Monday, November 02, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - November 02, 2009

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New York Times
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Handful of Elections Shed Light on US Politics
Most Americans won't vote Tuesday.
Still, a handful of elections in a few states will give hints about this country's state of mind, provide lessons for both Republicans and Democrats, and shed light on answers to a few important questions a year before pivotal 2010 midterm contests.

Off-Year Races May Provide Insight
One year after the election of President Obama, a handful of off-year political contests — including governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia and a Congressional race in upstate New York — offer some clues about how Americans are viewing Mr. Obama, as well as an early measure of the landscape for next year’s midterm elections.

Upstate Republican, Pushed Out, Backs Democratic Rival
An intensely watched Congressional race here that has become a battleground over the future of the Republican Party took another surprising turn on Sunday, when the Republican candidate — who ended her campaign a day earlier — announced that she was endorsing the Democrat.

Immigrant Jail Tests U.S. View of Legal Access
A startling petition arrived at the New York City Bar Association in October 2008, signed by 100 men, all locked up without criminal charges in the middle of Manhattan. In vivid if flawed English, it described cramped, filthy quarters where dire medical needs were ignored and hungry prisoners were put to work for $1 a day.

Six Tests for Equality and Fairness
Political battles this fall in six different parts of the country could have a profound impact on whether the United States will extend the promise of equal rights to those who are not allowed to marry simply because they are the same sex as their partner.

To the Editor:
There is no question the troubled economy has resulted in a growing number of homeless youth. This year alone the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center has experienced a 30 percent increase in the number of young people turning to us for housing, food, clothing and other support services. But the article doesn’t mention a startling fact — a hugely disproportionate number of homeless youth identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. According to a 2006 report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, 20 percent to 40 percent of homeless young people are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In addition to the challenges all homeless youths experience, these youths often have the additional burden of rejection not only from their family, but also from society, simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Curtis F. Shepard
Children, Youth and Family Services
L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center
Los Angeles, Oct. 26, 2009

Washington Post
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What's at stake in Tuesday's elections
By The Associated Press
-- What's at stake in Tuesday's election: GOVERNORS: Voters in two states, New Jersey and Virginia, are electing governors. The New Jersey race has centered on the economy and the state's highest-in-the-nation taxes. In Virginia, polls are predicting a Republican victory, which would be a setback in a state where Democrats last year handed the GOP its first presidential defeat in 44 years.

Maine to vote on gay marriage
By Karl Vick
Maine residents will decide Tuesday whether to repeal a law allowing same-sex marriage, an effort that has succeeded in every state where it has been put before voters.

Wall Street Journal
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Democrats' Quiet Changes Pile Up
While President Barack Obama still faces stiff headwinds on a range of major legislation on his agenda, he has been signing into law a slew of smaller initiatives that had gathered dust on the Democratic wish list for years.

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Students protest for gay rights in the military
Phillip Valys Forum Publishing Group
Armed with a busy Weston intersection as their soapbox, dozens of high school students last month waved the rainbow flags to boost momentum for gay rights in the U.S. Military. Teenagers from nearby Cypress Bay High and other Gay Straight Alliances wielded picket signs adorned with messages like "Uncle Sam Wears a Rainbow Hat," all part of an effort to raise awareness for the repeal of the armed forces' "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.,0,5192696.story/

Gay athletes don't fit in what is perceived as a homophobic NFL
MCT News Service
Athletes have heard the ugly words on practice fields for most of their lives. They hear them in the streets and at neighborhood hangouts. But when Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson used an anti gay slur on his Twitter account and in the locker room this week, he struck a nerve that makes professional sports leagues wince.,0,2426826.story/

The Advocate
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Kalamazoo Ordinance Foes Target Transwomen
By Julie Bolcer
Opponents of the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance on the ballot Tuesday in Kalamazoo, Michigan launched an ad singling out members of the transgender community to claim that the measure, Ordinance 1856, would allow men to use women’s restrooms.

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San Francisco mayor ends run for Calif. governor
By The Associated Press
Unable to move beyond his ultra-liberal image and far behind his rival in fundraising, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom dropped his bid to become governor, leaving former governor Jerry Brown as the only Democrat in the race to succeed Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger next year.

Pink News - UK
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Christian registrar takes civil partnerships complaint to court of appeal
Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to perform civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples, will argue her case in the court of appeal today.

1,500 turn out in Liverpool to support vigil for gay policeman
More than 1,500 people attended a vigil last night in Liverpool for James Parkes, the gay trainee policeman who was attacked by a homophobic gang last weekend.

Daily Queer News
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Washington Voters Get Final Say on Gay Partnerships
RACHEL LA CORTE \ Associated Press Writer \ Seattle Times
OLYMPIA, Wash. —Washington state’s slow-but-steady approach to increasing rights and benefits to gay and lesbian couples hit its first snag just as the three-year process appeared to be complete. After lawmakers passed the state’s first domestic partnership bill in 2007, and then expanded it a year later, they completed the package with the so-called “everything but marriage” bill that was signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire earlier this year. On Tuesday, voters get the final say on whether they think lawmakers overstepped their bounds.

ND: Bishop Talks with Pastors about National Church Policy on Gays
Associated Press \ KXNET
Latest North Dakota news, sports, business and entertainment: LutheranS ND ELCA churches struggling with clergy policy Bismarck, N.D. (AP) The western North Dakota bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says he’s talked with pastors about a national church policy that allows gay and lesbian clergy.

Using the Criminal Justice System to Reward Political Support
National Policy Institute
At the end of the day, if someone kills you you’re just as dead regardless if it was an act of passion, greed, revenge or hate. Perhaps there are some who hate me for what I write in my blog. If they kill me for it, too bad. Hatred motivated by political speech is not covered under federal hate crimes protection. Should it be? My 1st Amendment rights were violated. See, this is the problem with hate crime legislation. Instead of just dealing with all criminals based on their actual crimes, the politicians would rather use the criminal justice system to score political points. It is another example of shameful, unconstitutional behavior on their part.

Cambridge Seeking LGBT Commission Board Members
Cambridge — City Manager Robert W. Healy is seeking individuals to fill several vacancies on the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) Commission. Prospective commissioners must reside or work in Cambridge.

Mardi Wormhoudt was a Champion for Equality
Tom Graves \ Santa Cruz Sentinel
It’s been about a week since we learned that Mardi Wormhoudt passed away, but I think I’m just beginning to grasp what her loss will mean. I know that many fine words have been written about Mardi, but the Mardi I will miss the most is Mardi the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender activist.

Is SkyWest Airlines Anti-Gay?
Eric Ross \ Examiner
Gilbert Caldwell, an employee of SkyWest, has been with his partner, Rev. David Farrell for 34 years, and the two men were married in California last year when same-sex marriage was legal. Even though Caldwell and Farrell are legally married in California, SkyWest refuses to give them the same employee benefits that his straight married coworkers enjoy. Caldwell is forced to pay a fare for his spouse under the “companion” program for friends, even though his straight married coworkers are allowed to have their spouses fly for free.

KellysList Makes it to Number 2 on Yahoo Gay Rights Groups
KellysList has for years been in the top 10 of the Yahoo! Groups Gay Rights category. And now we’re #2 out of almost 500 groups!! Yahoo! is perfectly correct in including KellysList in its top 10. We try harder. Since 1998.,_Gays,_and_Bisexuals/Gay_Rights/

NC: Local Gay Couple Tie the Knot at Biltmore Estate Ceremony
Matt Byers \ Citizen Times
ASHEVILLE — Randy Blackmon and Bob Friedman exchanged vows at the Lionscrest ballroom recently in what is the only same-sex ceremony in memory at the Biltmore Estate. Although same-sex marriage is not legal in North Carolina, the couple of eight years insisted on calling the event a wedding.

MI: Gay Rights Advocates Closely Watching Kalamazoo Vote
Ted Roelofs | The Grand Rapids Press \
With a mixed track record on the issue in Michigan, local gay rights advocates are closely following Tuesday’s referendum in Kalamazoo on a gay protection ordinance. Activist Andrew Grayson is taking it one step further. “I think this would send a message that Kalamazoo is a welcoming place,” said Grayson, a 21-year-old senior at Kalamazoo College and 2006 graduate of East Grand Rapids High School.


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