Thursday, July 09, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - July 08, 2009

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New York Times
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Indian Court Overturns Gay Sex Ban
NEW DELHI —In a landmark ruling Thursday that could usher in an era of greater freedom for gay men and lesbians in India, New Delhi’s highest court decriminalized homosexuality.

New York Gay Newspaper Suspends Publication
The New York Blade, one of the two major gay and lesbian newspapers in New York City, has laid off its editor in chief and suspended publication, the chief executive of its publishing company said on Wednesday.

Washington Post
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How Gay Marriage Recognition Works
At 12:01 a.m. today, under a law approved in May, the District began recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions. Here's a Q&A to help couples navigate the changes.

Gay marriage bill takes effect in nation's capital
The Associated Press
A law recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere has gone into effect in the District of Columbia.

Mass. sues feds over definition of marriage
Massachusetts is suing the federal government over a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. State Attorney General Martha Coakley filed the lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Boston. It says the federal Defense of Marriage Act interferes with the right of Massachusetts to define marriage as it sees fit.

Pope Criticizes World Economic System, Urges Social Responsibility
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Pope Benedict XVI criticized the international economic system yesterday and called for a new global structure based on social responsibility, concern for the dignity of the worker and a respect for ethics.

Massachusetts, 1st gay marriage state, challenges federal definition of man-woman marriage
Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, sued the U.S. government Wednesday over a federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.,0,1826312.story

Wall Street Journal
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Working on Your Marriage — at Work
By Rachel Emma Silverman
People often complain they are married to their jobs. In recent years, some companies have been helping employees work on their marriages, on the job.

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Fort Lauderdale town hall meeting to discuss hate crimes laws
A coalition of civic groups is meeting tonight with law enforcement and political leaders to discuss hate crimes. The town hall meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, 1717 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale.,0,1176108.story

Death-row inmate, Louisiana settle religious access issue
The Associated Press
A state lawmaker who made national headlines by claiming homosexuality is a greater threat to the United States than terrorism was heckled by protesters as she launched a campaign for a morality proclamation that opponents said promotes an atmosphere of hate.,0,1068637.story?page=2

Steve Rothaus
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Miami Gay Men’s Chorus ensemble Insignia to hold free concert July 14 at Miami Beach Community Church

Broward sheriff, public officials to discuss hate crimes Wednesday night at gay community center
Broward Sheriff Al Lamberti, state Rep. Ari Porth and other public officials are expected to attend a town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale Wednesday night to discuss Florida's hate crimes laws.

Ros-Lehtinen to co-sponsor bill requiring health insurance plans to cover routine HIV tests
News release from U.S. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida congressional delegation, is pleased to co-sponsor the “Routine HIV Screening Coverage Act” that would require health insurance companies to cover routine HIV tests. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen believes that this bill will help control the spread of HIV and she is working on getting other co-sponsors.

Bilerico Project: Another horrific tale of ‘ex-gay’ conversion ... and how the Internet is helping fight back
Waymon Hudson of Oakland Park wrote this essay for The Bilerico Project:
The request to join a new group came through my Facebook page. The group was called "Friends of Bryce", which could have been anything, but had a note attached that said "Please Help."

Cuba vs. Homophobia: What Arises, What There is, and What Remains to be Done
From Walter Lippmann:
Click here to read a discussion of World Anti-Homophobia Day in Cuba, written by Norge Espinosa Mendoza, a man who headed up the day’s activities for UNEAC, the artists and writers union.

Gays in the Military: Does a Sailor's Murder Signal Deeper Problems?
By Mark Thompson / Washington
Even as Pentagon lawyers begin trying to ease the "Don't ask, don't tell" prohibition on gays serving openly in the U.S. military, the murder last week of an apparently gay sailor at California's Camp Pendleton has raised new questions over the readiness of the armed forces to accept openly homosexual personnel.

Summer Fest ‘09 and second Equality Florida Bar Crawl to be July 31 through Aug. 2
Thomas Barker, editor and publisher of The Wire, has asked me to help spread the word about Summer Fest ‘09 and the Equality Florida Bar Crawl from Friday, July 31, to Sunday, August 2. All proceeds go to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Equality Florida, Barker says.

Miami Herald
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Religion news in brief
Okla. lawmaker heckled by protesters as she promotes proclamation for morality at rally
A state lawmaker who made national headlines by claiming homosexuality is a greater threat to the United States than terrorism was heckled by protesters as she launched a campaign for a morality proclamation that opponents said promotes an atmosphere of hate.

South Florida Blade
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Carl Walker-Hoover's mother testifies before House subcommittees
First hearing takes place on Safe Schools Improvement Act
Sirdeaner Walker, the mother of 11-year-old Carl Walker-Hoover, who committed suicide in April after enduring persistent anti-gay bullying at school, testified today in front of the House Subcommittees on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education and Healthy Familes and Communities in support of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, according to a press release from the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network.

Wilton Manors sponsors repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
City becomes first in Florida to call for Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009
Wilton Manors is the first Florida city to sponsor a resolution calling for the United States Congress to adopt the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009, which eliminates the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and adopts a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation within the United States Armed Forces.

Queer leaders who are ‘salted peanuts’
Buying the LGBT community for the price of a cocktail
In “All About Eve”, Bette Davis as Margo Channing says “I'm still not to be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut." On Tuesday, June 29, 2009, at a White House reception that supposedly commemorated the Stonewall riots, some of our most prominent LGBT leaders and activists were had for the price of a cocktail.

Without federal appeal, asylum for gay Filipino professor becomes final
By Jessie Mangaliman
The federal government has decided not to appeal the political asylum granted a gay Filipino professor who claimed in immigration court that he was repeatedly abused as a child in the Philippines.

The Advocate
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Tourism Official Demoted for Funding Pride?
By Julie Bolcer
A Canadian member of parliament alleges that a tourism minister was removed from her responsibilities because her decision to direct federal funds toward a gay pride event shocked members of her Conservative party caucus, reports the Toronto Star.

W.Va. Lawmakers Study Marriage Ban
By Julie Bolcer
West Virginia lawmakers plan to hold a hearing on Tuesday to discuss a proposal to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, reports the Charleston Gazette.

Jackson-Lee: Investigate Gay Sailor's Death
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee is planning to demand a congressional inquiry into the death of a Houston sailor whose body was found in a guard shack at Oceanside, Calif.'s Camp Pendleton military base last week. Family members of August Provost say they suspect he was killed because he was gay, but the Navy says there's no evidence to suggest that was the reason.

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Mullen advises ‘measured’ approach to gay policy
By The Associated Press
The nation’s top military officer said Sunday he has advised President Barack Obama to move “in a measured way” in changing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bans gays from serving openly in the military.

Church of England bishop says gays should ‘repent’
By The Associated Press
(London) A senior Church of England bishop has angered gay-rights campaigners by saying homosexuals should repent.

Forth Worth resident breaks his silence about Rainbow Lounge raid
By 365gay Newswire
Chad Gibson, a Fort Worth resident who was allegedly hurt the worst during a police raid of the gay club the Rainbow Lounge, is finally speaking out about his arrest.

Former D.C. mayor arrested for stalking
By 365gay Newswire
Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry was arrested Saturday on charges of stalking a female acquaintance. Barry is scheduled to appear in court this Thursday.

T-shirt retailers using homophobia to make money
By Michael Jensen,
Thanks to Chicago Sun-Times columnist and film critic Richard Roeper, a very ugly practice has come to light. T-shirt companies trying to make a buck off of the cross town rivalry between the Chicago White Sox and the Chicago Cubs baseball teams have resorted to homophobia and racism to stimulate sales.

From Haiti, a surprise: good news about AIDS
By The Associated Press
(Blanchard, Haiti) When Micheline Leon was diagnosed with HIV, her parents told her they would fit her for a coffin. Fifteen years later, she walks around her two-room concrete house on Haiti’s central plateau, watching her four children play under the plantain trees. She looks healthy, her belly amply filling a gray, secondhand T-shirt. Her three sons and one daughter were born after she was diagnosed. None has the virus.

Out-of-state gay marriages now recognized in D.C.
By Jennifer Vanasco
As of 12:01 this morning, gays and lesbians who are married in Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine or Vermont now also have their marriages recognized in Washington, D.C.

Franken sworn in as Minnesota senator
By The Associated Press
Al Franken became a senator on Tuesday, completing the transformation from comedian to politician.

Appeals court rules for Abbott in AIDS drug case
By The Associated Press
A federal appeals court has rejected a lawsuit accusing Abbott Laboratories of antitrust violations over a sudden 400-percent price hike of a popular AIDS drug.

NEA calls for LGBT rights
By Jennifer Vanasco
The National Education Association adopted two resolutions calling for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights at its annual conference last week. The resolutions say that the organization opposes the “discriminatory treatment of same-sex couples and its belief that such couples should have the same legal rights and benefits as similarly-situated heterosexual couples.” They also call for the “passage of a federal statute prohibiting federal discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.” The NEA also committed itself to supporting the enactment of LGBT equality at local, state and federal levels.

Pink News - UK
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Mother of gay son berates Irish minister over civil partnerships
When Declan Doody wrote to Irish justice minister Dermot Ahern about the inequality of civil partnerships, he was dismayed to receive no response. However, when he posted a copy of the letter on his Facebook, his mother Helen was spurred into action to write her own.

Polish Law and Justice Party MEP: 'Our views on gays haven't changed'
A Polish Law and Justice Party (PiS) MEP has refuted statements made by former Tory leader William Hague that the party has changed its views on gay rights.

Technical issues mean 2010 US census may not count gay married couples
The US census scheduled for next year may not be able to count gay married couples due to technical issues in collecting data.

Massachusetts senator reveals he's gay
Massachusetts senator Stan Rosenberg has revealed he is gay in an Independence Day editorial. Writing in the Daily Hampshire Gazette last weekend, he quietly revealed his sexuality about halfway down his column.

Peter Tatchell: 'Bruno will make both bigots and gays squirm'
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has said that Sacha Baron-Cohen's latest film Bruno is likely to cause discomfort to both straight homophobes and gay men.

Catholic adoption agency allowed to appeal over gay parents
The Charity Tribunal has given permission for a Catholic adoption agency to appeal against a ruling which said it could not discriminate against gay couples.

Swedish study finds gay brains resemble those of opposite sex
Swedish scientists have suggested that brains of gay people may share similar physical attributes to those of the opposite sex.

Out-of-state gay marriages become legal in DC
A law allowing the recognition of gay marriages performed in other states has come into effect in Washington DC today.

Lesbian policewomen guilty over insurance fraud crash
A lesbian couple who worked as police officers have been convicted of deception after lying about who was driving in a car crash.

Gay killing 'was self-defence'
A teenager who beat a gay man to death was acting in self-defence, the Old Bailey heard yesterday. Mossab Belhocine, 19, of Forest Road, Walthamstow, admitted punching and kicking David Cooper, 28, but denied murdering him, claiming he was trying to protect himself from rape.

Daily Queer News
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Homophobes Caught Lying About Kevin Jennings
Alex Blaze | Bilerico Project
GLSEN has jennings.JPG created a web form to thank the Education Department for appointing Kevin Jennings as the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for the Department’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. I posted about how the FRC started a campaign against Jennings this past week, going so far as to take a full page ad out in the Washington Examiner full of misleading quotations from Jennings, without context and chopped down to look more damning. ThinkProgress and GoodAsYou have been trying to set the record straight on FRC’s lies.

Should Wisconsin Have a More Inclusive Partner Registry?
Nancy Polikoff | Bilerico Project
Wisconsin made history last week with the passage of its domestic partner registry because it is the first state with a “super DOMA” to take such a step. A word about “super DOMAs.” These are the constitutional amendments passed by states that reject not only marriage for same-sex couples but legal protections for or recognition of unmarried couples of any sexual orientation. Because of such a DOMA, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled last year that its public employers (like the University of Michigan) could not provide domestic partner benefits.

Why Are LGBT People Less Healthy?
Alex Blaze | Bilerico Project
Empire State Pride Agenda has put out an interesting study of 3500 LGBT people who live in New York State and their access to health care. LGBT people generally receive less health care, and it’s not just because of a lack of marriage or DP benefits. The number one reason is homelessness:

We Are Only a Few Senators Away from Much Better Health Care
Paul Krugman, The New York Times | AlterNet
The Congressional Budget Office has looked at the future of American health insurance, and it works. A few weeks ago there was a furor when the budget office “scored” two incomplete Senate health reform proposals — that is, estimated their costs and likely impacts over the next 10 years. One proposal came in more expensive than expected; the other didn’t cover enough people. Health reform, it seemed, was in trouble. But last week the budget office scored the full proposed legislation from the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). And the news — which got far less play in the media than the downbeat earlier analysis — was very, very good. Yes, we can reform health care.

No Drama, No Soul?
Phil Bronstein | San Francisco Chronicle
President Obama’s relationship with the gay community is as confused as South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s relationship with love, the truth and just how much tolerance to expect from a scorned partner. Like the governor stuck in his own marital Chinese finger trap, Obama, courting with promises during his presidential campaign, then straying on several real-time policy questions, talks as though he wants to fall in love with gay people all over again. “Trust me,” the president basically told a White House meeting of gay and lesbian leaders last week. By the time he’s out of office, he said, “I think you guys will have a pretty good feeling about the Obama administration.” Gals, too? Read more

MI: Kalamazoo Passes Protection for Gay, Lesbian and Transgender People
Phil Dawson |
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - It’s now illegal for landlords and employers in Kalamazoo to discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. “I have a hard time understanding why anyone has the need to discriminate against others,” said City Commissioner Sean McCann before voting for the ordinance Monday night.


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