Saturday, March 14, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 14, 2009

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New York Times
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-Progress on Family Planning
Tucked into the big spending bill just signed by President Obama is a welcome provision designed to make affordable birth control available to millions of women across the country. The provision is not a subsidy and will impose no burden on taxpayers. It will restore a limited exemption from Medicaid pricing rules that was in effect for nearly 20 years. It allowed pharmaceutical companies to supply contraceptives to college health clinics, all Planned Parenthood offices and other family-planning centers at an extreme discount that could be passed on to patients.

-Governor Challenges Utah's Conservative Verities
Among Utah Republicans, who hold every statewide elected office and more than two-thirds of the State Legislature, Hamlet-like quests for purpose and direction are hardly the norm.

Washington Post
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-The Trouble With Michael Steele
By Colbert I. King
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele took office declaring he would show the country that his party cared about minorities. As a shining example of that which he claimed, Steele cited himself, the GOP's first African American chieftain.

-Where to Now?
2008 was a spectacular year for women in politics. But the sober reality is that the race has just begun.
By Vanessa Gezari
Jennifer James Soto arrived in Georgia on a Friday afternoon. The air was thick with humidity, and the campus on the outskirts of Atlanta was deserted except for her and the other women. They carried their suitcases into dormitories and laid out their clothes on narrow student beds. That evening, Jennifer dressed carefully, choosing dangly earrings because her kids weren't around to tug them. This weekend would be the longest she'd spent away from her son and daughter since they were born. She made her way downstairs, where she and the other women found seats in a windowless conference room. They would spend the next two days here, listening to women who held elected office and women whose job it was to prepare other women to run.

Wall Street Journal
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-Rethinking Original Intent
Write to Jess Bravin at
The debate over the Constitution's meaning takes a surprising turn; a pivotal gun-rights case
After the Supreme Court struck down the District of Columbia's handgun ban last June, gun-rights advocates trained their sights on similar restrictions in Chicago and Oak Park, Ill. Last month, the National Rifle Association received ammunition from an unlikely source: the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal litigation shop.

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-Susan Stanton, the former Largo city manager who drew national media attention after being fired for announcing plans for a sex change, is a finalist for the city manager's job in Lake Worth. The former Steve Stanton worked as assistant city manager and manager for Largo for more than 16 years. He was fired by Largo commissioners in February 2007 after announcing plans to change his gender. Later that year, Stanton appeared as Susan Ashley Stanton while lobbying for transgender rights in Washington. She finished third in the competition for the city manager's job in Sarasota in May 2007. Stanton, 50, formerly of Clearwater, has since moved to Arizona, according to Connie Hoffman, vice president of The Mercer Group, which conducted the city manager search for Lake Worth.,0,1969885.story

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Yesterday, LGBT leaders from across the globe once again packed UCLA School of Law for day two of The Global Arc of Justice Conference. The main topic of the day focused on implementing the Yogyakarta Principles. Named after the city in Indonesia in which they were drafted, the Yogyakarta Principles explain how existing international human rights laws apply to LGBT people and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Principles include rights ranging from the right to be free from employment discrimination and laws criminalizing sexual behavior; to state recognition of parenting and couples rights; to affirmative rights for adequate standard of living, healthcare, education, housing and participation in public life. Signatories of the Yogyakarta Principles attending the Global Arc of Justice Conference include Mauro Cabral (Argentina), Sonia Corrêa (Brazil), Alice Miller (USA) and Robert Wintemute (Canada and the UK).>

-Anal condom is no pain in the ass; FDA approval omits sodomy
News flash! Gay man engage in anal sex and need devices to ensure HIV and STDs are not transmitted during such sex, but Gay Inc and AIDS Inc remain silent about Reality:

-Support Oklahoma Teacher Suspended for
Teaching The Laramie Project
Tell Superintendent Ed Turlington: Teach Respect! Reinstate Teacher Debra Taylor!
A number of organizations have been monitoring a school controversy in Grandfield, OK where a teacher was recently suspended for teaching The Laramie Project, an award-wining play about the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young man in Wyoming who was killed because he was gay. Debra Taylor, who teaches the Ethics and Street Law class, was using pieces of the play to help her students examine how hatred and intolerance can be justified by attitudes within a community, a church, or in the home. Midway through the unit, Superintendent Ed Turlington told her to stop teaching the material. She held a mock funeral for the play to give her students closure and was subsequently suspended. She has now accepted a resignation agreement, as she feared that she would otherwise be fired. Her students are standing behind the play and their teacher. "She always taught us to speak our minds and have our voices heard," said one student. We need to tell Superintendent Turlington that Debra Taylor is a dedicated teacher who is willing to confront issues of respect and acceptance for all people regardless of sexual orientation and that she deserves to be immediately reinstated. TAKE ACTION Superintendent Turlington at 580-479-5237 or send an email to and tell him: "Debra Taylor did not deserve this kind of treatment. Young people need dedicated teachers willing to confront issues of respect and acceptance for people of all sexual orientations. She should be commended for creating a safe space for all her students and should be reinstated immediately."

-FOXSexpert: Defining Sexual Freedom
By Yvonne K. Fulbright
We've been getting the messages for years: Be sexually expressive. Live by
your own sexual rules. Explore your sexual fantasies. Own your true sexual nature. I, for one, am a huge supporter of anything that involves healthy sexuality. What I'm not a big fan of is the muddled meaning in "becoming sexually liberated." While sexual liberation is often touted as a form "healthy sexuality," this isn't always the case. We're told that being sexually free involves showing what you want, saying what you want, doing what you want, and taking what you need. But does this pursuit of happiness have anything to do with personal choice? We've been declared "sexually liberated." But are we?,2933,509035,00.html

-Florida: Man jailed, accused of sex with 16-year-old he calls his wife
A relationship that started in Puerto Rico between a 47-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl led to the man's arrest Monday in Hollywood, Florida.

-Sex Column causes controversy; First Amendment issues raised
A University of Montana law professor who opposes the content of the Kaimin's weekly sex column could eventually take the issue to the state legislature unless the newspaper establishes written policies for hiring columnists and reviewing content. Since February, assistant law professor Kristen Juras has made clear to the Kaimin her opposition to senior Bess Davis's "Bess Sex Column" by writing a letter to the editor as well as e-mailing and meeting with Kaimin editor Bill Oram. Juras said the material in the column is inappropriate for college students and reflects poorly on the university's School of Journalism and UM itself.

-Is Craigslist the world's biggest bordello?

-ACLU files suit against Nassau schools over 'gay' club
Pastor urges 'prayer' after judge's comments
A Nassau County pastor attending a hearing in federal court March 4 about a "Gay-Straight Alliance" (GSA) at Yulee High School said he believes it's a matter of prayer. The School Board of Nassau County has been sued by the ACLU on behalf of Hannah Page, 15, and Jacob Brock, 16, students at Yulee High School who late last year organized a GSA at their school which met only once. At the hearing for a preliminary injunction, Frank Sheppard, the school board's attorney, said students were not denied access as has been claimed under the federal Equal Access Act, but were told in order to continue to meet they needed to change the name of the organization to exclude sexual orientation to comply with school board policy.

-Florida lawmaker files bills that would legalize gay adoptions
As gay rights advocates and religious groups queue up in an effort to influence the outcome of a Miami appeals court case that will help decide whether gay people can adopt children in Florida, a state lawmaker has quietly introduced two bills that could render the dispute moot.

