Saturday, February 07, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 07, 2009

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New York Times
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-National Briefing | New England
Vermont: Same-Sex Marriage
A bill to legalize same-sex marriages was introduced in the House, nine years after Vermont became the first state to permit civil unions. A crowd of several hundred supporters gathered at the State House in celebration. The bill has 59 sponsors, all of them Democrats, who overwhelmingly control both houses of the legislature.

Washington Post
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-Old West Stays Vibrant
In the Arizona Desert, an Eccentric Town Moves Forward While Preserving its Colorful Past
A partial list: Batman outfit, earthquake pills, female roadrunner costume, invisible paint, jet-propelled unicycle, bumblebees and high-speed tonic. (All of that, of course, before the advent of Wal-Mart.) The answer may be the eclectic town of Bisbee, Ariz., a picturesque collection of artists, shopkeepers and vagrants in the high desert nine miles north of the Mexican border. [...] "Bisbee attracts a certain kind of person," says Gayla Dickson, who runs Gloria's Jewelry and Gemstones and has perhaps the best turquoise collection on Main Street. "Done with civilization, done with malls and theaters, and a real 'live and let live' attitude. If you can't do that, you can't live here. We have a huge gay, lesbian and transsexual community." As if on cue, a person of indeterminate gender breezes in and asks Gayla to put a World AIDS Day flier in the window.

-Gay women married in Canada can divorce in NJ
Gay marriages performed outside New Jersey are recognized in the state for the purpose of divorce, according to a ruling Friday by a judge deciding whether a lesbian couple married in Canada can split. State Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson said in an oral ruling that New Jersey, which doesn't allow gays to marry, has a long history of recognizing marriages that are valid where they were performed.

-Va. Man Gets 35 Months for Attack on Gay Man
The Associated Press
A Superior Court judge has sentenced a man to 35 months in prison for participating in an attack on a gay man.

-To Feel the Spirit, Poll Says Go South
Gallup Ranks the Most Religious States
By Adelle M. Banks
Want to be almost certain you'll have religious neighbors? Move to Mississippi. Prefer to be in the least religious state? Venture to Vermont.

Steve Rothaus
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-Gay woman fights over hospital visitation rights in Miami court
A gay woman not allowed to visit her dying partner at Jackson Memorial Hospital in 2007 hopes a federal judge will allow her claims of emotional distress and negligence to go to trial.

-National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is Saturday

Miami Herald
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-Holocaust museum chronicles WWII Nazi propaganda
Wearing a black hat and a suit bearing the yellow Star of David, a man recoils from a large finger pointing at him from above. "He is to blame for the war," reads the poster caption.

The Advocate
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-Window Media: Gay Publisher in "Receivership" With Feds
An investment fund that finances Window Media, the owner of several gay publications including the Washington Blade and Genre magazine, is going into "receivership" by the Small Business Administration. The government agency will then sell off the fund's assets, redistributing the proceeds to investors. Gay City News in New York reports that Avalon, the investment firm, has been entrenched in a "continuing violation" with the SBA. Avalon constantly borrowed money from the SBA, from 2000 to 2007, eventually culling $38 million to acquire more properties and other ventures. As part of the deal with the SBA, Avalon was required to have at least half of the value of the loan in assets, but Avalon's assets fell below the required $19 million. A lawsuit filed against Avalon by the SBA shows that the company had little money left by 2008, as investors pulled out of the fund, and other properties the company invested in had lost value. Window Media owns the Washington Blade, Southern Voice, South Florida Blade, David Atlanta, 411 Magazine, and Avalon also has a non-majority stake in HX Media, which publishes HX magazine and the New York Blade. Unite Media owns the majority of shares for HX Media. According to the report, a typical receivership spans a 3 1/2 year period, depending on the economic climate and the state of Avalon's assets. The SBA usually recovers 63 cents per dollar for investors and taxpayers.

-Wyoming House Kills Anti-Gay Marriage Bill
Wyoming's house of representatives voted down a proposed amendment to the state constitution on Friday that would have defined marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal union recognized in the state. A two-thirds majority was needed to pass the resolution and move it to the senate, but 35 out of 60 representatives voted against the measure, named House Joint Resolution 17.

-Lesbian Representative Rejected From Committee on Children and Families
St. Louis representative Jeanette Mott Oxford, one of two openly gay lawmakers in the Missouri house of representatives, was rejected from the Committee on Children and Families in January with little explanation. A Democratic representative from the state of Missouri, Oxford considers herself "eminently qualified" for the position and is questioning whether her sexual orientation has played a role in the decision, according to the Kansas City Star. In a letter to Republican house speaker Ron Richard, Oxford wrote, "The only reason cited to me so far as for why I am not on the committee is that 'some members find me offensive. I do not know if this is about my sexual orientation, my stance on Roe v. Wade, or what." Chief of Staff Jeff Brooks reportedly cited the concern that Oxford was "highly offensive" at a time when multiple Democratic staffers were present. He has since denied the remark.

-Cheyenne Jackson Plays Gay Dad on Ugly Betty
Actor Cheyenne Jackson will guest-star in an episode of ABC's Ugly Betty as a gay dad this season. Best known for his role in the film United 93, and for his work on Broadway in shows including Xanadu, Aida, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, his role on Ugly Betty will be one of two appearances by Jackson on ABC this season. The actor recently worked on an episode of ABC's Life on Mars, to be aired later this year. Ugly Betty, starring America Ferrera and Eric Mabius, has received a GLAAD Media Award as well as critical acclaim from gay media for routinely incorporating gay characters and gay-friendly themes in its story lines.

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-Civil unions bill advances in Hawaii
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Honolulu, Hawaii) A bill that would give same-sex couples in Hawaii all of the rights of marriage but without the name has been approved unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee and LGBT rights groups are expressing cautious optimism it will become law.

-Expanded Wa. partner bill expected to advance despite opposition
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Opponents of a bill that would expand Washington's 2007 domestic partner law to provide all of the state rights and benefits of marriage vastly outnumbered supporters as a state House committee began hearings on the measure.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Africa: Lawyers and Activists Attend Groundbreaking Meeting
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), Global Rights, Interights and the Kenyan Section of the International Commission of Jurists have just concluded a groundbreaking four-day workshop on legal strategies for promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa. The meeting, the first-ever dialog between lawyers who have worked on litigation related to LGBT rights and African LGBT leaders, was held in Cape Town, South Africa and attended by 45 participants from 11 African countries- Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

National Equality Rally at Independence Hall - Philadelphia
Make History!
Join organizations, grassroots activists and straight allies from across the nation as we demonstrate at Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell-the site where the Gay Pioneers launched our movement with protests each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969.
Call on Congress and our new president for:
*Passage of trans-inclusive hate crimes legislation and Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
*Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
*Support for GLBT health issues
*Equal benefits for same-sex families
*Same-sex marriage Equality
For more information about the National Equality Rally at Independence Hall, visit For information about Equality Forum, visit For information about the Gay Pioneers, visit

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-From Michael Petrelis
The 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion in NYC is about five months away. On Sunday, June 28, the actual date of the first night's riot at the mafia-infested gay bar in Greenwich Village, our community will mark four decades of activism and demands for equality and respect.
Here are some questions to consider:
1. Does the Stonewall Rebellion mean anything to you and your circle of friends?
2. Is the rebellion too linked to the USA movement and of no or little importance to gays in foreign countries?
3. If the 40th anniversary of Stonewall has meaning for you, do you have any interest in organizing a local action linked to the rebellion?
4. Even though June 28 is the anniversary date, people can choose any time to stage an action.
Maybe the theme of IDAHO this year could be Global Stonewall 40? I'd like for this note to generate a debate among GWB about making an attempt at global gay solidarity through the Stonewall Rebellion's 40th year of modern gay activism and visibility. Give me you reactions and thoughts, please.

From Transgender Equality
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-Southern Voice, GA, USA
Clarkston, Georgia broadens non-discrimination policy
City includes gay, transgender protections
The Clarkston City Council unanimously approved Feb. 3 a beefed-up version of its anti-discrimination policy that includes protections for gay and transgender city employees. State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) had discussions with every council member about sexual orientation and gender identity prior to the vote. Georgia's only openly gay state legislator, Drenner is working with all of the towns in her district to include non-discrimination protections for their workers.

-EDGE Boston, MA, USA
Boston City Council supports passage of trans rights bill
Boston's transgender community got a big boost from the City Council Jan. 28, after it unanimously approved a resolution offered by Council President Michael Ross to support "An Act Relative to Gender Based discrimination and Hate Crimes," a bill currently before the state legislature that would add transgender- inclusive language to the state's non-discrimination and hate crimes laws. The resolution was "an opportunity to work with [Somerville state Representative] Carl Sciortino on legislation that he was sponsoring that would bring equality to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts like thirteen other states in America, and cities like Boston," Ross said.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-16 GOP reps voted to kill WY antigay marriage law
Such a nice number, that number 16. It is the figure for how many Republicans voted today in Wyoming to reject a defense of straight marriage bill.

-The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act is currently under attack in the Senate, facing devastating budget cuts aimed at slicing funding for science research by $77.9 billion. Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have joined forces in efforts to eliminate these critically important monies from the legislation.

-Rethinking identity politics a theme at Creating Change
Rethinking isolated identity politics and abandoning apologetic messaging were some of the themes emphasized at this year's Creating Change conference in Denver, presented by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force January 28-February 1. Workshops and plenaries at the 21st national conference discussed how to move forward a progressive LGBT movement at a critical time, against the backdrop of a newly elected African American, LGBT-friendly president and the sting of several same-sex marriage bans still fresh on the community's minds.

-The Rise and Fall of Pornography
There is a world beyond the golden-gated community that composes the suburban drawl of Southern California that has become known as a different sort of capital for the United States. It produces one of the country's largest and most economically lucrative commodities, giving way to a different world altogether - where even the most intimate moments are captured on century-defining celluloid for all to see. This is a world privy only to those willing to inhabit it, creating a product that fascinates all, but is openly talked about by few. Welcome to the San Fernando Valley: the pornocopia of America, birthplace of some of the country's most tantalizing and conspicuously sinful entertainment. Yet for all of its apparent public bravado, the porn industry remains, at its core, a shamed staple of American popular culture.

-Teenage Promiscuity is a Myth and No One Seems to Care?

Pink News - UK
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-Obama's choice of gay rights foe for Cabinet slammed by activist
By Tony Grew
President of the United States Barack Obama's Cabinet choices are dividing the gay community. While Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest LGBT rights group, has welcomed the confirmation of Eric Holder as US Attorney General, other activists have questioned the nomination of Republican Senator Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretary.

-Tony Blair talks of his religious experiences at prayer breakfast
By Tony Grew
When Alastair Campbell, Director of Communications at Number 10, was asked about Tony Blair's religious faith, he famously replied, "We don't do God." How times change.

-Obama criticised for creating office for "faith-based" partnerships
By Tony Grew
American civil rights groups have expressed concern at the formation of a new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships. President George W Bush was heavily criticised for backing faith-based initiatives.

Daily Queer News
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-FL: "Gay Friendly" Miami Archdiocese Features Goddess-Worshipping Nun at Diocesan University
LexEtLibertas | Life Site News
February 5, 2009, ( - Just days after the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI has ordered an apostolic visitation of all non-contemplative women's religious orders in the United States, LifeSiteNews has learned that a notorious Catholic dissenter, known for her promotion of goddess-worship and "eco-spirituality," is scheduled to speak at the Miami Archdiocese's Saint Thomas University. Sr. Miriam Therese MacGillis, O.P will be presenting a lecture, "Cosmology, Faith, & Sustainability," at Saint Thomas, on 24 February. Many lay Catholics have documented Sister Miriam's dissent from official Catholic doctrine on various matters. Sister Miriam is an active proponent of so-called "eco-spirituality," a quasi-pantheistic religious movement recently chronicled in some detail in Sarah McFarland Taylor's book "Green Sisters: A Spiritual Ecology." Taylor, an Episcopalian sympathetic to the eco-spiritual movement, has chronicled this heterodox belief system, and her book features Sister Miriam MacGillis and the community she co-founded, Genesis Farm. Read more

-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


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