Saturday, October 10, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - October 09, 2009

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New York Times
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Sarkozy Popularity Dips Amid Minister Sex Scandal
PARIS (AP) -- The sex scandal surrounding France's culture minister has come at a bad time for President Nicolas Sarkozy whose popularity among voters took another dip, according to a poll published Friday.

French Culture Minister Refuses to Resign Over Paid Sex Trysts
By Katrin Bernhold
The culture minister is facing growing calls for his ouster stemming from a 2005 autobiography in which he admitted to paying for sex with “young boys” in Thailand.

House Votes to Expand Hate Crimes Definition
The House voted Thursday to expand the definition of violent federal hate crimes to those committed because of a victim’s sexual orientation, a step that would extend new protection to lesbian, gay and transgender people.

Washington Post
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Women more likely to be expelled under 'don't ask'
Pentagon officials won't speculate why women in uniform are more likely to be discharged from the armed services under "don't ask, don't tell," but critics of the policy say that new figures reflect deep-seated sexism in the armed forces.

Polanski's Character Witness
This might be too much even for Gallic sensibilities: "President Sarkozy's new Culture Minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, was struggling to save his name and possibly his job last night amid a storm over his past accounts of paying 'boys' for sex," the Times of London reports.
"The nephew of the late President Mitterrand, who is openly gay, was thrown on the defensive after opposition politicians homed in on a memoir in which he described his delight in visiting brothels in Bangkok. 'I got into the habit of paying for boys. . . . The profusion of young, very attractive and immediately available boys put me in a state of desire that I no longer needed to restrain or hide,' he wrote.

Mr. Obama's Duty
President Obama's speech Saturday to the Human Rights Campaign will undoubtedly be well written, well delivered and inspirational. But if promises and platitudes are all he has to offer, he can expect a cool reception. Many of the thousands expected to march on Washington this Sunday voted for Mr. Obama because he vowed action on specific policies that impact the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and its supporters.
Mr. Obama's vision for the country presumably does not include the Defense of Marriage Act or the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. It is time for him to make that vision a reality. Promises are no longer enough.

Mother Bears Scars Of Grief in Limelight She Never Wanted
By Petula Dvorak
She makes herself do it. Judy Shepard doesn't enjoy talking in front of people, living a public life, giving speeches.

Film Fests: You Want It, They've Got It
By Lavanya Ramanathan
This month, film festivals are as ubiquitous as pumpkin patches and haunted houses. The Arabian Sights fest imports award-winning features from Egypt, Iraq and beyond. If it's scares you seek, Spooky Movie serves up carnage with a side of laughs. Noir City DC will thrill the classic cinema lover, Reel Affirmations will spotlight more than 100 films with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender themes, and the DC Labor FilmFest, with movies about work and workers, fetes the 10th anniversary of "Office Space." Grab the popcorn, here's the rundown:

Who Will Be the Duke of URL?
By Al Kamen
Contest time! An item Wednesday noted that the Justice Department had rebranded its Web site and gone to a more logical, user-friendly address -- instead of

A Right to Have and to Hold
The D.C. Council takes a major step toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
BY INTRODUCING the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, D.C. Council member David A. Catania (I-At-Large) has started the District's long-awaited effort to permit same-sex marriage. The bill is short on pages, but its impact on the lives of gays and lesbians, and on the advancement of civil rights generally, is immeasurable.
Think of this as part two of a considered strategy by Mr. Catania and the council. The first was passage of a law earlier this year that recognized same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions. An effort to nullify the measure before it took effect in the spring failed when the Board of Elections and Ethics ruled that a referendum on the subject could not go on the ballot because it violated the District human rights law's prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation. A similar fate most likely awaits a proposed ballot initiative that would "provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized" in the District. As D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles wrote to the board this week, "asking voters to distinguish between same-sex and opposite-sex marriages, which are legally indistinguishable in the jurisdictions where the marriages were performed, authorizes, or has the effect of authorizing, discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation."
Ten of 13 council members, including Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray, are sponsoring the bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District. The legislation would honor the Constitution's guarantee of religious freedom by stating that no member of the clergy or official of a nonprofit religious group would be required to solemnize any marriage in violation of his or her religious beliefs. The District's domestic partnership registry would sunset on Jan. 1, 2011. Those who are currently domestic partners would be able to apply for and receive a marriage license free of charge.
A public hearing will be held on Oct. 26. A vote of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary is expected next month, with a full vote of the council possible by mid-December. Then, as with all District laws, Congress has to review the same-sex marriage statute. If we're to believe the Capitol Hill chatter, Congress is unlikely to thwart its implementation. We hope that proves true. Same-sex marriage is legal in four states -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. New Hampshire's law goes into effect Jan. 10. If the District's elected representatives want it to join their ranks, as it should, Congress should not interfere.

Rights Still to Be Won
By Julian Bond
The civil rights struggle for legal equality in America today is no less necessary, nor worthy, than a similar struggle fought by blacks several decades ago. Now, as then, Americans are denied rights simply because of who they are. When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans gather in Washington on Sunday for the National Equality March, they will invoke the unfulfilled promise in our Constitution that they, too, are due equal protection under the law.

For Gay Marriage, the Maine Event Is Low-Key
By Jason Horowitz
Canvassers are knocking on the doors of saltbox houses and slogans are pinned to yellow slickers. But outside the Pine Tree State, next month's referendum on gay marriage is the vote that dare not speak its name.

Saved by the Blog
Divorced and unemployed, Jayne Lytel created sexy, sharp-witted 'Ann Powers.' Now it looks as if her alter ego is here to stay.
By Ylan Q. Mui
Rocker Adam Lambert is getting a lot of press for losing the top job on American Idol. He's featured on the current cover of US Weekly above a headline that blares, "I'm Gay." Thank you US for pointing that out, but I think we all knew that given Adam paints his nails black, and that's a dead giveaway. I wish everyone else got as much attention for losing their jobs as Adam. Our headline would read, "I'm F--'d." ... To honor us common folk, US should start a new publication, Dumped Weekly, at least its subscriber base is growing compared to other publications in trouble.

Wall Street Journal
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A Search for a Surrogate Leads to India
On their third trip to India, Rhonda and Gerry Wile finally heard a sound they thought they might never hear: the heartbeat of their unborn child. Four nerve-racking months after that joyful ultrasound moment, their son arrived on Aug. 26 at 10:22 p.m. weighing 2.7 kilograms and sporting wisps of dark hair. They named him Blaze Xennon Wile, the middle name chosen from a book of baby names that gave its meaning as "from a foreign or faraway land."

WIRE WATCH: Further Deliberations on Afghanistan, Push for Financial Protection Agency, Obama Addresses Gay Group, Clinton Heads to Moscow
By Susan Davis
Third Verse, Same as the First: President Barack Obama will hold another meeting today with his national security team to discuss strategies for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Defense Secretary Robert Gates forwarded a request for as many as 40,000 more troops to the president on Wednesday.

House Expands Hate Crimes Law To Protect Gay Victims
By Nathan Koppel
Congress appears on the verge of some major law making, as the House yesterday passed legislation that would make it a crime to assault people because of their sexual orientation.

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Gay-rights pioneer's nephew to lead Orlando pride parade
By Jeff Kunerth
When he was 9 and did not yet know he was gay, Stuart Milk was given a book by his uncle, who inscribed it with a Native American saying: "You are the medicine the world needs. It's your individuality that the world needs and that is very powerful medicine." The book was a present. The message was a gift that lived on long after his uncle, Harvey Milk, was killed in 1978.,0,2534235.story/

Orlando gay rights group to hear from Obama official
The Associated Press
A day before President Obama is set to address the nation's largest gay rights group, the highest-ranking openly gay official in his administration is talking to advocates of workplace equality in Orlando.,0,2408888.story/

Steve Rothaus
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Nineteen-year-old Levi Johnston, father of Sarah Palin's grandson, to pose for Playgirl
By RACHEL D'ORO, Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Levi Johnston is going for the ultimate exposure - the 19-year-old father of Sarah Palin's grandchild will pose nude for Playgirl, his attorney said Wednesday.

