Thursday, April 02, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - April 02, 2009

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Steve Rothaus
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-Obama chooses 'anti-gay activist' Tony Dungy for faith-based advisory council, says People For the American Way
According to media reports today, the White House has invited anti-gay activist and retired NFL Coach Tony Dungy to join its Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Dungy actively campaigned for an anti-gay ballot initiative in Indiana that banned same-sex couples from being civilly married. "President Obama was given a mandate to bring people together," said Tanya Clay House, Director of Public Policy at People For the American Way. "But his selection of Tony Dungy is extremely divisive. Dungy campaigned specifically to discriminate against a particular group of people, and he's been closely aligned with the far-right Indiana Family Institute." More . . . . .

-Sweden allows same-sex marriage
From BBC News: Sweden will allow gay couples to be legally married from next month. Parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to recognise same-sex marriage, becoming the fifth country in Europe to do so. To read the complete article, click here.

Miami Herald
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-Vermont gay marriage bill in hands of state House
The Associated Press
A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont is in the hands of state House lawmakers. Last month the state Senate overwhelmingly approved similar legislation.

South Florida Blade
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-Could new moderate Senate group threaten LGBT bills?
Group might 'splinter the Democratic majority'
The formation of a moderate Democratic working group in the U.S. Senate is raising questions about whether the group could obstruct the advancement of pro-LGBT legislation. Dan Pinello, who's gay and a government professor at the City University of New York, said he doesn't think the group's formation is "a good sign for LGBT rights."

-Conn. gay marriage advocacy group to shut down
An advocacy group that was a major player in Connecticut's gay marriage debate has decided to close its doors at the end of 2009. Leaders at "Love Makes a Family" say the 10-year-old group wants to conclude its work on a victorious note in the wake of last fall's state Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. The Hartford-based group was formed in 1999 to lobby for legislation letting gay couples legally adopt in Connecticut. It later grew into a statewide coalition of people and organizations supporting gay marriage. Only Connecticut and Massachusetts have legalized gay marriage. Several other states have laws to either recognize same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships.

-A test case on same-sex fairness
Shirley Tan is a 43-year old Pacifica homemaker and mother of twin seventh-grade boys. Tan also wears an ankle bracelet assigned by immigration agents after a dawn raid on her home two months ago. Barring a legal miracle, she faces likely deportation to the Philippines on Friday. That result would devastate her family and friends. But her case also touches off two flashpoint issues - immigration law and same-sex marriage - that are combining in a way that shows the unfairness of this country's laws.

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-ACLU: Fred Phelps-motivated law unconstitutional
By The Associated Press
A lawsuit challenging Michigan's law restricting funeral protests was filed Wednesday on behalf of a couple who were pulled over and arrested during a procession for a friend killed in Iraq because their van bore signs critical of then-President George W. Bush.

Pink News - UK
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-Gay couple barred from entering slimming competition
A gay couple who joined Slimming World have been barred from entering the company's annual Mr & Mrs competition. Jean-Paul Ravenk and his partner of 19 years joined the weight loss scheme in November 2007. Click here for full article

-Ugandan activists refute allegations of 'gay recruitment'
Gays and lesbians in Uganda have denied embarking on "recruitment drives" to attract people to homosexuality. According to LGBTI Ugandans, Christian and government leaders are running a campaign to project gays 'recruiting' children into homosexuality by giving them money. Click here for full article

-Clementine Ford comes out
Cybil Shepherd's daughter, Clementine Ford, has come out. The L Word guest star was pressed by to clear up the "confusion" that had been sparked when Diva magazine implied that Ford had officially come out and had an affair with co-star Katherine Moennig. Click here for full article

-Microsoft 'homophobia' tribunal ends in settlement
A gay games developer who sued Microsoft over alleged homophobic abuse has reached a settlement with the company. Jamie Durrant, 38, orginally sued the corporation for £45,000 for 'hurt feelings' and lost pay. Click here for full article

-West Midlands police launch gay crime survey
West Midlands police have set up an online survey to ask LGBT people to contribute their views on their safety and how they feel police respond to hate crimes. Click here for full article

-Sweden approves same-sex marriage
Six of the seven parties in Swedish parliament have backed a proposal to introduce a gender-neutral marriage law. The proposal passed today with a 261 to 22 vote and 16 abstentions. Click here for full article

-Policeman jailed over underage gay sex
A former PC who was a lesbian and gay liasion officer has been jailed for two and a half years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy. Mark Brigham, 38, formerly of the Metropolitan Police, met the 15-year-old at a party in August. The teenager's family had asked Brigham to give him advice as he had just come out. Click here for full article

-ITV comedy Moving Wallpaper investigated for 'transphobic' comments
Ofcom has received more than 50 complaints about an episode of ITV comedy Moving Wallpaper over alleged transphobia. The complaints focus on an episode aired on 20th March, in which trans character Georgina was mocked by other characters. Click here for full article

-Conservatives attempt to derail plans to lift US military gay ban
A conservative group has said that allowing gays to serve openly in the US military could threaten national security. A letter urging President Barack Obama to preserve the gay ban was leaked to the Palm Center, a research institute at the University of California. Click here for full article

-God Hates Fags church raises money for LGBT support group
Members of Westboro Baptist Church, who chant slogans such as "fags burn in hell", have unintentionally raised money for a gay rights group. Click here for full article

Daily Queer News
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-CMC Seeks Advice on DADT Policy
Dan Lamothe - Staff writer | Marine Times
Commandant Gen. James Conway is polling his generals on the controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In a March 13 "P4" - personal-for message to all 82 of his general officers, Conway asks four questions, including this one: "How strongly should we, as an institution, challenge the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy?" The other questions covered in the e-mail, which came under the subject line, "2009 UPDATE FOR THE COMMANDANT," covered priorities at a time of "dwindling budgets," seabasing and a general question about "any topic that you think is important and should influence the course and speed of the Corps." Responses are due by April 10. Read more

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-To: Fellow Citizens of Uganda
Over the past few weeks, very serious allegations of 'recruitment' into homosexuality, have been leveled against Homosexual Citizens of Uganda by various people and institutions. We have been accused of accepting huge amounts of money for the so called 'recruitment' drives , by the Family Life Network (FLN). We affirm that we are homosexual. That means that we are different in sexual orientation from most of our fellow Ugandans. That does not make us criminals. We, like all other Ugandans, are responsible and law abiding citizens. Homosexual Ugandans do not condone or support recruitment of people into homosexuality at any level. We strongly and fiercely condemn it. We know that sexual orientation is not changeable. We are homosexuals and cannot hange. In the same way, we cannot change heterosexuals into homosexuals. We cannot recruit. WE CANNOT, DO NOT, HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER 'recruit'. We can only deduce that those leveling these claims aim to inflame the public against us, a minority group.

-National Religious Leadership Roundtable responds to endorsement of policy changes by the council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America regarding same-gender relationships
The National Religious Leadership Roundtable, convened by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, responded to the announcement by the church council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) directing the churchwide assembly in August to approve the â?oSocial Statement on Human Sexuality,â? implement it, and direct the removal of the policy that prohibited service in ministry by those in committed, same-gender relationships. Also, the church council reaffirmed its recommendation to the August assembly on rules to govern its activities by defeating a motion that would have required a super-majority of the voting members to pass not only the social statement but also any matters that came before the assembly on any related subject. oThe Social Statement on Human Sexuality acknowledges what we have known for the last 30 years, that we Lutherans are not of one mind on issues of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) inclusion. Still, this document recognizes that LGBT people are, and always have been, part of the great diversity of Godâ?Ts creation â?" finally.>,

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-We are happy to announce our upcoming outreach/educational trip to Texas. It begins May 1. This is our 35th outreach/educational trip since 1998. It's almost unbelievable that we have made 35 trips around the US encompassing more than 380,000 miles. They say everything is bigger in Texas. That may be true but for HeartStrong our budget for Texas is definitely smaller than usual. We have worked diligently to make sure that our costs are low. Money is tight for everyone and we want to make sure that HeartStrong's use of your sacrifically given donations is used prudently. [...] We have created a special donation link for you to make donations to help us reach our goal of $5,000.00. Just click on this link and you will be taken to PayPal where you can make a secure online donation to HeartStrong. You don't have to have a PayPal account to do this. We're trying to make this very easy for everyone to participate. If everyone who reads this would just donate $3.00 each, we would reach our goal.
Marc Adams
Founder/Executive Director

The White House Will Listen to People Living with HIV/AIDS at AIDSWatch
Washington, D.C.: On Monday, April 27, 2009, the newly appointed Director of the Office on National AIDS Policy (ONAP), Jeffrey Crowley, will speak directly with people living with HIV/AIDS at this year's AIDSWatch. Mr. Crowley will discuss his office's plans to develop a National AIDS Strategy. The development of a National AIDS Strategy is the first opportunity in almost a decade for people with HIV/AIDS to share their thoughts and concerns directly with the President of the United States and his Administration about domestic HIV/AIDS policies and priorities. This meeting will provide the space for people living with HIV/AIDS to share their recommendations for the National AIDS Strategy and discuss their successes and concerns related to Federal HIV/AIDS programs. This meeting is a signal that the Obama Administration has heard community concerns about being left out of planning and implementation processes. A group of people living with HIV/AIDS will facilitate the discussion and solicit questions and comments from people living with HIV/AIDS for the Office of National AIDS Policy.
Attend AIDSWatch this year to make sure YOUR voice is heard about:
Ø A comprehensive, coordinated, and outcome-driven National AIDS Strategy
Ø Providing substantive increases for domestic HIV/AIDS initiatives;
Ø Expand access to affordable, quality, and comprehensive HIV treatment and care for all persons living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. This includes passing the Early Treatment for HIV Act, changes to the Medicare prescription drug benefit, and addressing high-costs incurred through private insurance.
Ø Replace proven ineffective HIV prevention strategies with robust evidence-based initiatives; and
Ø Repeal stigmatizing and out-dated policies that impede efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat HIV.
If you have not done so already, register for AIDSWatch 2009 today!

Letter from Michael Moore
"We the People" to "King of the World": "YOU'RE FIRED!"
Nothing like it has ever happened. The President of the United States, the elected representative of the people, has just told the head of General Motors -- a company that's spent more years at #1 on the Fortune 500 list than anyone else -- "You're fired!" I simply can't believe it. This stunning, unprecedented action has left me speechless for the past two days. I keep saying, "Did Obama really fire the chairman of General Motors? The wealthiest and most powerful corporation of the 20th century? Can he do that? Really? Well, damn! What else can he do?!" This bold move has sent the heads of corporate America spinning and spewing pea soup. Obama has issued this edict: The government of, by, and for the people is in charge here, not big business. John McCain got it. On the floor of the Senate he asked, "What does this signal send to other corporations and financial institutions about whether the federal government will fire them as well?" Senator Bob Corker said it "should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise." The stock market plunged as the masters of the universe asked themselves, "Am I next?" And they whispered to each other, "What are we going to do about this Obama?"

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Uganda: We do NOT recruit
Yesterday at 10:00 a.m., the Ugandan LGBTI community held a press conference at the Metropole Hotel in Kampala to refute recent allegations that its members recruit youth into homosexuality and receive lots of money from international donors for this practice. About 10 media houses were in the conference hall half an hour before the start of the briefing. Representatives from the slandered LGBTI community walked in at 10:00 a.m. promptly. A panel of 3 LGBTI human rights defenders, Kasha Jacqueline (Freedom and Roam Uganda), David Kisule (Sexual Minorities Uganda) and Victor Mukasa (International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission) stood up to address the nation.

-The Swedish Parliament has just voted YES to a new law on gender neutral marriages. From May 1 2009 Swedish gays and lesbians can marry if they want to.

-Moscow: Two organisers of Moscow Gay Pride were arrested yesterday by police in Ryazan , a city located 200 km southeast of Moscow . Nikolai Baev and Irina Fet were detained in the city centre and charged with "propaganda of homosexuality to minors", an offence that carries a fine. The two were later released from custody on the promise that they would appear in Court.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-IGLHRC to Secretary Clinton: New AIDS Czar Must Include LGBT
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people have been denied access to HIV services funded with U.S. foreign assistance, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) said today in a letter to Secretary of State Clinton. IGLHRC called for a more inclusive approach to sexual and reproductive health policy overseas, and the appointment of a Global AIDS Coordinator prepared to promote LGBT health and rights. "In recent years, U.S. policy has by and large neglected the needs of LGBT people worldwide," said Cary Alan Johnson, IGLHRC's Executive Director. "The Obama administration should use this moment of great change to bring U.S. HIV funding overseas into harmony with our stated commitments to science, human rights and inclusion."

-Lesbian makes history by winning mayor's job in Zurich

-U.S. judge rules for teen girls in "sexting" case
A U.S. judge on Monday barred a Pennsylvania prosecutor from filing child pornography charges against three teenage girls caught with sexually suggestive pictures of themselves on their cell phones. U.S. District Judge James Munley said he was issuing a restraining order on Wyoming County District Attorney George Skumanick because his proposed action would violate freedom of speech and parental rights. The ruling came after the American Civil Liberties Union sued Skumanick on behalf of the girls and their families.

-Will the California Supreme Court Strike Down Prop 8, or "Willy-Nilly Disregard" Its Duty?

-The latest issue of Gay & Lesbian Humanist magazine is now online at

-We are writing to ask for your participation in Campus Pride's
National LGBT College Climate Survey - GO ONLINE and register to WIN A FREE RSVP CRUISE or $500 CASH!
The National LGBT College Climate Survey is a comprehensive assessment to document annually the experiences of students, faculty, staff, and administrators who identify as LGBT at America's colleges and universities. The annual assessment examines emerging issues, trends and changing demographics of LGBT people in higher education.

-On 'nakation,' forget worries and clothes
(CNN) -- There's something about being naked that makes a person forget a layoff, pay cut or a shrunken retirement account. At least that's how the promoters of nude travel see it. The economic recession is "doing us a lot of favors, maybe because there's the idea that if you've lost the shirt off your back, you should go nude," said Erich Schuttauf, executive director of the American Association for Nude Recreation. He added: "You go to a [nudist resort] and when you take off all your clothes, all the cues that tie you to the workaday world -- the ties, the suits and everything -- when that's gone, your body says it's time to relax. You get in that mode faster."

-Recession hits transgenders
Transgender people are 'disproportionally impacted' by the economic downturn, a study says.

-EU shows east-west divide on homophobia
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Despite considerable advances in recent years, the social situation for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and transgendered (LGBT) people throughout the European Union remains a problem, particularly in the east, according to a major new survey. Discrimination, bullying, harassment and attacks occur across the EU. Politicians in a number of eastern member states seem to side with or turn a blind eye to perpetrators, while the ability of victims to report crimes is undermined by lack of police training, leading to significant underreporting, according to a 160-page report on the social aspects of homophobia from the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency.

-Britain could allow abortion advice, condom ads

-Nigerian gay rights activists have told the country's lawmakers that a new bill to outlaw same sex marriage would lead to widespread human rights abuses. The new law would mean prison sentences for gay people who live together, and anyone who "aids and abets" them. The plea by activists was made to a public committee of the National Assembly which is discussing the bill. It is already illegal to have gay sex in Nigeria but the new law would extend police powers to arrest suspects. "This bill is not necessary, we see no reason why people should be criminalised," Rashidi Williams, 23, of the Queer Alliance of Nigeria told the committee.

-ESPN journalist LZ Granderson was honored with the Outstanding Digital
Journalism Article award for his piece, "Gay Athletes Are Making Their Mark." In a much broader sense, ESPN - the worldwide leader in sports reporting - has begun doing just that. Rybka calls LZ Granderson, an openly gay television analyst and writer for's Page Two, "probably the most visible gay man in sports today." His presence helps raise LGBT awareness with readers, viewers, even network staffers.

-Tyra Banks, Suze Orman Honored at 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by IBM

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-Jamaica: A Killer Vacation
This week, I joined San Francisco organizer Michael Petrelis and Box Turtle Bulletin editor Jim Burroway in launching an international boycott against Jamaica ( While the island appears laid back, gays are under attack. Forget business as usual. Instead, we should stop doing business with a country that is proud of its persecution against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Our goal is to turn Jamaica into a pariah state, as long as GLBT people live in a state of terror. This means no more subsidizing the anti-gay slaughter by drinking Myers Rum and Red Stripe Beer. It requires skipping that Carnival Cruise to Jamaica -- so your money won't support murder.

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In response to the growing equality movement in California and across the country, community organizers are issuing a call for the use of nonviolent civil disobedience to further the cause. This call comes at a time when the equality movement is energized surrounding the upcoming California Supreme Court decision on the validity of Proposition 8. Soulforce is collaborating with individual organizers and groups, including Join the Impact, to issue this call. Jeff Lutes, Soulforce Executive Director, drafted the call to action which has been signed already by several community leaders, including Cleve Jones, who is the founder of the NAMES/AIDS Memorial Quilt, and was a historical consultant on the Academy Award winning film MILK. Working closely with other leaders, Soulforce organizer Chris Hubble created a new website, to assist in educating the public on nonviolent civil disobedience. The website launched Monday and is designed to help community members learn about the philosophy, practice and history of nonviolent strategies and connect with others locally who are interested in organizing nonviolent civil disobedience.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrief
Marine generals are asked views on military gay ban
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway reportedly has set an April 10 deadline for the 82 generals under his command to indicate their views on whether their branch of the military should oppose the gay ban. A spokesman, saying the question was posed in a private e-mail between the Conway and his officers, declined further comment.

Leading Catholic Asks Obama to Rethink Abortion

Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
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-U.S. Rep Alcee Hastings commemorates legacy of AIDS activist
Pedro ZamoraIn an effort to create greater public awareness of HIV/AIDS, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, has introduced a resolution commemorating the life and legacy of Pedro Zamora. Zamora, a Cuban-American gay man was living in Miami, when he became infected with HIV at the age of 17. He was an AIDS activist for several years before he sent a letter to MTV's The Real World. Zamora was cast for The Real World: San Francisco in 1994 and died of AIDS the day after the season ended. [...] Hastings' resolution comes as the made-for-tv movie

-Pedro premieres at 8 p.m. today [April 1] on MTV, mtvU, LOGO and MTV Tr3s,
with subtitles in Spanish. Here's the trailer for the movie:


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