Monday, September 28, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - September 28, 2009

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New York Times
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If AIDS Went the Way of Smallpox
What would an AIDS vaccine mean to the world? In some ways, it would outshine a cure for the common cold. After all, even if the cold and its stealth wingman, pneumonia, kill more people, they don’t do it quite so grimly.

Navy Reviewing Abuse of Gay Dog Handler in Bahrain
The Navy is reviewing how it handled the case of a gay sailor abused by fellow servicemen in Bahrain for two years until he sought a discharge by coming out to his commanding officer, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Census: 150,000 Gay Couples Report They're Married
Nearly 150,000 same-sex couples reported being in marriage relationships last year, many more than the number of actual weddings and civil unions, according to the first U.S. census figures released on same-sex marriages.

Students Turn Out — And Westboro Leaves
By Alison Bowen
The Westboro protest ended earlier than planned. As school let out this afternoon, picketers from Westboro Baptist Church, a scabrously anti-gay group from Topeka, gathered outside Brooklyn Tech to spread the gospel found on their site and, according to their schedule (since updated), to “teach the rebels of Brooklyn what good looks like, and you had better behave.”

Gay Rights Measures on the Ballot in Three States
Nearly a year after California voters overturned same-sex marriage, voters in three other states will weigh in this fall on whether to reverse gay rights initiatives ranging from anti-discrimination measures to marriage benefits.

‘Bush Secretly Supports Gay Marriage’
At last night’s Dallas Cowboys game, President Bush was spotted sitting next to John Madden. Well, actually, a lot of people were spotted sitting next to John Madden. Large man. Speaking of former President Bush, according to a new book that’s coming out, former President Bush secretly supports gay marriage. Bush said, “If Bert and Ernie can make it work, anyone can.”

Coming Out in Middle School
Austin didn’t know what to wear to his first gay dance last spring. It was bad enough that the gangly 13-year-old from Sand Springs, Okla., had to go without his boyfriend at the time, a 14-year-old star athlete at another middle school, but there were also laundry issues. “I don’t have any clean clothes!” he complained to me by text message, his favored method of communication.

Washington Post
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Conservative Lutherans organize after vote on gays
Conservative members of the nation's largest Lutheran denomination voted Saturday to spend the next 12 months deciding whether to split from the church after it liberalized its stance on gay clergy.

An Interview With Barney Frank
By Ezra Klein
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has had a big year. The acid-tongued chair of the House Financial Services Committee has been Congress's point person throughout the financial crisis and is now crafting the regulatory reform package that could reshape Wall Street. He's also the subject of a new biography, one that covers a lot in the subtitle alone -- Stuart Weisberg's "Barney Frank: The Story of America's Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman." The Washington Post's Ezra Klein spoke with Frank about financial regulation, yelling back at town hall protesters and whether the banks still have power on Capitol Hill. Are we lucky that we're not in a second depression? Not lucky -- it took a lot of hard work. There was a three-step process. From last September to spring of this year, we were just trying to dig out of that hole. We have avoided a worse disaster. You don't get reelected by saying, "Things would've been worse without me." Now we're in the phases of making things better and putting down rules so it doesn't happen again.

"We Found This . . . Middle Ground"
Lawrence Jacobs and Steven Snapp
By Ellen McCarthy
After 10 years, two renovated homes, one canceled wedding and more hours in lighting stores than either of them cares to remember, Lawrence Jacobs and Steven Snapp finally got married.

How They Voted on God, Guns And Gays
Deeds, McDonnell on Schools, Taxes, Too
By Anita Kumar
Voters elected Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and Republican Robert F. McDonnell to the General Assembly in the same year, 1991. For the next 14 years, the future candidates for Virginia governor were divided on the most contentious issues of the day.

What Lutherans Are About
Jacqueline L. Salmon's Sept. 25 news story "Decision on Gay Clergy Shakes Unity of Lutheran Denomination" focused primarily on one aspect of a larger story. If you visit congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the D.C. area on weekends, you will find them running shelters and food pantries, providing transportation for seniors, forming community among young adults, teaching children, worshiping, and praying. People who support the ELCA decision on the inclusion of gay clergy and those who are troubled by it work, worship and pray side by side. Why? Because this is what it means to us to be the church. I think that you will find that most Lutherans are too busy living out the Gospel to take time out to fight over the interpretation of it.

