Tuesday, September 01, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - September 01, 2009

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New York Times
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Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Vermont
After 17 years together, Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan couldn't wait another minute to get married. So they didn't. With Vermont's new law allowing same-sex marriage only a minute old, they tied the knot in a midnight ceremony at a rustic lodge, becoming one of the first couples to legally wed under a law that took effect at midnight Monday.

A Rabbi Whose God Is a Loving and Long-Suffering Mother
Rabbi Margaret Moers Wenig preaches increasingly to the converted: Hebrew congregations and rabbinical and cantorial students who no longer assume that a rabbi has to be a he or heterosexual. Rabbi Wenig, 52, has seen and propelled her share of changes in Judaism since being ordained in 1984, and now teaches classes of more women than men at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Greenwich Village, seminary of the Reform movement, Judaism’s liberal branch. A lesbian with two grown daughters from a previous marriage whom she raised in Brooklyn with her longtime partner, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, Rabbi Wenig won acclaim for her widely published 1990 sermon “God Is a Woman and She Is Growing Older,” portraying the deity as a loving if long-suffering mother who wonders why you haven’t called.

Washington Post
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Pastor Redoubles Efforts vs. Same-Sex Marriage
By Tim Craig
Bishop Harry Jackson is refusing to relent in his campaign to stop same-sex marriage in the District, despite the drubbing he took before the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics this summer.

Governor's Race Erupts Over McDonnell's Past Views
By Amy Gardner, Rosalind S. Helderman and Anita Kumar
The Virginia governor's race ignited Monday over Republican Robert F. McDonnell's 20-year-old graduate thesis: Democrats assailed him in e-mail blasts and interviews for what he wrote about working women, homosexuals and "fornicators," and McDonnell tried to explain his views to crucial moderate and female voters.

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Va. candidate for gov. distances self from college thesis that discrimination against gays OK
By Bob Lewis
Virginia's Republican candidate for governor said Monday he no longer believes his argument in a graduate thesis written 20 years ago that discrimination against gays and other groups is acceptable for the benefit of straight, married couples.

Gay weddings begin in Vermont as new law allowing same-sex marriages takes effect
By John Curran
After 17 years together, Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan couldn't wait another minute to get married. So they didn't. With Vermont's new law allowing same-sex marriage only a minute old, they tied the knot in a midnight ceremony at a rustic lodge, becoming one of the first couples to legally wed under a law that took effect at midnight Monday.

Steve Rothaus
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Pee-wee Herman a loafer no more: New Paul Reubens stage show coming to Los Angeles
BY DAVID NG, Los Angeles Times Service
The red bow tie. The form-fitting gray suit. The white loafers. Oh, and that laugh. Pee-wee Herman is back, and his creator, Paul Reubens, is overjoyed -- and more than a little nervous, too. ``I've put part of him away for a long time, but part of him has always been here with me,'' the actor says from his home in Los Angeles. ``I think it will be like riding a bike -- which is not a bad analogy for Pee-wee, by the way.''

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Mary Cheney donates cash to anti-gay pol
By James Withers
Have nothing against gays and lesbians who swing right. Sure we disagree on policies, but the gay tent is big enough for those who squeal with delight every time Ronald Reagan’s name is mentioned. However, there are moments when gay Republicans can be their worst enemies. Take Mary Cheney. Daughter of a former vice president whose vision of torture is spooky, Ms. Cheney is partnered and a mom. This unnerves a few on the right. Remember the kooky Alan Keyes going after her (dear Keyes acolytes: you all are fools)? She and her dad are both pro gay marriage, but they are also team players and kept that on the hush-hush when the leader of their party was trying to get anti-gay marriage lines in the Constitution.

Davis: California AIDS Clearinghouse Closes
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
The state of California is in a massive budget crisis – so big that even the millions of dollars that gay marriage tourism would have brought into the state wouldn’t have solved it. In the middle of the panic, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has used a line-item veto to cut more than $52 million in HIV programs from the State budget – cuts beyond the agreement with the state legislature.

Pink News - UK
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Lesbian parents now permitted to be named on birth certificates
From today, lesbian couples who have children through fertility treatment can be named on birth certificates. Previously, only the birth mother could be named as a parent.

