Tuesday, June 09, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - June 09, 2009

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Washington Post
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Coup attempt leaves NY state Senate in disarray
(Reuters) - New York state Senate Republicans and two rogue Democrats said they wrested control of the Senate from the Democratic leadership on Monday in an unresolved dispute that had both sides claiming victory. The chaos threatened to throw a range of pending bills into disarray, including pension reform, New York City's mayoral control of the schools, and gay marriage.

Court Ties Campaign Largess to Judicial Bias
By Robert Barnes
The Supreme Court yesterday ruled for the first time that excessive campaign contributions to a judge create an unconstitutional threat to a fair trial, a decision that could have a nationwide impact on whether judges must recuse themselves in cases involving their political benefactors.

Steve Rothaus
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iTunes celebrates Gay Pride Month
This month, iTunes features gay movies, music and podcasts:

The Advocate
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GLSEN Founder, Kevin Jennings, Smeared
By William McGuinness
The appointment of Kevin Jennings to federal office has not come without controversy. U.S. Department of Education secretary Arne Duncan announced nine appointments on May 19, including Jennings, founder and former executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. Jennings was named assistant deputy secretary of the Office of Safe & Drug Free Schools. Those opposed to his placement took occasion to levy the expected accusations against him, warning that Jennings will use his office to “promote the homosexual agenda.”

KRXQ to Apologize, 11 Ads Pulled
By Michelle Garcia
Management at KRXQ radio in Sacramento, Calif., have agreed to welcome a transgender person and the parent of a transgender kid as on-air guests after the hosts of a morning talk show made violent, transphobic remarks in May.

Lambert Honored at Hollywood Life Awards
Adam Lambert was honored at Hollywood Life’s Young Hollywood Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., last night. The singer joined fellow honorees Catherine Hardwicke, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Westwick, Shawn Johnson, and others for the company’s 11th annual award ceremony. The ceremony was long and the night ended with Lambert accepting his award from American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Lambert commented on what a wild ride it has been, from recently living in a small apartment in West Hollywood and dreaming that one day he could get into Teddy’s.

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RachelWatch: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Me You’re Fierce
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Fierce Advocate?
Rachel led off with the story that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the case of Captain James Pietrangelo, who after 13 years of service was fired for being gay under the monumentally stupid Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law.

Vanasco: Uproar in NY Senate - gay marriage gone?
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief, 365gay.com
The New York Times is reporting that the Democrats have suddenly - and unexpectedly - lost control of the NYS Senate after two Democrats defected. This comes after gay marriage advocates were fairly confidently predicting that New York State would have gay marriage by Pride. The State Assembly has already voted in favor; the governor has said he’d sign.

DC pride festival honors gay rights pioneer Kameny
By The Associated Press
Fresh off his doctorate from Harvard, Franklin Kameny had been a government astronomer for just five months when he was asked to meet with federal investigators. They said they had information that he was a homosexual. He was promptly fired.

Ads pulled over radio hosts’ transgender remarks
By The Associated Press
Bank of America, Verizon, Chipotle and other companies have pulled advertising from a Sacramento radio station after talk show hosts referred to transgender people as “freaks” with mental disorders.

Pink News - UK
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Woman launches legal battle after son is placed with gay foster parents
A Catholic woman whose son was placed with a gay foster couple after she was unable to look after him is taking legal action over the case, saying the child could be "encouraged" into a lifestyle which is against her beliefs.

Whosigned.org plans to publish online the details of voters who oppose equality measures
Groups threaten to publish names of US gay rights opponents
Two groups are threatening to publish the names of Washington voters who oppose a new law granting same-sex couples many of the benefits received by straight married couples.

US gay advocates call for national march
Gay rights activists in the US are calling for a national march on Washington to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11th.

Peter Davies has vowed to cut funding for Doncaster Pride
New mayor of Doncaster cuts funding for Pride
The newly-elected mayor of Doncaster has vowed to cut funding for the town's annual gay Pride event. Peter Davies, an English Democrat, has said: "My policy on gays and lesbians is very simple. I don't think councils should be spending money on them parading through town advertising their sexuality."

Bristol radio station censured by Ofcom over 'hostile' homophobic comments
A Bristol radio station has been forced to apologise after a presenter called homosexuality a "pestilence" and claimed that "right thinking" people thought it was unnatural. The segment was broadcast in March on Ujima Radio, a community station serving Bristol's black community.

Public support for repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is rising
Poll finds rising support for gay US troops
A poll has found rising support for repealing the US ban on openly gay military personnel. The Gallup-conducted research found the biggest increases in support among conservatives and weekly churchgoers - up 12 and 11 percentage points respectively.

Gordon Ramsay calls journalist a 'lesbian pig'
TV chef Gordon Ramsay has been condemned after calling a leading Australian journalist a "lesbian pig". He made the comment while giving a demonstration at a food show in Melbourne.

Ron deHarte was attacked at the Equality Torch Relay
Video: San Diego Pride organiser attacked at equality event
The organiser of San Diego Pride, Ron deHarte, was attacked on Saturday at the city's annual Equality Torch Relay. Kenyatta Mitchell was arrested after taunting deHarte with homophobic slurs, kicking out at him and trying to take his Pride flag.

Russian activists plan picket for Obama's visit to Moscow
Gay rights campaigners are planning to stage a picket during US President Barack Obama's visit to Moscow in July to highlight his pledge to increase rights for same-sex couples.

BNP wins two seats in European elections
The British National Party won two seats in last week's European elections, with one seat in the north-west going to party leader Nick Griffin. The other, in Yorkshire and the Humber, was won by Andrew Brons, a former National Front chairman.

Daily Queer News
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The Civil Rights Challenge of Our Time
Star Parker | Kitsap Sun
An incensed Andrew Sullivan — homosexual journalist and activist — told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper the other night that Barack Obama is ducking the “core civil rights challenge of his time.” For once, I find myself on the same page with Sullivan. But he and I have very different ideas about what that “core civil rights challenge” is.

FL: Family Tree Helps American Legion Help Homeless Vets
The Family Tree Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center has paired with the American Legion Post 13 at Lake Ella to help collect household items that will be used in an apartment complex for homeless veterans. Items needed include kitchen wares, bathroom wares, rugs, lamps, decorative items and toiletries. Donations can be dropped off at 310 Blount Street, Suite 205. Small items can be dropped off at the Family Tree booth at Tom Brown Park during the city’s Fourth of July celebration.

OK: Court Removes Couple from Lawsuit Challenging Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
Marie Price | The Journal Record
A Tulsa couple vow to continue their effort to have same-sex marriage recognized in Oklahoma, despite a federal appeals court decision Friday that essentially removed them from a lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s ban on such unions. On Monday, Sharon Baldwin noted that the weekend had marked the 2009 Pride celebration for Tulsa’s gay community.

Both Black and Gay: Internal Rights Fight
It was already challenging enough for Cornelius Jones Jr. to grow up being black in the racially-tense South. But facing the prejudices of the people outside the African American community wouldn’t be the hardest struggle of his life. Even from the young age of 5, Jones had a sense of the obstacles he would face on the inside.

An Interview with Alex Ortega, A Director of the National Marriage Boycott
Patrick Sauer | Huffington Post
A few weeks back, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek piece about how I would be getting an (Un)legal Divorce until same-sex marriages becomes the law of the land. I was contacted by Alexis Ortega, a student at Stanford and a director of the National Marriage Boycott. The organization calls on President Obama to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and encourages straight married couples to wear an “equality ring” as a sign of support. Here is an email exchange I had with Ortega.

Gay and Lesbian Adults More Likely to Read Blogs and Use Social Networking Tools
Business Wire
New online study also shows gay and lesbian adults are more likely to be members of Facebook and MySpace
ROCHESTER, N.Y. & WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–According to a recent national survey conducted by Harris Interactive®, a small majority of gay and lesbian adults online today are reading blogs (a familiar, and abbreviated term for online commentary known as a weblog). More than half (55%) of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog, compared with only 38% of heterosexuals. This represents a small increase from March 2008 when 51% of gay and lesbian respondents reported reading some type of blog. A similar question was asked in November 2006 and only 32% of gay and lesbian adults then reported reading blogs.

First Out Gay Man in Colorado Senate Sworn In
Gay Politics
Sen. Pat Steadman, a former lobbyist, says his constituents are now his only clients, according to the Colorado Statesman newspaper. The first out gay man sworn in as a Colorado state senator last week was elected by a vacancy committee to fill the seat of former Sen. Jennifer Veiga, an out lesbian who resigned earlier this year to move to Australia with her partner.

119 Million Americans Want a Public Health Option–Why Aren’t Politicians Listening
Robert Parry, Consortium News | AlterNet
As the health insurance industry and its defenders in Congress lay out their case against permitting a public option in a reform bill, perhaps their most curious argument is that some 119 million Americans are ready to dump their private plans and jump to something more like Medicare – and that’s why the choice can’t be permitted. In other words, the industry and its backers are acknowledging that more than one-third of the American people are so dissatisfied with their private health insurance that they trust the U.S. government to give them a fairer shake on health care. The industry says its allies in Congress must prevent that.

Gay or Not, Marriage Limiting
Philadelphia Inquirer | Philly.com
Mikaya Heart is the author of “With the Sun in My Eyes”
I am the kind of person who holds radical views, but the issue of gay marriage is an odd one for me. I came out as a lesbian in 1977 in England. A wave of feminism was sweeping through the Western World, and a lot of women woke up. For me and many others, coming out and recognizing how traditional male dominance kept us down were one and the same thing. We didn’t just climb out of the box made for us; we leapt out. Discovering that we could have great sex without men was only the beginning. We were going to live our own lives, do what we wanted, and be independent. We certainly weren’t going to get married - to anyone. Marriage was all about being in that limiting little box. Wedding bells sounded too much like chains clanking.

Around 50,000 Turn Up at Gay Festival Europride in Zurich
ZURICH (AFP) — Around 50,000 people turned out for the European gay and lesbian parade Europride’s annual festival in the Swiss city of Zurich on Saturday, organiser Michael Rueegg said. The festival, which was held for the first time in London in 1993, takes place in a different European city every year, attracting participants from all over the continent. This year’s Europride coincides with the 40th anniversary of the first gay rights movements in the United States.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India’s Gay Royal Prince
He types awkwardly, his fingers scrunched on the keyboard, back hunched over and elbows bent outward. I’m guessing he’s rarely done it. “Never mind typing, I’ve never had to bathe myself,” he says, turning his attention back to a gay men’s Web site.

Carrying the Torch for Gay Marriage
Jeanette Steele, Union-Tribune Staff Writer | Sign on San Diego
A handful of “marriage equality torches” were carried on foot, in cars and even on a unicycle to city halls around the county yesterday by people protesting Proposition 8, the November state ballot initiative that stripped gays and lesbians of the right to marry.


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