Thursday, October 29, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - October 29, 2009

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New York Times
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Doctor Wrote About Kissing Anna Nicole in Diary
One of Anna Nicole Smith's doctors worried about his own drug use and his professionalism after he kissed her and prescribed her highly addictive drugs, according to his diary, which was read in court.

Letter: Gay Marriage Lawsuit
To the Editor:
Re “In Battle Over Gay Marriage, Timing May Be Key,” by Adam Liptak (Sidebar column, Oct. 27):
The pivotal exchange in one of the lawsuits now challenging the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage shows that the opponents of gay people’s freedom to marry still can’t give a real answer to the key question posed in yet another court by yet another judge: “What would be the harm of permitting gay men and lesbians to marry?” The anti-gay forces’ lawyer, Charles J. Cooper, replied, “Your Honor, my answer is: I don’t know ... I don’t know.” Mr. Cooper eventually told the judge that the government should be able to exclude gay couples from marriage in order “to channel naturally procreative sexual activity between men and women into stable, enduring unions.” But even Justice Antonin Scalia, no friend of equality for gay people, wrote in Lawrence v. Texas: “What justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising ‘[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution’? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry.” The reason smart lawyers like Mr. Cooper don’t give a better answer to why marriage discrimination should be allowed to continue is that there isn’t one.
Evan Wolfson
Executive Director
Freedom to Marry
New York, Oct. 27, 2009

More Schools, Not Troops
A compelling argument against more troops in Afghanistan rests on this trade-off: For the cost of an additional soldier stationed in Afghanistan for a year, nearly 20 schools could be built.

Washington Post
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Reform group seeks rewrite of Calif. Constitution
California's government is so broken it can be fixed only by rewriting the state constitution, a coalition of business and civic groups said Wednesday as it filed language for two ballot initiatives that would begin the process.

Struggles in both parties pit ideals vs. realities
By Dan Balz
Is politics about standing for principles and fighting for them? Or is politics about winning elections and passing legislation?

The Democrats' dodge on voting rights
D.C. representation in Congress isn't being seen as the civil rights issue it is.
"DO THE DEMOCRATS have the political will to get this done?" That's the question recently posed by an advocate for voting rights for the District. If action is the measure, the answer -- sadly -- is no. Despite Democratic control of the White House and Congress, the 600,000-odd residents of the nation's capital are no closer to getting their rights as American citizens.

McDonnell critics question ideology
'My goal was . . . the right answer under the law'
By Anita Kumar
In one of his first moves after being sworn in as Virginia's attorney general in 2006, Republican Robert F. McDonnell advised the newly elected Democratic governor that he had overstepped his constitutional authority when he outlawed bias against gays in state hiring.

Help gays who aren't hurt
By Andrew Kessinger
When President Obama signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law Wednesday, human rights advocates across the country won a decent, but insufficient, victory.

Cases against gay marriage don't hold up
By Robert McCartney
As I listened to opponents of same-sex marriage testify at two public hearings Monday in the District, I waited for a persuasive argument about how society would suffer by letting two men or two women say "I do." I didn't hear one.

Shannon criticizes Cuccinelli remarks on policies toward gays
Democratic candidate ratchets up fight in attorney general race
By Amy Gardner
Stephen C. Shannon, the Democratic candidate for attorney general in Virginia, stepped up his effort to paint Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli II as an extremist Wednesday, accusing him of planning to discriminate against gay men and lesbians who work in the Office of the Attorney General.

A marriage equality bill that respects religious objectors
By Robin Fretwell Wilson
Lexington, Va.
The writer is a professor of law at Washington & Lee University and co-editor of the book "Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts."
The hearings are beginning on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the District, and the D.C. Council is on track to vote on a final bill by December. Will it take the steps necessary to protect religious people and groups from any unintended consequences from this act?

Wall Street Journal
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Heard On The Field: Are Incentives Rushing Injured Players Back?
In Wednesday's congressional hearings on NFL brain injuries, Rep. Melvin Watt of North Carolina questioned whether performance incentives in player contracts were encouraging them to return to the field before they had fully recovered from traumatic brain injuries. Gay Culverhouse, former president of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, dismissed the notion, saying "maverick" owners would never consider changing the way contracts are structured.
--Reed Albergotti

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Jets quarterback Sanchez doggin' it for a cause
CHIEFS: RB Larry Johnson, who made two gay slurs within a 24-hour period and has a history of poor behavior both on and off the field, was given what amounts to a one-game suspension by the team. Missing one game check will cost the troubled former Pro Bowler about $213,000.,0,63446.story/

Steve Rothaus
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Equality Florida: Sign letter to ‘stop murder music’
From Nadine Smith at Equality Florida:
It's been just one month since five Florida performances were announced for Buju Banton. Since then, three venues have canceled the notorious singer whose lyrics call for the torture and murder of gay people.

Video | U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks on Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Program
From U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen:

Craig Stevens, Rachel Robinson, Steve Rothaus among celebrity costume judges at SAVE Dade’s Asylum
News release from SAVE DADE:
After the world outbreak of the ZMBV (commonly known as the “zombie virus”) everybody is seeking for safeguard, even famous people. That is why a group of South Florida celebrities and personalities are checking into the only place in Miami where they can find shelter, and the most fun, wicked and scariest experience they could ever imagine: “Asylum”.

Miami Herald
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Banton urges hate
I congratulate the James L. Knight Center and the city of Miami for their bold choice in featuring the music of reggae sensation Buju Banton this week.
What better way to highlight the cultural diversity of a great city than to invite a man who sings about the killing and acid torture of gays?
Banton's music should never be heard in Miami, let alone in the United States.
Cities as varied as Richmond, Va., Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Cincinnati have taken the high road and canceled his concerts.
His song Boom Bye Bye calls for the mutilation and killing of gays. Banton himself was charged with a gay beating in 2004. He was acquitted.
Why would the administrators of the Knight Center showcase a man who sings such hateful lyrics? Was it just for the money -- or could it be that news of the recent attacks of two gay men in Fort Lauderdale -- one of which resulted in a man's death -- never reached them?
STEFAN RUSSELL, Fort Lauderdale

Freedom is not same as justice
There have been various attempts over the decades to bury moral philosophy -- to dismiss convictions about right and wrong as cultural prejudices, or secretions of the brain, or matters so personal they shouldn't even affect our private lives.

South Florida Blade
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More than 1,000 on hand in Central Jersey to protest church's message of hate
More than 1,000 protesters stood in the rain this morning outside New Brunswick High School and Rutgers Hillel to voice opposition to the message of six members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church.

Two years after son's death, mother finds solace in hate crimes bill
For Elke Kennedy, the significance of Wednesday's hate crimes legislation can be traced to a single punch outside a bar on a drunken night two years ago.

More held over homophobic attack
Six more youths have been arrested over a homophobic attack on a trainee police officer in Liverpool city centre.
James Parkes, 22, was assaulted by up to 20 people outside Superstar Boudoir in Stanley Street on Sunday night.

The Advocate
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Coming Soon: “Sugar Daddy Ken” Doll
By Christopher Mangum
Mattel has announced a new addition to the company’s Barbie Gold Label Collection, Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken.

Coach: Rugby Team Put Looks Above Talent
The former coach for the Stade Francais rugby team says the organization prized players for their good-looks for its calendar above athletic ability.
By Julie Bolcer
Ewen McKenzie, a former coach for Stade Francais, accused the popular French rugby team of focusing on acquiring good-looking players for its annual calendar at the expense of athletic talent.

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PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama delivers on hate crimes
By The Associated Press
For this accomplishment, President Barack Obama sought maximum publicity. There was a bill signing at a wooden desk set up in the East Room, with the media invited, followed by a reception for joyous, champagne-sipping supporters and an address to them, again, from the East Room.

Obama’s White House remarks on hate crimes
By 365gay Newswire
East Room
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much, everybody. Thank you so much, and welcome to the White House.

Pink News - UK
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Former gay charity head jailed for sex attack on baby
The former head of a Scottish LGBT youth charity has been sentenced to serve at least 13 years in prison. James Rennie, 38, was convicted in May of sexually assaulting three-month-old baby. The abuse continued for four years.

Gay men could be subject to five-year ban on blood donation
A public meeting yesterday discussed the possibility of a five-year deferral for gay and bisexual men donating blood, rather than a lifetime ban.

Ian McKellen on being a second-class citizen
Gay actor Ian McKellen has spoken about the legacy of being a "second-class citizen", saying he had never dreamed of being able to marry and have children.

Mother of Matthew Shepard welcomes US hate crimes bill
Judy Shepard, the mother of murdered gay teenager Matthew Shepard, has given her thanks to Congress and President Barack Obama for passing a new law to protect gays against hate crime.

Bisexual workers 'excluded by lesbian and gay colleagues'
Stonewall research has suggested that bisexual people face a number of challenges in being open about their sexuality at work, such as feeling excluded by gay and lesbian colleagues.

Two days left to sign petition on religious civil partnerships
There are only two days remaining to sign a petition to call for civil partnerships to be held in religious buildings.

Europe minister Chris Byrant mentions gay rights in death penalty speech
Chris Bryant, the openly gay minister for Europe, mentioned executions of gay people in Iran while arguing for the need to press other countries to abolish the death penalty.

Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black barred from speaking at Michigan college
Dustin Lance Black has been barred from appearing at a college discussion on sexuality because college officials felt he would be too divisive.

Cher's son Chaz Bono to give TV interview
Chaz Bono, the son of singer Cher, is to give his first television interview since announcing his plans to become a man.

Daily Queer News
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The Week of Initiative is just around the corner!
Fellow Organizers,
NOVEMBER 1ST- 8TH is the Week of Initiative!
Fresh from the massive success of the National Equality March, organizers of the newly formed Equality Across America have been inspired to take action locally. In some cities, CDATs have already mobilized since the Oct. 11, 2009 march to fight a gay bashing (Queens, NY), to challenge transgender exclusion from a local bar (Chicago, IL) and to protest outside a fundraiser for President Obama (Boston, MA) demanding that he act on his promises.In the spirit of building on this momentum, Equality Across America has called for a Week of Initiative (WOI), Nov. 1-8, 2009. Given the varying strengths and weaknesses of each chapter, known as Congressional District Action Teams (CDATs, though each group has chosen its own name), the aim of the WOI is for each local chapter to take whatever kind of action that week that would amount to a step forward toward developing a cohesive team of grassroots activists and new leaders.

NE: PFLAG Omaha Newsletter for November
Here is a link to PFLAG Omaha’s Nov. Newsletter.

Obama Is Keeping Bush’s Worst “War on Terror” Policies Firmly in Place
Julian Sanchez \ The Nation \ AlterNet
We know the rules by now, the strange conventions and stilted Kabuki scripts that govern our cartoon facsimile of a national security debate. The Obama administration makes vague, reassuring noises about constraining executive power and protecting civil liberties, but then merrily adopts whatever appalling policy George W. Bush put in place. Conservatives hit the panic button on the right-wing noise machine anyway, keeping the delicate ecosystem in balance by creating the false impression that something has changed. We’ve watched the formula play out with Guantánamo Bay, torture prosecutions and the invocation of “state secrets.” We appear to be on the verge of doing the same with national security surveillance.

Resisting Oppression: Toscano Speaks On Ex-Gay Movement
Katie Marinello \ Trinity Tripod
On Tuesday, Oct. 20, Peterson Toscano visited Trinity College to give a special presentation called “Homo No Mo’: Gender, Orientation and the Ex-Gay Movement.” A self-proclaimed “survivor” of the movement, Toscano spent 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents trying to suppress his sexual orientation through counseling, 12-step programs, religious devotions (which he called “giving my soul and genitals to Jesus”), and even three exorcisms. In the end, he failed to become a committed ex-gay, which he told the audience was “the biggest failure of my life so far.” Since giving up on the ex-gay movement, he has achieved great success traveling the world and presenting his one-act plays, including Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo’ Halfway House - How I survived the Ex-Gay Movement and Queer 101:?Now I Know My gAy,B,Cs.

The Battleground Basics
Bil Browning \ Bilerico Project
On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009- less than a week away- there will be critical votes on on LGBT equality in three states: Washington State, Maine, and Michigan. With so much attention devoted to other issues in the political realm, bloggers have banded together with the Courage Campaign to ensure we don’t forget the ones with a firm deadline next week.

How Could It Be Against the Law to Spread Public Information?
Charles Mostoller \ AlterNet
The hazmat team rushed into Elliot Madison’s home in Queens, N.Y., and headed straight for the kombucha tea brewing in a corner, assuming that the outspoken anarchist was concocting a chemical weapon.

Pot is More Mainstream Than Ever, So Why is Legalization Still Taboo?
Steven Wishnia \ AlterNet
More members of Congress have publicly questioned whether President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii than have endorsed legalizing marijuana.


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