Tuesday, February 03, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 03, 2009

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New York Times
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-Venerable Gay Bookstore Will Close
By Sewell Chan
The Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Greenwich Village, which is believed to be the oldest gay and lesbian bookstore in the country, will close on March 29, its owner announced on Tuesday, citing "the current economic crisis." The announcement came nearly six years after the store was about to close, only to be given a last-minute reprieve when a new owner bought it.

-California Releasing Donor List for $83 Million Marriage Vote
Nearly 14,000 donors - including homemakers, priests and a former member of the Los Angeles Dodgers - poured millions of dollars into the last two weeks of the campaign to pass Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California. According to a campaign finance report made public on Monday, in all, both sides spent more than $83 million.

Washington Post
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-Mass. couple who led gay marriage fight to divorce
The Associated Press
A lesbian couple who led the fight for gay marriage in Massachusetts has filed for divorce. Julie and Hillary Goodridge were among seven gay couples who filed a lawsuit that led to a court ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004. The couple became the public face of the debate in the state and married the first day same-sex marriages became legal.

Gov. O'Malley Seeks Wider Benefits
Same-Sex Couples Focus of Plan

Steve Rothaus
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-That's so gay - so wrong and so hurtful
Here's an interesting op-ed piece in The News & Observer by Steven Petrow, former president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association
CHAPEL HILL -- Recently I was cruising through a Facebook friend's wall postings and came across a friend of his wearing the tackiest of holiday sweaters: a bright red schmata adorned with embroidered snowflakes and a quartet of Frosty the Snowmen. To boot, the poor fellow also wore a turtleneck emblazoned with a ring of snowflakes. "Absolutely hideous," I said to myself.

-Ros-Lehtinen, Baldwin, others call on Clinton to change State Department gay policies
U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Tammy Baldwin and Sens. Russ Feingold and Ron Wyden have asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton "to address inequities in employment practices concerning gay and lesbian State Department employees and to take remedial action."

National Gay News
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-Manhattan: Police Charged with False Arrests of Gay Men at Adult Video Stores
Anger is building against the police department in the wake of an increase in arrests of gay men for prostitution at Manhattan adult video stores. Last week, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined in the outcry. She said she is working with the mayor's office and commanders of the police department to set up a meeting that will include gay community groups "to get to the bottom of this."

-Sex for Pay Slows Down Judge's Day
by Norm Kent
You probably do not know Michael Hecht. He just won an election for a judicial seat in the Superior Court of Pierce County, Washington State, just on the southern outskirts of Seattle. Don't congratulate him yet, though. It seems that Mr. Hecht is under criminal investigation by the Pierce County, D.A. for soliciting, meeting, and paying male prostitutes for sex. As a result, the small office of the Pierce County D.A. has refused to send lawyers to his courtroom to hear cases. The court has ground to a halt. Prosecutors are refusing to try their cases before him.

The Advocate
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-Matt's Next Act
By Nicholas Fonseca
Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham wowed the world with his win last August, but half a year later -- with no major endorsements yet -- he's ready to prove his gold medal is much more than a flash in the pan. Click the byline to view more stories by this author.

-Matthew Mitcham
Check out The Advocate's sizzling photo shoot with gold medal Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham.

-ESPN to Apologize Over Shaq Ad
ESPN removed a promotional ad featuring Shaquille O'Neal and sports commentator Mike Breen, saying that it was never the network's intent for the spot "to be offensive to anyone or any community of people." In response to lobbying by organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign, as well as viewers who voiced outrage, ESPN pulled the homophobic promo. The spot shows O'Neal rejecting a "fist kiss" -- or fist bump -- from Breen. After Breen called it a "fist kiss," O'Neal moves away from Breen on the couch and says, "No fist kiss, no fist love, no fist hump. None of that. You're a weirdo, man. Stay over there. Fist kiss. Disgusting." "Our intent is to send a positive message about the camaraderie of sports and to do so as creatively as we can," the network said in a statement. "However, we understand your perspective on this ad and would like to apologize to the members of the gay community."

-Obama's First Days According to Rev. Gene Robinson
By Kerry Eleveld
After a busy month of rubbing elbows with Obama and dodging Rick Warren, Rev. V. Gene Robinson takes a look back on his time with the president. New Hampshire's Bishop Gene Robinson has had a busy month -- delivering the invocation at the inaugural opening ceremony, sitting on the President's platform during the swearing in, and being the focal point of so much media fascination.

-Battling the Military Ban
In a bracing new account, historian Nathaniel Frank shows how "don't ask, don't tell" has utterly failed.

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-Rudolph: Educating our allies
By Dana Rudolph
I was at a playdate with my son last week, talking with his friend's straight parents. They are very liberal in their politics, completely accepting of our family, and have other LGBT friends. Still, when the conversation turned, as it does this time of year, to taxes, they had no idea my spouse and I still had to file our federal taxes as "single."

-What Exactly Is Advocacy In Advertising?
By Emma Ruby-Sachs
Superbowl ads are highly anticipated. The national ads, often worth upwards of a million dollars (though not this year), aim to one up the funniest ads from the years before. Entire blogs are devoted to piecing apart the humor in these spots. But there are also local spots and these smaller prizes give people the chance to reach a huge audience without shelling out big bucks.

-Judge rebukes school in trans student suit
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
A federal judge has ordered Gary Community Schools to pay legal fees after finding that school administrators had ignored a ruling to turn over documents to lawyers for a former student. The student is suing the district for barring him from the senior prom because he was wearing a ball gown.

-NM partner bill stalls
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The New Mexico Senate has once again put the kibosh on a proposed domestic partnership bill.

-Gay rights leaders express hope for future
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Denver, Colorado) Some 2,000 LGBT civil rights activists from across the country are headed home with a new sense of propose following a four day national conference in Denver.

-Vanasco: What does the DuBois appointment say about Obama and gays?
By Jennifer Vanasco
Culture & Ideas
Josh DuBois might be called a New Evangelical. He is a Pentecostal pastor who believes Jesus is his personal savior. But he also seems to put more weight on the social gospel (that is, that Christians should take care of the poor and the disenfranchised) than on the old Evangelical hammers of gays and abortion.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-First transgender choir strikes gay rights chord in Nepal

-That´s right! We are planning the next Queer Pride Parade and Festival in the Czech Republic, this time in Tábor. Get your calendars, palm pilots and iPhones out and write it down: Saturday June 20, 2009.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Lambda Legal: In New York, your state government respects the marriages of same-sex couples.
In May 2008, Governor Paterson instructed all state agencies to revise policies and regulations to recognize marriages of same-sex couples performed in other countries or in states like Massachusetts and Connecticut. Since then, Lambda Legal has successfully defended Paterson's decision in court, and now we are proud to share the latest information about the rights of legally married same-sex couples in New York.

-American Family Association: Pepsi is now using its TV spots to promote the gay lifestyle. AFA asked Pepsi to remain neutral in the culture war. Pepsi refused. The company said it will continue major financial support of homosexual organizations seeking to legalize homosexual marriage. Pepsi gave $500,000 to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the largest and most powerful gay lobbying group in America. The company also gave $500,000 to Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). The total gift of $1,000,000 to the two homosexual activist groups was to help promote the gay lifestyle in the workplace.

-HIV/AIDS takes center stage at Creating Change
HIV/AIDS took center stage today at Creating Change with a plenary panel, HIV/AIDS Crisis: This Is What We're Doing About It, that featured leading advocates in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Each spotlighted the urgency of tackling the AIDS epidemic, with a focus on communities of color, and all issued powerful and passionate calls to action. Indeed, a call to action was a theme throughout the plenary, beginning as hundreds of attendees entered the room and were handed postcards to send to their federal lawmakers urging them to "fund a stimulus plan for the fight against HIV/AIDS" and implement a National AIDS Strategy.

-Haggard still playing sex game
By Rhonda Swan - Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer
As a "heterosexual with issues," Ted Haggard wouldn't be much different from the majority of the population. Except that his issues are "homosexual attachments." At least that's how the former megachurch pastor and head of the National Association of Evangelicals described to Oprah Winfrey his struggle with homosexual thoughts and temptations.

-Psychoanalysts Approve Position Statement on Homosexuals and Bisexuals
Serving in the Military
Though it's not widely known, psychoanalysts as a professional group are proactive on a number of socialissues including homosexuality. During the organization's Winter 2009 Meeting held January 14 - 18 in New York, the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) approved a position statement regarding homosexuals and bisexuals serving in the military. "President Obama has said that he will repeal the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. For the mental health and safety of those in the military and for those who are contemplating joining the military, this repeal needs to happen now. Evidence shows the presence of gays does not undermine unit cohesion. Tens of thousands of gays, lesbians and bisexuals already do serve openly. Discharging gays, lesbians and bisexuals wastes thousands of highly trained, badly needed troops," commented Ethan Grumbach, Ph.D., chair of APsaA's Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

-Grassley Seeks Porn Viewing Info From National Science Foundation
Senator Returns To His Anti-Porn Roots
The co-sponsor of a 1995 Internet decency bill is at it again! In an email dated Jan. 27, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, requested from Acting Inspector General Thomas Cross of the National Science Foundation (NSF) "any/all documentation ... regarding the use of government computers to view sexually explicit material." Grassley's interest stems from Cross's statements in the NSF's most recent Semiannual Report, which Grassley claimed indicated a "systemic issue" regarding employees viewing adult material during working hours.

-NGLTF's Carey gives 'State of the Movement' address
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey signaled action, ambition and inclusion in her "State of the Movement" speech at the 21st annual Creating Change conference in Denver on Friday. At the afternoon plenary session, Carey hailed the election of President Obama, our "community organizer-in-chief," and celebrated progress for LGBT rights made on local and state levels and announced the Task Force's plans to branch out from the more commonly taken channels of activism and advocacy. Not only did Carey urge the audience to remember the "big picture" on issues that LGBT people still face besides marriage rights, but she announced that alliances with organizations such as AARP, the NAACP and Planned Parenthood were in the works with aims to bring the real needs of LGBT people into the open.

-DayofPink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination and Homophobia in schools and communities. We invite everyone to celebrate diversity by wearing a pink shirt and by organizing activities in their workplaces, organizations, communities and schools.
* Wear pink on February 19, 2009!
* Register as an individual or group (and win cool prizes!)
* Find out more about activities you can do in your school, community, business or organization.
* Learn about the causes of discrimination and what you can do to solve this problem.

-National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Feb 7th
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2009 is a community mobilization effort to get Black Americans all across the United States and Territorial Areas to get educated about the basics of HIV/AIDS; get tested to know their HIV status; get involved locally in their community and family to highlight the HIV/AIDS epidemic; as well as get treated if they are living with HIV/AIDS. http://www.blackaidsday.org/

-Report from Denver
So what do gay people think?
Since I work in elections, sometimes on issues that involve gay people, I've seen a lot of polling about what the heterosexual electorate thinks about gay people. Yesterday at the NGLTF Creating Change conference, I got to hear a political scientist talk about political attitudes held by gay people. It was a pleasant turnabout. For starters, Kenneth Sherrill of Hunter College answered a question I've had ever since seeing exit polls last November which seemed to show that, though gay people voted for Obama by a large margin (70-27), in 2004 Kerry did somewhat better with the gay vote (77-23). That didn't seem right in a year of unparalleled progressive voter mobilization. The professor agrees.

Anything but Straight
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-The Changing Face of the GOP
It would be wrong to say that the majority of Republicans are racist. But, it is fair to say that racists have comfortably nested in the GOP for quite some time. Since President Richard Nixon employed his infamous "Southern Strategy," bigots, xenophobes and homophobes have been sought after Republican constituencies. Beginning in the late 1960's and extending through the present day, the GOP reframed its racism, branding itself "conservative." A word that once stood for small government came to stand for small minds that voted in large numbers. This new political deformity hid its hatred behind calls for "states rights" and "personal responsibility." (To be fair, in the early days, many Democrats were also segregationists)

From Transgender Equality
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-Groundbreaking legal guide to assist transgender immigrants
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has released the first immigration law practice manual for attorneys representing transgender clients. Immigration Law and the Transgender Client , co-authored by Immigration Equality and the Transgender Law Center (TLC), provides practical advice and information to assist attorneys representing transgender immigrants.

-Lobby Day 2009
Each year, transgender people, our families, friends and allies join us in Washington, DC, as we go to our members of Congress to talk with them about the need for an Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that includes gender identity, a hate crimes bill and more. Please join us as we make strides to bring transgender equality to our nation's capital. Make your plans now to join us on April 26-28, 2009 for an exciting conference and the opportunity to educate your member of Congress about vital issues for transgender people. Our goal is to make this our largest and most diverse Lobby Day to date. Will you help us? Registration is now open for Lobby Day 2009. Go to Registration.

Pink News - UK
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-Gay flag removed from London police station
The new head of London's police service has ordered officers in Limehouse to remove a rainbow flag which was flying from the station's flagpole.

-Obama moves to fill last Cabinet posts as gays appointed to lower ranks
By Tony Grew
The appointments of more openly gay people to posts in the Obama administration have been announced. LGBT rights activists were disappointed that no out people were appointed to the new President's Cabinet.

-Finnish media group discriminated against lesbian editor
The Labour Protection Office in Finland has ruled that the country's second-largest media group was guilty of unjust discrimination in the case of a gay woman who was dismissed as editor of a regional newspaper.

-Gay-themed musical sweeps London theatre award nominations
Camp musical La Cage Aux Folles has been nominated for seven Laurence Olivier Awards.

-Prime Minister to attend New Zealand gay family picnic

-Obama seeks military assessment before repealing ban on gays
The President of the United States could wait several months before he moves to end a ban on openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving in the country's armed forces. Barack Obama's staff recently met with the Servicemembers Legal Defence Network, a group working to overturn the ban.

-Bipartisan call for Hillary Clinton to grant full benefits to gay staff
Democratic and Republican members of the US Congress have called on the newly-appointed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to take action to ensure that gay and lesbian State Department employees get full partner benefits.

-Gay judge who made history retires from Australian bench
The first openly gay person to become a High Court judge in Australia has retied after 13 years on the bench.

-Nassau man freed after using gay panic defence at murder trial
A 25-year-old man in the Bahamas walked free from court last week after claiming a man he murdered made a sexual advance towards him. Frederick Green-Neely told a court in Nassau that he stabbed Dale Williams three times as he tried to flee Mr Williams' home.

-Pope promotes priest who claimed hurricane was God's punishment for tolerating gays
A priest who thinks Hurricane Katrina was "divine retribution" on New Orleans for being tolerant towards gay and lesbian people has been made a bishop.


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