Friday, May 01, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - April 30, 2009

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New York Times
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-New Hampshire Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill
The New Hampshire Senate voted narrowly on Wednesday to legalize same-sex marriage, paving the way for the state to potentially become the fifth in the nation - and the third this month - to allow gay couples to wed. The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 13 to 11 in favor of the bill, but only after a last-minute amendment strengthened language granting legal protections for religious groups and organizations that do not want to perform or help carry out same-sex marriages.

Washington Post
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-Same-Sex Couples' Taxes
Regarding Carol Jennings's April 26 letter "Wedded to a Tax Penalty": It must be nice to have the right to decide how you are going to file with the IRS. As a man who has been in a same-sex relationship for over 25 years, I would love to have Ms. Jennings's problem. My partner and I can only dream of the day when the federal government recognizes our relationship and allows us to file as a couple. I, too, am a federal employee and wish that I had the right to add my partner to my health insurance at work. Having recently been transferred, I wish the government would have paid for my partner to move with me, as it would have for Ms. Jennings and her husband. I urge readers to write to their senators and representatives and ask them to federally recognize committed, long-term gay and lesbian relationships.

-Lawmaker Calls Shepard Case a Hoax: Gay rights groups assailed U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) after she called the case behind a bill "a hoax." Foxx's comments came on the House floor during debate over the so-called Matthew Shepard bill, named for a gay man murdered in Wyoming in 1998. The bill would expand a federal hate crimes law to include acts motivated by sexual orientation. "The Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed," Foxx said. "But we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. "The bill was named for him . . . but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills." Foxx later called her comments "a poor choice of words."

-Miss California to campaign against gay marriage
The Associated Press
The reigning Miss California has gone to Washington to help launch a campaign opposing same-sex marriage. Carrie Prejean told NBC's "Today" show Thursday that she'll be working with the National Organization for Marriage to "protect traditional marriages."

-National poll: mixed views on gay-rights issues
-A majority of Americans oppose gay marriage but support civil unions for same-sex couples and favor repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. Quinnipiac's polling institute, which surveyed 2,041 registered voters nationwide, said it was one of most comprehensive polls ever on attitudes toward a variety of gay-rights questions.

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-Gays win new protections in House hate crimes bill, passed despite
conservatives objections
LARRY MARGASAK | Associated Press Writer
Gay victims of violence would gain new federal protections under a revived and expanded hate crimes bill passed by the House on Wednesday over conservatives' objections. Hate crimes - as defined by the bill - are those motivated by prejudice and based someone's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.,0,6157375.story

Steve Rothaus
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-'Top Gun' co-star Kelly McGillis comes out as a lesbian
From Daily Mail: Top Gun actress Kelly McGillis has confirmed Hollywood's worst kept secret - she is a lesbian. The 51-year-old, who played Tom Cruise's love interest in the film about a fighter pilot training school, has long been the subject of rumours but always denied being gay. The actress, who is single, 'came out' in an interview with lesbian website To read the entire article, click here.

-Aqua Girl 2009 to begin May 6 on South Beach
Aqua Girl '09 runs May 6-10.

South Florida Blade
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-Florida Bar Assoc. supports gay adoption
Christian firm files challenge against pro-gay stance
Florida's Supreme Court is stepping in to resolve a petition filed between The Florida Bar Association and anti-gay organization Liberty Counsel, regarding Florida Bar Association's rights to file an amicus, or "friend-of-the-court," brief in support of gay adoption.

The Advocate
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-Methodist Court Says No to Same-sex Marriage
By Julie Bolcer
The highest court of the United Methodist Church has ruled that clergy may not officiate at same-sex marriages, even in states where the marriages are legal, the United Methodist News Service reported on Monday. The decision for the 8.3 million member church, made by the Judicial Council at its spring meeting, overturns resolutions from two regional groups in support of clergy who perform same-sex marriages. The California-Nevada Annual Conference and California-Pacific Conference had passed the supportive resolutions.

-Larry Kramer's Case Against "Queer"
Longtime activist and writer Larry Kramer schools the crowd as he accepted an award from Yale's Gay and Lesbian Association.
By Charles Kaiser
Larry Kramer went to Yale University last week to be honored by its Gay and Lesbian Association during its very first alumni reunion. The brooding author-playwright-AIDS activist used the occasion to deliver a broadside against Yale, queer theory -- as well as the word "queer" -- and all the American historians who have buried evidence that Kramer believes makes Abe Lincoln, George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) great gay Americans.

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-Lowenstein: Anti-equality rally reveals divisive strategy
By Jenna Lowenstein
Anti-gay activists have zeroed in on two ways to fracture the community: along lines of race, and lines of faith. Read more...

-Withers: Marion Barry is a liar
By James Withers
Dear LOGO bosses: you need to do away with the anti-cursing rule because right now there are a few choice words that need to be said about Marion Barry, The former Washington D.C. mayor attended an anti gay marriage rally to announce that Adam and Steve nuptials are immoral. Okay. Fine. Get in line Mr. Barry. Heck, you can join some folk in my family who spout similar noise. Like Barry those same kin have interesting extracurricular lives, but I digress.

-RachelWatch: 100 Enchanted Evenings
By Ali Davis
100 Days
Wednesday was - in case you spent the last few weeks in an isolation tank - President Obama's 100th day in office, which means he was legally required to hold a press conference and TV talking heads were legally required to sum up his performance with stupid, reductionist letter grades.

Pink News - UK
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-Remembering the Admiral Duncan bombing
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the Admiral Duncan nail bomb attack on April 30th 1999 in Soho. It was one of three nail bomb attacks and killed three people, while 80 were injured.

-BBC and Channel 4 could be allowed to opt-out of new equality laws
The BBC and Channel 4 may be permitted to opt out of equality laws in order to preserve editorial independence. The new legislation could force them to use quotas of gay, ethnic minority or female actors.

-French National Assembly approves recognising foreign civil partnerships
France's National Assembly finally approved of the measure to have foreign legal same-sex marriages recognised in France as PACS in the early hours of this morning.

-Gay charities express concern over faith school sex education proposals
New government plans to allow faith schools to teach sex education in line with their religious beliefs have come under fire from gay charities. Under the recommendations, faith schools will be allowed to present lessons in line with their own "context, values and ethos".

-Stephen Fry ponders growing up, love and being gay in a letter to his 16-year-old self
Stephen Fry has written a letter to his 16-year-old self about his melancholy adolescence and his desperation never to grow up.

-New Hampshire Senate passes gay marriage bill
New Hampshire's Senate passed a bill yesterday to allow gay marriage. The bill looked set for defeat until an amendment was added to allow clergy to refuse to marry same-sex couples.

-Trans woman wins almost $500,000 in discrimination lawsuit
A former Army Special Forces commander who was rejected from a job because she was undergoing gender reassigment has won her case for sexual discrimination.

-New York's lesbian finance commissioner forced to resign after allegations of nepotism Martha Stark, New York's finance commissioner, was forced to resign on Tuesday amidst charges of nepotism and allegations that she was having a romantic relationship with a female subordinate.

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-Gay Adoption Before Legislature, High Court
When Martin Gill met two young brothers named John and James, whom he later adopted, they had ringworm and no smiles. Four years later, at ages 4 and 8, their smiles come easily. When Dennis Baxley met an 8-month-old baby named Jeff, whom he too adopted, the boy had been shaken to the point of brain damage and blindness. Baxley said they had an "instant bond". For all three children, adoption meant rescue from abuse or neglect.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Tanvir Alim a prominent Gay Rights Activist from Bangladesh shares his views on the mindset of the Homosexuals in this pre-dominantly Islamic society. He also gives a vivid description about the contribution of BoB towards educating the gays about their rights and aspirations. Ashok Deb: Dear Tanvir tell me about your association with BOB Tanvir: I was basically an inactive member of BoB. Few BOB well wishers cajoled me to be active way back in 2005, but I refrained being scared of disclosing my sexual identity. The prevailing Homophobia in society and office created an invisible wall which prevented me to COME OUT.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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Campaigners around the world are busy preparing for the 5th International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) which takes place on May 17th to mark the day in 1990 when the World Health Organisation removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. London will see its biggest ever IDAHO, showing growing concern about the plight of LGBT people around the world who are executed, imprisoned and harassed because of their sexuality. On the other hand Derek Lennard, UK's IDAHO-UK Coordinator commented "We are remembering the Soho bombings today so despite all the advances we have made, none of us are complacent about homophobia and transphobia in the UK". Rainbow flags will fly all over the country to mark IDAHO, particularly and poignantly in the city of Liverpool. "Strangely, they will not be flying from police stations in London", added Lennard.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Log Cabin Republicans Applauds passage of H.R. 1913 on Hate Crimes Prevention
Log Cabin Republicans National Board Chairman Terry W. Hamilton issued the following statement on the passage of House Resolution 1913 - The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Enforcement Act. "Log Cabin Republicans is encouraged by the passage of H.R. 1913 - it provides local and state law enforcement with the funding and tools necessary to fully prosecute crimes of the most heinous nature - those based out of hate," comments Hamilton. "We are happy to join the National Sheriffs' Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National District Attorneys Association, the Presbyterian and Episcopal Churches and other law enforcement and civil rights organizations in support of this legislation."

-The Huffington Post
Stand by Your Word, Mr. President: End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
by Aubrey Sarvis
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis calls on President Obama to repeal DADT: "Keep your promise, Mr. President, and ask Congress and the American people to join you in standing against this reprehensible law that tortures every day so many young men and women who want to serve our country."

-SLDN's Open Letter to President Obama yesterday in a full page ad in Roll Call -- on lifting the military ban
Dear Mr. President:
On the campaign trail you said repeatedly the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law should go. On the White House website you pledge to get rid of it. But since November, you've been silent. In response to recent questions about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," your Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Admiral Mullen said "I haven't gotten any direction." Your Defense Secretary said, "If we do it,'' meaning if the law is repealed. Mr. President, we thought we were talking about how and when to do this, not if. The far Right opposition is now cleverly framing the debate to box you in and keep this discriminatory law on the books, even daring you to act against their wishes. If you remain silent, it will soon be OK on your watch, to continue firing gay linguists and intelligence analysts.

-Special Forces vet wins sex-change lawsuit
A federal judge has awarded a former Army Special Forces commander nearly $500,000 because she was rejected from a job at the Library of Congress while transitioning from a man to a woman.

-Sin City: Gays in Civil Society
There's a telling section in the Iowa Supreme Court's opinion in Varnum v. Brien, that hasn't gotten as much attention as it should. The section is only about four pages long, but it says everything about the current state of the debate over gay marriage - and, in general, about gays in civil society. After addressing the five key arguments against same-sex marriage, and explaining why they are not sufficient to justify state discrimination against same-sex couples, the court then reaches out to answer a sixth argument that the government had not made: religious opposition: The belief that the "sanctity of marriage" would be undermined by the inclusion of gay and lesbian couples bears a striking conceptual resemblance to the expressed secular rationale for maintaining the tradition of marriage as a union between dual-gender couples, but better identifies the source of the opposition. Whether expressly or impliedly, much of society rejects same-sex marriage due to sincere, deeply ingrained- even fundamental-religious belief.

-Preaching Sex
By Mark Kernes
MELBOURNE, Fla. - One of the longest-running religious disputes has been why, if sex is shameful, did God make humans capable of orgasm? And if God wants only heterosexual sex within marriage, why did s/he make it possible for men and women to receive pleasure from pretty much any type of sex: Married, unmarried, masturbation, anal, gay, BDSM, etc., etc., etc.?

New national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation provides insights into Black America's attitudes about HIV/AIDS - While concerns remain, changes in behavior among Black Americans offer
reasons for hope.

-A new national public opinion poll has found support for same-sex marriage has jumped nearly 10 percent in the past month. The CBS News/New York Times poll found that 42 percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry. Last month a CBS/Times poll found support at 33 percent. The new poll is the highest support for gay marriage since CBS news began asking public opinion in 2004 the network said on Tuesday.

-Court partly upholds "dirty words" ban
Splitting 5-4, the Supreme Court upheld the government's power under existing law to ban the use on radio and TV of even a single four-letter word that is considered indecent - but left open the question of whether the ban might violate the First Amendment, at least in some situations. The Court, in an opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia, said the Federal Communications Commission's switch in policy to ban even a fleeting use of such a word was "entirely rational" under the law that governs federal administrative powers.

-Signs G.O.P. Is Rethinking Stance on Gay Marriage
Some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.

-A Buddhist preacher in Thailand says is planning a good manners guide to curb effeminate activities of gay and transgender monks.

-We've Already Won the Battle Over Gay Marriage
Public support for marriage equality is on the rise, and it is conservatives who are ceding ground.
-WI: Four tossed off Library Board for not restricting sexually-explicit

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-Truth Wins Out joined local Boston GLBT advocates to demonstrate against Exodus International, which hosted a training seminar on Tuesday to teach people to "pray away the gay." The protest was held at the site of the "ex-gay" symposium - the Park St. Church.

Pew Research center
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-Catholics, Obama and Notre Dame


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