Friday, February 06, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 06, 2009

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New York Times
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-White House Faith Office to Expand
President Obama signed an executive order Thursday to create a revamped White House office for religion-based and neighborhood programs, expanding an initiative started by the Bush administration that provides government support - and financing - to religious and charitable organizations that deliver social services.

Washington Post
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-Anglicans seek extended moratorium on gay bishops
Anglican leaders urged their churches Thursday to maintain a 5-year-old moratorium on consecrating another openly gay bishop and developing prayers for same-sex unions, as they try to restore unity in their fractured fellowship. An Anglican advisory panel also also raised deep concerns about a North American province sought by theological conservatives to rival the Episcopal Church.

Miami Herald
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-Ginsburg's illness could lead to Obama appointment
Some presidents are handed the chance to remake the Supreme Court for a generation, if enough justices leave. Others wait in vain to make even one appointment.

South Florida Blade
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-Pushing beyond abstinence-only policies
Sex education bills could include GLBT topics
Florida has consistently ranked among the leading states reporting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, among young people and as well as teen pregnancies.

The Advocate
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-Sally Kern Says She's Found the "Gay Agenda"
Homophobic Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern is at it again -- this time urging a crowd at the "Clouds Over America" conference of the John Birch Society that the time has come "for a new 'Great Awakening,'" evidenced by a "gay agenda" she says she uncovered in the book After the Ball.

-N.Y. Governor Condemns Youth Center Attack
New York governor David Paterson says the vandalism that happened at a Long Island gay youth center was "despicable" and condemned such acts of hatred and violence.

-Gay Rights on Fast Track at State Dept.
By Kerry Eleveld
Days after pledging to review policies that discriminate against LGBT employees at the State Department, Secretary Clinton said her staff is reviewing inequities and preparing to make appropriate changes "expeditiously."
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.

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-Hospitality, not homosexuality
By John Corvino, columnist,
I've written in this column of my friendship with Glenn Stanton, a Focus on the Family employee whom I regularly debate on same-sex marriage.

-The Prop 8 effect: Anger between blacks and gays
By Jennifer Morales, Special to
When Rev. Wanda Washington arrived in Milwaukee to start up a church to serve the city's Sherman Park neighborhood, she didn't know exactly what she was in for.

-New Chicago schools boss settles in
By Jennifer Vanasco
Ron Huberman is settling in as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools. Huberman, who is openly gay, replaces Arne Duncan who now serves as Secretary of the United States Department of Education.

-Campaign seeks to encourage gay adoption in LA county
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Two dads and their adoptive son smile out from a billboard with the headline "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Family" in West Hollywood. It's part of an innovative ad campaign to encourage gay couples in Los Angeles County to adopt.

-Tennessee looks at new bid to ban gay couples from adopting
By Jennifer Vanasco
With Republicans now in control of both houses in the Tennessee legislature GOP lawmakers say they are confident of passing a bill to ban gay couples from adopting children.

-Christian right wooed by Obama turns on him
By The Associated Press
Christian conservatives are challenging President Barack Obama's picks for top Justice Department positions, charging that past clients taint their resumes.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-More than ten countries still discriminate against travellers
Eleven countries around the world ban or limit the right of HIV-positive people to enter their territories. The list also includes Colombia, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sudan, and Yemen. Although the US Congress passed a measure lifting the ban six months ago, the ban has not been fully lifted in USA.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Contact if you can't access the article Single, Angry, Straight Male... Seeks Same?
A classic study reveals that young homophobic men have secret gay urges

The IGLCC invites corporations to be part of the first edition of the International Business Equality Index
Brussels, Belgium, February 5th 2009 - The International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) is proud to invite all major international corporations to participate in the world premiere of the International Business Equality Index survey that will measure how they are performing internationally in issues related to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. The Index is a unique tool allowing corporations to draw external comparisons, which illustrate how their competitors are doing as well as internal comparisons that provide a better understanding of their own performance. The deadline for completion of the survey is April 30th 2009 with the results being announced during the International Conference on LGBT Human Rights held during the World Outgames in Copenhagen from July 25th to August 2nd, 2009.

-Catholic Order Jolted by Reports That Its Founder Led a Double Life
The Legionaries of Christ, an influential Roman Catholic religious order, have been shaken by new revelations that their founder, who died a year ago, had an affair with a woman and fathered a daughter just as he and his thriving conservative order were winning the acclaim of Pope John Paul II. Before his death, the founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, had been forced to leave public ministry by Pope Benedict XVI because of accusations from more than a dozen men who said he had sexually abused them when they were students. But most members of the Legion continued to defend Father Maciel, asserting that the accusations had not been proved. Father Maciel died in January 2008 at the age of 87, and was buried in Mexico, where he was born.

-"Lying" about sexual orientation in a rape trial
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals held this month that a defendant on trial for rape had no right to introduce testimony relating to the alleged victim's sexual orientation. State v. Boutchiche 2009 WL 102949 (Jan. 12, 2009). The victim here testified at the defendant's first trial that, when in the course of attempting to sell magazines to the defendant he made sexual advances, she told him she was a lesbian. At his retrial, defendant sought to introduce testimony that she had had sex with a man two weeks before the crime. The court said that this evidence was not relevant for a number of reasons - including, notably, that having sex with a man is not inconsistent with being a lesbian.

Pink News - UK
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-'So Macho' preacher hits back with bus adverts claiming God exists
By Staff Writer,
A fundamentalist preacher who unsuccessfully stood for public office has paid for adverts to be placed on buses proclaiming the existence of God.

-Russian activists call for end to restrictions on HIV+ visitors
By Staff Writer,
A 1995 law that bans people living with HIV or AIDS from staying in Russia for more than three months should be overturned, gay rights activists in the country have said. The Russian government currently asks the HIV status of anyone requesting a visa.

-Children say Welsh schools are not safe for out gay people
By Staff Writer,
A new LGBT rights charity will be launched today at the Welsh Senedd. The LGBT Excellence Centre Wales is a social enterprise and a charity building on an existing community group that was running the LGBT Cymru Helpline supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

-Gay bishop gives evidence in favour of same-sex marriage
By Staff Writer,
The only openly gay bishop in the Anglican communion has spoken in favour of same-sex marriage. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, was giving evidence before the state's legislature

-UK set to deport gay man back to Iraq
By Staff Writer,
An asylum seeker from Iraq is to be returned to his homeland this week. The United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) said the man, who claims he will be in danger because he is gay, cannot be trusted as a reliable person as he has already been prosecuted for seeking to stay in the country illegally.

-Source claims gay Mayor Sam Adams had illegal sex with teenager
By Tony Grew
The Mayor of Portland had sex with a minor, a US TV station has claimed. KATU News says that a friend of the teenager at the centre of the controversy has spoken to them on condition of anonymity.

-Gay equality rally to be held at birthplace of American independence
By Staff Writer,
The United States National Park Service has issued a permit for a National Equality Rally at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on Sunday May 3rd. Originally the Pennsylvania State House, the hall was the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783.

-US "family" group tries to block health benefits for same-sex partners
By Staff Writer,
A state Senate committee in Colorado is facing opposition to a new plan to extend health insurance benefits to the gay and lesbian partners of state employees. Focus on the Family, a fundamentalist Christian group, is based in the state.

Daily Queer News
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-Gay Partners Immigration Act to be Reintroduced to Congress Next Week
The Uniting American Families Act will be reintroduced to the House next Friday by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). The act would allow the same-sex partners of legal U.S. residents to enjoy the same immigration rights as heterosexual couples. The unfair current law has stranded thousands of gay couples overseas or forced them to separate to their native countries. Please use this contact form created by Immigration Equality to contact your member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the act with Rep. Nadler. Link

-NE: School to Recognize Gay Student Group
Associated Press | Lincoln Journal Star
BELLEVUE - Bellevue East High School has decided to recognize a student group that fosters understanding of homosexuality. The decision comes after nearly two years of negotiations between school officials and ACLU Nebraska, acting on behalf of the Gay Straight Alliance. A message left Thursday for principal Brad Stueve was not immediately returned. A news release from ACLU Nebraska says the school will treat the group as it does other student organizations, which means its announcements will be included on the school's message board and a photo of the group will appear in the yearbook. Read more

-Gays-Still Criminalized
Andoni | Citizen Crain
If you thought the Supreme Court decision declaring the anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional ended the criminalization of gays for simply loving another person, think again. For gays in relationships, here is something not very pleasant to think about, especially now when tax problems are haunting a number of high profile public officials. Married straights can legally pass an unlimited amount of money, financial help, assets, benefits, services, etc. from one partner to another. Gay couples, however, cannot. Gay couples (and because the federal government does not recognize such marriages, even gays married in MA) can only pass $11,000 worth of cash, financial support, benefits, etc. from one partner to the other. Anything more than that is a taxable event (either as a gift tax on the donor or income tax on the recipient). And if you don't pay the taxes, it's a crime. So the simple act of loving another person and doing for them what any straight married person would do for their partner can make you a criminal. This is especially pertinent in these hard times when one partner may be totally supporting the other. Read more

-Unholy Warriors
Richard J. Rosendall | Metro Weekly
Before Colorado Springs megachurch pastor Ted Haggard was ruined in 2006 by revelations of his involvement with a male hustler, he was interviewed for Oren Jacoby's documentary film, Constantine's Sword, which follows former Catholic priest James Carroll's exploration of religious intolerance. "No religion?" Haggard says. "That's anti-American. We are not an atheistic society." Haggard has been back in the news lately, giving interviews with his long-suffering wife still beside him amid revelations by his former church that they made payments to a young male church member with whom he had sexual contact. The demonization of atheism, which is part and parcel of the right wing's claim that America is a Christian nation, was nicely repudiated by President Obama in his Inaugural address when he said that "Our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth." Read more


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