Thursday, August 27, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - August 26, 2009

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New York Times
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Fla. Gay Adoption Ban Goes to State Appeals Court
Florida's strict ban on adoptions by gay people is going before a state appeals court. The state is appealing a Miami-Dade County judge's November 2008 ruling that the law is unconstitutional. The ruling came in the case of Martin Gill, who along with his partner has adopted two young boys. The appeals court is hearing arguments Wednesday in Miami.

Drama in Moscow Court Over Lesbian Marriage
MOSCOW (AP) -- The debate over whether to allow a lesbian couple to marry in Russia sparked an angry exchange inside a Moscow courtroom Wednesday, while outside the women locked lips to protest a holdup in proceedings. Homosexuality has been decriminalized in Russia but there is little support for gay rights.

Miami Herald
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Anchorage Assembly not moving to overturn gay rights veto
By Don HunterThe first opportunity for the Anchorage Assembly to override Mayor Dan Sullivan's veto of an ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation went by Tuesday night without action.
Sullivan vetoed the anti-discrimination ordinance a week ago. Under city law, the Assembly has 21 days from that time to consider an override.

Steve Rothaus
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Deputy accused of sexual assault collected photos, data of more than two dozen men
A Broward sheriff's deputy -- jailed on charges that he stalked and sexually assaulted men -- searched police records to obtain photos and personal data on more than two dozen men and five prisoners whom he met while on duty, court documents show.

Task Force: Sen. Edward Kennedy ‘spent life fighting for justice’
From the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force mourns the loss of U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who died after battling a brain tumor. Kennedy was a champion of many progressive causes. He was a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He played a central role in enactment of legislation outlawing discrimination in housing, prohibiting gender discrimination, the Age Discrimination Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. He also authored amendments strengthening enforcement of key provisions of the Civil Rights Act. Kennedy was the original sponsor of hate crimes legislation in 1997. Since then, he fought tirelessly to secure repeated successful votes on the legislation, ultimately wholeheartedly supporting and securing several successful Senate votes for the version of the legislation that included both sexual orientation and gender identity. In 1994, Kennedy was the original Senate lead on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and, in his later years, championed the expanded version that would protect all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

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Gay orgs, bloggers react to death of Sen. Kennedy
By 365gay Newswire
Sen. Edward Kennedy died last night at 77, after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. This morning, several gay organizations released statements and a few bloggers commented. We’ll add more as they come in. From HRC: Human Rights Campaign Statement on the Passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, issued the following statement today on the passing of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA).

Gay leaders recall Kennedy’s impact
By Lisa Keen
The man whom many in the LGBT community consider their greatest friend in the U.S. Senate has died. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who fought for equal rights for gays on many fronts and was an early defender of people with HIV, died in the early hours of Wednesday, August 26. He had been suffering from brain cancer.

Pink News - UK
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Christians begin drive to "reclaim" Iowa from gay marriage
A group that opposes marriage rights for gay people has said its intervention in a state election in Iowa is just the start of their campaign. Click here for full article

VIDEO: Athlete at centre of gender row given hero's welcome in South Africa
More than 3,000 people were at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg yesterday to welcome home athlete Caster Semenya. Click here for full article

Lutheran decision on gay clergy welcomed by LGBT group
America's largest LGBT rights organisation has welcomed the decision by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) to lift its ban on noncelibate lesbian and gay pastors. Click here for full article

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. Click here for full article

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. Click here for full article

Forwarded from Victoria Lavin
Daily Queer News
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New Chief for Obama HIV/AIDS Council
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. Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Monday at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference that she intended to appoint Gayle to chair President Obama’s council. Once the nomination is made, no confirmation hearing will be required. “Dr. Gayle is an internationally acclaimed leader with a long history of working to end the epidemic both around the world and here at home in the United States,” said Secretary Sebelius. “We are hopeful that the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, under her leadership, will serve a platform to share our plans and insights with the public health community and the public and serve as a vehicle to carry their ideas and input back to the Administration.” Read more

Local Librarians Watching West Bend Book Controversy
SHARON ROZNIK | The Reporter
Librarians are watching a battle over books in West Bend that cost library board members their positions and prompted a call for public burning of a so-called offensive book. The targeted subject matter, found in the library’s young adult section, includes sex scenes thought by some to be too graphic, and gay story lines.

The Pathology of Purity
Wayne Besen | Truth Wins Out
In observing American fundamentalism for more than a decade there is one common thread that runs through the movement. It is the romanticized idea of purity, particularly sexual and doctrinal. While the idea is ostensibly innocuous, in practice it can be insidious and always threatens to politically spin out of control. Read more

More Evidence That Marijuana Prevents Cancer
Bruce Mirken
Among the more interesting pieces of news that came out while I was on vacation the first half of August was a new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, which found that marijuana smokers have a lower risk of head and neck cancers than people who don’t smoke marijuana. Alas, this important research has been largely ignored by the news media. While this type of study cannot conclusively prove cause and effect, the combination of this new study and existing research — which for decades has shown that cannabinoids are fairly potent anticancer drugs — raises a significant possibility that marijuana use is in fact protective against certain types of cancer. More . . .

PFOX Victorious in Gaining Protections for Ex-Gays?
Austen Crowder | Bilerico Project
Well, isn’t this just special? In a precedent setting case, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia has ruled that former homosexuals are a protected class that must be recognized under sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. The Court held that, under the D.C. Human Rights Act, sexual orientation does not require immutable characteristics. More . . .

How Much of Obama’s Approval Rating Dip is Because of the Gays?
Alex Blaze | Bilerico Project
While I was gone for the latter part of last week (thanks for filling in on QMF, John!), two interesting polls came out and I couldn’t let them go without mention on this site. Both a Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll and a Washington Post/ABC poll found that Obama is starting to have trouble among Democrats. While the Research 2000 poll compares with the past week, the WaPo/ABC poll compares with his approval ratings back in April. More details on the numbers after the jump. More . . .

CIA Documents Provide Little Cover for Cheney Claims
Spencer Ackerman | Visit article original @ The Washington Independent
Documents fail to exonerate “enhanced interrogation” techniques. For months, former Vice President Dick Cheney has said that two documents prepared by the CIA, one from 2004 and the other from 2005, would refute critics of the Bush administration’s torture program. He told Fox’s Sean Hannity in April: “I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” Cheney said. “I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was.” Those documents were obtained today by The Washington Independent and are available here. Strikingly, they provide little evidence for Cheney’s claims that the “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA provided valuable information. In fact, throughout both documents, many passages - though several are incomplete and circumstantial, actually suggest the opposite of Cheney’s contention: that non-abusive techniques actually helped elicit some of the most important information the documents cite in defending the value of the CIA’s interrogations. Read more


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