Monday, March 30, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 30, 2009

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Miami Herald
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-Gay adoption raises an issue still unmined
A recent conversation with a friend went something like this: ''Homosexuality isn't normal,'' he said. ``It goes against nature.'' ''How do you figure?'' I asked. ``As far as we know, homosexuality always has existed. Wouldn't that indicate that it's perfectly natural?'' ''No, it's not,'' he replied. ``Imagine if we were all homosexuals. Then what would happen to the human race?''

-Miami Beach residents get the OK to fly the Pride Flag
It's among the most basic of American rights: the freedom to fly a flag. But in Miami Beach -- home to one of the largest gay communities in the country -- residents and businesses only recently got the go-ahead to fly the rainbow-striped Pride Flag. And only after receiving a city permit. ''The problem is the businesses just went out and bought a flagpole and in an expression of their pride, put up the flag,'' said City Commissioner Victor Diaz, who said a number of business owners have since been slapped with fines and taken their flags down. Flying any flag in the right of way without a permit is a violation of city code.

-California politician plans fundraiser in Aventura
One of California's most colorful politicians running for governor in 2010 is holding a fundraiser in Aventura April 5 that could draw gay marriage supporters in South Florida. Gavin Newsom is the San Francisco mayor who drew nationwide attention when he started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in 2004. But his jubilant comment that gay marriage was coming ''whether you like it or not'' was played up by opponents of same-sex marriage, and last fall Californians voted to ban it.

-About lies, libel, same-sex lovers
Here's a question: Since being gay has lost much of the stigma it once had among heterosexuals in this country, should a celebrity who is falsely reported to have same-sex lovers still be able to sue for libel? And are courts perpetuating the idea that homosexuality is bad if they accept the argument that labeling somebody as gay is defamatory? The answer to both questions is Yes, according to a provocative column by Gabriel Arana published recently on Slate.

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-Gates: No rush to end DADT
By The Associated Press
Don't expect any change soon to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy about gays in the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says both he and President Barack Obama have "a lot on our plates right now." As Gates puts it, "let's push that one down the road a little bit."

Pink News - UK
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-Tyra scores at the 20th GLAAD Media Awards.
The New York leg of the 20th annual GLAAD Media Awards saw Tyra Banks pick up one of the top honours of the night. Presented the Excellence in Media Award by gay singer-songwriter Clay Aiken, Tyra received official recognition of her efforts to advance the gay community.

-Comment: False hope - LGBT rights in the Middle East
Omar Hassan explores the issue of LGBT rights in a Middle East ruled by conservatism.

-Australian broacaster "censored" lesbian kiss on Home and Away
The Australian broadcasting network Seven have allegedly censored a lesbian kiss due to be shown during its soap opera Home and Away.

-'High number' of gay and bisexual domestic violence victims in Northern Ireland
The gay and bisexual community in Northern Ireland is suffering from disproportionate rates of domestic violence, an official report has claimed. The paper, published this week by the Northern Ireland Policing Board, concluded that a high percentage of those experiencing domestic violence are gay or bisexual men and women.

Daily Queer News
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-TX: Equality Texas Pushing Employment Nondiscrimination Bill
John Wright | News Editor | Dallas Voice
AUSTIN -Lobby Day has come and gone, but Equality Texas says it needs continued participation from members across the state in order to advance pro-LGBT legislation during this year's session. The statewide advocacy group was circulating an online petition this week aimed at securing a committee hearing on a bill that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/ expression. By Wednesday afternoon, March 25, 1,116 people had signed the petition, and the group was hoping to reach 2,000 signatures. The petition will be delivered to Rep. Burt Solomons, R-Carrollton, who chairs the House Committee on State Affairs, where the bill has been referred. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio. Read more

-TX: Kendell:? 'We're Going to Lose'
John Wright | News Editor | Dallas Voice
A veteran civil rights attorney who's closely involved with the case told Dallas Voice this week she thinks there's a 98 percent chance the California Supreme Court will uphold Proposition 8, the state's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. "We're going to lose," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the organizations that filed the lawsuit challenging Prop 8. "I think it was very clear from the oral arguments that the court intends to uphold Prop 8," Kendell added. "I've never seen a court so unequivocally telegraph their thinking." Kendell was in Dallas on Wednesday, March 25 to speak at the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce's 4th Anniversary Dinner & Business Excellence Awards. In an interview afterward, Kendell said she expects the California Supreme Court to issue its ruling in the Prop 8 case by late April or early May. Read more

-States Consider Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients
Tom Breen | Visit article original @ The Associated Press Truthout
Charleston, West Virginia - Want government assistance? Just say no to drugs. Lawmakers in at least eight states want recipients of food stamps, unemployment benefits or welfare to submit to random drug testing. The effort comes as more Americans turn to these safety nets to ride out the recession. Poverty and civil liberties advocates fear the strategy could backfire, discouraging some people from seeking financial aid and making already desperate situations worse. Those in favor of the drug tests say they are motivated out of a concern for their constituents' health and ability to put themselves on more solid financial footing once the economy rebounds. But proponents concede they also want to send a message: you don't get something for nothing. Read more

-This Will Only Hurt a Little Bit.More
Scott Schoettes | Lambda Legal
How would you feel if you were asked to entrust your medical care to a person who seemingly did not want to touch you? Whatever thoughts and feelings that question conjures for you are likely akin to how our client, Melody Rose, felt after she sought treatment from a surgeon at the Fond du Lac Regional Clinic in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Although some uncomfortable interactions with a doctor might be chalked up to a less-than-reassuring bedside manner, there was no doubt about the message this doctor was sending: he explicitly told Rose that he did not want to perform surgery on her because of the risk he thought her HIV posed to his surgical team. Rose, who was incarcerated at a correctional facility at the time, suffered from increasingly frequent and painful symptoms as a result of problems related to her gallbladder. The doctor treating Rose for her HIV recommended that she have her gallbladder removed in order to alleviate those problems, and through her primary care doctor at the prison, he referred Rose to a healthcare facility where they could do so in what is considered a fairly routine surgical procedure. That is where Rose encountered the surgeon who discriminatorily refused to perform the needed surgery because of Rose's HIV status. One of the last things Melody Rose expected to hear that day was that she would not be treated because of the risk her surgery purportedly presented to the doctor. Yet that is exactly the message Rose was processing as she returned - stunned, shunned and demoralized - to the Taycheedah Correctional Institution. Equal access to health care has always been a priority for Lambda Legal's HIV Project. Being treated fairly by health care providers is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people living with HIV - which is one of the primary reasons we decided to join the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) in representing Rose when the case was brought to our attention by ARCW's Director of Legal Services, Peter Kimball. Read more

-DE: Two Big Wins for Gay Rights Advocates
DOVER - Gay rights advocates gained two victories Thursday in the state Legislature - the Senate's defeat of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and the House's passage of a bill prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. More than 1,000 demonstrators wearing white T-shirts with the slogan "One Man, One Woman - That's Marriage" rallied on the steps of Legislative Hall as, inside, both chambers engaged in lengthy debates colored by accusations of discrimination past and present. Senate Bill 27, the defeated constitutional amendment, sought to make an existing state law that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman more difficult to overturn. But many members of the Senate voiced concern that amending the constitution was unnecessary and even inappropriate. Read more

-Gingrich's Gay Fascism
Michael A. Jones |
If only Newt Gingrich could have been a one-hit wonder. Instead, the former Speaker of the House is stirring the pot with a potential 2012 bid for President, and the formation of a new group - Renewing American Leadership. What is the goal of Renewing American Leadership? To combat gay and secular fascism. Much as we'd like to be kidding, here's Gingrich on Fox News: There is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared to use violence, to use harassment. I think it is prepared to use the government if it can get control of it. So in order to combat this gay fascism, Gingrich's new organization is looking to build and strengthen coalitions between economic conservatives and religious conservatives. According to Bill Berkowitz over at Buzz Flash, Gingrich will be taking his new organization to an influential group of conservative pastors that were among the leaders of the Bush re-election campaign of 2004, and Gingrich is planning on releasing a film about the late Pope John Paul II's role in taking down the Soviet Union. Read more

-SoulForce Update
Spring 2009 Catholic Action
Soulforce Spring 2009 Catholic ActionNow that the United States has signed on the United Nations Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - a reversal of the Bush administration stance on the statement currently backed by 66 UN member states - renewed energy must focus on the Vatican's refusal to support the measure.
This April we are asking the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, to work with us in doing just that. And we are excited to invite you to join with us in many ways.
* You can add your or your organization's name to the growing list of people who have endorsed the statement of support. Text and contact information here.
* Locally, you can join in with a solidarity action in April where you live, either by becoming a local leader yourself or participating in one of the following cities and regions:
* Los Angeles, CA
* Durham, NC
* New Haven, CT
* Little Rock, AR
* Detroit, MI
* Orlando, FL
* Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN
* Phoenix, AZ
* Turtle Creek, PA
* Central Ohio
* Denver, CO
Find more information here about local solidarity actions.
* And we need you on the ground in New York City! We have many events and actions taking place there, including possible direct action at the office of the Archbishop and in the five boroughs. Please register and we can begin the conversation about how you would like to participate.
Read more details, register, and find contact information at
We look forward to working with you this April! All are welcome!

Become a legend! Attend the first Miami Beach Gay Pride!
The First Annual Miami Beach LGBT Pride
April 18, 2009 - Ocean Drive - Miami Beach


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