TGIF -- Thank GLAAD It’s Friday -- begins Oct. 23 at Eden Roc hotel in Miami Beach
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), launches its 2009 “Thank GLAAD It’s Friday” (TGIF) series in South Florida, starting October 23rd at the magnificent Eden Roc Resort & Spa in Miami. The TGIF program, which takes place in premier venues across the country, is a vital component in GLAAD’s efforts to change cultural attitudes and build the public support necessary to achieve full and lasting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals. As expected of Eden Roc and Miami, there will be celebrities, fashionistas, luxury raffle prizes, complimentary cocktails from sponsor Absolut Vodka and delectable Flori-bean cuisine from the resort’s extraordinary outdoor restaurant. Equally important, TGIF Series Pass holders will receive a one-year membership to GLAAD, and hear updates on how GLAAD is working to amplify the voice of the LGBT community and raise awareness of LGBT issues. For more information, you can visit

Pet Project for Pets launches Craig Cohen Animal Advocacy Project (CCAAP) in memory of slain Oakland Park man
Deidra Bergmann of Pet Project for Pets sent me this very sad final photo of Craig Cohen and his beloved pet dog, Eddie. . . . .
A candlelight vigil will be held for Cohen on Oct. 15 in Wilton Manors. Here’s a message from Bergmann:
Dear Friends & Businesses
As a collaborative action, the Pet Project for Pets/CCAAP and Gay American Heroes along with other local groups and business are planning a candle light vigil and walk in Wilton Manors on Thursday Oct 15, 2009 starting 6:30pm. We will meet in the parking lot of Georgie’s Alibi 2266 Wilton Drive. Wilton Manors, FL 33305 There will be a short presentation with Craig’s family, co-workers and community leaders, followed by candle light walk down Wilton Dr, starting in Georgie’s Alibi parking lot. We invite you to join us.

Screen Actors Guild members, staff support National Equality March in Washington, D.C.
News release from Screen Actors Guild:
Los Angeles (October 9, 2009) - Screen Actors Guild announced today that members of the Guild, SAG's National LGBT Actors Committee, and SAG staff will join grassroots activists from around the country in Washington D.C. October 10-11, 2009. Thousands of fair-minded Americans are expected to come together in our nation's capital this weekend for Equality Across America's National Equality March.

Pew Research poll: Majority continues to support civil unions, most still oppose same-sex marriage
News release from Pew Research Center (scroll to bottom to read full report):
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report based on a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that a clear majority of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions. This finding marks a slight uptick in support for civil unions and appears to continue a significant long-term trend since the question was first asked in Pew Research Center surveys in 2003, when support for civil unions stood at 45%.

Miami Herald
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Big-name Dems are no-shows to race for NYC mayor
Prominent Democrats have been noticeably absent in this year's New York City mayoral race, with no real interest in trying to compete with Michael Bloomberg.
A Democrat is struggling to unseat the mayor of the nation's largest city, but top party leaders are staying on the sidelines.

Rights still to be won
The civil rights struggle for legal equality in America today is no less necessary, nor worthy, than a similar struggle fought by blacks several decades ago. Now, as then, Americans are denied rights simply because of who they are. When lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans gather in Washington Sunday for the National Equality March, they will invoke the unfulfilled promise in our Constitution that they, too, are due equal protection under the law.

South Florida Blade
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American Veterans for Equal Rights
Convention Oct. 14-18 in FTL
On Oct. 14-18, the national convention for AVER, the American Veterans for Equal Rights, will take place in Fort Lauderdale. AVER is a non-profit, national organization of active members and veterans of our armed forces who work to bring full and equal rights and treatment to all present and past members of the U.S. military regardless of sexual orientation.

Broward House fights for city funding
Secures $4.5 million contract for services from Fort Lauderdale
One of South Florida’s largest HIV/AIDS service providers has secured a $4.5 million contract from the city of Fort Lauderdale after a long-fought process that brought out a lot of anger, emotions and success stories from the community.

WilMa Arts Walk under new management
Stores and galleries plan activities for events
411 Magazine, Copy This and Trapezoid will together be sponsoring a new series of arts and crafts events along The Drive they are tentatively calling “Arts Walk.” These are planned replace what were known as the Island City Art Walk.

No gay reggae in the MIA
GLBT activists protest concert
In 1988 as a 15-year-old up and coming reggae singer, Buju Banton wrote a song titled, “Boom Boom Bye,” in which his lyrics told gay men he would like to, “burn him up bad like an old tire wheel,” or shoot them with an Uzi or an automatic weapon.

We march because ...
Congress has been negligent in its responsibility to enact laws that would end anti-gay bias
By Robert York & Ilona Kadar
ON SUNDAY OCT. 11, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from across the United States will be joined by family and friends in Washington D.C., for the National Equality March.

The Advocate
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Montana Court Stands up for Gays
By Neal Broverman
The Montana supreme court has ruled in favor of a lesbian who sued her former partner for parental rights of the children they helped raise together. The 6-1 decision came down Tuesday granting parental rights to Michelle Kulstad of Missoula, who helped raise a boy and a girl with Barbara Maniaci during their 10-year relationship. After the relationship ended in 2006, Kulstad sued to maintain parental rights to the children. Maniaci, the legally adoptive parent of the children, is now married to a man.

These Precious Things
Monster’s Ball producer Lee Daniels mines the shadows for cinematic gems in his second directorial effort, and even Oprah Winfrey is a fan.
By Lisa Kennedy
“Do you think I can direct happy movies?” asks filmmaker Lee Daniels. It’s a heartfelt question for this master of painful, redemptive cinema.

Louisiana Fights to Keep Gay Dads off Birth Certificate
By Andrew Harmon
Two gay dads who successfully sued the state of Louisiana for refusing to put both fathers' names on the birth certificate of their adopted son are now fighting an appeal by the state to overturn the ruling.

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Bisexual visibility on National Coming Out Day
By 365gay Newswire
The Bisexual Index, a network of activists, will honor National Coming out Day with badges that can be posted on blogs and social networking sites.

House passes defense authorization report, including hate crimes
By 365gay Newswire
From an HRC press release: The U.S. House of Representatives passed the conference report for the FY 2010 Defense Authorization bill by a vote of 281 to 146, bringing critical hate crimes protections closer to becoming law than ever before.

FDA panel backs expanded use of Pfizer HIV drug
By The Associated Press
Federal health advisers said Thursday that Pfizer’s HIV drug Selzentry should be approved for use by patients who have not already taken other drugs to combat the virus.

Letter from Atlanta: What’s happened since the gay bar raid
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
In the month since the Sept. 10 raid on the Eagle Atlanta, it is now clear the raid was not only homophobic in nature, but a violation of patrons’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Over 20 formal complaints have been filed with the Atlanta Police Department and an equal number are expected to be filed with the Atlanta Citizen Review Board over the next weeks.

Pink News - UK
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Turkey blocks access to gay websites
Turkey has blocked two of its largest LGBT websites. Users of sites such as and are finding that instead of regular homepages, they are seeing messages stating that the site has been blocked by the Telecommunication Directorate.

Student creates new gay gaming survey
Two years after the first 'Gaymer' survey, a student has released a new version to find out more about what lesbian, gay and bisexual players want from their video games.

US House approves Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill
The US House has agreed to approve a bill that would include LGBT people in federal hate crime laws. It is named the Matthew Shepard Bill after the murdered gay teenager.

Gay hand-holding campaigner wins award at Downing Street
The founder of A Day in Hand, which encourages LGBT people to hold hands in public, has been honoured with an award at Downing Street.

Stephen Fry's drama Kingdom axed by ITV
Gay broadcaster Stephen Fry has had his ITV drama series axed. Kingdom, which is screened on Sunday evenings, was dropped as part of cost-cutting measures. The last series ended in July.

Daily Queer News
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CA: Action Alert: Urge Governor to sign LGBT bills
With only six days left to sign or veto legislation, extreme right-wing groups have launched a new round of attacks on legislation to protect LGBT Californians.
Randy Thomasson and his group, Campaign for Children and Families, just sent out an urgent appeal to their members seeking funds to make nearly a quarter million phone calls. In their words, “it’s now or never.”

ACTION ALERT: Ask Your Representative to Cosponsor the Safe Schools Improvement Act, H.R. 2262
The Safe Schools Improvement Act currently has 80 bipartisan
cosponsors in the House of Representatives. HR 2262 will amend the
Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which supports
programs that prevent violence and drug use in and around schools in
order to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that
supports student academic achievement.

IL: Activist Score Victory as Police Powers Removed from Anti-Gay Cop
For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 8, 2009
For Information: Andy Thayer, co-founder, Gay Liberation Network, 773.209.1187,
Activists Score Victory
As Police Powers Removed
From Anti-Gay Cop
CHICAGO — Late yesterday activists with the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) learned that Town Hall District Police Officer Richard Fiorito had been placed on desk duty pending the resolution of numerous charges against him.

A Step in Faith
Brent Childers | Newsweek Web Exclusive \ Newsweek
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans are a diverse, extraordinary, resilient, and passionate group of forgiving men and women. I wouldn’t be standing beside them demanding full and equal treatment under the law and speaking out against the harm caused by religion-based bigotry at the National Equality March in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 11 if I thought they were not created in God’s image the same as myself, same as my family, as we all are—we are all God’s children.

Protests Against Human Rights Coalition and National Equality March: Homosexual Marriage, Sin, and Redemption
“The Homosexual Marriage Movement and the Child-killing movement are the ‘Cultural Axis of Evil,’ and must be defeated. President Obama is again showing his contempt for his Christianity.” Randall Terry, Director, Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /Christian Newswire/ — The following is submitted by Randall Terry, Director, Operation Rescue Insurrecta Nex.

TWO’s Wayne Besen Appears On FOX’s O’Reilly Factor
Wayne Besen \ Truth Wins Out
Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen appeared on FOX news channel’s O’Reilly Factor to discuss Obama’s upcoming Big Gay Speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner. See Video

US Census Bureau Reaches Out to GLBT Community
Rick Braatz \ Staff Reporter \ Gay & Lesbian Times
Published Thursday, 08-Oct-2009 in issue 1137
Representatives for the U.S. Census Bureau hosted an outreach forum to inform the GLBT community about its upcoming 2010 count, last Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the San Diego LGBT Community Center.

Our Single Demand
Gay & Lesbian Times
As President Barack Obama plans to address the Human Rights Campaign fundraising dinner gala Saturday in an effort to appease an uneasy Democratic constituency frustrated with the White House’s slow pace, we urge him to listen to the thousands of men and women who will be marching and rallying just outside his doorstep.

Three LGBTTIQQ25 Groups Join Forces to Shatter Communication and Cultural Barriers
Three LGBTTIQQ2S groups join forces to shatter communication and cultural barriers
(October 8, 2009 TORONTO) The rainbow flag is a coveted symbol that celebrates diversity, but for many people who are Deaf, deaf, deafened or hard of hearing and for new Canadians, cultural and communication barriers within the LGBTTIQQ2S community can be remarkably isolating.


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