

-ABC leads nominees for GLAAD Media Awards
The Associated Press
For the third year running, ABC leads nominees for awards from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The network earned six nominations for the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards, with "Brothers & Sisters," "Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty" among its contenders.

-Weaver says 'Prayers' for Lifetime
Here's big-screen and stage veteran Sigourney Weaver in a most unexpected place: A made-for-TV movie on Lifetime Television. The cable network, once known for "Golden Girls" reruns and tawdry telefilms, has recently scored critical and ratings success with its series "Army Wives," and last year's original movie "Coco Chanel" earned both Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for star Shirley MacLaine.

-Weasels vs. AIDS Relief
By Michael Gerson
Some of the personnel stumbles of the Obama administration -- including the abortive nomination of Bill Richardson as commerce secretary -- resulted from incompetent vetting. William Lynn's reception as deputy secretary of defense has been complicated by hypocrisy -- the administration's attempt to gain political credit for a restrictive lobbying ban it swiftly violated to get a qualified appointee.

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-Disgraced pastor on Oprah
Ted Haggard, one of the most influential Evangelical pastors in America until he got caught trying to buy crystal meth and homosexual sex from a male prostitute in 2006, will be grilled on Wednesday's Oprah. Unless Oprah is a better interrogator than the nation's TV writers, who got a crack at Haggard on the midseason press tour--an HBO documentary on him premieres Thursday at 8 p.m.--don't expect any juicy material. Haggard has talking point pat answers to questions such as "Are you gay?" and given what has happened to him, "Do you still condemn homosexual behavior?" This made his press conference with critics a real snooze. Since then, another man has come forward with accusations that he and Haggard had sex. Maybe Oprah can get something out of Haggard about that.

South Florida Blade
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-Haggard's wife speaks out
'He told me of struggles years ago'
Former evangelical pastor Ted Haggard's wife says she knew about his struggles with same-sex attraction for years and felt he was "winning the battle" before a scandal involving a male prostitute triggered his downfall in late 2006. Gayle Haggard makes the remarks in an appearance with her husband on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to air Wednesday. She said she was shocked when Haggard first told her the truth about the allegations against him. "The first words out of my mouth were, 'Who are you?'" she said, according to a publicity release issued Tuesday by Harpo Productions. However, Gayle Haggard also said her husband told her early in their 30-year marriage that he "struggled with some thoughts." "I felt it was the thing that could destroy Ted if he gave in to it," she said. "So I prayed for him and I felt as though he was winning the battle." Haggard, 52, resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., after the male prostitute went public. Haggard confessed to "sexual immorality." The scandal widened in recent days with disclosures that Haggard also admitted to an "inappropriate" relationship with a church volunteer, Grant Haas, who was 22 at the time. Haas told KRDO in Colorado Springs that Haggard performed a sex act in front of him and sent him illicit text messages. He informed New Life Church shortly after the scandal broke, and the two parties reached a settlement in 2007 that included a confidentiality agreement. Haas went public as Haggard is heavily promoting an HBO documentary about his time in exile.

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-Besen: Let Sam Adams get back to work
By Wayne Besen, columnist,
Portland's openly gay mayor, Sam Adams, correctly decided to remain in office after acknowledging that three years ago he had a brief affair with an eighteen year old man. Calls for his resignation were politically motivated, homophobic and cheap shots dressed in the guise of morality. Sadly, many gay and lesbian leaders got sucked into the sexual hysteria and puritanical pandemonium and called for the mayor's resignation.

-Transwomen sue Illinois for amended birth certificates
By Jennifer Vanasco
Citing the need to have an accurate birth certificate for identification purposes, two women born in Illinois asked a court to order the State to issue new birth certificates that reflect their correct gender following sex reassignment surgery.

-No Name-Calling Week targets homophobia in schools
Thousands of elementary and middle schools are participating in the sixth annual No Name-Calling Week this week to educate students about tolerance and to foster a dialogue among students about why bullying and name-calling is wrong.

-Ruby-Sachs: Is Any Exposure Good Exposure?
Ugly Betty is getting nods for portraying gay characters as part of mainstream media. Some Betty fans are thrilled that the writers have chosen to include a gay character in its main cast. Others worry that the stereotyped gay man who plays assistant to the shows' evildoer only reinforces negative images of the gay community.

