Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 25, 2009

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

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Human Rights Campaign Applauds Vote to Uphold Non-Discrimination Laws in Gainesville, Florida
Gainesville Voters Defeated Ballot Measure Seeking to Repeal Protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender People
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, issued the following release regarding voting in a city election in Gainesville, Florida today, where voters rejected a proposed amendment to the city charter that would have repealed existing laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Amendment 1, which would have repealed ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, was defeated 58 percent to 42 percent.

-Task Force, HRC laud Gainesville voters for gay-rights win on Tuesday
Here are official statements regarding the gay-rights victory in Gainesville from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Human Rights Campaign:
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund lauds defeat of Gainesville's Charter Amendment 1 Measure sought to enshrine discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the city charter for years to come The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund hails the defeat of Charter Amendment 1 in Gainesville, Fla. The referendum would have effectively eliminated the nondiscrimination protections that Gainesville extends lesbian, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people by requiring the city's nondiscrimination ordinance to conform to the state's nondiscrimination laws, which do not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

-Gay etiquette columnist asked:
Can boyfriends (or girlfriends) make out in public?
My colleague, Steven Petrow, has begun writing a new column for called Queeries. (Petrow also keeps a blog on Huffington Post.) The monthly column "offers advice to LGBT community members and their straight allies on etiquette and social interaction." Here are this month's questions:
Public displays of affection
Q: Can a gay or lesbian couple kiss in public? On the cheek or on the lips?
How about holding hands? -Touchy Feely

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-There is no 'cure' for a nation's hate
There are now 926 hate groups in this country. Take a second and consider that number. It represents an increase of more than 50 percent since 2000. And by ''hate groups,'' I don't mean guys in their bathrobes who go online and pretend their followers are legion. No, I mean actual Klan cells, Neo-Nazi sects, gay-bashing ''churches,'' cliques of black separatists, white nationalists, nativists, racist skinheads and other merchants of venom who meet, plot and recruit in all 48 contiguous states (Alaska and Hawaii have no known hate groups). Nine hundred twenty-six of them. The number is a record.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Sexual Resolution
COMMENTARY: The Obama administration's decision to support the U.N. declaration to decriminalize homosexuality is cause to celebrate -- and cause for gay rights activists to hold the new president accountable for real change.
By James Kirchick
The hosannas are flying in response to news that the United States will sign
onto a United Nations General Assembly declaration urging all of its member states to decriminalize homosexuality. "The Administration's leadership on this issue is a rebuke of an earlier Bush administration position that sought to deny the universal application of human rights protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals," said Mark Bromley of the Council for Global Equality. Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign applauded the State Department's decision as "a welcome step forward as it signals to the world that, after years of a hostile administration, the United States recognizes the humanity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people at home and abroad."

-Revival Unlikely for Hawaii Civil Unions Bill
By Julie Bolcer
Lack of support from a key senator makes it unlikely that a civil unions bill will be revived in the Hawaii legislature today, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.

-Gay Clubs: No Bachelorettes Allowed
Gay bar patrons in Chicago -- and across the country -- have decided they don't want the fact that they can't marry rubbed in their faces on a Friday night. In her column in the Chicago Tribune, writer Dawn Turner Trice says that she's been to a handful of bachelorette parties in Chicago that take place in gay bars so that creepy straight men won't try to flirt with the bride and her posse. By the end of the night and a few drinks, however, the demure bridesmaids turn into "pelvis-trusting vamps."

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Morocco clamps down on gays, Shiites
By The Associated Press
(Rabat) Morocco's government is clamping down on homosexuality and alleged Shiite propaganda, saying it will tackle any group that threatens moral and religious values in the Sunni Arab kingdom.

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

-Surey: Should the BBC have punished Chris Moyles over "anti-gay" broadcast?
On Monday, the media regulator Ofcom has found the BBC in breach of the Broadcasting Code following complaints by members of the public of that Chris Moyles displayed homophobia towards the gay singer Will Young during his BBC Radio 1 Breakfast programme. But the BBC have not disciplined or sacked the star. Give us your views on whether the BBC should have taken tougher action and if you belive them to be institionally homophobic?

-Queen Mother's castle does U-turn on civil partnerships
By Staff Writer
The Castle of Mey, formerly owned by the Queen Mother, has done a U-turn and announced it will considering hosting civil partnerships for gay couples. After gay rights groups protested, manager of the castle's trust James Murray said the castle was prepared to apply for a licence to conduct the ceremonies.