Wall Street Journal
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Korn/Ferry Faces Gay-Bias Suit
Former Partner Goes to Court Over Firing; Consulting Firm Denies Claims
A former senior client partner for Korn/Ferry International Inc. is suing the executive-search and consulting firm for allegedly firing her because she is gay. The lawsuit, filed in March by Marti Smye in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims that Korn/Ferry breached her employment contract by dismissing her last year and not paying her nearly $4 million she earned in bonuses. The case is set for trial on March 1.

Lochner and Liberty
Dissecting the Supreme Court case that unites the new regulatory czar and his conservative critics.
From Reason Magazine
Last week, the Senate voted 57-40 to confirm Harvard and University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein as the new head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. This narrow vote brought an end to months of overheated and frequently misguided attacks on the would-be "regulatory czar," including a sensationalistic website operated by the American Conservative Union that falsely painted Sunstein as an out-of-control radical.

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Internal Prop 8 campaign memos become issue in lawsuit to overturn Calif. gay marriage ban
By Associated Press
A federal judge is considering whether to order the sponsors of California's voter-approved gay marriage ban to produce their internal campaign records to lawyers now suing to overturn the law.,0,2635734.story

Maine, Wash., Mich. voters to weigh in on gay rights, ranging from marriage to discrimination
By Rachel La Corte
Nearly a year after California voters overturned same-sex marriage, voters in three other states will weigh in this fall on whether to reverse gay rights initiatives ranging from anti-discrimination measures to marriage benefits.,0,815708.story

The Rev. Rebecca Steen, First Congregational Church, Fort Lauderdale
Why did you shift from the United Methodist Church to the United Church of Christ?
I wanted to be with a denomination that was more open and affirming, especially toward the [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] community.,0,1464837.story

Imagine if Rifqa Bary were Julie Johnson
by Scott Maxwell
Taking Names
Maybe you've already formed a strong opinion about teenage runway Rifqa Bary. But imagine if the family that helped her run away from Ohio weren't a Christian one here in Orlando. Imagine, just for a moment, that the circumstances were reversed.,0,237072.column

Steve Rothaus
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GOProud op-ed: Expanding government-run health insurance means expanding discrimination against gays
By Jimmy LaSalvia
The conventional wisdom says that gays and lesbians should support Democrats’ efforts to expand the federal government’s role in healthcare. After all, in 2008 more than 70 percent of gay voters supported Barack Obama for president, and Democrats up and down the ballot count on gay dollars to fuel their campaigns and advocacy work. The Democrats would never push healthcare reform that actually hurts gay and lesbian Americans, right? Wrong.

Measure submitted by Love Honor Cherish group to dump California gay marriage ban
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press
A group pushed ahead Thursday with a campaign to repeal California's same-sex marriage ban, even though some other gay rights organizations think it's too soon for another expensive ballot fight. Los Angeles-based Love Honor Cherish proposed ballot language to strike the ban approved by state voters in November as Proposition 8.

UM researcher Dr. Margaret Fischl preparing vaccination to fight HIV
As an HIV vaccine breakthrough in Thailand stirs interest and hope, a pioneering AIDS researcher at the University of Miami Medical School says she is preparing to start human trials for a new vaccine that would fight the deadly virus.

Greg Louganis, Ryan White’s mom welcomed at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale
Olympic gold medal winner Greg Louganis and Jeanne White-Ginder (Ryan White’s mother) recently appeared at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. Here’s a Broward County news release about the event:

David Leddick to host Q&A after Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival screening of ‘An Englishman in New York’
News release from David Leddick:
The Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is presenting a one night only screening of the new film “An Englishman in New York.” This sequel is about the years spent in New York by gay icon Quentin Crisp. It stars John Hurt. It is to be presented at the Colony Theatre on Lincoln Rd. in Miami Beach on Tuesday night, September 29, at 7:30 PM. An added feature will be a question and answer period after the film with David Leddick, known locally for his one-man musical “Quentin and I.” This musical is about his twenty year friendship with Quentin Crisp in the same time period as the film.

South Florida Blade
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Tampa appoints openly lesbian police chief
Castor also first female to head city department
In addition to being the first woman appointed to head the Tampa Police Department, 49-year-old Jane Castor is breaking ground as the first openly lesbian police chief in Florida. On October 1, Castor, a mother of two, will take over for outgoing Chief Steve Hogue, who served in his position for nearly three decades. The lanky six-foot-tall woman began her Tampa police career 25 years ago and served as a liaison to the GLBT community during most of that time.

