Sunday, May 17, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 17, 2009

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New York Times
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Potential Justice’s Appeal May Be Too Bipartisan
When Elena Kagan went before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February as President Obama’s nominee for solicitor general, Republicans were almost as effusive as the Democrats in their praise for her.

“Long, long ago, in a country far, far away,” as many folk tales begin, the search for a nominee for justice of the United States Supreme Court was centered on the phrase strict constructionist. That meant “one bound to decide cases based on words set down in the United States Constitution, including amendments” — a literalist or originalist view. More flexible jurists hold with part of John Marshall’s 1819 opinion, “Let the end be legitimate, . . . ” evoking “the letter and spirit of the Constitution.” (Italics mine.) The political opposite of strict constructionist (conservative) is activist (liberal).

Conservatives Map Strategies on Court Fight
If President Obama nominates Judge Diane P. Wood to the Supreme Court, conservatives plan to attack her as an “outspoken” supporter of “abortion, including partial-birth abortion.” If he nominates Judge Sonia Sotomayor, they plan to accuse her of being “willing to expand constitutional rights beyond the text of the Constitution.”

Utah Governor Chosen as Ambassador to China
President Obama on Saturday selected one of the nation’s leading Republican governors to serve as the ambassador to China, nominating Jon Huntsman Jr. of Utah for a diplomatic post that Mr. Obama called “as important as any in the world.”

Suze Orman Is Having a Moment
Consumer spending may be down, but desire apparently isn’t. Americans still want, they crave, they have to have. They want $8,000 sewing machines and $2,800 custom closets and $5,000 minitractors, and sometimes they reach out to Suze Orman, the ubiquitous, telegenic personal-finance expert and beg her for permission to indulge.

The Sunday Word: Commencement
By Janie Lorber AND Sarah Wheaton
President Obama speaks to students graduating from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana this afternoon, an appearance that has agitated some Catholics who do not approve of his stance on abortion or stem cell research.

Generation B
Legalization? Now for the Hard Question
ETHAN NADELMANN, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, has been advocating for legalization of marijuana for 20 years and says he’s seen more progress in the last four months than in the previous two decades. “It’s starting to cascade,” he said. “Our model is the gay rights movement and their recent string of successes with gay marriage.”

Moscow Police Crush Gay Rights Rally
MOSCOW — Police officers in Moscow quickly suppressed a gay rights demonstration on Saturday, detaining dozens of protesters who hoped to showcase discrimination in Russia ahead of the Eurovision song contest final on Saturday evening.

Washington Post
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Finding clues in Obama's Senate record on justices
The Associated Press
As a senator, Barack Obama said President George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominees John Roberts and Sam Alito were clearly qualified. He voted against them anyway.

Who Is a Real Catholic?
By David Gibson
All you need to know to diagnose the state of the Catholic Church in America today is that Pope Benedict XVI -- who has a knack for ticking off Muslims and Jews -- spent the past week wandering the Middle East, yet Catholics here barely noticed. They were too busy fighting over Barack Obama's appearance as commencement speaker at Notre Dame or arguing about the fate of a popular Miami priest known as "Father Oprah," who was caught on camera sharing a seaside embrace with his girlfriend.

'Younger Than Jesus': Made by Generation Why
It's said that new art reflects new times. If that's true, what could be a better mirror on our troubled days than a huge survey of the latest art by the latest crop of artists? You couldn't ask for a more thorough pulse-taking than you get in "Younger Than Jesus," the show now filling all four floors of the New Museum's stylish home on the Bowery. It presents 124 works by 50 artists, all 33 or younger, from 25 countries, selected from a 500-name shortlist submitted by an international panel of experts. It's the first in a planned series of triennials the museum calls "The Generational."

GOP Sees Opportunity in N.J. Governor's Race
By Keith B. Richburg
Dispirited Republicans, hoping to prove the Grand Old Party is not yet extinct in the Northeast, have placed their final hopes this year on the governor's race in New Jersey, where Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) has seen his approval ratings plummet as fast as the state's financial picture.

Slur-Filled Web Site Hurtful but Not Illegal
Some Call Teen Forum 'Toxic' Free Speech
By Donna St. George and Daniel deVise
Before the digital age, there was simply nasty writing on the restroom wall. Now, in the say-it-all era of the Internet, the darker side of teenage expression has found a new place to fester.

Close to Home
The Same-Sex Marriage Debate
On the May 10 Local Opinions page, pastor Harry R. Jackson Jr. wrote about his opposition to the District's recognition of same-sex marriages legally performed in other jurisdictions ["One Man, One Woman -- Only"]. Several times in his piece, Jackson mentioned family, children and churches. While counting off the reasons he considers the District to be less democratic and less just because of its actions on same-sex marriage, I noticed that he did not mention the crisis facing countless children in the District's struggling foster care system. One who is so concerned, as Jackson wrote, about the best environment for raising children would serve such a goal better by spending time and energy rallying for foster children's rights and the increased presence of fathers. These are true blights plaguing the pastor's community, while the uproar against same-sex marriage recognition is nothing more than blatant homophobia.
-- Andrew Opie, Silver Spring

A Vote for Same-Sex Marriage
Ward 8 Democrats Act Ahead of D.C. Council Legislation
By Nikita Stewart and Tim Craig
The District's same-sex marriage debate continued yesterday in the basement of a library in Ward 8, the predominantly African American community that council member Marion Barry invoked in justifying his recent vote against a bill to recognize gay marriages performed outside of the city.

Look Who's Partners On Gay Marriage
Lying on his cot in the Longworth House Office Building in the small of the night, Jason Chaffetz had a scary dream: The conservative Republican from Utah had beaten the odds, defeated an incumbent and made it to Washington, only to end up by some bizarre twist of events arm-in-arm with Marion Barry, the crack-smoking laughingstock former mayor of the District of Columbia.

Eurovision contest becomes stage for gay protests
MOSCOW -- Finalists from 25 countries performed an array of songs on a Moscow stage Saturday night and held their breath as Europeans voted by telephone to decide the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest _ a musical bonanza that is one of the most watched annual television events on the continent.

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Republican future: Crist-Rubio a battle for party's soul
Charlie Crist's decision to forsake re-election as governor in favor of a run for an empty U.S. Senate seat will make for grand political theater as he battles with former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio for the GOP nomination.,0,6860249.story

Obama names Utah GOP Jon Huntsman as US ambassador to China; tapping a potential rival
With a reach across the political divide for Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as ambassador to China, President Barack Obama may have sidelined for now a potentially formidable Republican moderate and possible White House challenger in 2012. Yet Huntsman, who has upset the GOP's conservative base by supporting gay civil unions, may gain, too. The appointment, which requires Senate approval, gives him a chance to burnish his credentials and position himself as a viable presidential contender in 2016, if Obama appears to be a strong candidate for a second term in 2012.,0,950089.story

Ex-Largo official who was fired over sex change settles into new role in Lake Worth
By Christine Evans
The new city manager in this quirky little town has a lot on her mind: water rates, slumlords, gangs, a tricky redevelopment project - and, of course, the fact that when she takes a quiet moment to consider city affairs, she often glances down. And spots her own high heels.,0,839829.story

Steve Rothaus
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Photo gallery | Miami Beach Bruthaz pre-event party at Vlada Lounge in Miami
Miami Beach Bruthaz (‘’for same gender loving men and women from across the country’’) returns to South Beach July 16-19. A pre-event party was held Saturday night at Vlada Lounge in Miami, including models wearing Mundo Unico underwear. These are pictures I took at the event.

Miami Herald
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Cubans in Havana conga with Raúl Castro's daughter for gay rights
HAVANA -- (AP) -- President Raúl Castro's daughter led hundreds of Cuban gays in a street dance Saturday to draw attention to gay rights on the island. Participants formed a carnival-style conga line around two city blocks to beat the of drums, accompanied by costumed stilt-walkers.

Outrage director sad we're still debating gay rights
Although the documentary Outrage focuses on present-day politicians and the battle for gay rights, there's a reason why director Kirby Dick decided to cede the film's final scene -- and its last word -- to the late Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay people elected to public office in the 1970s. ''There's something very inspirational about the vision of this man from 30 years ago saying that this whole debate would be over if everyone just came out,'' Dick says. ``I find it sad that, three decades later, we're still having this discussion, and there's still a need for this film. I'm appalled that all Americans still don't have full civil rights.''

The Advocate
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The 25 Most Googled Gays
By Scott McPherson and Michelle Garcia
Nearly every week, pop train wreck Britney Spears appears at the top of every "Most Googled" celebrity list. But what about the most Googled LGBT celebs? Wanda, Ellen, Lindsay, and Rufus -- see where your faves wound up. By now it's a given -- nearly every week, pop train wreck Britney Spears appears at the top of every "Most Googled" celebrity list... and she's been there since the invention of, well, Google. But has turned this 21st-century popularity contest on its ear by finding the most-searched-for LGBT celebrities over the past five years (plus names like Jodie, Anderson, and Adam who, if they were openly gay, would rank awfully high).

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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New same sex and transgender Action Framework
A new UNAIDS Action Framework on Universal Access for Men who have Sex with Men and for Transgender People sets out how UNAIDS will facilitate and support universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support for men who have sex with men and transgender people. Acknowledging that 'business as usual' is no longer a viable response to the HIV-related risks of these groups, the Framework shows that collective
responses to HIV in the men who have sex with men and transgender populations are failing. The problem has either been ignored - with insufficient data and analysis - or commitment and resources allocated to HIV programming in these populations fall far short of what is required. "The failure to respond effectivel y has allowed HIV rates to reach crisis levels in many communities of men who have sex with men and transgender
people," said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. "Efforts to reverse this crisis must be grounded in human rights and underpinned by the decriminalisation of homosexuality," he added.

One hurt, 20 arrested in protests against Polish gay rights march

Organizers of Slavic Pride to face 15 days in Jail
Main organizers have been told by police that unlike the other participants they will not only get a fine for organizing an illegal event, they will also be charged (this is a first time against gay activists) for police disobediance. This is also untrue as the media reports and TV footage do not show any police disobediance or attack against the police. Under this article, organizers face a jail sentence of 15 days

RIGA - The Baltic Pride Parade has gone ahead amid angry protests and heavy police presence, despite a last minute attempt by council to ban the march. An estimated 600 participants from some 20 countries gathered in Riga's Vermane Park for the May 16 event, which was organized by gay rights groups in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Anti-gay protestors carrying bibles and signs reading "The more gays the less Latvians" and "Stop AIDS, go home." Protesters had gathered outside the park, shouting abuse at marchers throughout.

Russia Pride: If anybody would like to make their feelings known to the Russian authorities, here are the contact details for a few Russian Embassies:

Letter from Parc Paige to S. Florida Blade
Attn: Dmitry Rashnitsov - South Florida Blade
I am dumbfounded how you let Miami's Log Cabin President Robert Watson get away with the comment that "recently a lot of the people in the GLBT community said they have seen Crist backtracking," and Crist would "continue the debate about GLBT issues in Washington." Huh? Crist supported Amendment 2, which not only defined marriage between only one man and one woman, which you point out in your article, but also bans civil unions, which you don't bother to mention. This is a pretty extreme position in 2009.
Marc Paige - Ft. Lauderdale


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