Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 24, 2009

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New York Times
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-Most of the Seventh Grade Will Be at the Commitment Ceremony
Sometimes the best news is that a story makes no news. In the fall of 2008, the supporters of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative meant to ban gay marriage in the state of California, fell on a lucky break: video of first graders whose class parents had arranged for them a trip to city hall, where they celebrated their female teacher's marriage to another woman, a ceremony over which the mayor of San Francisco presided. Gay-marriage opponents cried indoctrination, and the ensuing controversy provoked so much outrage that it has been considered important in squashing opposition to the ban. (The California Supreme Court is currently weighing the constitutionality of the proposition.)

South Florida Blade
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-Tonight: Finale of 'RuPaul's Drag Race'
Big hopes for hometown [Miami] girl Rebecca Glasscock
By Dan Renzi
We'll be in front of our TVs tonight (or setting our TiVos) to cheer on Rebecca Glasscock, the Fort Lauderdale contestant on LOGO's "RuPaul's Drag Race," the reality competition pitting drag performers against each other in a battle to the death. They don't actually die, of course, but losing this battle is almost as sorrowful.

The Advocate
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-Christian Hotel Owners Sued for Anti-gay Discrimination
A gay couple in England filed a lawsuit against Christian hotel proprietors who refused to let the men stay together in the same room. Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy are seeking £5,000 in damages for "direct discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation," according to the Daily Mail.

-Gay Marriage and Transgender Rights Take Spotlight in New Hampshire
By Julie Bolcer
Bills to legalize gay marriage and to expand nondiscrimination laws to include transgender individuals are expected to be the emotional focus of the New Hampshire legislature this week. The House Judiciary Committee deadlocked, 10-10, on voting for both bills last week. The split votes mean that each bill will reach the full chamber floor without a recommendation.

Pink News - UK
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-Video: Portia de Rossi says sorry for 'selfish' gay marriage
Lesbian actress Portia de Rossi has appeared in a short clip to send up opponents of gay marriage. When she appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel show last Friday, the star, who married Ellen Degeneres last August, offered up a tongue-in-cheek public service announcement.

-Muslim preacher calls for gays to be stoned to death
Hate preacher Anjem Choudary launched a vitrolic attack on gays last week in which he said that they should be stoned to death. The former lawyer added that this would include gay business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson.

-Spanish trans man pregnant with twins
A Spanish man who was born female has said he is pregnant with twins after a course of fertility treatment. Ruben Noe Coronado, 25, plans to bring up the babies with his partner Esperanza Ruiz, 43.

Daily Queer News
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-Barney Frank: Antonin Scalia is a 'Homophobe'
Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer | CNSNews
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview Friday on that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a "homophobe." "At some point, [the Defense of Marriage Act] is going to have to go to the United States Supreme Court," Frank said. "I wouldn't want it to go to the United States Supreme Court now because that homophobe Antonin Scalia has too many votes on this current court." Frank also said in the interview that he thinks President Barack Obama will reverse the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military. "Absolutely," Frank said, concerning the policy. Read more

-Ayslum Judge: Gay Man "Was Never Physically Harmed" By Rape
Jim Burroway | Box Turtle Bulletin
How many women's groups would remain silent over a case like this? Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, has asked the Obama administration to grant asylum to a gay man who married an American citizen in Massachusetts and was later forced to return to Brazil. The man, Genesio Oliveira, has been separated from his husband, Tim Coco, since August 2007, when he left the country after his request for asylum and an appeal were denied. Mr. Oliveira asked for asylum in 2002, saying he was raped and attacked by a physician as a teenager in Brazil and feared persecution because of his sexuality. The Associated Press does not typically name rape victims, but Mr. Oliveira has spoken openly about his case. In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Mr. Kerry said that Immigration Judge Francis L. Cramer had found Mr. Oliveira's testimony to be credible and his fear of living in Brazil genuine. However, the judge denied the asylum claim, saying he "was never physically harmed" by the rape, the letter said. Mr. Kerry called the ruling "outrageous." Genesio now lives in a small apartment in Brazil, just blocks away from the man who raped him. He mostly stays in the apartment, afraid to go out. Read more

-A Battle Hymn for Gay Marriage
D. Allan Kerr | Sea Coast Online
There's a segment of our society that would suggest homosexuals are my enemy; this same segment tells homosexuals I do not believe in their cause. These are individuals who believe other people should be prevented from exercising the same rights they themselves enjoy - even if these other people pay their taxes, contribute to society, and obey the laws of the land. A bill recently introduced into the Maine Legislature would allow residents to marry someone of the same sex, presumably if they are both consenting adults. Now those supporting and opposing the measure are each marshalling their forces for battle in the months ahead - the battle for your heart, your mind and your vote. Both sides will claim to speak for the majority, but in the end you will most likely have the opportunity to speak for yourself. I have nothing to gain from this proposal. I am euphorically heterosexual, married to a partner who is quite literally the woman of my dreams. We have three strong sons and a little girl with the twinkling face of an angel who will celebrate her first birthday this very weekend. Read more

Steve Rothaus
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-Gallery | Capacity crowd screens 'Pedro,' MTV biopic of Miami AIDS activist
Pedro Zamora (1972-1994)
Previously: Years after his death, AIDS activist Pedro Zamora is celebrated on film -"Love is unconditional and God created Pedro for a reason" - ister Mily Zamora to the audience after a screening Sunday night of the film Pedro at the Colony Theater, Miami. Pedro will be simulcast at 8 p.m. April 1 on MTV, MTV TR3S, mtvU and LOGO with an introduction by former President Bill Clinton. It will be released June 9 on DVD. Here's a gallery of photos before and after the screening.

