Sunday, May 24, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 24, 2009

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New York Times
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La Cage aux Democrats
THE most potent word in our new president’s lexicon — change — has been heard much less since his inspiring campaign gave way to the hard realities of governing. But on Tuesday night, the irresistible Obama brand made an unexpected and pointed cameo appearance on America’s most popular television show, “American Idol.” In the talent competition’s climactic faceoff, the song picked for one of the two finalists, Adam Lambert, was Sam Cooke’s soul classic, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

University Bans Club for Democrats
Liberty University has banned its fledgling College Democrats club, saying the group stands against the conservative Christian institution’s principles. The president of the club, Brian Diaz, said he was notified by an e-mail message that the group was being banned by Liberty, a private university in Lynchburg, Va., that was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Nuance Is a Fine Word Until It’s Pronounced Flip-Flop
“Now, some have suggested that this represents a reversal on my part,” President Obama declared last week in the soaring rotunda of the National Archives, a snippet of self-defense tucked into a far-reaching philosophical address on terrorism and the rule of law. “They should look at the record.”

Queer Developments
The first elected official who ever made the case to me for legalizing gay marriage — and maybe the last, come to think of it — was Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota, with whom I spent a fair amount of time in the late 1990s. A political independent, Ventura swept into office on the simple premise that if the state government, flush with revenue, didn’t actually need all the tax money it collected, maybe it should give some back. His libertarian philosophy extended to social issues, on which Ventura, who counted gay men among his closest aides and friends, said government had no business intruding.

Washington Post
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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?

Gay Diplomats to Get Equal Benefits: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay U.S. diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday. In a notice expected to be sent this week to State Department employees, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, Clinton says regulations that deny same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoy are "unfair and must end," as they harm U.S. diplomacy.

Church of Scotland votes to appoint gay minister
The Associated Press
LONDON -- The Church of Scotland has voted in favor of appointing an openly gay minister _ the latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican Communion.

Out's 50 Most Powerful Gays and Lesbians [2009]

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Welcome to Florida: 'Fantasy' spot for Indian journalist
By Jaideep Hardikar
"Are you gay?" The question, posed by my driving instructor, rather jolted me. "No," I said. And in fact, I'm not, and am happily married to a woman back in my native India. I am in South Florida for five months as part of a journalism fellowship program.,0,3455297.story

Daily Queer News
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Gay Couple Have Twins by Indian Surrogate
Ieila Magazine
Two Melbourne men have become the first Australian gay couple to have a baby via a surrogate mother. Trevor Elwell and Peter West paid $40,000 for a woman in India to give birth to their twin girls Gaia and Evelyn, the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes will report tonight. The girls, born last week, were conceived with the couple’s sperm in a test tube with eggs bought over the internet. Adoption and commercial surrogacy is illegal for homosexuals in Australia, but there is no law against providing the service in India. Read more

CA: However High Court Rules on Prop 8, Culture War Heating Up Again
WIRE SERVICES | LA Wave Newspaper
The California Supreme Court won’t reveal its ruling on legal challenges to Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriages in the state, until Tuesday, but advocates on both sides of the issue are already gearing up for action. Both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have said they expect a split decision — that the high court will find that Proposition 8 legally amended the state Constitution to outlaw gay marriage, but will sanction the marriages of 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot after the court struck down Proposition 22, which also outlawed gay marriage. Monday, a group calling itself the American Civil Responsibilities Union will hold a news conference at the California Supreme Court Building to announce plans to initiate a statewide effort to recall any state Supreme Court justices who vote to overturn Proposition 8. Read more

Scottish Kirk Appoints First Openly Gay Minister
Jenny Booth | Times Online
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has upheld the appointment of an openly gay minister after an intense debate ended with nearly one third of members abstaining. Last night the Kirk’s ruling body voted by 326 to 267 in support of the Rev Scott Rennie after more than four hours of discussion, as demonstrators on both sides of the debate protested outside. Around 900 elders and ministers took part in the session in Edinburgh, but not everyone cast their electronic vote. Mr Rennie, 37, had the support of the majority of his congregation and Presbytery at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen - but the move to appoint him sparked strong protest from traditionalist members, and has led to fears of a split in the Church. Read more

How Obama Set the Tone for a Quiet Revolution in Gay Rights
Joanna Walters in New York | The Observer | Guardian | Sunday 24 May 2009
Even 40 years on, police officer Seymour Pine is still amazed. “We knew something had happened that had never happened before. We’d never had any trouble, but it just came out of nowhere,” he said. “It” was the Stonewall riot in the early hours of 28 June, 1969, in New York’s Greenwich Village, when, sick of being harassed, the gay community fought back en masse for the first time and the grassroots gay and lesbian equality movement was born. Deputy Inspector Pine led the raid on the Stonewall Inn that night, when his handful of club-wielding officers suddenly came under siege from an angry mob of gay men and women. “It was never the same again,” the 89-year-old retired policeman said from New Jersey last week, admitting that the police were anti-gay, but just “doing our jobs” when the raid turned into a riot. Read more

MA: Gay Couples Say Being Married Really Matters
Stephen Smith | Globe Staff | Boston Globe | May 24, 2009
Five years after the first same-sex weddings in Massachusetts, gay and lesbian couples express deeply traditional reasons for deciding to wed and cite equally conventional benefits flowing from marriage, according to a study being released this week. A significant majority of the 558 gay men and women surveyed said that since marrying, they feel more committed to their spouses, more accepted in their community, and more likely to be open about their sexual orientation at work. The survey indicates that there is something universal about the legal protections and social advantages afforded by the institution of marriage, said the study’s authors from the University of California, Los Angeles as well as independent researchers. And it suggests, they said, that a ritual once scorned even by many same-sex couples has the power to ease discrimination. “This really helps us confirm and makes us understand why same-sex couples demand marriage - if it’s just about the legal rights, why wouldn’t they be happy with civil partnerships?” said Stephanie Coontz author of “Marriage, A History.” Read more

Seeking Purpose in Life and Death in ‘The Intelligent Homosexual’
“The only real death is to live a meaningless life,” says Gus Marcantonio, a tough-minded bird who once hoisted crates with his hands and walked picket lines on the dock. “You’re only human if you have work to do.” Now retired and bored to the point of translating Latin during his empty days, Gus reasons suicide is a mere formality. His three children demur, and in that conflict Tony Kushner searches for his play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures,” which had its world premiere Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Bigot-Branding Aids Gay Marriage Forces
Sun Sentinel
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. Right now, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and Maine allow gays to marry. New Hampshire will soon do so. Once the legislatures of New York and New Jersey get finished taxing the life out of their citizens, they, too, will most likely pass gay marriage. A new CNN/Opinion Research poll says 54 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage, while 45 percent support it. But if you oppose gay marriage, your opinion makes you a bigot. Did you know that? That’s what the Miss California controversy was all about. Your humble correspondent doesn’t really care much about gay marriage because I believe it is no danger to the Republic and the deity can sort all this stuff out after we’re dead. Read more


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