Thursday, May 28, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 28, 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:

Would You Slap Your Father? If So, You’re a Liberal
If you want to tell whether someone is conservative or liberal, what are a couple of completely nonpolitical questions that will give a good clue? How’s this: Would you be willing to slap your father in the face, with his permission, as part of a comedy skit?

Bush v. Gore Foes Join to Fight Gay Marriage Ban
The David and Ted show is back in business. Eight and a half years after their epic partisan battle over the fate of the 2000 presidential election, the lawyers David Boies and Theodore B. Olson appeared on the same team on Wednesday as co-counsel in a federal lawsuit that has nothing to do with hanging chads, butterfly ballots or Electoral College votes.

Government & Politics
The National Organization for Marriage has bought advertising time on New York City and Albany stations in an attempt to stop the approval of a gay-marriage bill. [NYT] The city agreed on a $2 milllion settlement for the family of Esmin Elizabeth Green, who collapsed and died at Kings County Hospital Center’s psychiatric emergency room last June. [NYT] (Also see City Room and The New York Post.)

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

Obama touts economy, Sotomayor, at fundraiser
President Barack Obama defended his Supreme Court pick and painted an upbeat vision of the economy Wednesday as he addressed major donors to the Democratic Party in Beverly Hills. "It's safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, that there is some calm that didn't exist before," Obama told donors and celebrities at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. He said the stimulus bill that Congress passed three months ago is starting to improve the economy.

Episcopal Church ousts 61 clergy in bishop dispute
National leaders of the Episcopal Church have ousted 61 clergy who aligned with a former bishop in California when he broke with the national church in a dispute over the Bible and homosexuality.

Battle Lines Are Drawn On Sotomayor Nomination
Ideology, Abortion and Remarks on Ethnicity Come to Fore
By Robert Barnes
On the day after Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, both sides in the fight over her confirmation moved quickly to try to define the woman who may become the court's first Hispanic justice. The White House enlisted lawyers and constitutional experts to say that in Sotomayor's 17 years on the federal bench, she has been a cautious jurist who respects precedent. But conservative legal groups countered that her remarks in speeches and symposiums bolster their claims that she is a liberal activist waiting to flower on the high court. One prominent conservative accused her of "reverse" racism, and another called her a "wild-eyed judicial activist."

Rigorous Questioning Hasn't Fazed Nominee
By Alec MacGillis
Senate Republicans have yet to decide how tough they will be in grilling Judge Sonia Sotomayor in her confirmation hearings, but this is clear: The Supreme Court nominee already has shown an ability to withstand rigorous questioning. Partisan tensions were high when Sotomayor arrived in Washington in 1997 for her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. A rumor was making Republican rounds that President Bill Clinton wanted to elevate her from the federal trial bench because he planned to "fast-track" her to the Supreme Court if Justice John Paul Stevens decided to retire during Clinton's second term. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott (Miss.) delayed her confirmation by the full Senate, which occurred nearly a year after her hearing. And the rumor of Stevens's retirement turned out to be false.

CALIFORNIA: Federal Lawsuit Challenges Prop. 8
Spurned by the California Supreme Court, gay couples wanting to marry appealed to the federal courts Wednesday to strike down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. The lawsuit -- brought by two unlikely allies, former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore B. Olson and his Bush v. Gore opponent David Boies -- was met with skepticism about the conservative Olson's motives. The challenge brought in U.S. District Court in San Francisco also worried gay rights advocates, who have avoided taking the issue to federal court because of the predominance of conservative judges on the federal bench.

Group Aims to Block D.C. Marriage Bill
Same-Sex Union Foes Seek Referendum
By Tim Craig
A coalition of ministers and same-sex marriage opponents formally requested a citywide referendum yesterday to block the District from recognizing gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions, setting the stage for a heated legal and political battle over the issue this summer.

Bush v. Gore lawyers take on gay marriage ban
By Steve Gorman
Two lawyers who squared off in the legal battle over the 2000 U.S. presidential election teamed up on Wednesday to challenge California's gay marriage ban in a move that, if successful, would allow same-sex couples to wed anywhere in the United States.

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

Battle Over Sotomayor Heats Up
As White House Gathers Backers, Conservatives Heighten Attacks on Judge's Record
Both parties braced for a summertime confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, with the White House gathering a team to push her through, and conservative critics sharpening attacks on her past speeches and writings.

Federal Suit Divides Gay-Marriage Backers
Theodore Olson and David Boies, the two lawyers who faced off in the case that decided the U.S. presidential race in 2000, have teamed up to file a challenge in federal courts to California's gay-marriage ban. But some top gay-rights groups call the action potentially ill-timed. They would like to get more public opinion in favor of gay marriage around the country before seeking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

Gay Moroccan writer takes on homophobia
By JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press
PARIS -- A soft-spoken slip of a young man, Abdellah Taia hardly looks the part of an iconoclast. But as Morocco's first high-profile, openly gay man, Taia has made it his mission to win acceptance for homosexuals throughout the Muslim world. Taia has defied Moroccan society's don't-ask, don't-tell attitude toward homosexuality - and prison sentences that are still on the books in the North African kingdom - to write five autobiographical novels about growing up poor and gay in the northern coastal city of Sale.

Video | Tearful Drew Barrymore fights for gay rights
From AP:
Drew Barrymore, Kathy Griffin, Perez Hilton and other celebrities join thousands of protestors on Santa Monica Boulevard to protest the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8.

Podcast | Wilton Manors hosts gay rights festival, despite economic woes
From WLRN Miami Herald News:
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the riots that began what is now considered the modern gay rights movement. Wilton Manors, which has one of America's highest gay populations, hosts a weekend festival to commemorate the riots, as do many cities nationwide. But the economy has put such a strain on fundraising that this year's event was in danger of not happening at all. WLRN Miami Herald reporter Joshua Johnson has details.

Attorney, civic activist Javier Soto to head Dade Community Foundation
Attorney Javier Alberto Soto -- civic activist, fund raiser and one-time chief of staff to Miami-Dade's mayor -- has been named president of the philanthropic Dade Community Foundation.

Video | St. Petersburg city council candidate responds at debate to rumor that he’s gay: ‘Yes,’ he says. Gets standing ovation.
On YouTube:
Asked whether he is gay or not, [St. Petersburg City Council candidate] Steve Kornell responds with the honesty and transparency we all deserve from our elected officials. This question was asked at the first debate of the campaign on Saturday, May 23, 2009.

Jill Biden to give speech on Monday at GLSEN Respect Awards in New York City
A note I got this morning from the office of Vice President Joe Biden:
On Monday, June 1st in the evening, Dr. Jill Biden will attend and give remarks at the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards in New York City. GLSEN is a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. The program portion of the event is open to the press. About the GLSEN Respect Awards (from the GLSEN website): GLSEN's Respect Awards recognize individual and corporate leaders who have helped propel GLSEN's efforts to ensure safe schools for all of America's students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

Sit-in, Citations at S.D. County Clerk's Office
More than 60 people who staged a sit-in at the San Diego County clerk’s office Wednesday were escorted out of the building with citations. Though arrests were threatened, in the end none were made, and the paddy wagon was on the scene just as a precaution. People were escorted from the building by to cheers and applause.

Go to this link for the following articles:

Cuba to resume transgender surgery
By The Associated Press
(Havana) Cuba will reinstate sex-change operations previously banned on the island, President Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela said Wednesday.

Poll: Majority of RI voters favor gay marriage law
A survey released Wednesday shows that more than half of Rhode Island voters favor a law allowing gay marriage, leading advocates to point out to state leadership that it’s what residents want.

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

Gay minister faces new challenge in 'disrepute' allegation
Openly gay minister Scott Rennie, whose appointment threatened to split the Church of Scotland, is facing a new challenge after it was claimed his congregation had not known he was gay.

Stars out in force to oppose Prop 8 ruling
Celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne, Perez Hilton, Pete Wentz, and Emmy Rossum joined the vocal protesters who marched on Los Angeles yesterday to demonstrate their opposition to the California Supreme Court's decision not to overturn the ban on gay marriage.

New Zealand survey finds gay teenagers at risk
A survey of more than 9,000 students has found that gay teenagers are more likely than their straight peers to be affected by depression, suicide and self-harm.

Desmond Tutu supports gay clergy
Archbishop Desmond Tutu received a standing ovation when he spoke out in support of gay clergy at the Church of Scotland General Assembly yesterday.