Iranian Queer Organization News [IRQO]
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-New bill in the Iranian Parliament affecting LGBT bloggers.
Last year, a new by-law was introduced in the Iranian parliament which states that bloggers that spread atheism and prostitution in their weblogs will be executed. This bill is dangerous for LGBT bloggers who communicate about their homosexual identity and their rights as a homosexual and simply express their ideas through their weblogs. In the eyes of the law this is considered inappropriate and comparable to prostitution and will cause unfair persecutions on LGBT bloggers. If this bill is passed a judge can rule capital punishment, without consulting a higher court. In March 2009, government media in Iran reported the arrest of a number of bloggers who were accused of conducting a "velvet" revolution (activity conducted by a group that promotes their agenda in a peaceful manner). This arouses deep concern for gay bloggers who are not protected or supported by any group including human rights groups in Iran.

-Europe still refuses to believe in "honor killing."
In Turkey, UNHCR lawyers are familiar with the concept of honor killing, however in Germany a judge refused to believe that a person's own family could kill him because of being an LGBT. An Iranian LGBT refugee when faced with deportation explained to the judge that he would be killed by his own uncle, but the judge did not believe him. This means that European judges and immigration authorities are unfamiliar with Iranian culture and Sharia law.

-Campaigners in over 50 countries are gearing up to mark the 5th
International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17th. Amongst events and initiatives already announced in the UK are the launch of a major international campaign against transphobia, and "the largest, organised same sex hand-holding event in the world". The IDAHO committee in conjunction with "Transgender Europe" and "Gender Dynamix" have launched an international appeal "to reject transphobia and respect gender identity" and there is an on-line petition to sign. Derek Lennard, IDAHO-UK Campaigner explained "In the UK, we will focus on human rights and violations against trans people around the world, and work with other campaigners to publicise and celebrate the services which do exist , and identify the many gaps in service provision". Professor Stephen Whittle commented "Press for Change welcomes the IDAHO campaign and we will be working closely with them". (Details of the campaign can be seen on If you support the aims of this campaign, please indicate your support on
Details of IDAHO-UK events can be found on

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Time for movement to look inward
Coping with and surviving recession should be our top priority right now.
LAST WEEK I was interviewed for the Pride month episode of "In The Life." We talked specifics and we talked strategy. The last question posed was, "What is the most important issue you think will affect our community in the next few years?" There are a number of ways to answer this question, many of which place the ball in someone else's court: How will the Obama administration move on our issues? Will the LGBT people on the inside of the administration help move us forward? Will donors continue to support our organizations in this time of economic crisis? But now it's time to look inward - at the decisions we can actually control - and, more specifically, at the decisions the organizations that represent us can control.

-European Union Pressures Serbia to Adopt "Gender Identity" Legislation
Serbia's legislature has just passed a law providing for "freedom of expression of sexual orientation and gender identity" under pressure from the European Union (EU) and non-governmental organizations advocating homosexual rights. Passage of the legislation is understood to be a precondition for further Serbian reintegration with Europe, including the right to participate in an EU-wide visa waiver program allowing Serbs to travel freely among EU member states. Proponents claim that the law, which also contains an array of human rights protections for minority groups like gypsies (or "Roma"), would help Serbia meet the "Copenhagen Criteria" - a checklist for EU membership that includes stable democratic institutions and human rights guarantees.


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1 comment:

John Maszka said...


I'm conducting feminist research on how American foreign policy affects popular support for terrorism. My theory is that America’s hegemonic activity fuels popular support for terrorism, but I need data to support that hypothesis. I plan to conduct a large international survey in order to collect that data. Before I conduct the survey, however, I need to devise a survey instrument that is non-biased (non-western, non-white). I strongly believe that the biggest reason that America is losing the war on terror is that we aren’t listening to the people that matter the most—everyone else. The same principal applies to my survey: it won’t do any good if I’m not asking the right questions.

So I’m asking for your help.

I’ve put together a pre-survey questionnaire to help fashion a survey that hopefully will ask the right questions― one that takes race, religion, and gender issues into consideration rather than just making the same old geopolitical assumptions that political scientists in my field tend to make. I’m particularly interested in incorporating the views of women, non-whites, and people living outside of America and Western Europe. The final survey will go out once the pre-survey data has been collected and analyzed.

The survey can be accessed at

Please take a moment and fill out the survey.

Thank you!
Take care,

John Maszka