Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - August 17, 2009

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New York Times
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Iraqi Gays Face Murder, Torture Campaign: HRW
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi militias are conducting a campaign of torture and murder against men suspected of homosexual activity, a leading rights group said on Monday, adding that government security forces may be involved. New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the killings began earlier this year in the poor Sadr City district of Baghdad, once ruled by Shi'ite Muslim militias, and had since spread to many cities across Iraq.

Why We Need Health Care Reform
In the end, health care reform isn’t about politics and fear. It’s about changing a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for millions of Americans. Comments are no longer being accepted. More . . .

Obama Administration Says Marriage Law Unfair
The Obama administration filed court papers Monday claiming a federal marriage law discriminates against gays, even as government lawyers continued to defend it. Justice Department lawyers are seeking to dismiss a suit brought by a gay California couple challenging the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The administration's response to the case has angered gay activists who see it as backtracking on campaign promises made by Barack Obama last year.

G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier
As the convoy rumbled up the road in Iraq, Specialist Veronica Alfaro was struck by the beauty of fireflies dancing in the night. Then she heard the unmistakable pinging of tracer rounds and, in a Baghdad moment, realized the insects were illuminated bullets. She jumped from behind the wheel of her gun truck, grabbed her medical bag and sprinted 50 yards to a stalled civilian truck. On the way, bullets kicked up dust near her feet. She pulled the badly wounded driver to the ground and got to work.

Lutherans Prepare for Big Decision on Gay Clergy
The Rev. Dave Glesne stood before the members of Redeemer Lutheran Church a few weeks ago and told them there might be some painful decisions in the near future. Glesne is against letting people in same-sex relationships serve as pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and he says his congregation is behind him. They're worried this suburban Minneapolis church could find itself on the losing side as leaders of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination vote on whether to take that step at their biennial national convention, which starts Monday in Minneapolis.

Gay Marriage Fight,' Kiss-Ins' Smack Mormon Image
The Mormon church's vigorous, well-heeled support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California last year, has turned the Utah-based faith into a lightning rod for gay rights activism, including a nationwide ''kiss-in'' Saturday.

Washington Post
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Good News for Gay Christians
By Joel P. Engardio
There's an online group of 13,000 gays who profess their belief in Christ. The Gay Christian Network is a bit of a miracle, given how hostile some religions are to gays. While fundamental ministers decry the "homosexual agenda" and gay activists deplore "ex-gay treatment," the members of GCN must live the tug-of-war over their sexual identity and faith. That's why gay Christians will benefit from a recent report by the American Psychological Association that says efforts to change someone's sexual orientation don't work.

Liberal bloggers watch Obama closely, want action
They wish he'd done more in his first eight months, but the liberal bloggers who helped propel Barack Obama to the White House are far from giving up on him.

Too gung-ho? Israel military rabbis draw criticism
JERUSALEM -- Most Israelis expect their military rabbis to confine themselves to such tasks as making sure the army provides kosher food and respects the Sabbath. But lately, some of them are asserting their own idea of Jewish virtue at the risk of stepping into the country's culture wars.

Wall Street Journal
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The Old Order Loses Its Grip
Stirrings of change in a South African town—and hints of big changes to come
It is the 1960s, in the Afrikaner heartland of South ­Africa—a little town called Verkeerderspruit (literally, the wrong creek) in the land-locked province of the Orange Free State. The 1960s in ­Verkeerdespruit are a far cry from the bacchanalia of Haight-Ashbury and "Hair." Even the Beatles are banned from the radio, and television will not reach South Africa for another decade. The ­established order of church and state seem to keep the town in an iron grip. But there is an odd little counterculture growing in this petri dish of tradition and, lest we forget, prejudice.

Grindr Says It’s More Than a Hook-Up Service
By Andrew LaVallee
Gay men looking for love already have plenty of ways to connect online, but how many of them tell you if your prospective date is a block away?

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Southern Utah newspaper rejects gay couple's wedding announcement, cites legal marriage policy
A southern Utah newspaper has rejected a gay California couple's wedding announcement, saying its policy is to publish announcements only for marriages legal under Utah law. The Spectrum in St. George initially accepted a paid wedding announcement for Tyler Barrick and Spencer Jones last week, but then changed course, Jones said. The San Francisco couple were legally married June 17, 2008. They wanted the announcement printed in Jones' hometown paper ahead of a family party next week.

City employees who sent racist e-mails deserved ax
Sun Sentinel Editorial Board
What were they thinking? That's the first thing that comes to mind about the 13 South Florida building department inspectors and employees who were disciplined — including two firings — for sending or receiving pornographic, racist and anti-gay e-mails on their work computers.

Lutherans, gathering in Minn., prepare for major vote on church stance toward gay clergy
The Rev. Dave Glesne stood before the members of Redeemer Lutheran Church a few weeks ago and told them there might be some painful decisions in the near future. Glesne is against letting people in same-sex relationships serve as pastors of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and he says his congregation is behind him. They're worried this suburban Minneapolis church could find itself on the losing side as leaders of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination vote on whether to take that step at their biennial national convention, which starts Monday in Minneapolis.

Gay Marine tells it like it is
Scott Maxwell
Brian Fricke remembers the moment that triggered his decision to out himself. He was in Iraq, surrounded by blasting mortars and rocket attacks. And he realized that if he was killed, the military wouldn't even notify the person he loved most in the world — because the military didn't know his partner existed.

Sexual battery allegations against Broward deputy depict a man reviled
``If you have any interaction with this officer, please inform Father Bob,'' read the flier put up this winter at Oakland Park's All Saints Catholic Mission soup kitchen. Above the cautionary words was a photo of a 5-foot-6, round-faced Broward Sheriff's Office deputy, Jonathan Morgan Bleiweiss. Stay away from him, warned Father Bob Caudill, after hearing dozens of complaints about how the rogue deputy was terrorizing the homeless who came to the mission.

Steve Rothaus
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Video | ‘Ask A Gay Family’ Ep. 3 -- Do the kids get teased?
On YouTube:
We started making "Gay Family Values" videos as a response to prop 8 here in Ca. These videos have been a huge hit. We have come to understand that the reason these videos are so popular is that people don't get to see what it means to be a gay couple in a long term relationship raising children. Our family is no better and no worse then any other family.

Video | Levi Johnston likes his gay fans and perhaps would pose nude: ‘It depends on the money’

gayagenda.com: Unzipped Media Offers to Unzip Levi Johnston
On gayagenda.com:
From: Unzipped Media –
The publishers of the world’s top-selling erotic men’s magazines Men, Freshmen, and Unzipped, as well as the highly trafficked website Unzipped.net, is extending an official invitation to Levi Johnston, father of former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s grandson, for a cover story and a full nude photo layout in the pages of Unzipped magazine.

Read the Human Rights Watch report: ‘They Want Us Exterminated’: Murder, Torture, Sexual Orientation and Gender in Iraq
From Human Rights Watch:

Video | Couples gather in Atlanta to kiss for gay rights
From AP: About 50 people, mostly gay and lesbian couples, gathered in downtown Atlanta to protest the recent arrests of gays kissing in Utah and Texas.

Miami Herald
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Obama disses marriage law as Justice defends it
President Barack Obama insisted Monday he still wants to scrap what he calls a discriminatory federal marriage law, even as his administration angered gay rights activists by defending it in court.

Anchorage mayor must decide today on gay rights veto
By Don Hunter
Hundreds of people who spent long hours packing Anchorage Assembly meetings this summer to argue about a proposal to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation are taking their cases to Mayor Dan Sullivan. Sullivan's deadline arrives today for deciding if he will veto the compromise ordinance passed by a 7-4 Assembly vote last week. If he does veto, the Assembly would need an eighth vote to make the ordinance become law over the mayor's opposition.

South Florida Blade
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Openly gay anchor dismissed from WPLG Channel 10
Charles Perez files sexual discrimination complaint
One of South Florida’s best-known television anchors is unemployed after his dismissal from WPLG Local 10 news, South Florida’s ABC affiliate, in what he says is anti-gay discrimination.

Focus on the Family drops 'ex-gay' program
$6 million budget shortfall triggers move
Facing a $6 million budget shortfall, Focus on the Family is shifting control of its Love Won Out conference to an outside organization.

Army finds no evidence soldiers killed gay Iraqis
Refugee changes story after pressed by U.S. investigators
Army investigators have found no evidence to support allegations that U.S. service members were involved in committing atrocities against gays in Iraq, according to a military spokesperson.

RockHard reaction
First ‘adult’ store opens in WilMaBy JASON MICHAELS
For several months, there was speculation about what a storefront with a large sign saying “RockHard” on Wilton Drive was going to be. Some local residents thought it was going to be a clothing store. Some business people along the drive thought it was going to be a music store. As it turned out, it’s the first adult toy store licensed in Wilton Manors.

Down and Out!
Merchants meet to improve business amid store closing
Gay pride merchandise and gift store, Out!, located in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, closed it’s doors for the last time Sunday evening, July 5. “At six o’clock they locked the doors,” said Jon Anthony, owner of the two stores located in the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, Bottoms & Tops and Icon Shoe Outlet. “Then a truck,” continued Anthony, “backed up to the door and the store was cleared out.”

G.-string I. Joe
Channing Tatum’s sexy stripper past
By Dish
Christmas has come early for Dish. She just watched the video of (then 18-years old) Channing Tatum dancing in a stripper routine, and she must say she is a little breathless from all the excitement. Mr. Tatum, star of the current mega-zillion dollar piece of box office garbage "G.I. Joe," paid his dues (and his rent!) in the late 90’s working as a dancer with a group called "Male Encounter," a Chippendales-style revue filled with lots of beefcake and very little body hair—as is evident in a video obtained by Us Weekly, showing Tatum shaking his little buns in his thong.

