Thursday, March 19, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 19, 2009

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

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-A.C.L.U. Sues School Involved in 'Rent' Tussle
By PATRICK HEALY; Compiled by Dave Itzkoff
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California filed a lawsuit on
Wednesday in state Superior Court contending that an Orange County high school allowed a hostile environment to develop against gay and female students there, citing the brief cancellation of a school production of the musical "Rent" as one piece of evidence. The lawsuit, which argues that state and federal equal protection laws were violated, was filed on behalf of a female student at Corona del Mar High School who was said to be a target of rape and death threats by male students. It contends that sexist and homophobic comments are common at the school and that school officials have done little in response. The school drama teacher, Ron Martin, said last month that the school's principal, Fal Asrani, had canceled the "Rent" production; Ms. Asrani said that was not true, and later she approved the production. A spokeswoman for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District said that she had no immediate comment, but that one would be forthcoming.

-First Chapter: 'Unfriendly Fire'
Brain Drain: Arabic Linguists: On September 10th, 2001, the United States government intercepted two phone calls placed from Afghanistan between Al Qaeda operatives. "Tomorrow is zero hour," said one of the voices. "The match is about to begin," came another ominous line. The National Security Agency intercepts millions of messages every hour, but these calls came from sources deemed to be high priority. They were, of course, spoken in Arabic, so they made their way to a translator's queue, waiting to be interpreted. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2001 our government did not have enough Arabic linguists to translate the messages quickly. The phone calls were not translated until two days later, on September 12, 2001. It was two days too late.

-Prostate Test Found to Save Few Lives
The PSA blood test, used to screen for prostate cancer, saves few lives and leads to risky and unnecessary treatments for large numbers of men, two large studies have found.

-Obama Administration to Stop Raids on Medical Marijuana Dispensers
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday outlined a shift in the enforcement of federal drug laws, saying the administration would effectively end the Bush administration's frequent raids on distributors of medical marijuana.

-Suriname to Provide Free Circumcision
Suriname is offering free circumcisions to young boys and men ages 4 to 21 in an effort to curb sexually transmitted diseases, including H.I.V./AIDS, Agence France-Presse reports. Some 2 percent of the Suriname population is infected with H.I.V.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Dwyer Doesn't Want to Caucus, Nor Does He Wish To Talk About It
Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel), one of the House of Delegates' most conservative members, has told fellow party members that he no longer plans to caucus with the group. Dwyer sent colleagues an e-mail last week announcing his intentions, indicating he did not wish to discuss his decision or explain his reasoning. A member of the caucus confirmed the e-mail for The Washington Post. Dwyer has been busy: Last week, committees heard testimony about his constitutional proposals to ban gay marriage and to assert "personhood" rights starting at conception, an antiabortion measure. Annapolis blogger Judd Legum, who first reported the defection, wrote that it was the caucus's failure to take a position in support of the latter amendment that pushed Dwyer out. The Republican caucus member, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Dwyer sent a second e-mail reiterating his desire to keep his reasoning private but indicating the personhood amendment was not his motivation. Dwyer also emphasized that he remains a member of the party but will not attend caucus meetings. "I wouldn't expect Don to abandon conservative principles one iota," the caucus member said. As for Dwyer, he's not talking. "I'm not discussing this issue with anybody, at any time," he said last week.

-Mexico sees rare, openly gay mayoral candidate
The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY -- A small Mexican political party has made an unusual choice in tapping an openly gay candidate to run for mayor of the conservative city of Guadalajara. The Social Democratic Party is nominating 31-year-old helicopter pilot Miguel Antonio Galan for the July 5 election.

-Teenage Birthrate Increases For Second Consecutive Year
By Rob Stein and Donna St. George
The rate at which teenage girls in the United States are having babies has risen for a second year in a row, government statistics show, putting one of the nation's most successful social and public health campaigns in jeopardy.

-Condom Sense
Pope Benedict XVI is wrong.
THE LATE New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts." This holds true even for the pope.

Wall Street Journal
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Will Gay Couples' Marriage Vows Survive California Court Review?
The California Supreme Court is weighing an incendiary question: Should it recognize the gay couples who married last year, when same-sex marriage was briefly legal? Within the next 10 weeks, the court is expected to rule on a petition to overturn the state's voter-mandated gay marriage ban, called Proposition 8. Legal scholars and even many gay-marriage advocates say the justices' questions during a March 5 hearing leave little doubt that the court will allow the ban to stay, partly out of respect for California's voter initiative process.

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Lift Florida's gay adoption ban
OUR OPINION: Bill allows judges to decide based solely on child's best interests
The fundamental unfairness and illogic of Florida's ban on gay adoptions gets more obvious with every new legal assault on it. The ban has been found unconstitutional in two state court circuits and is the target of two new bills in the Legislature. Whether the Florida Supreme Court will agree that the ban is unconstitutional, or lawmakers will come to their senses this year and end the ban isn't clear. But when momentum for a just cause reaches this point, it is only a matter of time until fairness prevails. We wish that day would come sooner rather than later. The ban hurts Florida's foster children most. Florida is the only state with a complete ban on gay and lesbian adoptions of foster children. But the state thinks it's fine for them to be foster parents. This hypocritical policy means the state considers a gay couple's home perfectly fit for foster kids but not good enough for giving that child a permanent, stable, loving life. Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, has introduced two bills that, in separate ways, would overturn the ban approved by the Legislature in 1977. The first bill would repeal the law. The second would require judges to determine adoptions based solely on what is in the best interest of the child. This is so reasonable that it should be impossible for any lawmaker to reject it. Unfortunately, politics still trumps common sense when it comes to issues involving homosexuality in Florida. While the private sector has kept up with changing times by offering partner benefits, for example, the public sector is still hampered by political expediency. It is time for lawmakers to put Florida's foster children before politics.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-It's mighty unusual, to say the least, that an individual representing a foreign government, and one that is so homo-hating as the political leaders in Jamaica, has been allowed to conduct consular affairs on San Francisco property. Last week, I filed a Sunshine Act request with Ms. Eileen Shields, public information officer for the Department of Public Health, for all contracts and leases between the DPH and the honorary consul of Jamaica. This was her first reply: My initial information is that a while back a UCSF oral surgeon from Jamaica inadvisably used his work address at SFGH as the contact point for an "honorary consulate." It does not appear there was any formalized agreement, it was more a Jamaican resident who wanted to be available to other Jamaicans in the Bay Area. Still, the information managed to work its way onto the web.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

-"Members of the European Parliament ask Germany to properly apply EU legislation for a gay asylum seeker from Iran."
On 18 March Members of the European Parliament's Intergroup on Gay and Lesbian Rights sent a letter to the German Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries and Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble asking them to find a proper solution for an Iranian gay asylum seeker who has seen his asylum application being rejected in Germany. "We would like to remind you that Member States of the European Union cannot apply European and national laws and procedures in a way resulting in the expulsion of persons to a third country where they would risk persecution, torture and death, as this would amount to a violation of European and international human rights obligations," states the letter to the German ministers.

-Colombia: Protest the Murder of LGBT Human Rights Defender
The rights violated in this case include: The right to life, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to equality. On March 6, 2009, unknown men killed the human rights defender Álvaro Miguel Rivera in the city of Cali, Colombia. Álvaro was the representative of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) organization, Tínku. He was also a member of Planeta Paz, a national peace network, and of the Polo Rosa, the LGBTI section of a left wing political party. Álvaro was far and foremost a committed activist who worked for the rights of the LGBTI community and people living with HIV. In the past, threats against his life had already made Álvaro flee Villavicencio, a city in Eastern Colombia.

SunShine Cathedral - Ft. Lauderdale
The leadership of Sunshine Cathedral (MCC) applauds DignityUSA's, New Ways Ministry's, and Call to Action's prompt and clear response to Pope Benedict's outrageous, misleading, and dangerous suggestion that condom use might increase HIV infections in Africa. Sunshine Cathedral unequivocally supports the use of condoms to reduce the risk of HIV infection. We are appreciative of the resistance being offered by faithful Roman Catholics to the out-dated, irresponsible teaching against safer-sex practices. We share with you the following statement by Dignity/New Ways/CTA:
March 18, 2000
Media Contact:
Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA, C: 617-669-7810
Nicole Sotelo, Call To Action, O: 773.404.0004 x285; C: 857.928.4112 Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry, O: 301.277.5674; C: 240.432.2489 Gay Catholic Groups Condemn Pope's Statements in Africa on Condom Use Leade s of DignityUSA, New Ways Ministry and Call To Action-three groups that support gay rights in the Catholic Church-spoke out to condemn the Pope's comments that implied that using condoms could increase the incidents of HIV/AIDS. Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA's Executive Director, said, "The Pope's statement that '...the distribution of condoms...aggravates the problems' is amazingly insensitive to all the people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. A 2006 United Nations report confirms that, 'Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst-affected region in the world. In 2005, there were 24.5 million in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV. Globally, 64% of all people living with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa.' This UN study goes on to cite Zimbabwe as a country that had a 2% decrease in HIV/AIDS due to condom use and deferral of sex by young people. "Numerous medical studies prove that proper use of condoms greatly reduces the spread of HIV/AIDS. This includes the wives and partners of HIV positive men who have relations with their husbands or partners infected by HIV/AIDS-whether by choice or coercion. DignityUSA has long called on the Vatican to acknowledge the importance of educating people on the proper use of condoms, and to support making them widely available as a way of saving lives of vulnerable people around the world." Nicole Sotelo, Communications Director of Call To Action, said, "Catholics throughout the world understand that condoms save lives. We must stop making orphans of children throughout the world because of misinformation. To this day, the Vatican bans the use of condoms by Catholics. This is just morally wrong." Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director of New Ways Ministry, added, "Once again, the Pope's use of discredited beliefs endangers people across the globe. This is a violation of the deepest values of the Catholic faith. We urge Catholics to express their concern about the Pope's stance on condoms directly to the Vatican, and to support organizations providing medically appropriate information and resources to people with or at risk of becoming infected with HIV."
Call To Action (CTA) is a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society. An independent national organization of over 25,000 people and 53 local chapters, CTA believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just its appointed leaders. Visit our website at DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, as well as their families, friends, and supporters. Founded in 1969, the group has members and Chapters throughout the United States. New Ways Ministry is a 32-year-old Roman Catholic bridge-building ministry of justice, education, and reconciliation for lesbian/gay Catholics and the wider church community.

From GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale
Olivia All-Inclusive Island Paradise Retreat - May 2-9, 2009
For Two - Including Airfare
A $6,700 Value
Tickets $50 - Only 100 Tickets Will be Sold
If you're looking for a private oasis with all the amenities, then welcome to heaven! In fact, you'll be pampered at this all-inclusive island retreat where food, most drinks (yes, even cocktails) and most activities are yours to enjoy at no additional cost! You and 500 women will take over the beautiful Columbus Isle Paradise Resort, the centerpiece of this exclusive island. Don't miss this amazing opportunity to meet the sun-drenched shores and smile-studded nights of Columbus Isle. Best of all, at this all-inclusive, all-indulgent resort, you can leave your credit card in your room-just grab your sarong and your flip-flops. Tickets available at the GLCC and New Moon Bar - Drawing will be held on March 28, 2009 For more information, please call Linda Jain at the GLCC, 954-463-9005 or

-"OUTlet: Plugging Young Women in the Arts"
A First Ever Conference in South Floirda for and by Young Lesbians, Bi, Trans, Queer, Questioning Women and our Allies For the first time ever South Florida's young lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning young women and their allies ages 15 to young adult have a place to expand minds, experience creativity and meet other young people like themselves. Through the generous support of Aqua Foundation for Women and under the leadership of Safe Schools South Florida, "OUTlet: Plugging Young Women into the Arts - A Conference for and by Young Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer and Questioning Women and our Allies" will take place on Saturday, April 18th at Sunserve in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1480 South West 9th Avenue, 33315. The electric OUTlet: Plugging Young Women into the Arts First Ever Conference" is absolutely free to all participants in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. In order to attend you must register on line at:

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

-Father of SoCal teen in slaying case found dead
William McInerney's death will delay preliminary hearing
The father of a 15-year-old boy accused of killing a gay classmate has been found dead at his Southern California home. Ventura County Senior Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Stevens says 45-year-old William McInerney was found dead about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday by a friend who was going to take him to a court hearing involving McInerney's son. Stevens says there was no indication of foul play. An autopsy is planned. McInerney's son, Brandon, has been charged as an adult in the February 2008 shooting of 15-year-old Larry King in a classroom at their junior high school in Oxnard. He has pleaded not guilty. The preliminary hearing was delayed once word came that Brandon's father was found dead.

-US endorses UN gay rights statement
Declaration, rejected by Bush administration, aims to decriminalize homosexuality
The Obama administration on Wednesday formally endorsed a U.N. declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality, a measure that former President George W. Bush had refused to sign. The move was the administration's latest in reversing Bush-era decisions that have been heavily criticized by human rights and other groups. The United States was the only western nation not to sign onto the declaration when it came up at the U.N. General Assembly in December.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Spain Counters Pope, Sends Condoms to Africa
Spain announced that it will send a million condoms to Africa to fight the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in the continent. The announcement comes a day after Pope Benedict XVI said that condoms conversely "increase the problem." On his way to Cameroon, Benedict told reporters, "You can't resolve [AIDS] with the distribution of condoms." The disbursement of the condoms are to fight HIV with a proven method, the Spanish health ministry said in a statement today. "Condoms have been demonstrated to be a necessary element in prevention policies and an efficient barrier against the virus." The Pope's statements on Tuesday were the first time he had addressed the use of condoms since taking over as the head of the Catholic Church in 2005, according to the New York Times. The Vatican is strongly against contraception including birth control pills and condoms, and Spain's government, headed by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has been clashing with Vatican sentiments since 2004 when he entered office.

-Lawsuit Greets School That Cancelled Rent
By Julie Bolcer
The American Civil Liberties Union sued officials of Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, C.A. on Wednesday, charging that administrators fostered a "sexist" and "homophobic" environment, according to the Los Angeles Times .

-Gay Marriage Hearing Draws Crowds in Vermont
By Julie Bolcer
Nearly 1,000 people crowded into the house chamber in Montpelier, V.T. on Wednesday evening to testify about a gay marriage bill before the house and senate judiciary committees. Legislators heard three hours of passionate testimony on questions such as the purpose of marriage and the meaning of family.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Pope beefs up his anti-science cred
By Jenna Lowenstein
During a visit to Africa on Tuesday, Pope Benedict reiterated the Catholic Church's controversial anti-condom stance, and went as far as to claim that the use of condoms contribute to the spread of the AIDS epidemic. "[AIDS] cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem."

-New era begins in Ft. Lauderdale
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Jack Seiler began his first full day as Fort Lauderdale mayor Wednesday, putting an official end to the 18-year, polarizing term of Jim Naugle. During his term in the mayor's chair Naugle had been blamed for divisive anti-gay rhetoric. Naugle, who was prevented from running last month by term limits. Although he backed Seiler it is unknown much it helped. A former state legislator, Seiler had a huge war chest and spent heavily, defeating two openly gay candidates.

-Gay marriage gets recognition - in the dictionary
By The Associated Press
Same-sex marriage might not be recognized in most states, but it is in the dictionary. Merriam-Webster included a secondary definition of marriage to recognize same-sex relationships several years before gay couples were allowed to tie the knot anywhere in the United States, but the change had gone largely unnoticed until the conservative World Net Daily news site reported it Tuesday.

-Is Uncle Sam over-charging gay couples?
By Matt Simonette
Early last year, Chicagoan Victoria Stagg Elliott was relieved to put her spouse, Karen Shoffner, on her employer's health coverage. But there was a catch. Stagg Elliott found out she would be taxed on the portion of Shoffner's coverage paid for by the employer. She estimated that the coverage represents about $100 worth of monthly income, meaning she has to declare about $1,200 more in income each year than a straight married colleague with an equivalent insurance package.

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

-Amnesty asks Pope to defend gay rights
Amnesty International has urged Pope Benedict XVI to condemn the criminalisation of homosexuality when he meets with African bishops today in Cameroon, which criminalises same-sex relations.

-Gay hotel: Sewage 'was actually sand'
It has been claimed that Club Tucanes, the gay hotel in Gran Canaria which evacuated guests due to a 'sewage leak', was actually evicted for non-payment of rent.

-Scottish hate crimes law to be extended to cover anti-gay crimes
Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has said that extending hate crime laws to protect LGBT people and the disabled will send out a "clear message" that such crimes cannot be tolerated.

-Minnesota gay marriage ban 'will prevent world from ending'
The Minnesota Family Council has introduced an amendment to ban gay marriage, which it claims will stop the world from ending. Webslice

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

-Remembering Queer History
Elizabeth Rubin | Daily Pennsylvanian
Could "gay shame" ever take the place of "gay pride?" It did in the past. Professor Heather Love appeared at the Penn Bookstore last night to discuss her book, Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History, which highlights the importance of remembering the dark and lonely past of the gay and lesbian community . "Gay pride" is a ubiquitous term that represents the great strides that the gay community has made in political rights and social acceptance. Love, however, presented an alternate view of this assimilation and acceptance. In her discussion she said, "I am happy about clear advances, but troubled by gay normalization." Seeing shows like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" as "sell-outs," Love argues that the history of social exclusion resulted in a unique community. By commercializing the gay community and promoting assimilation to social norms, Love feels that the unique personailities of her friends are at risk of being lost. Read more

-In Anticipation of Prop 8 D-Day, Activists to March to Sacramento this Month
LGBTQ people and allies eagerly await the California Supreme Court decision that will either reject or affirm anti-gay Proposition 8. Marriage equality activists say that if the court rules to only uphold the existing same sex marriages, but allows the rest of Prop 8 to stand, it will not be a victory. Many are calling for a return to the streets with direct action and civil disobedience if discrimination is written back into the California Constitution. The California Supreme Court must rule within 90 days of March 5, 2009, when they heard the case, meaning a decision is expected at the latest by June 3. In anticipation of an earlier decision, lesbian/gay/bi/trans activists and allies will leave Berkeley, California for a 100-mile walk to the state Capitol in Sacramento on March 25. The event will begin with a rally on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall at Noon on Tuesday, March 24 with speakers, including a representative from Supervisor Tom Ammiano's office and inspirational music by the Raging Grannies and Brass Liberation Orchestra, followed by a symbolic march to the State Supreme Court building. Marchers hope to build bridges with local communities along the way and enlist former antagonists to help repeal the ban on same-sex marriages. The march is initiated by the direct action group One Struggle One Fight, and supported by a range of organizations including the LGBT labor alliance Pride At Work and the group And Marriage For All, which coordinated No On 8 outreach among LGBT people of color. More than 50 people from 10 cities and towns are already signed up to participate in the peaceful event, including 78-year-old Dolores Huerta, the co-founder and First Vice President Emeritus of the United Farm Workers of America, and Robert Moore, a 28-year-old gay Mormon who said, "I encourage everyone that wants to see equal rights for ALL to join us in this march and show that we will not be divided." The group will walk through both large and small cities on the way to the capital, entering bustling suburbs like Pleasant Hill and small Delta towns such as Locke. Marchers are inviting local communities to join in evening discussions. The march will culminate in a day of action in Sacramento on Monday, March 30, to demand the repeal of Proposition 8 and spotlight the need for better health care and immigration rights for all people.

-Legion to White House: Don't Bill Our Heroes
Our Voice
Our National Headquarters phones and email boxes in Indianapolis and Washington, DC have been flooded with calls concerning the President's proposal to bill private insurance companies for VA treatment of wounded heroes' injuries and disabilities. Our mail boxes are jammed full with hundreds of messages and we are responding as quickly as possible. If your message is not returned, please understand that we are simply overwhelmed by your good thoughts and wishes and we appreciate each and every one. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.!

-Just How Bad Off is the Republican Party (Part 2)
As of press time, Tuesday evening, March 17, Michael Steele is still running the Republican National Committee. But tomorrow is another day, as Katon Dawson, I mean Scarlett O'Hara, once said. Perhaps Steele will be ushered offstage soon - if, say, the GOP fails to win back Kirsten Gillibrand's old seat in New York's traditionally Republican 20th Congressional District on March 31. Perhaps Michael Steele will survive till 2010, and lead his party in a miraculous comeback in the midterms. But as the nation waits to learn Steele's fate, we thought we'd take a ground-level look at the state of his party after two consecutive electoral drubbings. The following list examines the trends in each of the 50 states over the past three election cycles, assessing demographic shifts, voting patterns, rising and falling political stars and organizational strengths and weaknesses. The picture it paints is not pretty, but it is not hopeless either. We have (roughly) ordered the list by the relative love that each state has for its Grand Old Party. While there are some places where love is not for sale, there are others where love is all around, and even some spots where hearts are growing fonder. Each entry also includes the cold, hard numeric facts about the electoral strength of the party in 2005 versus its strength today. (Most data on state legislatures is from the National Conference of State Legislatures. State legislature numbers list majority party first, minority party second and independents third; figures below may not account for all special election results, party switches and vacancies.) Read more

-Gay Rights are Civil Rights; Cafeteria Christians
Andoni | Citizen Crain
NAACP Board Chair Julian Bond addressed the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Dinner in Los Angeles last Saturday night and made one of the clearest and most compelling cases for gay rights ever. It is definitely worth your time to hear what this dynamic African American leader has to say on gay rights. In his speech, he makes innumerable good points, including: 1. Gay rights indeed are civil rights. 2. Like race, our sexuality isn't a preference. It is immutable; it is unchangeable. And the constitution protects us against prejudices and discrimination based on immutable differences. 3. Too many Christians are cafeteria Christians. They choose item A from the Bible, then go on to ignore items B through Z (minute 14:30 of the speech). Read more

-AIG and Congressional Blowhards
Andoni | Citizen Crain
It's amazing to see the tirade in Congress over the $165 million in bonuses that have been paid to employees of A.I.G.'s credit swap derivatives division in London. That's the division that took the company to insolvency and the world to the brink of financial disaster. Am I happy about these bonuses? Absolutely not. I'm very angry about it. In fact I'm sick over the whole A.I.G. mess. But what I suggest is that what we see going on in Washington over A.I.G. is 535 adults acting like children.
Consider the following:
1. these A.I.G. employees are based in London. Unless any are U.S. citizens, all the proposals to claw back 99% of the money by raising the income tax on them won't apply. These people are British citizens. You would have to get the British government to go along and pass similar laws. This is a feel good solution that won't work. Read more

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Go to the links for the following articles:
Contact if you can't access the article

-LGBT Equality Caucus Briefing
Not a rosy picture: poverty among lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans
Friday, March 20, 2009 - 10:00am - 11:00am - HC-8
On behalf of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, we would like to invite you and your staff to attend an upcoming briefing on The Williams Institute's newest report, Poverty In The Lesbian, Gay, and BisexualCommunity. Two authors of this groundbreaking report, M. V. Lee Badgett and Randy Albelda, will present their findings and discuss the prevalence of poverty among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults and families. The briefing will take place on Friday, March 20, 2009 at 10:00am in HC-8. In 2007, the United States Census counted 12.5% of Americans as officially poor. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are largely invisible in these poverty statistics, but this report - the first analysis of its kind - finds that poverty rates for lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults and families are as high as, or higher than, those of heterosexuals. Other key findings that will be discussed in more depth at the briefing:
* In general, lesbian couples have much higher poverty rates than either different-sex couples or gay male couples;
* African-Americans in same-sex couples have poverty rates that are significantly higher than black people in different-sex married couples; and
* Employment discrimination, lack of access to marriage, and a greater likelihood of being uninsured exacerbate poverty among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
The Williams Institute study focuses on sexual orientation as no nationally or locally representative data exist for transgender Americans. Although the researchers were unfortunately unable to specifically analyze poverty in this part of the LGBT community in their report, transgender people who are also lesbian, gay, or bisexual may be included in the analysis by virtue of their sexual orientation. Further, the study reports findings from a prior Williams Institute study showing that many transgender people are living at or below the poverty level.

-Obama, U.N. elevating homosexuality to new heights

-Chicago Frat Boys Protest Antigay Bigots!
Hey check out this video! Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church (the same folks who run the god hates fags website and protest soldiers funerals because they say they died defending the Homosexual agenda of the USA) came to the University of Chicago and were met by gay rights protesters. They were also met by protesters of an unexpected sort. Frat boys in solidarity with the gay rights protesters rallied in front of thier frat house and danced, dressed in their underwear only when the bigots marched past. They also dropped a banner from the frat house that read "NO Tolerance for INtolerance". F*****g awesome!

-My name is Nick Teich, and I am the founder and president of Camp Aranu'tiq, a weeklong summer camp for transgender and gender-variant youth in the New England area. Our program will begin in summer 2010, but we would like to get the word out now to agencies or other entitites that deal with transgender and gender-variant individuals. Our age range is 8 through 15. We are on the web at:

-Dramatic spike in gay hate crimes in Calif.

-A Gay-Marriage Solution: End Marriage?
By Michael A. Lindenberger
When a Jewish boy turns 13, he heads to a temple for a deeply meaningful rite of passage, his bar mitzvah. When a Catholic girl reaches about the same age, she stands in front of the local bishop, who touches her forehead with holy oil as she is confirmed into a 2,000-year-old faith tradition. But missing in each of those cases - and in countless others of equal religious importance - is any role for government. There is no baptism certificate issued by the local courthouse and no federal tax benefit attached to the confessional booth, the into-the-water-and-out born-again ceremony or any of the other sacraments that believers hold sacred.,8599,1885190,00.html

-Win for Anti-Bias Rules
A federal appeals court on Tuesday gave a major win to public universities and advocates for gay rights who have wanted to preserve in full the institutional anti-bias policies that bar discrimination based on sexual orientation. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled -- in a two-sentence decision -- that the Hastings College of Law of the University of California was within its rights to deny recognition to a branch of the Christian Legal Society. Hastings said that the student group's ban on members who engage in "unrepentant homosexual conduct" violated the law school's anti-bias policies. In turn, the Christian Legal Society argued that its First Amendment rights were being violated by the law school in that it was forcing the law students in the society to abandon their religious beliefs in return for recognition.

-Censoring sexual orientation "equally"
Consumerist reports that Microsoft will ban anyone who mentions their sexual orientation on the XBox Live site. Microsoft's official policy is to prohibit anything suggesting "content of a potentially sexual nature," and to them that includes "expression of any type of orientation, be that hetero or other." Thus, Microsoft has it that its policy is non-discriminatory: straight and queer people alike are forbidden from mentioning their sexual orientation. (H/t feministing.)

-"Freedom of speech is not absolute."
by Dan Savage
That's an interesting argument for a law professor to advance-I mean, we all know that you're not allowed to scream "fire" in the proverbial crowded theater (unless your proverb is actually on fire), and libel is a no-no, butmost Americans regard freedom of speech as absolutely absolute otherwise, particularly where newspapers are concerned, seeing as... Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.... But a sex column in a student newspaper at the the University of Montana has two law professors arguing against freedom of speech and in favor of censorship.


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: