Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - April 01, 2009

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Wall Street Journal

-A Gay Dating Site, Brought to You by the New Jersey AG
By Ashby Jones
It doesn't exactly have the feel of a match made in heaven. But because of a court order, it's happening nonetheless. On Wednesday, the dating site eHarmony will roll out a gay matchmaking service, called Compatible Partners (a name that strikes us, frankly, as more suitable for a roommate or pet-finding service than a dating site).

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-This computer worm is no April Fool's joke
Personal computers and laptops already infected with Conficker could automatically be linked to the servers operated by the hackers. Cyber security experts are warning that a new variation of Conficker, a fast-spreading computer worm also known as Downadup, could attack millions of computers on Wednesday -- April Fool's Day. Personal computers and laptops already infected with Conficker could automatically be linked to the servers operated by the hackers.

Miami Herald
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-Gays, lesbians face wide harassment in Europe
The Associated Press
BRUSSELS -- Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals face widespread harassment, bullying and discrimination across Europe, according to an EU report released Tuesday. That harassment and discrimination occurs "in all areas of social life," from schools to the workplace to health care centers, the report by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency said. Agency Director Morten Kjaerum said the investigation found gays and lesbians continue to face assault and other physical attacks due to their sexual orientation despite EU rules meant to guarantee equality in the 27-nation bloc.

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-Vt Gov flooded with mail over gay marriage veto threat
Some called him a homophobe. Some accused him of spreading hatred. Some thanked him, or applauded him for showing "backbone" in the face of pressure from gay rights advocates.

-Widespread LGBT harassment throughout Europe
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Brussels) Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals face widespread harassment, bullying and discrimination across Europe, according to an EU report released Tuesday.

Pink News - UK
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-BNP use Jesus for new ads
The British National Party is using a picture of Jesus in its latest advertising campaign, saying that Christian leaders are 'shunning the word of God' on issues such as sodomy.

-Gay firefighter 'killed himself after 15 years of bullying at work'
A man is seeking damages from a fire service after his civil partner killed himself after allegedly suffering 15 years of homophobic bullying and harassment at work. The man, who cannot be named, committed suicide on January 28th, days before his hearing was due to start.

-Equality watchdog under pressure as three executives quit
The Equality and Human Rights Commission, chaired by Trevor Phillips, has lost its chief executive and two commissioners in the last week. Nicola Brewer, the chief executive, has left to begin a new job, although her new position has not yet been disclosed.

-Zurich elects lesbian mayor
Zurich has elected its first female and first openly lesbian mayor, Corine Mauch. A member of the centre-left Social Democrats, Mauch has been elected with a lead of 11,000 votes over her opposition following the surprise resignation of previous incumbent Elmar Ledergerber late last year.

-Bishop of Rochester to resign
The Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir Ali, has announced his intention to resign from his post to help Christians living in Islamic areas. The bishop, who has been outspoken on the topic of homosexuality, is 59 and was expected to serve until the age of 70.

-Obama administration delays changes to military gay ban
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates has said that the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy regarding gay and lesbian service members is unlikely to be changed any time soon.

-Iraqi gays face execution claims pressure group
A UK group the promotes LGBT rights in Iraq claims that the government is preparing to execute scores of people for being gay.

Daily Queer News
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-CA: First Gay, Openly Partnered Man Ordained Into Priesthood
The first openly gay and partnered man in the Diocese of San Diego has been
ordained into the priesthood. On March 21, All Souls' Episcopal Church, ordained Rev. Thomas Wilson, who has served as a deacon there for the past six months. "For us the issue was 'Is he duly called to be a priest? And was he living a godly life?'" the rector, or head priest, of All Souls' Church, Rev. Mike Russell said. "We were all able to say 'yes' to that." Rev. Russell is a leading voice for inclusion of all people in the Episcopal Church, and the ceremony drew clergy and lay people from throughout Southern California. Read more

-CA: Spike in Hate Crimes Keeps Us Aware
Gay & Lesbian Times
A three-fold spike in homophobic hate crimes in Santa Clara County over the past year is being blamed on the fallout over Proposition 8, the voter measure than banned same-sex marriage in California. More than half of all hate crimes reported in the county south of San Francisco were directed at the GLBT community. Last year, 56 percent of hate crimes were designated as homophobic. The year before, it was 15 percent. As staggering as these numbers are, GLBT-rights activists said they are not surprised by the report. Locally, the Deputy District Attorney in charge of hate crimes told the Gay & Lesbian Times that generally there is not a rise in hate crimes when an issue such as same-sex marriage is brought into the public's discourse. A hate crime is defined by law as "a criminal act committed, in whole or in part" because of the victim's actual or perceived disability, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Read more

-The Laughing Cure
Jennifer Vanasco | Independent Gay Forum
University of Chicago students recently showed us how protests against hate should be done.
When the Westboro Baptist Church - the cult-like organization led by Fred Phelps - trooped to campus to declare Obama the anti-Christ (he taught at the law school), they were carrying their usual array of hateful signs. These, of course, included the slogan that seems to be their favorite: God Hates Fags. Now, there's no arguing with Fred Phelps or his family. People have tried various tactics - yelling back; talking respectfully; being aggressively friendly and saying things like, "God loves me, but God bless you!"; singing songs like "We Shall Overcome"; and, one of my favorites, standing in front of them with giant angel wings so that no one can see their rabid posturing. When the Westboro Church came to Harvard, for example, signs said "Cambridge Pride," and "Jesus loves me, this I know - for God made me so." But Chicago students tried something else. Making fun of the Phelpses. Read more

-New Efforts Made to Fight Anti-Gay Bullying
Steve Weinstein | EDGE Editor-In-Chief | EDGE Boston
No matter how many strides we've taken toward visibility and acceptance, homophobia still runs rampant among teenagers. Campaigns on several fronts are under way to fight what remains a huge problem. Read more Cases like Lawrence King, the California student shot to death in his school last year, highlight the problem. King was not afraid to be out, and ultimately it was his self-presentation that inflamed so much hatred in his killer, Brandon McInerney. Many more, however, suffer because of the most subtle variant in behavior. Debra Chasnoff interviewed teens across the country for her new documentary "Straightlaced: How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up." She found that teens-whether straight, gay or just perceived as gay-have to maintain the stricted self-discipline at all times. "Just about everybody was aware of how a person cannot be perceived as gay," she says about her extensive teen-age sources. "In terms of how they dress, activities they participate in, how much affection to show their friends-they constantly need to prove their heterosexuality." Read More . .

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Log Cabin Republicans - Recognition
The American Association of Political Consultants ("AAPC") honored Log Cabin Republicans with its highest award for Best Use of Web Animation/Web video in a State Ballot Measure Campaign on Sunday. The "Republicans Against 8" campaign which sought to galvanize opposition to Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that sought to ban same-sex marriage in the state, capitalized on the organizational, fundraising, and viral marketing opportunities of the World Wide Web. The campaign featured two videos directed by Dustin Lance Black who recently was honored with a Best Screenplay OscarR for "MILK," the biopic of slain politician Harvey Milk. Terry Hamilton, Chair of the Log Cabin Republicans commented, "It is an honor to receive this kind of national recognition for all of the hard work that went into the fight for equality for all Californians. When our organization made the decision to put itself on the front lines of the fight against Proposition 8, we knew that for our unique message to be heard, we needed to distinguish ourselves from the dozens of other groups fighting against Prop 8. The use of web video proved to be an enormously successful part of our strategy."

-To watch Republicans Against 8's award-winning videos, visit:

-Inside Higher Education
A number of universities have expanded health care benefits in recent years to cover sexual reassignment surgery for transgender students and employees, a move some see as an obligation for institutions with nondiscrimination policies that cover the population.

-Australian commission releases amazing report on gender diversity -
Polymorphous Perversity

-Judge Sees 'Serious' Issues in Cellphone Photos Case
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge said at a hearing on Thursday that "serious constitutional issues" were raised in a lawsuit filed by three teenage girls and their mothers against a county district attorney who threatened to arrest the students on pornography charges after seminude photographs of them appeared on other students' cellphones. "It seems like the children seemed to be the victims and the perpetrators here," the judge, James M. Munley, told a lawyer for the district attorney, George P. Skumanick of Wyoming County. "How does that make sense?"

-Confederate defenders seek to honor their history. Many who cherish the modern New South decry the campaign as reminder of slavery's legacy. 'This is a new day,' a Georgia legislator says.

-Campus Pride Summer Leadership Camp in partnership with Towson University

-Gay adoption raises an issue still unmined

-Rethinking the Movement for LGBT Equality
Does the recession offer an opportunity to rethink the overall strategy for LGBT equality by merging some of our organizations into a more powerful force?

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-EU shows east-west divide on homophobia
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Despite considerable advances in recent years, the social situation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgendered (LGBT) people throughout the European Union remains a problem, particularly in the east, according to a major new survey. Discrimination, bullying, harassment and attacks occur across the EU. Politicians in a number of eastern member states seem to side with or turn a blind eye to perpetrators, while the ability of victims to report crimes is undermined by lack of police training, leading to significant underreporting, according to a 160-page report on the social aspects of homophobia from the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency. Even in those member states where attitudes are more tolerant and anti-discrimination laws stricter, there are areas where homophobia is more prevalent, such as in secondary schools and within sports culture, the study says. http://euobserver.com/9/27881


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