Thursday, February 12, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 12, 2009

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Washington Post
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-Same-sex couples rally for marriage rights
Hundreds of same-sex couples, part of a nationwide protest, are lining up to be turned away by the New York City marriage bureau. As they walked away without marriage licenses Thursday, they wore signs saying, "Just Not Married."

Wall Street Journal

-A Virtual Matchmaker for Volunteers
Many Americans fortunate enough to have a solid job in a soft economy -- or newfound free time due to a layoff -- may consider participating in volunteer work to make use of their time and talents. Indeed, President Barack Obama has stumped for volunteerism in recent television commercials, urging Americans to pitch in around their communities during a difficult time.

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-Gay Travel
An influential tourism group, The International Gay & Lesbian Travel
Association, picked Fort Lauderdale to host its 2011 convention over such popular destinations as Chicago and Philadelphia. About 1,200 people are expected to attend, each staying an average four days and spending about $1,700, Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, said on Wednesday.,0,6211298,print.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Women's events planned for Winter Party Festival
From Yesi Leon: 2 great events for the Women's Winter Party
Women's Art Exhibit- Thursday February 26 - 7-10 PM
Fache Arts & Amy Alonso Gallery ,
750 NE 124th Street, Suite 2 , Miami
Guests enjoy a showcase of works by local artists at a reception featuring wine and hors d'oeuvres.

South Florida Blade
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-Utah: Protesters decry governor's civil union support
Dozens of protesters gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday to express their anger with Gov. Jon Huntsman for saying he supports civil unions.

The Advocate
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-Michigan TV Station Ditches Plans to Air Antigay "Infomercial"
A Michigan television station has rescinded its offer to air an hour-long antigay "infomercial" produced by the American Family Association this weekend on the heels of a campaign by the Human Rights Campaign to have the program yanked from airwaves.

-Naugle Out, Gay Candidates Defeated in Fort Lauderdale Race
Jack Seiler defeated three other candidates, including two gay hopefuls, to take over as mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a city that has been rocked by its outgoing mayor's numerous tirades against gay residents.

-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. Huntsman was responding to a pair of Common Ground bills, backed by Equality Utah, the first of which would make it illegal to fire or evict someone for being gay or transgender. The other would establish a domestic partnership registry for inheritance and medical-decision making benefits.

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-Rachel and the hooker guy
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Wednesday's Rachel Maddow Show started us off with a bang - or at least with some yelling-at-bankers porn, which is almost as satisfying. In addition to the red-hot CEO-shaming footage, Rachel gave us a visit with Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

-Do a good deed for Valentine's Day
By James Withers
Valentine's Day is evil. Oh sure, short fat Cupid is all smiles with his arrows and talk of love, but he is the spawn of Satan. And if you doubt, then you've not listened to Nina Simone's "The Other Woman."

Pink News - UK
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-Iranian lesbian granted asylum in the UK
By Staff Writer,
A gay woman has been granted refugee status after three years battling the UK's asylum system.

-Gay humanists back Dutch MP's right to criticise Islam
A gay humanist group has said the Home Secretary was wrong to ban a Dutch MP who is critical of Islam.

-Hungarian government proposes registered same-sex partnerships
The Hungarian Government has approved a new bill on registered partnerships. It replaces a previous law on registered partnership that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in December, just weeks before its was due to come into force.

Daily Queer News
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-Gay-Marriage Opponents in Maine Launch Website
Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine
The image of a straight couple holding their young son - all three bright and blond - graces the home page of the Maine Marriage Initiative website, which is devoted to opposing a newly introduced gay marriage bill in the Maine Legislature. "Families should be strengthened . not redefined," the text reads. The newly-launched website urges visitors to contact their legislators, join their Facebook social group, and offers information about the gay marriage bill. At a press conference last month, Democratic Senator Dennis S. Damon announced that he would introduce the gay marriage bill surrounded by members of several prominent gay groups - including Equality Maine, the Maine Civil Liberties Union, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, and the Maine Women's Lobby - and gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry. Read more

-FL: Fort Lauderdale Free from Anti-Gay Mayor
Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine
Voters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida have decided on who'll replace anti-gay Mayor Jim Naugle. In a nonpartisan primary yesterday, the citizens of Fort Lauderdale voted in Jack Seiler, who, because he won a majority (57%) of the vote, will go on to become mayor, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. Seiler is not necessarily a gay-affirming candidate, but even that must seem palatable to the gay and lesbian community that has so often been ridiculed by its mayor over the years. Two of the four candidates running - former city commissioner and gay activist Dean Trantalis and businessman Earl Rynerson - said they pursued the job because of the mayor's anti-gay stance. Read more

-Macedonia President Race Tackles Gay Rights
Balkan Insight
Macedonia's presidential candidates sparred over the issue of gay rights on Tuesday with the conservative frontrunner saying there is no discrimination but homosexuals are paranoid, while the socialist runner-up called for more protection of sexual freedom of choice. The debate in Macedonia started with a statement of Georgi Ivanov, the presidential candidate of the ruling conservative VMRO DPMNE party. "Our system discriminates against noone. Homosexuals stigmatize themselves and think they are in an underprivileged position", Ivanov told the local daily Spic. Asked to comment on the same issue, Ljubomir Frckoski, the candidate backed by the main opposition party ,the Social Democrats, said he supported all groups that faced discrimination. Read more

-Transgender Activist Threatened with Death
Big Gay News
Police officers are alleged to have beaten up a transgender woman, who is an HIV/AIDS campaigner and sex worker, after she refused to give them her money. They subsequently threatened her with death if she reported the incident. Her life is at risk. Three other transgender women have been killed in a nearby area in the last three months. Four police officers in a police car approached the transgender woman, who has asked Amnesty International to withhold her name, at about 12.40am on 20 December 2008 in the Palmira district of the capital, Tegucigalpa. She was working as a sex worker at the time. The police officers tried to rob her but, when she resisted, they grabbed her by the hair and repeatedly smashed her head against a nearby window, breaking the glass. She received numerous cuts to her face and knees. The officers then said that they were arresting the woman for breaking a window in order to gain forcible entry to private property. The officers took her to the local police station, and then to a local health centre to be treated for her wounds. Since she was bleeding, she informed the officers that she was HIV positive and the officers replied by saying "AIDS bitch, people like you should be in a separate place" (perra sidosa, gente como Ustedes tiene que estar en un lugar aparte) While on their way, the officers also told her "if you speak out, we will leave you dead in the countryside" (si hablas, te dejaremos muerta en el monte). She was taken back to the police station and was released without charge at around 11.30am. She has recently filed a formal complaint with the Human Rights section of the Public Prosecutor's Office about this incident. Link

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Hungarian Government Approves New Registered Partnership Bill
Budapest, February 11, 2009 - The Hungarian Government has approved today a new bill on registered partnership. The bill replaces a previous law on registered partnership that was struck down by the Constitutional Court in December 2008 just weeks before its supposed entry into force. As opposed to the previous version, the new bill introduces the institution of registered partnership only for same sex couples, however, it also introduces a different scheme of domestic partnership registration for both same sex and different sex couples. Support for the bill in the Parliament is still an open question.

Chronicle of Higher Education

-Georgia Legislators Less Inflamed by Sex Researchers
The dustup over Georgia State University faculty members who study racy-sounding topics such as male prostitution and oral sex has died down after two of the researchers explained their work to state legislators.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Artist, exhibit sponsor face off over abstract nude paintings
A battle over what constitutes "overtly sexual" art unfolded on Long Beach's trendy main thoroughfare on Monday, with an artist demanding that two of her abstract nudes be put back up on the walls of a public exhibition organized by a program that deemed them offensive.,0,2515704.story

-Porn Star Stormy Daniels to Take on Sexual Hypocrite Sen. David Vitter?
Sen. David Vitter's phone number was found in the records of the notorious D.C. madam. Now he faces re-election (and massive karmic payback) against a sultry adult entertainer named Stormy. Max Blumenthal has an exclusive interview. With 2010 midterm elections approaching, Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter is positioning himself as a leading conservative stalwart. In July 2008, Vitter joined accused bathroom-stall sex solicitor Sen. Larry Craig in co-sponsoring the anti-gay-marriage Marriage Protection Amendment, then addressed a massive antiabortion rally on the National Mall three days after Barack Obama's inauguration. Vitter was also the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's lone vote against sending Hillary Clinton's secretary of State nomination to the Senate floor.

-We would like to announce Ali and Mohammad left India to Canada today. In July 17, 08 we call to action for Ali and Mohammad, an Iranian gay couple asylum seeker in India who needs urgent support by Canadian Embassy there. "UNHCR submitted our case as "urgent" and "high priority" for resettlement to the Canadian embassy in New Delhi. The Canadian embassy started processing on our application on May 17, 2007, and we completed interviews with the Canadian embassy on July 19, 2007. We even received our health checkups in the same week. However, we are still waiting for our process to be complete so that we can resettle in a safer country." They said in their telephone conversation in July 2008. You can find more information on IRQR website in Queer Refugee page.

-Downsized Nine-to-Fivers Turn to Kinky Sex Work
"I've seen it before," says Linda, "during the tech bust in 2002. Women who thought they would always make a decent living in the tech sector lost their jobs." They came looking to Linda's industry for freelance work, and now it's happening again: professional women whose cubicle-bound careers have been downsized are entering Linda's corner of the "gig economy" -- a corner that involves whips, ropes, and occasionally, nipple clamps. With staff jobs evaporating and former nine-to-fivers cobbling together incomes through scattered side projects, freelancing as a dominatrix -- or "pro-domme," as industry types prefer to call it -- has become a plausible gig option.

-Selective Prosecution of Males in Underage Sex Cases?
A 14-year-old Massachusetts boy has been charged with various sex crimes for his involvement in sexual game-playing with three girls aged 12 and 11. Although he too is a minor, the state declined to charge the girls with any wrongdoing. Strange as it may seem to say, that type of sexual behavior among children that young is not all that unusual these days. Where the plot thickens, though is that his attorney moved the court for an order requiring the state to produce documents showing that its prosecution of the boy was not sexually motivated. That is, he's claiming that the state discriminates against boys in its decisions about prosecution in sex cases involving minors. The state vociferously objected to the defense motion, but the trial court ruled for the boy and the Supreme Judicial Court agreed.

-Young Black Men Unaware of H.I.V. Risks, Survey Finds

HeartStrong - February Update

-We are busy in the SE doing outreach work over the next month or so. We've already done one HeartStrong Educational Forum in Lakeland FL. This coming Sunday the Atlanta chapter of PFLAG is hosting us and we will be having an HS Forum at their regular meeting. For location and time go to

-On Sunday the 22, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga, TN will be hosting us for a Forum during their regular morning service. This is our only visit to TN this year.

-We still have 9 additional forums to do and tons of outreach work. We recently spent an afternoon here in FL in the parking lot of an office building for the Seventh Day Adventist church. We left our GLBT friendly "tracts" under windshield wipers and even got to hand them personally to people coming and going from the building. We believe there is no bad way to get our life saving information to people. Maybe most of the people who get our info throw it away. But we are reaching for that one person who needs to know they are not alone, that one parent who needs to know how to respond to their child coming out as GLBT or that one teacher from that one school who is ready to begin living an honest life. Our work can be tedious but we believe that it is effective and our success is realized through the lives we have saved, the families put back together and knowing that everything we do counts. You can help us in our work. Maybe you can't drive around the country and personally visit schools and pass out materials. But you can empower us to do it. We've been doing our outreach and educational work since 1996 and we are only able to do it because of the sacrifical giving of our HeartStrong friends. Thanks for you time!
Marc Adams
Founder/Executive Director, HeartStrong


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