Sunday, March 15, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 15, 2009

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New York Times
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-The Culture Warriors Get Laid Off
SOMEDAY we'll learn the whole story of why George W. Bush brushed off that intelligence briefing of Aug. 6, 2001, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." But surely a big distraction was the major speech he was readying for delivery on Aug. 9, his first prime-time address to the nation. The subject - which Bush hyped as "one of the most profound of our time" - was stem cells. For a presidency in thrall to a thriving religious right (and a presidency incapable of multi-tasking), nothing, not even terrorism, could be more urgent.

-Isn't He Bromantic?
FANS of Paul Rudd have not gone wanting in recent years: he has popped up with comforting regularity in movies big and small, on television sitcoms and sketch shows, and he leaves an impression, however tiny the role. But they have had reason to wonder why this good-looking, likeable, quick-witted actor has so often played the sidekick and not the romantic leading man.

-At a Pier to Be Redone, Gay Youth Seek a Haven
STANDING in front of a banquet hall in Greenwich Village packed with more than 100 young people on Monday evening, Glo Ross tailored her pitch to the audience. "So we all just went on a date with the Hudson River Park Trust," said Ms. Ross, who is an organizer with Fierce, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender minority youths. "But you know, we're a little fed up."

Washington Post
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-Where to Now?
2008 was a spectacular year for women in politics. But the sober reality is that the race has just begun.
By Vanessa Gezari
Jennifer James Soto arrived in Georgia on a Friday afternoon. The air was thick with humidity, and the campus on the outskirts of Atlanta was deserted except for her and the other women. They carried their suitcases into dormitories and laid out their clothes on narrow student beds. That evening, Jennifer dressed carefully, choosing dangly earrings because her kids weren't around to tug them. This weekend would be the longest she'd spent away from her son and daughter since they were born.

-Civil Marriage Is a Healthy Choice
This month, the Maryland General Assembly again will hear arguments in favor of granting same-sex couples the ability to legally marry. In this debate, we've heard much about the importance of bestowing legal and economic protections on these couples and their children. But what about the strong body of evidence that married couples fare much better, both physically and psychologically, than unmarried, cohabitating couples? This evidence alone illustrates that denying same-sex couples access to civil marriage is, quite simply, relegating them to inferior health status. As public health advocates, we are deeply troubled that yet another year of inaction by our legislature will compromise the simple good health of thousands of Marylanders.

-HIV/AIDS Rate in D.C. Hits 3%
Considered a 'Severe' Epidemic, Every Mode of Transmission Is Increasing, City Study Finds
By Jose Antonio Vargas and Darryl Fears
At least 3 percent of District residents have HIV or AIDS, a total that far surpasses the 1 percent threshold that constitutes a "generalized and severe" epidemic, according to a report scheduled to be released by health officials tomorrow.

-Come Out, Then Branch Out
Frustrated by the Local Scene, 20-Something Entrepreneurs Build Their Own LGBT Outlets
By Ian Shapira
One is a former drag king, the other is a laid-off newspaper reporter-turned blogger, and each, in their own way, is trying to transform Washington's gay scene. Eboné Bell, 27, and Zack Rosen, 25, friends and entrepreneurs, have a politically subtle mission: to integrate the region's gay scene, which they say caters to crowds that are typically older, white, wealthier and male.

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-Lowenstein: We must not compromise on equality
By Jenna Lowenstein 03.13.2009
We can compromise on taxes and on infrastructure funding and on health care costs. But we cannot-- we must not-- sell out the fundamental right to equality. Read more...

-Police accused of ignoring transwoman's pleas for help
Human rights groups say a Turkish transwoman would be alive today if police had taken seriously her pleas for help

-Iowa gender-neutral marriage bill withers
Legislation that would make marriage gender neutral in Iowa appeared dead Friday after it was stripped from the list of measures to be take up by lawmakers this session.

Pink News - UK
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-Study to be released on poverty among gay Americans
An analysis of poverty among lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans is to be presented to Congress next Friday. Produced by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, the survey has been described as the first of its kind.

Daily Queer News
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-GA: Pulpit Power
MATT SCHAFER | Southern Voice
While the election of President Barack Obama has been widely seen as a defeat for social conservatives at the national level, this year's state legislative session shows the so-called "religious right" still wields considerable clout in Georgia. As the Georgia General Assembly churned past "crossover day" on March 12 - the day a bill has to clear either the House or Senate or be considered dead - Christian groups stood on the brink of achieving most of their legislative goals, while effectively blocking any pro-gay legislation. On Feb. 10, conservative Christian groups rallied on the state Capitol steps to bring attention to their highest priorities: defeating the referendum that would allow Sunday alcohol sales in stores; school vouchers; restricting stem cell and in vitro fertilization; and statements opposing the proposed casino in Underground Atlanta. "Generally we're pleased," Georgia Christian Coalition President Jim Beck said. "I would probably give them [state lawmakers] a B+ if I had to. I can't think of anything we wanted them to do [that they didn't do], just a few missed opportunities." Read more

-GA: Police Classify Attack on Gay Man as Possible Hate Crime
DYANA BAGBY | Southern Voice
The Atlanta Police Department's LGBT liaison said Wednesday that an attack on a gay man in Midtown on March 8 is being classified as a possible hate crime and an investigation is ongoing. An initial police report made after the incident stated "there is no evidence that this was a bias crime." Officer Dani Lee Harris said she interviewed the victim March 11. She told Southern Voice about 2 p.m. that day the police would investigate the attack as a hate crime. Five hours later, she called back to clarify that it is being investigated as a possible hate crime. Although she can consider the attack a hate crime, she cannot speak for the department, she said. "Because of the discrepancies in the report and what the victim told me, we are looking into this as a possible hate crime," Harris said. Read more

