Saturday, March 21, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 21, 2009

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Washington Post
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-Winning By Losing On Prop. 8
By Jeff Amestoy
The California Supreme Court will uphold Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage passed by the state's voters in November. It is a decision that progressives ought to welcome.

-What the Mayor Won't Tell You About D.C.
By Colbert I. King
This week ended with Mayor Adrian Fenty delivering a 2009 State of the District address that was most notable for what was left out. The speech did not report on the condition of the nation's capital. It did not contain a word about the dramatic event with which Fenty started the week: his release of a report that our city has the country's highest rates of HIV infection and AIDS -- even "higher than West Africa," said the city's HIV/AIDS administrator, Shannon Hader. (A small quibble: "West Africa" is not a country. And while several nations in that region have HIV prevalence rates below the District's, rates in Nigeria, Togo and Ivory Coast are higher, according to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS.)

-Thank God America Isn't Like Europe -- Yet
By Charles Murray
Do we want the United States to be like Europe? The European model has worked in many ways. I am delighted whenever I get a chance to go to Stockholm or Amsterdam, not to mention Rome or Paris. There's a lot to like -- a lot to love -- about day-to-day life in Europe. But I argue that the answer to this question is "no." Not for economic reasons. I want to focus on another problem with the European model: namely, that it drains too much of the life from life.

-Britten's Prime 'Grimes' Stokes Fear and Loathing
By Anne Midgette
Opera is theater. Sometimes that seems to be forgotten. When a Eugene O'Neill play is revived, it's welcomed as a classic. When an opera by Benjamin Britten from the same period is revived, people still worry about its "modern music."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Gay seminar stirs outrage in Morocco
Outrage swept across Morocco following a gay association's announcement of a planned seminar on sexual problems. The seminar entitled "Gender and Sexuality," is set to be held in April and will tackle sensitive issues that people are too shy to discuss for religious and social reasons, said Mariam Benebodallah, media spokesperson for the Moroccan homosexual association Kif Kif. "The seminar will host experts and lecturers who will present their points of view about how Moroccans can develop their sex life," she told"We will tackle the issues at the seminar with extreme caution, and we are not trying to provoke anyone."

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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--Jamaican guilty in gay murder; Grim pics of tranny attacked by mob
Some small justice was delivered this week for a murdered gay man in Jamaica, I've located pics of a brutal attack on a transgender person in 2007, and did you know there was a "Gay Eradication Day" in East Kingston?:

-Study looks at poor among gays, lesbians
By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY
Lesbian couples are more likely to be poor than married heterosexuals, and children of same-sex parents are twice as likely to live in poverty as those of traditional married couples, a new report shows. UCLA's Williams Institute, which studies gay issues, says its report out today is the first to analyze poverty among gay and lesbian couples. The report is an analysis of the most recent data on same-sex unmarried partners from the 2000 Census and two smaller surveys that include questions on sexual orientation. Together, it argues, they debunk "a popular stereotype (that) paints lesbians and gay men as an affluent elite." Unlike the upper-middle-class gay characters on TV's The L Word and Will and Grace, "There are clearly many poor lesbian, gay and bisexual people," says co-author Lee Badgett, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. "That alone is an important finding," Badgett says.

-Sager Symposium breaks off ties with Genderfuck
While the Sager Symposium and the Genderfuck Party have never officially been associated with one another, the party is generally publicized as the culminating event of the Symposium. This year, however, the Symposium Planning Committee has formally terminated its unofficial affiliation with the party, on the grounds that the party's atmosphere is antithetical to the "safe space" that the Symposium strives to cultivate. Sager Symposoum Committee Co-Chair Maria Kelly '10, alluded to the heightened incidence of sexual misconduct and harassment at last year's party as one factor motivating the decision. "After last year, with the occurrence of homophobic events, even from people within the campus, we were getting so disheartened about the party," Kelly said. Kelly emphasized the extreme divergence between the party and the events that precede it. "The goals of the Symposium and the party are becoming separate. We talked about it and concluded that it wouldn't be associated with us. The party has been detrimental to the Symposium," Kelly said.

-Task Force Action Fund
Count Our Marriages
Census Bureau officials announced that they would waste time and money to remove any same-sex couple from being listed as married in the 2010 census survey. They plan to go line by line erasing our relationships - even our legally recognized marriages in California, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Make sure our relationships are counted! Fill out the fields below and we'll add your name to our petition to the Census Bureau:

-Should Call Girls (and Boys) Kiss and Tell?
As public trainwrecks go, Spitzergate was a doozy. This week, we observe the one-year anniversary of the resignation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who, after a successful career busting escort agencies, was himself felled by revelations that he was a high-paying john. Ashley Dupre, one of the escorts he was seeing, feels he's been "punished enough." The real casualties of his downfall, however, are people whose sin was trying to earn a living in one of New York's more durable service industries -- among them Kristin Davis, who is reported to have played matchmaker for the governor and spent three months in Rikers Island for operating an escort business. (Until one of her escorts spotted Spitzer in a local newspaper, Davis says she had no idea who she was dealing with.)

Wrestler won't apologize for gay porn photos
Last year, All-American wrestler Paul Donahoe (University of Nebraska) was booted from the University's team after the University learned that Donahoe and a teammate posed nude for a gay website. Paul had been on his own as a young man since high school, and did the shoot for the $4K that he earned. He says he is straight (no reason to doubt him and it's really quite irrelevant), and that he didn't tell anyone about the shoot because he didn't want the attention - just needed the money. ell, the University found out and took away his scholarship and booted him off the team. Paul sat out a semester, until getting a chance to transfer to Edinboro University in PA, where he is doing fantastically well. Paul refuses to ask for forgiveness or apologize for anything he did. And why in the hell should he? The NCAA claimed - and the University claimed - he broke rules of benefiting commercially from his image as a wrestler. So, he gave the money to a charity. And that should have been the end of it. There was zero reason to kick him off the team, and therefore zero reason for him to apologize.

-Gay grads of West Point come out
"We're publicly announcing our sexuality... we are standing to be counted." A new organization is taking a different path to help end the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy by offering to partner with the nation's oldest military academy, West Point. Their goal is to "support thousands of LGBT soldiers currently serving in the armed forces, and to educate the current military leadership on the importance of accepting and honoring the sacrifices and selfless service of their LGBT soldiers and officers." Knights Out, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) West Point Alumni group, issued a statement pledging "to serve as a critical support and advocacy group for the full acceptance of gay service members, particularly at West Point." By publicly outing themselves, the group is striving to take ownership of their contributions to the institution and the military in general.

Steve Rothaus
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-Ros-Lehtinen meets with AIDS activists
From Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met in Washington, DC with Brandon Macsata of the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) to discuss the Early Treatment of HIV Act (ETHA )which was introduced this week in the House by Representatives Eliot Engel, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. ETHA would allow states to extend Medicaid coverage to low income individuals with the HIV virus before it advances to full blown AIDS. Currently, lower income persons must first become disabled by AIDS before receiving Medicaid provided care and treatment, which could have prevented them from becoming seriously ill, and at which point treatment is far more expensive.

South Florida Blade
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-Anti-gay smear in Dania
Hankerson considers pressing charges against creator of illegal flyer
It might have seemed strange in the weeks leading up to the March 10 run-off election for Dania Beach City Commission that no anti-gay mud had been slung at openly gay candidate Derrick Hankerson. Then a nasty anonymous flyer, that portrayed Hankerson as a radical gay drug-dealing felon, an accusation that is not true, began circulating in the community four days before voters went to polls to elect three new commissioners.

-'Silly Faggot' t-shirt dampens AIDS Walk spirit
RoadSafe Employee terminated after act
Participants in last Sunday's Florida AIDS Walk received an ugly reception by a worker employed by Road Safe, the company contracted to erect and dismantle the barricades along the walk route. Shortly after the participants left Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale, an unidentified employee of RoadSafe prominently faced the crowd wearing a t-shirt saying, "Silly Faggots, Dix are for Chix".

-Winfrey offers DeGeneres spot on O magazine cover
Only other person to share cover was Michelle Obama
Oprah Winfrey offered to share the cover of O magazine with Ellen DeGeneres, and DeGeneres - who's been campaigning for the spot - has accepted. Winfrey surprised DeGeneres with a video telephone call on Friday's episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." She told a shocked DeGeneres that she was "calling to officially invite you on the cover of O."

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-Frank Discussion on the New Gay Agenda in Washington
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Congressman Barney Frank talks to our Ross Palombo about his hopes for the Obama presidency and the issues facing our nation. Read more...

-Murder trial for pair accused of incinerating gay man
A suburban London woman broke down in tears as she described seeing her neighbor engulfed in a "big ball of fire."

-Anti-gay group accused of 'intimidating' lawmakers
A conservative Christian group opposing an LGBT equality bill and pressing for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has been accused of trying to intimidate two West Virginia lawmakers

Pink News - UK
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-One-third of HIV sufferers 'face discrimination'
A survey has suggested that one-third of people living with HIV experienced discrimination relating to their status in the last year. It also found that discrimination was compounded by homophobia, racism or asylum and immigration-related prejudice.

-Northen Ireland MP Iris Robinson will not face prosecution for comparing homosexuality to paedophillia
A Northern Ireland MP who said gay people could be 'turned around' and compared homosexuality to paedophilia will not be prosecuted. Iris Robinson, the MP for Strangford, was investigated by police after complaints.

-Australian government to 'block' gay websites
A blacklist of banned websites drawn up by the Australian government includes gay sites. The government is proposing a law that requires internet service providers to filter and block inappropriate content, such as that related to terrorism and abusive images of children. It has drawn up a list of sites to be blacklisted.

-Vermont senate committee approves gay marriage bill
A Vermont senate committee has unanimously approved a bill to allow gay marriage in the state. The news comes after a week of hearings on the issue, including a public debate on Wednesday.

-Orange County school sued over homophobic and sexist threats
Corona del Mar high school has been accused of failing to protect a female student who was targeted with gay slurs and threatened with rape and murder.

Daily Queer News
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-$357K DC HIV Execuative Gets $25,000 Bonus
Michael Petelis | Petrelis Files
A little bird in Washington sang an anger-inducing song to me this morning, all about Craig Shniderman, the executive director of the hot meals Food and Friends AIDS service organization, receiving a $25,000 bonus since he faced brutal criticism last year over his $357, 447 salary. Here's the scoop. The Washington Blade, which has extensively covered Schniderman's pay and the cuts in services at Food and Friends with accuracy and balance, will report on its front-page tomorrow that this avaricious AIDS leader got a nice five-figure bonus recently. The story will also be on the paper's web site. Given the extreme reactions of donors, clients and accountability activists upon learning of his $357,447 pay last summer, how the heck could the board of Shniderman's agency even think of giving the man a bonus, and in this economy too, not to mention the American public's anger over bonuses to corrupt Big Banking executives? What the eff was going through the minds of Food and Friends' board members when they decided to fork over $25,000 on top of his salary? Read more

-My Frustrations with 'Christians'
Earlier this month, I presented a lecture on my best-selling book "What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality" to students at the University of West Georgia, where I teach. Probably 150 people were there. Lambda at UWG, the campus gay-straight alliance, sponsored the event. It was fine until the Q&A segment; then all hell broke loose. As is their style, the Bible-toting "Christians" attended in force, teams of them strategically located in different corners of the hall. Initial interventions were restrained, but the intensity escalated until people were shouting at one another, cheering and arguing. The lecture officially ended as scheduled at 9 p.m. Many wanted to continue the "discussion," and in foolish good will, I agreed to stay. About 50 people remained, some leaving and then returning, until 10:30 p.m. when, emotionally drained, headachy, and absolutely frustrated, I declared I was going home, and I shut down the hall. Read more

-Gay Republicans Seek New Home
Southern Voice
Some gay Republicans are considering organizing outside of the Log Cabin Republicans, raising questions about whether a new group will form to compete with the organization. Chris Barron, a former Log Cabin political director, said he's involved with activities such as "talking to gay Republicans and kind of getting a sense for what the priorities of gay Republicans are right now." "A lot of folks who care a lot about the direction that this party is headed in . are seriously concerned about the lack of a voice for gay Republicans in the party right now," he said. Jimmy LaSalvia, a former Log Cabin policy director, said he's had discussions with gay Republicans at GOP events and concluded that Log Cabin is "missing a lot of opportunities to provide a voice for gay conservatives." Read more

-Tax Dollars for Tyrants
Richard J. Rosendall | Independent Gay Forum
First published in Bay Windows, March 19, 2009
I recently excerpted the HIV/AIDS-related items from the State Department's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2008 (online at The grim survey ranges from Russia (where Moscow officials undermine prevention efforts by accusing foreign HIV/AIDS organizations of encouraging pedophilia, prostitution and drug use) to Burma and Cambodia (where sex trafficking victims are at risk for HIV/AIDS as well as physical and mental abuse). In Africa, AIDS orphans from Kenya to Swaziland resort to prostitution for survival, while adults from Burundi to Malawi rape children out of a belief that sex with virgins will cleanse them of HIV. These heartbreaking practices occur even in South Africa despite its modern economy. One program to combat the global AIDS pandemic is the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It was reauthorized last year at $48 billion, which pays for a lot of effective prevention and treatment - at least to the extent that the funds are not being channeled to anti-science and anti-gay religious zealots. James Kirchick of The New Republic wrote on March 10, "The problems with PEPFAR were inherent in the 2003 legislation establishing the program." For example, a third of PEPFAR prevention funds were reserved for pushing abstinence until marriage. Kirchick writes, "Many organizations combating HIV - whether groups that worked with prostitutes, gays, or intravenous drug users - have been either neglected or explicitly prohibited from receiving U.S. money, while evangelical Christian organizations have had little problem accessing funds. In this way, while PEPFAR distributed drugs to millions of people living with the disease, the program undermined the global fight against HIV transmission." Read more

William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Columnist
A man looks at a cross set up for a soldier killed in Iraq. The cross is set up every Sunday at the beach in Santa Monica by Veterans for Peace as part of what they call "Arlington West." Six years ago, the United States of America began the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since then, 4,259 American soldiers have been killed and tens of thousands more have been wounded. There is no accurate accounting of Iraqi dead and wounded, because as we were told, we do not do body counts. Because the Bush administration left its Iraq expenditures off the budget, and because of the tremendous amount of war-profiteering, graft and theft that has been involved, we do not know exactly how much we have spent. For the record, 2,192 days later, this is how we got here: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction." Read more

-Kerry Urges Holder to Reunite Gay Couple
Ethan Jacobs | Bay Windows | EDGE Boston
Haverhill resident Tim Coco tried in vain to petition the Bush administration to allow his husband, Genesio Oliveira, Jr., to return from his native Brazil to the United States, but now Coco and Sen. John Kerry hope that they will have more success under the Obama administration. Coco and Oliveira married in 2005, but two years ago Oliveira was forced to return to Brazil after his immigration status expired. Had the couple's marriage been recognized at the federal level Oliveira would have been allowed to stay in the country. Oliveria applied for asylum in the United States in 2002, claiming he was sexually assaulted by government officials in his home country, but his application was rejected. Today Kerry sent Attorney General Eric Holder a letter asking him to review Oliveira's asylum case and overturn the immigration court's earlier ruling. Here is the text of Kerry's letter: Read more

-Unbridled Stupidity Still Plagues Republicans
HotSpots! Magazine | EDGE Boston
The image that was sent from Mayor Dean Grose's personal e-mail account. Given their disastrous showing in the 2006 and 2008 elections, conventional wisdom suggests the GOP needs to broaden its appeal. But in the past few weeks, there has been an epidemic of Republicans saying and doing some rather obnoxious things. Some Republican politicians and party leaders seem determined to alienate, rather than attract, as many voters as possible. Hopes were high for the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, when he started sounding more centrist on Fox News at the beginning of February. He told Chris Wallace that, yes, the GOP needs to do a better job of reaching out to people who favor abortion rights and gay rights. After that interview, the party's right-wing forces must have heavily chastised Steele for sounding too moderate. Three weeks later, Steele's attitude showed a marked change. Appearing on Mike Gallagher's radio show on February 23rd, Gallagher asked chairman Steele whether there was room for compromise on the issue of gay marriage, and if he would consider supporting civil unions. "No, no, no. What should we do that for? What are you, crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country?" Steele's emphatic "no" was a clear indication that the Taliban wing of the Republican Party is still very much in charge. Read more


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