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Actor Daniel Radcliffe makes major donation to The Trevor Project
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Harry Potter loves the gays! Or more accurately, the actor who plays him does. Daniel Radcliffe, the 20-year-old British actor who has risen to fame in recent years playing Harry Potter in the successful film series based on the best-selling novels, is an avid and generous supporter of gay causes, as evidenced by an announcement from The Trevor Project, the non-profit organization that operates the nationwide crisis and suicide prevention helpline for LGBTQ youth. A spokesman for The Trevor Project revealed today that it has received a major donation from the critically-acclaimed star of the “Harry Potter” film series and Broadway’s “Equus.”

Pink News - UK
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Religious groups planning to derail gay protections in Equality Bill
A number of faith groups are planning to fight anti-discrimination protections for gay people in the Equality Bill. An email seen by PinkNews.co.uk suggests the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is throwing its support behind the efforts. Click here for full article

Video: Bill Clinton 'regrets' Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Former US president Bill Clinton has said he regrets how the military's ban on gays serving openly was implemented. He was interrupted by a heckler last week in Pittsburgh. Click here for full article

Sir Michael Bishop: 'Gay people in business still face problems'
Sir Michael Bishop, the openly gay former head of airline BMI, has said that gay people still face discrimination in the corporate world. Click here for full article

Equality and Human Rights Commission repeats calls for gay census question
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said it will continue to lobby for the next census to include a question on sexual orientation. Click here for full article

George Michael arrested after collision with lorry
Openly gay pop star George Michael was arrested by police in the early hours of yesterday morning following a collision with a lorry it has been revealed. Click here for full article

Scottish minister quits Kirk over gay ordination
A Church of Scotland minister has quit both his post and the Kirk over the ordination of an openly gay man. John MacLeod, 39, from the Church's World Mission at St Andrew's Kirk in Nassau, Bahamas, resigned in June. Click here for full article

Tories choose lesbian to fight Glasgow by-election
A lesbian woman has been selected by the Conservatives to fight the Glasgow North East by-election. Ruth Davidson, 30, who lives with her partner in Partick, has pledged to fight an "honest campaign". Click here for full article

Alan Cumming dedicates show to HIV charity
Actor Alan Cumming is to dedicate one night of his solo show to HIV charity National AIDS Trust. The star, who describes himself as pansexual, is bringing his show 'Alan Cumming: I Bought a Blue Car Today' to London in September. Click here for full article

Soap star: 'Coronation Street needs more gay characters'
A Coronation Street actor has said the soap needs more gay characters. Antony Cotton, who is openly gay, plays the camp Sean Tully in the ITV soap. Click here for full article

Daily Queer News
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Sir Michael Bishop: ‘Gay People in Business Still Face Problems’
Jessica Geen | Pink News
Sir Michael Bishop, the openly gay former head of airline BMI, has said that gay people still face discrimination in the corporate world. Speaking to the BBC’s Leading Questions, Sir Michael said the only reason he managed to succeed as an openly gay man was the fact he was an owner-manager. He also agreed with the suggestion that careers of openly gay people could still be ruined and that prejudice was still present. More . . . .

Moscow Gays Allowed to Picket the Office of Homophobic Prefect
Gay Russia
The Prefect of the Northern district of Moscow accepted an application sent by gay activists to host a public protest in front of his office. The picket will take place on August 24 at 1pm in front of the Prefecture of the Northern administrative area of Moscow. More . . .

Rachel Maddow Slams Dick Armey for Stirring Up Hate in Town Halls
Staff , MSNBC | AlterNet
David Gregory: This morning, a special hour-long discussion making sense of health care. What are the issues at the center of the debate? How would reform affect your health care? Separating fact from fiction in the fight. And what does it mean politically for President Obama? With us: former House majority leader Republican Dick Armey, now the head of FreedomWorks, a major organizer of protesters at town hall meetings; Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a medical doctor and member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; former Senate majority leader Democrat Tom Daschle, an informal adviser to the White House and author of “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis”; and Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.” Plus, additional perspectives from around the country: the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel of New York; Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce; and Democratic Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado. Read more

Man Claims His Boyfriend Was Forced Into ‘Ex-Gay’ Boot Camp By Parents
Truth Wins Out
Update, July 21: According to pinknews.co.uk, the parents of Bryce Faulkner are threatening to sue friends and youth-safety advocates that set up a web site to locate and protect Bryce from further abuse by an ex-gay re-education center. A Wisconsin man, Travis Swanson, claims that last month, his 23-year-old boyfriend, Bryce Faulkner, was economically blackmailed by his parents into entering an “ex-gay” boot camp. Swanson believes that Faulkner is in a ministry in Florida, where the ex-gay organization Exodus International is headquartered. Read more


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