Sunday, May 31, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 31, 2009

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New York Times
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Nevada Senate Overrides Veto on Domestic Partners Measure
The Nevada Senate has voted to override Gov. Jim Gibbons’s veto of a measure that would give domestic partners, whether gay or straight, many of the rights and benefits that Nevada offers to married couples.

Suze Orman Is Having a Moment
Suze Orman almost had me with her professed aversion to frivolity, her seasoned advice to families in debt, her advocacy for gay rights in the financial world. But teachers? “Too underpaid ever to have any real self-worth?” Perhaps it is better for all involved that she stay out of our classrooms; she clearly buys into the notion that infects much of American culture — that money is our way of keeping score, that it is some validation of our worth. And has Oprah, champion of schoolteachers, heard Orman’s rhetoric on the subject?
North Yarmouth, Me.

Sotomayor Would Be Sixth Catholic Justice, but the Pigeonholing Ends There
If Judge Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court, she will be the sixth of the nine justices who are Roman Catholic — a stunning robed portrait in a country where Catholics were once targets of discrimination and suspicion.

What’s a Liberal Justice Now?
When talking about the Supreme Court, Barack Obama has resisted the familiar ideological categories that have defined our judicial battles for the past several decades. He has made clear that despite his progressive inclinations, he is not a 1960s-style, Warren Court liberal — someone who believes that the justices should boldly define constitutional rights in an effort to bring about social change. It’s true that Obama has cited Chief Justice Earl Warren as a judicial ideal, emphasizing that Warren, a former governor of California, had a sensitive understanding of the real-world effects of Supreme Court decisions. But at the same time, Obama has suggested that liberals in the Warren Court mold may have placed too much trust in the courts and not enough in political activism. “I wondered,” he writes in his book “The Audacity of Hope,” alluding to Senate battles over George W. Bush’s court appointments, “if in our reliance on the courts to vindicate not only our rights but also our values, progressives had lost too much faith in democracy.”

Washington Post
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Sizing Up Judge Sotomayor
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is taking flak for her comment that judges decide cases from their own frames of reference ["Heritage Shapes Judge's Perspective," front page, May 27]. Although some seem shocked by this revelation, it is clear that all judges decide cases from their own frames of reference -- if they did not, then every judge would reach the same decision based on the same facts and the same law (and there would be a lot fewer lawyers). Everyone's opinions are colored by their personal frames of reference. People have different views on abortion, taxes, gay marriage, immigration, gun control, health care and every other social, political, and legal issue because of their different upbringing, culture, education and life experience. Judge Sotomayor is no exception; she just chose to express it.

Opinion to Address Same-Sex Unions
At Issue Is Md. Recognition of Marriages Performed Elsewhere
By John Wagner
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) is planning to issue a formal opinion in coming weeks on whether the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, his office said.

Calif. gay marriage opponents gear up for rallies
Hundreds of gay marriage supporters marched in rural, conservative California, but before the dusty roads could clear, opponents of same-sex couples planned to take to the streets to renew their resolve.

The Advocate
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View From the Hill: Obama's Silence
Next month the Obama administration is expected to present a package of pro-LGBT announcements. But on the heels of his silence surrounding Prop. 8, will it be enough to satisfy the masses?

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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U.S. embassy to hold first-ever gay pride party tonight -- in Iraq (May 29)
In the short time that President Obama has been in office, there have been many breaches of foreign protocol such as an overt familiarity with the British Queen and bowing to the Saudi King. But the most significant indiscretion will occur tonight as homosexuality is promoted in our embassy in a foreign land — in Baghdad, Iraq, no less. In the May 22, 2009 edition of The Washington Post, columnist Al Kamen wrote a piece entitled, "For One Night, Baghdad Gets a Pink Zone." He revealed that the State Department is "holding what the invitation says is the first-ever U.S. Embassy Gay Pride Theme Party next Friday at Bagdaddy's, which is the embassy employee association's pub." The invitation, which was sent out on May 10, encouraged everyone to, "Dress in drag or as a gay icon."

Following an eight year ordeal the Ugandan gay asylum seeker John 'Bosco' Nyombi has finally won asylum in the UK.
Despite a well-documented media and government anti-gay campaign in Uganda, which has included articles and photos of Bosco, he was deported in September last year. The UK Border Agency making it usual claim that LGBT can be safe in such countries if only they are 'discrete'. However the method of his deportation, which involved deception, violence and rule breaking, led to a historic decision by a British court following which the Home Office was forced to return him to the UK in March, where he was immediately put into a detention centre due to an 'error'.

Steve Rothaus
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Video | ‘My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy’ author Andrea Askowitz at Books & Books in Coral Gables
On YouTube:
Who Have You Told by Andrea Askowitz from Lip Service 9, May 16, 2009. Taped at Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL. Check out for more information or to buy her memoir, "MY MISERABLE LONELY LESBIAN PREGNANCY"

Miami Herald
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Letters to the Editor
I was raised in a Catholic home, attended Catholic schools and a Catholic university and, at one point, studied for the priesthood. I understand Alberto Cutié's decision. I also recently joined the Episcopal Church. The Roman Catholic Church is a noble institution, and I am thankful for all that it gave me in terms of spiritual beliefs and values. Unfortunately, it is also an institution with a history of resisting change. Cutié found everything he needed in the church except the right to form a deep and lasting relationship with someone he loved. I left the church because I am gay and was told that my sexuality was an affliction that I had to bear silently and forgo the possibility of creating a loving relationship with another man. I expect that Cutié will find the Episcopal Church a warm, familiar and welcoming home. I did.
FRED FEJES, Fort Lauderdale

Daily Queer News
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Alaska: Fundamentalists Raise Bar of Intolerance
Alan Boraas | Anchorage Dail News
In the 1930s the public health nurse in Kenai was a lesbian. Before post-WWII homesteading and the late-1950s oil boom, Kenai was an isolated little Alaska coastal village off the road system. The population of 2,300 was half Dena’ina and half assorted Americans, Scandinavians, and a few Filipinos and Russians. The economy centered on the fish canneries at the mouth of the Kenai River, which operated full-throttle in the summer. Life quieted down in the winter: men trapped, women sewed, the kids attended the American Territorial School and everyone visited and went to church on Sunday. Life was pretty much like every similar-sized Alaska coastal village.

TX: Annise Parker: “Pragmatic Houston Gal” Runs for Mayor
Gay Politics
Houston City Controller Annise Parker has been elected citywide six times, a political record that has prepared her for the toughest campaign of her life. Earlier this year she announced her run for mayor of Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. GayPolitics sat down with Annise to talk about the campaign ahead and her decision to run in what could be an historic election. GP: Let’s get the big question out of the way first. Why do you want to be mayor of Houston? I know it sounds trite, but I love this city. I’m a Houston gal, through and through. I grew up in Houston and attended public schools. I worked my way through college, then up the ladder in our oil and gas industry for 20 years before I went into public service. This city has given me everything I have. I love it and want to give something back. Read more


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