-Holocaust Memorial Day observed
(London) Holocaust Memorial Day was observed Tuesday in memory of some 6 million people put to death by the Nazis. Most of the victims were Jewish, but an unknown number of gays, Roma or Gypsies, Communists and dissidents were also murdered.

-Hawaii civil union bill gains steam
A majority in the state House has signed on as
co-sponsors of a bill that would give same-sex couples in Hawaii all of the rights of marriage but without the name. But whether the bill will make it to a vote on the floor depends on just a couple of committee members who are expressing reservations.

The Advocate
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-Ted Haggard Takes Another Man
The Ted Haggard saga continues -- this time with the announcement there was another man, one the New Life Church paid off. Will the vicious cycle ever end? Click the byline to view more stories by this author.
By Lane Hudson

-It's Not About Marriage With Rick Warren
Saying gay people opposed Rick Warren's participation in Obama's inauguration because he's against marriage equality is like saying the Jews opposed Hitler because he was anti-Semitic. Click the byline to view more stories by this author.
By Lane Hudson

-Eric Holder and the LGBT Community
With the backing of the civil rights community -- and a stellar record on gay rights -- Eric Holder is immensely qualified for the critical position of Attorney General. Click the byline to view more stories by this author.
By Joe Solmonese

-Gay Workers Could Benefit From High Court Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that workers are protected from losing their jobs if they cooperate with internal investigations of sexual harassment.

-Catholic U. Bars Pro-Life Gay Group
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., barred a gay rights group from cosponsoring a pro-life conference on campus that took place last weekend.

-Gays in Bahrain Suffer Through Internet Crackdown
The government of Bahrain -- a Middle Eastern constitutional monarchy -- has cracked down a number of social networking sites, which has hit the nation's gay and lesbian population hard, reports the Gulf Daily News.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Masturbation can be good for the over-50s
Removal of toxins built up over a lifetime reduces the risk of prostate cancer
Masturbation may be good for you - or bad, depending on your age. The solitary sexual activity that is widely practised but little discussed, is linked with an increased risk of prostate cancer when practised frequently by young men in their twenties and thirties, doctors say. But by the time men reach their fifties, it may protect against the disease because it helps remove toxins that have built up over a lifetime. Prostate cancer is known to be driven by the male hormone testosterone, and men with high levels of testosterone tend to have a higher sex drive and a higher risk of the cancer.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Lutheran high school can expel lesbians
The California Court of Appeals so held yesterday. Doe v. California Lutheran High School Ass'n, 2009 WL 161869. Defendants successfully contended that they were not a "business" subject to California's anti discrimination law, because their high school was private, nonprofit, selective, and focused on religious education. Though the boundaries of what kinds of private entities are exempt from antidiscrimination laws can be a difficult one, it is undeniably a line that needs to be drawn somewhere, and it is hard to find fault with the court's ruling on that ground. (Note that this is a quite different question from whether entities that clearly are businesses can claim a religious exemption - the California Supreme Court has clearly said they cannot.)

-Nevada ogles the potential tax dollars of legal prostitution
A lawmaker is proposing legalizing brothels in Reno and Las Vegas. Gambling revenue is down sharply in the state. Reporting from Las Vegas - In revenue-strapped Nevada, where foreclosed homes dot suburban streets and poker tables sit empty, it's come to this: A state legislator wants to talk about legalizing -- and taxing -- prostitution in Reno and Las Vegas. "It's almost de facto legal. It's running unregulated," said state Sen. Bob Coffin, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Taxation Committee. He also said legalization would better protect sex workers.,0,4832537.story

-A 10-year campaign to censor the Internet ended last week when the Supreme Court refused to step in and save the Child Online Protection Act. Everyone can agree on the need to protect children from sexually explicit online material, but this misguided law tried to do it in ways that infringed on too much constitutionally protected free speech. Congress passed the Child Online Protection Act in 1998 after the Supreme Court had struck down an even broader law regulating online indecency. The 1998 act imposed civil and criminal penalties, including up to six months in prison, for offering commercial material online that was "harmful to minors."

-Ex-Gay Watch has posted a clip of the documentary film, Chasing the Devil: Inside the Ex-Gay Movement, featuring the antics of Richard Cohen.

-The Myth of Rampant Teenage Promiscuity
Have American teenagers gone wild? Parents have worried for generations
about changing moral values and risky behavior among young people, and the latest news seems particularly worrisome. It came from the National Center for Health Statistics, which reported this month that births to 15- to 19-year-olds had risen for the first time in more than a decade. And that is not the only alarm being sounded. The talk show host Tyra Banks declared a teen sex crisis last fall after her show surveyed girls about sexual behavior. A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey warned parents of a teenage oral-sex epidemic.

