Thursday, December 31, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - December 31, 2009

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New York Times
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Texting While Driving, Smoking Target of '10 Laws
Texting while driving, smoking in public and cooking with artery-clogging trans fats will be that much harder under a bevy of state laws set to take effect around the country on Friday. Faced with huge budget shortfalls and little extra money to throw around, state lawmakers exercised their (inexpensive) power to clamp down on impolite, unhealthy and sometimes dangerous behaviors in 2009.

New Jersey Judge Calls Surrogate Legal Mother of Twins
A New Jersey judge has ruled that a gestational surrogate who gave birth to twin girls is their legal mother, even though she is not genetically related to them.

Birth Mother Ordered to Surrender Daughter
The biological mother of a 7-year-old Virginia girl must transfer custody of the child to her former partner, a Vermont family court judge has ruled, adding that it seemed as though the mother had “disappeared” with the girl.

Naughtie Behavior | The Decade in Music
Just as there is not yet a consensus on what to call the first 10 years of the 21st century — the aughts, the naughties, the 00s — we can’t quite decide how to term this decade’s musical contributions: the BeyoncĂ©s, the Age of Letting Simon, Paula and Randy Choose Our Music, the Golden Age of Brooklyn Hipster Cred, the Period of Major Labels Imploding, the Crazy-All-The-Time-For-Gnarls-Barkley’s-“Crazy”-Time, the ’80s? So we’re just going to go with…all of them. Here, our Top 10 music trends of the aughts. Or whatever.

NH Gay Couples to Start New Year With Wedding Vows
Jeffry Burr and Neil Blair are just hours from their wedding, but there are no typical prenuptial jitters. After all, this is the third time they've exchanged vows.

Washington Post
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OC megachurch pastor asks for urgent donations
The Associated Press
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren appealed to parishioners at his Orange County megachurch Wednesday to help fill a $900,000 deficit by the first of the year.

TV preview: Hank Stuever on MTV's 'The Real World: D.C.'
By Hank Stuever
If you tossed a manila folder containing headshots of all the 170 or so dipwads, skanks, dorks, studs, punks, layabouts, hipsters, frat boys, princesses, alcoholics, dreamers, androgynes, breasty sweetie-pies, thugs, defensive right-wingers, dilettante liberals, wannabe musicians/actors/rappers/comedians, future spokesmodels, racist hicks and angry minorities who've ever done time in the pop-art confines of 23 seasons (!) of MTV's "The Real World," and let the contents scatter to the floor, and then allowed me 15 minutes or so to sort the cast members by season and city, I might do all right, at first: Heather B. goes with the primordial 1992 New York season, of course, with Eric, Julie and Norman; Jacinda goes with London; Pedro and Puck will always have San Francisco; and here's that gay/not-gay/gay black dude who slapped that one heavy-lidded white chick in Seattle for calling him gay. But I'd have to give up around 2000 or so (Colin goes with Hawaii? Mormon Girl was New Orleans?), as my addled Gen-X brain clouds over like a badly filtrated "Real World" Jacuzzi.

First Click -- Maryland
Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis
MVA delays policy on sex changes
"The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has postponed a policy change that, starting Jan. 1, would have required transgender residents to obtain a court order or amended birth certificate to change the gender on their driver's license or identification card," reports The Sun's Laura Smitherman. "The delay drew praise Wednesday from gay rights advocates who mobilized to protest altering the policy that's been in effect since 2000 and allows applicants to change their designation if they provide a physician or psychologist's report confirming they are undergoing a sex change."

Wall Street Journal
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Custody Battle Pits Gay Couple Against Surrogate
By Nathan Koppel
Yesterday, we talked about an interesting custody dispute involving a lesbian couple. Today, we head to New Jersey to look at a custody battle between a gay couple and a woman who agreed to act as a surrogate mother for the couple.

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Same-sex couples to celebrate New Year saying 'I do' in NH, 5th state to legalize gay marriage
By Norma Love
Jeffry Burr and Neil Blair are just hours from their wedding, but there are no typical prenuptial jitters. After all, this is the third time they've exchanged vows.,0,3136960.story/

Steve Rothaus
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Halo lounge in South Beach, Washington, D.C., changing its name to MOVA on Jan. 8
Halo lounge will change its name to MOVA, effective Jan. 8.
Owner Babak Movahedi, pictured with singer Cyndi Lauper, tells me he’s changing the name because too many other Halo gay bars have recently opened.

Mexico City enacts region's 1st gay marriage law
By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press
MEXICO CITY -- Mexico City enacted Latin America's first law recognizing gay marriage Tuesday and said it hopes to attract same-sex couples from around the world to wed. The law, approved by city legislators on Dec. 21, was published in Mexico City's official register Tuesday and will take effect in March. It will allow same-sex couples to adopt children and municipal officials say it will make Mexico's capital a "vanguard city" - and attract extra tourism revenues.

Fox News video | Liza Minnelli 'On the Record'
From Fox News:
Entertainment legend Liza Minnelli discusses new DVD, career, and Grammy nomination with Greta Van Susteren:

The Advocate
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Chris Evans Outed Bro Scott in The Advocate
By Editors
Chris Evans got a lot of attention when he talked about his gay brother Scott in an interview with The Advocate -- but Scott Evans tells the attention wasn't all good, because Scott wasn't yet out professionally.

Gay Cruise to Set Sail in Mainland China
By Michelle Garcia
Banana hammocks, sandy beaches, mai tais, and maybe an afternoon of sightseeing for those willing to put on shirts are all things you can expect on a gay cruise—but maybe not the homeland of Chairman Mao.

The Five Worst Antigay Rants of the Year
By Editors
As antigay statements from national religious and political leaders go, 2009 was especially rich. Here's a recap of the year's worst in hysterics, threats, and thinly-veiled homophobic sentiment.

The Advocate
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Gay Indiana Professor Murdered
By Editors
Don Belton, an assistant professor of English at Indiana University and one of the leading African-American voices in academia, was found stabbed to death in his Bloomington, Ind., home Monday, the Associated Press reports. Twenty-five-year-old Michael J. Griffin has admitted to the stabbing, police say. Griffin reportedly said he stabbed the 53-year-old Belton because the professor sexually assaulted him on Christmas Day and then showed no remorse, according to court papers. Griffin said he went to Belton’s home on Sunday to confront him about the assault and that an argument and scuffle ensued. According to the probably cause affidavit, Griffin then stabbed Belton with a 10-inch military style knife after Belton failed to “show or express any type of feeling that what had taken place was a mistake.” Griffin is being held in county jail and is expected in court for an initial hearing on Wednesday.

Jane Lynch Animated for Cleveland Show
By Editors
Glee star Jane Lynch can add voiceover artist to her extensive resume. The out actress joins the cast of The Cleveland Show January 10 in the role of Roberta’s brusque, no-nonsense new teacher Ms. Eck.

B.C. Gov't Backs Out of Vancouver Outgames
By Editors
The British Columbia government has backed out of a verbal commitment to financially support the 2011 Outgames in Vancouver, Canada's Xtra reports. Government officials initially promised to contribute $400,000 to the event, according to an Outgames chairman John Boychuk. That commitment was then reduced to $150,000 to $200,000. Now they say, "'We can’t continue to commit to any amount,’” Boychuk says.

Actress, Activist Rubinstein in Failing Health
By Editors
Zelda Rubinstein, who made a name for herself starring in the Poltergeist films and has long been a vocal supporter of gay rights and AIDS research, is in failing health after being hospitalized in Los Angeles for more than a month.

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Withers: Illinois Republican calls rival gay
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
I really have no personal problem with Republicans. Sure the stupid sophistry of Sean Hannity, the hyperbolic hyperventilating of Glenn Beck, and the racist ramblings of a few teabaggers grate, but those fools are out numbered by the serious Republicans who have legitimate policy differences with their brethren and sistern on the other side of the aisle.

Pink News - UK
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Televised trial of Proposition 8 'possible'
Challenge to legislation banning gay marriage could be broadcast as part of a new initiative in the US.

Theatre director Nicholas Hytner knighted
Openly gay director of the National Theatre receives knighthood in New Year's Honours.

BBC News presenter Jane Hill comes out
Newsreader Jane Hill discusses cohabiting with her partner in the corporation's in-house magazine.

The gay highs and lows of 2009
A look back at the best and worst moments for LGBT causes in 2009. While sports stars came out and politicians rushed to stand up for gay rights, the year was marred by the death of a much-loved pop star and a string of violent homophobic attacks.

New rights for trans people in Pakistan
The Pakistan Supreme Court has ordered the government to allow trans people the right to a distinct gender. The court said that trans people, known as hijras, should be able to get national identity cards showing their gender as hijras.

First lesbian US marshall confirmed
The first openly gay US marshall has been confirmed. Minneapolis assistant police chief Sharon Lubinski was confirmed on Monday as the US marshal for the Minnesota district.

Daily Queer News
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N.J. gay couples looking for a civil union 'dissolution' find it's harder than 'divorce'
By Mary Fuchs/Statehouse Bureau
For same-sex couples unhappy in their civil unions, breaking up is hard to do. For starters, ending a civil union is called "dissolution," not "divorce," and legal experts say the difference between those two words has created confusion over which laws and cases apply to civil unions.

Gay Indiana Professor Don Belton Stabbed to Death in Own Home
Gay Indiana University professor and author Don Belton was stabbed to death in his home by Michael Griffin, a decorated Marine who claims Belton sexually assaulted and raped him in front of his girlfriend while they were intoxicated. Belton was reportedly stabbed by Griffin two days later when the Marine went to confront the professor. Police are searching for the girlfriend, who apparently left town. Belton is the author of Almost Midnight, a novel, and the anthology Speak My Name. The Chicago Tribune reports: Michael J. Griffin, 25, of Bloomington told police he visited Don Belton on Sunday to confront the 53-year-old assistant professor of English over two alleged assaults, the probable cause affidavit said. An argument and scuffle ensued. Griffin told police he stabbed Belton with a 10-inch military style knife after Belton failed to "show or express any type of feeling that what had taken place was a mistake," the affidavit said.

And What Fraction of These Cousin-Marrying States Allow Gay Marriage?
THE SHOT — Infographics are most effective when they point out what's often readily understood but hard to visualize. Like this one from the New York Times, which puts America's ignorant relationship with marriage rights in a blazing hot spotlight.

Scouts reject lesbian leaders
Cate Wirth said Tuesday she was "taken aback" recently when she and her longtime civil union partner, Elizabeth Wirth, were turned down as Cub Scout leaders because of their sexual orientation. "I was speechless," Wirth said, recounting the meeting where the district director was asking for parent volunteers, but told the gay couple they could not be leaders because "we wouldn't want you pushing your lifestyle on the boys."

Names sought for lesbian albatrosses' chick
Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
Tourism Dunedin is asking for names suitable for a chick being hatched by a pair of lesbian royal albatrosses nesting on Otago Peninsula.

Oregon High School with Ugandan sister school plans protest against Uganda's gay genocide bill
by: Lurleen
Uganda's proposed gay genocide law isn't just an abstract concern for students at Beaverton, Oregon's Southridge High School. Southridge has a sister school in Kalisizo, Uganda, and students and faculty from both have an ongoing and active relationship.

Attacks against Kevin Jennings becoming sad parodies
by: Alvin McEwen
Though the noise has faded a bit, members of the right are still attacking Obama appointee Kevin Jennings. I've been pretty much ignoring the new attacks because they have gotten stupid.

Youth Gender Identity, Race and Class in the New York Times and In the New Year
Filed by: Dr. Jillian T. Weiss
The New York Times published an interview on Monday with Vidari DeGuzman, a youth worker at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a service organization for LGBT youth in New York City. Although relatively short, I found the interview revealing about issues of race and class that often get obscured in discussions of gender identity. Is "gender identity" a singular experience that every person has, or is it a series of individual experiences differentiated by race and class and other factors? Is there such a thing as "men's experiences" and "women's experiences" that transcend time and space that we can generalize about? Or is that just a convenient story that we invent?

Rosie O'Donnell is off the market!
Filed by: Bil Browning
Because the romantic life of celebrities is what we peons live for... The comedian and former TV talk show host -- who in mid-November revealed that her longtime partner Kelli Carpenter moved out of their home two years ago -- is now dating Tracy Kachtick-Anders, a Texas-based artist, O'Donnell's rep confirms to PEOPLE. The pair were spotted walking hand-in-hand in Miami Beach on Tuesday.

There's more than 10 in one paragraph
Filed by: Bil Browning
"Get all pro-homosexual and pro-promiscuity programs, literature, teachers, and counselors out of every school now. Remove "gay" clubs, Planned Parenthood at health fairs, and GLSEN- PFLAG- SIECUS activists. Cease all condom demonstrations, abortion referrals, on-site birth control dispensing, sexual orientation affirmation, and messing with children's hearts, minds and bodies. Demand that schools uphold the traditional value of heterosexual identities, teach abstinence-until-marriage, and celebrate male/female gender differences." -- Linda Harvey, spokeswoman for Renew America, in an article called, "Ten Ways to Make Kids Truly Safe in 2010" Notice that teaching math was not mentioned.

"Ex-Gay" Lesbian Lisa Miller Still In Hiding With Her Daughter
posted by Joe
Lisa Miller has until tomorrow to hand her daughter Isabella over to her ex-partner Janet Jenkins and nobody is saying where they are hiding, especially not the anti-gay Liberty Counsel, Miller's attorneys, who appear to be complicit in Isabella's kidnapping.
"She does not know where her daughter is and she is trying to find her," Sarah Star, an attorney representing Jenkins, told Star says Jenkins last saw her daughter in January 2009 and spoke with her in March 2009. In his custody ruling, Vermont Family Court Judge William Cohen said nobody has "seen or heard from" Miller and Isabella since Nov. 20. The judge ordered custody to be switched from Miller to Jenkins after Miller repeatedly failed to allow visitation for her former partner. An assistant to the lawyers representing Miller, Mathew Staver and Stephen Crampton, told that the lawyers were "on vacation and unavailable for comment on the matter." A Facebook page seemingly set up by Miller appears to show the last posting from the mother being on Dec. 4.

Upstate NY Senator Wants To Split State
posted by Joe
Sen. Joseph Robach (R-Rochester) thinks it's time to resurrect the old plan to split New York into two states. Forget the fact that New York State’s boundaries have been largely unchanged since the Constitution was ratified. That only two states have been admitted to the Union by splitting off from other states (Maine from Massachusetts in 1820, and West Virginia from Virginia in 1863). And that if the United States were to add a 51st state, the likeliest candidate would be Puerto Rico, or even the District of Columbia — not New York. State Senator Joseph E. Robach, a Republican who represents part of Rochester, has proposed legislation that would allow each of New York State’s 62 counties to hold a referendum in 2010 to ask voters this question: “Do you support the division of New York into two separate states?” The referendum – if it is even legal – would be nonbinding.

Karl Rove destroys his marriage
The architect of George Bush’s march to the White House and the man who engineered anti-gay marriage amendments in the name of “saving” marriage has gotten divorced. Again. Yes. His second. In the announcement, his spokesperson asked for privacy. Really?

Teens take on hot topics, from gay marriage to marijuana
Submitted by NewsSystem
Nearly 1,000 students from 50 high schools throughout Southern Nevada participated in the 53rd annual Sun Youth Forum on Nov. 24. The students were divided into groups to discuss a variety of topics. A spokesperson was chosen from each group to write a column about the students’ findings. SeHoon Park of Clark High School writes about issues covered in the discussion group Home in Nevada.

Don Belton Murdered
by: Lev Raphael
The well-known black gay author and anthologist Don Belton was murdered in his own home by a man half his age claiming that Belton sexually assaulted him twice and showed no remorse. Belton's journal, found by the police, has an entry where he says he's happy that this man (the murderer) has entered his life. From the face of it, it sounds like someone deeply closeted whose internalized homophobia turned into shame and rage and violence. The initial story is here:
Lev Raphael :: Don Belton Murdered
I'm not just freaked out because he was a gay writer, but because I knew him back in the 90s when we were both featured in the Dutton anthology Wrestling with the Angel, a great book about gay men and faith. Don and I were sent by Dutton to Chicago and Minneapolis, and though many of the details of our tour together escape me now (I've since done hundreds of readings and talks), I remember being blown away by how funny, smart, literate and cool he was. We stayed connected for a while, but he moved around a lot and we eventually lost touch--and today I woke up to find him horribly in the news.

Janet Jenkins/Lisa Miller custody case still not resolved despite judge's orders
by: Alvin McEwen
The custody case between Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller has taken an ugly turn. From Religious Right Watch: We've written a few posts in the past about the custody battle being waged between Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins, a Vermont couple who had a daughter together in 2002 but eventually separated and soon became locked in a custody fight after Miller moved to Virginia, became a Christian active in Jerry Falwell's church, and sought sole custody of their daughter, Isabella, with the representation of the Falwell-founded Liberty Counsel.

Gays and lesbians left at the border in immigration reform bill
Filed by: Joe Mirabella
The LGBT community has been working for immigration reform for years. Our families are regularly split apart because we can not sponsor our foreign born loved ones for citizenship like married heterosexual couples can.

The Pride Center @ Equality Park [GLCC]
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Wilton Manors: Flea Market
First Saturday of Every Month Starting January 2, 2010 now at the New Campus 2040 N. Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors

Broward GLBT News
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Wilton Manors: Join the Dolphin Democrats at the Stonewall Democrats Soiree and enjoy the art at Dennis Dean Galleries. The event is FREE!. Beer, wine, non alcoholic beverages, and refreshments will be provided FREE!
Stonewall Democrats Soiree
Host:Dolphin Democrats
Type:Party - Cocktail Party
Date:Saturday, January 16, 2010
Time:7:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:Dennis Dean Galleries
Street:2440 B Wilton Drive 2nd Floor
City/Town:Wilton Manors, FL


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