Wednesday, April 29, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - April 29, 2009

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New York Times
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-Same-Sex Marriage Holds Peril for G.O.P.
It was only five years ago that opposition to same-sex marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the marriage issue may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

-Maine: Vote on Gay Marriage Expected
The joint judiciary committee of the Legislature approved a bill to allow same-sex marriage in the state, setting the stage for the House and Senate to vote on it as soon as next week. Eleven of the 14 committee members voted in favor of the bill, two voted against it and one proposed letting voters decide the matter in a referendum. Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, has not said whether he will sign the bill. The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a same-sex marriage bill last month, and the Senate is scheduled to take it up Wednesday.

Washington Post
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-Ministers Lead Protest of D.C. Legislation
By Hamil R. Harris
Freedom Plaza was transformed into an intersection of faith and protest yesterday as about 150 people rallied to denounce support for same-sex marriage in the District.

Steve Rothaus
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-Video | Watch the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2009 trailer
Courtesy of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

-'Outrage!' to be screened Thursday at Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival;
Lucy's 'Mame' too!
Late Tuesday night, the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival got confirmation that Outrage!, the film that attempts to out Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and other politicians, will be shown 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Regal South Beach. Two hours later, the festival will screen Jerry Herman's 1974 musical Mame starring Lucille Ball and the late Beatrice Arthur. See you all at the movies!

South Florida Blade
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-Kennedy introduces hate crimes bill in Senate
Move comes as House prepares for floor debate Wednesday
As U.S. House lawmakers made preparations Tuesday for a floor vote on hate crimes legislation, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced similar legislation in the Senate. The new Senate bill, called the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, is named after a gay college student who was murdered near Laramie, Wyo., in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. Like the House bill, it would enable the Justice Department to prosecute hate crimes committed against LGBT people.

-Colo. law on same-sex benefits heads to governor
Measure given final approval by House Tuesday
A bill allowing partners of gay and lesbian state workers to get health insurance coverage is headed to the governor. The measure was given final approval Tuesday by the House. It would add domestic partners to the list of dependents eligible for coverage. Same-sex partners who have been in a committed relationship with a state employee for at least a year would qualify. Supporters say gay couples don't have the option of getting married and it's only fair to provide an alternative. Opponents say it will be costly and is unfair to heterosexual couples who are committed but not married.

-Maine panel endorses same-sex marriage
Gov. Baldacci remains undecided
A same-sex marriage bill is going to the Maine Senate and House with a strong committee endorsement. Eleven of the 14 Judiciary Committee members voted Tuesday to pass the bill, while two voted against it and one proposed sending it to voters in a November referendum. Gov. John Baldacci remains undecided. Supporters said the bill corrects an inequality that's long existed in Maine law, while one of the opponents pointed to overwhelming constituent opposition to the bill. Republican Sen. David Hastings of Fryeburg said he prefers sending a straightforward question to voters. The committee session was interrupted by an outburst by a protester, who shouted that the bill is morally wrong. She was escorted by police from the State House.

-Gay marriage opponents vow to fight on
Same-sex marriage opponents who stood by Monday while county courthouses were flooded with gay couples applying for licenses vowed to carry their fight back to the Statehouse and voting booths in 2010. Republican legislative leaders Rep. Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha and Sen. Paul McKinley of Chariton said their effort to amend Iowa's Constitution to restore marriage as only between one man and one woman was "stopped cold by Democratic obstructionism" and Gov. Chet Culver's lack of executive leadership.

Soulforce Newsletter
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-Two Weeks Left to Apply to Soulforce Q Camp
The May 15 deadline is approaching for applications for the first ever Soulforce Q Camp in Austin, Texas. If you or someone you know is interested in being a part of this unique experience, consider applying today! Please, note the dates for the Soulforce Q Camp have changed in order to collaborate with our ideal host venue. The new dates are July 14-23.

-Urgent Need - Faith Leaders' Support Today... Sign on!
We are looking for individual faith leaders or faith communities to sign on a collective statement of support for LGBT people in Uganda that directly responds to the work of the U.S.-based Family Life Network that is espousing religiously fueled anti-LGBT thought. We are working in collaboration with Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Human Rights Watch, and others around the world in an effort to gather endorsements from religious groups or clergy for this letter, text below, to be sent to the Ugandan government. If you would like to sign on to the letter to the Minister of Ethics and Integrity, Hon. Dr. James Nsaba Buturo, calling for a stop to the pursuit of an anti-LGBT taskforce and more safety for sexual and gender diversity, please email Haven Herrin at with your name and organization or affiliation. Please respond as soon as possible, as this letter must be sent to Uganda within the week.

-Amazing Racers, Mel and Mike White, and Mike's mother Lyla, invite you to a special Mother's Day reception at the home of Mike White in Santa Monica, California. For every person that either makes a donation in honor of Mel and Mike White or who buys tickets to this fun and festive event, the Soulforce Board of Directors will match every $1 you give, with $1--- up to $10,000.

The Advocate
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-Lesbian Finance Commissioner Resigns After Misconduct Allegations
By Julie Bolcer
New York City Finance Commissioner Martha Stark resigned on Tuesday amidst charges that she had a romantic relationship with a female subordinate and hired relatives to work in her agency. Two weeks ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked the Department of Investigation to look into Stark's relationship with former Assistant Commissioner Dara Ottley-Brown. Stark has maintained that they began dating after Ottley-Brown left the Finance Department.

-First Openly Gay U.S. Senator?
By Neal Broverman
Openly gay Suffolk County, N.Y., legislator Jon Cooper has formed an exploratory committee to look into his chances at being elected to the U.S. Senate. Cooper hopes to challenge New York's junior senator Kirsten Gillibrand in next year's Democratic primary. Gillibrand was appointed to the seat by Gov. David Paterson after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accepted her post in January; Gillibrand must run for election in 2010.

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-RachelWatch: Specter Switches Teams
By Ali Davis
Today: Nate Silver, former Senator Lincoln Chafee, and another great moment of TRMS Amateur Theatre. Read more...

-Out of jail, but Senegal gays risk death
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Dakar) Radio stations and newspapers in Senegal are urging people to attack gays. One station called on listeners to stone anyone suspected of "being a homosexual."

-Paterson joins gays calling for passage of rights bills
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Gov David Paterson joined thousands of gay rights activists rallying Tuesday in front of the Capitol for the passage of bills allowing same-sex marriage, safe schools, and transgender rights.

-Poll: Gay marriage support jumps 10 percent in month
By The Associated Press
A new national public opinion poll has found support for same-sex marriage has jumped nearly 10 percent in the past month.

-Canadian politician says he's 'more tolerant' since writing anti-gay email
By The Canadian Press
(Vancouver, British Columbia) A British Columbia Liberal candidate who wrote an email more than a decade ago in which he said he did not support homosexuality says a lot has changed since then and he's now much more tolerant.

Pink News - UK
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-David Cameron to appear at London Pride?
David Cameron has accepted an invitation to appear at an event during London's Gay Pride week, it has been reported.

-Prosecution closes at child sex abuse trial of former head of gay charity
The prosecution have summed up eight weeks of evidence in the trial of a former gay charity chief, accused of sexually assaulting a three month old child.

-California to consider gay and trans prisoners' housing needs
A bill which would allow sexual orientation and trans status to be taken into account when housing prisoners is to be considered by California's state assembly tomorrow.

-Gay squatter 'attacked by three people'
A gay man who was squatting after becoming homeless was subjected to an hour-long attack by his ex-lover, a former X-Factor auditionee and another man, a court has heard.

-Dutch park unveils signs to 'warn visitors' about gay cruising spots
A park in the southwest of Amsterdam has put up signs indicating areas where gay men are allegedly known to have sex so no one will be caught unaware.

-First gay couples tie the knot in Iowa
Yesterday saw the first batch of gay weddings in Iowa, just over three weeks after the state's Supreme Court made them legal.

-Zimbabwean gays demand to be recognised in new Constitution
Gay rights activists in Zimbabwe have demanded to be recognised in the country's new Constitution which is currently being drafted, saying they need protection as a vulnerable minority.

-Teacher 'suffered ten years of homophobic harassment'
The case of an Irish teacher who was allegedly bullied by colleagues for ten years over his sexual orientation is being challenged in the High Court.

-Australian government rejects civil unions
Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has rejected a proposal that civil unions should be offered to gay couples. A government spokesperson stated that the decision "reflects the widely held view in the community that marriage is between a man and a woman".

-Interview: Dan Choi on the extra burdens Don't Ask, Don't Tell places on soldiers
In the second part of a series of interviews, Dan Choi tells Adrian Tippetts of the mental and emotional burden the gay ban places on service members.

-Catholic charity withdraws case over gay adoption
One of the two Catholic adoption agencies which launched a legal challenge over gay adoption has withdrawn its case.

-US Presbyterian church votes against openly gay clergy
The Presbyterian church has once again rejected allowing openly gay clergy to serve. Amendment B would have changed language in the church's constitution which requires pastors to live in ""fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and woman or chastity in singleness."

-Interview: Arabic filmmaker Maher Sabry
In 'All My Life' (Toul Omri), Maher Sabry has ventured where no Arabic filmmaker has before. The film, which is undoubtedly the most daring and sexually explicit LGBT film ever to come out of the Arab world, tells the tale of 26-year-old Rami, an accountant living in Cairo

Anything but Straight
by Wayne Besen

-Beauty Queen Vs. Bitchy Queen
The Miss USA contest began as a beauty contest and ended up as a mud bath. The theatrics started when celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who was a pageant judge, asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, if she supported marriage equality. "I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other...choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage...(but) I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman," Prejean replied. She then added that she did not wish to offend anyone.

Obama's 1st 100 Days - A Quiz
Have you been paying attention since Jan. 20? Take our quiz and see how much you know about President Barack Obama's honeymoon in office.


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