Wednesday, February 25, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 25, 2009

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New York Times
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-Letters - Is 'Marriage' Subject to Compromise?

Washington Post
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-Gay Asians criticize Oscar speech's TV censorship
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Gay Asians voiced indignation Wednesday after television broadcasts of the Academy Awards in their region censored the words "gay" and "lesbian" in speeches that called for equal rights for homosexuals.

-Pa. bishop scolds school over gay-rights speaker
The Associated Press
A Roman Catholic bishop in northeastern Pennsylvania wants a Catholic university to close a multicultural center because it hosted a visit by a gay-rights advocate.

-Gay Bloggers' Voices Rise in Chorus of Growing Political Influence
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Only the blogosphere, perhaps, has room for Pam Spaulding [Pam's House Blend] -- a black lesbian who lives in North Carolina, the only state in the South that has not banned same-sex marriage.

-Utah Dems call for sanctions over anti-gay remarks
Utah Senate Democrats on Tuesday called for the ouster of a GOP lawmaker from two additional key committee posts because of his anti-gay comments. In recent comments to a documentary filmmaker, state Sen. Chris Buttars compared gay activists to radical Muslims and said they are "probably the greatest threat to America going down." He also said gay people lack morals.

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-A plate of prejudice, anyone?
Forum Publishing Group February 25, 2009
Ponce de Leon High School in Panama City, in northwest Florida, has been ordered to respect the First Amendment right of students to express themselves. This came about after its principal testified that he believed it was necessary to ban clothing and stickers featuring rainbows because rainbows "are sexually suggestive" and may lead students to "imagine homosexual sex acts." I'm not making this up. His policy went on to forbid students from supporting or even showing respect for equal rights for gay people via clothing, stickers, buttons or symbols. This principal had no problem, however, permitting students to exhibit confederate flags on T-shirts.,0,7175859.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Log Cabin Republicans repudiate RCN chairman's 'Are you crazy?' response to civil unions
The Log Cabin Republicans are responding to Republican National Chairman Michael Steele's "are you crazy" comment about civil unions to radio host Mike Gallagher. According to Ben Smith on, this exchange occurred: "Do you favor civil unions?" Gallagher asked:
STEELE: No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country. I mean this isn't something that you just kind of like, "Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage." I mean, this is a foundational principle of this country. It is a foundational principle of organized society. It isn't something that, you know, in America we decided, "Let's make it between a man and a woman; oh well now, let's change our mind and make it between anyone and anyone." No.

South Florida Blade
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-Transsexual says ex-employer ignored harassment
Leslie Fulbright, Chronicle Staff Writer
A transsexual former employee of Burlington Coat Factory filed a discrimination suit against the company Tuesday, claiming she endured seven years of verbal and physical abuse from supervisors, colleagues and customers after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery.

-Colo. Senate gives initial OK to same-sex benefits
Bill would give partners of state workers health insurance coverage
The partners of gay and lesbian state workers would be able to get health insurance coverage under a bill given initial backing by the Senate on Monday. The measure (Senate Bill 88) would add domestic partners to the list of dependents eligible for coverage. Same-sex partners who have been in a committed partnership with a state employee for at least a year would qualify as a domestic partner.

Pink News - UK
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-Prime Minister celebrates LGBT History Month at Downing St
The Prime Minister is to host a reception at 10 Downing St next week to mark LGBT History Month. Gordon Brown and his wife Sarah will meet organisers and gay equality activists.

-Update: and Google security issues
Over the past day, users of Firefox, Safarri, Chrome and Google's search engine have been unable to access because of alleged security vulnerabilities.

-Israel's new gay MP starts work with civil marriage bill
A newly-elected member of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, has proposed a bill to legalise civil marriage and divorce. Nitzan Horovitz submitted the legislation at the opening session of the 18th Knesset.

-Immigration minister backs ban on God Hates Fags preachers
The minister for immigration has said that the Labour government "will always oppose homophobia" after the Home Office banned two gay hate preachers from entering the UK.

-Belgrade conference venue staff should be sacked for refusing gays says minister
The directors of a conference hall who cancelled a press conference by a gay organisation for "security reasons" should resign.

-Hate crime reporting centres open for business in Manchester
Greater Manchester Police have urged the gay community to make use of facilities to report hate crimes.

-Lesbian poet is favourite for Royal appointment
A leading lesbian writer is thought to be on the shortlist for the position of Poet Laureate, the official poet of the monarch.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-KATHMANDU: They were touched by "Slumdog Millionaire" and are happy that A R Rahman won two Oscars. However, Nepal's gay community is ecstatic that Hollywood star Sea Penn won the awad for the best actor for his moving role in "Milk", the biopic of Harvey Milk, California's first openly gay man to be elected to public office. On Monday, after the results were announced, Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's pioneering gay rights organisation, distributed by email the BBC report on the 81st Academy Awards. Marked in violet was a brief sentence in the report that simply said: "The big surprise of the night was Sean Penn, winning best actor for his role as gay rights activist Harvey Milk. "I could sort of identify myself with Milk and the film," said Sunil Babu Pant, Nepal's first openly gay lawmaker who was nominated to the constituent assembly last year. Pant, the founder of BDS, has since 2002 emerged as a South Asian gay icon inspiring gay rights organisations in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. [...] "I was touched by Slumdog but I was moved by Milk since I could relate to it," Pant said. "I wish not only Nepal would make such a film but Bollywood too."

by Doug Ireland
Gay City News, February 20, 2008
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.

-Beijing's 'happy couples' launch campaign for same-sex marriages
Tania Branigan in Beijing
With her bouquet of roses and fluffy white dress, Han Xincheng looked the epitome of the glamorous modern Chinese bride. But, although her parents had been pressing her to marry, the photographs were not what they might have expected: she is gazing adoringly at another woman, surrounded by onlookers.

-Israel: First openly gay MK submits bill to legalize civil marriages
By Haaretz Service
First-term Meretz MK Nitzan Horovitz submitted a bill for the legalization of civil marriages and divorces in Israel, just minutes after the 18th Knesset kicked off its opening session on Tuesday. The bill would "enable every Israeli citizen the freedom to choose between a religious or civil marriage, and between a religious and civil divorce," Meretz wrote in a statement. Former Meretz whip Zahava Gal-On and a number of other MKs have submitted a similar bill in the past.

This report encapsulates several examples of human rights violations based on sexual orientation in Ukraine in 2008. These facts reflect violation of the right to equality and non-discrimination, to information, to peaceful assembly and association, and to access to justice. Provided information indicates society-wide homophobia, including actions of several governmental bodies, anti-gay statements of political leaders, and clergy and extremist groups.
Contact Ray's List for the full article.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Bill proposes ISPs, Wi-Fi keep logs for police
by Declan McCullagh
Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keeprecords about users for two years to aid police investigations.

-Appeals Court Rules 2257 Constitutional in 6th Circuit
By David Sullivan
CLEVELAND - In a disappointing decision for the adult industry, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned a landmark ruling that struckdown the federal 2257 record-keeping and labeling law. Weighing the government's appeal in the case of Connections Distributing Co., et al. v. Keisler, the en banc panel voted 11-6 to uphold Section 18 U.S.C. §2257. An en banc ("full bench") review involves the entire membership of an appellate court, rather than a smaller panel of judges. A three-judge panel for the Sixth Circuit had declared section 2257 unconstitutional in October 2007, agreeing with the plaintiffs that the law is overly broad and a violation of free-speech rights. Soon after that ruling was handed down, the FBI stopped inspecting the records of adult producers; some fear that this week's reversal of that decision could open the door to more raids and prosecutions.

-Sex, lies and the internet
Protecting kids from harassment in cyberspace
THE wireless network at Mayhem Manor spreads from the router in the workroom to the living area of the one-storey hillside dwelling, but not as far as the bedrooms. And that's important.

-Chronicle of Higher Education
Philosophers' Association Urged to Take Tougher Stand Against Colleges With Anti-Gay Policies
About 1,000 members of the American Philosophical Association have signed an online petition urging the group to take a stronger stand against colleges that bar employees and students from engaging in homosexual acts.

-Leave Civil Unions to the Government, Marriage to the Churches:
Two Points of View

-Spanish Oddities - Is a 13 year old mature enough for consensual sex?
Congress passed a vote on a non-legally binding proposal on Wednesday regarding the youngest age that people can have consensual sex. The current age in Spain, as indicated in the Penal Code, is 13, and the PNV Basque Nationalist Party is among those to consider the age too young. Their initiative did not specify a different age, and now debate has been seen in the Spanish media as to what the age should be. Some consider that the age should be between 14 and 16 to bring Spain into line with other European countries, while others are worried that any increase will impose on the freedom of adolescents.

-Kansas: Library to restrict sex books' access
Some patrons up in arms over decision
By Ann Marie Bush
The covers will be pulled over four sex-related books at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. The library's board of trustees voted 5-3 Thursday evening in favor of restricting minors' access to "Sex for Busy People," "The Lesbian Kama Sutra," "The Joy of Sex" and "The Joy of Gay Sex" because they deemed the material "harmful to minors." [...] During a meeting that lasted about three hours, 16 people spoke about a statement of concern made last year by patron Kim Borchers, who represents a group called Kansans for Commons Sense Policy. Borchers wrote that the materials were harmful to minors under Kansas law.Fourteen people who spoke during the public comment section of the meeting were against the board restricting access.

-The son of T.D. Jakes - the Dallas megachurch pastor who's called homosexuality a "brokenness" and
declared that he would never hire a sexually active gay person - was arrested in a gay sex sting in Kiest Park in January, according to Dallas police reports.

-Kinky Sex Is on the Rise, Therapists Say
Sexual Fetishes, Sadomasochism, Bondage, Swinging, Even Bestiality: Is it the Internet?

-Wisconsin State Legislature Passes Download Tax
By Edward Duncan
MADISON, Wis. - Following the passage of a similar proposal in New York, the Wisconsin state legislature has approved a 5 percent tax on Internet downloads to take effect in October. Backed by Governor Jim Doyle, the tax will apply to music, movies, downloads, games, ringtones, e-books, greeting cards and other items, according to the Associated Press. This would presumably include adult content.

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-A Winning Script
It is an odd time to be gay in America. Whether you are celebrated or despised depends on where you stand at any given moment.The most dramatic example of this dichotomy occurred on Sunday evening at the Academy Awards. To attend the glamorous event, one had to drive past anti-gay protesters shouting vile condemnations of homosexuality. Once inside, guests were treated to perhaps the most pro-gay Oscar extravaganza in history.

-TWO Demands Family Policy Council of West Virginia Take Down Sniper Ad
Truth Wins Out (TWO) called on The Family Policy Council of West Virginia to immediately remove an online video ad that compares same-sex marriage supporters to snipers targeting families. The goal of the ad is to rally supporters to lobby in favor of amending West Virginia's constitution to prohibit same sex couples from marrying.

From Transgender Equality
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-I Changed Sex and Died
I changed my sex and then killed myself on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving has never been the same since. The day dawned cold and rainy. I woke when it got light. These days I wasn't getting much sleep; a few hours here and there - that's it. Discomfort and stress kept me from getting a good night's sleep. It's not easy living in a car. I was living in my car where it ran out of gas, under a freeway overpass in West Los Angeles. Though I woke feeling bleak and depressed on that rainy Thanksgiving day, I had no idea it would be my last. Changing sex isn't something that can be done in private. You have to do it right in front of everyone in your life: family, friends, coworkers, boss, neighbors, the grocery checker. And it's not instantaneous; it takes a very long time. Years. And all the while, people watch with fascination and horror and sometimes revulsion, as you struggle to find yourself. When people think about transsexuals, they don't think about stuff like that.

Mark's List
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-Ft. Lauderdale: The Largest Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Festival In Florida
Dance Tent and Non-Stop Entertainment All Day Long March 21st and 22nd 2009 Fort Lauderdale - The 32nd anniversary of Pridefest is scheduled for Saturday, and Sunday March 21 & 22, 2009 at the very popular Holiday Park/War Memorial Auditorium. Pridefest is a celebration and tribute to the LGBT community and its unique culture. The weekend-long event includes a special tent and dance floor for your dancing pleasure! with local DJ Miik (Sunday) and DJ J. Roxx (Saturday), Also featured are over 300 vendors, music, food, Games and Florida's largest Aids Quilt display. As usual, there will be non-stop entertainment both days, with an outdoor stage highlighted by national recording artist Lori Michaels & The Girls, Shelina, Howard Tonkin, Nelson Polanco and many more surprises! Official Pridefest events will be held at several of the nightclubs and venues in town starting on Friday, March 20 at Living Room Niteclub for the Official Pridefest Opening Party and Saturday March 22 at Sidelines Sports Bar and continuing through Sunday night.

Fort Report
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-Obama's moral majority
President Obama has a unique opportunity to unite Americans behind him and redefine liberalism. But if he is to succeed, he must find a new political language-and broaden the moral register of the political left
Jonathan Haidt

Sunshine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale
Do you watch Sharing the Light online? Sharing the LIght is a webcast that we record 2-4 times each month and post to,,, and I hope you'll watch the webcasts and feel free to pass along to any of your friends who might appreciate it. Click here to see Sharing the Light on You Tube.

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-To hear our founder ridiculed falsely and Soulforce caricatured and condemned: Would you consider honoring Mel's writings (in response to those who condemn him) by donating to Soulforce $10 per book ($30) because you, too, have benefited from his biography, Stranger at the Gate: to be Gay and Christian in America, his booklet "What the Bible Says - and Doesn't Say - about homosexuality," and/or his latest, Religion Gone Bad: Hidden Dangers from the Christian Right.

Equality Forum

-Join Our Community and Allies at the National Equality Rally at Independence Hall on Sunday, May 3rd, in Philadelphia. Make your voice heard! Make History!

-Check it out at this video:


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