Tuesday, August 25, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - August 25, 2009

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Large US study finds circumcision doesn't protect gay men from AIDS virus
By Mike Stobbe
Circumcision, which has helped prevent AIDS among heterosexual men in Africa, doesn't help protect gay men from the virus, according to the largest U.S. study to look at the question. The research, presented at a conference Tuesday, is expected to influence the government's first guidance on circumcision.

Jailed Broward deputy faces additional sexual assault charges
Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss, accused of preying on homeless men and illegal immigrants, remains jailed without bail.
By Sofia Santana
A Broward sheriff's deputy currently jailed on charges he sexually assaulted and stalked a man while on the job today faces new criminal charges relating to a second alleged victim.

Steve Rothaus
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US judge nixes marriage suit that split Obama, gays
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press
A same-sex marriage lawsuit that created a public rift between President Barack Obama and his gay supporters was dismissed Monday on a technicality. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ruled the case - the first of several pending challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act - must be refiled in federal court.

View the program book: Southeast Regional Gay Men’s Health Summit Aug. 28-30 in Fort Lauderdale
From Southeast Regional Gay Men’s Health Summit:
The Southeast Regional Gay Men’s Health Summit will host its eighth annual conference Aug. 28-30 at Embassy Suites Hotel, 1100 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale. Workshops include Community Building, Health/Prevention, Personal Development, and Relationships. Here’s the complete program book:

Miami gallery exhibit: ‘Achilles at Troy’ by artist Andy Armano, featuring model Matt Stone
Artist Andy Armano will present his new exhibit, Achilles at Troy, 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at A. Dale Nally Gallery in Wynwood.

Harvey Milk, Carol Burnett, bodybuilder Joe Weider, others named to California Hall of Fame
News release from the state of California:
The California Hall of Fame Committee Chair Pat Splinter Announces Names of Inductees on The California Museum’s Web Site at CaliforniaMuseum.org

The Advocate
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New Chief for Obama HIV/AIDS Council
By Kerry Eleveld
Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and CEO of CARE USA, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty, is likely to get the nod to lead the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, which is tasked with studying and making recommendations on HIV/AIDS prevention and research, and distribution of services for people living with AIDS.

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California Senate calls for end to military ban
By 365gay Newswire
From Equality California:
(Sacramento) The California Senate officially endorsed a resolution calling for the repeal of the discriminatory federal policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Lesbians claim assault at Memphis church
By The Associated Press
Monique Stephens and her partner were called “devil worshippers” and “gay” after not bowing down to the ground to blow kisses to God at Memphis’ New Olivet Baptist Church, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Pink News - UK
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Gay legal group calls for an end to America's HIV travel ban
Lambda Legal, a group that pursues litigation in support of LGBT rights, has called on the US government to end a ban on living with HIV from travelling to or taking residence in the country.

US court rules "ex-gays" are protected by discrimination laws
A group that supports "ex-gays" and their families has welcomed a "precedent setting" decision by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on sexual orientation laws.

Government to make "party drug" GBL a controlled substance
The Home Office has announced that it will ban a drug which has become popular on the gay club curcuit.

Daily Queer News
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Separate Sleeping Quarters for ‘Gay’ GIs?
Les Kinsolving | World News Daily
In its Page One story in the Sunday New York Times on Aug. 16, headlined: “G.I. Jane quietly breaks the combat barrier,” reporter Lizette Alvarez notes in her ninth paragraph: “Women need separate bunks and bathrooms.” Read more

His Truth Will Prevail
David Welch | World News Daily
It is easy for non-mainline evangelical Christians to view the struggles within the traditional mainline denominations with a condescending eye. Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians and now Lutherans have wrestled and split over various issues of biblical orthodoxy – particularly in recent years regarding the ordination of homosexuals. However, the root of the issue is not uniquely contained in those circles. The battle now raging above the surface of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or ELCA, over ordination of “sexually active, monogamous gays and lesbians” is just the latest chapter in the decline of biblical orthodoxy in mainline Christian denominations and the evangelical church in America at large. The ELCA’s vote (559-451) at its national assembly displayed a deep division that has already provided fuel to the fire for many pastors and churches considering leaving the denomination. The more conservative Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod have both held the line on ordination of women as well as gays and lesbians and the WELS has issued a statement opposing the ELCA’s decision. Read more

The National Organization for Marriage Cooks Up an Iowa Strategy to Defeat Gay Marriage
Michael A. Jones | Change.org
Iowa’s Supreme Court may have ruled earlier this year that the state’s constitution requires the recognition of same-sex marriage, based on an equal rights clause that provides for basic fairness and equality for all of Iowa’s citizens. But that’s not stopping the National Organization for Marriage, the radical anti-LGBT group hell-bent on repealing the rights of gays and lesbians, from pouring loads of money into the state and working behind the scenes to ignite a political movement that will strip marriage rights from same-sex couples. Read more

