Sunday, May 03, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 02, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus
The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is "global warming." The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Tribeca film targets hypocrisy in U.S. gay politics
A documentary called "Outrage" argues that closeted homosexual U.S. politicians who vote against the interests of gays and lesbians should be "outed" because their hypocrisy has slowed the progress of gay rights. Written and directed by Kirby Dick, the film relies on interviews with people who claim to have had gay relationships with politicians who vote against gay marriage, hate crime legislation, gays in the military, and funding for HIV/AIDS research.

-Obama pledges careful choice to replace Souter
President Barack Obama is promising to work quickly and deliberately to name a replacement for retiring Justice David H. Souter who could double the number of women on the Supreme Court, become the first Hispanic justice, or do both.

-Analysis: New justice may re-ignite social issues
President Barack Obama has tried to hold off debate on contentious social issues such as abortion, immigration and gay rights as he focuses on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Supreme Court vacancy will make that harder to do. Political battles over new justices tend to center on those types of social issues far more than on economic and foreign affairs, which have dominated the opening months of Obama's administration.

-Not the Justice Republicans Expected
Souter Surprised Observers by Leaning Left in Several High-Profile Decisions
By Robert Barnes
Justice David Hackett Souter started on the Supreme Court's right, very briefly became part of its center and then for a much longer period was firmly established on the left. Conservatives and liberals are not finished debating whether he's the one who drifted or if the court itself moved.

-A Message From Morehouse
By Colbert I. King
Eliminate young African American men, and what would police, jailers, social workers, and sports and entertainment moguls do for a living? After all, young black men live to get in trouble, make babies, act out on stage, slam-dunk and dance in the end zone. That, at least, is the mass-media-influenced image that is accepted as "authentic" by people who should know better.

-Where's Our 'Fierce Advocate'?
By Richard Socarides
In December, while trying to quiet the furor over his invitation of Rick Warren to take part in his inauguration, Barack Obama reminded us that he had been a "consistent" and "fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans." But at the end of its first 100 days, his administration has been neither.

-Specter's Exit Isn't the Problem
By Reihan Salam
At his party-switching news conference at the White House last week, the newest Democratic senator, Arlen Specter, shared Amtrak memories with Vice President Joe Biden, reminiscing about the long hours they've spent riding "that train." It was a useful reminder that this 29-year Senate veteran has never been the most rock-ribbed Republican. Specter has always represented Acelaland -- that dense urban region that snakes along the Eastern seaboard and is home to America's financial and political establishment.

-Hate and a Question of Rights
By Kathleen Parker
Once a cause such as hate-crimes legislation becomes associated with something as emotionally devastating as the savage murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, it becomes difficult to question the merits of the issue. That is one lamentable fact.

Wall Street Journal
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Succeeding Souter
Will Obama send a left-wing Scalia to the High Court?
With Justice David Souter's announced retirement, a Democratic President will replace a Republican appointee to the Supreme Court. Normally, this would be a chance to alter the ideological balance of a closely divided Court. Justice Souter's replacement is unlikely to do that, but who President Obama does choose will tell us whether Mr. Obama's early move to the left on domestic issues is mirrored in his judicial picks.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Analysis: Supreme Court opening puts new focus on liberal causes such as abortion, immigration
President Barack Obama has tried to hold off debate on contentious social issues such as abortion, immigration and gay rights as he focuses on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Supreme Court vacancy will make that harder to do.,0,5394779.story

-Obama wants replacement for Justice Souter to have empathy, intellect; groups seek fight
President Barack Obama is promising to work quickly and deliberately to name a replacement for retiring Justice David H. Souter who could double the number of women on the Supreme Court, become the first Hispanic justice, or do both.,0,7794504.story

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-How the House Voted on Hate Crimes
By Michelle Garcia
When the House voted on Wednesday in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act to add protections for LGBT victims to the existing federal hate-crimes law, it marked the first time since 2007 that Congress has wrestled with major gay-related legislation. The roll-call vote of 249-175 was enough to pass the bill on to the Senate, which may address it as early as next week. Looking at the numbers, 231 Democrats and 18 Republicans favored the bill, while 17 Democrats and 158 Republicans opposed it. Ten Members (eight Democrats and two Republicans) did not cast a vote.

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Exclusive: Chris Bryant criticises Tories over support for anti-gay Catholic adoption agencies
The Openly gay Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Rhonda MP Chris Bryant, has criticised the Conservative party over a poll which suggested that 71 per cent of Tory candidates for the next election support the right of religious adoption agencies to refuse gay couples.

Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-FL: Lesbian Mom Claiming Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissed
DAN RENZI | Florida Blade
After more than a year of evidence gathering and witness statements, a Broward-County judge has dismissed a lesbian mother's claim that her gay supervisor discriminated and illegally fired her. Sonya Gossard, who worked as an account executive loan officer at JP Morgan Chase until the spring of 2007, filed a lawsuit claiming her then-supervisor James Theckton had made comments to her that her work performance was suffering after the birth of her son in June 2006. Theckton vehemently denied the charges and said he feels vindicated that a judge agreed with his side of the story. The gay single father said he was completely caught by surprise at the lawsuit, and an article published in The South Florida Blade where he was not given the chance to comment. "I'm like, how can I be biased against a single lesbian mother when I am a gay single father, and I'm so supportive of the gay community, that a member of my team would say that against me," Theckton said. Read more

-FL: Sheriff Addresses Hate Crime
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti spoke at the opening of the new location of the Stonewall Library and Archives and announced that the Crimestoppers' reward for the recent beatings of two Fort Lauderdale-area men has increased from $1,000 to $4,000. Speaking to an audience of about 150 people at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Lamberti stated that when he was appointed in 2007, reports he read indicated that Broward County was the most diverse county in the State of Florida and also led the state in the number of hate crimes. "I don't want to be the #1 County for hate crimes when the attorney generals report comes out next year," Lamberti said. "We have to bring the numbers down by bringing all the diverse groups of people that live here together." In a separate interview, Lamberti credited the GLBT community for coming together to raise money to increase the amount of the reward, and emphasized the need for South Florida to curtail its status as the county with the most hate crimes in the state. Read more

-Deception, Denial and Opus Dei
On April 17, 2009 I made a trip from Florida to Princeton, NJ, for the sole purpose of visiting 20 Nassau Street. One of the organizations in this building, formerly in Suite 242, is the Witherspoon Institute, an "independent research center" that works to uphold Republican policies; the same suite, 242, is also home to the National Organization for Marriage, which spearheaded the multi-million dollar homophobic "Yes on 8" campaign in California.
It was no surprise to discover a Republican-affiliated organization is tied to the National Organization for Marriage. However-according to the Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN), the Witherspoon Institute is an "Opus Dei-affiliated organization."

Opus Dei is the controversial sect within the Roman Catholic Church that gained notoriety in the best-selling novel and blockbuster film, The Da Vinci Code. The term Opus Dei is Latin for, "work of God." A 2006 Time Magazine article reported that there are approximately 85,500 members of the group worldwide with a "mere 3,000 in the US," yet it is estimated that Opus assets are roughly $344 million dollars within the US-and $2.8 billion globally. Read more

-Delaware Agency Sorry for Saying What Not to Say
Washington Post
Delaware's Transportation Secretary has apologized after a department newsletter on diversity offended minority employees by spelling out many of the slurs that it advised workers not to use. Carolann Wicks said the Diversity Spotlight newsletter tried to directly address workplace issues by letting employees know what's not acceptable. The newsletter published a racial epithet often directed at blacks and derogatory terms for homosexuals and Asians, advising people not to use the words. And it specified offensive phrases not to use with lesbian, gay and transgender co-workers, as well as Asian, Hispanic and older employees.
Delaware NAACP President Charles Brittingham says the newsletter went too far but is moving in the right direction.

-A Rising Anger in India's Streets
Emily Wax | Washington Post Foreign Service | Washington Post
BANGALORE, India - At a trendy pub in this cosmopolitan IT capital,
Hemangini Gupta, 28, and some of her girlfriends were recently relaxing wit cocktails after work. A group of Hindu men later followed them outside, verbally accosting them for drinking in a public bar and for wearing jeans.
"These guys went psycho," Gupta said. "This isn't Afghanistan. But here in Bangalore, as a young woman on the streets, if you are driving a car or in a pub or dressed a certain way, you just feel this rising anger."
The incident was mild compared with some of the violent assaults on women that have taken place here. The attacks are part of what many see as rising Hindu extremism in much of the country over the past few years, especially in places such as Bangalore, precisely because it is a bastion of India's fast-changing culture. Bangalore is home to an explosion of software companies, a lively heavy-metal rock music scene and burgeoning gay rights and environmental movements. Read more

