Thursday, November 19, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - November 19, 2009

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New York Times
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Philippine Gay Group Fights to Contest Elections
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A Philippine gay rights group is waging a legal battle to be allowed to run in next year's polls after the Elections Commission ruled it cannot register as a political party on grounds that it advocates immorality.

Washington Post
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Marriage counseling for D.C. and the Catholic Church
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I take issue with The Post's Nov. 15 editorial "Marital discord," especially its claim that "the Catholic Church is not trying to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the District." In fact, the Archdiocese of Washington testified against the marriage equality bill and has supported an initiative that would bar same-sex marriages.

The HIV travel ban
An unfair policy comes to an end.
THE UNITED STATES is a leader in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to assist those living with the disease and to help the uninfected stay that way. But since 1987, there has been a blot on that leadership. While the United States was urging an end to the stigma that keeps people from protecting themselves, getting tested and seeking treatment, it was one of 12 nations perpetuating that stigma by enforcing a ban on entry by people who are HIV-positive. That ended last month when President Obama lifted the prohibition.

Bill to extend benefits to same-sex partners advances
By Joe Davidson
The effort to expand domestic benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees took another step forward Wednesday when a House committee advanced legislation to do just that.

Gay-marriage opponents sue to force referendum
Congress members grill D.C. officials on decision to block ballot initiative
By Tim Craig and Keith L. Alexander
The decision by the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics to block a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage reverberated on Capitol Hill and in the courts Wednesday as the battle continued over whether voters should have a say in the debate.

Steve Rothaus
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New Lutheran body to form after gay pastor vote
By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press
The split over gay clergy within the country's largest Lutheran denomination has prompted a conservative faction to begin forming a new Lutheran church body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

National LGBT young adult tobacco use survey unveiled
News release from the National Youth Advocacy Coalition:
WASHINGTON - The National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC) has released a national survey to assess behavior and attitudes around tobacco use by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) young adults ages 18-24. Data collected will be made public and used to make programmatic and policy recommendations on a national and regional level.

Slaying, decapitation of gay teen in Puerto Rico investigated as hate crime
By MIKE MELIA, Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The slaying of a gay teenager whose decapitated, partially burned body was found along a road in Puerto Rico last week is under investigation as a possible hate crime, a police official said Wednesday. Activists say it would be the first case in this U.S. territory to invoke a law covering crimes based on sexual orientation.

Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages
By Dave Montgomery, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
AUSTIN — Here's a question for Texans: Are you really married? Maybe not.

Eddie Serrano, Richard Murry elected to Pridelines Youth Services board of directors
News release from Pridelines Youth Services:
MIAMI – November 18, 2009 – Pridelines Youth Services announced today that Eddie Serrano and Richard Murry have been elected to two-year terms on the Pridelines Board of Directors. Pridelines’ mission is to educate and empower South Florida’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (GLBTQ) youth and their straight allies by providing programming, counseling, support and referral services in a safe and diverse environment.

Orlando mayor leads community condemnation of anti-gay hate crime at gay community center
Here's a joint news release on behalf of Equality Florida, The Center, Florida ACLU, One Orlando, The Jewish Federation of Central Florida, Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center:

Broward swears in Ken Keechl, county’s first openly gay mayor
Ken Keechl, 47, was sworn in Tuesday as Broward County's first openly gay mayor. For the next year he will preside over the Broward County Commission.

Gay ex-Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Góngora wins runoff, will return to dais
In a runoff election guaranteed to bring two new commissioners to Miami Beach City Hall, former Commissioner Michael Góngora coasted to a second stint on the dais while Jorge Exposito narrowly won a seat.

The Advocate
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Buttars Melting in Gay Rights Opposition?
By Julie Bolcer
Utah state senator Chris Buttars, an avowed opponent of gay rights, surprised many this week with his expression of potential support for statewide protections against employment and housing discrimination. But the Republican says there are limits, specifically, he does not want to see gay rights “creep” beyond the basic protections recently passed in Salt Lake City.

Gay Men's Chorus Sings Praises of Blade
By Julie Bolcer
Members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. presented the former Washington Blade with a check Wednesday night for a full-page ad in the newspaper’s new print iteration, the D.C. Agenda, which will be available on Friday.

Sexually Active Gay Pastors Divide Lutherans
By Editors
The decision to allow sexually active gays and lesbian pastors to serve as clergy members has caused a split in the country’s largest Lutheran denomination, and some conservatives now say they’re forming their own body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

New Breast Health Rules Leave Out Lesbians
Now that new government guidelines are out on how to best care for your breasts, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender women are left with a lot of questions.
By Michelle Garcia
For years medical professionals have advised women over the age of 40 to get annual breast exams as a way to detect cancerous tumors. However, the new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, which shun breast self-exams and suggest only women between the ages of 50 and 74 get mammograms every other year, are startling to some, while others welcome the recommendations.

Baltimore Gay Teen Murdered
By Editors
The murder of a gay teenager in Baltimore has left a family grieving and a community questioning why he was killed. The suspect is a family friend and ex-con who had served only 10 years of an original 30-year sentence for an earlier crime.

Blade Back in Business
By Neal Broverman
It's confirmed: A new iteration of the recently shuttered gay newspaper Washington Blade will launch on Friday under the name The D.C. Agenda.

Judge Orders Feds to Pay Gay Couple
By Michelle Garcia
A gay couple in Los Angeles was awarded compensation Tuesday for being denied spousal benefits by the federal government.

Triumph in the Tar Heel State
The loss of marriage equality in Maine was a major blow on Election Night, but down the coast in North Carolina there was an LGBT victory. Pam Spaulding talks to Chapel Hill's mayor-elect, Mark Kleinschmidt.
By Pam Spaulding
When Election Day 2009 came to a close, many of us in the LGBT community were focused on the devastating blow of rollback of marriage equality in Maine. But there were some noteworthy bright spots in local races around the country. One gay man in North Carolina found himself celebrating a victory — Mark Kleinschmidt, the mayor-elect of Chapel Hill. Despite the town's liberal reputation and Kleinschmidt's long history of public service — he has served on the Chapel Hill town council since December 2001 — Mark won his race by only 106 votes. Blogger Pam Spaulding, who lives a stone's throw away in Durham, N.C., sat down with Kleinschmidt to talk about the political climate in North Carolina and the mixed feelings about the results of the election as well as his personal rethinking on the matter of marriage equality and the ballot box.

France's Latest Export
He's opened for Britney and Katy Perry, kept Dita Von Teese company in the front row at Paris Fashion Week, and gets name-checked on Twitter by Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Sarah Silverman. So who the hell is Sliimy, anyway?
By David Michael Conner
Don’t hold it against Sliimy that he was hand-picked by the infamous Perez Hilton to be the first artist signed to Hilton’s Perezcious label, an imprint of Warner Bros. And don’t hold it against him that his name — pronounced like “Slimmy,” not “Slimy” — looks slightly gross and requires phonetic explanation. Or that he’s popular in France. (He is French, after all.)

Church Opens Doors for Homeless Gay Teens
A church-turned-shelter for homeless youth in Queens, New York is a far cry from sleeping on the streets after a $200,000 renovation and a partnership with the Ali Forney Center for LGBT youth.
By Michelle Garcia
A converted church in Queens, N.Y., may look like a pleasant youth hostel, but many of its residents made a tough journey to find this new place to call home.

Tom Ford Tells All
Known for his provocative reinventions of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, fashion designer Tom Ford has now remade himself, as director of A Single Man. Kevin Sessums’s frank interview with Ford reveals the extent to which he’s shedding his old skin.
By Kevin Sessums
“I don’t think of myself as gay. That doesn’t mean that I’m not gay. I just don’t define myself by my sexuality,” says Tom Ford with no sense of irony in his voice. Ford built a fashion empire at Gucci. When Yves Saint Laurent was acquired by Gucci in 1999, he reinvented that brand. Since then he has launched his own Tom Ford line of menswear and accessories. Always, throughout his career, whole collections and marketing campaigns were designed around his highly honed sense of the needs of others to define themselves as sexual beings.

New Breast Health Rules Leave Out Lesbians
Now that new government guidelines are out on how to best care for your breasts, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender women are left with a lot of questions.
By Michelle Garcia
For years medical professionals have advised women over the age of 40 to get annual breast exams as a way to detect cancerous tumors. However, the new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, which shun breast self-exams and suggest only women between the ages of 50 and 74 get mammograms every other year, are startling to some, while others welcome the recommendations.

Kellan Lutz Won’t Strip for Ellen, Charity
By Editors
Ellen DeGeneres offered Twilight hunk Kellan Lutz $5,000 for one of his favorite charities if he’d take his shirt off on her show. He turned her down.

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New Lutheran body to form after gay pastor vote
By The Associated Press
The split over gay clergy within the country’s largest Lutheran denomination has prompted a conservative faction to begin forming a new Lutheran church body separate from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Pink News - UK
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Gay unions threaten 'fabric of society', bishops say
A pastoral letter agreed at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops warns about the dangers of same-sex marriage and partnerships, saying they will affect everyone.

Chaz Bono says transition is 'the best decision I've ever made'
Chaz Bono, the son of singer Cher, appeared on US television this morning to discuss his gender reassignment. Speaking to Good Morning America, he said eight months into transition, he feels "great".

Gay German spy accused of betraying state secrets
A German spy is on trial accused of handing over secret documents to his lover. The 42-year-old spy, named only as Anton K, reportedly began the affair with a Macedonian translator when he was posted to Kosovo in 2005.

Daily Queer News
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Lesbian and Gay Parents Are Not Better–and That’s Okay
Dana Rudolph \ Bilerico Project
Everyone’s been asking the question. The New York Times: “Are Same-Sex Couples Better Parents?” The Advocate: “Gay Parents Better than Straight?” SF Gate: “Are same-sex couples better parents?” The Dallas Voice: “Do gays and lesbians make better parents?”

Simon LeVay and the Biology of Sexual Orientation
Betty Greene Salwak \ Bilerico Project
Last Friday I had the great pleasure of attending a seminar intended to help professionals in the mental health field understand and counsel clients who are lesbian, gay and bisexual. Open to interested parties as well, it was held at the University of Indianapolis. (It was announced that because transgender individuals are markedly different under the circumstances being discussed, time would not permit inclusion of that population.)

Queer Maine–A Very Different Anti-Marriage Postscript
Father Tony \ Bilerico Project
When you have fifteen minutes to devote to this, I urge you to have a listen to this articulate anti-assimilationist queer as he constructs an excellent economic reframe of Maine and gives voice to a point of view that was almost entirely stifled during the we-must-have-marriage gay juggernaut in Maine.

Illinois’ Jacob Meister Aims to be the First Openly Gay Senate Candidate
Phil Reese \ Bilerico Project
Jacob Meister and his campaign manager, Lowell Jaffe, were standing outside of a CVS Pharmacy on DuPont Circle, in Washington DC the morning of the National Equality March. Jaffe stuck his hand out as I passed and they started a campaign pitch, and I smiled and rolled my eyes. Candidates are always stopping folks outside of Wal-Mart or inside of Bob Evans, and I think at a certain point most politically active people have been desensitized to these awkward attempts to schmooze.

Lambda Legal Sues Because Health Care Isn’t a Luxury
Alex Blaze \ Bilerico Project
A few months ago, saying they needed to cut spending, the state of Arizona rescinded domestic partner benefits for same-sex partners of state employees. They seemed to forget that it would have saved a whole lot more money if they got rid of family benefits for heterosexual relationships, or, to be fair, for everyone, but this isn’t about logic. This is about who’s expendable and who’s not.

Americans Want a Health Surtax on Wealthy
Daniela Perdomo \ AlterNet
Although the House bill includes a surtax on the wealthy in order to help fund the proposed health care overhaul, the possibility of it being included in the final health care bill seems uncertain. As Majority Leader Reid prepares the Senate’s bill, he ought pay attention to this newly released Associated Press poll which shows that 57% of Americans are in favor of a health surtax on the richest among us — and only 37% are opposed.

Do Yearly Mammograms Save Women’s Lives?
Posted by Daily Queer News
at November 19, 2009
Naomi Freundlich \ Health Beat \ AlterNet
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since this article was written, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has yielded to the uproar generated by new guidelines from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, and essentially urged women to ignore the committee’s recommendations, and continue with their yearly mammograms, and monthly self-examinations. The new recommendation from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force that women under 50 should not undergo routine mammography is generating a lot of controversy — it is a direct challenge to the strong message women have been receiving for two decades that they should have yearly screening starting at age 40. The task force also recommends that women age 50-74 have a mammogram every two years (rather than yearly) and finds that there is little benefit in screening women over 74 at all.

Is House Health Bill a Threat to Our Constitution?
Barry W. Lynn, Americans United for Separation of Church and State \ AlterNet
EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece was delivered as a statement at a press conference called by the Religious Coaltion for Reproductive Choice at the National Press Club on November 16, 2009. The topic was the anti-choice amendment, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., that was attached to the House health-care reform bill.
In the United States, the institutions of government and religion are separate.

Rachel Maddow Interview with Former Evangelist Frank Schaeffer: Christian Right ‘Trolling for Assassins’
The following is an excerpt of a transcript from a recent episode of the Rachel Maddow Show:
Rachel Maddow: With our president overseas, Republicans and conservatives here at home have been taking the opportunity to crank up their criticism of him. Former Vice President Dick Cheney telling that President Obama advertised weakness when he bowed ceremonially to the emperor of Japan. Cheney said, quote, “Our friends and allies don‘t expect it and our enemies see it as a sign of weakness. There is no reason for an American president to bow to anyone.”

How Limousine Liberals, Water Oligarchs and Even Sean Hannity Are Hijacking Our Water Supply
Yasha Levine \ AlterNet
A group of water oligarchs in California have engineered a disastrous deregulation and privatization scheme. And they’ve pulled in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars without causing much public outrage. The amount of power and control they wield over California’s most precious resource, water, should shock and frighten us — and it would, if more people were aware of it. But here is the scary thing: They are plotting to gain an even larger share of California’s increasingly-scarce, over-tapped water supply, which will surely lead to shortages, higher prices and untold destruction to California’s environment.

Discharged Under ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’
Pelin Sidki \ CNN
Darren Manzella saw two tours of duty in Iraq, first as a combat medic and later as a liaison officer. He earned three promotions in his six years as a U.S. Army sergeant. Despite his professional success, Manzella says he began to question his personal life.

MD: Many Unanswered Questions in Killing of Youth
Peter Hermann and Brent Jones \ Baltimore Sun
It didn’t happen often, but sometimes a student - usually a boy - would poke fun at Jason Mattison Jr. About his skin-tight jeans and funky sweaters. About his boisterous voice that seemed to run nonstop. About his exuberance in recounting the most mundane of events. About his flamboyant mannerisms. He was 15, a sophomore in high school, and he was gay.

NE: Nelson: I’m Comfortable Being Lone Democrat to Derail Reform
Sam Stein \ Huffington Post
Ben Nelson, a key conservative Senate Democrats, said on Wednesday that he was pleased with the changes party leadership had made to health care legislation, specifically on matters of deficit reduction. But the Nebraska senator, whose vote has been elusive to pin down so far, said he would be comfortable being the lone Democrat to prevent the bill from overcoming a Republican filibuster.

US Christian Right Also Mobilizes African Clerics in US “Culture War” Over Ordination of LGBT Clergy
Public Research Association \ Public Eye
Sexual minorities in Africa have become collateral damage to our domestic conflicts and culture wars as U.S. conservative evangelicals and those opposing gay pastors and bishops within mainline Protestant denominations woo Africans in their American fight, a groundbreaking investigation by Political Research Associates (PRA) has discovered.


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