Gay Resort wins first approval from city council
Development plan receives unanimous vote of approval
A luxury hotel and timeshare property development is on the fast track to breaking ground after Wilton Manors city commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning of a 6.04 acre property located at the corner of NE 24th St. and NE 13th Ave. between Dixie Highway and NE 15th St.

Lt. Dan Choi to speak at national AVER convention
Openly gay Army National Guardsman coming to Fort Lauderdale in October
The newest and recently most visibly vocal opponent to the United States military ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military is bringing his message to South Florida. Army Na­tional Guardsman and Arabic translator Lt. Dan Choi, who came out on national television in March, will be one of the presenters during the 2009 American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) National Con­vention, October 14-18 in Fort Lauder­dale.

The Advocate
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Clinton: I Was Wrong About Gay Marriage
Former president Bill Clinton says he was wrong about same-sex marriage and that his position was "untenable."
By Kerry Eleveld
Bill Clinton on Friday told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he had changed his position on same-sex marriage, a move that some LGBT advocates say will push the discussion forward nationally.

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Maine Pediatricians Urge Voters to Reject Question 1
By 365gay Newswire
From a press release: (Portland, Maine) Citing child welfare and their commitment to support what is best for children, physicians from the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) today announced their support for the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign.

Texas liquor cops rarely disciplined
By The Associated Press
The Texas policing agency that’s under fire for its raid at a gay bar rarely disciplines its officers for misconduct, and records show many investigations into those allegations are headed by the officers’ supervisors, which experts say increases the likelihood of flawed inquiries.

Gay bar has new ID rule for cross-dressers
By The Associated Press
(Elk Grove Village, Ill.) A gay bar in the Chicago suburb of Elk Grove Village says cross-dressers who wish to drink there will now have to show a valid photo ID that matches the gender they are dressed as.

Spanish matador to advertise gay drink on cape
By The Associated Press
(Madrid) A little-known Spanish matador is breaking with a sacred tradition, agreeing to advertise on his cape while slaying bulls and endorse a soft drink that caters to gays.

Divorce in America: Ind., Fla. counties are tops
By The Associated Press
It’s easy to see why bookkeeper Linda Mortimer moved to the Florida Keys 20 years ago: the impossibly blue water, the year-round sunshine, a lifestyle so laid-back that every day is like a Jimmy Buffett lyric. What Mortimer didn’t anticipate was falling in love – and then getting divorced less than two years after taking her wedding vows.

GOP Thinks Gay Marriage is Socialist
U.S. Representative Steve King (R-IA) made an interesting comment on a Conservative talk show yesterday: They want public affirmation. They want access to public funds and resources. Eventually all those resources will be pooled because that’s the direction we’re going. And not only is it a radical social idea, it is a purely socialist concept in the final analysis.

Pink News - UK
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Gay actor John Barrowman told by TV bosses to stay in the closet
Torchwood star John Barrowman has revealed his anger at being told by his bosses he should keep his sexuality a secret. The openly gay actor says he was told he should pretend to be straight in order to reach success.

London's gay art festival announces 2009 line-up
The programme for GFest, London's lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans art festival, has been announced. The event, now in its third year, is due to take place between November 9th and 22nd and will be held at various venues across the capital.

Graham Norton warned over lesbian joke
Gay TV presenter Graham Norton and his production team received a warning over a lesbian joke he made on his show in March. One viewer complained about a comment he made.

Daily Queer News
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Same-Sex Marriages: What’s the Big Deal?
Brendon Ayanbadejo \ Huffington Post
First and foremost, church and state are supposed to be completely separated when it comes to the rule of law in the United States. So the religious argument that God meant for only man and woman to be together has no bearing here! America is not Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Mormon, Catholic, or any other religion that is out there. And the pantheon of gods can attest that there are hundreds of them. We are a secular capitalistic democracy. That’s it.

Tea Parties and Religious Right Court at Values Voters Summit
Sarah Posner \ Religion Dispatches
It started with an homage to the notorious CNBC ranter Rick Santelli, the lesser god of the tea party movement. But at the values Voter Summit workshop on how to grow tea parties last weekend, the faux-populist Santelli was quickly eclipsed by a higher power. “We have been put in this country to do this for such a time as this,” exhorted Viviana Hernandez, a self-identified chaplain from Brooklyn, as the microphone was passed around the audience. “This [the tea party movement] is being birthed by the Almighty. Because He started this nation, and He does not want to turn it over to those who are godless, to those who would take our children, and just use them and abuse them and destroy their destiny.”

Bishop Harry Jackson Worried That Right Wing Racism Hurts His Anti-Gay Crusade
People for the American Way
Bishop Harry Jackson, who is leading a campaign to prevent same-sex couples in the District of Columbia from being able to legally marry, is employing increasingly divisive rhetoric designed to push a wedge between the District’s African Americans and supporters of gay rights in the city. In his weekend speech to national Religious Right activists at the Values Voter Summit and in a recent column, Jackson ignores African American LGBT people and portrays the gay community as enemies and oppressors of poor black single mothers. In his Values Voter Summit remarks on Saturday, Jackson urged attendees to be more careful about attacks on President Obama that might sound racist, because it was making it harder for him to convince black pastors to join his anti-gay crusade.

Gay v. Gay Custody Battles
Camilla Taylor \ Senior Staff Attorney \ Lambda Legal
Child custody cases are among the most tragic on our docket. Each involves a child or children whose world has turned upside down while parents battle with each other over issues such as child support or visitation. Regardless of whether a case involves gay or non-gay parents, children often suffer terribly when parents go to court because they cannot agree on how to resolve their dispute over child custody.

Beyond Ex-Gay Community Website
now has a community site where ex-gay survivors can set-up a profile and connect with other ex-gay survivors. The Beyond Ex-Gay
Community site is a web community for ex-gay survivors ONLY. This would include LGBT person who at one point attempted to suppress or change their orientation or gender differences. This may have been done on their own, with the help of someone or ex-gay group or both.

Women at Arms–Mothers at War, Torn Between Country and Children
When Specialist Jaymie Holschlag returned home after 12 months in Iraq, a new set of children awaited her.
Her son, Seth, 10, who had moved in with his grandfather, switching towns and schools, was angry and depressed. His grades had plummeted and his weight had ballooned by 60 pounds. Her 4-year-old daughter, Celeste, scarcely knew her. And in Specialist Holschlag’s absence, new rules had taken hold — chocolate syrup on waffles, Mountain Dew with dinner. Any hint of a return to the old order met with tirades and tantrums.

Federally Funded Charities Must Play by the Rules
Washington Post
Below is an excerpt from “On Faith,” an Internet feature sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek. Each week, more than 50 figures from the world of faith engage in a conversation about an aspect of religion. This week’s question: Dozens of major religious groups and denominations are urging Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to renounce a Bush-era memo that allows faith-based charities that receive federal funding to discriminate in hiring. Should religious charities that receive federal grant money be allowed to discriminate in hiring?

Analysis: Strains in Debate on Afghan Troops
The Potomac River is a physical as well as a figurative divide between the White House and the Pentagon, and occupants of each building often refer to the other address as a slightly foreign place “across the river.”

LGBT Vets convention Oct 14-18 Ft. Lauderdale; info on Gay Military Signal, now on-line
The October 2009 edition of Gay Military Signal is now on-line featuring information and articles on the upcoming LGBT veterans’ convention in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. American Veterans for Equal Rights 2009 Convention, Oct 14-18 in Ft. Lauderdale, features Nathaniel Frank (author of Unfriendly Fire), Lt. Dan Choi, a Military Ball, PTSD and legislative workshops, and much more.
See it all on Gay Military Signal
-Sgt. Denny

Gay Man Tipped as German Foreign Minister
Jessica Geen \ Pink News
An openly gay man has been tipped to become Germany’s foreign minister. Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the Free Democrat Party, may form a coalition government with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats after Sunday’s elections, if the polls prove to be correct.

Equal Adoption Rights for Scottish Gay Couples Begins Today
Pink News
From today, gay and unmarried couples in Scotland will now have the same adoption rights as straight married couples. This brings Scotland into line with England and Wales.

Thousands Protest in Rome Against Homophobic Attacks
Jessica Geen \ Pink News
An estimated 30,000 people turned out onto the streets of Rome last week to protest against a spate of homophobic attacks in Italy. Gay groups and politicians from all the main political parties joined the demonstration, held last Thursday.


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