Civil servant escapes jail over gay male prostitute service
An Irish civil servant who was exposed by journalists for running a gay escort service has avoided jail. Eugene Leech, 48, given a six-month suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to controlling or directing the activities of prostitutes for gain on dates between May and July in 2005

Gay couples 'are better at communicating'
Recent studies indicate that same-sex couples have greater levels of satisfaction in their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts due to better communication.

Nick Griffin pulls out of Queen's garden party
BNP leader Nick Griffin has said he will not attend a garden party hosted by Buckingham Palace. The politician was invited by fellow BNP member Richard Barnbrook, but said today he has “no wish to embarrass the Queen”.

Video: Britney Spears films spoof gay perfume ad
Britney Spears has been reinforcing her status as a gay icon by filming a spoof perfume advertisement for gays. The perfume, named 'Mo', has the tagline "One spray and the gays will run your way!”

India's only gay magazine back on newsstands
Bombay Dost, India's first and only gay magazine, has been relaunched and is now back on sale. The English-language magazine was forced out of print in 2002 when it ran out of money.

Gay Apprentice candidate Howard fired by Sir Alan
Howard Ebison, The Apprentice's openly gay contestant, was fired at the climax of last night's show, having volunteered as project manager in the shopping channel task.

David Cameron voted worst politician of the year
Tory leader David Cameron has been voted the worst politician of the year. Cameron, who reportedly plans to prioritise outreach to gay groups, topped the poll of bad politicians in the Gay Times Readers' Awards.

Trans group boycotts London Pride march
TransLondon, the largest group in the capital for all trans-identified people, has announced it is boycotting London Pride. The decision comes after trans women were denied access to female toilets at last year's Pride and one was allegedly sexually assaulted.

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

Tortured and Killed in Iraq for Being Gay
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 28, 2009
Two gay men were killed in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum, and police confirmed they found the bodies of four more men, all killed during a 10-day period after an unknown Shiite militia group urged a crackdown on homosexuals in the country. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes as many as 30 people have been killed during the last three months because they were — or were perceived to be — gay. In a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the human rights group Amnesty International called for “urgent and concerted action” to end the violence against the gay community, the group reported on its Web site. Homosexuality is prohibited almost everywhere in the Middle East, but conditions have become especially dangerous in recent years for gays and lesbians, as religious militias have become more powerful since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But an Iraqi military source claimed the recent killings were linked to tribal violence, not militias, and his characterization of the killings hints at how deep homophobia runs in Iraqi society. Read more

California Was the Cutting Edge for Gay Rights–Not Any More
Sandip Roy, New America Media | AlterNet
When I first moved to San Francisco from India, my aunt said, “Be careful, it’s full of homosexuals. And it has earthquakes.” I didn’t tell her that I wanted to feel the earth move. I had watched The Times of Harvey Milk on video and knew that this was where you came to be gay, from places where you didn’t dare to say its name. California drew not just the lonely teenagers from Idaho and Missouri on Greyhound buses. It also drew immigrants like me from all over the world seeking to put an ocean or two between them and their parents and clans trying to arrange their marriages. This was where software companies gave us domestic partner rights and the mayor marched in Pride Parades and Hollywood sold the world its glamour. This was where the world looked to see if change had come to America. And where we came for sanctuary. But now the center of gravity is shifting. In the wake of the court decision on the legality of Proposition 8 (as opposed to its righteousness) there will protests and candlelight marches and angry rhetoric. Already I am getting the faxes and emails. But perhaps it could also be a time for those of us who have been used to the world looking at us, to look out at the world instead. Read more

OH: Gay Local Air Force Officer Plans to Fight Discharge from Service
Margo Rutledge Kissell | Daytona Daily News
Staff Writer Updated 9:00 AM Thursday, May 28, 2009
Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a decorated military weapons systems officer who grew up in the Dayton area, is being recommended for discharge after 18 years of service for homosexual conduct, an Air Force spokesperson said. The move has made Fehrenbach, who was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and graduated from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, a face on the controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for gay military personnel because of his high rank and distinguished career. “Victor is a great human face that shows the problem that is ‘Don’t ask, Don’t Tell.’ This is happening every day,” said Kevin Nix, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national non-profit organization that is providing Fehrenbach with free legal counsel. Read more


[Send your comments about articles to ]

No comments: