Sunday, March 01, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 01, 2009

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New York Times
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-Abortion and Family Planning: An Endless Debate?
To the Editor:
Re "This Is the Way the Culture Wars End" (Op-Ed, Feb. 22):
William Saletan offers some engaging compromises on how to end the culture wars. Sadly, I can't share his optimism.
For example, take the issue of abortion. Conservatives who believe that birth control is a sin simply won't be willing to change their stance. Once they believe that God deplores something, that's the end of discussion.
Liberals, with a somewhat less dogmatic position, will be more prone to make concessions on the issue. But many of the most adamant among the abortion-rights crowd have such a strong hatred for the opposition that they, too, are unwilling to compromise.
While Mr. Saletan's compromises might succeed among moderates, large sections of the population are unwilling to bargain.
The culture war isn't going away any time soon.
Maxwell Gelfand
St. Louis Park, Minn., Feb. 23, 2009

-Suspect Claims Self-Defense in Beating Death in Brooklyn
A man accused in the fatal beating of an Ecuadorean immigrant on a Brooklyn street in December said that he thought the immigrant was reaching for a weapon in his waistband during a fight that he said the victim and his brother had provoked, the suspect's lawyer said on Saturday.

-Koch Makes His Peace and Dares to Look Ahead
He's already installed and inscribed his tombstone. He's recruited a rabbi to preside over his funeral. He's been saying some goodbyes. He insists he no longer carries any grudges; well, maybe just a few. He's issued an apology or two and even confesses to a few regrets as mayor.

Washington Post
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-Asian Summit Snags on Human Rights
Activists Pull Out of Meeting After Ultimatum by Burma and Cambodia
By Tim Johnston
Thailand - A summit of Southeast Asian countries got off to a rocky start Saturday when the leaders of Burma and Cambodia threatened to walk out of a meeting on human rights if activists from their countries were included. The activists reluctantly offered to withdraw, and the meeting went ahead without them.

Miami Herald
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-Innocent Chilean students paid savage price for man's hate
With long, frosted hair and a sweet smile, Racine Balbontín-Aragondona was a
natural cover girl. The 22-year-old college student studied hotel management and also worked as a model in her native Chile. She planned to marry in April. Nicolás Pablo Corp Torres was studying engineering and had been a star asketball player. His coach and friends described the 23-year-old as a ``good student and a gentleman.'' Their lives were snuffed out by a madman on a rampage with a rifle in Miramar Beach, a sleepy town in Florida's Panhandle.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Canada: Urges UN commissioner to process applications for those facing abuse while stranded in Turkey
Tonda MacCharles
OTTAWA - The cause of gay refugees who flee persecution in Iran only to face harassment in Turkey has caught the attention of the federal immigration minister, who says Canada is willing to facilitate their resettlement here. Jason Kenney wrote the Canadian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to urge quick processing of their applications after a story appeared last month in the Toronto Star. That story centred on Iranian Arsham Parsi, now a Toronto-based advocate whose "Iranian Queer Railroad" project tries to help gay and lesbians in legal limbo in Turkey reach Canada or the United States.

The Advocate
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-Elton John Returns to Wyoming for Matthew Shepard
By Ross von Metzke
Ten years after his first concert to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Elton John is returning to Laramie, Wyo., for a stop on his Rocket Man - Number Ones tour. John will be performing at Laramie's Arena Auditorium on Friday, April 3. The longtime supporter of the Matthew Shepard Foundation will be performing hits from throughout his four-decade career.

Daily Queer News
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-Rhode Island Gay Marriage Hearing Gets Hot
Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine
Five hours of testimony over two gay marriage bills in the Rhode Island Legislature -one backing, the other prohibiting - produced heated discussions last night. Both bills were heard in the same state Senate Judiciary Committee in an unusual evening session that began at 5PM. Senator Leo Blais, the Republican from Coventry who introduced legislation that would limit marriage to heterosexual couples by amending the state constitution, produced the most sparks when he read aloud a portion of written testimony submitted by Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, who likened gay marriage to several criminal offenses. "Contrary to the assertion of others, this is not an issue about civil rights. Freedom is not unbridled license. . In short, there's never a right to do something wrong. . The fact that two adults consent to an action doesn't make it morally right or socially acceptable. After all, two consenting adults can engage in drug use, prostitution, bigamy, polygamy or other immoral activities," the bishop wrote. Read more

-Marriage Equality Will Create a Generation of Violent Criminals
Right Wing Watch
The Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver explains to the CPAC audience that "same-sex marriage sets forth a fatherless policy" and says that you don't need a bunch of scientific data to know that that is bad. After all, kids without fathers tend to fare poorly . and if you need proof, all you have to do is take a look at the prison population. Thus, the logic seems to go, letting two women get married will lead to a whole generation of fatherless children who will inevitably become violent criminals. Read more

-Why the Dark Secrets of the First Gulf War Are Still Haunting Us
Nora Eisenberg, AlterNet
With rare exceptions, American politicians seem incapable of opposing an American war without befriending another in a different place or time. Barack Obama, an early and ardent enemy of the Iraq War, quickly declared his affinity for a war in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan. And like so many Democratic leaders, he has commended Bush 41's Gulf War over Bush 43's, for its justifiable cause, clear goals, quick execution and admirable leadership. It's difficult to determine the proportion of expedience to ignorance that allows politicians and pundits to advance the theory of the good and trouble-free Gulf War. What's clear, though, is that for close to 20 years, the 42-day war, in which we dropped more bombs than were dropped in all wars combined in the history of the world, maintains a special place in American hearts. Read more


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