Friday, December 11, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - December 11, 2009

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Longtime gay activist Robin Tyler on marriage and the Dems
Posted by John Aravosis (DC)
Should we give up on fighting for marriage equality, because the Democratic Party has broken their word to us? Never. No civil rights movement has ever said 'give us less, and we will be satisfied.' No civil rights movement has ever won without the strength to keep fighting no matter what the loss or setback was at the time. The LGBT community has survived mental institutions, penal institutions, science calling us sick, and religion calling us sinful. We have survived been thrown out of our homes, our schools, and rejected by everyone we knew. But we found each other. And we loved each other. And we supported each other through AIDS, when no one gave a damn. And we refused to be victims. We became survivors, and now, our resilience has made us tougher, stronger, smarter. No, we will not back down from the losses around marriage equality, or any other civil right issue. We deserve it all, and we will not rest until we have it all. That is what a movement is. We keep moving, forward. No retreat, not now, not ever. Robin Tyler, age 67

New York Times
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The Presidency of Barack Obama
Gay Rights
On June 17, Mr. Obama signed an administrative memorandum extending some partnership rights to federal workers in same-sex relationships. It allows administration personnel to take leave to care for sick partners and requires the government to recognize their partners as household members when determining overseas housing allocations for State Department employees, among other things.

Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships
Updated Dec. 3, 2009
For over a decade, the issue of same-sex marriage has been a flashpoint political issue in the United States, setting off waves of competing legislation and ballot initiatives attempting either to legalize or ban the practice. Rifts have also opened among religious groups over the decision to recognize same-sex marriage or condemn it.

Wall Street Journal
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Thousands Flee Iran as Noose Tightens
NEVSEHIR, Turkey -- Sadegh Shojai fled Iran after government agents raided his Tehran apartment, seizing his computer and 700 copies of a book he published on staging revolutions.

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Broward teachers union alleges bus safety, sexual harassment, nepotism problems
By Kathy Bushouse and Megan O'Matz
Accusing the Broward school district's transportation department of an array of problems, including bus safety, sexual harassment and nepotism, the Broward Teachers Union asked Gov. Charlie Crist on Thursday for an independent investigation.,0,7513408.story/

Steve Rothaus
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Averting crisis: Growing up gay in America
Decades before Mitchell Gold became a famous furniture mogul, he considered ways to kill himself.

The Advocate
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Hunky Santa: For Ladies and Gentlemen
The Abercrombie door greeters passed you over for some female shoppers? Thunder From Down Under doesn't want your dollar bill? Fear not... because "Hunky Santa" is down with guys and girls.
By Ross von Metzke
Any gay man who’s ever sat through a performance of Thunder From Down Under has learned two things. First: At least a few of the performers are gay. Second: It doesn’t matter, because no matter how much baby oil these guys are slathered in, the show – along with The Chippendales and any other Vegas-style male strip revue – is designed for the ladies.

Maddow Reviews Warren's Uganda Record
By Julie Bolcer
Rachel Maddow on Thursday night reviewed the record of pastor Rick Warren on antigay legislation in Uganda leading up to his denouncement of the bill in a Youtube video on Wednesday.

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Irish judges: Gay sperm donor should see his son
By The Associated Press
(Dublin) The Irish Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a gay man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple should be permitted to see his 3-year-old son regularly – in part because Ireland’s constitution doesn’t recognize the lesbians as a valid family unit.

NC elections board ends exam of Clay Aiken
By The Associated Press
Elections officials dropped an investigation into 2003 “American Idol” runnerup Clay Aiken’s voter registration on Wednesday, weeks after the singer ruffled feathers by slamming some local school board candidates on his blog.

Pink News - UK
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Gene discovery could make gender reassignment easier
The discovery of a single gene which controls gender could pave the way for simpler treatment of trans people. Researchers at the National Institute for Medical Research discovered that just one gene prevents females from developing male physical characteristics such as facial hair and testes.

Anti-gay preacher Rick Warren finally speaks out on Uganda law
Controversial US pastor Rick Warren has finally released a statement criticising Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill. Warren had been slow to condemn the drastic law and some critics had suggested he supported and even sponsored it.

Straight civil partnership couple seek gay couple
The straight couple who are challenging the ban on heterosexuals having civil partnerships are looking for a gay couple to join their fight. They hope to challenge the ban in the European Court of Human Rights.

Elton John opens his closet
Elton John is clearing out his closet this weekend for charity. The star and his civil partner David Furnish are selling some of their designer clothes to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Nearly half of New Jersey Catholics support gay marriage
A poll of Catholic voters in the US state of New Jersey has shown that just under half are in favour of gay marriage. The lowest levels of support were found among evangelical Christians.

Comment : Peter Tatchell calls for a global human rights index
On Human Rights Day 2009 we see a world where LGBT rights and freedoms are violated everywhere. Only a tiny minority of countries have anything close to legal equality and protection against homophobic and transphobic harassment, discrimination and hate crimes.

Daily Queer News

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Let it ‘Snow’
Posted on 10 December 2009 by Aram Vartian
The relationship between the Evil Queen and Snow White in “Snow White and 175 Faeries,” this year’s holiday show for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, is, as you might expect, much different from the relationship the actors playing them have. The Queen, of course, wants Snow White killed, but the actors are enjoying a cross-generational camaraderie and mentorship. Chip Crews, 59, who plays the Queen, says he has little in common with his character, the only female role in the cast, which he plays in drag.

Take it from a black, gay Republican…
Posted on 10 December 2009 by Robert Turner
A week ago, a friend of mine posted an open question to conservatives: “How many conservative positions must one hold on the issues in order to be considered a conservative?” But in order to answer that question, you must first define what a conservative is. The conservatism I believe in is a combination of lower taxes, less government spending, freer trade, freer markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility and a strong anti-Communist foreign policy.

Public prayer losing ground in North Carolina?
by Matt Comer, December 10, 2009, 8:51 am
County commissioners in the sleepy, liberal town of Asheville, N.C., have made a “consensus” decision to end public prayer at their meetings. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners are set to bring the topic up for official discussion on Jan. 5. They’ll likely vote to stop opening board meetings with prayer. The move comes after a federal magistrate recommended a similar public prayer policy in Winston-Salem, N.C., violated the the First Amendment.

Irene Monroe: race and queer divide with election of lesbian priest
by: Pam Spaulding
By Irene Monoe
iOn December 5th cheers reverberated across the country with the news that at the 114th annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles two women were elected as bishops- Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce of California, and Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland

First gay man to head CA's assembly
Filed by: Alex Blaze
"I want to thank the Members of the Assembly Democratic Caucus for the faith they have placed in me. It is a humbling privilege. I will work every day to justify that faith and to earn the enormous honor of having been drafted to serve as Speaker. The other candidates for Speaker, especially Assemblymember Kevin de León, have all shown great leadership for the Assembly and for this state and they have my great respect. As Speaker, I will look forward to working with a united Democratic caucus as we continue tackling our number one priority--helping the state recover from the recession and helping the California families who have been hit so hard by it."
-John A. Perez, who was just elected the speaker of the California general Assembly

Are You Paying Unnecessary Taxes on Partner Benefits?
By Samir Luther
Domestic partner benefits often cost employees who use them a significant chunk of change ($1,069 on average in 2007) in additional income taxes – taxes that their married, heterosexual counterparts don’t have to pay. As a result of the Defense of Marriage Act, employees who receive health insurance coverage for their unmarried same-sex partner have to be taxed on the estimated fair market value of that coverage – an inequality that becomes painfully obvious to LGBT people when they get their first reduced paycheck after enrollment.


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