Wednesday, February 04, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 04, 2009

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New York Times
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-Police Charged with False Arrests of Gay Men at Adult Video Stores
by Andy Humm
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."

Wall Street Journal
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-When a Favorite Small Business Closes
Posted by Raymund Flandez
The latest casualty of the recession has come to my favorite bookstore in New York City: the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Greenwich Village. The venerable institution, believed to be the oldest gay and lesbian bookstore in the country, is closing at the end of March due to economic constraints, according to today's New York Times. The original owner Craig Rodwell helped usher in the gay rights movement in the late '60s.

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-Choose Julie Carson for Wilton Manors City Commission
In Wilton Manors, two of the city's former mayors, John Fiore and Scott Newton, are vying to snatch the commission seat out of the hands of political newcomer Julie Carson. Voters shouldn't let them.,0,2137628.story

-California: Court to hear same-sex ban case
The California Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it would hear arguments on March 5 about the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that banned same-sex marriage in California. The court's decision in the case will come within 90 days of the three-hour hearing, which will be held in San Francisco. In addition to hearing challenges to Proposition 8, the court will consider the fate of 18,000 same-sex marriages that occurred before the November election.,0,5663923.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Hearing Friday in lesbian's case against Jackson Memorial Hospital
A news release from Lambda Legal: Federal Court Hearing to be Held in Lambda Legal's Case Against Florida Hospital for Mistreatment of Deceased Lesbian's Family
'We are here today to ensure that families get the respect they deserve at Jackson Memorial Hospital and to prevent Janice's tragedy from happening to anyone else.'

Miami Herald
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-Defendant guilty in slaying of Scooby-Doo loving bartender
Jurors convicted a man of murdering a bartender, dumping his body and stealing his Toyota 4Runner.

Daily Queer News
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-Michael Phelps Has No Business Apologizing for Taking Bong Hits
Tony Newman, AlterNet
Plastered all over the Internet right now is a photo of Michael Phelps smoking marijuana out of a bong. Phelps put out a statement saying that he acted in a youthful and inappropriate way and promises it won't happen again. Different people are weighing in on the possible impact of this photo on the gold medalist's $100 million endorsement deals. Here are a few of my observations on Phelps' bong hits: Phelps Is in Good Company Phelps struck another blow to the myth that marijuana smokers are lazy couch potatoes. Here is the guy who has won more gold medals than anyone in history, and obviously his health and accomplishments are not hindered by smoking some pot. In addition to his swimming skills, he is a successful businessman who has turned his swimming skills into an enormous public relations platform and money generator. Successful and honorable people who have smoked some pot are all around us, from President Barack Obama to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Read more

-Signs of the Coming Recovery
Brian S. Wesbury and Robert Stein | Forbes
Economic growth at the end of 2008 was slightly deceptive. Real gross domestic product fell at a 3.8% annual rate, a smaller decline then the consensus expected. However, without an unwanted accumulation of inventories at businesses, real GDP would have fallen at a much steeper 5.1% annual rate. This surge in inventories, and the reaction of business to it, means another sharp drop in real GDP is likely on tap for Q1, as excess stockpiles are reduced. At the same time, the widespread severity of winter weather this year has likely pulled business activity down artificially-making the recession look worse. In other words, lagging economic data about home sales or GDP from late last year or early this year is being held down by abnormally bad weather. Read more

-Ad Declines Lead Gay Media to Cut Back
Matthew S. Bajko | | Bay Area Reporter
The staff layoffs and downsizing plaguing mainstream news outlets is also hitting gay media newsrooms as advertisers pull back due to the faltering economy. The financial woes have led many LGBT media outlets to reduce page counts, lay off writers, and scramble to find new sources of revenue. One paper, the New England Blade owned by HX Media, shut down last October. "I know some papers are more stretched than others. Some are victims due to the economy," said Bob Witeck, the owner of an LGBT-focused marketing firm based in Washington, D.C. "It is worrisome." This month, San Francisco-based PlanetOut laid off 33 percent of its workforce as it prepares to merge with Los Angeles-based Here Networks, which acquired an 80 percent stake in the faltering online LGBT company for reportedly $5 million. Read more

-Gay Fashion Comes Out of the 'Closets' at History Museum
Chicago Sun-Times
A special program profiling the history of gay fashion influence will be held Thursday at the Chicago History Museum on the North Side. Closets are for Clothes will look at the lives of gay and lesbian fashion designers, from Marc Jacobs to Christian Dior. The event also will showcase how fashion has "marked sexual identity in American culture." The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with cocktails and exhibit viewing, followed by the program at 6:30. An afterparty will be held at the Kit Kat Lounge, 3700 N. Halsted, beginning at 8. The Chicago History Museum is at 1601 N. Clark. Tickets for "Closets are for Clothes" are $12, which includes general museum admission, a 20-percent discount on food at Kit Kat and $5 cocktails. Call (312) 642-4600 or visit Link

-Obama Moves to Fill Last Cabinet Posts as Gays Appointed to Lower Ranks
Tony Grew | Pink News
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. When the nominee for Commerce Secretary, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, withdrew earlier this month, an LGBT grassroots political organisation urged Barack Obama to nominate a gay man, Fred Hochberg. "In more than 200 years, the United States Cabinet has never included an openly gay member," Equal Rep said in a statement. Read more

-Prime Minister to Attend New Zealand Gay Family Picnic
Pink News
The Prime Minister of New Zealand is among the country's political leaders who have confirmed they will attend the Big Gay Out family picnic day in Auckland this weekend. John Key was elected in November, the first National Party government since 1999. He had attended the picnic twice as party leader, but this will be his first visit as Prime Minister. The Labour party leader Phil Goff will also attend Big Gay Out, New Zealand's largest outdoor GLBT family event attended by more than 10,000 people. Read more

-DoD Waves DES Standards for Wounded
Department of Veterans Affairs |
The Department of Defense announced Jan. 22, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a process designed to expedite a servicemember seriously injured in combat from military to veteran status, by waiving the standard Disability Evaluation System (DES), resulting in receipt of benefits in three to four months, compared to a recovery and standard DES process that would normally take much longer. "This new policy should allow service members and their families to focus on the essentials of recovery, reintegration, employment and independent living, with the combined assistance from DoD and VA," said Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Michael L. Dominguez. "The policy supports our belief that there must be a distinction for those who incur devastating disabilities in combat." The expedited process applies to service members whose conditions are designated as "catastrophic" and whose injuries were incurred in the line of duty as a direct result of armed conflict. A catastrophic injury or illness is a permanent, severely disabling injury, disorder, or disease that compromises the ability to carry out the activities of daily living to such a degree that a service member or veteran requires personal or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed, or requires constant supervision to avoid physical harm to self or others. Read more

Just News
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-Sex, Relationships Can Get Better With Age
After Kids Leave, Older Couples Need To Reconnect
You don't just get older, you get better, the old adage says. And many believe the same can be said for sex and relationships.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Starting this week, viewing porn a crime in UK
I blogged in May about the UK's newly adopted law criminalizing the possession of so-called "extreme pornography." On Monday the law went into effect. You can now be sentenced to up to three years imprisonment in the United Kingdom for viewing, on your home computer, an ill-defined category of images that includes depictions of consensual adult sadomasochism. Small consolation: law enforcement say they aren't going to go out of their way to enforce the law. As I noted before, the law relies heavily on a decade-old British court ruling that permitted consensual sadomasochism to be charged as assault. That ruling was upheld by the European Court of Human Rights, but it was based on sensational and distorted facts and has been unevenly applied in subsequent cases. The new law raises once again the scope and validity of that ruling, as well as serious concerns about free expression. No word yet about a legal challenge to the law, but it can be expected to eventually reach the British courts, and ultimately the European Court.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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--Gay-rights attorney fears issue will go to state Supreme Court
For J.B., it's a bitter irony.
While the vast majority of judges and politicians in Texas oppose same-sex marriage, the state also may be unwilling to grant J.B. and his husband a divorce from their Massachusetts nuptials. "I can't imagine a conservative state like Texas not being joyfully willing to stamp their approval on that," J.B. said. "I think we've been through enough just going through what we're going through, and should be allowed the same dignity and respect as any two people who have irreconcilable differences. It is my hope that Texas will be satisfied enough to pass the appropriate judgment and not make a grandstand out of this for publicity to further people's careers, because again, these are human lives that are being dealt with." J.B., whose initials are being used in this article to protect his anonymity because his sexual orientation isn't known to his employer, filed a petition for divorce Wednesday, Jan. 21 in Dallas County's 302nd District Court.

-Al-Qaeda accused of using male rape to 'create' suicide bombers
Islamic terrorists are raping young men in order to drive them into suicide bombings. The Sun quotes Algerian militant Abu Ba├žir El Assimi: "The sexual act on young recruits aged between 16 to 19 was a means to urge them to commit suicide operations." The paper claims that "intense social stigma and fear of more gay sex attacks leaves Muslims prepared to die." Rape and homosexual acts are punishable by death under Sharia law. A suspected terrorist bomber killed in an attempted attack on a security installation in the Tizi Ouzou province of Algeria last month may have been raped, an autopsy revealed.

-UK: Gay Iraqi could face death penalty if deportation goes ahead
Asylum seeker would become seventh gay Iraqi to be returned from the UK to country where homosexuality is punishable by death. This is yet another depressing example of the UK Government's ingrained homophobia.


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