Saturday, February 21, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 21, 2009

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Washington Post
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-Mich. court recognizes Ill. adoption by gay couple
Michigan courts can oversee a custody dispute between lesbian parents who adopted in Illinois even though Michigan doesn't formally recognize gay relationships, the state Court of Appeals said Friday. The court ruled 2-1 that the U.S. Constitution requires state courts to recognize Diane Giancaspro and Lisa Congleton as adoptive parents. It reversed a trial judge who said Michigan's 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban kept her from enforcing the women's parental rights.

-Utah lawmaker's gay comments cost him chairmanship
A Utah state senator on Friday was kicked off a judicial committee he chaired after he drew criticism for comparing gay activists to radical Muslims in an interview aired this week. Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, also told former local television reporter Reed Cowan, an openly gay documentary producer who now works at a Miami station, that gay activists are "probably the greatest threat to America going down."

-Monkey Business: The good news for men: Women love apes
By Gene Weingarten
In a study described recently in the New York Times, men and women were shown various types of sexually explicit videos, and sensors were attached to their private parts to measure their physical arousal. The subjects were also asked to rate their degree of arousal themselves. The study found that men were completely predictable: Straight men reported they were turned on only by images of women, and the machine confirmed that. Same with gay men and images of men. But while women of both orientations reported similarly gender-specific responses, the machine called them liars. The sensors reported that all women were turned on by absolutely everything ... including videos of bonobos having sex. Bonobos are apes

-Work That Tiara, Boy!: GMU's Choice of Homecoming Queen Sparks Campus Divide
By Annie Gowen
Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen [gay] and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps.

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-Recession's ironic gift: gender equality
There are a whole lot of folks who once looked forward to the day when women would become equal participants in the work force with men. What they didn't predict was that women might finally reach the goal of equality, less because they scaled the heights than because men slipped downward. Women now hold more than 49 percent of jobs on the nation's payrolls. If we cross the 50 percent line, it will be because men are losing their jobs even faster than women.,0,6014607.story

Pink News - UK
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-Asian countries urged to follow China and decriminalise gay sex
By Tony Grew
The fight against HIV in Asia could be greatly assisted if countries moved to legalise homosexuality, according to a leading Chinese AIDS activist.

-US state moves to grant workplace protection to LGBT people
By Staff Writer,
The state Senate of North Dakota has passed legislation that will bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in matters of employment.

-Italian activists to protest against "ex-gay" song at national festival
By Staff Writer,
A coalition of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights groups in Italy plan to protest at a major music event in Italy tomorrow after the inclusion of a song about a gay man "turning" straight.

-Wisconsin will face challenge to domestic partnerships from 'family' groups
By Staff Writer,
The Governor of the US state of Wisconsin has announced plans to introduce domestic partnerships.

-British evangelical condemnation of God Hates Fags sect questioned
By Staff Writer,
A leading religious commentator has questioned why British fundamentalist Christian groups that oppose gay rights have spoken out against a hate preacher from America.

-Jacqui Smith ordered to bring gay asylum seeker back to UK
By Rachel Charman
The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been ordered by the High Court to have a gay asylum seeker, removed from the UK, brought back to Britain.

Daily Queer News
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-What in the Name of the Crusades are Tennessee Evangelicals Doing in Kurdish Iraq?
Bill Berkowitz | Religion Dispatches
While most Religion Dispatches readers are familiar with the growing influence of Christian Zionists and their close relationship with Israel, few are probably aware of the penetration of American evangelicals into Northern Iraq. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, a number of fundamentalist Christian organizations announced plans to participate in the future rebuilding effort. At the time, the Rev. Franklin Graham indicated that his organization, Samaritan's Purse, would lead the way. Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham, who shortly after September 11, got himself into a bit of a pickle by lashing out at all Muslims, famously calling Islam "a very evil and wicked religion," was now poised-with US troops about to march into Baghdad-to organize welcome wagons stuffed with Bibles and bandages. Read more

-Groups Condemn Jamaican Lawmaker's Anti-Gay Remarks
On Top Magazine
Rights groups are calling for Jamaican leaders to condemn the comments of a lawmaker who has called for life imprisonment for being gay. On February 10, Ernest Smith, a Jamaica Labor Party parliamentarian, described gay men and lesbians as "abusive" and "violent," and called for tightening of Jamaica's law that outlaws being gay. Smith said the law should impose sentences of up to life in prison. Six days later, Smith told a Jamaican newspaper that J-FLAG, the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, "should be outlawed." Smith said, "How can you legitimize an organization that is formed for the purposes of committing criminal offenses?" Read more

-No Turning Back: An Interview with Billie Jean King
James LaRosa |
Ten years after the 1999 Australian Open, where Amelie Mauresmo publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian, Billie Jean King spoke to about her own rocky coming out nearly three decades ago. King, the first prominent athlete to come out, was forced to do so after she was outed in a 1981 palimony suit filed by her ex-lover.
James LaRosa: What were your emotions back then, after having just been outed?
Billie Jean King: I felt very violated. I felt blackmailed. And yet I want to tell the truth. I argued with my publicist and my lawyer for two days so I could do that press conference. They didn't want me to do it, but I was insistent. I did the right thing. It's better to tell the truth. Within 24 hours I lost all my future income. I was just getting ready to leave the game. And I had all these wonderful contracts happening. And I was finally going to make some money. Because my generation didn't make any of the big bucks the way the next generation did. It was really an important time for me to have my financial security, and that wasn't going to happen. I think all that helped though. I think every time somebody comes out, it just pushes us forward. It's harder for people once they know you. They have a harder time thinking it's wrong. Read more

South Florida Blade
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-Gay Voices Were Heard in City Elections
Despite low voter turnout, GLBT advances made in Feb. election
Some people in the gay community may be disappointed that Fort Lauderdale did not elect a gay mayor, but there is more still to be proud about. In the media, some have suggested gays failed. Not so. First of all, two credible gay candidates marshaled nearly 40% of the vote in a city where our outgoing mayor spent the last two years demeaning our credibility.

-Apathy is our biggest enemy: Why gay candidates didn't win elections
The tension between the Trantalis and Rynerson campaigns was infamous. Here we had two gay candidates for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale running against another man (Jack Seiler), who got a tap on the back from the most homophobic mayor in the United States - Jim Naugle. The Trantalis and Rynerson campaigns seemed to minimize each other as interlopers and unworthy opponents. Then of course, after the "big gay loss" to Seiler was confirmed, there was a lot of sarcasm and huffing about how the "average" voters had spoken.

The Advocate
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-Campus Pride Honors Three LGBT Students With Voice & Action Awards
Campus Pride honored three college students this past week with Voice & Action Leadership Awards for being young adult role models and activists within the LGBT community. The three college seniors, Celso Perez from Boston College, Shawna Scott from the University of Georgia, and Justin Hager from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have each contributed to the fight for LGBT equality at university, local, and national levels.

-Expect White Knots on Oscar's Red Carpet
Celebrities have often donned ribbons, a small yet public statement that has helped garner visibility and publicity for various causes -- red ribbons for AIDS awareness, pink for breast cancer. For this Sunday's Oscars, expect white knots. The white ribbons symbolize support for marriage equality: As the group behind the ribbons declares on its website, "Everyone should have the right to tie the knot."

-U.S-Backed Nondiscrimination Statement Fails
A version of an international statement condemning violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation backed by the United States failed to win approval this week by participating nations of the Durban Review Conference.

-New York Post Cartoonist Incites Outrage, Protests
New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, whose work earned a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation citation for Worst Defamation in 2008, has found himself in hot water again -- this time for a cartoon printed in the Post February 18. The cartoon, intending to combine and parody two recent news stories, depicts police having killed a chimpanzee and then remarking, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The quote was clearly intended to be a not-so-subtle reference to President Obama.

-Mitcham Named Aussie Health Ambassador
Gay Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham was named Thursday to be one of his country's ambassadors for men's health. The Australian diver, who won the 10-meter platform competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will be an advocate for the country's policy on men's health.

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-Grisly details of gay man's death presented to jury
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
02.20.2009 4:56pm EST
(Bartow, Florida) Several members of the jury considering the fate of the first of two men accused of killing Ryan Skipper in 2007 were visibly shaken by autopsy photos of the 25-year old gay man. The pictures showed that his throat had been slashed and there were multiple stab wounds - as many as 20- covering his torso. There was blood covering his back and shoulders. Joseph Bearden, a known methamphetamine addict, is accused of robbing, killing Skipper, and dumping his body. He has pleaded not guilty. Bearden's co-defendant, William Brown Jr., will be tried separately.

-Withers: Homophobes need to stay away from microphones
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
What is the deal with raving mad bigots and microphones? Remember a few years back when retired NBA player Tim Hardaway had a radio melt-down and let folk know how he wasn't drinking any gay loving juice? "You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," Hardaway said. "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

-Anti-gay group blasts Log Cabin leader
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The conservative Americans for Truth About Homosexuality is demanding the Republican Party reprimand Jamie Ensley, the president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans for calling the AFTAH a "radical Christian domestic terrorist group" and comparing it to Nazis.

-Gay imprisonment bill dies in Burundi Senate
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Bujumbura) Legislation making changes to Burundi's criminal code that would have made homosexuality a criminal offense has been overwhelmingly defeated in the central African nation's Senate.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Iran: Two young men to be thrown off cliff (punishment reserved to homosexuals)
"According to the daily Quds, two youths will be thrown into a precipice in the vicinity of the city of Shiraz. The sentencing of the two youths was confirmed on January 2 by the Supreme Court and the Regional Justice is preparing the execution. Tayab and Yazdan will be enclosed in a bag before being thrown into the ravine at the top of a cliff. This unimaginable penalty is reserved for homosexuals according to the laws "full of love and light" of the Shariah. According to the Shariah, if both men survive this fall, they will be hanged." [...] The executions will be carried out by putting each youth in a sack and throwing them off the top of a cliff and into a ravine and this form of execution under Shariah law is normally reserved for those convicted of gay offences (lavat). But there is no mention of 'lavat' in the Quds report of this case. [...] Also included and charged in the same case were four others who are to receive 100 lashes each.

-Video of above -

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-National Lesbian Health Summit
Expanding our Movement
March 6-8, 2009, San Francisco, CA

-What Kind of Boss Does Barack Obama Want to Be?
by Joan Garry

-North Dakota measure says fertilized egg has human rights

-New York's Proposed 'Entertainment Tax' May Be Unconstitutional
As part of an attempt to plug a $15 billion deficit in the New York state budget, Gov. David Paterson has called upon legislators to approve a 4 percent tax on "digitally delivered entertainment services" - including iPod downloads and online porn.

-Indiana Legislature Says "No" to Marriage Discrimination Amendment
Credit for this success is due to the diligent and continuing efforts of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers, friends and allies. Indiana Equality Action and its coalition partners - the Human Rights Campaign, Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Indianapolis Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination, Stop the Amendment, Citizens for Civil Rights and regional coordinating committees - thank people throughout the state for contacting their legislators to tell them hate and intolerance have no place in our state constitution.

-Indiana University Student adviser honored with award for human rights work

-Why we don't need to make polygamy a crime
Whatever you may have heard, the case of Winston Blackmore and James Oler, the fundamentalist Mormon preachers from Bountiful, B.C. whose polygamy case goes to trial next week, is not about religious freedom. Nor is it about gay marriage, or child abuse, or any of the other extraneous issues with which partisans of one stripe or another would like to festoon the debate. It certainly isn't about whether the two men are guilty of the crime of polygamy under Section 293 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits "any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage." The defence does not contest the charges, but rather intends to argue the law is a violation of their freedom of religion as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights.

From Steve Krantz
PFLAG Director, Southern Pacific Region, and National Board Member,

- 13 Love Stories on Youtube - these are terrific

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-New Landmark Publication By Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal Offers Legal Options To Those Hurt By Ex-Gay Programs
If You Have Been Harmed By 'Ex-Gay' Programs, 'Ex-Gay & The Law' Is For You


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