Sunday, February 22, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 22, 2009

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New York Times
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-A Reconciliation on Gay Marriage
IN politics, as in marriage, moments come along when sensitive compromise can avert a major conflict down the road. The two of us believe that the issue of same-sex marriage has reached such a point now.

-This Is the Way the Culture Wars End
Washington: PRESIDENT OBAMA wants to end the culture wars. He recently called for "common ground" on abortion reduction and an end to the "stale and fruitless debate" over family planning. His joint address to Congress this week could be an opportunity to change that debate. But to make a real difference, he'll have to tell two truths that the left and the right don't want to hear: that morality has to be practical, and that practicality requires morals.

-Rupert Everett Is Not Having a Midlife Crisis
The first apartment never had a chance. "That's very bad luck, isn't it?" Rupert Everett said, looking dolefully at a sparsely decorated Christmas tree on a late January afternoon. Everett flew in from London the night before, and this was one of six places he was scheduled to see that day. He actually owns a house in Greenwich Village that has a long-term tenant, so he and Brian Babst, his broker from the Corcoran Group, were hunting for an urban paradise with a six-month lease. On March 15, Everett will make his Broadway debut in a revival of Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit," co-starring Angela Lansbury, and before rehearsals had even begun, his dry-martini delivery was pitch-perfect.

Washington Post
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-McDonnell Casts Himself As a More Moderate Choice
By Marc Fisher
Democrats don't yet claim Virginia as their own, but they have won two straight governor's races, both U.S. Senate seats, two out of three House seats in the Washington suburbs and a majority in the state Senate. So who does the Republican Party choose to pry the door to the Washington suburbs back open?

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-Tennis: Players' support of Peer just empty words, no action
February 22, 2009
It needed far more than "peer" pressure from the top women tennis players to force the United Arab Emirates government to rescind their outlandish decision to deny Israel's Shahar Peer entry into their country, thus keeping her out of this week's WTA Dubai Tennis Championships.,0,6273411.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Accused killer of gay man on trial in Polk County, Fla.
A year ago, I wrote about the Gay American Heroes Foundation, a group dedicated to raising awareness about hate crimes against gay people. The March 2007 death of 25-year-old Ryan Keith Skipper (pictured above) -- stabbed 20 times and dumped on a roadside in Winter Haven -- spurred Scott Hall to form the Heroes Foundation.

Daily Queer News
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-Gay. And Republican. And Not Confused.
Alex Knepper | Independent Gay Forum
First published in the American University Eagle on February 16, 2009 I am a gay Republican. I am not "self-hating." I am not confused. I am comfortable enough with my sexuality to think of myself in terms of traits other than simply my sexual orientation. I believe that my attraction to the same sex should have no bearing to my thoughts on tax policy, trade, foreign affairs or abortion. I believe that my sexuality is merely an incidental part of my life and should not be a major factor in my decision-making.
I am aware that there is a rich tradition of intellectualism, secularism and equality within the Republican Party outside of the Religious Right. I am aware that Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney hold the same positions on gay rights. I am aware that Bill Clinton signed into law the last major anti-gay piece of legislation passed by Congress - the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. I am self-respecting enough to know that the words of the Democrats on gay rights are no substitute for their lack of action. Read more

-GA: Morehouse Under Fire Again for Alleged Homophobia
DYANA BAGBY | Southern Voice
A Morehouse College student newspaper column titled "Is Gay the Way?" has caused a stir in Atlanta as well as the national blogosphere, with many gay and transgender activists accusing the writer of being homophobic. The opinion article, published Feb. 16 in The Maroon Tiger, questioned masculine norms at the all-male historically black college. Gerren Gaynor, who wrote the column and serves as the paper's associate opinions editor, said his message has been misunderstood. "In no way was my article an anti-gay piece," said Gaynor, a sophomore English major.
"While I do agree that I went about my topic the wrong way - and please be advised that this was an article done over night for a weekly college publication - it is completely wrong to disregard the feelings of other students on campus, gay and straight, because every homosexual is not comfortable with seeing a man with feminine qualities," he said. "Nowhere in my article do I attack gays. The article is strictly a critique on gender norms." Read more

-Gays Losing Ground to God
In Pakistan, the government dumped democracy in the violent Shat region, agreeing on February 16 to institute homo-cidal Sharia law in exchange for the Taliban there laying down their arms, or at least not killing the local cops.
In the US, meanwhile, Obama's pushing ahead with his faith-based funding, dumping money in social service programs run by religious groups that - to less deadly effect - also encourage the hatred of queers, the subjugation of women, as well as the extraordinary misconception that science is nothing more than a wacky belief system on the same plain of reality as flying carpets and time machines. Nevertheless, some dead guy on a cross coming back to life is the "gospel" truth, and if we don't accept him as our personal savior we're more or less banned from running for public office, not to mention on a one-way ticket to hell.
And Gallup celebrated the birth of Darwin last week by asking citizens if they believed in evolution, and by the very shape of its question lending credence to the "No" that 39 percent of my glorious confreres offered in response. Perhaps next time around they'll ask if we "believe" that the earth is round. I'll stick to the obvious and give it a definite "No." Read more

-Iran's Hidden History
DOUG IRELAND | Gay City News
Janet Afary's new work of historical scholarship, "Sexual Politics in Modern Iran," will be published in late March by Cambridge University Press. When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his infamous claim at a September 2007 Columbia University appearance that ""In Iran, we don't have homosexuals like in your country," the world laughed at the absurdity of this pretense. Now, a forthcoming book by a leading Iranian scholar in exile, which details both the long history of homosexuality in that nation and the origins of the campaign to erase its traces, not only provides a superlative reply to Ahmadinejad, but demonstrates forcefully that political homophobia was a Western import to a culture in which same-sex relations were widely tolerated and frequently celebrated for well over a thousand years. "Sexual Politics in Modern Iran," to be published at the end of next month by Cambridge University Press, is a stunningly researched history and analysis of the evolution of gender and sexuality that will provide a transcendent tool both to the vibrant Iranian women's movement today fighting the repression of the ayatollahs and to Iranian same-sexers hoping for liberation from a theocracy that condemns them to torture and death. Read more

-Minnesota's Gay Republican Senator Koering Answers Questions about His Anti-Equality Vote with Nasty Email
Waymon Hudson | The Bilerico Project Report
Wow. If this is "damage control", I'd hate to see him stick his foot in his mouth! State Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley Minnesota, is answering those who are asking him about his statement that he will not vote for the Marriage and Family Protection Act, a bill that would make Minnesota's marriage laws gender-neutral, allowing same-sex couples many of the rights currently denied by Minnesota statute. And let's just say the response is a little. odd, to say the least. And angry. And mean. And rude. And not going to help with his image problems.The angry missive is apparently a form letter fired off by his Legislative Assistant to everyone who emailed. It basically attacks anyone who is "wasting the senator's time" with their concerns about his vote and hides behind a weak "it's the will of his constituents" argument. You know, because leaders shouldn't lead or do the right thing- just bend to the mob mentality of small minds. Read the entire email response after the jump. Read more


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