Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - July 14, 2009

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New York Times
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‘Hair’ to Go Dark for a Day So Cast Can March for Gay Marriage Rights
By Patrick Healy
In an unusual move for a Broadway show, the producers of the musical “Hair” announced on Monday that they were canceling the Sunday matinee on Oct. 11 so that the cast could join the National Equality March that day in Washington in support of gay-marriage rights. Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater, a producer of “Hair,” said that the decision reflected the spirit of the musical. “Its message of change and hope and inclusion is one we try to live, not just preach,” he said in a statement. The announcement was to be made at a rally in Los Angeles after the “Hair” cast taped a segment there for “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” Monday. A spokesman for “Hair” said the producers were adding a performance for Monday, Oct. 5. People who have tickets to the Oct. 11 matinee can exchange them for another performance.

Washington Post
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Ala. doctor could bring attention to moribund post
The Associated Press
The U.S. Surgeon General has been described as "the nation's doctor," a "national nanny" and the person who puts warning labels on cigarette packs. But lately, the position has been mostly called something else: invisible.

Whose Identity Politics?
By Eugene Robinson
The only real suspense in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor is whether the Republican Party will persist in tying its fortunes to an anachronistic claim of white male exceptionalism and privilege.

Episcopal church to affirm gay clergy
The Episcopal Church moved Monday toward affirming their acceptance of gays and lesbians for all roles in ministry, despite pressure from fellow Anglicans worldwide for a decisive moratorium on consecrating another openly gay bishop.

Wall Street Journal

The Catholic Double Standard
Why was Samuel Alito's Catholicism so much more discussed than Sonia Sotomayor's?
by MainStreet@wsj.com
In opening yesterday's Judiciary Committee hearings on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, Chairman Pat Leahy (D., Vt.) alluded to the religious prejudice that has too often intruded on the process. The first Jewish nominee, he noted, had to answer "questions about the Jewish mind and how its operations are complicated by altruism." The first Catholic nominee, he added, "had to overcome the argument that, as a Catholic, he'd be dominated by the pope."

NRI Auntie, Indian Courts Are Hipper Than You
When my mom heard the wedding was between two lesbians, she paused, then chose her words carefully. Decades in America had taught her that much. "And you're taking the baby?" "Yes, of course," I replied.

Rufus Wainwright’s New Aria
The singer-songwriter unveils his first opera in England
Since his debut roughly a decade ago, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has attracted a following for his lush, romantic pop songs. He ventures into new territory this month with the premiere of his first opera, “Prima Donna.”

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Allies' experiences draw scrutiny as US debates letting gays serve openly in military
When it comes to dealing with gay personnel in the ranks, the contrasts are stark among some of the world's proudest, toughest militaries — and these differing approaches are invoked by both sides as Americans renew debate over the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Steve Rothaus
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Celebrity-judge trio selected for ‘Talent Quest Miami’; finals 8 p.m. July 25 at Colony Theater
News release from Carol Hoffman-Guzman of Art at St. Johns:
Internationally known diva Elaine Lancaster and music producer Roger Abramson, along with arts editor Mary Damiano, are the trio who will help choose the Grand Prize winner at the finals of Talent Quest Miami!, with the audience casting the final vote of course. Also just announced - actor/director Tom Colucci will serve as host, and Ms. Lancaster will enliven the already hot event with a special performance -- so it’s no wonder that tickets for the Finals are going fast.

Queer Town: Emmy-winning director Todd Holland to young, gay actors: 'Stay in the closet'
By Patrick Range McDonald, Queer Town, LA Weekly
At Outfest on Sunday afternoon, three-time Emmy winning and openly gay director Todd Holland told a small audience that he advises young, gay male actors to "stay in the closet." The remark came during a panel at the Directors Guild of America titled, "Taking It to the Streets: LGBT Directors Get Political." Outfest, which pushes the slogan "protecting our past, showcasing our present, nurturing our future," is one of the premiere gay and lesbian film festivals in the United States.

Miami Herald
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Ala. doctor could bring attention to moribund post
The U.S. Surgeon General has been described as "the nation's doctor," a "national nanny" and the person who puts warning labels on cigarette packs. But lately, the position has been mostly called something else: invisible.

Miami judge who struck gay adoption ban demoted
The Associated Press
A Miami-Dade circuit court judge who ruled Florida's gay adoption ban is unconstitutional has been demoted. Judge Cindy Lederman has been removed from her 15-year post as top administrative judge over Miami-Dade's juvenile courts. The new chief justice over Miami courts says he wanted new perspectives and leadership.

South Florida Blade
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Gay amendments possible this week for defense bill
Senate could take up 'Don't Ask,' hate crimes provisions
By CHRIS JOHNSONU.S. senators are considering the introduction of LGBT-related amendments to the fiscal year 2010 defense authorization bill if it comes to the Senate floor as planned this week. The potential amendments could make the legislation a vehicle for the biggest advances to date in LGBT rights at the federal level.

For one UK officer, a time to stand and be counted
Gays have been serving openly in Britain since 2000
For more than a decade, he had prepared for that moment. Lt. Cmdr. Craig Jones climbed the staircase into the captain's cabin, with its porthole overlooking the sea and its matched pictures of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The captain paused in a conversation with his executive officer and took a seat. Jones looked him in the eye and told him he would never again listen to the captain bash gay servicemen.

The Advocate
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Post Office Removes Pride Display
By Julie Bolcer
A gay pride exhibit installed at the downtown post office in Milwaukee on June 1 stayed on display less than four hours before it was removed by a U.S. Postal Service official, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Maggi Cage, head of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, was asked to create the exhibit by Dale Shuster, a letter carrier and member of the post office’s diversity team. Shuster secured written approval from the post office’s diversity manager for the exhibit, which included photos of gay pioneers, historical information and a large AIDS awareness stamp in glass cases in the post office lobby.

Gay Actor? Stay Closeted
By Michelle Garcia
Gay male actors should stay in the closet -- at least according to Todd Holland, an Emmy-winning, openly gay director, who said as much to a small group at Los Angeles's Outfest gay and lesbian film festival on Sunday.

"Jane Roe" Arrested at Sotomayor Hearings
Norma McCorvey -- better known as "Jane Roe," the woman at the center of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights ruling of 1973 -- was arrested at Monday’s Senate confirmation hearing for Sonia Sotomayor. The "Roe" in Roe v. Wade and another protester were arrested after they made their way into the hearing room and began screaming during the opening statement of newly sworn Minnesota senator Al Franken.

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NY to use hate crime law in transgender case
By The Associated Press
It was no secret to friends and family that Lateisha Green was born a boy. She had been living mostly as a female since age 16.

Pink News - UK
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Peter Tatchell criticises Stonewall over Equality Bill
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has attacked Stonewall over its support of the government's Equality Bill, saying the legislation is "discriminatory".

Archbishop of Canterbury expresses 'regret' over move to ordain gay bishops
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken of his regret over a vote which called to reject a moratorium on gay bishops.

Stephen Fry admits to illegal file sharing
The openly gay actor and author Stephen Fry has admitted to having illegally downloaded his former comedy partner, Hugh Laurie’s medical drama House.

Senior Scottish clergyman says gays should be able to marry in churches
A senior cleric has said that gays should be able to get married in church. The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth said civil partnerships were not equal to marriage and that gay couples should be able to walk down the aisle together.

New York senator reportedly considering moratorium on military gay ban
New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand is reportedly considering an amendment which would place an 18-month moratorium on the discharges of gay military personnel.

Texas politician calls for inquest into gay sailor's death
US representative Sheila Jackson Lee has called for an inquest into the "bizarre" death of sailor August Provost. Provost, 29, of Houston, was found dead earlier this month at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.

Anger over 'transphobic' columnist
Dozens of members of the Queer Youth Network have written to complain about Sun columnist Jon Gaunt, who described gender reassignment as "misguided" and "slightly sick".

Protest held outside 'homophobic' lawyer's office
A gay group has held a protest outside the offices of a lawyer who claimed the Law Society had been "hijacked by the gays".

German trans teenager to launch pop career
A 16-year-old trans teenager who became an internet hit is launching a pop career. Kim Petras, from Germany, began taking hormones at the age of 12 and underwent gender reassignment last year.

Comment: Easier bi the backdoor?
Ricky Martin, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga, that Duncan bloke from Blue, isn't it about time that celebrities coming out as supposedly "bisexual" just admitted they were really gay? If you find yourself nodding to the sentence above, I'm afraid you're part of the problem.

Family of murdered New York trans woman call for protection under hate crimes bill
The family of Lateisha Green, the trans woman who was shot dead last year, have called for trans people to be protected under New York's hate crime laws.

US bishops vote to overturn moratorium on gay clergy
Anglican bishops in the US have voted to reject a three-year moratorium on the consecration of gay clergy. The result follows of a vote of clergy and laity on Sunday, which also voted against the moratorium.

India's Supreme Court accepts challenge to ruling on gay sex
The Indian Supreme Court has agreed to consider a petition against a lower court's ruling that homosexuality should be decriminalised.

Former minister Patricia Hewitt says gay rights and diversity 'not part of who Gordon Brown is'
Amidst the criticism recently heaped on Gordon Brown by female ministers, former health secretary Patricia Hewitt has claimed that gay rights and the women's liberation movement passed the prime minister by.

Stonewall Bully of the Year Chris Moyles: 'The BBC don't want to upset anyone'
Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles has said that radio is so dull and boring, he and fellow presenter Jonathan Ross stand out.

Daily Queer News
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Action Alert: Stand with Patrick Murphy Against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
Stonewall Democrats
Many of us have been closely watching our Democratic administration and Congress to see if they intend to live up to the promises they made on the campaign trail to advance pro-equality legislation this year. On July 8th, Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy (PA-8) took a major step in the right direction when he became the official lead sponsor for H.R. 1283, the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, the Congressional effort to overturn the military’s discriminatory policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Will you sign our message thanking Congressman Murphy for taking the lead on this important issue? . . . . Sincerely,
Jenna Lowenstein
Director of Communications and Online Organizing
P.S. It’s critically important that we show Congressman Murphy we’re standing with him. Will you forward this email to your pro-equality friends and family members and encourage them to sign our thank-you message and make a contribution to Murphy’s

Four Reasons for Hope on LGBT Rights and the Obama Administration
Carlos A. Ball | Huffington Post
OK, so you voted for Obama, and you are a big LGBT rights supporter, and you are starting to despair because he has yet to push for the repeal of either DOMA or the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. And to make matters worse, you’ve heard that his Department of Justice filed a brief in a case challenging the constitutionality of DOMA in which it argued that the law is clearly constitutional. The Administration has been hit hard, and rightfully so, on all of these points by LGBT leaders and by the gay blogosphere. But I, for one, do not want to completely lose the sense of optimism that I felt just a few months ago when Obama replaced what was without a doubt the worst and most incompetent administration since that of Herbert Hoover’s. I want to find reasons to still believe that the Obama Administration will do the right thing for LGBT people, and do it relatively soon. Below are four “signs of hope” (and perhaps you can think of more). Please understand that I am not suggesting that these small steps justify the Administration’s refusal so far to push for the repeal of DOMA and of the military’s blatantly discriminatory policy. All I am saying is that these are silver linings of sorts which suggest that perhaps better things are on the way when it comes to how the Administration will handle some of the most important civil rights issues of our time. Read more

Stevie Nicks Gets Landslide Support from Gay Community
Dean Goodman | Reuters
Move over, Cher. Stevie Nicks has just been declared an icon by the gay community. Specifically, MTV Networks’ gay-themed Logo channel has announced that the Fleetwood Mac singer/songwriter will be the first subject of a new series of specials dubbed “NewNowNext Icons.” The shows will focus on “the timeless music legends that have reached icon status in the eyes of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and the greater world of pop culture,” according to a Logo statement. In the half-hour premiere airing at midnight EDT/PDT on July 19, Nicks will share her thoughts on why the LGBT community has embraced her music and persona, Logo said. She will also discuss her career, inspirations and future projects. Music videos for tunes such as “Landslide,” “Gypsy” and “Stand Back” will also be featured. A Logo spokesman declined to identify the subjects of additional “NewNowNext Icons” specials. Read more

LGBT Archieve Recieves $30K Donation
Julie Bolcer | Advocate LGBT Archive Receives $30K Donation
In what is believed to be the largest donation ever given by a lesbian donor to an LGBT archive, Jeanne Córdova (pictured) has made a donation of $30,000 to the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives in Los Angeles. The donation will be used specifically for the lesbian feminist collections.
“In this newly energized era of LGBT activism, our younger generations are eager to learn about their heritage that’s not taught in schools,” said Córdova in a statement released by ONE. “Lesbian history is a critical part of that heritage.” Read more

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Drivers' Alcohol Use Down, Study Finds
Steady Decline Seen Since 1973
KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer
The number of drunken drivers on the roads has fallen sharply during the past 30 years amid tougher laws, stiffer enforcement and a shift in societal views on alcohol, a government survey found Monday. A roadside survey released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 2.2 percent of drivers had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher in 2007. The results represented a steady decline compared with studies conducted since 1973, when 7.5 percent of the drivers surveyed were legally intoxicated.


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