Wednesday, February 11, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 11, 2009

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New York Times
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-NY: For Supporters of Gay Marriage, a Dashing of Great Expectations
When Senate Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith spoke to a hotel ballroom in Manhattan packed with hundreds of gay-rights advocates, fund-raisers and politicians on Saturday night, his mere mention of the words "marriage equality" roused the crowd.

Washington Post
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-Harvard Dean, Chosen as Solicitor General, Goes Before Senators
By Robert Barnes
When Harvard Law School hosted a huge dinner a few years ago for the conservative Federalist Society, the school's dean, Elena Kagan, received such long and enthusiastic applause that she felt compelled to hold up her arms in mock protest.

-Whitman makes exploratory bid for GOP nomination [Supported Prop 8]
Former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman officially launched her bid to seek the Republican nomination for California governor on Monday, capping a year-long tour on the political stage after leaving her high-profile Silicon Valley post.

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-Ex-Central Mich. basketball player sues, says she lost scholarship partly because she's not gay
Central Michigan and its women's basketball coach are being sued by a former player, who claims her heterosexuality was a factor in losing a scholarship after two seasons.,0,4644303.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Gay marriage activists to hold national protest on Thursday
News release from Marriage Equality USA:
Oakland, California: On National Freedom to Marry Day, Thursday, February 12, 2009, at local marriage counters in cities all over the country, same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at their local County Clerk's Offices to raise awareness of the harms and impact the inability to marry causes on their families.

Miami Herald
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-Fla. school sued over refusing gay-straight club
Two Florida high school students on Tuesday sued their school board because they were not allowed to form a club that promotes the tolerance of gays.

Pink News - UK
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-Isle of Man politician compared to Nazis over trans comments
By Staff Writer, .
A member of the Isle of Man's parliament has been accused of using language more akin to the Nazis during a debate about the rights of transexuals.

-London event to discuss if bareback pornography is hindering HIV prevention
By Staff Writer,
A special event at London's Southbank centre this week will explore the impact of unsafe sex practices in gay pornography.

-Ireland to refuse adoption rights for gay couples
By Staff Writer,
A leading gay rights group in Ireland is angry that new adoption legislation is discriminatory. The Irish government published the Adoption Bill 2009 last month. It limits access to adoption

-Tennessee man pleads guilty to shootings at gay-friendly church
By Staff Writer,
An 58-year-old jobless man in Tennessee has admitted to the killing of two people and the wounding of six others at a church last year.

-US Congress returns to equal immigration rights for same-sex couples
By Staff Writer,
A 2007 bill that would offer binational same-sex relationships the same recognition and treatment afforded to binational married couples will come back before the US House of Representatives on Thursday.

-Macedonian candidate for President claims gays face no discrimination
By Tony Grew
A leading candidate for President of Macedonia has claimed that discrimnation against gay and lesbian people is a myth.

-Hip hop star Kanye West admits he used to be scared of gay people
American music star Kanye West has said he "used to be scared to talk to a gay person" and clarified comments that gay people dress better than heterosexuals. ip hop has been branded a homophobic form of music because of the anti-gay lyrics used by some artists. Mr West has repeatedly spoken out against homophobia

-New "Mr Gay World" is a leader and a spokesman claims contest organiser
A 37-year-old from Dublin has won an international beauty contest and now refers to himself as "Mr Gay World."

The Advocate
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-Maine Marriage Initiative Launches Website
The Maine Marriage Initiative has launched a website, complete with a glittering image of a bright-eyed young heterosexual couple and their son, the message below it reading, "Families should be strengthened ... not redefined."

-Utah Gov: I'll Back Gay Rights Bills
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. says he would support a legislative effort to provide some rights to gay and transgender individuals.

-Youth Center Vandalism Not a Hate Crime
Four people have been charged with second-degree criminal mischief for vandalizing a gay youth center in Bayshore, N.Y. The four will not be charged with a hate crime despite outcry from public officials as high as Gov. David Paterson.

-Kansas Lesbian Discharged From National Guard
A nine-year member of the Kansas Army National Guard was discharged under the military's ban on gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members. Amy Brian was the Kansas Guard's first discharge under the nearly 16-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy, according to the Associated Press.

-A Time for Integration
Slowly but surely, a new generation of gay guys and girls is showing a generation of people used to living their lives on the outskirts how to integrate again. Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Reichen Lehmkuhl

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-Withers: Is Barack Obama George Bush 2.0?
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
Barely a month into the job and there's chatter among the political blogs that President Barack Obama differs little from the former president now living in Dallas. The Daily Show host Jon Stewart got the ball rolling on Obama's first day by noting both men used the same rhetoric in their speeches.

