Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - September 30, 2009

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New York Times
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‘Hair’ Closes for One Day So Cast Can March in Rally
Playwrights and producers have used scathing commentary, heartbreaking drama and sharp satire to score political points about war, torture, presidents, AIDS, race relations and women’s rights with New York theater audiences. Now the Broadway musical “Hair” is expanding the concept of stage activism by taking to the streets and urging audiences to follow. The producers canceled a Sunday matinee so that the cast and crew could attend and perform at a march for gay rights in Washington on Oct. 11.

Washington Post
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D.C. Won't Get to Host Gay Games
District government officials traveled to Cologne, Germany, to get bad news: The Federation of Gay Games will hold its Gay Games in Cleveland, not the District, in 2014. D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) was in the D.C. contingent in Germany on Tuesday when the federation chose Cleveland. Boston was also finalist. -- Nikita Stewart

Steve Rothaus
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Court dismisses suit by lesbian who couldn’t see dying partner at Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital
A federal court in Miami has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Washington state lesbian who was not allowed to visit her dying partner at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Pink News - UK
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Exclusive: Man fired from Christian radio station for revealing he was gay
A man who was fired after six years of volunteering at a Christian radio station lost his job because he admitted he was gay.

Gay couple forced to leave home after homophobic abuse
A gay couple in Kent have spoken of how they had to flee their home after suffering weeks of homophobic abuse. Keith Stepney and John Mead said they began to fear for their lives during the campaign by local youths in Northfleet.

Re-elected Portuguese prime minister promised to allow gay marriage
Gay couples in Portugal are waiting to see whether their re-elected prime minister will follow through with his campaign promise for gay marriage.

German minister apologises for homophobic slur against gay party leader
A German minister has been forced to apologise after making an anti-gay slur against the man tipped to be the country's next foreign minister.

Tasmania to give gay couples official ceremonies
Gay couples in the Australian state of Tasmania will soon be able to have an official ceremony in which to register their relationships.

Gay groups to compensate bar which cancelled homophobic gig
A coalition of gay groups is working to compensate a bar which cancelled a gig by homophobic Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton.

Comment: Reflections on Yom Kippur and homosexuality within Judaism founder Benjamin Cohen reflects back on yesterday's Jewish festival of Yom Kippur and what it means for an openly gay Jew.

False rape allegation forces gay US soldier to out himself
A gay US Air Force officer was forced to reveal his sexuality in order to clear himself of a false rape allegation, an admission which cost him his job.

Gay political blogger Iain Dale on shortlist for Tory parliamentary candidate
Iain Dale, the openly gay political blogger and broadcaster, has reached the final stage of parliamentary selection for Bracknell.

Daily Queer News
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WA: Approval of Referendum 71 Attracts Broad Community Support
Seattle Times
THE campaign to affirm the legal rights and responsibilities of all Washington families has attracted an impressive coalition of support. Approval of Referendum 71 has been endorsed by the region’s largest employers, civic groups, a spectrum of religious organizations, business and professional associations, labor unions and good-government groups.

New Book on Barney Frank Set to Be Released
Associated Press \ Boston Herald
BOSTON — A book on Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank is set to hit book stores. “Barney Frank: The Story of America’s Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman” is scheduled to be released Tuesday and is based on interviews with more the 150 people, including Frank.

GA: Mayoral Candidates Lobby for Gay Vote
Eric Stirgus \ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Within hours of an Atlanta police raid of a popular gay Midtown bar this month, the news releases came in rapid-fire succession. All four leading mayoral candidates — Lisa Borders, Mary Norwood, Kasim Reed and Jesse Spikes — sent statements urging city officials to conduct a fair investigation into the Sept. 10 raid at the Atlanta Eagle and punish any police officers found to have violated the bar patrons’ civil rights.

Gay Activist As School Safety Czar?!
Rudi Stettner \ Rant Rave
President Obama has appointed more “czars” than I can keep track of. One of them is a “safe school’s ” czar, whose name is Kevin Jennings. Jennings has been a teacher and a writer on educational issues from a “gay friendly” point of view. There is no law against a homosexual being a teacher. Those who uphold the laws of the jurisdiction in which they teach have the protection of the law for their personal lives. The Washington Times reports that Jennings has had serious difficulties in upholding state laws governing reporting of abuse when he was a teacher. The Washington Times reports as follows.

Ex-Gay Group Calls Hate Crime Laws “Anti-Ex-Gay”
Amanda Hess \ The Sexist \ Washington City Paper
Remember Parents & Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), that rag-tag group of heterosexual activists that just can’t seem to find many “ex-gay” people to advocate for? Last we heard from PFOX, the group was celebrating a court decision which said that “ex-gays”—people who were once gay, but are now totally heterosexual—should be covered under the District’s sexual orientation protections. PFOX was psyched with the ruling, because it meant that the group could begin to capitalize on protections that have been afforded to the LGBT community (hate crime legislation, anti-discrimination policies, etc.) and open up the possibility of suing on behalf of persecuted “ex-gays.”

Pentagon Airs Criticism of ‘Don’t Ask’
Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | September 30, 2009
An article in the Pentagon’s top scholarly journal calls in unambiguous terms for lifting the ban on gays serving openly in the armed forces, arguing that the military is essentially forcing thousands of gay men and women to lead dishonest lives in an organization that emphasizes integrity as a fundamental tenet.

UT: LDS Church Post Tougher Signs on Plaza
Rosemary Winters \ The Salt Lake Tribune
New signs have gone up on downtown Salt Lake City’s Main Street Plaza. Visitors now are on notice: “The [LDS] Church reserves the right to refuse access to any person for any reason.”

Senators Introduce Bill to Repeal Telecom Wiretapping Immunity
John Byrne \ Raw Story
Four Democratic senators have introduced a bill that would, if passed, repeal the legal immunity afforded the telecommunications industry for their participation in President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program.

Senior Official in Bush Domestic Propaganda Program Remains Obama’s Pentagon Spokesman
Brad Jacobson \ Raw Story
A key senior figure in a Bush administration covert Pentagon program, which used retired military analysts to produce positive wartime news coverage, remains in the same position today as a chief Obama Defense Department spokesman and the agency’s head of all media operations.

Hanging Citizen Journalists Out to Dry: Shield-Law Amendment Excludes Unpaid Bloggers
Pam Spaudling \ Bilerico Project
This may seem like a little inside baseball, but bear with me, because it will directly affect some of your favorite blogs. At the Blend we have inboxes overflowing with emails asking us to cover this story or that event — from advocacy organizations, tips from readers, PR firms, and the news media. It’s pretty clear that the equality rights movement is highly dependent on blogs and citizen journalism to analyze, report and advocate in the unique way that we do.

The US and Europe Have Propped Up So Many Corrupt “Democracies” That the Word Is Losing Meaning
Arundhati Roy \ \ AlterNet
While we’re still arguing about whether there’s life after death, can we add another question to the cart? Is there life after democracy? What sort of life will it be? By “democracy” I don’t mean democracy as an ideal or an aspiration. I mean the working model: Western liberal democracy, and its variants, such as they are.

Right Wing Media Send Their Mobs of Crazy Fans to Go After Private Citizens–Including Kids
Eric Boehlert \ Media Matters for America \ AlterNet
Last week, a Washington Times blogger posted a call to arms, beseeching readers to help the newspaper dig up more information regarding a long list of arts organization representatives who took part in a conference call with the White House on August 10. The call was part of a National Endowment for the Arts initiative, and it’s a conference call that was secretly taped and has been wildly overhyped in conservative media circles as some sort of linchpin in a larger criminal enterprise being run out of the White House to politicize the arts. (There’s no evidence the August 10 conference call broke any laws.)

Home-State Role Models Show Lawmakers the Way
Deb Price \ Creators
When U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, pointed out that providing benefits to the partners of gay employees would be a smart way for Uncle Sam to attract and keep talented workers, she explained why she’s sure: The strategy is a success in her home state.

NJ: GOP Renews Call for Amendment to Ban Gay Unions
Republican lawmakers and socially conservative activists renewed their push Monday for a constitutional amendment so that voters — rather than lawmakers — would decide whether gay marriage should be legal in New Jersey.

President Obama Must Speak Out on Maine Now
David Mixner
Time is running out in Maine. Soon people will begin to request their absentee ballots and start voting. The time for President Obama to make clear that he opposes the ballot measure in that state is now. If he waits any longer, the Maggie Gallagher brigade against human rights will use his opposition to marriage to prove that he supports the proposition. During his presidential campaign, then-Senator Obama was quite clear that he opposed all such measures, despite his opposition to marriage equality.


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