Saturday, February 21, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 21, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Mich. court recognizes Ill. adoption by gay couple
Michigan courts can oversee a custody dispute between lesbian parents who adopted in Illinois even though Michigan doesn't formally recognize gay relationships, the state Court of Appeals said Friday. The court ruled 2-1 that the U.S. Constitution requires state courts to recognize Diane Giancaspro and Lisa Congleton as adoptive parents. It reversed a trial judge who said Michigan's 2004 voter-approved gay marriage ban kept her from enforcing the women's parental rights.

-Utah lawmaker's gay comments cost him chairmanship
A Utah state senator on Friday was kicked off a judicial committee he chaired after he drew criticism for comparing gay activists to radical Muslims in an interview aired this week. Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, also told former local television reporter Reed Cowan, an openly gay documentary producer who now works at a Miami station, that gay activists are "probably the greatest threat to America going down."

-Monkey Business: The good news for men: Women love apes
By Gene Weingarten
In a study described recently in the New York Times, men and women were shown various types of sexually explicit videos, and sensors were attached to their private parts to measure their physical arousal. The subjects were also asked to rate their degree of arousal themselves. The study found that men were completely predictable: Straight men reported they were turned on only by images of women, and the machine confirmed that. Same with gay men and images of men. But while women of both orientations reported similarly gender-specific responses, the machine called them liars. The sensors reported that all women were turned on by absolutely everything ... including videos of bonobos having sex. Bonobos are apes

-Work That Tiara, Boy!: GMU's Choice of Homecoming Queen Sparks Campus Divide
By Annie Gowen
Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen [gay] and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Recession's ironic gift: gender equality
There are a whole lot of folks who once looked forward to the day when women would become equal participants in the work force with men. What they didn't predict was that women might finally reach the goal of equality, less because they scaled the heights than because men slipped downward. Women now hold more than 49 percent of jobs on the nation's payrolls. If we cross the 50 percent line, it will be because men are losing their jobs even faster than women.,0,6014607.story

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Asian countries urged to follow China and decriminalise gay sex
By Tony Grew
The fight against HIV in Asia could be greatly assisted if countries moved to legalise homosexuality, according to a leading Chinese AIDS activist.

-US state moves to grant workplace protection to LGBT people
By Staff Writer,
The state Senate of North Dakota has passed legislation that will bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in matters of employment.

-Italian activists to protest against "ex-gay" song at national festival
By Staff Writer,
A coalition of lesbian, gay and bisexual rights groups in Italy plan to protest at a major music event in Italy tomorrow after the inclusion of a song about a gay man "turning" straight.

-Wisconsin will face challenge to domestic partnerships from 'family' groups
By Staff Writer,
The Governor of the US state of Wisconsin has announced plans to introduce domestic partnerships.

-British evangelical condemnation of God Hates Fags sect questioned
By Staff Writer,
A leading religious commentator has questioned why British fundamentalist Christian groups that oppose gay rights have spoken out against a hate preacher from America.

-Jacqui Smith ordered to bring gay asylum seeker back to UK
By Rachel Charman
The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been ordered by the High Court to have a gay asylum seeker, removed from the UK, brought back to Britain.

Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-What in the Name of the Crusades are Tennessee Evangelicals Doing in Kurdish Iraq?
Bill Berkowitz | Religion Dispatches
While most Religion Dispatches readers are familiar with the growing influence of Christian Zionists and their close relationship with Israel, few are probably aware of the penetration of American evangelicals into Northern Iraq. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, a number of fundamentalist Christian organizations announced plans to participate in the future rebuilding effort. At the time, the Rev. Franklin Graham indicated that his organization, Samaritan's Purse, would lead the way. Graham, the son of the Rev. Billy Graham, who shortly after September 11, got himself into a bit of a pickle by lashing out at all Muslims, famously calling Islam "a very evil and wicked religion," was now poised-with US troops about to march into Baghdad-to organize welcome wagons stuffed with Bibles and bandages. Read more

-Groups Condemn Jamaican Lawmaker's Anti-Gay Remarks
On Top Magazine
Rights groups are calling for Jamaican leaders to condemn the comments of a lawmaker who has called for life imprisonment for being gay. On February 10, Ernest Smith, a Jamaica Labor Party parliamentarian, described gay men and lesbians as "abusive" and "violent," and called for tightening of Jamaica's law that outlaws being gay. Smith said the law should impose sentences of up to life in prison. Six days later, Smith told a Jamaican newspaper that J-FLAG, the Jamaican Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, "should be outlawed." Smith said, "How can you legitimize an organization that is formed for the purposes of committing criminal offenses?" Read more

-No Turning Back: An Interview with Billie Jean King
James LaRosa |
Ten years after the 1999 Australian Open, where Amelie Mauresmo publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian, Billie Jean King spoke to about her own rocky coming out nearly three decades ago. King, the first prominent athlete to come out, was forced to do so after she was outed in a 1981 palimony suit filed by her ex-lover.
James LaRosa: What were your emotions back then, after having just been outed?
Billie Jean King: I felt very violated. I felt blackmailed. And yet I want to tell the truth. I argued with my publicist and my lawyer for two days so I could do that press conference. They didn't want me to do it, but I was insistent. I did the right thing. It's better to tell the truth. Within 24 hours I lost all my future income. I was just getting ready to leave the game. And I had all these wonderful contracts happening. And I was finally going to make some money. Because my generation didn't make any of the big bucks the way the next generation did. It was really an important time for me to have my financial security, and that wasn't going to happen. I think all that helped though. I think every time somebody comes out, it just pushes us forward. It's harder for people once they know you. They have a harder time thinking it's wrong. Read more

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay Voices Were Heard in City Elections
Despite low voter turnout, GLBT advances made in Feb. election
Some people in the gay community may be disappointed that Fort Lauderdale did not elect a gay mayor, but there is more still to be proud about. In the media, some have suggested gays failed. Not so. First of all, two credible gay candidates marshaled nearly 40% of the vote in a city where our outgoing mayor spent the last two years demeaning our credibility.

-Apathy is our biggest enemy: Why gay candidates didn't win elections
The tension between the Trantalis and Rynerson campaigns was infamous. Here we had two gay candidates for Mayor of Fort Lauderdale running against another man (Jack Seiler), who got a tap on the back from the most homophobic mayor in the United States - Jim Naugle. The Trantalis and Rynerson campaigns seemed to minimize each other as interlopers and unworthy opponents. Then of course, after the "big gay loss" to Seiler was confirmed, there was a lot of sarcasm and huffing about how the "average" voters had spoken.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Campus Pride Honors Three LGBT Students With Voice & Action Awards
Campus Pride honored three college students this past week with Voice & Action Leadership Awards for being young adult role models and activists within the LGBT community. The three college seniors, Celso Perez from Boston College, Shawna Scott from the University of Georgia, and Justin Hager from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have each contributed to the fight for LGBT equality at university, local, and national levels.

-Expect White Knots on Oscar's Red Carpet
Celebrities have often donned ribbons, a small yet public statement that has helped garner visibility and publicity for various causes -- red ribbons for AIDS awareness, pink for breast cancer. For this Sunday's Oscars, expect white knots. The white ribbons symbolize support for marriage equality: As the group behind the ribbons declares on its website, "Everyone should have the right to tie the knot."

-U.S-Backed Nondiscrimination Statement Fails
A version of an international statement condemning violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation backed by the United States failed to win approval this week by participating nations of the Durban Review Conference.

-New York Post Cartoonist Incites Outrage, Protests
New York Post cartoonist Sean Delonas, whose work earned a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation citation for Worst Defamation in 2008, has found himself in hot water again -- this time for a cartoon printed in the Post February 18. The cartoon, intending to combine and parody two recent news stories, depicts police having killed a chimpanzee and then remarking, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The quote was clearly intended to be a not-so-subtle reference to President Obama.

-Mitcham Named Aussie Health Ambassador
Gay Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham was named Thursday to be one of his country's ambassadors for men's health. The Australian diver, who won the 10-meter platform competition at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will be an advocate for the country's policy on men's health.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Grisly details of gay man's death presented to jury
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
02.20.2009 4:56pm EST
(Bartow, Florida) Several members of the jury considering the fate of the first of two men accused of killing Ryan Skipper in 2007 were visibly shaken by autopsy photos of the 25-year old gay man. The pictures showed that his throat had been slashed and there were multiple stab wounds - as many as 20- covering his torso. There was blood covering his back and shoulders. Joseph Bearden, a known methamphetamine addict, is accused of robbing, killing Skipper, and dumping his body. He has pleaded not guilty. Bearden's co-defendant, William Brown Jr., will be tried separately.

-Withers: Homophobes need to stay away from microphones
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
What is the deal with raving mad bigots and microphones? Remember a few years back when retired NBA player Tim Hardaway had a radio melt-down and let folk know how he wasn't drinking any gay loving juice? "You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known," Hardaway said. "I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

-Anti-gay group blasts Log Cabin leader
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The conservative Americans for Truth About Homosexuality is demanding the Republican Party reprimand Jamie Ensley, the president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans for calling the AFTAH a "radical Christian domestic terrorist group" and comparing it to Nazis.

-Gay imprisonment bill dies in Burundi Senate
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Bujumbura) Legislation making changes to Burundi's criminal code that would have made homosexuality a criminal offense has been overwhelmingly defeated in the central African nation's Senate.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Iran: Two young men to be thrown off cliff (punishment reserved to homosexuals)
"According to the daily Quds, two youths will be thrown into a precipice in the vicinity of the city of Shiraz. The sentencing of the two youths was confirmed on January 2 by the Supreme Court and the Regional Justice is preparing the execution. Tayab and Yazdan will be enclosed in a bag before being thrown into the ravine at the top of a cliff. This unimaginable penalty is reserved for homosexuals according to the laws "full of love and light" of the Shariah. According to the Shariah, if both men survive this fall, they will be hanged." [...] The executions will be carried out by putting each youth in a sack and throwing them off the top of a cliff and into a ravine and this form of execution under Shariah law is normally reserved for those convicted of gay offences (lavat). But there is no mention of 'lavat' in the Quds report of this case. [...] Also included and charged in the same case were four others who are to receive 100 lashes each.

-Video of above -

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
Go to the links for the following articles:
Contact if you can't access the article

-National Lesbian Health Summit
Expanding our Movement
March 6-8, 2009, San Francisco, CA

-What Kind of Boss Does Barack Obama Want to Be?
by Joan Garry

-North Dakota measure says fertilized egg has human rights

-New York's Proposed 'Entertainment Tax' May Be Unconstitutional
As part of an attempt to plug a $15 billion deficit in the New York state budget, Gov. David Paterson has called upon legislators to approve a 4 percent tax on "digitally delivered entertainment services" - including iPod downloads and online porn.

-Indiana Legislature Says "No" to Marriage Discrimination Amendment
Credit for this success is due to the diligent and continuing efforts of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers, friends and allies. Indiana Equality Action and its coalition partners - the Human Rights Campaign, Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Indianapolis Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination, Stop the Amendment, Citizens for Civil Rights and regional coordinating committees - thank people throughout the state for contacting their legislators to tell them hate and intolerance have no place in our state constitution.

-Indiana University Student adviser honored with award for human rights work

-Why we don't need to make polygamy a crime
Whatever you may have heard, the case of Winston Blackmore and James Oler, the fundamentalist Mormon preachers from Bountiful, B.C. whose polygamy case goes to trial next week, is not about religious freedom. Nor is it about gay marriage, or child abuse, or any of the other extraneous issues with which partisans of one stripe or another would like to festoon the debate. It certainly isn't about whether the two men are guilty of the crime of polygamy under Section 293 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits "any kind of conjugal union with more than one person at the same time whether or not it is by law recognized as a binding form of marriage." The defence does not contest the charges, but rather intends to argue the law is a violation of their freedom of religion as guaranteed under the Charter of Rights.

From Steve Krantz
PFLAG Director, Southern Pacific Region, and National Board Member,

- 13 Love Stories on Youtube - these are terrific

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-New Landmark Publication By Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal Offers Legal Options To Those Hurt By Ex-Gay Programs
If You Have Been Harmed By 'Ex-Gay' Programs, 'Ex-Gay & The Law' Is For You


[Send your comments about articles to]

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - February 21, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Obama Widens Missile Strikes Inside Pakistan
With two missile strikes over the past week, the Obama administration has expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan, attacking a militant network seeking to topple the Pakistani government.

-In China, Clinton Focuses on Climate
BEIJING - Declaring "we hope you won't make the same mistakes we made," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton invited China to join the United States in an ambitious effort to curb greenhouse gases, as she toured an energy-efficient power plant in Beijing on Saturday.

-Illinois Governor Urges Senator to Quit and Calls for a Law on Special Elections
Gov. Patrick J. Quinn of Illinois on Friday called on Senator Roland W. Burris to resign and urged state lawmakers to set up a mechanism for a special election. It was the clearest sign yet that even those within Mr. Burris's own Democratic Party believe he cannot survive the growing questions surrounding his appointment and are, once again, pondering the possibility of a new junior senator for the state.

-Congo: The Invisible War
Perhaps we've heard so little about them because the crimes are so unspeakable, the evil so profound. For years now, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, marauding bands of soldiers and militias have been waging a war of rape and destruction against women. This sustained campaign of mind-bending atrocities, mostly in the eastern part of the country, has been one of the strategic tools in a wider war that has continued, with varying degrees of intensity, since the 1990s. Millions have been killed.

-A Nation of Cowards?
This began as a relatively quiet Black History Month. The biggest highlight was a 72-year-old former Klansman scratching "apologize to John Lewis for beating him up" off his bucket list.

-Changing Climate Numbers
In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its fourth assessment report, summarizing evidence collected and weighed by scientists around the world. At the time, it was the best estimate of where the planet was, climatically speaking, and where it was likely to be going, and the news the report offered was daunting.

-Clinton Rewrites Script for Her Position in Asia
BEIJING - On Friday morning, Hillary Rodham Clinton was the picture of a stern superpower diplomat, warning North Korea not to test a long-range ballistic missile. A few hours later, she was asked by a giggly Korean student how she knew she had fallen in love with her husband.

-Netanyahu, Once Hawkish, Touts Pragmatism
JERUSALEM - Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud Party leader chosen Friday to form Israel's next government, likes to tell a story about his meeting last summer in Jerusalem with President Obama, who was then still the Democratic candidate.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-In Mexico, Faltering, Not Failed
By Edward Schumacher-Matos
Mexico is not a failing state, as it has become fashionable to say. What has failed is our "war on drugs." That failure and the drug-related violence wracking Mexico suggest it is time to open a national discussion on legalizing drugs.

-Wasting a Crisis
California misses an opportunity for a more rational energy policy. AT LAST, California has a budget. The legislature of the largest state, home to more than 11 percent of this country's population, has approved a $143 billion plan that closes a projected $42 billion gap through 2010. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has signed it. The package raises taxes and slashes spending -- but it also relies heavily on new borrowing (including $5 billion secured by future state lottery revenue) and an expected influx of federal stimulus dollars. And it may not take effect completely if voters reject a referendum proposal this year. With California's economy in a recession even deeper than that of the rest of the United States, this can only be considered a respite from, not a conclusion to, the state's chronic fiscal crisis.

-'A Nation of Cowards'?: The attorney general's speech on race
ATTORNEY GENERAL Eric H. Holder Jr. took his fair share of lumps this week for calling the United States "a nation of cowards" because "we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race." His provocative choice of words sparked a debate that has distracted from his main point, which is important despite its familiarity: Americans need to engage in an ongoing and honest conversation about race.

-Bear Market's Bite Could Go Deeper
Dow at 6-Year Low, but Analysts Say More Pain Lies Ahead
By Tomoeh Murakami Tse and Alejandro Lazo
With the Dow Jones industrial average plunging past its lowest point since the financial crisis began, panicked investors are asking: How much uglier can it get?

-Pakistan official: 'Permanent cease-fire' in Swat
MINGORA, Pakistan -- A Pakistani official said Saturday that the Taliban and the Pakistani government had agreed to a "permanent cease-fire" in the restive northwest Swat Valley. A Taliban spokesman would not directly confirm the arrangement.

-Abramoff Scandal Yields More Charges
By James V. Grimaldi
A former legislative aide to Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) was accused yesterday of accepting more than $25,000 worth of meals and event tickets from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for helping his clients.

-Cartoonists treading lightly when drawing Obama
-- Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz was in front of a classroom full of black and Latino kids, drawing presidents. He sketched Bush, then Clinton. Next came his favorite, the man he voted for: Obama.

-Few Texas high school athletes fail steroid test
The second round of steroid testing for high school athletes in Texas found only seven positive results in nearly 19,000 tests, about the same minuscule outcome as the first round last year.

Wall Street Journal

-Coping When a Close Co-Worker Is Laid Off
Losing a friend at work to a layoff can be stressful, but you'll need to deal with the situation.
You probably have a co-worker or two you're close with, who you grab to rehash the latest episodes of a favorite television show, or for company on a coffee run. But as workplaces everywhere thin their ranks, those you're friendliest with might be laid off. It can be tough to figure out how to respond when a work friend is suddenly no longer working alongside you. But there are ways to cope.

-Campaign Pledges Collide With New Fiscal Reality
As President Barack Obama finalizes his long-range budget road map for release next week, he is finding it increasingly difficult to translate some campaign promises into policy in the face of a complex economic crisis.

-The Perilous State of Mexico
With drug-fueled violence and corruption escalating sharply, many fear drug cartels have grown too powerful for Mexico to control. Why things are getting worse, and what it means for the United States.

-Jobs Still Elude Some Bush Ex-Officials
The jobless rate is hanging high -- for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected.

-How California Became France
Sacramento, Calif.
Unable to afford a welfare state and unable to reform it. As California goes, says an old cliché, so goes the nation. Oh my.

-Learning to Speak Better English: Yes, We Can!
In Japan, Students Practice Reciting Obama's Speeches; 'Convey Your Message'
TOKYO -- English teacher Makoto Ishiwata stood in front of a classroom one recent morning and watched a gray-haired Japanese student struggle with a line.

-'Good Banks' Are the Cost Effective Way Out of the Financial Crisis
We don't have the resources to subsidize all the troubled institutions. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's bank rescue -- the Financial Stability Plan (FSP) -- has been poorly received by the markets. My proposal last month to create brand new "good banks" with the limited taxpayer resources available is the best solution to the crisis.

-'Nationalize' the Banks: Dr. Doom says a takeover and resale is the market-friendly solution.
Nouriel Roubini
Nouriel Roubini is always dressed in black-and-white. I have known him for nearly two years, and have seen him in a variety of situations -- en route to class at New York University's Stern Business School, where he's a professor; over a glass of wine in his boyish loft in Manhattan's Tribeca; at an academic conference, seated sagely on the dais; at a bohemian party in Greenwich Village, at . . . oh . . . 3 a.m. -- and he always, always wears a black suit with a white linen shirt.

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Obama: tax cuts will be felt by April 1
The notoriously slow Congress passed the $787 billion economic stimulus package in a matter of weeks. President Barack Obama signed it into law less than one month into his presidency. So, just how soon will Americans start reaping the benefits of tax cuts in it? By April 1, according to the president.

-FLAG-DRAPED COFFINS: Americans should see the 'high cost' of war
Maybe now we'll see what we have not been allowed. Meaning coffins draped in our national colors, filled with the remains of our honored dead. The military has banned media from photographing coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware since 1991. This, after a 1989 incident in which some TV news outlets used a split screen to juxtapose images of deceased Americans being returned home with images of President George H.W. Bush joking with reporters at a live press conference. It was a cheap shot that made the president seem insensitive to the somber ceremony and the sacrifice it commemorated. Hence, the ban.

Pew Research center
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Housing Crisis
No Place Like Home -- Even if the Value Is in the Tank
Not even a housing-led recession can shake Americans' faith in the blessings of homeownership. Read more

-One-In-Five Homeowners Feel "Underwater" On Mortgages
The young, the less affluent and members of minority groups are more likely to say their homes are worth less than what they owe on their mortgages. Read more

-The Terror Divide
Obama Supported but Faces Partisan Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies
Americans approve of Obama's handling of terrorist threats by more than two-to-one but views about Guantanamo, torture and surveillance remain divided along familiar lines. Read more

-Crime Report
Immigration Enforcement Boosts Hispanic Share of Federal Convictions
In 2007, Latinos accounted for 40% of all sentenced federal offenders -- more than triple their share of the total U.S. adult population. Read more

-Money Media
Bad Economic News Better Than None
Americans feel better knowing what's going on but more now see some good sides to news about the economy. Read more

-Press Pivot: Vote and Polls on Stimulus Change Tone
Obama may not control the message, but he still controls the agenda. Read more

-Daily Number
43%-35% -- Big Macs or Lattes?
When asked whether they would rather live in a neighborhood with more McDonald's or more Starbucks, Americans manage to typecast themselves by just about every demographic and ideological characteristic under the sun; overall, more Americans choose McDonalds (43%) over Starbucks (35%), but the split is more pronounced -- and rather predictable -- when analyzed demographically. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Hi, all you animal lovers. This is pretty simple... Please tell ten friends to tell ten today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals' for free. This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/ advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/ neglected animals in exchange for advertising. Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Rescuing America's Homeowners
It's a mixed bag, but Obama's plan to help homeowners is still a move in the right direction.
Eileen Appelbaum
Of the 52 million U.S. homeowners with a mortgage, more than a quarter --
nearly 14 million -- are underwater. They owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. The Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, announced by President Barack Obama on Feb. 18, is intended to help some of these families stay in their home.

-What is nationalization?
The administration says it doesn't want to run banks, but investors still fear a replay of the Fannie-Freddie takeover.
Colin Barr, senior writer
What does it mean to nationalize a bank, anyway? That question has weighed on the minds of investors in the two weeks since the Obama administration's comprehensive financial industry stability plan fell flat.

-Amid budget woes, governors wonder whether stimulus spending is right
approach in bad economy
Congress and President Barack Obama developed the stimulus plan as a lifeline. Not all governors set it that way and are debating whether the billions available can help their states ride out the economic tidal wave. Amid budget woes, the deepening recession and conflicting views on the aid plan, state leaders descended on the capital Saturday to discuss the foreclosure crisis and public works projects.,0,198269.story

-South Carolina's governor may turn down stimulus money
By Richard Fausset
Reporting from Columbia, S.C. -- Would a governor in a state with the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation really say no to President Obama's stimulus money? That is the question reverberating through South Carolina, where Republican Mark Sanford -- a popular second-term governor and noted fiscal conservative -- says he may reject some of the $2.8 billion in federal funds headed to his state.,0,2767511.story

-U.S. repeats interest in two-state solution in Israel
The United States will continue to press for a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestinians, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said on Friday, after right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu was asked to form Israel's next government.

-U.S. tells North Korea to end insults, return to talks
By Jack Kim and Arshad Mohammed
SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday told North Korea to stop being provocative and return to nuclear talks, warning ties could not improve with Washington if it continued insulting South Korea.

-Obama wants to overhaul health care; can he do it?
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Now for the hard part. Even if the national credit card is maxed out and partisanship remains the rule for Washington's political tribes, President Barack Obama and Congress are plunging ahead with a health care overhaul.

-UN official thinks Hamas authored letter to Obama
The Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A U.N. relief official in the Gaza Strip said Friday he believes Hamas was the author of a letter his agency received with a request that it be delivered to President Barack Obama by a visiting U.S. senator.

-Quinn gets it right
Stung by demands that he resign from the Senate seat he lied his way into, Roland Burris dug in his heels this week, zipped his lips and made a big show of acting senatorial, embarking on a "listening tour" of the state and refusing to answer any more questions. He seemed to think he could outlast the controversy if only he could lose the reporters. God knows his fellow Democrats weren't making much noise. Now they are.,0,2359230.story

-For Obama's Political Knots, He's the 'Fixer'
Low-Profile Aide Jim Messina Has Tackled Tough Problems
By Anne E. Kornblut
Holed up in a windowless West Wing office, Jim Messina is working on his usual assignment: fixing President Obama's problems. The exact nature of that task changes from day to day. In January, when tax troubles surfaced, first threatening Timothy F. Geithner's nomination, Obama asked Messina, his deputy chief of staff, to smooth over the situation on Capitol Hill. (He did.)

-Kerry Meets With Syrian President
Posted by George Baghdadi
Senator John Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations committee, went into immediate talks on Saturday with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to encourage him to curb support for Islamist militant groups in return for a new policy of dialogue with the Obama Administration.


