Tuesday, November 24, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - November 23, 2009

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New York Times
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The Church and the Capital
Gay people will eventually win full civil rights — including the right to marry — throughout the United States. Between now and then, there will be many more disputes like the one unfolding between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and the District of Columbia City Council over a bill recognizing same-sex marriages that could be voted on as soon as next week.

More Anti-Gay, Religious-Motivated Crimes Reported
Reports of hate crimes against gays and religious groups increased sharply in 2008, according to new FBI data released Monday. Overall, the number of reported hate crimes increased about 2 percent. These same figures show a nearly 11 percent increase in hate crimes based on sexual orientation, and a nearly 9 percent increase in hate crimes based on religion.

Washington Post
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Taylor Swift wins five American Music Awards
By Dean Goodman
Country crossover star Taylor Swift overshadowed the late Michael Jackson at the American Music Awards on Sunday, winning five prizes including artist of the year.

Iran prez seeks new legitimacy in visit to Brazil
BRASILIA, Brazil -- For Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Brazil provides some sorely needed political legitimacy for his increasingly isolated nation.

An ignoble mission
Regarding the Nov. 18 Style article "Seeking to put asunder":
Bishop Harry Jackson appears to be saying that certain residents of the District should not enjoy certain civil rights by virtue of being sinners as defined by his reading of the Bible. How is this not "a mission of hate"? And by what stretch of logic does homosexuality and gay marriage relate to the problem of broken families within the African American community? Nothing this man says makes civic or Christian sense, and it's a travesty for The Post to lionize him on the front page of the Style section.
Ralph Hitchens, Poolesville

Support for legalizing marijuana grows rapidly around U.S.
Approval for medical use expands alongside criticism of prohibition
By Karl Vick
The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.

Crime Scene: Hate crimes, D.C. police and the gay and lesbian community
(Cross-posted from Crime Scene)
It was a day of disagreement between D.C. police and gay activitists over how the department handles hate crimes, and whether the gay community is being served by changes to the Gay and Lesbian Liason Unit.

Steve Rothaus
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‘Rent’ star Anthony Rapp to discuss, sign memoir at Books & Books on Lincoln Road
Anthony Rapp, original star of Rent, will read from his memoir, Without You, and sign books Thursday, Dec. 10, at Books & Books on Lincoln Road.
Rapp will appear with fellow Rent co-star Adam Pascal, also from the original cast, in a revival of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical from Dec. 8-13 at The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater. Tickets are available via www.livenation.com or by calling 1-877-598-8698.

Drag it Out! to perform Dec. 5 at Voodoo Lounge, Dec. 6 at Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale
From K. Steinberg:
For the inner King and Queen in all of us
Be prepared to take your ideas of CommUNITY building and gender performance to the next level with Drag It Out (DIO)! Drag It Out is a professional and amateur (PRO-AM) 100% volunteer driven organization providing All Drag No Drama entertainment while raising awareness to benefit the KQA – The KIDS, the QUEERS and the ANIMALS! 100% of all donations ($15 per person) will go to three local charities; Safe Schools South Florida, Animal Aid, and the GLCC (Gay and Lesbian Community Center) of South Florida.

Levi Johnston gives Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol the (ring) finger
The Levi Johnston Playgirl pics are showing up online and it’s confirmed that Sarah Palin’s ex-future son-in-law didn’t show “the full Johnston” as his manager had promised. What we do get a good glimpse of is Levi’s left ring finger. As we all know, there is no wedding band – but there is a small tattoo.

Sidelines Sports Bar, Team Sidelines members raise more than $10,000 for the Smart Ride
News release from Sidelines Sports Bar: The night was extra special, not only because Sidelines Sports Bar’s SMART Ride “Party for Charity” was a huge success by all accounts, but above all it was truly a night of firsts. For the first time since its opening, Sidelines closed its doors to the general public for a private and exclusive fundraising party. For the first time ever, Sidelines offered celebrity entertainment such as Nikki Adams, who hosted the evening’s events with glamour and poise, and Nicolette, who stirred the hearts of many with an energy-filled performance. And, for the very first time, Sidelines along with the 16 members of Team Sidelines raised the most money in one night for a charitable cause. The evening’s tally from this special party was a whopping $10,102.50! Thus far, the total funds generated by Team Sidelines for the SMART Ride totals over $12,000!

Jackson Memorial Hospital nurses personally apologize to lesbian whose partner died there
BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Several Jackson Memorial Hospital nurses personally apologized to Janice Langbehn, a Washington state lesbian who said a Jackson social worker wouldn't allow her to be with her dying partner in 2007.

Miami Herald
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Adam Lambert ready to shake up pop world with CD
During rehearsals for his outlandish American Music Awards performance, amid a thundercloud of throbbing theater lights and special-effects fog, Adam Lambert effortlessly governs the sprawling stage while gripping a microphone in his gloved hands and donning a tight T-shirt slathered with an image of David Bowie's face.

Ambassador to Holy See sees role as bridge-builder
ROME -- Deep in the heart of Vatican City, Cuban-born Roman Catholic theologian Miguel H. Diaz has managed to find an Italian version of a sandwich that reminds him of home: pan con lechon.

The Advocate
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Lambert Simulates Oral, Kisses Keyboardist
By Advocate.com Editors
In his first major awards show performance, American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert pulled out all the stops and turned in a racy performance at the American Music Awards.

Houston Chron. Endorses Annise Parker
By Advocate.com Editors
Houston mayoral hopeful Annise Parker has picked up a major newspaper endorsement. The Houston Chronicle has thrown its support behind Parker who, if elected, would become the first lesbian mayor of a major U.S. city.

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Atheist student groups flower on college campuses
By The Associated Press
The sign sits propped on a wooden chair, inviting all comers: “Ask an Atheist.” Whenever a student gets within a few feet, Anastasia Bodnar waves and smiles, trying to make a good first impression before eyes drift down to a word many Americans rank down there with “socialist.”

Pink News - UK
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Church leaders in Liverpool release 'groundbreaking' condemnation of homophobia
Leaders of the six main Christian churches in Liverpool have released a joint statement condemning homophobia in the city. Local councillor Steve Radford said it was a "real breakthrough".

Exemptions allowing churches to refuse to employ gays to be scrapped following pressure from EU
The European Commission is putting pressure on the British government to drop the exemptions from equality legislation by religious organisations who currently have the right to refuse to employ LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) staff.

Liverpool teenager hurt in homophobic attack
A gay 19-year-old student was beaten by eight boys last week in Liverpool's city centre for being "flamboyantly dressed".

Dannii Minogue cleared over 'homophobic' X Factor joke
Dannii Minogue has been cleared of making a 'homophobic' jibe about an X Factor contestant's sexuality by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom. Nearly 4,000 people complained when she suggested that Danyl Johnson did not need to sing about a woman because he was bisexual.

Mother fights for NHS treatment of trans daughter
The mother of a 14-year-old trans girl is fighting to get her hormone treatment on the NHS. Carole Smith, 41, said that her child needed hormone treatment to prevent her from entering puberty as a boy.

Straight couple to apply for civil partnership tomorrow
A straight couple who believe the ban on marriage for gay people is discriminatory will attempt to register their intention to have a civil partnership tomorrow. As the law stands, gay couples cannot marry and straight couples cannot have a civil partnership.

Gordon Brown and equalities minister Maria Eagle mark Transgender Day of Remembrance
Prime minister Gordon Brown has made a statement describing violence and harassment against trans people as "utterly unacceptable". He also thanked trans campaigners for their work.

UNISON calls for better reporting on homophobic hate crime
Workers' union UNISON is holding its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) conference today and tomorrow. The organisation is calling for more encouragement for LGBT victims of hate crime to report offences to police.

Gay Glasgow council leader Steven Purcell is Councillor of the Year
Steven Purcell, the leader of Glasgow city council, has been named the Herald's Councillor of the Year. Purcell, who is gay, was ranked at number 16 this year on PinkNews.co.uk's 50 most powerful gay, lesbian and bisexual people in British politics.

New York court grants married gay couples some government benefits
Gay couples who married in states where gay marriage is legal should be able to claim some government benefits, a New York court ruled yesterday.

Elton John's UK gigs won't be rescheduled
Elton John has offered his fans refunds after it was announced that a string of cancelled UK tour dates will not be rescheduled.

Gay rights advocate Cathy Ashton is new EU foreign affairs chief
Baroness Cathy Ashton, who won Stonewall's Politician of the Year award in 2006, has been named as the new European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Daily Queer News
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TWO Declares that ‘Manhattan Declaration’ is Bigoted, Lawless and a Danger to American Values
Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118
Religious Activists Claim to be Above the Law and Express Desire to Force All Americans To Obey Sectarian Church Rules, Says TWO
Truth Wins Out (TWO) condemned a theocratic anti-gay manifesto that seeks to foist compulsory Christianity on the nation, at the expense of basic liberty, pluralism and freedom. The so-called “Manhattan Declaration” was signed by 145 fundamentalist, evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox Christian activists, who claimed they were above the law and would refuse to obey state rules unless they were in alignment with their sectarian church beliefs.

Florida Competitive Workforce Bill Filed to Add Anti-Discrimination Protections Statewide
OUT Advocacy Network applauds the filing of the Competitive Workforce bill in the Florida House of Representative. This bill, filed by Rep. Kelly Skidmore, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Florida’s civil rights statutes. Currently, there is no Florida law that protects someone from discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations because that person is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). This bill would add these categories into laws that already protect Floridians based on race, age, disability, sex and religion.

Lambda Legal Files Federal Lawsuit Seeking to Block Elimination of Domestic Partner Benefits for Gays and Lesbian State Employees
San Diego Gay & Lesbian News
Lambda Legal has filed a federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tucson to block a move to strip domestic partner benefits from gay and lesbian state employees. Arizona lawmakers included a provision stripping domestic partner health benefits from state employees as part of a last-minute budget deal signed by Governor Jan Brewer in September, while retaining spousal health benefits for heterosexual workers.

NY: Rabbis Back Condemning Same-Sex Marriage Politicians
Margie M. Palmer, Editor \ San Diego Gay & Lesbian News
Prominent rabbis in the New York City area backed measures to distance the Orthodox Jewish communities from public officials and candidates who support same-sex marriage, a recent survey found. A broad consensus of Rabbis surveyed acknowledged the need to correct the impression that Orthodox Jews were willing to turn a blind eye to the enactment of public laws they feel contradict the Torah, like the law allowing same-sex marriage.

Semenya Retains Title
Kimberly St. Louis \ WeNews correspondent \ Womens News
South African runner Caster Semenya–who underwent gender verification tests this summer–will retain her gold medal, title and prize money for her August victory at the women’s 800 meter race at the world track and field championships in Berlin, Reuters reported Nov. 19. The results of her gender test, which stirred much controversy this year, will remain confidential.

Mother of Slain Teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado Speaks
“When my son told me he was gay, I told him, ‘Now, I love you more.’ I want to tell the world that hatred is not born with human beings, it is a seed that is planted by adults and is fostered creating a climate of intolerance and violence. We must change our ways and understand that anyone …could have been my son. And I want everybody to know that Jorge Steven was a very much loved son.”— Miriam Mercado, mother of gay 19-year-old Puerto Rican Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, who was brutally murdered last week for being gay.


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