Monday, May 11, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 11, 2009

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Steve Rothaus
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-Pitts: Blacks must confront their homophobia
''The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.'' -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
That's for Marion Barry, who seems to need the reminder. The former mayor and current city councilman of Washington, D.C. is a longtime supporter of gay rights. So observers were stunned last week when a bill committing the city to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere passed the council on a vote of 12-1. The ''one'' was Barry.

-SLDN: Obama caving to senior military leadership, religious right on 'Don't
Ask, Don't Tell'
News release from Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:
When asked this morning on This Week with George Stephanopoulos if "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be overturned, the president's national security advisor, General Jones, responded, "I don't know." " 'I don't know?' The answer should have been a one-word answer 'Yes,' said Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Miami Herald
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-Fort Lauderdale gay activists ask Obama to do more
By Amy Sherman
The national Democratic Party chairman asked gay activists gathered in Fort Lauderdale on Friday to keep working for President Barack Obama. But the crowd wanted something in return.

Washington Post
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"Preliminary" talks held on U.S. military gay policy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is holding "preliminary discussions" about changing the military's prohibition against openly gay service members, White House National Security Advisor James Jones said on Sunday. President Barack Obama pledged during the presidential campaign to change the policy. But the issue has been on the back-burner as the White House tackles other issues such as the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

-Having a Gay Time
The new ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has already stirred controversy, as Jonathan Chait points out in the New Republic:
"I'm trying to figure out what exactly Jeff Sessions meant when he said he could support a Supreme Court justice who had 'gay tendencies.' Clearly he is making a concession of sorts. But precisely what he is conceding is not clear. Here is Sessions' exact formulation: 'I don't think a person who acknowledges that they have gay tendencies is disqualified per se for the job.'

-Marion Barry, Obama & The Winding Road To Gay Marriage
By Marc Fisher
When the history of this country's journey toward acceptance of same-sex marriage is written, much will be made of the startling swiftness with which one state after another embraced gay marriage in a matter of a few months in 2008 and 2009. A huge shift in popular attitudes toward homosexuality has happened in what history will eventually see as a blink of an eye.

Wall Street Journal

-Proudly Pro-Choice on Education
New York's archbishop on schools and the challenges facing the Catholic Church. The child is not a mere creature of the state. Parents have the primary responsibility to see how and where their children are educated."

The Advocate
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-Wanda Sykes Rips into Rush Limbaugh
By Julie Bolcer
Out comedian Wanda Sykes tore into Rush Limbaugh at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on Saturday night, suggesting that the conservative commentator's anti-Obama agenda makes him akin to a terrorist, specifically, one of the 9/11 hijackers.

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-RachelWatch: She Thinks She Can! She Thinks She Can!
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Darth Protest Too Much? Dick Cheney is continuing his 2009 I Have Always Loved the Press and Anyone Who Doesn't Believe That is Making Us Vulnerable To Terrorists tour. He has moved on to radio, presumably because that way he doesn't need to have travel with his squadron of aides who, with the help of an intricate network of hooks, wires, and levers, pull back his mouth and eyebrows when he gives the hand signal for "friendly."

Pink News - UK
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-Tatchell condemns Irish civil partnerships as 'sexual apartheid'
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has attacked plans by the Irish government to introduce civil partnerships, saying the country should offer gay couples full marriage rights.

Daily Queer News
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-AZ: 2nd Priest Excommunicated from Diocese
Michael Clancy | The Arizona Republic |
The Rev. Chris Carpenter, a Catholic priest who has been on leave from the Phoenix Diocese for three years, has been excommunicated. He is the second Catholic priest to be excommunicated in six months and the third since Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted came to the diocese in late 2003. The decree of excommunication, one of the Catholic Church's harshest penalties, was issued last month but made public on Monday. Olmsted said Carpenter has joined an offshoot church, resulting in the decision. Read more

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-New York Times Features Log Cabin's Lobbying on Marriage
Today's New York Times includes an article on the fight for marriage equality that prominently features Log Cabin's critical lobbying work in Albany. In particular, it notes that Republican votes are crucial to marriage equality passing and the significance of Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos's (R-Long Island) commitment to allow a "conscience" vote on the issue. "Republican legislators will be free to vote their conscience on this issue, without pressure," said Jeff Cook, Log Cabin's Legislative Adviser. "And we know if people vote their hearts on this issue, we will win."

-Noncommittal votes are bringing uncertainty to the fate of Gov. David A.
Paterson's bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-On May 16, in celebration of diversity and LGBT equality, the Pink Dot Campaign is calling for Singaporeans to gather in the Hong Lim park at 4:30pm to form a pink dot that will be photographed from the air. The organizers remind attendees that the gathering is not a march or a protest - it's just a simple call for fair-minded people to show their support for a more inclusive future.

-Tatchell at Moscow Gay Pride
Undeterred by threat of arrests and bashings
Despite threats to bash and arrest the marchers, British gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell will attend this Saturday's Moscow Gay Pride parade - this year renamed Slavic Gay Pride to support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality struggles in all Slavic countries, Russian and non-Russian. The parade is scheduled to take place at lunchtime on Saturday 16 May, and coincides with the final of the Eurovision song contest which is being held later that night, also in Moscow.

-I've just learned that American anti-gay "researcher" Paul Cameron is on a tour of Poland, speaking at several universities on the so-called "dangers" of homosexuality. He has spoken already May 7 near the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynsk University in Warsaw (The university itself canceled his appearance) and is slated to speak at the University of Opole (at the invitation of Solidarity?) and at Lublin. I am uncertain of his schedule; he may already have spoken at these two locations.

-Rampant Anti-Gay Violence in Iraq
May 17th is commemorated around the world as International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), a day on which LGBT people and our allies focus attention on the problems of anti-gay hate, discrimination and violence. This year in Chicago, the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) is organizing the city's IDAHO event as a protest against the Obama administration's continuing silence about rampant anti-gay violence in U.S.-occupied Iraq. The protest will take place at 2 PM, Sunday, May 17th outside of the Obamas' Chicago residence at the corner of Hyde Park Boulevard (5100 S.) and Greenwood (1100 E.).


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