Thursday, March 26, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 26, 2009

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New York Times
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-Hawaii: Measure on Civil Unions Dies in Senate
An effort to force a vote on same-sex civil unions failed in the Senate, essentially killing the bill. Only six senators supported the effort, short of the nine votes required for a full Senate vote. About 18 senators have indicated they support civil unions, but they lacked the political willpower to go against the Senate president, Colleen Hanabusa. Ms. Hanabusa, a Democrat, has supported civil unions but said she did not want to override the lawmaking process by lifting the bill from its committee, where it stalled after a 3-to-3 vote. Brian T. Taniguchi, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said there was hope the bill could be revived.

-Mayor Bloomberg urges New York State to pass bill to allow gay marriage
BY Adam Lisberg
Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday night he stands ready to ask the Legislature to allow gay marriage in New York State, but doesn't know when the time will be right.

-Gay Marriage in Vermont Faces Veto by Governor
Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont said Wednesday that he would veto a same-sex marriage bill if it reached his desk, setting a new hurdle for a measure that had been moving swiftly through the legislature.

-Relief for Patients
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the federal government will no longer prosecute dispensers of medical marijuana if they comply with state law. That should bring relief to people who need marijuana for health reasons and free up law enforcement resources for more important work. There is considerable evidence that marijuana can be useful in treating pain, nausea, weight loss and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy and H.I.V. and other illnesses. Thirteen states, including California, have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, which remains illegal under federal law.

Washington Post
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-Clinton: U.S. Drug Policies Failed, Fueled Mexico's Drug War
By Mary Beth Sheridan
MEXICO CITY, March 25 -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Mexico on Wednesday with a blunt mea culpa, saying that decades of U.S. anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border.

-A Vaccine Debate Once Focused on Sex Shifts as Boys Join the Target Market
By Rob Stein
When a vaccine designed to protect girls against a sexually transmitted virus arrived three years ago, the debate centered on one question: Would the shots make young girls more likely to have sex?

-U.N. urged to reject bar on defamation of religion
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters) - Some 200 secular, religious and media groups from around the world on Wednesday urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to reject a call from Islamic countries for a global fight against "defamation of religion."

-He Dresses Michelle's Tresses
Chicagoan Shapes First Lady's Hair -- and Keeps the Details to Himself
By Avis Thomas-Lester
Johnny Wright met Michelle Obama two years ago, not long after Barack Obama announced his quest for the White House. The hairstylist, then popular in Chicago's Wicker Park area, was called in for an Essence magazine photo shoot -- not that he had to do much with the candidate's wife's hair, he says. Wright and Obama quickly hit it off.

-Vatican official criticizes US bishops on abortion
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former St. Louis prelate who now leads the Vatican supreme court, said President Barack Obama "could be an agent of death" if his support for abortion rights becomes a model for leaders in other countries.

Wall Street Journal

-More Cities Target Teens With Daytime Curfews
This city is considering joining a rising number of others across the country that are imposing criminal penalties on kids who skip school to hang out at the mall or on local street corners. Such juvenile daytime curfews to combat truancy and crime are drawing protests from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and from the parents of homeschooled children who, along with some parents of public-school students, object on grounds that such laws in effect criminalize otherwise law-abiding kids who may have good reasons for not being in school.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-The Petrelis Files
A handful of gays in San Francisco will launch a boycott of Jamaican products and tourism on March 28 at noon at Harvey Milk Plaza because of violence and human rights abuses suffered by GLBT people down there. I'll be sending out a release on the Saturday kick-off tomorrow. But today, I need your help evaluating three fine logos that all send the same message: Boycott Jamaica. Not sure which is the absolute best for our campaign, or if there should be only one official logo for us organizers to promote. Give them all a looking-over, then leave a comment about which you approve of the most.

-Box Turtle Bulletin
At the risk of sounding too alarmist, but our worst fears may soon be realized in Uganda. Three weeks ago, we reported on the three American anti-gay activists who spoke at a conference in Kampala, Uganda. They included Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, Exodus board member Don Schmierer, and Richard Cohen protege Caleb Lee Brundidge. We (Truth Wins Out, Ex-Gay Watch and Box Turtle Bulletin) followed that with an open letter calling on Exodus President Alan Chambers to resign and for Exodus to drop Schmierer from the board and definitively denouce Scott Lively's revisionism which blames Nazi Germany on gay men. It now appears that the aftermath of that conference has now led to the possible start of a new campaign of anti-gay vigilantism, with a press conference in Uganda that has been picked up by Ugandan television stations and at least two newspapers so far. We will be monitoring the situation closely.

-One in six psychiatrists has tried to 'turn gays straight'
Therapists admit using harmful practices to 'cure' homosexuals despite evidence they do not work Psychotherapists are offering to help "cure" gays and lesbians of their homosexuality without any evidence that such treatment is beneficial or safe. One in six said they had tried to turn gays straight, or reduce their gay or lesbian feelings, even though the mainstream medical view is that this is impossible. The idea that homosexuality can be cured has a long and dubious history and the disclosure that a significant minority of therapists and doctors still think it is possible is "worrying", Professor Michael King, of the University College Medical School, said. "Heaven knows what they do. We didn't attempt to ask them because there is no evidence that anything works. We didn't expect it to be happening at this rate and we are really rather concerned. It ought to stop. It is distressing and harmful and there is absolutely no evidence it works," he said.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Serbia Debates Anti-Discrimination Law
Serbian parliament: Deputies in the Serbian Parliament last night adopted a controversial Anti-discrimination law and will consider amendments to the same law today. Deputies adopted the law around midnight, but without discussing all proposed amendments, after the time for the debate had expired. A total of 446 amendments were submitted to the draft law, of which the government adopted six. During the debate, Serb Radical Party and Democratic Party of Serbia MPs criticized the law, claiming that it did not safeguard the rights of all marginalized groups. During the four-hour discussion, the most heated debate centered on articles concerning sexual orientation. Opponents were outspoken in their criticism, indicating they would not vote for the law.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Straightlaced, by Oscar-winner Debra Chasnoff, seeks to enhance gender justice by opening national dialogue among youth and adults San Francisco, CA, March 10, 2009

From Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director
Family Equality Council
I have some exciting news. Just recently, President Obama's Administration reached out to Family Equality Council directly, encouraging us to encourage you, our supporters, to apply for tickets to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll! The Obama Administration knows Family Equality Council's history with the Egg Roll. As the first administration to publicly affirm our families' equal value, they want to take the opportunity provided by this year's Egg Roll to recognize the event's importance to us. I am so proud that the efforts of LGBT parents in their communities, in their schools and in their places of worship have brought us to a moment in history where the White House is reaching out to Family Equality Council to have LGBT-headed families included in the time-honored tradition that is the Egg Roll. This year, for the first time, Egg Roll tickets will be available online, not on the White House lawn. No more camping out overnight on the Ellipse to secure our spots! Tickets will be available at starting Thursday, March 26th. This could mean midnight, 8:00am, or later, so if you're interested in applying for tickets I suggest you check the site starting at 12:00am tonight! The Egg Roll will take place Monday, April 13th.

From Nancy Keenan
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Right now Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is deciding whether to sign or veto a bill that could funnel thousands of dollars to fake clinics that mislead women about their options when faced with an unintended pregnancy. We need pro-choice Americans nationwide to call on Gov. Kaine, who also serves as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to veto this anti-choice bill. Please send him an email today.

Steve Rothaus
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-Vermont's GOP governor says he'll veto gay marriage bill
By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press
Gov. Jim Douglas said Wednesday he will veto a gay-marriage proposal if it passes the Legislature, the first time he has signaled such an intent before final legislative action on a bill. Speaking at an afternoon news conference, the Republican governor said that he thought Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law, passed in 2000, provided sufficient rights to same-sex couples and that he believed "marriage should remain between a man and woman." More . . .

-Actor Isaiah Washington and wife face eviction
Associated Press
Isaiah Washington's landlord has started an eviction procedure against the former "Grey's Anatomy" star, claiming he owes $100,000 in rent. Documents filed in Santa Monica, Calif., on Tuesday claim that Washington and his wife have fallen behind on their $20,000 a month payments on a home in the Venice area of Los Angeles. The complaint filed by Sandalwood Properties states the Washingtons have not paid rent since November. More . . .

-Diva Elaine Lancaster invites you to 'The Blacks' Annual Gala' April 18 at Eden Roc [Miami]
From Elaine Lancaster: Saturday, April 18, 2009, join Lea and Roy Black for "The Blacks' Annual Gala" to celebrate the Power of Hope benefiting the Consequence Program and Bay Point Schools. More . . .

-Family Equality Council: Buy White House Egg Roll tickets online
An open letter from Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council:
Dear Friends and Families,
I have some exciting news. Just recently, President Obama's Administration reached out to Family Equality Council directly, encouraging us to encourage you, our supporters, to apply for tickets to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll! More . . .

Miami Herald
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-Serbian lawmakers pass anti-discrimination law
The Associated Press
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Serbian lawmakers have approved a law against discrimination due to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other factors despite opposition from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Parliament passed the bill Thursday 127 votes in favor to 59 against. Remaining deputies in the 250-member assembly did not attend.

The Advocate
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-Out on Their Own
After decades of rocking out together, Indigo Girls shirk the big labels for a DIY venture.
By Karen Iris Tucker
When Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first offered up their guileless lyrics, braided harmonies, and fevered acoustic strums in Atlanta's Little Five Points pub in the mid '80s, the ladies in the audience appreciatively tossed bras and underwear at their feet. Pop culture has since had its fickle way with their careers, but Indigo Girls are nevertheless icons to a core of lesbian fans who through the years have comingled with frat boys and neo-hippies as they all pumped fists in the air at shows to the duo's signature song "Closer to Fine."

-Conservative Group Invites Anti-gay Leader to Speak
By Julie Bolcer
A local chapter of a California conservative group has invited a controversial anti-gay leader to speak at an upcoming meeting. The Murrieta Temecula Republican Assembly asked Scott Lively, whose work maintains that the Nazis were gay-friendly, to address its members in Riverside County. The initial meeting, scheduled for April 3 at the Temeku Hills Golf Course and Country Club, was cancelled by the club on Tuesday after threats of demonstrations against Lively.

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-Barney Frank clarifies 'homophobe' comment
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief,
Sen. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) hit the news circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday, explaining why he called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a homophobe in an interview with 365gay. "What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people," Frank told Boston radio station WBZ. Scalia, he said, "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people" in his written opinions.

-NH House to vote on gay marriage
By The Associated Press
The House is expected to vote today whether to make New Hampshire the third state allowing gays to marry. Two years ago, the Legislature approved civil unions for gays, but some proponents of joining Connecticut and Massachusetts in allowing marriage said the time isn't right in New Hampshire. Opponents argue same-sex marriage is morally wrong and would cheapen marriage.

Pink News - UK
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-Nelson Mandela and Will Young among the gay icons to be showcased at National Portrait Gallery
Gay Icons, a photography exhibition held to celebrate the contribution of gay people to history and culture, will open at the National Portrait Gallery this summer.

-BBC is "institutionally homophobic"
A survey has found that 69 per cent of gay respondents think Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles should be sacked over a "homophobic" imitation of gay singer Will Young. The figures come after Chris Smith, the former head of Ofcom, criticised the BBC for allowing Moyles to continue making anti-gay comments.


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