Wednesday, December 23, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - December 23, 2009

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New York Times
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Russian Church: Homosexuality Is Personal Choice
MOSCOW (AP) -- The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said Wednesday that although the church views homosexuality as a sin, gays should not face discrimination.

Washington Post
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Color of change
By Howard Kurtz
When was the last time you thought of Barack Obama as a black president? The historic nature of his victory, of course, rested on his breaking the two-century streak of 43 white guys. But as was much observed at the time, Obama never ran as an African American candidate. With the exception of the race speech he gave in Philadelphia at the height of the Jeremiah Wright furor, he largely resisted the urge to cast his candidacy in racial terms. He didn't have to.

Little Edie lives again in Ganymede's 'After the Garden,' with Jeffrey Johnson
By Jane Horwitz
It's been a struggle for small nonprofit theater companies since the economy flopped last year, and Ganymede Arts is no exception. Yet as 2009 nears its final curtain, Ganymede has something to celebrate. Artistic Director Jeffrey Johnson will be performing the solo piece "After the Garden: Edith Beale Live at Reno Sweeney" at Joe's Pub in New York on Dec. 29. He'll be the opening act for Sandra Bernhard.

Wall Street Journal
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In Love and War
Husbands and wives can now serve together in the Army. How three couples try to juggle marriage and mission in Afghanistan.
Kandahar, Afghanistan
Maybe the couple that fights together stays together. The 293rd Military Police Company is a rarity in American love and American war. Among the 150 soldiers deployed to this restive Afghan city are three married couples.

Steve Rothaus
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Gender, sports issues to be explored at Florida International University conference
A female athlete wins an Olympic gold medal, but later a sexual verification test detects she has the testosterone levels of a man. What action does the International Olympic Committee take?

The Advocate
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White House Christmas Tree Goes All Gay
By Editors
A gay man has decorated the White House’s Blue Room Christmas tree with communists and a “legendary transvestite” named Hedda Lettuce, according to the conservative blog Big Government.


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Withers: DADT gets attention from some in Congress
By James Withers
With hints from Speaker Nancy Pelosi that next year the House is not going to go after any controversial issues until the White House or Senate step up, it was nice to see at least two representatives chipping away at Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA), a member of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, and Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), lead sponsor of the bill to repeal DADT, authored a letter to the Defense Department that was signed by 96 of their peers. They are looking for up-to-date information on the military members discharged under DADT while President Obama has been commander-in-chief.

Pink News - UK
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Boy George barred from appearing on Big Brother
Singer Boy George will not be appearing on Celebrity Big Brother after a High Court judge dismissed his appeal. The star, real name George O'Dowd, was barred from going on the show when the Probation Service said his appearance would undermine public confidence in the justice system.

Head of Russian Orthodox Church condemns discrimination against gays
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has said that although homosexuality is still a sin, gay people must not be discriminated against.

Lithuanian parliament revises 'gay ban' law
Lithuania has revised a controversial law banning the "promotion" of homosexuality. The country's parliament voted 58-4, with 25 abstentions, to amend the law. It prohibited the "public dissemination" of any materials which could be seen to promote homosexuality.

Daily Queer News
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Christmas was meant for children
by Patrick Folliard
I once read in a Bette Davis bio that as a kid in New England the highlight of her childhood Christmases was finding the theater tickets that Santa Claus had left her under the tree. Take a note from Bette’s book, and try giving the little ones in your life the gift of theater this holiday season. Who knows — maybe your present will be the nudge that sends a little thespian-in-the-making on the path to a brilliant career of his or her own?

Gay short film has Oscar potential
By David Hoffman
Film buffs drawn to the Jewish Community Center’s annual film festival earlier this month stumbled onto a surprise gem of a major motion picture in the making, in the guise of being just one of five “Queer Shorts” offered by the JCC’s program for Gay & Lesbian Outreach & Engagement (GLOE). Starring the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Sir Derek Jacobi, the 19-minute film “Sidney Turtlebaum” is now shaping up as a likely Academy Award nominee in the live action short film category, according to the film’s producer Daniel Jewel, who spoke to the audience after the recent D.C. screening.

Ringing in 2010
By Tyrone Ford
D.C. is gearing up for yet another New Year’s Eve packed full of events, parties and several after parties. There is no shortage of choices, whether you prefer low key or an all out two-day affair. The city’s bars, clubs and restaurants are working tirelessly to plan events that will make New Year’s Eve a memorable one. Below are a few options to consider.

Gay marriage in our black church
By Dennis W. Wiley and Christine Y. Wiley
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago, we took our places in front of the altar at Covenant Baptist Church, just as we had countless times before in our more than 20 years as partners in ministry. We had been united in holy matrimony ourselves in the same spot where we now stood to unite others.

Teabagger has weepy breakdown over 'misdirected prayer'
by: Alvin McEwen
Every now and then, a situation takes that place that's so strange, it diverts my attention away from focusing on the religious right. During the mad battle over health care reform, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) recently gave a speech on the Senate floor hoping that a senator would not make the vote. He encouraged prayer on the matter: What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight. That’s what they ought to pray.

Moyers, Moore and Maddow top Alternet's 25 most influential progressive media figures
by: Pam Spaulding
This story caught my eye because Rachel Maddow, who certainly deserves to be at the top of the mountain, is 1) brilliant; 2) is "family" (woohoo), and 3) a relatively "new" media figure compared to the other veteran progressive media types making Alternet's list. It looks like the eds were surprised as well: It's no surprise that Moyers, the moral sage, and Moore, the rabble-rouser, are ranked at the top. They have been popular with AlterNet readers for years. Moyers' current show, "Bill Moyers' Journal," gets at the heart of our many social ills with long-form exploration and probing interviews. Recently, Moyers spent an episode on the Lyndon Johnson Vietnam tapes, drawing a connection to Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan. The show was a television masterpiece.


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