Monday, February 02, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 02, 2009

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New York Times
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-Iceland Names New Prime Minister
LONDON - With the swearing-in of its first female prime minister on Sunday, Iceland became the first country to change its government as a direct resultof the global financial crisis.

-Final Sermon for Marble Collegiate Church's Leader
The notice board outside Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan did not seem designed to draw attention. "Sunday February 1," it said. "Dr. Arthur Caliandro. 'Go with faith.' " But at Marble Collegiate, the landmark church on Fifth Avenue and 29th Street, one of the oldest Protestant congregations in North America and, thanks to Norman Vincent Peale, one of the most prominent, Sunday was a big day indeed.

-Sam Adams - Portland: The Great Gay Hope
The politician was in his 40s, a rising star, a man with the pilot light of ambition burning bright. The intern was just 17, sorting through emotions about his sexuality, a boy who said he needed someone to mentor him in the political world.

South Florida Blade
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-Start Your Engines
RuPaul's 'Drag Race' reality show features SoFla's Glasscock
By Dan Renzi, Tonight is the premiere of RuPaul's Drag Race on Logo, a reality series which will be the ultimate drag competition. Nine of the top drag queens in the country, including Fort Lauderdale's own, Rebecca Glasscock, will be competing for drag stardom by reining supreme in all the judging and eliminations. Each cast member must embody the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that made RuPaul an international drag superstar. For more information and broadcast times, visit the Logo website at Logo Online. Let the races begin!

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-15 Most Loathsome People of 2008
By Allan Uthman and Ian Murphy, Buffalo Beast. Posted January 31, 2009.
Limbaugh, Palin, Warren, and more. They're the worst people in America, and unfortunately they dominated last year's headlines.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Ireland: A fifth of gay people tried suicide - study
ALMOST 20 per cent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have attempted suicide and almost all saw this as related to their sexual identity and the experiences of being abused and feeling isolated, a report to be published today has found. The study, Supporting LGBT Lives: A Studyof the Mental Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People, also found almost one-third of respondents had self-harmed at least once. To be published today by Minister for Health Mary Harney, the study is the biggest carried out in the Republic into the mental health of gay, lesbian and transgender people.

-Iceland's PM marks gay milestone
By Vanessa Buschschluter - BBC News
Johanna Sigurdardottir, named as Iceland's prime minister on Sunday, is the first openly lesbian head of government in Europe, if not the world - at least in modern times. The 66-year-old's appointment as an interim leader, until elections in May, is seen by many as a milestone for the gay and lesbian movement. Up until now, if a gay man or woman has been prime minister, they have done their best to conceal the fact. In Iceland itself, however, the new prime minister's sexual orientation appears to becausing less excitement than it is abroad.

Pink News - UK
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-Ethiopian faith leaders call for constitutional ban on homosexuality
By Staff Writer,
The leaders of the Roman Catholic, Ethiopian Orthodox and Protestant churches have called on the government of Ethiopia for a constitutional ban on homosexuality.

-Doctors claim NHS has "come a long way" on gay acceptance
The British Medical Association has claimed that attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans medical staff are improving. It has produced a report which describes the experiences of LGBT doctors and medical students working in the NHS as part of LGBT History Month.

-Video: US "family values" group targets Pepsi's British gay advert
By Staff Writer, .
A US pressure group that "motivates and equips citizens to change th eculture to reflect Biblical truth and traditional family values" has complained about a new advert from drinks manufacturer Pepsi. The TV ad (scroll down for the advert), currently airing in the UK, features shows a young man passing up several women and finally showing interest in another man.

-Washington state may approve full equality for same-sex couples
By Staff Writer,
Legislators in the US state of Washingon have unveiled proposals to extend all the rights of married couples to same-sex partners.

Daily Queer News
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-NH: Robinson to Testify at Marriage Hearing
Nashua Telegraph CONCORD (AP) - The Rev. V. Gene Robinson will testify Thursday before the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee on a bill to allow gay marriage in the Granite State. In 2003, the Episcopal Church consecrated Robinson, the church's first openly gay bishop. That prompted a rift in the global Anglican Communion, which the church belongs to. Democratic state Rep. Jim Splaine, the bill's sponsor, said Robinson wants to see marriage equality in New Hampshire. A state law granting civil unions to gay couples took effect last year. More than 600 couples have had civil unions since then. Read more

-MA: Driver's Licenses Let Applicants Pick Gender
Bob Unruh World Daily News
The state of Massachusetts, which has been at the forefront of normalizing homosexual relationships in law, has taken a bold new step to allow applicants for drivers licenses to select their gender on official documents. The decision by Rachel Kaprielian became public when an organization promoting family values obtained a copy of a letter she dispatched to a homosexual lobbying organization. The letter to Marc Solomon of MassEquality said the state Registry of Motor Vehicles "has amended its policy to enable transgendered individuals to more easily change the gender designation on their licenses and identity cards." Read more

-Cleric Whose Katrina Comment Caused Stir Promoted
Associate Press San Francisco Chronicle
PST VATICAN CITY, (AP) - An Austrian pastor who has been quoted as calling Hurricane Katrina God's punishment for sin in New Orleans is being promoted to the rank of bishop. The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI has tapped the Rev. Gerhard Wagner, 54, to be auxiliary bishop in Linz, Austria. It made no mention of the reported remarks about Hurricane Katrina. Wagner has served since 1988 as pastor of a church in the Austrian town of Windischgarsten and received a doctorate in theology from the prestigious Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, the Vatican said. Read more

-Mormon Church Reveals New Spending On Gay Marriage Ban
Carlos Santoscoy On Top Magazine
A new report filed Friday by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) lists more than $190,000 in expenses by the church in support of California's gay marriage ban, reports the Los Angeles Times. Mormon leaders had previously recorded only $2,078 in contributions towards Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that yanked back the right of gays and lesbians to marry in the state. In November, the California Fair Political Practices Commission agreed to investigate a complaint by Californians Against Hate, a gay rights group that pushed for full disclosure of monetary support of Prop. 8, that alleged numerous contribution violations to the campaign to ban gay marriage by the Utah-based Mormon Church. Read more

-Civil Unions a Minefield for Obama
LOU CHIBBARO JR. Southern Voice
President Barack Obama's support for legislation to provide all of the federal rights and benefits of marriage to same-sex couples joined in civil unions and other legally recognized relationships has raised concern among some activists that the president's proposal could delay progress on same-sex marriage. The Obama administration posted on the White House web site the new president's positions supporting gay rights, including his marriage rights proposal, minutes after Obama took the oath of office Jan. 20 "President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples," according to a section of the White House site labeled Support for the LGBT Community. The section adds, "Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions." Read more

-GA: John Rocker Uses Anti-Gay Slurs Again
DYANA BAGBY Southern Voice
Former Atlanta Brave John Rocker used anti-gay slurs and anti-Semitic statements against local radio host Steak Shapiro during an altercation at the W Buckhead hotel's grand opening last week. News of Rocker being tossed from the glitzy Jan. 22 party was reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper stated Rocker used ethnic slurs against Shapiro, who hosts a sports talk show on AM station 790 The Zone, and in later stories reported that Rocker kept calling Shapiro a"Jew." The AJC did not report that Rocker used the word "faggot." However, Shapiro, who is not gay, confirmed to Southern Voice on Jan. 27 that Rocker used the slur against him. "It [faggot] is one of his favorite terms and he used it multiple times," Shapiro said. "His exact words at least three times [were], 'You Jew faggot.' He is a pathetic guy." Read more

-Bias Behind Higher Rates of HIV in Black Gay Men?
MATT SCHAFER Southern Voice
Gay and bisexual black men in America are the most likely people in the world to contract HIV, and community advocates say current efforts to stem the epidemic aren't working. "Gay black men are more likely to contract HIV than any other population in the country," said Caudie Grissom, a counselor with Atlantabased National AIDS Education & Services for Minorities. "Even with all of our modern technology and medication, American black gay men are more likely to have HIV than people living in third world countries." NAESM sponsored the fifth annual National African-American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS. Held Jan. 22-25 in Atlanta, it attracted hundreds of community organizers and activists from across the country. Asked why the rates of HIV and AIDS are higher among black men who have sex with men, answers ranged from poor federal services to stigma and discrimination within a mostly white medical profession. Read more

-GA: Atlanta Pride Returns to Piedmont Park
MATT SCHAFER Southern Voice
Atlanta will once again celebrate Pride in Piedmont Park, but instead of celebrating under a sweltering summer sun, rainbow flags will fly amidst falling leaves and costumes punctuating the Halloween weekend. In an unexpected announcement on Jan. 26, the Atlanta Pride Committee made public a compromise where the City of Atlanta will allow Atlanta Pride to return to Piedmont Park during the Oct. 31 weekend. Last year, Pride was held at the Atlanta Civic Center after all large festivals were booted from the park due to the state's serious drought. The deal to put Pride back in Piedmont Park came after a series of negotiations with City Council President Lisa Borders and Dianne Harnell Cohen, the city's commissioner of Parks, Recreation, & Cultural Events. "I think the most important thing to remember here is that the Pride Committee came to me and said that they need help, and I was honored to help and work with the parks department to reach a compromise that works for everyone, which if you think about it is what I do every two weeks with the City Council meetings," Borders said. Read more

-Marijuana Reform is Part of the Progressive Agenda, So Why are Obama's Drug Cops Already Making Pot Raids?
Armentano, AlterNet
This past August, House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during a live interview with CNN, did something quite remarkable. She spoke candidly and openly about her support for marijuana-law reform. But rather than demanding her colleagues in Washington take the necessary steps to end the federal government's seven-decade war on weed, she instead called on the public to act. "We have important work to do outside the Congress in order for us to have success inside the Congress." Pelosi said. "[W]e need peoples' help to be in touch with their members of Congress to say why this (marijuana law reform) should be the case."As the saying goes, "Ask and ye shall receive."In the past few months, the public has expressed its support for marijuana law reform in unprecedented numbers. The election of former pot smoker, Barack "I inhaled frequently; that was the point" Obama, coupled with a sagging economy, has stimulated tens of thousands of Americans to demand their government stop spending its limited state and federal law enforcement resources on efforts targeting, arresting and prosecuting marijuana smokers. Read more


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