Wednesday, September 02, 2009

GLBT DIGEST September 02, 2009

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New York Times
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Reviving Civil Rights
Few parts of the federal government veered more radically off course in the Bush years than the Justice Department, including its vital civil rights division. Attorney General Eric Holder has made clear that he intends to put the division back on track. That will not be easy, but restoring the nation’s commitment to fairness in voting, employment, housing and other areas is one of the new administration’s most important challenges.

Washington Post
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The Macaca Thesis
What Bob McDonnell Can't Explain Away
By Ruth Marcus
Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, didn't really mean it when he equated homosexuality with drug abuse and pornography as evils that "the government must restrain, punish, and deter."

Wuerl Ups Opposition To Gay Marriage
D.C. Archbishop Mobilizes Priests
By Tim Craig
Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl is plunging the Catholic Church deeper into the battle over legalizing same-sex marriage in the District, a tactic that could complicate the D.C. Council's efforts to quickly take up the matter this fall. Wuerl sent a letter to 300 local Catholic priests Tuesday reminding them about the Church's opposition to same-sex marriage, and he launched a round of media interviews to bolster the church's presence in the debate.

Swimming Against The Tide on Gay Rights
Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage ["Opposing Gay Unions With Sanity & a Smile," Style, Aug. 28], may be affable and reasonable. He may even not be a bigot. But he is a poor student of history.
All traditions have histories and change over time. It is true that until recently, no state or national government has legally allowed same-sex couples to marry. However, government involvement in marriage developed only with the modern state. Furthermore, being gay emerged as a political identity only recently, during the latter part of the 20th century. Today, we have a class of Americans denied access to benefits awarded by the modern state for no other reasons than who they are and whom they love. In this historical moment, to deny same-sex couples the same state-sponsored benefits offered to heterosexual couples is unfair, unconstitutional and, well, irrational.
Silver Spring

Wall Street Journal
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On Sexual-Orientation and Title VII: Are Changes Afoot?
By Ashby Jones
Late last week, the Third Circuit issued an opinion in an employment-law case with a provocative set of facts. The court reversed a federal trial court’s decision to dismiss a suit brought by an effeminate, gay man who claimed he was discriminated against because he didn’t conform to a typical male stereotype. The Third Circuit reinstated the suit, allowing the man, Brian Prowel, to bring his suit against his former employer, Wise Business Forms. Click here for the ruling; here for the report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Steve Rothaus
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Small screen embraces the ‘g’ word
Perez Hilton can relax now -- same-sex relationships are out and proud. On primetime TV, we mean. Some of our favorite mainstream characters are embracing their bisexual sides (well, the writers are). In the past few years, the only homo-sexual action between costars had been fairly tame -- think Kramer planting a big one on a neighborphobic Jerry in an hysterical Seinfeld episode -- and the principal gay shows were the PG Will & Grace or the racier Queer as Folk and The L Word (Showtime, after all).

The Advocate
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"Housewife" Kim Strips for Gay Marriage
Season 2 of Bravo's runaway hit reality series The Real Housewives of Atlanta has not been without its share of over-the-top drama, much of which has centered around the show’s Barbie-esque star Kim Zolciak. Now, in a move that is sure to spark further chatter among her and her cast mates, Zolciak has chosen to go topless to show her support for gay rights.

One Night Only: Dorothy in Hi-Def!
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Julie Bolcer
In order to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, a special high-definition presentation of the iconic film will be offered to audiences in theaters nationwide on September 23.

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Best-selling Bible to become more gender-inclusive
By The Associated Press
The top-selling Bible in North America will undergo its first revision in 25 years, modernizing the language in some sections and promising to reopen a contentious debate about changing gender terms in the sacred text.

Vanasco: Mike Rogers outs conservative lt. gov.
By The Associated Press
Super-activist Mike Rogers reports that South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has sex with men - despite his conservative, pro-Christian stance.

Virginia gov candidate wrote anti-gay masters thesis
By The Associated Press
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.

Anti-domestic partner referendum makes ballot
By The Associated Press
A referendum on an expansion of Washington’s domestic partnership law for gay couples has qualified for the November ballot, election officials said Monday. The “everything but marriage” measure broadens recognition of domestic partnerships by granting gay and lesbian couples all the remaining state-provided benefits presently extended only to married heterosexual couples.

Pink News - UK
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Indian government tipped to allow gay sex ruling
The Indian government will not oppose a recent Delhi High Court ruling decriminalising homosexuality in the capital, according to a report.

Gay hand-holding campaign goes monthly
A Day in Hand, the campaign to encourage LGBT people to hold hands in public, is asking them to show their affection publicly on the last Saturday of each month.

Peter Tatchell calls on gays to cut their carbon emissions
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is urging LGBT people to join a campaign to lower carbon emissions in 2010. The 10:10 campaign was launched yesterday at the Tate Modern in London.

Playboy's Hugh Hefner was an early gay rights activist
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner was an early gay rights advocate, a new film of his life claims. The documentary, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, says the 83-year-old has a little-known history of campaigning for equal gay rights.

Councillor reveals his HIV status at Manchester Pride
A Manchester councillor revealed he was HIV positive in front of thousands of people at the city's Pride event last weekend. Paul Fairweather made the announcement during a vigil for those who have died after contracting the virus.

Washington to hold referendum on new gay rights laws
Opponents of expanded rights for gay couples in Washington have secured a referendum over the issue. The law, known as the 'Everything but marriage' measure, was due to come into law in June but was put on hold due to the referendum campaign.

Gloucester council rejects LGBT sex club
Plans to create a private sex club aimed at LGBT people would have turned Gloucester city into "Sodom and Gomorrah", opponents have said. Despite the vocal opposition of some, the plans were rejected by a slim 6-5 majority.

Paramedic 'made derogatory comments about gays'
A paramedic is facing a misconduct hearing after being accused of making derogatory comments about gays, Muslims, black people and women.

Daily Queer News
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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.

NCLR Events
San Francisco, CA
Tides Momentum
Monday, September 7, 2009 -
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
With NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.
Join NCLR and forward-thinking activists, philanthropists, and social entrepreneurs to discuss the serious issues our society faces and the creative solutions required for building a healthy, just, and vibrant world. At Momentum, the best new thinking provokes conversation, invites debate, and inspires leaders to view their work through new lenses while forging dynamic relationships. This year’s presenters—including Kate Kendell, Donna Edwards, Ben Jealous, Anna Burger, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Ethan Nadelmann, Ali Noorani, Manuel Pastor, Bishop Gene Robinson, Malika Saada Saar, and Jessy Tolkan—will address the themes Capital, Rights, Conflict, Work, Carbon, Power, and Connections. To learn more, watch videos, and register, visit the Momentum Conference website.

Mary Cheney Donates Money to Homophobic Senate Hopeful
Alez Blaze | Bilerico Project
In the summer of 2007 I met up with my teen-years boyfriend to see where we were now. We didn’t have much to talk about (which was one of the main reasons we knew it wouldn’t ever work out… how little things change), so the conversation turned to the early primaries. He asked who I liked, and I said that I wish there were a viable, likeable candidate with the politics of Kucinich, but, really, it’s not like any of the others could be worse than Bush. He said he like McCain because he would be “strong on terror.” He said that he took Mary Cheney’s position, that same-sex marriage is one small issue among many, and that he’s not a “single-issue voter.” I couldn’t help smiling the rest of the evening. He still knew how to make me laugh.

The Night is Darkest Before the Dawn: the Rebirth of the Ca Equality Movement
Bilerico Project
Editors’ Note: Guest blogger Jane Wishon is a straight mother-of-three who has been married nearly 33 years. She actively campaigned for No on 8 and has started a cause for straight allies on Facebook. Jane also volunteers for AIDS Project LA, and twitters @janewishon. August 29, 2009 may just be remembered as the dawn of the new California marriage equality movement. That’s the day that the surprising op-ed piece by the co-chairs of Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club (a prominent 2012 proponent) appeared in the Sacramento Bee and called for a coordinated strategy with those who are driving towards a 2010 proposition to repeal Prop 8.

VA Won’t Pay Benefits to Marine Injured by Vaccine
David Goldstein | Visit article original @ McClatchy Newspapers
It wasn’t a bullet or roadside bomb that felled Lance Cpl. Josef Lopez three years ago after nine days in Iraq. It was an injection into his arm before his unit left the states. The then 20-year-old Marine from Springfield, Missouri, suffered a rare adverse reaction to the smallpox vaccine. While the vaccine isn’t mandatory, the military strongly encourages troops to take it. However, it left Lopez in a coma, unable for a time to breathe on his own and paralyzed for weeks. Now he can walk, but with a limp. He has to wear a urine bag constantly, has short-term memory loss and must swallow 15 pills daily to control leg spasms and other ailments.


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