Monday, February 23, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 23, 2009

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New York Times
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-Hawaii Debates Same-Sex Unions
Hawaii has become the latest battleground in the fight for same-sex civil unions. A measure legalizing such unions passed in the State House this month, and it now goes before the Senate, where a divided committee is scheduled to vote on Tuesday.

Washington Post
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-Penn wins best-actor Oscar
His name is Sean Penn, and he is here to recruit you. Penn won his second Academy Award for best actor Sunday night for his moving portrayal of slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk in "Milk." The win follows his first best-actor award for 2003's "Mystic River."

Wall Street Journal

-Live Blogging the Oscars
Kim Masters offers her real-time take on the Oscars telecast
11:57 p.m. -- And the Oscar goes to... You guessed it. How cute are those kids? Well, in conclusion, I'm going to guess that the show wasn't different enough to make a difference. It's not the producer's fault. The format is too confining. And the movies were too uncommercial to save the ratings, I'm guessing (again).

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-HAWAII: Vote on civil unions
Hawaii, the state that adopted the nation's first "defense of marriage" constitutional amendment a decade ago, has now become the latest battleground in the fight for same-sex civil unions. It would become the fifth state to legalize the alternative to gay marriage if the Democrat-dominated Legislature and Republican governor approve a civil union law. The measure was passed by the state House this month but it faces the Senate, where a divided committee is to vote Tuesday.,0,213022.story

Miami Herald
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-Sean Penn wins best-actor Oscar for `Milk'
His name is Sean Penn, and he is here to recruit you. Penn won his second Academy Award for best actor Sunday night for his moving portrayal of slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk in "Milk." The win follows his first best-actor award for 2003's "Mystic River."

-Bill Moyers' Journal, gay-bashing edition
Of all the second acts in American public life, none has amazed me more than that of Bill Moyers. He spent the first decade of his adult life as one of Lyndon Johnson's dirtiest henchmen. His work on Johnson's vicious 1964 presidential campaign is probably worth an entire book by itself: Moyers helped thwart the seating of an integrated delegation from Mississippi at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, and asked the FBI to investigate 15 members of the Senate staff of Johnson's opponent, Barry Goldwater. Other lowlights include Moyers giving the FBI the okay to spread dirty stories about Martin Luther King's sex life, and his ongoing role spinning fanciful tales about the war in Vietnam as Johnson's press secretary from 1965 to 1967.

-Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter forges bond with Obama administration
Northland church's pastor Joel Hunter sits on President Obama's religious advisory council.
Joel Hunter -- Christian evangelical, pastor of a Central Florida megachurch and lifelong Republican -- gave the benediction at the Democratic National Convention. He prayed with Barack Obama on Election Day, and rode to the inauguration with Oprah.

South Florida Blade
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-Marriage ruling gave gay people legal protection
By Greg Moran
Tucked deep within the state Supreme Court's sweeping decision in May that struck down same-sex-marriage bans for a time is a single sentence that will have a significant effect for years - regardless of any new turns in the same-sex-marriage debate.

The Advocate
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-Elton John to Reinvent Jane Austen
Elton John's Rocket Pictures is hoping to reinvent the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice with an extraterrestrial twist. The period drama will deviate from its course when an alien crash-landing disrupts the life of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Predator, reports Daily Variety. "It felt like a fresh and funny way to blow apart the done-to-death Jane Austen genre by literally dropping this alien into the middle of a costume drama, where he stalks and slashes to horrific effect," David Furnish, John's partner in life and business, told Variety.

-PepsiCo Gets in Bed With Rockstar, Michael Savage
PepsiCo announced Wednesday morning a multiyear distribution deal with the makers of the energy drink Rockstar, prompting calls among gay rights activists for a company-wide boycott. Rockstar was co-created by Dr. Michael Weiner, better known as conservative radio host Michael Savage, who has often broadcast antigay tirades, referring to gay callers as "sodomites" who should "get AIDS and die."

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-Gay night at the Oscars includes victorious 'Milk'
By Brent Hartinger
Gus Van Sant's Milk may not have won Best Picture, but last night's 81st annual Academy Awards ceremony included plenty of gay-related moments, the most satisfying of which may have been Sean Penn's win for Best Actor for his acclaimed portrayal of slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

Pink News - UK
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-Belarus gays go to court after ban on demonstration against homophobia
An event designed to raise public awareness about homophobia and discrimination against LGBT people in Belarus has been banned by government officials.

-Family of murdered gay teen Michael Causer protest at not guilty verdict
By Staff Writer,
A group of more than 100 people protested at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday over the acquittal on Friday of a 19-year-old charged with the murder of a gay teenager.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Seminar against homosexuality on in Uganda
Family Life Network has organized a training seminar to equip Ugandans with information and skills to fight what it calls spiraling promotion of homosexuality in the country. The Executive Director of Family Life Network, Stephen Langa says that Uganda is now under extreme pressure from homosexual groups to de-criminalize homosexuality.

