Saturday, August 29, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - August 29, 2009

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New York Times
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Texas: Agents in Raid Are Fired
The Texas liquor authorities fired two agents and a supervisor for their involvement in a raid on a Fort Worth gay bar in which the agents roughed up several people and put one man in the hospital with a head injury. The dismissals were a victory for gay rights activists in Fort Worth, who had campaigned for the officers to be held to account after the violent incident, on June 28 at the Rainbow Lounge. “People wanted to make sure that it wasn’t swept under the rug,” said Todd Camp, the director of a gay film festival who was at the club that night. “I hope this gives folk a little hope.” A separate investigation into the actions of six Fort Worth police officers during the raid has not yet concluded, a police spokesman said.

Washington Post
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Motive Still Unclear in Fatal D.C. Attack
D.C. police said they have interviewed the survivor of an attack on two transgender people in Northwest Washington and remain uncertain whether bias was involved. The two, biological men living as women, were stabbed in the 200 block of Q Street NW. Joshua Mack, 21, of Clinton died. The other, whose stab wounds were not life-threatening, told police shortly after the stabbings that the assailant might have used an anti-gay epithet.
-- Paul Duggan

Steve Rothaus
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New GOP senator, George LeMieux, supported gay adoptions and domestic partner benefits in ‘98 campaign
Eight years ago, the young chairman of the Broward Republican Party appealed to his cohorts to stay out of a divisive petition drive to overturn the county's gay rights law. ``GOP UNITY'' read the banner he unfurled as he walked through a hushed crowd, arguing that the petition would distract from the party's true goal -- electing Republicans.

Miami Herald
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State is inconsistent
It is interesting that the state of Florida did not appeal every one of the gay adoption cases decided in favor of gay adoptive parents. Can this be consistent with its current appeal of the Frank Gill case? How can the state defend its inaction on one case and defend its current action on another? If the ban on gay adoptions is absolute, then the state should have appealed all cases in which gay parents won the right in court to adopt children in Florida. That inconsistency should enter into the deliberations of the appeals court in the Gill case.
BRUCE HOGMAN, Fort Lauderdale

The Advocate
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Hugh Hefner, Gay Rights Pioneer
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Michelle Garcia
An upcoming documentary about Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reveals information about his earlier years, including his early advocacy for gay inclusiveness.

Gay Candidates to Watch
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Neal Broverman
The Victory Fund, a group that works to elect LGBT people to public office, has identified eight more aspiring politicians they hope to see sworn in shortly.

Pink News - UK
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Congressman demands Obama end ban on gays in US military
A veteran Democratic member of the US House of Representatives has said he is "deeply disappointed" in President Obama's failure to deal with the ban on gays in the military.

LGBT rights group's conversations with the faithful now available online
America's largest LGBT rights organisation has announced the release of a unique online collection of meditations on religious belief.

Britain among countries backing Budapest Pride
The Budapest embassies of the UK, US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France and Germany have expressed their support for Pride events in the city.

Gay bishop Gene Robinson to appear at Christian festival
A controversial gay cleric will be one of the attractions a Christian music and arts festival being held in Cheltenham this Bank Holiday weekend.

Live Nation cancels concerts by homophobic Jamaican singer
A series of US concerts by reggae star Buju Banton have been cancelled after protests from LGBT groups. Banton was due to perform in Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston.

Daily Queer News
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Linda Ronstadt’s Gay Mission
Jenny Stewart, PlanetOut | Planet
You’ve had the fantasy as a teen: You’re in a room with your favorite rock star — someone whose every hit you know by heart, whose voice made you close your bedroom door and turn the music up as you hold a hairbrush up to your mouth as a microphone and sing along with them. In the dream they’ll share their most intimate thoughts with you. For me, that singer was Linda Ronstadt, who cut me to the quick with her heartbreaking “Different Drum,” roused me with her sexy, soulful “You’re No Good,” and, at 14, made me dread the heartbreak I would eventually experience with “Blue Bayou.”
This isn’t a dream, though it’s utterly surreal – 25 years later, Ronstadt and I are actually sitting in beach chairs in the otherwise empty master bedroom of her newly-purchased, still-unfurnished San Francisco home. We’re surrounded only by her freshly painted swatch samples on the walls, as the rest of the house is being renovated. Read more

Church Festival Draws Criticism
John McManus | BBC News
Traditional Anglicans have criticised the UK’s major Christian arts festival for inviting a gay American Bishop to speak. Among those addressing the Greenbelt festival this year is the Bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, a gay man whose ordination by the Episcopalian Church was greeted with both outrage and celebration in various parts of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Many people did not welcome his elevation, and the issue of gay clergy has become so contentious that it threatens to divide global Anglicans - some say it has already begun. Last month, the Episcopal Church voted to end a three-year moratorium on electing gay Bishops, a move which may ultimately push the US Church out of the Communion. Read more

Bridging the Gay-Evangelical Divide
DAVID G. MYERS | Wall Street Journal ‘Efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm.” So says a new American Psychological Association report affirmed by its governing body in a 125-to-4 vote. No surprise there, given the past advice of the APA—and of other mental-health associations—against sexual-reorientation therapies.

Christian Organizations Shame and Coerce Women Into Giving Up Their Children
Kathryn Joyce, The Nation | AlterNet
Carol Jordan, a 32-year-old pharmacy technician, was living in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1999 when she became pregnant. She’d already decided against abortion, but she was struggling financially and her boyfriend was unsupportive. Looking through the Yellow Pages for help, she spotted an ad under “crisis pregnancies” for Bethany Christian Services. Within hours of calling, Jordan (who asked to be identified with a pseudonym) was invited to Bethany’s local office to discuss free housing and medical care. Bethany, it turned out, did not simply specialize in counseling pregnant women. It is the nation’s largest adoption agency, with more than eighty-five offices in fifteen countries. When Jordan arrived, a counselor began asking whether she’d considered adoption and talking about the poverty rates of single mothers. Over five counseling sessions, she convinced Jordan that adoption was a win-win situation: Jordan wouldn’t “have death on her hands,” her bills would be paid and the baby would go to a family of her choosing in an open adoption. She suggested Jordan move into one of Bethany’s “shepherding family” homes, away from the influence of family and friends. Read more


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