Monday, August 31, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - August 31, 2009

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New York Times
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Pope Accepts Scranton Bishop's Resignation
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the early retirement of a U.S. bishop who has denounced nuns for sponsoring lectures by gay-rights advocates and directed priests to deny communion to abortion backers, the Vatican said Monday.

Buju Banton Shows Canceled After Protests
The concert promoters Live Nation and AEG have canceled shows by Buju Banton, below, the Jamaican reggae singer whose violent homophobic lyrics have drawn protests from gay rights advocacy organizations over the last week, The Los Angeles Times reported. On Friday the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, whose campaign on Facebook led to hundreds of calls and e-mail messages to both promoters, declared victory when shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas and Houston were canceled. Mr. Banton signed a “reggae compassionate act” in 2007, saying that he would not make homophobic statements in public, release new homophobic songs or authorize the re-release of previous homophobic songs. Mr. Banton was tried and acquitted on charges that he participated in the beating of six gay men in Jamaica in 2004.

Washington Post
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DOMA Do-Over
The Justice Department gets it right this time.
THE FIRST two paragraphs of the Justice Department's seven-page brief in Arthur Smelt and Christopher Hammer v. United States of America make it clear that the Obama administration learned its lesson in how to defend a federal law with which it doesn't agree without dabbling in noxious, outdated and irrelevant arguments. The plaintiffs seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages, simply do not have legal standing. The case is viewed by gay rights groups as such an imperfect vehicle that they want Smelt-Hammer dismissed.

Carolyn Hax
By Carolyn Hax
Monday, August 31, 2009
Hi, Carolyn:
I've been trying to figure out how/if to ask my 17-year-old son if he's gay. He's a great kid who has never dated and is very private about his personal life.

The Advocate
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Embassies Support Budapest Pride
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Julie Bolcer
Embassies from 13 countries including the United States issued a joint statement expressing support for the Budapest pride festival, which culminates with a march in the Hungarian capital this Saturday amidst fears of violence, reports UK Gay News.

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Slow start: No rush for same-sex weddings in Vt.
By The Associated Press
Bed-and-breakfast owner Jeff Connor was hoping for a boom in business once Vermont opened the door for same-sex couples to marry.

Pink News - UK
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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.

Daily Queer News
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Jesus Could Make Gay People Straight
Des Moines Register
The Rev. Robert A. Butterfield’s Aug. 23 essay, “Churches Need To Be More Welcoming,” isn’t about that. It’s about condoning. The real Gospel’s radical love is about a savior who loves us enough to die for us so our sins can be forgiven and forsaken. The Bible is very clear about all sins, whether they are sexual or not. It’s not a matter of clarity, but of obedience.The Bible is clear on marriage: Jesus said, “the Creator made them male and female, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife….” But people want to redefine it. Butterfield left out a key verse about several sins in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which says “neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards … will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were (past tense). But … you were made holy, you were made right with God through Christ.” Read more

IA: Wedding Unites 9 Gay Couples at Des Moines Church
GUNNAR OLSON | | Des Moines Register
The love bus came. The love bus went. Eighteen Minnesotans crossed the state line into Iowa on Saturday morning with an entourage of friends and family. Nine married couples of the same sex returned home that evening, singing karaoke aboard the self-styled “love bus” on their merry way.“To actually be legally married is a dream come true,” said Judith Weir, 73, who married her partner of 17 years, Olly Staneslow, 75, at the First Unitarian Church in Des Moines. Both previously married to men, they now live together in St. Paul. “It’s like maybe we can stop being treated as second-class citizens. You can’t choose who you fall in love with.” Read more

Bilerico Radio: Kip Williams and I Talk about the National Equality March
Alex Blaze | Bilerico Project
I had a chance to talk with Kip Williams, one of the lead organizers of the National Equality March. I have to take back my previous statement about how the march organizers are unwilling to engage in criticism from the community - Kip and I had an interesting discussion and I understand more now about what these folks are trying to accomplish. I especially like the part where he tells me about what it’s like to be a young gay man at 27…. Do I really sound like I’m over 27? Anyway, I still have my reservations about how some of the logistics are going to work out, as well as how much work they’re putting into making sure HIV/AIDS issues remain front and center. It’s an action-packed 22 minutes, so click below to listen and feel free to comment. I’m still working on finding a nicer way to post these, but this will have to do for now. Conversation with Kip Williams - Aug. 30, 2009

Debate About Gay Marriage Sparks Angry Exchange Inside Moscow Court, Big Smooch Outside
Gay Russia
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.The court postponed hearing a complaint from the gay couple over a refusal to let them marry. Judge Natalya Zhuravlyova said the reason for the postponement was the couple’s “disrespectful” failure to appear in court.
The couple, Irina Fedotova-Fet and Irina Shipitko, arrived 10 minutes after the hearing ended and kissed for the cameras. They said they had been held up in traffic.

Policies of Chile’s Main Presidential Candidates–Same-Sex Marriage
SANTIAGO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Chile’s presidential election is shaping up to be a three-way race between a conservative billionaire, a former president from the ruling center-left coalition and an ex-film producer running as an independent. The two leading candidates in the Dec. 13 ballot, center-right businessman Sebastian Pinera and center-left former President Eduardo Frei, will likely keep the prudent fiscal policies that have made Chile’s economy one of Latin America’s most stable, analysts say. But Pinera wants the private sector to take more leadership in stimulating the economy and creating new jobs, while Frei emphasizes the state’s role but has not yet announced his economic policy platform. Read more

Global Church Body Elects Norwegian Liberal as Head
Robert Evans | Reuters
GENEVA (Reuters) - The top global grouping of Protestant and Orthodox churches elected as its new head on Thursday a Norwegian Lutheran who wants it to do more to support Christians in Muslim countries. The incoming general-secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), Olav Fykse Tveit, will have to tread a fine line on the Middle East after his predecessor denounced Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands as “a sin against God.” Tveit, 48, was chosen by the 150-member Central Committee of the WCC — which links 560 million Christians in 349 churches and communities in 110 countries — in a two-candidate contest with a South Korean Presbyterian theologian, Seong-won Park.

Americans More Confident on Healthcare Costs
Fewer Americans are afraid that they will be unable to pay for healthcare services and fewer expect to postpone medical treatments due to costs, according to a Thomson Reuters survey published on Monday. Researchers found a steady increase in people’s confidence about their ability to pay for healthcare services — it rose 12 percent between March and July this year.

Lesbians Given Equal Birth Rights
Women in same-sex relationships can now register both their names on the birth certificate of a child conceived as a result of fertility treatment. Female couples not in a civil partnership but receiving fertility treatment may also both be registered. The law change applies to female couples in England and Wales who were having fertility treatment on or after 6 April 2009. However critics say the change would be detrimental to family values. Previously, the mother’s female partner could not be registered as a parent. Read more


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