-Teaching Teenagers About Harassment
This month, three teenage girls, students at Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, Pa., were charged with disseminating child pornography. They had sent nude pictures of themselves by cellphone to their teenage boyfriends, who were charged with possessing child pornography. The legal consequences in this case may have been unique, but the behavior is not. About 20 percent of teenagers have posted or sent nude cellphone pictures of themselves, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonprofit group.

-We have just begun our "Yes, I Do" campaign to get US House and Senate members to declare their support for marriage equality. We have researched current Members of Congress who support full marriage equality. So far there are 27 Members of Congress representing 15 states. You can read who they are, as well as their quotes here:

-A niche of a niche of a niche -- and booming: Nude gay luxury cruises
The fast-growing cruise industry is nothing if not diverse -- and getting more so every day. The latest micro-trend, according to Gay nude luxury cruises. In a front page story today, the online news outlet says the concept has taken off since May 2007, when what was billed as the first-ever gay nude luxury cruise easily sold out. The voyage, organized by Miami Beach-based travel agency Source Events and Gay Naturists International, took place off Italy's Amalfi Coast and the Greek Isles. "We have discovered a fusion between two growth markets: naturist travel and the boutique luxury experience," Source Events founder Craig Smith tells the news outlet.

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-TWO Calls Plagiarizer A Perfect Fit To Serve As Focus on the Family's Top DC Lobbyist
Rove Protégé, Tim Goeglein, Will Now Spin Fiction For Focus, Says TWO Truth Wins Out (TWO) today called Tim Goeglein a perfect hire to be the lead Washington lobbyist for Focus on the Family. He resigned from the Bush White House on Feb. 29, 2008, after ex-Fort Wayne News-Sentinel columnist Nancy Nall discovered that Goeglein, while he wrote guest columns for the newspaper, had plagiarized 19 of 38 columns. According to the Colorado Independent, he had used the works of such luminaries as the Dartmouth Review, Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein and the Pope without credit.

Gay American Heros

-Nancy Pelosi gives the greatest speech Ever for LGBTQ Rights.
I filmed this video at the dedication of the new Harvey Milk Federal building on Treasure Island in San Francisco. I believe this speech the most powerful speech Nancy Pelosi ever gave for LGBTQ rights and should be seen by every American. It is about Respect and Pride for who we are, as Americans. Nancy Pelosi is a Great friend to the LGBTQ community and a strong leader. We are very grate full for her support and look forward to her help in leading our country in a new direction and a brighter future.


Pink News - UK
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-Scottish Catholics claim gay relationships cause premature death
By Tony Grew
The Roman Catholic church in Scotland has launched another attack on gay and lesbian people. "There is an overwhelming body of evidence showing that same-sex relationships are inherently unstable and reduce the life expectancy of those involved," claimed church spokesman Peter Kearney.

-People who reject Church teaching on homosexuality should leave says bishop
By Tony Grew
A Roman Catholic leader in Malta has said that church members who do not accept "Christ's teachings" should leave altogether. Mario Grech, the Bishop of Gozo, commented after the first openly gay candidate for parliament in Malta protested against the Pope's hostility to homosexuality by leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

-UN marks Holocaust Memorial Day with plea for gay acceptance
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has said that all people share a capacity for cruelty to each other.

-Amnesty calls on Nigeria to reject proposed homophobic law
By Staff Writer
Legislation that would punish Nigerian gay and lesbian couples for living together has been condemned by Amnesty International.

-US Christian school wins right to expel lesbian pupils
By Staff Writer
A Christian high school in California can expel or exclude students based on their sexual orientation, an appeals court has ruled. California Lutheran High School in Wildomar argued that as a private organisation it had a right to do so.

-Lithuanian MPs consider law against "promotion" of homosexuality to children
By Staff Writer
An EU member state is considering new laws targeting "agitation for homosexual relations" to children. The proposal will be discussed in the Lithuanian Parliament's committees and voted on in the spring session.

-Civil partnerships bill listed in Irish parliament's spring session
By Staff Writer
The Irish government has listed a Civil Partnership Bill among legislation for the spring session of Parliament. Last June Ireland's Justice minister published a draft bill that will grant gay and lesbian couples legal recognition in areas such as pensions, social security, property rights, tax, succession and the payment of maintenance.

