Saturday, May 30, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 29, 2009

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New York Times
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Celebrities Champion State’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill
State Senator Shirley L. Huntley, a brassy, big-haired Democrat from Queens who opposes same-sex marriage, received a call on Wednesday that left her momentarily stunned. Maya Angelou was on the line, and she wanted to know if the senator might reconsider her position. Ms. Huntley, hardly the type to be played for a fool, at first thought her staff might be pulling a fast one.

Washington Post
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D.C. Pledges Quick Review On Marriage Referendum
By Tim Craig
City election officials said yesterday that they will expedite their review of a request for a referendum to block a D.C. Council bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, as opponents vowed to fight to keep it off the ballot.

'The Mormons Are Coming!'
Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage Trumpet the Church's Work Against It
By Karl Vick
As more states take up the debate on same-sex marriage, some advocates of legalization are taking a very specific lesson from California, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominated both fundraising and door-knocking to pass a ballot initiative that barred such unions.

Wall Street Journal
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The Sotomayor Rules
Some were made to be broken.
President Barack Obama has laid down his ground rules for the debate over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The big question now is whether Republicans agree to play by rules that neither Mr. Obama nor his party have themselves followed.

Steve Rothaus
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Photo gallery | Gay-rights protesters demonstrate at Democratic Party fundraiser attended by Obama
From Associated Press:
Dozens of gay rights protesters demonstrate outside the Beverly Hills hotel, where U.S. President Barack Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. The crowd chanted and waved rainbow flags and American flags outside the hotel, a day after the California Supreme Court upheld a voter approved ban on gay marriage.

ABC News: 'Idol' Judge Kara DioGuardi Says Adam Lambert Was Always 'Out'
On 'The View,' Kara DioGuardi Talks About Adam Lambert's Sexuality
Adam Lambert may want the world to "keep speculating" about his sexuality but, according to "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, there's no way he's not gay. In a taped interview scheduled to air on ABC's "The View" Friday, DioGuardi said she has no doubts that Lambert's "out." Lambert lost the "Idol" title to Kris Allen last week.

SAVE Dade: Prop 8 affects our work in Florida
News release from SAVE Dade:
As the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community continues to cope with the heartbreaking decision of the California Supreme Court to uphold Prop 8 and write discrimination in its laws, SAVE Dade is calling on Floridians to focus now more than ever in fighting injustices in our home state.

ACLU of Florida: Prop 8 won't rain on our parade
Mailing from the ACLU of Florida:
June is Pride month, and we will be celebrating our successes in Florida at Pride events all across the state. Even in the face of a crushing defeat on prop 8 in California this week, LGBT equality is marching forward here in the Sunshine State largely because of the support of our donors and the staff of our recently expanded project, as well as the groundswell of grassroots support. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for e-mails about your local festivals and parades. June social Wednesday at Brasserie Les Halles on Ponce de Leon Boulevard

21st Lambda Literary Awards announced
Here are the winners:

South Florida Blade
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Gay circus takes flight in SoFla
Troupe gives teens a unique social outlet
If flying though the air with the greatest of ease, clowning around, or sewing costumes has always been a dream but you are not sure where to start, one local school is making it possible for GLBT youth and adults to run away to the circus.

Festival struggles amid confusion
Conflicts arise between staff, board members
Tempers flared at the Wednesday, May 27 meeting of the Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale, as the board of directors continued to make plans for the upcoming Stonewall Street Festival and Parade scheduled for the weekend of June 20 and 21. With just three and a half weeks prior to the festival, board members at the meeting argued over a variety of issues, most notably who was in charge: the Board of Directors of the festival, or the newly appointed executive director, Lance Horton.

Wilton Manors Vice-Mayor Flippen takes new job with CVB
Position aimed at bringing in travelers from across the US
Justin Flippen, former Executive Assistant for Broward County Mayor Stacey Ritter and current Wilton Manors Vice Mayor, recently started his new position as the Tourism Project Coordinator for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. Flippen is charged with working with travel agents all over the United States to sell Broward County as a vacation destination and increase hotel room bookings. He will also focus on the Gay and Lesbian Travel industry, including promoting the region in anticipation of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Associations annual convention in 2010.

Cuba to reinstate sex changes
Return of procedures announced on state television
Cuba will reinstate sex-change operations previously banned on the island, President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela said Wednesday.

The Advocate
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Maya Angelou Calls for Marriage Equality
By Julie Bolcer
Acclaimed autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou is among the celebrities lobbying New York state senators to vote for marriage equality legislation, reports The New York Times .

Designing Women Made You Gay
The shoulder-pad sisterhood of ladies from Atlanta that paved the way for Sex and the City is now on DVD -- and Dave White is all over it.
By Dave White
Back when I lived in Texas, in the early 1990s, I dated a guy named Les who was really into country music. He used to take me to this bar in Dallas called The Round Up where gays in cowboy hats and boots would two-step. I couldn't dance -- even though Les tried to teach me -- so in order not to cramp his style, I'd watch from the sidelines as he spun other men around on the dance floor.

ExxonMobil Says Yes to Gay Bias
For the past decade a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to ExxonMobil's official equal employment opportunity policy has been voted down by the oil company's shareholders. At the most recent vote more shareholders than ever voiced support for the protections -- but the proposal still failed.

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Man sues NYC cops for $220M over alleged sodomy attack
By The Associated Press
A man filed a $220 million lawsuit on Thursday claiming that New York Police Department officers robbed him of his civil rights by sodomizing him with a baton in a subway station.

Gay teen elected prom queen
By The Associated Press
An openly gay teen was voted prom queen at Los Angeles’ Fairfax High School in a campaign that began as a stunt but ended up spurring discussion on the campus about gender roles and teen popularity. Sergio Garcia, 18, was crowned queen Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Gay foe arrested near Air Force One
By The Associated Press
A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport. Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal. She was then allowed to leave. She said the letter she had written was opposing gay marriage.

Aviator hopes gay ban will end in time for him
By The Associated Press
Barack Obama’s campaign promise to scrap the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy gave Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach hope. Now the aviator is wondering if the president will deliver in time to save his 18-year Air Force career.

RachelWatch: Geek Chic
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
The Obaminee
Rachel noted earlier in the week that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is very likely to be confirmed and most people in Washington know it, so the vehement attacks against her are kind of like what gets shouted from the bleachers at Cubs games when it’s already all too clear that this year isn’t the one either.

Ask the Expert: “My partner gave me an ultimatim: marry, or end it”
By Joe Kort, relationship expert
My partner and I met through conversing online, and within six months, we did the lesbian U-Haul moving-in-together thing. We’ve now been together for four years, in a committed relationship for the last three years. Despite some ups and downs, our connection has still remained strong. But just a month ago, my partner flirted with another woman, and the two developed feelings for each other. The other woman’s now out of the picture. To my knowledge, there’s been no contact. But needless to say, that was a shock, and I told her I wasn’t ready for an open relationship.

Pink News - UK
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EastEnders to feature gay Muslim storyline but Muslim group calls for a "normal character"
EastEnders is to screen a storyline involving a Muslim character who has a gay affair. New character Syed Masood, a Muslim property developer who has a girlfriend, is to fall for openly gay Christian Clarke. But the Muslim Public Affairs Committee say that the BBC should have a "normal friendly Muslim character."

Lesbian sports presenter Clare Balding suffering from thyroid cancer
Clare Balding, the openly lesbian BBC sports presenter, has revealed she is battling thyroid cancer. She underwent a throat operation in April to remove a cyst but a second operation was necessary to remove her thyroid gland, which was found to be cancerous.

Radical Iraq cleric orders 'depraved' homosexuality to be eradicated
Moqtada Sadr, a radical Shiite cleric in Iraq, has ordered that the "depravity" of homosexuality must be eradicated, yet urged an end to violence against gays and lesbians.

The Lancet attacks UK's 'extraordinary failure' on tackling HIV
Respected medical journal The Lancet has criticised the UK's policy on HIV over the estimated numbers of individuals unaware they carrying the virus.

Video: Fraiser star David Hyde Pierce reveals he's married
Frasier actor David Hyde Pierce has revealed that he married TV producer Brian Hargrove, his partner of 25 years, last autumn.

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

California parole board appointee rejected over homophobic comments
An appointee selected by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the state's parole board has been rejected over homophobic comments he had made in 1993, despite apologising for his words.

Daily Queer News
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In South Africa, Lesbians Fear ‘Corrective’ Rape
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29, 2009
South Africa is considered the most progressive country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country boasts a developed economy, and has a post-apartheid constitution that stresses equal rights for everyone. It’s one of the few countries in the world with a specific provision in its constitution prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians. It’s also the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa where there are openly gay bars. But behind the gay-friendly exterior of South Africa, lies the reality: a society that remains, for the most part, virulently homophobic. Like much of the rest of the continent, attitudes towards homosexuality range from being viewed as unnatural or “un-African” to people calling it “a condition” that comes from and is encouraged by the West. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice of “corrective” rape: men raping women who have come out as lesbians in an effort to “turn them straight.” Many of these woman end up being murdered. Read more

Bill Seeks to Bolster State Hate Crimes Prosecutions
Emily Kimball, Special to | Stateline
A bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting Senate action seeks to bolster prosecution of so-called “hate crimes.” It would provide special funding to state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute such crimes, and expand protection for the first time to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and the mentally and physically disabled. Currently, such protections are extended only on the basis of race, religion, and national origin. The bill’s critics are raising concerns about its expansion of federal jurisdiction. It would repeal a provision of an earlier law, a 1969 restriction that limits federal hate crimes prosecutions to cases in which victims are engaged in six categories of protected activity — including activities such as going to school, serving on a jury and eating in a lunchroom. Read more


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