Wednesday, October 07, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - October 07, 2009

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New York Times
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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
To the Editor: Your Oct. 4 editorial “The Damage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” citing a scholarly Department of Defense-approved essay by Col. Om Prakash, is irrefutable in terms of logic, science, civil rights or concern with combat readiness. Only the bigoted or uninformed mind can fail to grasp the reality. I saw nothing in 27 years of active-duty United States Army service, including nine years of wartime service in Vietnam, that justifies continued discrimination against gays in the United States military, or that ever did. Arguments alleging negative impact on “unit cohesion” were also used against integrating African-Americans. President Harry S. Truman courageously overcame such bigoted sophistry; we should do the same today.
Andre Sauvageot
Reston, Va., Oct. 4, 2009

Washington Council to Consider Same-Sex Marriage
WASHINGTON — City Council members introduced legislation Tuesday to allow same-sex marriage here. If it passes, as expected, Washington would be the first city below the Mason-Dixon line to allow such unions. The city’s bill is expected to become law by December.

Washington Post
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A Fitting Nats' Tribute -- and Ella for a Grand Slam
Regarding the Oct. 6 Sports story "Nationals Prepare for Offseason Makeover": As a gay man and a longtime booster for bringing Major League Baseball back to the District, I had mixed emotions when the new stadium for the Washington Nationals required displacing several gay-oriented entertainment businesses, especially Ziegfeld's, home of Washington's own "hurricane on heels," the performer who calls himself Ella Fitzgerald. I've always felt that some sort of monument or plaque, commemorating the importance of the stadium site in D.C.'s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history, should have been incorporated in the stadium's design. After witnessing my Nats stumble through another dismal season, I have a suggestion to end the curse. Install a plaque illustrating the LGBT history of the stadium near the main gate and invite Ella to lip-synch the national anthem on opening day 2010.

Steve Rothaus
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Going to the National Equality March this weekend? Please send me an e-mail about your plans
If you’re going to the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., this weekend, please send me an e-mail and let me know your plans. Thanks!
Look forward to hearing from you!

Miami Herald
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Being famous has nothing to do with it
Somebody please help me with this. Obviously, I'm missing something. So we've got a 43-year-old man who takes a 13-year-old girl into a hot tub. According to the girl, this is what follows: He gives her part of a Quaalude and some champagne. He gets into the hot tub, naked. She flees to a bedroom. He follows. He puts his mouth to her vagina. He removes her panties. He asks if she is on the pill. She is not, and he asks if she wants him to penetrate her anally instead. She says no. He does anyway. During all this, she's begging him to stop.

Wrong venue
This letter is not an attempt to curb anybody's freedom of speech or a personal attack on the James L. Knight Center, which will host a reggae artist whose lyrics promote violence against the gay and lesbian community -- not just peripherally or symbolically. The lyrics literally urge fans and listeners to go out and beat, hang and burn gay people. It is a message urging violence. Is this really what we need in Miami, where, just a few months ago, the City Commission unanimously approved a domestic-partnership ordinance for city employees? There is still time for the city to do the right thing. Let Buju Banton play in Miami if he wants -- if he can find a private venue willing to lose a tremendous amount of support from the large and affluent GLBT community in Miami. It includes many community, civic and business leaders who continue to push for sustainable economic development here.

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Utah Gov. Herbert meets with gay rights groups
By The Associated Press
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is meeting with gay rights advocacy groups for the first time since saying he opposes providing legal protections for gay and transgender people.

Microsoft donates $100 k for gay partners effort
By The Associated Press
Microsoft Corp. has donated $100,000 to the campaign supporting more partnership rights for Washington state gay couples.

Same-sex marriage bill in DC appears unstoppable
By The Associated Press
A bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry in the nation’s capital was introduced Tuesday, a measure that even opponents acknowledged seems almost unstoppable.

Pink News - UK
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Canadian gay man admits lying to donate blood
A gay man in Canada is suing the the country's blood services for barring him from donating blood. Kyle Freeman admitted in court this week that he had lied about his sexual history in order to undergo the procedure, which he believes is the "ultimate gift" a person can give.

First official gay Tory party hailed a success
Spirit Bar in Canal Street was packed to its 650-person capacity last night as the Conservative Party held its first-ever official gay event. As the Tory-themed cocktails flowed, there was much speculation at the absence of Stonewall chief Ben Summerskill.

Cameron: 'Polish allies are not homophobic'
Tory leader David Cameron has said that his party's allies in Europe are not homophobic. Yesterday, an open letter from celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Eddie Izzard and Ewan MacGregor urged Cameron to oppose the views of the Polish Law and Justice Party.

Video: Stonewall chief pulls out of gay Conservative event in protest at David Cameron's 'homophobic' partners
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) rights charity Stonewall, has pulled out of attending and speaking at the Conservative Party's LGBT event to be held tonight. The decision follows the party's coalition with homophobic parties within the European Parliament.

Video: Stephen Fry says David Cameron has aligned himself with homophobes
A letter signed by celebrities including Ewan MacGregor, Stephen Fry and Jo Brand has asked Tory leader David Cameron to oppose the views of his party's new European allies. Fry tonight told Channel 4 News that Mr Cameron had aligned his party with an "unpleasantly homophobic nationalistic party in Poland and sharing their whip in Europe."

Daily Queer News
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The Hunted
Matt McAllester \ The New Yorker
On a bright afternoon in late March, an 18-year-old named Fadi stood in a friend’s clothing store in Baghdad checking out the new merchandise. A worker in a neighboring store walked into the boutique with a newspaper in his hand and shared a story he had just read. It was about “sexual deviants,” he said. Gay men’s rectums had been glued shut, and they had been force-fed laxatives and water until their insides exploded. They had been found dead on the street.

OR: Recall Campaign Against Mayor Sam Adams Fails, But New One to Begin, Organizer Says
Mark Larabee, The Oregonian \ Oregon Live
Fredrick D. Joe/The OregonianCarol Dobrovolny tries to get passers-by to pull over and sign a petition to oust Portland Mayor Sam Adams earlier this summer. With a promised $100,000 and professional managers, the organizer of a recall against Mayor Sam Adams said Monday that he’ll try again after his first effort failed to gather enough signatures in three months.

Coming Out Week Offers Acceptance
The Maneater
Throughout the week, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning community will be trying to make it easier for people to come out in honor of Coming Out Week. A variety of events, from crafts to informative panels, are being held until Friday to coincide with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

Obama’s Delicate Dance with Lesbian, Gay Community
As debates rage on health care, Afghanistan, and environmental policy, President Obama is about to take another step in his delicate dance with the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community — a group that continues to demand more presidential involvement in issues that affect its members.

US Immigration Law: Tearing Apart Life, Love & Home
Steve Ralls \ Huffington Post
On Sunday, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans - and their allies - will travel from nearly every corner of the country to converge on Capitol Hill and call on lawmakers to support full equality for the LGBT community. The event, named the National Equality March, comes on the heels of growing calls for the federal government to pick up the pace on civil rights legislation, such as recognition for LGBT couples, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and finally passing an inclusive employment non-discrimination act. Organizers say they are expecting tens of thousands - if not hundreds of thousands - of participants for the event.

Even Today, Coming Out is Still a Trial for Many
Danielle Kennedy \ Staff Writer \ The Retriever Weekly
It’s no secret that coming out is difficult. Obviously, some are prejudiced against people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Our own leaders don’t support gay marriage-President Obama, often called the most liberal member of the Senate during the 2008 presidential campaign, has expressed in interviews his belief in the sanctity of traditional marriage.

Bullied for Being ‘Gay’
The New York Times
Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of The Trevor Project recently took readers’ questions about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. Several readers had questions about young people who were bullied for either being gay or being perceived as gay.
A Youngster Teased for Being ‘Girlie’

Action Alert: Tell Obama: Stop the Democratic Senators Kneecapping Health Care Reform
Dear Victoria,
On Tuesday, a number of Democrats in the Senate Finance Committee joined all of the Republicans in voting down three public option amendments.

Real Reform for the PATRIOT Act?
Julian Sanchez \ The American Prospect
George W. Bush may have left D.C., but the vast surveillance machine he spent eight years building via the PATRIOT Act hums merrily along. Whether or not that continues could well be determined today, as the Senate Judiciary Committee meets to mark up legislation renewing a series of PATRIOT Act powers due to expire at the end of the year. Barack Obama’s Justice Department has said it’s open to “modifications” of the expiring powers — but some Democratic legislators see an opportunity to revisit and revise the whole architecture of post-9/11 spying law.

The Human Cost of War: The Images the Corporate Media Dosen’t Want You to See
Liliana Segura, AlterNet
This past weekend, AlterNet had the privilege of hosting a screening of Robert Greenwald’s important new documentary, Rethink Afghanistan, in New York City. It was just one of several screenings to kick off an impressive nationwide campaign by Brave New Films to spread a crucial message about the war in Afghanistan: This is not the “good war” as we have been told by so many for so long. This is a losing battle, and it is costing us dearly: in billions of dollars, in thousands of lives, and in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Secret Plan to Ditch the US Dollar’s Dominance Uncovered
Robert Fisk, Independent UK \ AlterNet
In the most profound financial change in recent Middle East history, Gulf Arabs are planning – along with China, Russia, Japan and France – to end dollar dealings for oil, moving instead to a basket of currencies including the Japanese yen and Chinese yuan, the euro, gold and a new, unified currency planned for nations in the Gulf Co-operation Council, including Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Qatar.


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