-Bush's House of Cards Begins to Fall
Jameel Jaffer, Director, | ACLU National Security Project | ACLU
The Bush administration built an elaborate house of cards to justify torture, but thanks in part to some recent ACLU victories, the house of cards is finally beginning to fall.Over the last few weeks, we've secured the release of the Bush administration's torture memos and won an important appeals court ruling in our challenge to Jeppesen DataPlan's involvement in the CIA's rendition program. We are also anticipating the release of torture photographs that the Bush administration managed to suppress for years. These victories didn't happen overnight. In fact, the ACLU first filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the treatment of prisoners on October 7, 2003. Since then, ACLU lawyers and cooperating lawyers have filed dozens of legal briefs and appeared at dozens of court hearings. ACLU suits have resulted in the release of more than 100,000 pages of government documents relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. We were gratified to finally get the Bush administration's torture memos on April 16, but it's worth noting that it took us several years to get them. We wouldn't have been able to invest that time without your consistent support.
.Earlier this week, a federal appeals court overturned a decision that would have dismissed the ACLU's case against Jeppesen DataPlan, a subsidiary of the Boeing Corporation that facilitated the CIA's rendition program. The Bush administration - and then the Obama administration - had argued that the case could not be litigated without the disclosure of "state secrets. "
However, we asked the court of appeals to overturn that decision, and it did. Now our case can move forward and our clients - victims of the CIA's rendition program - can have their day in court.
.In connection with our long-running Freedom of Information Act litigation, the Department of Defense has agreed to release, by May 28, a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel.
.In the same lawsuit, the judge has ordered the CIA to disclose records related to the agency's destruction of 92 videotapes. The tapes captured CIA interrogators waterboarding prisoners in their custody.
We're now focused on ensuring comprehensive transparency about the torture program and on ensuring that those who authorized torture are held accountable for it.As the stories in this special edition of ACLU Online indicate, the ACLU is at the forefront of exposing the truth of the Bush administration's illegal torture program. We're grateful for the support you've given us, and we ask for your continued support as we press for accountability.
Thank you for standing with us.

-We Matter
Bilerico Project
Editors' Note: Guest blogger Lena Dahlstrom is a crossdresser from the San Francisco Bay Area who also performs as a drag queen under the stage name "Joie de Vivre."
Wednesday was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me.
I took grim satisfaction that the Library of Congress was ordered to pay Diane Schroer nearly $500,000 in what is the largest award in transgender job discrimination case. (Short version: Schroer, a former Army Special Forces commander, was widely agreed to be the most qualified applicant for a job as a terrorism analyst, but when the woman who offered the job found out that Schroer was transitioning from David to Diane, she had a blatantly transphobic freak-out and yanked the job offer the next day. We're still waiting to see if the Obama administration will appeal the decision.)
I was pleased to see the U.S. House of Representative once again passed a bill expanding anti-hate crimes laws to include both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. (The real test will be when the Senate votes on it.)
I was ecstatic when the New Hampshire Senate unexpectedly passed a marriage equality bill, making that state poised to become the fifth one to allow same-sex marriages.
But there was also some news you probably didn't hear about. That same morning, the New Hampshire senators unanimously - let me repeat that, unanimously - voted to kill a bill that would have extended housing and employment anti-discrimination protections to trans people. Read more

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO day) on Sunday May 17th will this year in Ireland be marked for the first time by special church services in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. The services are being organised by Changing Attitude Ireland, the Christian pro-gay network which is working within the Churches for full affirmation of LGBT persons. There will be services for IDAHO day at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (3.30pm), at St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork (7pm) and at St George's Parish Church, High Street, Belfast (3pm).

-England: Faith schools free to preach against homosexuality
. Government plans include sex education for all pupils
. Catholic schools welcome clause on teaching 'values'
Sex education is to be made compulsory in all state schools in England but faith schools will also be free to preach against sex outside marriage and homosexuality, under government proposals.

-Masters and Johnson claimed to convert gays to heterosexuality in a 1979 book. But did they?

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Go to the links for the following articles:
Contact if you can't access the article

-Social Networking Could Be a New Virtual Bathhouse - or a Tool to Help Stop AIDS

-White House issues new language on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy
by John Aravosis
Policy change, or poor editing?
In a move that many people I've spoken with see as a shift in policy, and a backward step from a clear campaign promise that was reiterated during the first days of January of this year, the White House has changed the language on its "Civil Rights" page, as it concerns gay civil rights. The changes were first noted yesterday by gay blogger JoeMyGod. And while most of the deletions noted yesterday have since been un-deleted, the new language on President Obama's commitment to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy appears to indicate a significant change in policy, for the worse. Prior to yesterday, approximately one half of the White House Web site's Civil Rights page was devoted to gay civil rights. It specifically included 8 promises:
Including sexual orientation in America's already-existing Hate Crimes law.
Passing ENDA.
Supporting Civil Unions and explicitly repealing DOMA.
Opposing any constitutional amendment on marriage.
Repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.
Expanding Adoption Rights to include gay parents.
Promoting AIDS Prevention.
Empowering women to prevent HIV/AIDS.
As of yesterday, that list of promises was distilled into two sentences, and included only 3 promises:
Passing ENDA.
Supporting Civil Unions, but no longer a mention of repealing DOMA.
Opposing the constitutional amendment.

-Poll: Rising U.S. Support for Social Issues, Such as Gay Marriage
By Jennifer Agiesta and Alec MacGillis
Republicans may not be able to rely on social issues as they try to rebound against a popular president and increasingly dominant Democratic Party, as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana and a process by which undocumented immigrants could become legal residents. None of these issues has become an early priority for President Obama, who has marshalled his political capital on the economic stimulus package and revamping foreign policy instead. He does not support legalizing marijuana, and has said he favors civil unions giving gay couples the same legal rights as married couples, though not marriage.

-Taking nude pictures of yourself--nothing good can come of it. --Police Capt. George Seranko, Greensburg,Pennsylvania
Captain Seranko made his observation after three girls and three boys at Greensburg Salem High School were charged with child pornography. The girls, ages 14 and 15, are charged with taking pictures of themselves, nude or seminude; the boys, 15, 16 and 17, with receiving them. The cellphone in which these dangerous images were lodged had been confiscated at school, not an outrageous exercise of authority if school officials had merely stashed the phone in a drawer, unmolested, until the student could collect it. But the officials had to snoop.

-You did it! Congratulations on the first step!
Wednesday the United States House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913). This bill would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability to the categories included in existing federal hate crimes law and would allow local governments who are unable or unwilling to address hate crimes to receive assistance from the federal government. Find out how your representative voted by checking the roll call vote at

-Who's the First Lady When the President's a Polygamist?
South Africa's New Leader Has Two Spouses And a Fiancée, but Only One Can Reign
Mr. Zuma, who led the African National Congress party to an overwhelming victory in last week's elections, is a onetime goatherd who enthusiastically embraces his Zulu roots. That means, for the first time, an avowed polygamist will be occupying the Cape Dutch-style presidential palace in Pretoria. Mr. Zuma has been married four times and currently has two wives and one fiancée waiting in the wings. It's "Big Love," South African style.

-In Military, New Debate Over Policy Toward Gays
Here at the military academy that is nearly as old as the nation itself, two cadets recently engaged in a modern debate: whether they agreed with President Obama's pledge to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly. From what I've heard from my classmates, people are kind of against it," said Daniel Szatkowski, a senior from Edmond, Okla. But Adrienne Rolle, a senior from Brooklyn, said she had no problem with lifting the ban, although she said that some of her male classmates did. "People are more comfortable with ignorance," Cadet Rolle said of the reality that gay men and lesbians already serve in the military. West Point is not a perfect microcosm of the armed forces, but recent conversations with the cadets who will become the Army's next generation of leaders reflect uncertainty about what Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has characterized as a "complex and difficult problem."

-Britain: Sex in Kindergarten
Anneli Rufus
Is it a mark of how civilized and/or progressive we are that our children learn about sex in school at ever younger and younger ages? By "in school," I don't mean via locker-room gossip but officially, in government-ordained sex-education classes. In Britain, plans are afoot to start teaching schoolchildren aged four about sex. [1] This compulsory program, set to start in 2011 and approved by Britain's Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls (I know, I know, but that's really his name), was created after the UK was shaken in February by headlines blaring that thirteen-year-old Alfie Patten had impregnated (while he was still twelve) fifteen-year-old Chantelle Stedman. Wanting to stem the tide of teenage pregnancies, in which Great Britain leads the Western world, educators rushed to expand an already comprehensive sex-education curriculum, and start it earlier.

-Late-in-Life Lesbians: A Sexual 'Surprise Party'
Easing Social Mores Give Women Like Carol Liefer and Cynthia Nixon 'Permission' to Come Out at an Older Age

-Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome
Ancient Greek literature openly celebrated same-sex love in its poetry and prose. For the most part, Roman writing on homosexual themes followed the Greek models, though the two cultures held sharply differing attitudes toward love between males.

-Sweden: First gay marriages - May 1 2009
Today the first gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry, according to the new gender neutral marriage law taking force in Sweden May 1, 2009. Alf Karlsson (37) and Johan Lundqvist (30) both from Uppsala north of Stockholm is according to The Dagens Nyheter.


[Send your comments about articles to]

No comments: