Saturday, May 23, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 23, 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:

Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Set for Tuesday in California
Published: May 22, 2009
The California Supreme Court announced Friday that it would reveal on Tuesday its ruling on the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Same-Sex Marriage Laws Pose Protection Quandary
The movement toward legalizing same-sex marriage in New Hampshire has hit a bump. Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat, said last week that he would sign a same-sex marriage bill only if it included new language expanding protection for religious institutions that might object to same-sex marriage. On Wednesday, the state’s House of Representatives rejected that amendment. So for the moment, the matter is stalled in New Hampshire.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

Liberty U. Drops Democratic Club
Party's Views Conflict With Those of College, Administrators Say
By Anita Kumar
Liberty University will no longer recognize its campus Democratic club because, officials say, the national party's platform goes against the conservative Christian school's moral principles.

GOD IN GOVERNMENT : The Best From This Week's Blog
Shifting Strategies to Fight Gay Marriage
Opponents of gay rights legislation -- same-sex marriage bills in the states and hate crimes legislation on Capitol Hill -- have shifted strategies, a sure sign that things aren't going well for them.

When the Stage Has No Closet Space
By Aaron Hicklin
How did a somewhat goofy, family-style talent show on Fox become a bellwether of America's changing attitudes toward sexuality? Adam Lambert, a gutsy eye-liner-wearing Californian with a big voice, did not triumph in the eighth season of American Idol. Would he have won if he were unequivocally straight? That is a question we'll be debating for a while. But in many ways, Lambert was the unofficial winner long before he took the stage last Wednesday to recap his plaintive version of "Mad World," the Tears for Fears ballad that cemented his reputation as the darling of alternative, androgynous goth-ish tweens. His clean-cut, evangelical Christian rival, Kris Allen, on the other hand, was more "High School Musical" than "Twilight."

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

Tough Times in Tennessee
Amid recession in the manufacturing town of Shelbyville, life has come to this: Americans and immigrants are fighting for what have long been among the least-desired jobs in the U.S.

Michael Kinsley writing in the Washington Post:
In Hollywood, especially, they ought to know better than to try to destroy the career of a professional beauty contestant because she spoke out -- ever so politely and tentatively, and only when asked -- against gay marriage. . . .

Go to the links for the following articles:

Bigot-branding aids gay marriage forces
Here's the thing about homosexual marriage in the United States: It is going to be legal in about half the states. There is no stopping the gay nuptials now, even though most Americans say they are opposed to extending marital law to same-sex couples.,0,3347155.story

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

‘The Observer’s Eye’ photo exhibit to run June 1-30 at George Hester Gallery at Stonewall Library & Archives
From Stonewall Library & Archives: Fox issues ‘non-apology apology’ for comments to male samba team on TV dance show
Michael Jensen of, reports that Fox has issued a “non-apology apology” for perceived homophobic remarks made to a male samba team by judge Nigel Lythgoe on the show So You Think You Can Dance: The judges of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE critique auditioners and contestants on their overall performance, stage presence, technique and a wide range of characteristics. All dancers are aware when they audition they will be subject to the judges' opinions. We apologize if any viewers were offended by their remarks.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

Stonewall Street Fest faces cancellation amid budget woes
‘We’re asking for your help,’ says Stonewall’s director to Broward County community
On Saturday, May 16, the Board of Directors of Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale held an “emergency community meeting” at Georgie’s Alibi to discuss the possible cancellation of the Stonewall Street Festival and Parade, scheduled to take place on June 20 and 21 of this year. Approximately 50 members of the community, representing businesses and individual interests attended the meeting.

Moscow police break up Pride rally
American activist Andy Thayer among detained
MOSCOW (AP) — Riot police broke up several gay rights demonstrations in Moscow on Saturday, hauling away scores of protesters hours before the capital hosted a major international pop music competition. Activists had targeted Moscow, which was holding the finals of the Eurovision song contest, hoping to use the event’s global popularity to draw attention to their claims that Russia officially sanctions homophobia.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

The New Adventures of Old Coward
Best known for The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, out filmmaker Stephan Elliott returns with a revamp of Noël Coward’s Easy Virtue.
It’s been almost 15 years since writer-director Stephan Elliott's The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert crashed into theaters to become an international phenomenon and instant camp classic. After a long, life-changing absence, the gay Australian came out of early retirement to direct and cowrite Easy Virtue, a period comedy-drama based on the 1924 play of the same name by legendary wit Noël Coward. The film, which opens May 22 in limited release, stars Jessica Biel as a liberal American divorcée who marries a wealthy Englishman and locks horns with her manipulative new mother-in-law, played by Kristin Scott Thomas. Elliott lets the behind-the-scenes cattiness out of the bag for and explains what brought him back aboard Priscilla’s big lavender bus.

Go to this link for the following articles:

Gays turn to DIY projects in economic downturn
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
In the economic downturn that has seen a drop in home sales, gay and lesbian homeowners are increasingly turning to home improvement projects rather than moving.

Clinton’s sax, Pattinson’s lips auctioned for AIDS research
By The Associated Press
(Cap D’Antibes, France) Bill Clinton’s saxophone and Robert Pattinson’s lips have helped a star-studded charity event raise money to fight AIDS. An alto sax signed and donated by the former U.S. president was one of the star lots at the Cinema Against AIDS benefit on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, selling for euro130,000 ($180,000). There was also keen bidding on two kisses from “Twilight” star Pattinson, which raised euro20,000 ($28,000) each.

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

NH: Republicans to Lynch: Veto Gay Marriage Bill, Focus on Budget
GARRY RAYNO | New Hampshire Union Leader Staff | Union Leader
House and Senate Republican leaders say it’s time to put the gay marriage issue aside and focus on the state’s two-year budget. At a news conference yesterday, the Republicans called on Gov. John Lynch to veto the same-sex marriage bill being considered and provide leadership on the financial problems facing the state. Lynch’s spokesman, Colin Manning, said a variety of important issues are moving through the Legislature. “The governor has focused on the budget for many months now and will continue to focus on it and other important issues before the Legislature,” he said. Read more


Third-Grader Organizes Gay Equality Rally
Activists are getting younger and younger these days. Have you heard about Ethan? The Colorado third-grader recently organized a rally to promote marriage equality for gays and lesbians as well as equal protection under the law. Yes, this little boy—with some help from his mom and a teacher—put together a rally for gay equality, getting the necessary permits, finding speakers and making the community aware of the event, which was held this past Saturday in Denver on the steps of Colorado's Capitol. Two hundred people attended. Not a bad turnout!

The Invisible Generation
My friend Louis dragged me to a party of one of his friends, who just turned 21. At the party, Louis had a group of young guys hanging on his every word. He turned and pointed out a man in his 40s and said, "Who invited their dad?" All the boys giggled with delight at his remark as I stood stone-faced and not amused. The generation that blew open the closet door and put out the welcome mat for all of us happens to be the same generation we throw back in the closet to hide them from the world. They are invisible to us. Here are five reasons they should no longer be ignored:

Lambert Loses, But He's Still a Winner
Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! After weeks of nail biting, Kris Allen was just officially crowned the new "American Idol." Gay fans have been cheering on LA based singer/actor Adam Lambert for months now, but Allen pulled off a major upset by overtaking glam rocker Lambert in the final weeks of competition. Now's your chance to talk to Adam. Post a message to him on the message boards below, and we'll send all of the comments in their entirety to FOX next week. Let him know how you feel!

Stonewall Democrats
Our win in Iowa - and the courageous response of the Democratic leadership in Iowa to the ruling of the state supreme court in Varnum vs. Brien - opens the floodgates for marriage equality. CLICK HERE to watch a special video just for you from Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal who accepted a Capitol Champions Award from National Stonewall Democrats last week for pro-equality Democratic leadership.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

In 'Dallas Principles,' Gay Group Calls Obama to Action
By Jose Antonio Vargas
Barack Obama leveraged the Internet to capture the White House -- and now outside groups are doing to same to pressure his presidency. A gay rights movement that began in the streets has increasingly moved online. And last weekend, a diverse group of gay activists, bloggers, Democratic Party organizers and fundraisers from across the country came together in Dallas to discuss how to more aggressively advance their agenda. They believe the Obama White House and the Democratic-controlled Congress are not moving fast enough to address gay rights issues, such as setting a timetable to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and passing a federal hate crimes bill that covers sexual orientation and gender identity. After the outpouring of spontaneous grassroots support for same-sex marriage in the wake of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, "the timing is right," blogger and activist Lane Hudson said, "to push for full civil rights for LGBT people."

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

Thank you Mayor Luzhkov
Moscow’s mayor tried to crush the city’s gay pride parade. In so
doing, he did the cause of gay rights in Russia a huge service. By Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner

From Slavic Gay Pride:
We wanted to thank the 50 people who made a protest in Berlin at the Russian Embassy today. Also, to the activists of Tapages who in Strasbourg organized a die-in at the Russian Consulate in the afternoon. We also want to thank German MP Volker beck who managed from Germany to ask his Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make a diplomatic action in Moscow early sunday morning with the names of the organizers still detained. We are extremely disspointed that the EU Embassies (UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland) which had been invited by the organizers to monitor the events on the spot, concluded that despite witnessing the action, they did not find any ground to make a diplomatic actions. It shows that it is easier to act for the EU Embassies in smaller countries such as Latvia where several EU Embassies brought support but when it turns to be in Russia, things are different.

My good friend and political artist Clinton Fein has made a terrific video of the May 17 solidarity rally and fundraiser for gay Iraqis at Harvey Milk Plaza, in Nancy Pelosi's congressional district.

Refugee Support highlights the plight of lesbian asylum seekers in the UK

Greens urge EU-wide same-sex marriage
In the run-up to the 4 June European elections, Britain’s two current Green MEPs - Caroline Lucas (South-East England) and Jean Lambert (London) - are backing calls for an end to the ban on same-sex marriage in the UK and in other EU member states. They want EU-wide same-sex marriage laws.

Referring to the presentation of a Bill to equalise the age of consent in the Gibraltar Parliament last Monday, Felix Alvarez, Chairman of Equality Rights Group GGR has welcomed the fact that “after 9 years of GGR raising the public debate on sexual minorities in Gibraltar, we are pleased to see that Parliament has finally considered the question of age of consent inequality currently in force.

Behind the Scenes Story Of 2009 Gay Pride in Moscow by Andy Thayer

No black-and-white in gay rights
The west should not lecture the rest of the world on gay rights – we can all learn from the variety of global gay cultures

J-FLAG marks International Day Against Homophobia, calls for country to embrace value of tolerance
Kingston - The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays joins other human rights organisations across the world in marking the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, 2009. The theme for the day this year is “Homosexuality knows no borders”. In Jamaica, both the day and its theme are particularly relevant, given the popular local sentiment that homosexuality is unJamaican. It is this feeling, promoted by religious leaders, justified by some in media and exploited by politicians that generally feeds antigay attacks and makes it difficult for gays and lesbians in Jamaica to lead lives where their civil and human rights are respected and protected.

DC Blade: Gays need liaison at State Department
WHEN SECRETARY OF State Hillary Rodham Clinton was on her European tour this spring in her new role as our country’s top diplomat, she held a town hall and asked the audience of average citizens for questions. A young gay Moldovan wanted to know what changes she would implement to aid LGBT persons beyond America’s borders suffering human rights violations. Clinton’s answer was succinct. Mincing no words, she said, “Human rights is and will always be one of the pillars of our foreign policy, and in particular the persecution and discrimination against gays and lesbians is something that we take very seriously. It is terribly u nfortunate, as you just recited, that right now in unfortunately many places in the world, violence against gays and lesbians — certainly discrimination and prejudice — are not just occurring, but condoned and protected. We would hope that over the next few years, we could have some influence in trying to change those attitudes.”

Chicago Protest Backs Iraqi Gays
Some 20 protesters gathered at Chicago's LGBT Center on Halsted to show solidarity with Iraqi gays and others targeted around the world for their LGBTQ identity. IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia, began in Europe several years ago as an effort to internationalize attention to and action against antigay violence. Photos are available at the following URL:

“No toilet paper but unity!” Burma does social networking

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List

Call on Fox Entertainment and So You Think You Can Dance Judge to Apologize for Homophobic Remarks
On the May 21 season premiere of Fox's popular reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance, aspiring competitors Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel performed a samba for the judges at the program's Denver auditions. Though the judges did offer some praise to the men, judge Nigel Lythgoe -- in his on-air and online criticisms of their performance -- made snide, and ultimately homophobic, comments about the routine that have led to calls for an apology to both the dancers and to the LGBT community.


Rachel Maddow Interviews Judy Shepard

Moscow Pride Organizers Claim PR Win

Nevada: Poll finds half oppose law allowing civil unions
CARSON CITY -- Democrats and independents back efforts in the Legislature to allow same- and opposite-sex domestic partnerships. But because of the overwhelming Republican opposition, Nevadans overall reject such civil unions by a 12 percentage point margin, according to a poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Join One Iowa for PRIDE RIDE 2009!
Proceeds for annual ride benefit One Iowa and the LGBT Community Center of Central Iowa.
This year's event is all the more special considering gay and lesbian couples may now ride together as legally recognized partners by the state of Iowa. Bring your family and friends out for a nice ride with other supporters of equality. Together, we'll pedal for continued progress and equality for LGBT Iowans.>

Sex abuse 'endemic' in Catholic institutions
More than 800 priests, nuns, monks and teachers created an "endemic" culture of child sex abuse in Catholic schools and residential homes over almost 80 years, an inquiry has found.

Irish State 'colluded with religious authorities to hide child abuse', report says David Sharrock, Ireland Correspondent

Ireland: The Full report on Sex Abuse

Video: New York Gov. Paterson talks Pride

National LGBTQ Youth Awareness Week starts May 25!

Online Sex Connections Linked to False Sense of Security
The Bethesda resident and former University of Maryland student who calls herself Amy says she would never consider walking the street as a prostitute. But to her, performing erotic acts for men she meets on Craigslist seems relatively safe, anonymous and lucrative.

Another servicemenber and $25Million down thedrain....

100 arrested in hate crime raids across London

It's dawning on gays that Obama has no interest in their issues

The Fierce Urgency Of Whenever - Wayne Besen
I lived through eight years of the Clintons and then eight years of Bush. Through it all, gay people were treated at the federal level like embarrassments or impediments. With Clinton, we were the means to raise money. With Bush, we were the means to leverage votes by exploiting bigotry. Obama seemed in the campaign to promise something else. I listened to him in the early days and found him sincere about ending discrimination by the government; and I came to respect, while vehemently disagreeing with, his position on federal civil unions. He seemed genuinely distressed that gay servicemembers should be treated with contempt and persecution by their commander-in-chief, that gay couples should have to fight for basic human treatment - like entry to hospital rooms, or being able to stay in the same apartment as their late spouse, or forced into cruel separation by immigration laws that treat gay couples as threats, rather than assets, or if you had the temerity to survive HIV, being treated at the US border the way Jesse Helms always wanted people with HIV to be treated - like perverts and pariahs and threats.

When a kiss is just a kiss?
When is a matter a ''scandal?'' What if it involves two adults doing nothing unlawful or offensive? Jim and Mary kissed on a beach, for example. Or Jim and Jim. What if Jim is an ordinary parish priest? His kissing on a beach is an indiscretion, and a violation of church law. But is it a ``scandal''? You know where I am headed: What if Jim is a famous priest, is, in fact, Father Alberto Cutié? ''A Celebrity Priest's Scandal in the Sand'' read the front-page headline the first day of the story. The story stayed on Page One for the next five days, and the word ''scandal'' appeared throughout.

Milwaukee: Years After Resigning in Disgrace, Archbishop Speaks Out

by Larry Kramer on Huffington Post

The new romantics: Should we get the doctor out of the bedroom?

She was a man who struggled with that identity, now she's at home in her body and in Lake Worth, as the new city manager

Rodger McFarlane, Who Led AIDS-Related Groups, Dies at 54
Mr. McFarlane was the first executive director of the Gay Men's Health Crisis, a group that was an early advocate for public and private research to deal with the disease.

A new, edgier campaign aims to make safer-sex tools easily available -- and sexy as well
Washingtonians share their District with a virus that refuses to leave. HIV is still here. It can still be fatal. And it's spreading at a rapid pace.

Washington: Gregoire expands same-sex partnerships
Gov. Chris Gregoire has approved a measure that gives same-sex domestic partners all the rights and benefits that Washington state offers married couples.

Pressure on White House Mounts;
Scholars Question Administration's Inaction

On The Hill, Gays Now Find Acceptance ... Mostly
All Things Considered - Listen now:

Paying With Our Sins
THE Obama administration's drug czar made news last week by saying he wanted
to end all loose talk about a "war on drugs." "We're not at war with people
in this country," said the czar, Gil Kerlikowske, who favors forcing people
into treatment programs rather than jail cells.

Moscow: Police Violence Clouds 'Best Ever' Eurovision
Russia won high praise from organizers and participants alike for its hosting of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest final on Saturday, complete with hovering swimming pools, Dima Bilan "flying" over the audience and a live speech from an astronaut in the international space station. But international reaction was clouded by the violent suppression of a gay rights protest earlier in the day that threatened to tarnish a national image that Russia had spend millions of dollars trying to buff.

Anything but Straight

Obama's Honeymoon Is Over
There are days when I am infatuated with Obama's very existence. These moments usually coincide with vivid reminders of our previous president. For example, GQ magazine revealed last week that Donald Rumsfeld's presidential defense briefings began with warrior Bible verses. Here is a sample: "Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand." -- Ephesians 6:13.Other times, the mere fact that Obama isn't Bush is not enough. At some point, he has to stand on his own record. The big question for gay and lesbian leaders is, "when can we expect 'some point' to happen and what is a reasonable timeline?"

Video: Olberman Destroys the RNC's Michael Steele

From Kate Kendell, NCLR

Decision Tuesday in Prop 8 Case!
On Tuesday, the California Supreme Court will issue its ruling in our Prop 8 legal challenge. We brought this case on behalf of Equality California and six couples who urgently wish to retain the freedom to marry in California, but the Court’s decision will mean so much more to so many—to same-sex couples in California and in states across the country, to those who advocate for minority rights, and to all those who care about equality. The Court’s decision will determine whether or not Prop 8 is valid, and whether or not the more than 18,000 marriages that took place between June 16 and November 4, 2008 will continue to be legally valid and recognized by the State of California. Any ruling that upholds Prop 8 will be a terrible blow to the thousands of LGBT Californians who have the same hopes and dreams for their families as others. Last May, I stood on the steps of the courthouse and read Chief Justice Ronald George’s historic decision that not only brought marriage equality to California, but that also recognized the full humanity of LGBT people. It was an extraordinary moment, and I will always remember reading these words: “Affording same-sex couples access only to the separate institution of domestic partnership, and denying such couples access to the established institution of marriage, properly must be viewed as impinging upon the right of those couples to have their family relationship accorded respect and dignity equal to that accorded the family relationship of opposite-sex couples.”

Girls In Wonderland Makes Fairytales Come True!
*More than 7,000 Women expected to attend annual Girls in Wonderland / Gay Day at Disney Women's weekend in Orlando, June 4-7
*Miami, Fla.–Move over Snow White. Back off Sleeping Beauty. South Florida's top women's party producers Pandora Events bring a different brand of leading lady to the Wonderful World of Disney. Expect more than 7,000 women to turn out for their annual Girls in Wonderland extravaganza, one of the largest lesbian event in the state, June 4-7 in Orlando.

Gay & Lesbian Leadership SmartBrief

Illinois could be next state to add civil unions
Civil unions reportedly are on track to be approved by the Illinois General Assembly, as the result of legislative maneuvering. A committee chaired by out state Rep. Greg Harris is expected to attach the unions amendment to a "shell bill" -- legislation already approved by the state Senate. If the bill including the civil-unions amendment passes the Illinois House, then it would be returned to the Senate for a relatively quick debate and vote.

Contact for the full article

Heartstrong: We are still busy working in Texas. Over the past week we have done
forums and outreach in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Waco and College Station. Things are going very well. On our trip to Waco, we were able to do a campus visit to Baylor University. This is one of the easiest schools to do a campus visit. Each time we are there, we are able to make our way around the campus and leave our materials pretty much everywhere. Many students have come to us from Baylor over the 13 years of our work. So far we have raised $2150.00 of the $5000.00 needed for this trip. So we still have more than half of the money to raise. [...] Looking forward to hearing from all of you!
Marc Adams
Executive Director

From Transgender Equality
Contact for the full article

A west Omaha couple says their 8-year-old son has asked for years to wear dresses and change his name, so they're enrolling him in a new school where he can live openly as a girl. The parents say their middle child is transgender, and he's asked to be called girl since age 4. "One night she said, 'Every night when I go to bed, I pray my inside will match my outside. But it never happens,"' the mother said, recalling a conversation with her child.

Triangle Foundation - Michigan

Hate Crimes Legislation Passes Michigan House!
Triangle Foundation is pleased to report that this afternoon the Michigan House of Representatives passed the Michigan Anti-Bias Crime Statute (MI-ABCs), an important piece of hate crimes legislation that improves upon current Michigan law. MI-ABCs expands current Michigan hate crimes legislation to include protection against crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, among other classifications. The legislation enables law enforcement and the judicial system to appropriately charge and prosecute offenders when their actions are aimed at creating a climate of fear and intolerance. The FBI ranks Michigan third in the nation for the highest number of hate crimes. With Triangle Foundation reporting a 133% increase in anti-LGBT incidents in 2007, the need for this legislation is imperative to send the message that hate is not a Michigan value.

Pew Research center

A Clash of Rights? Gay Marriage and the Free Exercise of Religion


[Send your comments about articles to ]

No comments: