Saturday, February 14, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 14, 2009

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Washington Post
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-SoCal octuplets mother now has agent, no publicist
The public relations group that has represented octuplets mother Nadya Suleman is stepping down because of death threats, its president said Saturday. Joann Killeen also said the mother now has an agent: Wes Yoder, the same man who arranged book and music deals for the McCaughey septuplets a decade ago and publicity for controversial pastor Rick Warren.

-Straight Couples in France Are Choosing Civil Unions Meant for Gays
By Edward Cody
Arnaud, 27, loves Aurélie. Aurélie, 25, loves Arnaud. After several years of sharing an apartment, they have decided they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

-Northampton, Mass.: Where the Alternative Goes Main Street
By Andrea Sachs
Growing up in western Massachusetts, I frequently wondered why my parents hadn't stopped their wagon in a more interesting destination such as Boston or New York. To quiet my mutterings, they would throw me into the car and drive up Interstate 91 to Northampton. On the ride back, I would be a very content kid, and not just because of the ice cream cone from Herrell's.

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-Openly gay candidates fail most bids for office in three Broward County cities
Low voter turnout, poor campaigning, inexperience cited in losses
By Anthony Man
Political activists in the gay community had high hopes for 2009, but openly gay candidates in three Broward County cities lost most of the contests they competed in this week. The highest profile contest was the Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. mayor's race. Mayor-elect Jack Seiler won more than 57 percent of the vote, which means he won the job without having to go through a runoff.,0,2809158.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Video | Gay wedding in Omaha: Gay American Heroes founder Scott Hall marries lesbian comic Christine O'Leary
From Scott Hall of Fort Lauderdale, founder of Gay American Heroes: Today at 9 AM, Douglas County Courthouse, Omaha, Nebraska issued a gay marriage license. In an act of demonstrating the lack of equality and protection and to protest Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) Lesbian Comedienne-Christine O'Leary and the founder of Gay American Heroes-Scott Hall, both openly gay, applied for and received a marriage license for the State of Nebraska, Douglas County. In Nebraska all that is needed to be married is 2 opposite gender people over the age of 19 and $20. Residency, love, heterosexuality or truth not required. Last year, 39 people were killed in American because they were gay. We do not have rights, equality or protection. The newly weds have registered for gifts as donations to

South Florida Blade
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-RockHard reaction: First 'adult' store opens in WilMa
For several months, there was speculation about what a storefront with a large sign saying "RockHard" on Wilton Drive was going to be. Some local residents thought it was going to be a clothing store. Some business people along the drive thought it was going to be a music store. As it turned out, it's the first adult toy store licensed in Wilton Manors.

-Three gay-rights bills clear hurdles, make it out of Utah House panel
Still long shots » Bills would provide legal protections to gay and transgender Utahns and pave the way for adoptions.
By Rosemary Winters
Three gay-rights bills, all sponsored by Salt Lake City Democrats, cleared legislative hurdles Friday. The measures, considered long shots, have made it out of the sometimes-bill-blocking House Rules Committee and scored public hearings.

The Advocate
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-Event 'Milk Skimmed' to Explore What the Film Was Missing
On Thursday, February 19, the San Francisco-based Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society will host "Milk Skimmed," a roundtable about what was left out of Gus Van Sant's Oscar-nominated movie. Despite Milk's critical acclaim, box-office success, and growing collection of awards, some historians say the movie sidelined many prominent activists for gay rights in the 1970s, including lesbians and people of color, who stood with gay hero Harvey Milk.

-Gay Rights Group Calls for Investigation of Haggard's Church
Truth Wins Out, a group that calls out antigay and "ex-gay" propaganda, is pushing for an investigation into Colorado's New Life Church after it was revealed the church paid to keep a male volunteer from publicly admitting an affair with its former minister, Ted Haggard.

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-Judges Paid to Put Kids in Jail
By Emma Ruby-Sachs, Blogger
I know this isn't an LGBT related story or even a national news piece, but the article in the New York Times this morning about the Pennsylvania justice system was so outraging, I had to write about it. Two judges, one president judge in control of budget and one overseeing the juvenile courts, were paid over 2.6 million dollars to keep two privately run juvenile detention centers filled. For some, this meant spending three months in jail for minor offences like creating a My Space page making fun of an assistant principal.

Pink News - UK
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-God Hates Fags church threatens to picket Basingstoke
A small religious community from Kansas notorious for picketing funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq have said they are to protest in England.

-Civil unions legislation passes first stage in Hawaii
A new law that would allow gay and lesbian couples in Hawaii to form a civil union has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

-Irish gay marriage activists plan Valentines Day carnival
A group advocating full marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples in Ireland will hold a 'love carnival for equality' in Dublin tomorrow.

-American TV station pulls homophobic infomercial after gay complaints
A local television station in the United States has pulled a one hour programme paid for by a notoriously homophobic "family" group.

-Transsexual wins battle to serve in Spain's armed forces
Trans people will be allowed to serve in the Spanish Armed Forces, the country's defence ministry has announced.

-Roman Catholic Church ready to fight gay equality in Portugal
The leaders of the Catholic Church in Portugal have been accused of interfering in the political process after the country's bishops said they would fight proposals to introduce gay marriage.

-Bill Clinton asked to cancel speaking event in row over Prop 8 donor
A coalition of gay groups and trade unions have appealed to former US President Bill Clinton to reconsider a speaking engagement at a San Diego hotel this Sunday.

-Cambodia to ban foreign gays from adopting children
New rules on foreign adoption in Cambodia will ban a range of foreigners from the process. Gay people, single people, those on a "low income" and those who already have two children will not be able to adopt.

-Outrage as Jamaican MP asks why "violent" gays are allowed gun licences
Gay equality activists in Jamaica have reacted with disgust at the latest homophobic outburst from one of the island's politicians

Daily Queer News
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-Letter: Gay Liberation Network and Israel
Gay Liberation Network
I initially missed the Jan. 21 letter from Gay Liberation Network [Chicago] defending their mixing of issues, specifically why they believe it is important for a gay organization to demonstrate in opposition to Israel. Meanwhile, I attended GLN's open meeting Feb. 4 because I had heard (and seen on their Web site) that they were endorsing a picket of Israel's modern dance company, Bathseva, during its appearance in Chicago. Some who were present at that meeting agreed with me that the picket of a cultural organization from the one country in the Middle East where it is actually safe to be gay and out made very little sense from the perspective of gay rights. The initial claim was that the picket was a protest of the war in Gaza. But when I saw GLN's Jan. 21 letter, the real reason became clear. Rejecting the argument that Israel "has a right to defend itself," the letter expressed, in the name of the organization, opposition to "60 years of Israeli occupation." This line is the key to understanding GLN's position on Israel: "60 years" means the entire history of Israel as a state. In GLN's view, Israel has no right to exist at all. Why not forge alliances with progressive forces in other countries that support gay rights? Jerusalem Open House [Israel], for example, runs a Web site that is accessed by gays and lesbians in other countries of the Middle East because it is a source of information and support hard to get in their home countries. Rather than highlight organizations within Israel that work for gay rights, GLN seems to seek opportunities - in the name of Gay rights - to oppose the existence of an entire country. There are issues on which I am an ally, but I cannot work with GLN.
-Rabbi Laurence Edwards: Congregation Or Chadash [Chicago]

-NGLCC Adopts Its Own Economic Stimulus Plan for LGBT Businesses
National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
Congress may be slow adopting an economic stimulus plan for the nation, but the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is moving swiftly to enact an initiative that will assist LGBT business owners in this tough economy. The NGLCC "economic stimulus" plan for LGBT businesses is aimed at companies looking to certify their businesses for the first time or for those seeking recertification in 2009. "This is a win-win for everyone," says Victoria Fulkerson, senior manager, Supplier Diversity and Corporate Relations at NGLCC. "During a difficult economy, the NGLCC is especially sensitive to the needs of LGBT businesses that are looking for ways to make important connections with corporations and other LGBT owned businesses." "Our NGLCC stimulus plan gives LGBT businesses seeking certification or looking to renew their certification a valuable discount on registration at the Out for Business conference where they can immediately put their certification to use." Read more

-Wanda Sykes to Entertain at Correspondents' Dinner
ERIN CARLSON | The Associated Press | Washington Post
NEW YORK - Wanda Sykes will soon get the chance to make fun of President Barack Obama to his face. The comic actress said Thursday that she has been selected as the entertainer at the annual White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner in Washington, slated for May 9. Obama is expected to attend the black-tie affair at the Washington Hilton and to follow in his predecessors' tradition by putting on a comedy act of his own. The guest list of some 2,000 people will likely include the usual mix of Washington elite, White House press corps and Hollywood celebrities. "The first thing I did when they asked me to do this gig _ I made sure my taxes were paid," quipped Sykes, taking a dig at the withdrawal of former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle from Obama's cabinet due to unpaid taxes. Read more


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