[Send your comments about articles to]

FLORIDA DIGEST - February 21, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Winter Party Festival: It's going to be a throwback to the gay '08s
The 2009 economy is tanking and tourism has taken a hit, but gay men and women are poised to party in South Florida like it's 2008. Winter Party Festival advance ticket sales are nearly the same this year as last, according to Michael Bath, special events manager for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Pompano Bill to be released from hospital
Local event photographer John "Pompano Bill" Calceterra is recovering from hip replacement surgery. For the scheduled operation, Calceterra was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital on February 5th and was released from Holy Cross Hospital after surgery on February 8th. He is currently recovering at the Fort Lauderdale Health and Rehabilitation Center where he is undergoing physical therapy twice daily and is expected to be released the weekend of Feb. 20. "I have one hip that's 83 and another one that's a week old." Calceterra said. No surgery was needed on his other hip but he admits he will not be able to do the Tango.

-Hate crime tried as robbery
Death penalty case begins for killing Ryan Skipper trial
Nearly two years after Ryan Skipper's body was found alongside a highway in Wahneta, Fla., the death penalty trial for one of the two men charged with his murder has begun.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Boca Raton man found guilty in 2005 slaying of gay man
A Boca Raton man may face the death penalty after a Broward County jury convicted him Friday of murdering a gay man he had targeted for robbery, prosecutor Shari Tate said. Eric Kurt Patrick, 45, confessed to the September 2005 slaying of Steven Schumacher.,0,7224185.story

-Fort Lauderdale City Commission District 4 profiles
Personal: 42, single
Education: Law degree, University of Miami, 1996
PROFESSIONAL: Partner in law firm Seidman, Prewitt, DiBello & Lopez; associate general counsel for mergers/acquisitions, SBA Communications Corp. Political: First run for office,0,3188512.story

South Florida's Premier LGBT Social Service Agency
Dedicated to meeting the needs of OUR community!
Join us in the fun and support your LGBT community!

-A Chorus Line
Performance and Reception
A Benefit for the Services and Programs of SunServe
DATE: Wednesday, February 25th, 2009
TIME: Performance at 8pm, Reception immediately following
LOCATION: Broward Center for the Performing Arts
CALL MARK AT 954-764-5150

The two-week GLBT Arts Festival ends with a bang at the ArtExplosion '09 Finale with Lea DeLaria on Saturday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The raucous comedy show features the comedian Lea DeLaria, Scott Ryan, and musical guest Levi Kreis and 2008 LOGO channel "Brink of Fame" comedian nominee Scott Ryan. Stonewall is now able to offer an amazing discount on tickets for this event: two for $30, one for $25. WHAT A DEAL! (Normal ticket price is $30 each.). We only have a few seats at this great price, so act now. To purchase a ticket, please contact Jack Rutland, Executive Director, Stonewall Library & Archives, 954-763-8565, or at


Go to the links for the following articles:

-Mass transit may be the next move for congested South Florida
Expanded bus, commuter rail lines considered as a solution to congestion despite hefty cost
By Michael Turnbell
No matter how much money is poured into building and widening roads, it's never enough. Interstate 595, for example, was at capacity a decade after it opened in 1989.,0,6522816.story

-Old and new politics collide in Fort Lauderdale City Commission race
Both District 4 candidates are attorneys, but one has family ties to the city stretching back 83 years; the other moved to city in '01
By Brittany Wallman
It's easy to see why the race has been couched as "old Fort Lauderdale " vs. new.,0,342878.story

-Former Broward Republican chief who guided Crist's election dismisses
Posted by Anthony Man at 6:34 AM
The carping coming from some in the Republican Party over Gov. Charlie Crist's support of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package doesn't detract from the governor's position, said George LeMieux. LeMieux, now chairman of law firm Gunster Yoakley and publisher of the LeMieux Report newsletter on politics, law and business, is a former Broward Republican chairman who went on to orchestrate Crist's successful 2006 campaign for governor and served as his first chief of staff. (LeMieux is also the person who coined the term "God's Country" for Broward County, a term Crist has come to use.)

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Mentally ill in jail in a new crisis
Florida's population of severely mentally ill jail inmates is expected to outstrip the number of beds available for treatment. Two years after state mental health administrators added 300 new treatment beds for mentally ill jail inmates -- averting a crisis that nearly sent a state agency head to jail for contempt -- Florida is once again running out of bed space.

-Public funds the cherry on campaign cake
Guess who else has been living large and getting massive government bailouts for years? Political candidates in Florida. Republican Charlie Crist, a career politician who easily shattered fundraising records during his 2006 bid for governor, got a $3.3 million handout to help run a campaign heavy on attack ads against his opponent. Democrat Alex Sink, a former banking executive who also had no trouble putting nickels and dimes together to run for chief financial officer, received more than $1 million courtesy of Florida taxpayers.

Friends of ArtServe - -an investment in the Arts
Limited Offer! Become a Friend of ArtServe by February 24th and receive 2 complimentary tickets to see the acclaimed Teresa Nieto Dance Company at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts on February 27, 2009 (a $79 value).* The performance is on February 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale Call today for membership levels and benefits.
Robin Drazin, 954.462.8190 ext 203.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, 20th District of Florida

-Two quick questions about expanding drilling off of Florida's coast
There are several proposals being discussed in Washington and Tallahassee that would expand the areas on which oil companies could drill off of the coast of Florida. I support a moratorium against the expansion of offshore drilling and have written a column on this topic, a version of which ran last month in the Sun-Sentinel (READ MY COLUMN HERE).

That said, I am interested to know what you think about this topic, especially now that energy prices are increasing. Thank you for taking a moment to read this and for letting me know your opinion on this important issue.

Fort Report
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Crist unveils $66.5 billion spending plan
Plan relies on no new taxes, expanded gambling revenues and heaping helping of federal money to stay in balance
By Aaron Deslatte,0,3848435.story

-Miami mayor meets with Obama
by Oscar Pedro Musibay
President Barack Obama told a meeting of more than 80 U.S. mayors Friday that it was time to leverage their front-line expertise and "convert peril into promise."

-Rove testimony hangs in balance
A federal appeals court has agreed to give President Barack Obama a little more time-but only a little- to decide whether to of President Bush's most controversial uses of executive privilege.

-Broward Republican leader voices strong criticism of Gov. Charlie Crist
Three of the four top officials of Broward's Republican Party - Chairman Chip LaMarca, Vice Chairwoman Cindy Guerra, and state committeewoman Sharon Day - were at Gov. Charlie Crist's town hall meeting this week in Fort Lauderdale. The fourth - state Republican committeeman Ed Kennedy - has become increasingly critical of Crist over the governor's support for President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.

-USF medical school program's accreditation is yanked
By Kris Hundley, Times Staff Writer
A program at the University of South Florida that trains doctors specializing in high-risk pregnancies has had its accreditation yanked after a review board found the students were overworked and poorly supervised.


[Send your comments about articles to]

Friday, February 20, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 20, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Charities Now Seek Bankruptcy Protection
On Tuesday, the board of Glass Youth and Family Services in Los Angeles voted to file for bankruptcy protection, unable to overcome falling state reimbursements, rising costs and dwindling donations.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Work That Tiara, Boy!
GMU's Choice of Homecoming Queen Sparks Campus Divide
By Annie Gowen
Spend time with George Mason University senior Ryan Allen and it's clear why he's a Big Man on Campus. He wears size 12 pumps. Allen is now -- as of halftime at Saturday's sold-out basketball game against Northeastern at the Patriot Center -- the school's homecoming queen. He received more votes than the two women who vied for the crown.

-Growing HIV rates among gay, bisexual men in Asia
HONG KONG -- The AIDS virus is spreading rapidly among gay and bisexual men in Asia as younger people shun condoms and authorities fail to increase awareness of the disease, health officials said Friday. The epidemic will worsen dramatically in coming years unless there is better education and stronger political will to combat the disease, warned Massimo Ghidinelli, the World Health Organization's regional adviser on HIV/AIDS.

Wall Street Journal

-There's No Reason to Gloat Over Dubai's Fall
The emirates set a good example in a bad neighborhood. Of all the victims of the global financial crisis, Dubai and its neighboring states are receiving little sympathy. The oil-rich Persian Gulf emirate, which until recently had been a glitzy boomtown attracting fortune-seekers from across the globe, is reported to be canceling 1,500 work visas every day. Its real-estate market has dropped 30% or more over the past few months.

Go to the links for the following articles:

-Lutheran panel urges new rules for gay clergy
By Manya A. Brachear and Margaret Ramirez
A task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommended Thursday that its leaders make changes to allow gays and lesbians in committed relationships to serve as clergy.,0,2269925.story

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Winter Party Festival: It's going to be a throwback to the gay '08s
The 2009 economy is tanking and tourism has taken a hit, but gay men and women are poised to party in South Florida like it's 2008. Winter Party Festival advance ticket sales are nearly the same this year as last, according to Michael Bath, special events manager for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Ft. Lauderdale: Pompano Bill to be released from hospital
Local event photographer John "Pompano Bill" Calceterra is recovering from hip replacement surgery. For the scheduled operation, Calceterra was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital on February 5th and was released from Holy Cross Hospital after surgery on February 8th. He is currently recovering at the Fort Lauderdale Health and Rehabilitation Center where he is undergoing physical therapy twice daily and is expected to be released the weekend of Feb. 20. "I have one hip that's 83 and another one that's a week old." Calceterra said. No surgery was needed on his other hip but he admits he will not be able to do the Tango.

-Anti-gay forces work to regain nat'l influence
Religious conservatives fear Congress will advance gay rights legislation
By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade

-Plan would recognize same-sex couples in Wisconsin
Partners would have right to hospital visits, property

-Stimulus allows 'discretionary' funds for HIV prevention
AIDS funding earmark stripped from $787 billion measure
By LOU CHIBBARO JR, Washington Blade

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-PepsiCo Gets in Bed With Rockstar, Michael Savage
PepsiCo announced Wednesday morning a multiyear distribution deal with the makers of the energy drink Rockstar, prompting calls among gay rights activists for a company-wide boycott.

-Tyra Loves Gays Who Hate Gays
By Dave White
Nobody wants to go to Elisabeth Hasselbeck's house to watch her favorite show, The Bachelor. Nobody on The View anyway. She asked her cohosts this week -- and even tried to make it sound like it would be 110% fun -- to hang out at her place watching a show about straight women battling it out to fall in fake-love with a handsome, frequently shirtless guy. There would be pajamas worn! There would be snacks!

-Long-Standing LGBT Social Service Organization Files for Bankruptcy
Eight days after celebrating its 25th anniversary, Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, effectively ceasing operations immediately. GLASS was the nation's first long-term residential treatment program specifically for LGBT youths. The group currently operates residential group homes in Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland that house 71 young people. The agency also provides transitional living space for about 25 teens aged 17-19 and secures foster homes for 50 youths.

-Fred Phelps, Daughter Barred From Entering U.K.
As they've done many times before, Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper had planned to picket an upcoming production of the Matthew Shepard play The Laramie Project -- but the United Kingdom will have none of their "extremist" hate.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-HIV rate among Swazi women now 42%
Some 42 percent of pregnant women in Swaziland are infected with the virus that causes AIDS, a jump of 3 percent since last year

-FBI's Hoover investigated rumors Valenti was gay
Longtime Hollywood lobbyist Jack Valenti was among the Washington figures whose sex lives were secretly investigated by the FBI in the 1960s.

-8 LGBT protections added to ND human rights law in state senate
In a bipartisan move, the North Dakota Senate has voted to amend the state Human Rights Act to include gays, lesbians and transgenderds.

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay airport guard awarded compensation in sexual harassment case
By Tony Grew
A gay airport employee who was sexually harassed by a female colleague was today awarded almost double the compensation expected.

Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Hollywood Slowly Opening Up to Gay Films
Malay Mail
Three years after gay cowboy romance Brokeback Mountain missed out on best picture at the Oscars, can Milk be the cream of the crop at the 81st Academy Awards? Director Gus Van Sant's inspirational biopic charts the life and death of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, who was murdered by a fellow San Francisco politician in 1978. The film, which stars Sean Penn as Milk, heads into next Sunday's Oscars with eight nominations - including best picture, best director, best actor, best supporting actor and best original screenplay. But recent history suggests that admirers of Milk should not be banking on a multi-Oscar- winning haul. "The memory of Brokeback Mountain's defeat, led some commentators to wonder if the Academy was ready to name a "gay" film for its top prize. Although Brokeback Mountain was widely acclaimed and managed three Oscars - direction, score and attempted screenplay - it was beaten by Crash as best picture. Read more

-NJ: Workshop Will Discuss Homophobia in Sports
The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network of Central New Jersey will sponsor the "It Takes a Team!" workshop 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the South Brunswick High School, 750 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction. The program, which is co-sponsored by the South Brunswick High School Gay Straight Alliance, will feature Dr. Pat Griffin speaking about ending homophobia in sports. Student athletes, parents, coaches and interested community members are welcome. Link

-Gay Pensioners Required to Out Themselves to Centrelink
Yahoo News
From July 1, Centrelink will recognise gay and lesbian relationships for the first time, but for same sex-couples receiving Centrelink payments, that hard-won equality comes at a price. Under the changes, some may get less money, or lose their payments altogether, if their partner earns more than the income threshold. And they will now be obliged to disclose their homosexuality to Centrelink. For old-age pensioners in particular, that's raising concerns. Gerontologist Jo Harrison says it is a traumatic prospect for some of the gay and lesbian pensioners she works with. "It's a huge problem, even if it is kept secret by Centrelink, because we're talking about people who have lived lives where in their 20s they were arrested and bashed," she says. Read more

-ELCA Panel Urges Church to Allow Clergy to Live in Gay, Lesbian Relationships
The Dickinson Press
GRAND FORKS - In what promises to be a controversial move unprecedented in the history of Lutheranism in the United States, a national task force of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recommends that the nation's largest Lutheran denomination change its policy and allow homosexual clergy to live in "committed, same-gender relationships." The report, made public at noon today, is the result of years of study, wrangling and revising of official statements. According to an ELCA news release, "The report focuses on changing the policy that 'ordained ministers who are homosexual in their self-understanding are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships," - as stated in the ELCA's 'Vision and Expectations,' for ordained ministers." Read more

-NC: Gay Groups Agitated Over Conference
Tonya Jameson | | Charlotte Observer
A battle for gay souls is unfolding in Charlotte this week. One faith-based conference is trying to turn people away from homosexuality and another faith-based conference teaches that homosexuals can have happy, healthy spiritual lives. Also, the 14th annual Human Rights Campaign Carolinas gala is Saturday at the Charlotte Convention Center. The HRC is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, and Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., will be the keynote speaker at Saturday's event. All of this is going down less than a week after Charlotte Presbyterians voted to end the ban on gay clergy. Read more

-Pro, "Ex" Gay Spiritual Events Converge in Charlotte, N.C.
Kilian Melloy | EDGE Contributor | EDGE Boston
Wayne Besen of "Truth Wins Out" is scheduled to speak at an anti-"ex gay" event in Charlotte
As the cultural storm over gays, their families, and their souls sweeps America, an unexpected, if momentary, focus has emerged: Charlotte, North Carolina. A Feb. 19 article in the Charlotte Observer notes that no fewer than events in Charlotte are aligning to draw attention to that city with regard to GLBT issues. Read more

-IL: Gay Students Going 'Full Kitsch' for Mixer
Chicago Breaking News
There will be music, heart-shaped decorations and the ever observant eyes of parent chaperons roaming the school commons. Beneath pink streamers, teenagers will dance and pose for pictures in the Cupid Booth. But the dance Friday will break ground as north suburban Stevenson High School's first mixer for homosexual students. "This is the first time they've gotten to actually plan a dance explicitly for their interests. That seems like a small thing, and it's not," said teacher Bill Fritz. Educators say gay students are vulnerable to harassment and are more likely to miss school or feel disconnected - ultimately affecting their academic performance. So as more teens come out in high school, support systems have broadened to emphasize tolerance. In Illinois, the first Gay Straight Alliances emerged at Chicago's Whitney Young and Marshall High Schools 15 years ago, said Shannon Sullivan of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance. Now, 88 public high schools sponsor similar groups, and more may exist but choose not to be listed. "Students who feel they are more part of a school do better in school. The [Gay Straight Alliance] is part of that, having a teacher you can talk with is part of that, and for that matter, so is a school dance," said Joseph Kosciw, research director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Read more

-He Won't Be On a List, But He's in the Pulpit
Star Tribune
In a happenstance of timing, the Rev. Bradley Froslee is being installed as pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church at 3 p.m .Sunday, but he won't be recognized. Current bylaws allow gays and lesbians to be ordained only if they are celibate. But some churches, including Calvary Lutheran in Minneapolis, are ignoring that rule. Ministers in such cases are not "rostered," meaning that calvary's ministry will be listed as "vacant." Froslee was ordained five years ago but has since become involved in a relationship and now is listed as "on leave from call." "This congregation is trying very hard to build bridges with the community," he said. "Yes, we have gay and lesbian members, but we also have African-American members and Latino members. Our vision is to be a congregation that reflects the diversity of our community." JEFF STRICKLER Link

-Final Ruling: Just Say No to Gay Volunteers
Chris Nielsen | PageOneQ
Adding insult to injury would aptly describe a recent, long-awaited ruling by the Washington State Human Rights Commission in its answer to a complaint filed by a gay couple who was shown the door when they tried to volunteer at a religious organization's hot meal program. In March 2008, Tad Erichsen and John Footh were turned away from the His Supper Table program in the tiny coastal community of Long Beach, Washington, where they both reside. They were told in no uncertain terms by then meal program director Mike Renfro that they were refused the opportunity to volunteer solely because they were gay. "We were told that our being there, a gay couple, would create a 'hostile work environment,'" says Erichsen. Read more

-Rebel Australian Priest Defies Sacking
AFP | Google News
SYDNEY (AFP) - A rebel Catholic priest sacked for blessing gay couples and allowing women to preach has vowed to defy his archbishop and lead mass on Sunday.
Father Peter Kennedy of St Mary's parish in the east coast city of Brisbane said he expected a "packed church" to show support against his dismissal this week by Archbishop John Bathersby. "I think he's sacked me unjustly and the community agrees so I'm standing strong and I don't think he can do anything about that," Kennedy told AFP. "I don't know what will happen but we will just continue with our liturgy as we normally have it," he said in a telephone interview from the inner-city church where he has preached for 28 years. Read more

-UT: Wilson's Benefits Push:A Profile of Persistence if Not Courage
Jeremiah Stettler | The Salt Lake Tribune
How hard could it be? she thought. In her mind, she wasn't asking for anything "radical." Democratic Councilwoman Jenny Wilson simply wanted to offer wider health benefits to Salt Lake County employees. But her colleagues warned about political pushback: "You won't get a Republican vote," Councilman Joe Hatch told her. Read more

-KS: Access to Sex Books Restricted at Topeka Library
Associated Press |
TOPEKA | The Topeka Shawnee County Library Board of Trustees has voted to restrict access to four books about sex. The 5-3 vote came Thursday after the board heard more than two hours of testimony and discussion. The board had moved its regular meeting to a bigger room for the public hearing because of the interest in the issue. The board took up the issue after Kim Borchers and her group "Kansans for Common Sense" requested that the books should be taken off the public shelves and available only by request from an adult. The books are The Joy of Sex, The Joy of Gay Sex, Sex for Busy People, and the Lesbian Kama Sutra. The board left the decision on how to restrict access to the books to the library staff. Read more


[Send your comments about articles to]

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - February 19, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Official Resists Effort to Tame Raucous Race
The annual Bay to Breakers event here is one of the nation's largest footraces and perhaps the only one where spectators have been regularly confronted by runners in various stages of inebriation and the states of undress that such drinking can inspire.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Valenti's Sexuality Was Topic For FBI
Under Pressure, LBJ Let Hoover's Agents Investigate Top Aide
By Joe Stephens
When Beltway insider Jack Valenti died two years ago at age 85, he was playing the role of intermediary between Washington and Hollywood as the theatrical, snowy-haired president of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Wall Street Journal
Go to the links for the following articles:

-After Prison, Few Places for Sex Offenders to Live
Georgia's Rules That Keep Some Convicted Felons Far From Children Create Challenges for Compliance, Enforcement
After two years of fitful searching, Christopher Noles and his family finally found a modest three-bedroom house in rural Georgia. The bedrooms are cramped, the kitchen plumbing leaky. There isn't a neighbor in sight. But the lonely old house is a last refuge. Mr. Noles is one of nearly 16,000 sex offenders convicted in Georgia who, under state law, can't live or work within 1,000 feet of a church, school, day-care center, skating rink, park, swimming pool or any other place where children gather. Failing to register an address could mean 30 extra years in prison for a convicted sex offender.

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Kanye West: 'Should be said as a compliment ... Dude, that's so good it's almost ... gay'
From Details profile, The Unraveling of Kanye West:
"Titles are very important. I like to embody titles, y'know, or words that have negative connotations, and explain why that's good," he says. "Take the word gay-like, in hip-hop, that's a negative thing, right? But in the past two, three years, all the gay people I've encountered have been, like, really, really, extremely dope. Y'know, I haven't, like, gone to a gay bar, nor do I ever plan to. But where I would talk to a gay person-the conversation would be mostly around, like, art or design-it'd be really dope. From a design standpoint, kids'll say, 'Dude, those pants are gay.' But if it's, like, good, good, good fashion-level, design-level stuff, where it's on a higher level than the average commercial design stuff, it's, like, gay people that do that. I think that should be said as a compliment. Like, 'Dude, that's so good it's almost . . . gay.'"

-Domestic partnership bill introduced in Florida Legislature
An e-mail from Equality Florida:
Historic Domestic Partnership Legislation Introduced
Sen. Eleanor Sobel (Hallandale Beach) has introduced a statewide Domestic Partnership bill (SB 1642). Equality Florida has been working closely with Sen. Sobel in preparing this historic legislation. The companion bill will be sponsored in the house by Rep. Richard Steinberg (Miami Beach). As a Miami Beach City Commissioner, Rep. Steinberg played a key role in passing Florida's strongest Domestic Partnership policy.

South Florida Blade
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Obama to retain White House AIDS office
Candidates being interviewed to fill post left vacant by Bush
Obama administration officials are in the process of selecting a director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, a position once known as the nation's AIDS Czar.

-Stimulus allows 'discretionary' funds for HIV prevention
AIDS funding earmark stripped from $787 billion measure
Congressional negotiators last week agreed to drop a House-approved provision from President Obama's polarizing economic stimulus package that allocated $335 million for prevention programs to counter HIV and other communicable diseases.

-Obama appoints gay fundraiser to White House role
Bernard to be liaison for National Endowment for the Humanities
By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade
President Obama has appointed a gay man who helped raise funds for his presidential campaign to a role in the White House, according to a Democratic source.

-Attorney says client faces 'death sentence' if forced to return to Sierra Leone
A gay man from the African nation of Sierra Leone is contesting a
preliminary U.S. immigration decision to deny his request for political asylum. Federal officials say the man, 29-year-old Dunrick Sogie-Thomas of Hyattsville, Md., failed to provide sufficient evidence that he would be subjected to arrest, torture and possibly death if forced to return to his home country.

-Ohio Presbyterians OK clergy in same-sex couples
Pastors, elders voted to amend church constitution
Presbyterian church leaders from central and southern Ohio have approved the idea of clergy members who are in same-sex relationships. Pastors and elders from the Presbytery of Scioto Valley voted Tuesday to amend the Presbyterian church constitution, which now states clergy must be in a faithful marriage between a man and a woman or be celibate. An elder from the First Presbyterian Church of Waverly spoke of his gay son and said it was time to end discrimination. But a pastor from Lewis Center opposing the amendment said the church must stand up for the Bible's teachings about marriage and sexuality. The Ohio church body is one of at least 10 that have voted for the change. At least 25 have rejected it. Dozens more have yet to vote.

-Recharging the fight against HIV/AIDS
Celebrate National Condom Week by protecting yourself
It was a rainy day and all the kids piled out of the school bus and began to swarm around something on the ground. I thought, was it a dead animal or a slug?

-Recharging the fight against HIV/AIDS
Celebrate National Condom Week by protecting yourself
It was a rainy day and all the kids piled out of the school bus and began to swarm around something on the ground.

The Advocate
Go to this link for the following articles:

-Unzipped Shoots Portland Mayor's Former Lover
Beau Breedlove, the former lover of gay Portland, Ore., mayor Sam Adams, has accepted Unzipped magazine's offer to be featured on the magazine's May cover and traveled to Los Angeles this weekend for a nude photo shoot, editors announced on Tuesday.

-Calif. House Committee Opposes Prop. 8
California's house judiciary committee passed a resolution opposing Proposition 8 on Tuesday, saying that the ballot initiative to end marriage equality in the state was an "improper revision of the California constitution."

-Clinton Supports Overturn of Prop. 8 but Still Crosses Gay Picket Line
Despite pleas from several activists and public figures not to do so, former president Bill Clinton crossed a picket line of about 200 people to deliver a speech on Sunday in San Diego. He still, however, stood behind his opposition to California's Proposition 8.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Gay Plays Promote Tolerance
By Emma Ruby-Sachs, Blogger, 365gay Agenda Blog
Last week I went to see a production of Stupid Kids. You know, the John C. Russell play about four kids in a 1980s American high school that has been produced and re-produced over and over again in most major American cities since its premier in 1989. The play's story is familiar, at least for me: a whole lot of angst in school bathrooms, falling in love with your best friend over and over again and not really understanding what is going on, writing bad poetry you contemplate showing the object of your affection only to tear it up and hide it under the bed.

-65 million condoms for Carnival
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) Carnival is condom season in Brazil, where the government has announced it will hand out 65 million free prophylactics to partiers this month.

-Coming to the defense of gay Republicans
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
My Log Cabin brothers and sisters are in deep doo-doo if I'm defending them; however, it is hard not to recognize the loony tunes in Peter LaBarbera's screed against the group. The president (translation: professional bigot) of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (translation: homophobes who publish crappy scholarship) sent RNC chair Michael Steele a letter asking him to keep gay Republicans at arm's length.

-UK: Anti-Gay ad violated standards
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(London) Britain's advertising watchdog has banned the re-publication of an ad that condemns homosexuality.

-Teacher accuses principal of nixing 'Rent' over gay characters
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Drama students at Corona del Mar High School were busy Wednesday learning the lines and music to "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" after "Rent" the spring musical they were in rehearsals for was cancelled.

-The future of gay news media
By Wayne Besen
In one of the most important articles of the year, Walter Isaacson wrote in Time Magazine about the shredding of the newspaper business. With free content available online, people are dropping daily subscriptions and newsstand sales are declining. The only way for newspapers to remain profitable is through advertising revenue in the print and online editions.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

-Welcome to Al-Fatiha's historic survey of Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and questioning or exploring their gender identity and/or sexual orientation (LGBTIQQ), including Muslims who use other cultural and ethnic terms to refer to their own experience. This survey is for Muslims of all cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and Muslims of all beliefs and practices, including observant Muslims, cultural Muslims, and those who are secular. This is the first survey of its kind. The results of this survey will tell us all about our community, our experiences and our concerns. The results will guide Al-Fatiha's educational and advocacy work on behalf of LGBTIQQ Muslims, and will be shared with the entire community.

Forwarded from Michael Emanuel Rajner
Contact for the full article

-Ft. Lauderdale: Denise King, surviving mother of Simmie Williams, Jr., spoke of her incredible grief exclusively in her first television interview with CBS-4 News Ted Scouten. In today's interview Denise shares her grief and struggle for police to bring her child's murdered to justice. To view the CBS-4 News interview, visit: This Sunday, February 22nd at 7pm, students of FAU's Lambda United will be organizing a memorial on the murder site, NW 10th Avenue & West Sistrunk Blvd. / NW 6th Street to increase awareness of this 1 year unsolved murder. Please honor Simmie and support the leadership of FAU's Lambda United students and attend Sunday's memorial.

Pink News - UK
Go to this link for the following articles:

-God Hates Fags preacher will be denied entry says UK Border Agency
Two American fundamentalist Christians have been excluded from entering the UK after they threatened to protest in Basingstoke.

-Hip-hop star Kanye West claims to have reinvented the word 'gay'
Rapper Kanye West has claimed that the word 'gay' should not be an insult. Instead, the 808s and Heartbreak star said that the term will be used in future as synonymous with fashionable and stylish.

-Utah Senator brands gays the 'greatest threat to America'
Senator Chris Buttars has revealed homophobic attitudes in a new documentary.
The senator compared gays to Muslim fundamentalists and claimed that they have no morals.

-West Virginia anti-gay marriage group posts sniper video
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia has posted videos on YouTube and its websites warning voters that gay marriage threatens heterosexual families.

-Teen pop star reveals he was victim of male rape
The lead singer of 1970s supergroup the Bay City Rollers has spoken for the first time about his years of torment after being raped by another man.

-Holocaust was God's punishment for Jews claims Muslim leader
An Islamic preacher who called for gay people to be put to death has caused further outrage with his comments about the Holocaust.

-Labour's gay group asks for ban on God Hates Fags church members
LGBT Labour has written to the Home Office asking that members of the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church be refused entry into the UK.

-Burundi rejects proposal to criminalise homosexual relations
The Senate of Burundi today rejected a proposed amendment to the new draft of the criminal code that would have criminalised homosexual conduct for the first time.

-Republican politician tries to ban gay couples from adopting in Kentucky
A state Senator in Kentucky has introduced a bill that will ban "co-habiting" couples from adoption. Human rights group The Fairness Campaign called Senator Gary Tapp's bill "deceptively-worded."

-Holocaust was God's punishment for Jews claims Muslim leader
An Islamic preacher who called for gay people to be put to death has caused further outrage with his comments about the Holocaust

-Republican politician tries to ban gay couples from adopting in Kentucky
A state Senator in Kentucky has introduced a bill that will ban "co-habiting" couples from adoption. Human rights group The Fairness Campaign called Senator Gary Tapp's bill "deceptively-worded."

Daily Queer News
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Action: Tell President Obama: Stop Discrimination NOW
We had hoped for more than this. When then-Senator Obama announced his plan for the Faith-Based Initiative last summer, his comments on government-funded religious discrimination were encouraging. When outlining the principles of his plan, Obama clearly stated: "if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them - or against the people you hire - on the basis of their religion."

-McCain Manager to Speak at Gay Republicans Convention
On Top Magazine
Senator John McCain's presidential campaign manager is scheduled to speak at
the national convention of the Log Cabin Republicans - the gay Republicans -
in April.
Steve Schmidt is expected to speak on Friday, April 17, the second day of the group's four-day Washington D.C. gathering. The former Bush advisor and 2006 campaign manager for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will discuss McCain's campaign strategy and the "Party's path forward," according to a Log Cabin blog post. Read more

-Truth Wins Out Joins Coalition of N.C. Organizations to Counter Infamous
'Ex-Gay' Road Show
Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: 917-691-5118
TWO Joins Coalition of North Carolina Organizations to Counter Infamous 'Ex-Gay' Road Show
New Landmark Publication, 'Ex-Gay & The Law', To Be Unveiled At Friday Press Conference
Truth Wins Out (TWO) announced today that it has joined a coalition of North Carolina gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocates responding to Focus on the Family's Love Won Out conference, which encourages people to "pray away the gay." Led by the Charlotte Rainbow Action Network for Equality (CRANE), there will be a week of educational events in Charlotte designed to get correct information to the public about the danger of ex-gay programs. The coalition will also offer honest and accurate depictions of the lives of GLBT people, to counteract the distorted view offered by Focus on the Family. More . . .

-Ohio: Two Groups Now Working to Save Cleveland Partner Registry
Eric Resnick | Gay People's Chronicle
Cleveland-By the time Cleveland's domestic partner registry hits the ballot next fall, there will be two separate campaigns working to save it. Rifts over campaign strategy and personality clashes have divided Cleveland Families Count, which seeks to preserve the registry. Part of that group has left and is forming a second campaign that is yet unnamed. The registry, passed by city council on December 8 and signed two days later by Mayor Frank Jackson, was immediately attacked by anti-gay ministers and lay people. They began collecting petition signatures to force the measure onto the ballot, where they hope voters will repeal it. Cleveland Families Count, formed in December, now is composed mainly of the people that lobbied city council last year to pass the registry. The group forming the second campaign says that the lobby group did not anticipate the backlash and was unprepared for it. Read more

-Creeping Religious Rightism in the Democratic Party
Frederick Clarkson | Talk2Action
For several years we have noted strands of creeping religious rightism in the Democratic Party. We have noted, among other things, that some political consultants were advising candidates not to talk about separation of church and state because it might offend "people of faith," and that ostensibly progressive religious leaders were internalizing an anti-secular world view indistinguishable from the leaders of the Religious Right. (I summarized these themes in an article in The Public Eye last summer.) Moiv wrote a ground-breaking piece on Jim Wallis and his views on the criminalization of abortion. And Chip Berlet posted an urgent statement declaring that human rights are not political commodities:

-Legal Battle in US Federal Court after HIV+ Woman Denied Surgery
Pink News
A 35-year-old American woman living with HIV who was denied surgery to remove her gallbladder because of her status has filed a federal lawsuit. Melody Rose's case is supported by gay equality advocates Lambda Legal and the AIDS Resource Centre of Wisconsin (ARCW). The lawsuit was filed today in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Ms Rose says the defendants -- Steven Cahee, MD, Agnesian HealthCare Inc, and Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, violated four different state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its state law counterpart, which both prohibit disability discrimination by places of public accommodation, including healthcare providers. Read more

-NM: Domestic Partnership Advance to Full Senate
Gwyneth Doland | New Mexico Independent
SANTA FE - After a dramatic set of votes in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon, domestic partnership legislation moved toward consideration by the full Senate. Sen. Bernadette Sanchez, an Albuquerque Democrat, cast the critical vote allowing the bill to proceed. Sanchez's absence from the room during a vote on Feb. 3 resulted in a 5-5 tie that effectively held Senate Bill 12 in limbo. Afterward, Sanchez said had she been there, she would have voted against domestic partnerships. But today she changed her mind. After a first round of voting, from which she was absent, Sanchez came into the committee room and the bill was put to another vote. Read more


[Send your comments about articles to]

NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - February 19, 2009

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US AT and we'll be happy to send the full article.

New York Times
Go to the links for the following articles:

-A Swiss Bank Is Set to Open Its Secret Files
UBS, Switzerland's largest bank, has agreed to divulge the names of well-heeled Americans suspected of using offshore accounts at the bank to evade taxes.

-Modifying Mortgages Can Be Tricky
When her brother could no longer help support her, Luzetta Reeves asked her small mortgage company to cut her monthly payments. It did - by 11 percent - making it possible for her to afford her house here on her modest fixed income.

-Kansas Governor Seen as Top Choice in Health Post
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is emerging as President Obama's top choice for secretary of health and human services.

-Trailing George Clooney
The Darfur conflict has now lasted longer than World War II, and the international community has remained monumentally feckless. Can George Clooney get the world to take action?

-Texas: Investigating Judge Keller
An inquiry is long overdue into whether Sharon Keller, an Texas appellate court judge, closed the court clerk's office before a death-row inmate could file an emergency appeal.

-Editorial: So What Tipped You Off?
Roland Burris's appointment to the United States Senate is proving to be the grim parting prank that won't end by Rod Blagojevich, the disgraced former governor of Illinois.

-Swat Valley Blues
By Eric Etheridge
On Monday, the government of Pakistan announced it had cut a deal with Taliban forces and would quit fighting them for control of the Swat Valley, northwest of Islamabad, and accept their imposition of Shariah, or Islamic law, there. (Read the Times account.) Reaction from opinion mongers was virtually all negative, extremely so. At Swampland, Joe Klein said "This is terrible news."

-Clinton Tells of Why She Took the Job
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited a development program in a working-class Jakarta neighborhood and spoke about her decision to work for the man who defeated her for the presidential nomination, on her second day in Indonesia before flying to Seoul. "It was not anything I had any reason to expect or had even thought about," Mrs. Clinton said of President Obama's offer to her to be the nation's chief diplomat. "I had to make a hard decision." [...] In a light-hearted visit to Mr. Obama's boyhood home, Mrs. Clinton paid tribute to Indonesia's thriving democracy. "If you want to know if democracy, Islam, modernity, and women's rights can coexist, go to Indonesia," she said at a dinner with scholars, environmentalists, and women's rights advocates.

Washington Post
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Burma's Agony
By Rena Pederson
NAYPYIDAW, Burma -- This is a city constructed out of fear. Naypyidaw reportedly was created by Burma's brutal dictators on the advice of astrologers and built in part by forced labor. Worried they might be vulnerable to attack in Rangoon, a port city, they abruptly moved the government 250 miles to the north three years ago and modestly named the new capital "Abode of Kings."

-Out of Bounds
In Dubai, prejudice and politics stain a tennis tournament. ISRAELI TENNIS star Shahar Peer is ranked No. 45 in the world in women's tennis. Ms. Peer makes a living playing in tournaments around the globe, with career earnings totaling more than $2 million. But all that skill isn't enough to triumph over ingrained prejudice in Dubai, the wildly rich city-state of the United Arab Emirates that has never granted visas to holders of Israeli passports.

-Free the Uighurs
They lose one in court. They should win in the White House. A FEDERAL appeals court has handed the Obama administration an opportunity to reverse some of the damage done by disastrous Bush administration anti-terrorism policies. President Obama should act with all deliberate speed.

-Pakistani Accord Appears Stalled
Government, Extremists Make No Move To Formalize Their Pact on Islamic Law
By Pamela Constable, Karen DeYoung and Haq Nawaz Khan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 18 -- A controversial, closely watched peace agreement designed to end Taliban violence in the scenic Swat Valley hung in limbo Wednesday amid criticism in Pakistan and rising concern in Washington.

-Betting on Bipartisanship
By David S. Broder
As far as most of Washington is concerned, Barack Obama's big talk about bipartisanship is kaput. One month into his presidency, many pundits and political analysts have told him to drop it. Get real, they say. It bought you next to nothing on the stimulus bill. Forget the compromising. Look for support where you may actually find it, on the Democratic side of the aisle.

-Palin Now Owes Taxes on Payments for Nights at Home, State Rules
By James V. Grimaldi
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) owes income taxes on nearly $17,000 paid to her as travel reimbursements when she spent nights in her Wasilla residence, according to a state legal opinion that the payments were not legitimate business expenses, a state official said yesterday.

-Scientists Await Action on Stem Cells
Some Proponents Had Expected Obama to Immediately Reverse Bush Policies
By Rob Stein
At the National Institutes of Health, officials have started drafting guidelines they will need to start funding human embryonic stem cell research that has been off-limits for nearly eight years.

Wall Street Journal

-Proposal Is Heavy on Incentives to Modify Loans
Challenges Include Dealing With Mortgages Sold to Investors and Borrowers
Who Owe Lenders More Than Homes Are Worth
In its effort to address the foreclosure crisis, the Obama administration is relying heavily on the carrot rather than the stick.

-Pressure to Rework Mortgages Will Ripple Through Industry
The foreclosure-prevention plan announced by President Barack Obama comes with incentives for lenders to ease mortgage payments for struggling borrowers -- but also with a cudgel: If the mortgage industry doesn't modify loans, bankruptcy judges may cut payments more sharply.

-Canada Slips on Oil's Slide
FORT MCMURRAY, Alberta -- Last summer, when the price of oil neared $150 a barrel, Terrance Coles's family earth-removal business in this energy boomtown was pulling in revenue of more than $200,000 a month. These days, Mr. Coles, who abandoned a failing seafood business in Newfoundland to join the oil rush here, is out of work, sleeping at the home of a cousin.

-WEALTH MANAGER: IRS Questions Pay of Charity Executives
The heat over executive compensation, centered lately on banks seeking government handouts, is spreading to the nonprofit world. Hospital chiefs, charity directors, university presidents and other nonprofit executives are coming under closer scrutiny from federal regulators, legislators and donors as big pay packages seem more out of scale in a sharp economic downturn.

PC World

-An Ongoing Effort
For privacy advocate group EPIC, a victory isn't yet so clear.
"It's great that Facebook has responded, and I think that's a step in the right direction--but these issues don't go away, and it's going to be an ongoing concern for users of new network-based services until we get comprehensive privacy laws in place," Rotenberg says. In the immediate future, EPIC plans to keep a close eye on Facebook's progress and the rights of its users. Rotenberg promises he and his colleagues will step in if the need arises--and won't hesitate to appeal to the FTC if it becomes necessary, either. "People shouldn't have to run around trying to think about which stuff they're going to delete," Rotenberg says. "People shouldn't be in that position. They should be able to sign up for a service with the confidence that their rights will be respected.",159743/printable.html

Miami Herald
Go to the links for the following articles:

-Widow awarded $8 million in tobacco trial
Cigarette maker Philip Morris USA must pay $8 million to the widow and son of a Cooper City chain smoker whose 1997 death from lung cancer was the result of his smoking addiction, a Broward jury decided Wednesday.


[Send your comments about articles to]