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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-Same-sex Couples Lose Rights When They Cross State Lines
Ryan Blitstein, | AlterNet
November's passage of California's Proposition 8, which amends the state's constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage, is the latest flashpoint in the culture war over gay civil rights, the subject of fierce commentary and multiple lawsuits. Indiana University School of Law professor Jennifer Drobac is concerned about an issue that's getting scant attention in the debate: How do states treat gay couples that are already married? And what happens when they move to a state where their marriage is outlawed? spoke with Drobac about these legal issues, and her ideas for a domestic partnership system that might address them. You've said lawsuits over Prop 8's constitutionality aren't vital to the legal rights of same-sex couples. Which issues are worthy of attention? Jennifer Drobac: The real question is: What does Prop 8 do to these marriages? They are valid in California and will remain so, unless there is a pronouncement or significant ruling otherwise. The problem, though, is going to be the same problem faced by same-sex couples who were married in Massachusetts, and now Connecticut. What happens when these people cross state borders? Read more

-Breaking: Mike Jones Speaks Out About Latest Ted Haggard Relevations
Jim Burroway | Box Turtle Bulletin
In a new, emotionally charged YouTube video, Mike Jones voices his anger with New Life Church and their past refusal to admit what they had known all along: that there were others in the church who had had a sexual relationship with then-Pastor Ted Haggard. In this video statement, Jones reveals that he tried to contact New Life Church when others were coming to him with stories about similar contacts with Ted Haggard: I knew that there were others, others that I could not publicly out. They had to do it themselves. But they were scared. Some of their parents knew about what was going on at the church. And some of the parents just wanted to turn a blind eye to it. I also realized it was going to be just probably me, out there all alone facing the press, facing the criticism. Now when Brady Boyd took over as pastor of New Life Church, I contacted him. I wanted to talk to him about these other young men that were coming to me with their stories. This was serious. And you know, Pastor Boyd refused to meet with me. Mike Jones also talks about what he endured - including from within the gay community - after revealing his sexual contact with Ted Haggard. Mike expresses considerable anger over what he went through, particularly those who dismissed him as "just a whore" who was "just escorting." Read more

-New Legal Twist in Gay Adoption Ban in Arkansas
Assocatiated Press | EDGE Boston
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has objected to a request by a conservative Christian group to intervene in a lawsuit that challenges Arkansas' new law banning gay foster and adoptive parents. McDaniel's office says in a filing in the case that the attorney general will pursue every valid legal argument to defend the law, which went into effect Jan. 1 after voters approved the measure last November. The Arkansas Family Council, which led the campaign for the ban, says in its request to intervene that McDaniel might not rigorously defend the law because he opposed the measure last year. The new law bans unmarried couples living together from adopting or fostering children. Link

-Plagiarizer to Run Focus on the Family's DC Lobby Shop
TWO Calls Plagiarizer A Perfect Fit To Serve As Focus on the Family's Top DC Lobbyist
Rove Protégé, Tim Goeglein, Will Now Spin Fiction For Focus, Says TWO
NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out (TWO) today called Tim Goeglein a perfect hire to be the lead Washington lobbyist for Focus on the Family. He resigned from the Bush White House on Feb. 29, 2008, after ex-Fort Wayne News-Sentinel columnist Nancy Nall discovered that Goeglein, while he wrote guest columns for the newspaper, had plagiarized 19 of 38 columns. According to the Colorado Independent, he had used the works of such luminaries as the Dartmouth Review, Nixon speechwriter Ben Stein and the Pope without credit. More . . . .

-Obama Extends the Hand of Friendship
Deb Price | Creators
Paul Levandowski knows pressure. When the baritone horn player from Michigan approached President Obama as part of the first gay band to march in an inaugural parade, he recalls thinking: "Oh, God, please, I hope I can get this high note. I hope my valves don't freeze. I hope I can remember all the notes." The history-making band performed John Philip Sousa's famous "Washington Post" perfectly, as the new president and First Lady Michelle waved from the presidential reviewing stand. The delighted smiles on the musicians' faces capture how gay Americans feel about the unprecedented hand of friendship the new president keeps extending. He included a lesbian couple among the "everyday Americans" on his Whistle Stop train ride from Philadelphia to the nation's capital. Read more


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