Sunday, February 08, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 08, 2009

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New York Times
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-NY: No Gay Marriage Bill This Year, Smith Says
Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith said on Saturday night that he did not believe legislation to legalize marriage between same-sex couples had enough support to become law in New York this year.

Prop 8 Donor Web Site Shows Disclosure Law Is 2-Edged Sword
FOR the backers of Proposition 8, the state ballot measure to stop single-sex couples from marrying in California, victory has been soured by the ugly specter of intimidation.

-New Efforts Focus on Exonerating Prisoners in Cases Without DNA Evidence
In 1988, nine years after Gary Dotson was convicted of raping a woman in a Chicago suburb, his lawyer tried to clear his name with what was then a novel approach: DNA testing, which was conducted on the woman's underwear.

Washington Post
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-Government's Gold, Government's Rules
by David Waters
Candidate Obama didn't care for President Bush's 2002 executive order that allowed faith-based groups to discriminate in hiring and still get federal grants to run social programs. "If you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them -- or against the people you hire -- on the basis of their religion," Obama said in Ohio last July.

Steve Rothaus
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-Gay. Lesbian. Bi. Trans. Straight. Proud.
On April 18, 2009, Miami's colors will be flying higher than ever. And you are invited to our grand celebration. Come join Miami and Miami Beach's diverse, strong, beautiful and inspiring LGBT community, our Mayor, friends, families, and co-workers as we take over the streets, paint the town rainbow and show our PRIDE side. Mark your calendar. Tell all your friends. And make history as part of Miami's first, big coming-out party, a one-of-a-kind, it-takes-all-kinds celebration you don't want to miss.

-Video | CBS News: Portland mayor's former lover talks
(Scroll down to the article and video)

Miami Herald
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Gay travel: Five great gay getaways for the New Year

New guide to Atlanta targets gay travelers
Associated Press
There's a new guidebook for gay travelers interested in visiting Atlanta. The Out Traveler: Atlanta (Alyson Books, $15.95) is the latest in a series that also includes books on New York City, South Florida and Hawaii. The Atlanta edition was written by two gay friends who grew up in the city, Jordan McAuley and Matt Burkhalter.

Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
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-The U.S. Positive Women's Network will be holding a Policy/Communications
Workgroup Orientation call on Friday February 13th. This Workgroup is for HIV+ women, including transgender women, who want to be involved in national policy work with the U.S. Positive Women's Network. This particular call is not open to allies*, though some of our calls are. Ally = People of any HIV status who support the PWN mission to strengthen the collective power of women living with HIV in the U.S. to advocate for policies and programs that meet our needs. The call will be toll-free. Please feel free to forward this invitation on to your networks. RSVP is required. See below for RSVP details. Date: Friday February 13th Time: 9:00am PST/10:00am MT/11:00am CT/12pm ET Duration: 90 minutes For call info and agenda please RSVP to or 510-986-0340 ext 316 with your name, location, phone number, and affiliation.

Daily Queer News
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-Why Hollywood Avoids Gay Movies
Scott Stiffler | EDGE Contributor | EDGE Boston
As we mentioned in last week's story on gay Israeli cinema, in the three years since "Brokeback Mountain," the American film industry has failed to deliver on the promise of delivering mainstream films with gay themes. Instead of, say, the long-awaited film of "The Front Runner" (a project that has lingered for 30 years), we get "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry," a comedy whose jokes are at the expense of a gay marriage. And aside from a handful of more thoughtful gay independent films ("Shelter," "Ciao"), there have been the plethora of harmless, though hardly edifying sex comedies, such as "Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!" and "Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds" that qualify as guilty pleasures at best. It's as true today as it was last week; and the truth hurts. Is the absence of mainstream LGBT-themed films a matter of economics, lack of quality, or the reluctance of studios to greenlight and market "niche" films? All of the above and more, according to our panel of experts - who weighed in on the current state of American LGBT cinema, recent homo-friendly Sundance films, the curious case of "Milk," and the thorny question of Sean "Harvey Milk" Penn's possible homophobia. Read more

-Homelessness Increases Among Female Veterans
Cara, Feministe | AlterNet
It looks like the rates of homelessness among female veterans are rising: Even including the 20 or so beds that would make up the new women's home, Ms. Kiss described a grim calculus for female veterans. Ten years ago, women represented 3 percent of homeless veterans, she said, compared with 5 percent now. About 180,000 female troops now serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, it's still important to note that the vast majority of homeless veterans are male, and the number of homeless female veterans is rather disproportionately low compared to their numbers in the military overall. But the bad news is, first, their numbers just may rise when they finally come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. And second, there are fewer services out there to cater to them: Read more

-Clinton Agrees On Changes for Gay Diplomats
On Top Magazine
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is responding positively to a request made by Congressional leaders to fix inequities for gay and lesbian employees at the State Department. Wisconsin's openly gay Representative Tammy Baldwin (D) is behind the request. She said in an exclusive OUTTAKEOnline ( interview that she had made similar requests to Clinton's predecessor, Condoleezza Rice, but little had come of the effort. In a letter dated Feb. 2, Baldwin was joined by Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Florida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in asking for policy changes for gay diplomats that would not require Congressional approval. Read more

-TX: Queer Liberaction Gearing Up for Freedom to Marry Day Protest
John Wright News Editor | Dallas Voice
Two months after forming in the wake of Proposition 8 in California, Queer Liberaction is preparing to make its biggest statement yet, according to the founder of the Dallas-based LGBT direct action group. QL founder Blake Wilkinson said the grassroots organization has attracted a core following of about 30 people since its first public demonstration in late November. On each of the last two weekends, QL has hosted Milk Box, a sidewalk community forum on the Cedar Springs strip. On Saturday, Feb. 7, QL plans a Queer Kiss-In outside the Dallas Museum of Art, followed by another Milk Box later that afternoon, Wilkinson said. The events will serve as QL's final tune-ups for a Freedom to Marry Day demonstration that's set for Thursday, Feb, 12 at the Dallas County Clerk's Office, in which participants will request same-sex marriage licenses. "The first several ones were just kind of practice," Wilkinson said of the group's demonstrations. "There's a solid group of people who are energized and really excited about all this stuff, and we've been organizing for Freedom to Marry Day for a while, and I think we'll get a decent response." Read more

-Marriage Equality's Political Mainstreaming
ROSS D. LEVI | Gay City News
At the press conference two weeks ago when Kirsten Gillibrand accepted Governor David Paterson's appointment to become New York's next US senator, she spoke about how she would be going to Washington to fight for economic and social justice issues like women's rights and marriage equality for same-sex couples. This first-ever public commitment to marriage equality by a US senator from New York was certainly noticed by the LGBT community. Less noticed was the fact that this was probably the most high-profile instance of a New York State politician using marriage equality as an illustration of their progressive Democratic credentials. In less than six years, marriage for same-sex couples had gone from being a controversial hot-button issue in statewide politics to a demonstration of New York Democratic bona fides. It is easy to forget that not even six years ago, in 2003when Canada became the first jurisdiction in our hemisphere where a New York same-sex couple could get legally married, national polls showed that only between 31 and 40 percent of Americans supported the idea of same-sex couples being allowed to marry, with between 51 and 56 percent opposed.
Read more

-DADT Doesn't Need More Study
Bay Area Reporter
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he favored repealing the military's homophobic "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Just last month, before the inauguration, Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs simply answered "Yes," when asked whether the new president would take action to overturn the law. Under the failed DADT policy, gays and lesbians in the armed forces are prohibited from serving openly. According to Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, 12,500 people who have served in the military were discharged under DADT since it took effect in 1993. So it was with some surprise Sunday when we read an article in the Boston Globe that said the Obama administration "is telling the Pentagon and gay rights advocates that it will have to study the implications of national security and enlist more support in Congress" before trying to repeal DADT. Another study? Read more


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