-PARIS - A world congress against homophobia is set to be held in Paris in May, it emerged last night. The proposal for the congress, UK Gay News has been told, was made by Rama Yade, the French minister for human rights as a major French contribution to International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) which the government officially recognised last year. The founder of IDAHO , Louis-Georges Tin, speaking at a press conference in May last year said that the French government's recognition of IDAHO was not just a symbolic gesture. "[It] will help to better prepare and coordinates actions with the different ministries next year," he added.

A loving portrait of Jennifer Miller, a lesbian performer who lives her life with a full beard. Miller works as a performance artist, circus director, clown and as the "bearded lady" in one of the only remaining sideshows in America. In public she is often mistaken for a man, an experience she handles with the wit and intelligence that characterize her stage performances. JUGGLING GENDER explores the fluidity of gender and raises important questions about the construction of sexual and gender identity.

Daily Queer News
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-Does Hillary Clinton Support Federal Benefits for Same-Sex Couples at State?
Paul Bedard | US News & World Report
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wrapping up a worldwide trademark listening tour, has apparently been lending an ear to Foreign Service officers, too. The American Foreign Service Association, which represents the officers and USAID workers, reveals in a newsletter that Clinton is open to many of their workplace complaints, including a demand to expand benefits to same-sex couples. "This issue has been presented to the new secretary of state, and she seems understanding and supportive towards increasing these benefits," says the influential group. The assessment was included in the group's latest member survey. In that poll, members were asked: "Should AFSA advocate for official recognition and benefits for same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service members?" About 71 percent said yes, with only 17 percent opposed. The group also said that Clinton is keen on addressing another of its issues: the overseas pay gap, the nearly 20 percent drop in pay department employees incur when leaving high-priced U.S. cities like Washington to move overseas.

-First Openly Gay Official Elected in South Carolina
Washington Blade
The Secretary of the South Carolina Stonewall Democrats has become the first openly gay elected official in the state, according to the organization. Nick Shalosky, 21, was elected with 22 votes to the Charleston County District Constituent School Board with a write-in campaign organized primarily through social networking tools like Facebook. Shalosky, a junior in college, wrote a piece for gay blog The Bilerico Project today explaining how Facebook helped him to get elected. "Facebook provided me with an avenue to quickly organize after jumping into the race with only two weeks before Election Day. Such rapid mobilization might not have been possible only two years ago. But, with a Facebook page and a knowledge of online organizing, I secured my winning margin without spending a penny." Shalosky wrote in the piece. Link

-RI: Lawmakers Consider Gay Marriage Bills
Boston Globe
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-Rhode Island lawmakers are taking up gay marriage legislation next week. One bill being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday would allow same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island. Another would outright ban gay marriage and prohibit the state from recognizing same-sex couples as married. Rhode Island law is currently silent on the issue. A third bill before the committee would allow same-sex couples who wed out of state to get divorced in Rhode Island. That bill was inspired by a 2007 state Supreme Court decision that blocked a lesbian couple who lived in Providence from obtaining a divorce. Read more

-Presbyterian Leaders OK Gay Ordinations
Wade Rawlins | (Raleigh) News & Observer | Charlotte Observer
Presbyterian church leaders in the Triangle and the eastern part of the state approved a constitutional amendment to church law Saturday that would allow gays and lesbians in partnered relationships to be ordained as ministers, deacons and elders. The amendment carried by a vote of 177-139 with 10 abstentions during a meeting of church leaders of the New Hope Presbytery, a region covering 36 counties from the Triangle to the Outer Banks. To become church law, a majority of the 173 presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church (USA) must ratify the amendment. But its passage also could cause fractures within the church, with opponents departing for more conservative Presbyterian denominations. The role of gay people in the church has long been a thorny issue for many Christian denominations. Traditionalists argue that prohibitions against homosexuality in the Bible are clear. Others say that the Bible's prohibitions may be outweighed by Jesus' mandate to love one another. Read more

-Video: Michael Moore vs Westboro Baptist Church

-Self-Hating Gay on Tyra: I'll Be Straight by 30

Sunshine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale

-Videos: Sharing the Light is an Internet talk show where Reverends Durrell Watkins, Robert Griffin, and others discuss theological questions of interest to our GLBT community.

Fort Report
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-Hawaii is latest civil unions battleground
By MARK NIESSE - Associated Press Writer
Hawaii, the state that adopted the nation's first "defense of marriage" constitutional amendment a decade ago, has now become the latest battleground in the fight for same-sex civil unions.


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