Friday, February 27, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 27, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-NM: Domestic partnership bill fails
Opponents: Bill was 'marriage in disguise'
The state Senate rejected a bill creating domestic partnerships in New Mexico, with opponents contending it was "marriage in disguise." Supporters of the bill did a last-minute rewrite to remove references that could be construed as marriage-related, but that wasn't enough to win the necessary votes.

-Conservatives make appeal during D.C. conference
Social conservatives are urging the Republican Party to hold firm on social issues positions, such as opposing same-sex marriage, but it's unclear whether GOP followers are hearing the request. During the Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C., speakers Thursday addressed issues of importance to social conservatives during a panel titled, "New Challenges in the Culture War." Marjorie Dannenfelser, panel moderator and president of the Susan B. Anthony List, called on the Republican Party to continue to address social issues in campaigns because the GOP can't win without them.

-NYPD: Arrest in killing of Ecuadorean immigrant
Police looking for second man named Keith Phoenix
Police said Wednesday they arrested one of the attackers who yelled slurs as they beat an Ecuadorean immigrant to death on a city street, and investigators were looking for a second man. Hakim Scott, 25, was arrested in the Dec. 7 attack on real estate broker Jose Sucuzhanay, which ignited outrage from New York to Ecuador. Police and prosecutors said he was beaten with a bat and kicked by men shouting anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs as he walked arm-in-arm with his brother to keep warm.

-Drag Queen Brings Gift to Harvey Milk School
By Jennifer 8. Lee
The emotional speeches by Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn that sandwiched Sunday night's Academy Awards spoke to Harvey Milk's impact on the gay political landscape. Another of the legacies in the slain gay activist's honor is a high school in New York City, which was established almost 25 years ago by the Hetrick-Martin Institute to serve gay, lesbian and transgendered students who have a hard time in other schools.

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay and straight teens 'Out With It' in moving new book of true-life essays A colleague of mine, journalist Katia Hetter, helped edit a revised version f Out With It: Gay and Straight Teens Write About Homosexuality. The book is published by Youth Communication and sells for $13.95.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Log Cabin Republicans Did Not 'Congratulate' Michael Steele
A spokesperson for the Log Cabin Republicans said an e-mail that was sent out to members Wednesday taking issue with Republican Party chief's comments on civil unions but with the subject line 'Log Cabin Congratulates Michael Steele' was the result of a clerical error. The e-mail used the same subject line as one sent by the organization on January 30 after Steele became chair.

-Accused Murderers Ran Prostitution Ring
Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes allegedly racked up more than $10,000 per week running a prostitution ring in Virginia Beach, Va., a former employee of the gay-pornography producers testified in court Wednesday. Cuadra, 27, is on trial in Luzerne County, Pa.,l for the murder of rival porn producer Brian Kocis, owner of Cobra Video.

-NYC Gay Bashing Pits Victims Against Theater Chain
Two victims of an alleged hate crime outside a popular New York City movie theater want the theater's staff to accept the blame for ignoring their repeated requests for help.
By Julie Bolcer
Efosa Agbontaen and Branden McGillvery-Dummett expected a good scare when they decided to see a horror film in Manhattan one recent night, but they hardly imagined they would be confronted with the fright of their lives. The couple allege that four male teenagers spewing antigay slurs attacked them with glass bottles and a box cutter on February 15, following harassment that management failed to address during a screening of Friday the 13th at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-NM partner bill dies in Senate
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
With less than an hour of debate in the New Mexico Senate, legislation that would have created a statewide domestic partnership registry for both same and opposite-sex couples is dead.

-Gay man to direct national AIDS policy
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
President Barrack Obama on Thursday named Jeffrey S. Crowley, Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute, to be director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Irish gay marriage advocates claim massive public support
By Tony Grew
A group campaigning for full marriage rights for gay and lesbian people in Ireland has revealed the results of a new survey suggesting widespread support. MarriagEquality said 81% of those polled believe that all people living in Ireland should receive equal treatment from the state regardless of their sexual orientation.

-Comment: Iraq's gays go underground to survive
By Peter Tatchell
In the bad old days of slavery in the United States, there was the "Underground Railroad" - a clandestine network of secret routes and safe houses - which spirited thousands of southern slaves to freedom in the north. Today, 200 years later in Iraq, a modern version of the underground railroad is saving the lives of gay people who are fleeing Islamist death squads. It is providing safe houses in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, and is smuggling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to neighbouring countries, where it helps them apply for United Nations humanitarian protection. This secret network, coordinated by Iraqi LGBT exiles in London, is saving dozens of lives.

-Google's blockade of leaves unanswered questions
By Staff Writer,
We are back. After more than 48 hours of being listed by Google as an "attack site," our readers across the world can now access our site. Hundreds of readers from across the world contacted to express their frustration at not being able to read our regularly updated news.

-Brighton council asked to support homeless gay teens
By Staff Writer,
The Green party group on Brighton and Hove City Council has proposed measures that would improve support for young LGBT people with housing and homelessness problems in the budget for 2009/10. The Greens have 12 councillors, the Labour party has 13.

-Comment: Iraq's gays go underground to survive
By Peter Tatchell
In the bad old days of slavery in the United States, there was the "Underground Railroad" - a clandestine network of secret routes and safe houses - which spirited thousands of southern slaves to freedom in the north. Today, 200 years later in Iraq, a modern version of the underground railroad is saving the lives of gay people who are fleeing Islamist death squads. It is providing safe houses in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities, and is smuggling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to neighbouring countries, where it helps them apply for United Nations humanitarian protection. This secret network, coordinated by Iraqi LGBT exiles in London, is saving dozens of lives.

-Councillor asks if homophobic attacks are "acceptable" in Merseyside
By Staff Writer,
A local councillor has questioned the attitudes of the people of Merseyside after a jury acquitted a man who admitted assaulting a gay teenager. Gavin Alker, 19, was cleared of the murder and manslaugher of Michael Causer at iverpool Crown Court last Friday.

Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Justice Department to Stop Medical Marijuana Raids, Attorney General Says
John Byrne and David Edwards | Raw Story
In a little-noticed remark Wednesday, Obama Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Justice Department will no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries established under state laws but technically prohibited by the federal government. The decision marks a shift from the Bush Administration, which was more draconian in its approach to hunting those who sought to dispense marijuana for medical purposes. Numerous states have decriminalized marijuana in recent years, and new fiscal pressures are turning more states toward being more lenient toward first-time drug offenders as the cost of keeping drug users in jail becomes untenable for state budgets. The remark was caught by The Huffington Post's Ryan Grimm. Read more

-Is the US Changing Its Anti-Gay Stance at the UN?
Patricia Nell | The Bilerico Project
Amid the marriage uproars, many gay media almost lost an important piece of news in the shuffle. We LGBT people had a longstanding grievance against the Bush administration for opposing and undercutting establishment of our rights in the global arena. Now the Obama administration has made a start on reversing that policy. As part of the countdown to the UN's upcoming Durban Review Conference, the U.S. voted with other countries to support language that would outlaw all discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Durban Review Conference will held in Geneva, Switzerland on April 20-24. According to the UN website, "It will evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001." Previously, the U.S. took the opposite positioning, and hung us LGBT people out to dry at the UN. More on this after the jump. Read more

-Log Cabin Under Democratic Control?
CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
The amount of money that the Gill Action Fund has contributed to the Log Cabin Republicans - about one-third of its total budget in some years - is raising questions about Democratic influence over the GOP organization and its search for a new president. Tim Gill, founder and chair of Gill Action, is widely known for funding the campaigns of pro-gay politicians, many of them Democrats. He's a wealthy entrepreneur and founder of Quark who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to various Democratic causes and candidates, including to the campaigns of Sens. John Kerry, John Edwards and Chris Dodd, as well as New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Gill is viewed as publicity shy, but made a rare public appearance at last year's Democratic National Convention in Denver where he lives. Sources familiar with Log Cabin, who spoke to the Blade on the condition of anonymity, said Gill Action's contributions last year comprised $250,000 of Log Cabin's $750,000 budget. The sources said in 2007, Gill Action's donations constituted a similar percentage of Log Cabin's budget. Read more

-Frank Outspoken at CD Event
Geoffrey Middleberg | Hatchet Reporter
One of Congress' most outspoken representatives did not mince words when it came to the state of affairs in Washington at an event in the Marvin Center Monday night. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services committee, spoke to an enthusiastic, standing-room only crowd and made blunt pronouncements on the economy, partisanship and gay rights. "Justice Antonin Scalia is a bigot and an outright homophobe," Frank declared of the conservative Supreme Court justice. One of only a few openly gay members of Congress, Frank said he feared a conservative-leaning Supreme Court would overturn any legislative progress on gay rights. He also discussed the importance of legalizing same-sex marriage and ending discrimination and the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. Read more

-Lesbian couple claim £20,000 damages after NHS refuses them fertility treatment
Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent | Telegraph
Caroline Harris and Julie McMullan claim they are victims of discrimination because they are a same sex couple and have asked a judge to order fertility treatment for Miss Harris. But Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Health Board insists that its expensive "assisted conception service" is for couples who have been trying without success to conceive "in the normal way". There are 460 couples on its list and the waiting time for IVF treatment is currently 95 weeks, according to papers lodged with the court. The health board argues that the two women do not fit the definition of an infertile couple. Miss Harris and Miss McMullan, of Maryhill, Glasgow, have been in a relationship for seven years and have lived together for the past two years. Read More

-NM: Domestice Partner Bill Advances in Legislature
East Park Forest News
Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights group, today praised New Mexico's state Senate Judiciary Committee for voting 6-5 to advance the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act, which would allow gay, lesbian, or straight couples to enter into domestic partnerships and receive the rights, benefits, and responsibilities of marriage under state law. The bill now moves toward a floor vote in the Senate. Similar legislation is pending in the House of Representatives. "The Human Rights Campaign is pleased that the New Mexico Senate has taken this important step toward enacting much-needed protections for all couples in New Mexico, and we're hopeful that this legislation will ultimately pass the Senate and House, and be enacted into law. " said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "This is simply about making sure that all loving, committed couples in New Mexico receive the equal rights that they and their families need and deserve." New Mexico's legislature has considered similar legislation in each of the last two years, and the bill has, in the past, come within a single vote of passing. New Mexico's legislative session runs through March 21, 2009. Read more

-Exodus Shows Change Is Possible-in the Wrong Direction
Dave Rattigan | Ex-Gay Watch
Exodus is changing all right, but hardly in the right direction. Despite hinting numerous times at a more progressive outlook, here comes yet another move to put Exodus firmly in the "What the hell were you thinking of?" category. In March, reports BTB, Exodus board member Don Schmierer (pictured) will be heading for Uganda to share a platform with Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Cohen cohort Caleb Lee Brundidge. The embarrassments for Exodus are numerous. Lively is no ordinary revisionist. He doesn't deny 6 million Jews were killed - the author of The Pink Swastika just says that the Nazis responsible were "militant male homosexuals," and uses this theory to dismiss gay victims of the Holocaust and justify discrimination against homosexuals today. Read more

-Bill Moyers, Gay Baiter
James Kirchick | Independent Gay Forum
First published in on February 25, 2009
Being a homosexual in America in 1964 was not easy, and one of the more difficult places to be one was Washington, D.C. While the nation's capital has long since become the setting for some of the most important gay rights battles (and home to a vibrant gay scene), it was also the site of routine antigay witch hunts. At the time, gays were officially barred from working in government and their livelihood depended on the secreting of their sexuality. Indeed, the mere suspicion of homosexuality could get a person fired, and the consequences of losing one's job due to what was then known as a "morals charge" were long-lasting. It's in this context that recent revelations about Bill Moyers are so disturbing. Before he became the self-righteous scold of the liberal television commentariat, Moyers served as a special assistant to Democratic president Lyndon Johnson. This was at the height of J. Edgar Hoover's reign over the Federal Bureau of Investigation, during which time the FBI director spied on a vast array of public and private citizens in order to gather information for potential blackmail. According to documents obtained last week by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, one of these individuals was former Johnson aide Jack Valenti, later head of the Motion Picture Association of America. Hoover, according to the Post, was "consumed" by the question of whether Valenti was gay, and deployed his agents to investigate the man's sex life. They turned up nothing. Read more

-ME: Innkeepers Lobby for Same-Sex Marriage
Judy Harrison, BDN Staff | Bangor News
Innkeepers and others who make their livings in Maine's tourism and wedding industries headed to the Statehouse today to ask legislators to support a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine. They are expected to take part in a 10:30 a.m. press conference sponsored by the Maine Freedom to Marry Coalition, which is supporting the bill. Jim Davitt, the owner of Nonesuch Farm Bed and Breakfast in Bangor, will be one of them. He and others will present lawmakers with a report estimating that same-sex marriage would boost the state's economy by $60 million over three years. Read more

-Stimulus Bill Discriminates Against Gays
Andoni | Citizen Crain
We are a gay family. I'm the breadwinner and my partner is a full time student. His tuition is one of the biggest items in our family budget, and it certainly is a drag in these tough economic times. So you can imagine my elation when I heard President Obama describe the $2500 tax credit in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purpose of helping families offset the cost of tuition for education. Then I started looking into this. I contacted my accountant, my Congressman and various gay organizations to see exactly how my family could participate in this provision of the stimulus bill. The answer is, we can't. It appears that the definition of family in this bill is not defined broadly enough to include LGBT families. Without a broader definition of family, the tax credit would have to claimed via the normal mechanism of filing for it on the1040 federal income tax return form. But by law, our relationship is not recognized by the federal government, we cannot file jointly and I cannot claim him as a dependent, even though he really is. This #%@##! Read more

-HI: Senate Committee Deadlock on Same-Sex Unions Bill
MARK NIESSE | Associated Press | Google News
A state Senate committee voted 3-3 early Wednesday on a bill that would allow same-sex civil unions, a split that normally would stall the legislation but in this case was not expected to prevent it from advancing. More than 1,400 people signed up to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which took more than 15 hours of testimony before voting at 3 a.m. It was the largest turnout for a Capitol hearing in years. Democratic Senate leaders have said that if the panel became deadlocked, they would yank the measure from its committee and force a vote before the full Senate. That is allowed under a rarely used provision of the Hawaii Constitution if more than one-third of senators approve. At least 18 of the 25 senators have said they favor civil unions. The measure already has passed the Hawaii House, but with one vote less than would be needed to override a veto. Republican Gov. Linda Lingle has not stated her position on the bill, which would make Hawaii the fifth state to allow same-sex civil unions. Under the state constitution, the earliest the bill can be pulled to the Senate floor is March 10. Read more

-Richard Cohen is Back In the PFOX and Exodus Orbit
Jim Burroway | Box Turtle Bulletin
Richard Cohen is back and he's on tour, with the full blessing of Exodus International member organization PFOX.
Two years ago, the ex-gay movement was widely embarrassed by Richard Cohen when in July 2006 he revealed his "holding" or "touch" techniques before a nationwide audience. It's a controversial techniques that Cohen promotes through his International Healing Foundation. Cohen had also been president of the PFOX, but he was forced out after that CNN episode aired. That embarrassment was compounded when in March 2007 he appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. That prompted PFOX and NARTH to scrub their web sites of all mention of him, and Exodus International publicly distanced themselves from his techniques: Read more

-CA: Marriage Ruling Gave Gay People Legal Protection
Greg Moran | Union-Tribune Staff Writer | SignOnSanDiego
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.
On page 100 of the 124-page ruling, in dense legal prose, Chief Justice Ronald George ruled that a special constitutional protection applies to people based on their sexual orientation.
In essence, the court said discrimination against gays and lesbians was equivalent to racial, age or gender discrimination, giving same-sex-rights advocates a powerful legal weapon in the future.
Already the first echoes of that determination are being heard in some of the arguments that will be made in the upcoming challenge to Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure that rebuked the main aspect of the court's May ruling and declared that only marriages between men and women are valid. Read more


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: