Tuesday, November 24, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - November 24, 2009

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New York Times
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Some Democrats Back Off Bid to Legalize Gay Marriage in New Jersey
It was not on the ballot, nor was it a top-tier issue in the New Jersey governor’s race this fall, but the push to legalize same-sex marriage in the state could become a casualty of the election results.

Washington Post
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Now schools are being targeted by anti-abortion groups
Students and staff at six D.C. area private and public high schools will be greeted this morning by anti-abortion protesters holding up graphic pictures. The three Districts schools are Wilson High, Sidwell Friends and Gonzaga High. Gaithersburg High School in Montgomery County, Washington-Lee in Arlington and Catonsville High in Baltimore will also be targeted, according to an email by anti-abortion activist Randall Terry. The protests are similar to recent ones by an anti-gay church in the sense that they are being led by conservative Christians using schools to garner publicity. I wrote about it then in two different posts, one about reaction to counter-protests by students and staff at school, and another about "teachable moments." For more on Education, please see http://washingtonpost.com/education

More reports of hate offenses against gays, religious groups
Reports of hate crimes against gays and religious groups increased sharply in 2008, according to FBI data released Monday. Overall, the number of reported hate crimes increased about 2 percent. The figures show a nearly 11 percent increase in offenses based on sexual orientation, and a nearly 9 percent increase in offenses based on religion. The largest category, racially motivated hate crimes, fell less than 1 percent.

Priorities for the Pentagon
Regarding the Nov. 20 news story "In Fort Hood aftermath, Pentagon opens two reviews": Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, like virtually all leaders in the U.S. government, has rightly vowed to do "everything in our power" to prevent another Fort Hood-type incident. Here's something in our power: Take the scarce resources now being wasted on drumming out of the military competent, patriotic Americans who happen to be gay and instead focus them on people posing actual threats.
George Brazier, Arlington

DEAR AMY: My fiance "Rob" and I are getting married. Our wedding party has three attendants on each side, with his brother "Ted" as best man.
Ted has been out of the closet as a gay man for a few years and is supported by his family. Rob, Ted and I frequently see each other outside of family gatherings and enjoy a nice friendship. Recently, Ted told us he refuses to serve as best man or even attend the wedding because he does not want to be part of a ceremony that he cannot personally enjoy. Rob and I tried to reinforce how important it is to us to have Ted as a part of our wedding, but Ted told us it was selfish of us to ask him in the first place. We asked Ted months ago, and until recently he never indicated that he was anything less than flattered. Should we ask someone else to be in our wedding party or wait a bit longer in case he changes his mind? Rob is incredibly hurt by this decision. -- Bashed Bride
DEAR BRIDE: "Ted" loves the institution of marriage so much that he won't participate in or attend one until he can partake of the privilege himself. By this reasoning, Ted won't be attending any legal same-sex wedding ceremonies in states where it is permitted until everyone in every state can marry. He is driving a political stake through the heart of an institution he aspires to be a part of. Families contain all types of people, however, and as someone entering into a new family bond with your fiance, you will see that sometimes the best you can do is be honest about your disappointment, accept someone else's unhappiness and move on with grace. Tell Ted you're disappointed in his choice but that you accept it and have asked someone else to stand up with you.

Wall Street Journal
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Tom Ford On “A Single Man”: “This is Not a Gay Film”
By Jeffrey Podolsky
“Oh, I just want to inhale you!” Tom Ford said as he greeted Speakeasy last night before a private viewing of his new film “A Single Man” hosted by Mike Nichols on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Being the Renaissance man that he is — former designer for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent; founder of his own eponymous luxe menswear line; now a screenwriter and director — Ford has a keen nose for all things aesthetic. So we assumed he was complimenting us on our cologne. Far from it. The former smoker was instead vicariously taking in the cloud of Marlboro Light that apparently enveloped us.

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Glenn Beck seeks to turn TV, radio audience into a political force
By James Oliphant
Glenn Beck wants to become . . . a community organizer. The voluble Fox News television host says he hopes to transform his personal celebrity into political action and has begun to assemble a movement to "change America's course."

Students suspended for taking part in "kick a Jew day"
Ten North Naples Middle School students were suspended last week after district officials said they participated in “kick a Jew day,” reports the Naples Daily News.

Steve Rothaus
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Broward Democratic Executive Committee urges elected officials to support Obama HIV/AIDS strategy
From Michael Emanuel Rajner:
It is my pleasure to share that tonight the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming:

Hate crimes vigil to be held 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Euclid Circle on Lincoln Road
Wire Magazine, Equality Florida and Unity Coalition will hold a vigil Wednesday evening on Lincoln Road in memory of Jorge Steven L√≥pez Mercado, the 19-year-old Puerto Rican found decapitated on Nov. 13 and Jason Mattison, a 15-year old gay boy recently raped and murdered in his aunt’s Baltimore home.

More anti-gay, religious-motivated crimes reported, according to latest FBI report
This is consistent with a recent state report of hate crimes in Florida. – Steve Rothaus
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press
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.

‘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.

The Advocate
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DOMA Included in GOP "Purity Test"
By Julie Bolcer
A so-called purity test of conservative principles being circulated for consideration among Republican National Committee members includes a commitment to retain the Defense of Marriage Act.

Queen to Honor Alan Cumming
By Michelle Garcia
Theater and film actor Alan Cumming will receive one of the U.K.'s highest honors for his work as an entertainer and activist.

Men on a Mission Back for 2010
By Advocate.com Editors
In its third year, the Men on a Mission calendar has put twelve returned Mormon missionaries front and center, bare-chested and ready to make a statement.

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Study says lesbians make better parents
By 365gay Newswire
Lesbians make better parents than a man and a woman, according to Stephen Scott, Director of Research, at the National Academy for Parenting Practitioners.

A statement from the mother of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief, 365gay.com
Miriam Mercado gave this statement to the team organizing the weekend’s vigils: “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.”

Pink News - UK
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Straight couple's civil partnership application rejected
A straight couple who tried to apply for a civil partnership this morning have said they are willing to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Man jailed for blackmailing gay cruisers
A man who admitted blackmailing men meeting for sex has been jailed for three and a half years. Lee Creamer, 26, admitted extorting hundreds of pounds out of three men who were fearful their families would find out about their activities.

1,500 Americans complain over Adam Lambert's gay kiss
More than 1,500 US viewers have complained over a gay kiss and simulated oral sex in American Idol star Adam Lambert's performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday.

Lesbian deserter to have asylum claim reviewed in Canada
A lesbian soldier who deserted the US Army after claiming she had been physically abused and threatened has won the right to have her asylum case reviewed in Canada.

Daily Queer News
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Exemptions Allowing Churches to Refuse to Employ Gays to be Scrapped Following Pressure from EU
Pink News
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.

Church Leaders in Liverpool Release ‘Groundbreaking’ Condemnation of Homophobia
Jessica Geen \ Pink News
Leaders of the six main Christian churches in Liverpool have released a joint statement condemning homophobia in the city. The message, released on the eve of a vigil earlier this month, affirmed their commitment to stamping out anti-gay violence.

Gay Man Running on Mass. GOP Gubernatorial Ticket
On Top Magazine
Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Baker has chosen state Senator Richard R. Tisei, an openly gay man, to be his running mate. The announcement was posted Monday morning on the candidate’s website.

Levin: Military Gay Ban Hearings Postponed
Carlos Santoscoy \ On Top Magazine
Promised fall hearings on repeal of the military’s ban on open gay service in Congress are likely tabled for now, TheHill.com reported Saturday. Both chambers of Congress have likely delayed hearings on the issue.

Move Over Michael Moore Here Comes ‘Tea Party: The Documentary’
Bill Berkowitz \ Buzz Flash
“It began as a ripple; an online whisper; a grassroots awakening to a new threat on freedom. … Lady Liberty faces her newest challenge and across this great nation a new generation of patriots stands ready for her defense. … They were ignored, they were mocked, but in the end, they would not be silence. … A greater cause united them. … A greater outcome awaits them. … This Thanksgiving the story of 2009 becomes the living history of the second American Revolution. ‘TEA PARTY: The Documentary’ film; liberty’s march has a new generation of patriots.” – From the trailer for “TEA PARTY: The Documentary Film”

Post Washington Blade: The Future of Journalism In America
Wayne Besen \ Truth Wins Out
While attending University of Florida’s journalism school in 1992, I told my parents that I was going to give up the profession to become a gay activist. They looked at me like I was crazy and said, “What are you thinking going into such an unstable career!”

Family Research Council Caught Falsely Accusing Congresswoman of Religious Bigotry
Alvin McEwen \ Truth Wins Out
crossposted on Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters
A story that seems to be under the headlights but very appropriate involves how the Family Research Council got caught inaccurately accusing a Congresswoman of being a religious bigot. The entire story is here in Faith In Public Life: . . . the Family Research Council sent out a press release with the headline “FRC Calls On President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid to Repudiate Diana DeGette’s Religious Bigotry,” which stated Family Research Council President Tony Perkins today called on President Obama and Congressional leaders to repudiate comments made by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) to The Hill’s Michael O’Brien that “religiously-affiliated groups…should be shut out of the process” in the health care debate because of their support for the Stupak/Pitts amendment. She told The Hill, “Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

The New GLBT Pope Problem
Wayne Besen \ Truth Wins Out
It is time to admit that the gay community has a gigantic Pope problem. Under the leadership of Benedict XVI, the Vatican has become an implacable foe of liberalism, modernity and basic rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Rome has eagerly jumped with both feet into America’s culture wars and is working on a global scale to punish or purge ideological dissenters within the church. This aggressive activism presents a formidable new front in the fight for parity – one with considerable political clout and financial resources.

Event: Visually Dazzling, Boldly Thought–Provoking Documentary asks “What Is God”
Visually dazzling, boldly thought-provoking documentary asks “What Is God”
Multi-cultural spiritual quest spans the globe
DATE/TIME: Monday, November 23, 2009, 7:30pm
LOCATION: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, SF
Mitropoulos Films present OH MY GOD?, opening Friday, November 27 at Landmark Theatres in San Francisco venue tbd, Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley. (Also tentative to open at Landmark Theatres in Palo Alto/Menlo Park, date tbd.) The film had its recent Bay Area premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Catholic Remonstrance Now!
Frank Cocozzelli \ Talk 2 Action
Lately, the Catholic Right has unabashedly sought to impose its will on society. From its recent advocacy against marriage equality in Maine; to the inquisition of American nuns who challenge Vatican hard-liners; and now the U.S Bishops who have threatened to sabotage health care reform unless they got their way on abortion policy in the House version of the legislation.

New Marriage Strategy Needed
Leland Traiman \ Bar Area Reporter
Same-sex marriage has never won an election. Maine was our 33rd loss. On the other hand, domestic partnership has never, on its own, lost an election. Washington state continued that winning streak, barely. The attempt to repeal comprehensive domestic partnerships was too close for liberal Washington State, 47 percent. This means trouble for us. Our enemies, undoubtedly, are already planning domestic partnership repeals in more conservative areas. Even in California, instead of fighting for the rites of marriage, we may be forced to defend the rights of marriage we have already won through domestic partnerships. (California law says that all laws, regulations, and court decisions that apply to spouses in a marriage equally applies to registered domestic partners.) Even if California’s domestic partnership law is not in jeopardy, certainly other states with domestic partnerships or other forms of recognition are at risk.


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