Petition for government apology to Alan Turing reaches almost 18,000 signatures
A petition calling for a government apology to gay mathematician Alan Turing has reached 17,900 signatures. It is now the eighth most popular petition on the Downing Street website.

Comment: HIV charity answers back
In the last month, PinkNews.co.uk has published a number of articles on HIV awareness. One of these, by Gary Leigh, attacked HIV charities, claiming they have not done enough to prevent a rise in infection rates.

Lesbian drama series coming to BBC3
BBC3 has commissioned a new drama which will focus on the sex lives of a group of 20-something lesbian friends in Glasgow. Lip Service, a six-part series, is to be filmed later this year.

Ice cream renamed in honour of Vermont gay marriages
Ben & Jerry's is celebrating the legalisation of gay marriage in Vermont by renaming its ice cream Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby for one month. The dessert giant has teamed up with Freedom to Marry, an equal rights group, to launch the new branding.

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.

Daily Queer News
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Some Lutherans May Leave Over Gay Clergy
Universal Press International
Some Lutherans may leave over gay clergy
Some members of a Lutheran group that just decided to accept gay clergy are considering switching to the more conservative Missouri Synod. Officials with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod say members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America began calling after a controversial vote Aug. 21 to allow gays in committed relationships to serve as pastors, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Both ministers and lay people were interested in joining the Missouri Synod.

TS Eliot Revealed as Defender of Lesbian Fiction
Paul Bignell | Independent
TS Eliot’s reputation as one of the past century’s most austere and solemn poets will be blown apart by a major new exhibition opening next month casting him in a far softer light: as a champion of lesbian fiction and compassionate father figure to struggling writers.

Gay Ex-Soldier Angry at Pay-Outs
A lesbian ex-soldier who won £187,000 damages after being sexually harassed has said she is “disgusted” by lower payments given to injured personnel. Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 32, who worked at an Army stables in North Yorkshire, said she was bullied after refusing to sleep with a male sergeant. Last year’s pay-out was criticised as it was more than many soldiers hurt in Iraq or Afghanistan had been awarded.

Every 24 Hours, Two Gay People are Kicked Out of the Military
Michael A. Jones | Change.org
Since the inception of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during President Bill Clinton’s first-term in office, more than 13,000 well-qualified U.S. soldiers have been removed from the military for being gay or lesbian. This week, Rep. Alcee Hastings from Florida sent a letter to current President Barack Obama spelling out just how sad that statistic is. Doing the math, according to Rep. Hastings, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” means that every 24 hours, at least two gay or lesbian soldiers are booted from the military. In other words, every 24 hours, America’s ability to defend its national security gets diminished by two.

DOMA Do-Over
Washington Post
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.

A Possible Second Gay Man for DC Council
On Top Magazine
An openly gay former D.C. Parks and Recreation director has announced he will run for D.C. City Council in 2010, gay weekly the Washington Blade reported. His opponent, Phil Mendelson, is considered a strong gay rights ally, pitting gay camps against each other. Clark Ray announced last week to supporters his candidacy for the at-large City Council seat currently held by three-term incumbent Mendelson.

The Religious Right’s Freedom Federation: Old Wine in New Bottles
Bill Berkowitz | BuzzFlash
Struggling to find an identity and a larger audience, a number of long-time hard-core Religious Right groups have joined together to launch the Freedom Federation
The summer had barely just begun. Worldwide attention was focusing on the death of Michael Jackson and the cable news shock troops were on it 24/7. Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, had yet to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the hectoring by conservative groups about qualifications wasn’t gaining traction. The Tea Party movement, which showed some signs of life on Tax Day, was fizzling out. “Birthers” – right wing activists convinced that President Obama was not born in the U.S. – were smoldering in the background. The right’s assault on Obama’s health care proposals was still weeks away.

IA: Anti-Gay Marriage Group Spends $86,080 on Ads
An out-of-state group working against gay marriage has spent more money on television ads for a Sept. 1 Iowa House race than either candidate has raised in cash, reports filed Thursday show. Democratic House District 90 candidate Curt Hanson raised $42,882 to compete in the special election, while GOP candidate Stephen Burgmeier raised $63,101, the reports show.


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