-Rainbow list highlights GLBTQ children's literature
By Dana Rudolph
"We're trying to find the best books that reflect GLBTQ experiences," says Nel Ward, chair of the American Library Association's (ALA) Rainbow List committee. The committee, a joint initiative of the ALA's GLBT and Social Responsibilities Round Tables, has just published its second annual list of recommended books for young readers from birth through age 18.

-Doctor resignation exposes shortage of HIV doctors in Canadian province
By The Canadian Press
(St John's, Newfoundland) Newfoundland and Labrador is scrambling to find a replacement for the province's only infectious disease specialist, who will be leaving next month.

-Doctor who helped discover HIV says race for cure replaced prevention push
By The Canadian Press
(Calgary, Alberta) When Dr. Luc Montagnier painstakingly teased out the source of the new mysterious AIDS syndrome in a Paris laboratory 25 years ago, the very concept of the disease sparked panic in many people.

-Where are the gay greeting cards?
By Lisa Neff
I'm hoping for a love-is-in-the air mood on Valentine's Day, but the Peanuts-themed card I've found for my true love won't inspire the romance.

-Straight man promotes Gay Marriage In Colorado
A straight Colorado man is promoting a ballot measure that would allow same-sex marriage in the state.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Moscow Gay Pride organisers have filed a complaint against Dmitry Medvedev at the European Court of Human Rights. They accuse the President of inaction following their request to stage a gay march in the Russian capital in May 2008.

-Hip-hop homophobes? They are probably gay Research tells us almost everyone has a period of omnivorous urges I have always been slightly bemused by homophobia. Why would two adults (or 10) having consensual sex upset you? What's it to you? A new expose of one of the West's most rancidly anti-gay subcultures - hip-hop - offers the beginnings of an answer. Hip-hop has long been the ultimate in fag-bashing, gay-trashing hate music. Listen to many albums and a list of homophobic howls will hit you: Eminem squeaking "Hate fags? The answer's yes!", or Masse saying "I be wastin' em. That's what you faggots get!" The music's mood was summarised in a 1992 Ice Cube hit: "True niggaz ain't gay." This boom-boom-boom of homo-cidal hate has a crushing effect on gay kids. It sends out the message: you are so repulsive you should be killed. It's one of several reasons why gay teenagers are still - after all the amazing progress we have made - six times more likely to commit suicide than their straight siblings.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-One of the accepted panels in the Outgames Human Rights Conference is from the European Sexuality Resource Center. This is an initiative of organizations throughout Europe that intend to bring information resources on sexuality issues to a new level. The initiative is presently small, as you will see on, but we intend to continue efforts to find the funding that will allow us to make the impact this purpose deserves.

The National Lesbian & Gay Federation have expressed disappointment over a inequalities within the new Irish Adoption Bill
On January 23rd, with little public announcement, the Government published the Adoption Bill 2009. The Bill limits access to adoption to married couples and individuals, excluding non-married same-sex and opposite-sex couples from providing full security for their children or the opportunity to provide a secure base for children unable to live with their families of origin and therefore requiring adoption.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Will Obama open federal bench to gays?
The more than 50 open federal judgeships offer a prime opportunity for the Obama administration to promote greater LGBT diversity by naming out candidates to fill the spots, according to this article. There is only one known out federal judge, Deborah A. Batts, of the Southern District of New York, Bay Area Reporter notes.

-Have you heard that Ken Starr -- and the Prop 8 Legal Defense Fund -- filed legal briefs defending the constitutionality of Prop 8 and attempting to forcibly divorce 18,000 same-sex couples that were married in California last year? The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in this case on March 5, 2009, with a decision expected within the next 90 days. The Courage Campaign has created a video called "Fidelity," with the permission of musician Regina Spektor, that puts a face to those 18,000 couples and all loving, committed couples seeking full equality under the law. Please watch this heartbreaking video now. If you have the same reaction that I did, you can help spread the word by sharing it with your friends ASAP -- before the Valentine's Day deadline:

-GSU's experts on sex issues anger state legislator
A powerful state lawmaker believes Georgia's university system must not be too bad off financially if it can afford to employ experts in such subjects as oral sex and male prostitution.

-'Eleven Things About Sex Lawyers and Judges Should Know'
Publisher, Broward Law - Norm Kent
by Dr. Marty Klein
Because I periodically appear in court as an expert witness, and consult with lawyers and people in trouble, I've learned a bit about what attorneys and judges know about sex. Like physicians, physical therapists, and psychologists, it's very little. They really need to know more. Not about fallopian tubes and HIV, but about the role sex plays in real peoples' lives. About how they actually make decisions. And about how Americans are more similar to each other in the bedroom than the overheated rhetoric of Bill O'Reilly and the abstinence-only crowd suggests.

-Counterpoint: Why Hate Crimes Legislation is a Bad Idea

-With Sexual Liberty and Justice for All
The Focus on the Family ad screams above a waist-down shot of a man in combat boots waiting in front of a stall, toilet seat up, as a white girl in a long white smock, white shoes and bobby socks, sneaks open her stall door next to him. The message below blasts Colorado's Democratic governor and legislators for passing an anti-discrimination law to include sexual orientation and gender identity. After losing his campaign to kill the bill last spring, James Dobson, head of the Christian culture war powerhouse, warned "Every woman and little girl will have to fear that a predator, bisexual, cross-dresser or even a homosexual or heterosexual male might walk in and relieve himself in their presence."

-NJ: Palimony-in-Writing Bill Passed by N.J. Senate Judiciary Committee
The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approved bipartisan-sponsored legislation that would require all palimony agreements to be in writing and signed in order to be enforceable. The bill, S-2091, amends N.J.S.A. 25:1-5, which already requires that prenuptial agreements be put into writing, to include palimony agreements. It adds a new paragraph "h" stating: "A promise by one party to a non-marital personal relationship to provide support for the other party, either during the course of such relationship or after its termination" shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged.

-WY lesbian pol 'too lazy' to be closeted; Straight Mormons for gay rights
Cathy Connelly, Wyoming first and only out member of the state legislature says she's "far too lazy" to be closeted. And two straight Mormon politicians out there are supportive of gay civil rights.

-Effort to Track Sex Offenders Draws Resistance
An aggressive federal effort to keep track of sexual offenders is at risk of collapse because of objections from states and legal challenges from sex offenders and others. The effort, approved by Congress three years ago, requires all states to adopt strict standards for registering sex offenders and is meant to prevent offenders from eluding the authorities, especially when they move out of state.

-Obama's Deputy AG Nominee Under Fire for Porn Industry Ties
If you thought the attacks on Attorney General nominee Eric Holder were fierce, you ain't seen nothin' like the God-wrath visited upon David Ogden, President Obama's choice to fill what was Paul McNulty's job under Alberto Gonzales. McNulty, together with Kyle Sampson, Gonzales' Chief of Staff, were instrumental in the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys. At least two of those attorneys got the shaft, and another likely forced out of her job, because of their lack of interest in mounting anti-porn cases for Obscenity Prosecution Task Force czar Brent Ward, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah. Ogden was part of the defense team that helped scuttle the Justice Department's last attempt to prosecute Adam & Eve for mailing obscene materials to Utah. It's no surprise that Ward's supporters are up in arms against him.

-Canadian courts to test the boundaries between polygamous & same-sex unions

-CEOs, Bankers Used Corporate Credit Cards for Sex, Says New York Madam
Wall Street Exposed as Convicted Escort Boss Reveals Client List of 9,800 Wall street lawyers, investment bankers, CEOs and media executives often used corporate credit cards to pay for $2,000 an hour prostitutes, according to the madam who ran one of New York's biggest and most expensive escort services until it was busted last year. But prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's office chose not to pursue any of the corporate titans, says Kristin Davis, who pleaded guilty last year to charges of running a prostitution business that used more than a hundred women.

-Register now for the Ithaca College Sport, Sexuality, and Culture
The conference begins on Wednesday evening, March 18th with Tuti Scott, President of Imagine Philanthropy and former Chief External Affairs Officer for the omen's Sports Foundation; followed by a keynote address from internationally known expert in the area of masculinity, sport, and sexuality, Eric Anderson, who is a lecturer at the University of Bath. On Thursday, March 19th at 7:00pm, former NBA player, author, and entrepreneur, John Amaechi, will deliver the keynote address. The full schedule of events during the two and a half days of the conference can be found at

Palm Beach Human Rights Council

-University of South Florida: New scholarship supports LGBT community
The Alumni Association has developed the first endowed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) scholarship at USF. The idea started a year and a half ago as a $1,000 fund and is now a $29,000 endowment with a $20,000 donation from Dr. Karen Berkman, chair of USF's President's Committee on Issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (CISOGI). "We felt that this was something that we wanted to be at USF forever, and the only way to make that happen was to get an endowed scholarship fund," Berkman said. For a scholarship to become endowed, $25,000 must be raised. Once that amount is reached, the scholarship is essentially permanent and operates off of interest, she said. USF is now among the few public universities in Florida to offer such a scholarship, said Merrell Dickey, Alumni Association director of chapter and corporate relations.


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