NC: Wilmington Rallies for Hate Crime Law
Matt Comer | Q-Notes
Aiming to spark community discussion on hate crimes after an anti-gay attack last month, a dozen people gathered today outside the New Hanover County Courthouse for a morning rush hour rally.The group organizing the event, Safer Communities Action Now! (SCAN), said the demonstration’s intent was to raise awareness of hate crimes legislation that would protect victims on the basis of sexual orientation and gender-identity. Such legislation has stalled in the North Carolina legislature for years, but the July 17 attack on two gay men on a riverfront street in downtown Wilmington has brought a renewed focus on the issue of hate crimes and community safety.The two men, recent University of North Carolina-Wilmington graduates, were punched and kicked repeatedly. Both will need several surgeries and one is suffering from brain injuries causing impaired motor functions. The four accused of the crime face felony assault charges. Link

Lutheran Gay Rights!
Timothy Palmer is the Director of Policy and Communication at the Religious Institute: Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion
Those of us who are both openly gay and openly Christian (and happily reconciled in the two) are used to the deliberate pace that many Christian denominations have taken toward fully embracing their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) congregants. Having consecrated one openly gay bishop in 2003, it took the Episcopal Church another six years to give itself permission to (maybe) doing it again. The Lutherans approved a progressive statement on human sexuality by the slimmest of margins last week, while the Presbyterians narrowly defeated a measure in the spring that would have permitted the ordination of openly gay and lesbian clergy.

LGBT Community & Trans Politics
Leslie Davis | Examiner
Wikipedia defines human communities as being based on common intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. Based on that definition:
1) Are gay men and lesbians really a naturally cohesive and cooperative group? Whereas there are common concerns that blanket the community, there are many variations on how the list of issues should be prioritized and issues unique to various groups within the community.
2) Each individual brings a unique perspective to the equation. We are not all inherently open-minded. Some people are not prepared to embrace the full spectrum of human sexual and gender diversity as part of coming to terms with their own identity as a homosexual (bisexual, transgendered). Individuals seeking legitimacy are not inherently inclined to grant legitimacy to others. There is a tendency to initially focus on one’s personal identity and issues. Awareness of the variations within the ‘community’ only occurs once you are involved in the community.
Read more

WA: Anti-Gay Ref. Signature Check Tops 100k
Seattle Post Intellegencer
Elections officials say they’ve now checked more than 100,000 signatures for Referendum 71, an attempt to overturn Washington’s new “everything but marriage” same-sex domestic partner law. The totals as of Monday evening are: 103,898 checked, 91,716 accepted and 12,182 rejected. R-71 sponsors need 120,577 valid Washington voter signatures for the measure to be placed on the November ballot. “The overall error rate is 11.72 percent, barely up from 11.68 percent, which we reported Friday,” Brian Zylstra of the secretary of state’s office said in a blog post. “In order to make the November statewide ballot, the referendum’s overall rejection rate must not go over 12.4 percent.” The secretary of state’s office hopes to finish the count by the end of this month. Link

Harassment Case
TIM KLASS | Associated Press Writer | Seattle Times
SEATTLE — Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. has agreed to pay $1.7 million to settle in a sexual harassment case brought by three employees in Longview, including one who said she was sexually assaulted in 2006.Under the three-year consent decree signed Thursday by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour, Lowe’s also must revise policies on discrimination, harassment and retaliation; provide training on those concerns to all employees at the company’s 37 stores in Washington state and 13 stores in Oregon; and report regularly to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, which filed the lawsuit. “Severe sex-based harassment of young workers was permitted to run rampant at one of the nation’s largest retailers,” Acting EEOC Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said in a prepared statement. “It is shocking that Lowe’s store managers actively engaged in and even encouraged such blatant unlawful conduct and then retaliated against the victims for objecting to it.” Read more

TN: 2 Women Claim Assault at New Olivet Baptist
Juanita Cousins (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal
Police responded Sunday to a 911 hang-up call at the church of a mayoral candidate where two women said they were assaulted because of their sexual orientation. Monique Stephens, who is a lesbian, said she and her partner were attending the 11 a.m. service at New Olivet Baptist Church because they wanted to meet the Rev. Kenneth Whalum Jr., who they intended to support in the Oct. 15 mayoral election. An hour into service, Whalum told the congregation to bow to the ground and blow kisses to God, Stephens said, but she and her partner, who are agnostic, did not move. She said Whalum and church members began calling them “devil worshippers” and “gay,” among other derogatory names. Security guards surrounded and pushed them out of the sanctuary. Stephens said her glasses were broken and both she and her partner of three years have bruises and scratches from the altercation. No arrests were made, police said. Read more


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