-"Family Guy" Gay Gene Episode Offensive.or Not?
Fox's "Family Guy" is coming under fire for it's "Gay Gene" episode, in which Peter Griffin voluntarily gets injected with the "gay gene" as part of a medical experiment. And though the show is a favorite among gays, many, including GLAAD, are crying foul. Make no mistake: the jokes came fast and furious, and while many relied on the oldest stereotypes in the books, (limp wrists, musicals), things got a bit dicier with references to orgies, glory holes and fisting. Personally, I was ok with it. While a couple of things made me a bit uncomfortable (including the bizarre bit when Chris hits Lois), I am a fan of off-color humor at the expense of anyone and everyone.including myself and my friends. Read more

-Inheriting Halliburton's Army: What Will Obama Do With KBR?
Pratap Chatterjee, | AlterNet
President Obama will almost certainly touch down in Baghdad and Kabul in Air Force One sometime in the coming year to meet his counterparts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he will just as certainly pay a visit to a U.S. military base or two. Should he stay for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or midnight chow with the troops, he will no less certainly choose from a menu prepared by migrant Asian workers under contract to Houston-based KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton. If Barack Obama takes the Rhino Runner armor-plated bus from Baghdad Airport to the Green Zone, or travels by Catfish Air's Blackhawk helicopters (the way mere mortals like diplomats and journalists do), instead of by presidential chopper, he will be assigned a seat by U.S. civilian workers easily identified by the red KBR lanyards they wear around their necks. Even if Obama gets the ultra-red carpet treatment, he will still tread on walkways and enter buildings that have been constructed over the last six years by an army of some 50,000 workers in the employ of KBR. And should Obama chose to order the troops in Iraq home tomorrow, he will effectively sign a blank check for billions of dollars in withdrawal logistics contracts that will largely be carried out by a company once overseen by Dick Cheney. Read more

-KY: Well-Deserved Death
It's entirely possible that this year's gay-bashing bill died in the Senate because Republican leaders didn't want to waste a good wedge issue in a non-election year. What we'd like to think, though, is that Republicans are realizing how mean and out-of-touch they look by trying to force everyone into a narrow definition of what a family should be. Sen. Gary Tapp, R-Shelbyville, told reporter Deborah Yetter of The Courier-Journal in Louisville that he didn't know why his caucus's leaders bottled up his bill, which would have disqualified unmarried couples from adopting children or serving as foster parents. The measure was being pushed by the Family Foundation; 15 states have adopted similar prohibitions. Read more

-Gay Men in Jamaica 'Face Higher Levels of HIV Due to Discrimination'
Pink News
Gay Jamaican men are suffering from high levels of sexually-transmitted diseases due to discriminaty barriers in accessing healthcare, it has been suggested. According to the Caribbean HIV & AIDS Alliance, gay men are reluctant to go to healthcare providers because of homophobic laws and attitudes in the country. A 2008 survey commissioned by the Ministry of Health suggested that 31.8 per cent of gay men in Jamaica are living with HIV. Another 8.5 per cent were reported to have chlamydia, while 2.5 per cent had gonorrhea and 5.5 per cent had syphilis. Read more

-Rise in 'Corrective Rapes' on Lesbians in South Africa
Jessica Geen | Pink News
A new report has suggested a rise in 'corrective rapes' on lesbians in South Africa. According to charity ActionAid, women in Johannesburg and Cape Town are suffering an increase in homophobic attacks and sexual assaults which are seen as a form of punishment or "cure". One lesbian and gay support group says it is dealing with 10 new cases of lesbian women being targeted for 'corrective' rape every week in Cape Town alone. Figures suggest there are an estimated 500,000 rapes in South Africa every year and for every 25 men accused of rape in the country, 24 walk free. Read more

-Study to be Released on Proverty Among Gay Americans
Jessica Geen | Pink News
An analysis of poverty among lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans is to be presented to Congress next Friday. Produced by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, the survey has been described as the first of its kind. Its authors have said it undermines myth of gay affluence and demonstrates that lesbian, gay and bisexual citizens are as likely, or more likely, to be poor than heterosexuals. They added: "Because the U.S. Census Bureau does not explicitly ask questions about sexual orientation, LGB families have been invisible in poverty statistics. Read more

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Armenia gays face long walk to freedom
By PINK Armenia
He gained this freedom - involuntarily - after being sent to jail for his sexual orientation. After that, the whole of his former neighbourhood and his relatives learnt about it and there was nothing to hide. His nightmare began in 1999, when police arrested him and accused him .... Since Armenia became a member of the Council of Europe in 2001, people generally have started to more actively defend their rights, and more and more homosexuals are open about their identity. ...

-LGBT Rights Movement Sent Official Request to Moscow Chief of Police
According to previous reports, Vladimir Pronin, chief of Moscow police, made following comments during press-conference on March 6: "No one will dare to do it [gay pride parade in Moscow] - such "daredevil" would be just torn to pieces. I'm in total agreement with church, with the Patriarch, politicians, especially with [major] Luzhkov, who are convinced, that man and woman should love each other. This is the order of God and nature". In response to this statement Movement For The Rights Of Lesbian Gays Bisexual And Transgender People In Russia - LGBT Rights - sent him official letter with request to clarify his comments. "As the citizen of Russian Federation (and according to Constitution's article 3, subparagraph 1, 2, and 4 I'm the part of the only bearer and source of power in Russian Federation - its multinational population), I'm unable to understand why Moscow chief of police make comments, that are based not on laws, but on Bible dogmas", - said chief of "LGBT Rights" coordination committee, Noir Nechaev. "He has degree in law, he's a professional, who works in interior security from 1971, so he should know, that in Russian Federation there is separation of church and state and country's Constitution directly forbids promotion of religious superiority".


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