-New York newsreader killed in 'gay slaying'
The death of a New York radio newsreader has been described by authorities as a "gay slaying", according to reports. George Weber, 47, who worked for ABC, was found stabbed to death in his Brooklyn apartment on Sunday.

-Government wins House of Commons vote on anti-gay hate speech
The government has defeated an amendment in the House of Commons that would have created a defence of "free speech" in a bill that is designed to criminalise incitement of hatred in relation to sexual orientation.

-Opinion: Why anti-gay hate laws are necessary
This week, actors Rowan Atkinson and Christopher Biggins attacked proposals to remove a free speech clause from anti-gay hate laws, saying it will stifle free speech and criminalise the work of comedians. But logic suggests that anyone could claim free speech as a defense for the most offensive and inflammatory remarks.

-Gays and lesbians face 'double stigma' over mental health
Gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Wales face a double prejudice in terms of mental health, a survey has suggested. The report, from Stonewall Cymru, states that mental health provision in Wales is "under-resourced and ill-equipped" to cope with LGB mental health issues.

-Complaint may block young gay minister from preaching
A meeting is to be held to discuss whether a young gay minister should be allowed to work at a Aberdeen church. Rev Scott Rennie, 36, was appointed to Queen's Cross Church in January. However, 12 members of the Aberdeen Presbytery objected to the decision because they do not approve of his lifestyle.

-Dolly Parton brushes off lesbian rumours
Country legend Dolly Parton has shaken off rumours she may be gay. The star has been romantically linked with friend Judy Ogle before but told AARP magazine: "We're absolutely, totally honest, open, and comfortable with each other.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Luring gays as tourism destination
KATHMANDU, March 24 - Life's pretty rough on gays and lesbians, more so while travelling. Even on a simple occasion like eating out, more often than not they are subjected to discrimination. For instance, waiters get nosy about their appearance and may even ask them about their sexual identity. Fortunately, thanks to Nepal's tourism and service industry, foreign gays and lesbians do not have to suffer like in other countries. In a break from the traditional mindset, some of the country's tour operators have now geared up to lure foreign gay and lesbian tourists. Earlier, this kind of travel used to be closeted.

-Fight for free abortion and gay marriage in Portugal
The struggle for the right to free abortion started after the dictatorship had been overthrown in 1974. After the election of 1995, a majority of MP's voted in fabour of legalization. But the Social Democratic Prime Minister, Antonio Guterres, listened to the protests from the Catholic Church, and announced a referendum. The church mobilized, and managed to win the referendum by on percent. But after several trials against doctors and nurses who had helped pregnant women to get abortion, a new referendum was announced in 2005. It was won by the abortion advocators by around 60 percent! Now, Portugal has almost the same abortion rights as most European countries.

-The Russian Week Against Homophobia began on March 23rd and will go on till March 31st. It continues the tradition of yearly educational events, which grew out of the European Week Against Homophobia (March 2007). The events of the Week take place in Saint-Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Arkhangelsk, Tyumen, Omsk, Chelyabinsk, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Naberezhnye Chelny, Moscow and other cities. [in Russian]

-Coalition of Christian Congregations in Riga Calls for Ban of Gay, Lesbian March
The Coalition of Christian congregations in Riga has called for a ban of the gay and lesbian march that is planned for May of this year, the LETA news agency was informed by Inga Virbule, an assistant to the deputy mayor of Riga, Almers Ludviks. Ludviks and the coalition, which is made up of Latvia's largest Christian denominations, has written to Riga Mayor Janis Birks and the city's executive director, Andris Grinbergs, asking them to ban the "Baltic Pride" gay and lesbian march planned for May 16 of this year in Riga.

-There was significant attention paid to sexual orientation and gender identity issues at the UN Human Rights Council today, with a number of States and NGOs taking the floor to affirm their support for the GA joint statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. In particular:
--- Argentina indicated that it had been "honoured" to deliver the GA joint statement on behalf of 66 States from all regional groups, including 21 Members of the Human Rights Council.
--- The Czech Republic delivered a statement on behalf of the EU and associated countries, affirming the joint statement, commending the High Commissioner for her video address, and reiterating the request for the President of the Council to "provide a special opportunity for a more in-depth discussion of this important human rights issue."
--- The Czech statement was joined not only by the 27 EU Member States, but also by: "The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Armenia". Significantly, Turkey and Ukraine did not join the GA statement in December, but were willing to align themselves with today's EU intervention affirming the GA statement.
--- The United States of America announced that "the United States is proud to join the 66 other United Nations Member States that support the UN Statement on 'Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity'. We share the document's condemnation of human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and welcome its call for an end to criminalization on the basis of sexual orientation." This represents the first time that the US has announced its support for the GA statement in an official UN forum.
--- Denmark then delivered a joint statement on behalf of the Nordic States Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, expressing concern at the "shameful silence" surrounding human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and calling upon the Human Rights Council to address these issues as a matter of priority.
--- Colombia also took the floor, powerfully affirming its support for the GA statement, and pledging its commitment to continuing to address these issues at both the international and national levels.
--- Finally, I was able to deliver a statement by ILGA Europe on behalf of 10 ECOSOC-accredited NGOs, and a number of non-ECOSOC NGOs. The full text of the statement is copied below. It is encouraging to see the continuation of UN attention to these issues, and the willingness of States which did not join the GA statement in December, such as the US, Turkey and Ukraine, to associate themselves with interventions affirming the joint statement.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

-FYI Radio - for the Queer & Alternative LGBT Youth Community
FYI Radio presents its first ever live broadcast: Breeding Gays Queer alternative youth station FYI Radio's next show is Breeding Gays, taking place on Tuesday 31st March at 7pm at The Edge, Soho. Presented in front of a live audience, this is the first of FYI Radio's podcasts to be broadcast live over the internet during the recording. The show will focus on family. What is it like to be the parent of a gay son or daughter? What challenges might a gay parent face whilst bringing up their child? What's great about gay families, and are they really that different to their straight counterparts? [...] For more details on how to get involved in this project or other FYI Radio initiatives, please visit, email

-ILGA-Europe launches "Be Bothered" campaign on the European Parliament elections 2009
Today ILGA-Europe launches its campaign on the European Parliament elections which are taking place on 4-7 June 2009. The motto of this campaign is "Be Bothered. Vote for a human rights friendly European Parliament".The aim of ILGA-Europe's campaign is two fold. Firstly, we want to ensure that the candidates for the next European Parliament express their determination, if elected, to continue the Parliament's commitment to human rights and equality generally and the rights of LGBT people in particular. As a sign of their commitment, ILGA-Europe and its members will be approaching the candidates and inviting them to sign our 10 points Pledge. The Pledge summarises the key issues that ILGA-Europe wants to see advanced at the EU level over the next five years. The candidate will be able to sign our Pledge on our website.

Contact for the full article

-Sundays of Solidarity
Between May 17 and June 28, 2009, groups of LGBTQ and allied people around the country will attend worship services at a church of their choice - a church that is not welcoming and affirming of openly LGBTQ members and guests. Each group will wear a lapel button that reads "gay? fine by me." For less formal churches we also have a t-shirt with this message. The lapel button (or t-shirt) serves as a conversation starter - opening dialogue with people in the church about faith, sexual orientation, and gender identity. When that visible act of courage is paired with adequate training, then transforming hearts and minds becomes a bona fide possibility. That's why we've designed a three-part teleconference course and a resource webpage that covers the essentials of nonviolent communication, media talking points, and what both the Bible and science really say about homosexuality. Training teleconferences will be held on April 19, April 26, and May 3 at 4pm CST. For more information and to find out how to register for these trainings, go to Once you've registered, you'll receive a confirmation email that includes the teleconference number and access code. We hope you will consider organizing a Sundays of Solidarity (SOS) project in your area. It simply involves choosing a church that could benefit from an SOS visit, using your contact list to recruit others to join you, attending the teleconference training sessions, and then organizing your group to take action on one of the Sundays between May 17 and June 28, 2009. Please go to to sign up!

Announcing "OUTlet: Plugging Young Women into the Arts" new electric sponsors! "The Anti-defamation League" and" Equality Florida!"
A national social justice organization with a local South Florida chapter has signed on as sponsor of a powerful one day conference in south Broward County for tricounty young lbtq women and their allies. "OUTlet: Plugging Young Women into the Arts - A Conference for and by Young Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning Women and Their Allies" is welcoming support from The Anti-Defamation League, a well established social justice organization whose mission is to stop the defamation of Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike. Marcie Shaunessey, Program Director for The Anti-defamation League said, "The Outlet for Young Women's Conference is an important and needed event. As society works together to ensure that all people, especially sexual minority young women, are empowered and valued, OUTlet for Young Women Arts Event is a great way to celebrate the strengths of our diversity." The electric OUTlet: Plugging Young Women into the Arts First Ever Conference" is absolutely free to all participants ages 15 to young adult in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. In order to attend you must register on line at:


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: