Thursday, December 03, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - December 02, 2009

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New York Times
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New York State Lawmakers Reject Gay Marriage Bill
New York lawmakers have rejected a bill to legalize gay marriage. The Senate decision Wednesday comes after months of delays and arm twisting of lawmakers sympathetic to the bill but representing conservative districts. It follows a referendum in Maine earlier this month that struck down a gay marriage law before it took effect.

Government-Backed Chinese Gay Bar Stays Empty
BEIJING (AP) -- A new bar in southwestern China aimed at educating gay men about AIDS stayed conspicuously empty during its official opening as potential customers shunned the spotlight, state media said Wednesday.

Vallejo’s Combustible Mix: Religion, Free Speech and Gay Pride
On Tuesday night, it seemed, much of Vallejo was at City Hall, where the City Council was holding its meeting. But there were two distinct groups. On the steps, more than 50 people, who were mostly white, held a rally to protest recent comments on gays as sinners made by Mayor Osby Davis to The New York Times while explaining his religious beliefs.

Votes on Budget and Gay Marriage Delayed
ALBANY — The State Legislature has proved once again that it is a place where expectation and reality rarely converge. After a day of false starts and high anticipation that the Senate would vote on legislation to legalize same-sex marriage and close the state’s $3.2 billion budget gap, senators broke for recess late Tuesday before taking any votes.

Live-Blogging the Gay Marriage Vote
The Senate has voted against the gay marriage bill, 38 to 24.

Washington Post
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Common cause on gay marriage?
In her Nov. 28 op-ed, "Racial pawns in the battle for same-sex marriage," Taylor Harris contested the view expressed most tellingly by NAACP Chairman Julian Bond that "Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality." She questioned equating blacks' historic struggle for civil rights with the current struggle for marriage equality. Ms. Harris should look up Loving v. Virginia. Writing for a Supreme Court that unanimously declared Virginia's laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, Chief Justice Earl Warren held that "The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men. Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival." Citing poll or referendum results to support the contention that blacks have no historic obligation to support marriage equality is fundamentally flawed. Had school integration or interracial marriage been put to a vote, it's likely that both would still be illegal in some states.
Richard McKee, Arlington

In D.C., a rift over plights for civil rights, gay rights
By Christian Davenport
As they overwhelmingly approved a bill Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage in the District, some D.C. Council members sounded as if they were at a 1960s civil rights march.

Wall Street Journal
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Meredith Baxter: Yes, I'm gay
"Family Ties" actress Meredith Baxter made the media rounds Wednesday confirming the rumors that she is a lesbian.
"It was a later in life recognition," the actress explained to Matt Lauer on the "Today" show Wednesday.

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Police: Man commits suicide in Wilton Manors station
By Juan Ortega
A Tamarac man committed suicide at the Wilton Manors police station Tuesday night, police say. Gary Don O'Neal, 43, who was taken to a holding cell at the station after he was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, used his own shirt to hang himself at about 11 p.m., said Detective David Jones, a police spokesman.,0,5516535.story/

Steve Rothaus
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U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings introduces ‘Honest and Open Testimony Act’ regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
News release from U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar:
(Washington, DC) Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) introduced the Honest and Open Testimony Act, a bill that would help provide for an honest and open discussion regarding Don't Ask, Don't Tell by allowing active-duty members of the Armed Forces, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) members, to openly testify in Congressional hearings without fear of retribution.

Organizers pull plug on Miami Latin Gay Film Festival, will take fest on the road to other cities
The controversial Miami Latin Gay Film Festival, which debuted last April just before the start of the longtime Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, is no more.

Gay Catholics group DignityUSA critical of Pope’s position against condoms in war on AIDS
From DignityUSA, the organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics:
DignityUSA Statement on World AIDS Day 2009
DignityUSA once again joins with individuals and organizations across the globe to mark World AIDS Day. Today, we recall the 24 million individuals throughout the world whose lives have been cut short by this disease, and we reflect on the people left behind--orphaned children, beloved partners, bereft parents, siblings, family and friends. We renew our commitment to advocate for equal access to effective health care and medications for the 33 million people living with HIV infection. We urge people to take advantage of confidential testing and counseling, and to take responsibility to contain the spread of the HIV virus. We support President's Obama's work to end travel restrictions for people with HIV.

Miami Herald
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Man gets life in prison for 2007 killing
The Associated Press
A central Florida man has been sentenced to two life terms for a 2007 killing that gay rights advocates have called a hate crime.

California man who wants to ban divorce says he's serious
By Loretta Kalb
"Till death do us part" is no idle promise to John Marcotte, a Sacramentan bent on banning divorce in California.

Dan Le Batard: Dire straits for Tiger Woods is media bonanza
The rules changed on Tiger Woods in mid-swing. The world Woods entered 13 years ago was one where Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan behaved like rock stars in private, but now The National Enquirer and TMZ have realized how much money there is to be made ...

The Advocate
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Lawyers Want Yes on 8 E-mails
By Christopher Mangum
Lawyers for two gay couples told a federal appeals court on Tuesday that they need access to internal communications from last year's Proposition 8 campaign.

Gays Want Protection at Alaska University
By Christopher Mangum
Members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Gay-Straight Alliance petitioned the university’s board of regents Monday to add sexual orientation to the school's nondiscrimination policy.

Gaga Talks About Using Her Sex
By Christopher Mangum
Elle readers will have to decide between two pop darlings, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears, when purchasing their January issue. The Gaga cover, released Tuesday, marks the first time the vocal gay rights proponent has been featured on the cover of Elle.

Chris Colfer Offed Bea Arthur?
By Editors
Glee’s Chris Colfer doesn’t want to say which star he’d like to work with next — because the last time he was asked, he answered, “Bea Arthur” ... and then she died.

Number of Gay Asylum Seekers Growing
By Neal Broverman
The number of people fleeing their native lands for America because of sexual orientation discrimination is increasing, reports Newsweek.

Utah’s Gay State Senator Resigns
By Christopher Mangum
Utah's only openly gay state senator, Salt Lake City Democrat Scott McCoy, announced Tuesday that he is resigning.

Marilyn Gets Intimate, Stoned With Women
By Editors
A 50-year-old video of Marilyn Monroe cuddling up to and getting stoned with two women was sold to a Marilyn collector last week for $275,000 — and is now available on YouTube.

Pink News - UK
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Equality Bill to be debated today in House of Commons
The Equality Bill has reached the report stage and will be debated in parliament today. This stage follows four weeks of debate by a committee and will allow the House of Commons to consider further amendments.

Gay by nature: Part two
In part one, published yesterday, Dr Qazi Rahman of Queen Mary University London discussed the impact of genes and hormones on homosexuality. Here, he addresses the isse of gay stereotypes and refutes psychoanalytic theories of why some people are gay. He also suggests that research into gay brains may help combat homophobia. Adrian Tippetts reports.

Man on trial for gay nightclub rapes in London
A man is currently on trial at Woolwich crown court for sexual assaults on gay men in London. Mohamad Caid, 38, from Deptford, was charged in June with one rape, two attempted rapes, sexual assault and false imprisonment and remanded in custody.

Rupert Everett says gay actors should stay in the closet
Actor Rupert Everett has advised gay actors to keep their sexual orientation secret if they want to succeed. Everett, who is gay, enjoyed a host of high-profile roles in films such as My Best Friend's Wedding. But since coming out in 1989, his success has dwindled.

Teenager jailed for trying to gas gay lover
An 18-year-old who had sex with an older man has been jailed after leaving on the gas taps in his lover's home. George Harding, of no fixed address, slept with 47-year-old Brian Monan after meeting on a gay internet site.

Carwyn Jones appointed as Welsh Labour leader
Carwyn Jones has been named as the new Labour leader in Wales, replacing incumbent Rhodri Morgan. The 42-year-old Welsh Assembly member for Bridgend is currently the leader of the House and has been a favourite to win the role.

Sweden to lift lifetime blood donation ban for gay men
Sweden will allow gay and bisexual men to donate blood so long as they have not had sex with a man in the last 12 months. In a statement released today, which is World AIDS Day, the National Board of Health and Welfare confirmed the change.

Gay by nature: Part one
What causes homosexuality? Can sexual orientation be changed? And are the brains of gay people different from those of straight people? Adrian Tippetts meets Dr Qazi Rahman, an assistant professor in Cognitive Biology from Queen Mary University London, to find out more.

Daily Queer News
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Partying with the Salahis
by Kevin Naff
Before they crashed the White House state dinner, Tareq and Michaele Salahi partied with the Washington Blade staff at our 40th anniversary event in October. They were gracious and generous guests and donated several cases of wine from their winery to the event. They posed for pictures with staff and Michaele took the microphone to introduce the event’s emcee and to acknowledge the Blade’s milestone.

D.C. to host 2012 int’l AIDS conference
by Chris Johnson
Touting U.S. dedication to combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic, top Obama administration officials formally announced Monday that D.C. will host the 19th international AIDS conference in 2012.

‘Their blood shall be upon them’
by Matt Comer, November 30, 2009, 1:23 pm
There’s a lot of talk here recently over a proposed anti-gay death penalty law in Uganda. Activists and news organizations have linked the legislation’s Ugandan proponents to several high-profile American religious leaders and politicians.

Black lesbian elected to Georgia legislature; VMan does Heartthrobs
by Matt Comer
In Georgia, Simone Bell has been elected to the Georgia State House District 58. Endorsed by the Victory Fund, Bell is the first black lesbian legislator. Read more…

Charlotte: Queen City of LGBT invisibility?
by Matt Comer
For the past few weeks I’ve been on an activism-through-journalism swing over at my day job. In a two-part, pre- and post-election opinion column, I ranted and raved over the lack of LGBT equality and recognition in Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city.

Gays 'will never go to heaven': cardinal
Homosexuals and transsexuals "will never enter the kingdom of heaven", a leading Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday. Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan said that while the Church regarded homosexuality as an "insult to God", this did not justify discrimination against gay and transsexual people.

"The Other City" -- The Story of AIDS in Washington and AIDS in America
By Jose Antonio Vargas
As we mark World AIDS Day -- aimed at continued global awareness of this never-ending pandemic -- here are facts about Washington, D.C., home to the first African Americans in the White House: At least 3 percent of the city's population is HIV-positive, and that's a conservative estimate, according to the city's HIV/AIDS Administration. Nearly 7 percent of all black men, who carry the burden of the city's epidemic, are infected. A little more than 7 percent of all residents age 40 to 49 carry the virus. For the record, President Barack Obama is 48 and First Lady Michelle Obama is 45.

Washington's statewide vote for full domestic partnerships is official
by: Lurleen
It's official! Governor Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election results on Tuesday. The new domestic partnership law will now go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, December 3. There are currently 13,082 people in registered domestic partnerships in both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples where at least one partner is 62 or older. Washington state registered domestic partners are now fully equal to their married peers under

Girls Fight Back Against Child Marriage
by Liz Goodwin
In rural Ethiopia, a UN program offers financial incentives to parents who promise not to marry off their pre-teen daughters. Liz Goodwin talks to the new generation of empowered young women—and asks whether the change is sustainable. Tsefaye Abese, an 11-year-old in the sixth grade, lives in the village of Dimbelmesno in Amhara, a rural region of Ethiopia where girls are married, on average, at age 15, and 80 percent of all girls are married before their 18th birthday. Tsefaye, wearing a bright blue shirt and clutching her notebook, is chatty and unafraid, talking to me comfortably through a translator about how much she likes going to school, and how she wants to become a doctor to help the people in Dimbelmesno.


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