-"Beyond Backlash: Assessing the Impact of Judicial Decisions on
LGBT Rights"
In a new article in the journal Law and Society Review, Political scientist Thomas Keck "evaluates the widespread scholarly claim that the courtroom victories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights movement have invariably provoked a counterproductive political backlash." He concludes: Those victories have indeed provoked conservative countermobilization, but that has not been their only or even their most prominent effect. Assessing the political reaction to the movement's judicial victories, the policy impact of those victories, and the alternative strategic paths that were available to the movement at the outset, I argue that here, as elsewhere, legal mobilization has sometimes been a promising avenue for pursuing policy changes whose prospects were otherwise quite limited.

-In Interview, Republican Chairman Strays From the Party Line on Abortion
This was supposed to be the week that Michael Steele, the beleaguered new chairman of the national Republican Party, got his groove on, as he might put it: From filling vacancies left by the mass-firing he conducted upon taking office to issuing 100-day plans on how to make the Republican Party competitive on fund-raising and the Internet, among other things. But no. On Thursday Mr. Steele found himself yet again explaining what he had meant to say, this time after a lively interview with GQ in which he seemed to suggest, among other things, that women should have the right to decide whether to have an abortion. "I think that's an individual choice," he said. A moment later, he appeared to clarify his remarks, saying that abortion policy should be decided by the states. [...] The interview - in which Mr. Steele also appeared to stray from the view of many conservatives on homosexuality while offering a steady patter of joke and irreverent observations - rippled through Republican circles as soon it was posted on GQ's Web site Thursday morning. If the interview, conducted several weeks ago, fueled the existing concern among party leaders, it was hardly a surprise after four weeks in which Mr. Steele had left many Republicans anxious about their new chairman. He had tangled with Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host, and become the target of mirthful parodies by Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and "Saturday Night Live" over his call to apply the party's principles to "urban-suburban hip-hop settings."

-We must know of the ancestors on whose shoulders we stand.
Lorraine Hansberry's Gay Politics
Why the 'Raisin in the Sun' playwright's homosexual ties have been straight-washed from black history.

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-Lowenstein: We must not compromise on equality
By Jenna Lowenstein
We can compromise on taxes and on infrastructure funding and on health care costs. But we cannot-- we must not-- sell out the fundamental right to equality. Read more...

-Gay marriage bills heading for showdowns in Maine, Vermont
Support is growing for legislation that would allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine. The bill now has more than 60 lawmakers as co-sponsors.

-Kings and Queens
NBC's new epic saga Kings imagines a modern-day monarchy with a queer spin -- complete with late night trysts and a jab at 'don't ask, don't tell.' With all of the personal betrayals and courtly intrigues, it would be easy to think that Kings, NBC's new mid-season drama, takes its inspiration from one of Shakespeare's great plays. After all, the show boasts a tragic king with upstart children, a conniving queen, and a nation exhausted by war.

-Obama in Hot Seat Over Partner Benefits
By Julie Bolcer
Two strongly worded court orders place President Obama in an awkward position on the issue of whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, The New York Times reports.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - March 14, 2009

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Laugh it Off: an Open Mic Reading
Today! Saturday, March 14, 2009, 1 p.m.
Broward Main Library
100 S. Andrews Avenue, 6th Floor Bienes Center
Ft. Lauderdale - 954-357-7443

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-Ex-Largo city manager who had sex change is a finalist for Lake Worth job
Willie Howard
Susan Stanton, the former Largo city manager who drew national media attention after being fired for announcing plans for a sex change, is a finalist for the city manager's job in Lake Worth. The former Steve Stanton worked as assistant city manager and manager for Largo for more than 16 years. He was fired by Largo commissioners in February 2007 after announcing plans to change his gender.,0,1969885.story

-Campaign laws broken in attack fliers, Dania candidates say; legal action considered
Fliers violated campaign laws, targets say
By Andrew Ba Tran
The anonymous attack fliers started arriving in mailboxes the weekend before Tuesday's municipal election, dirtying up an otherwise clean campaign.,0,5810146.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Guillermo Diaz to be Grand Marshal of AIDS Walk Miami, Craig Stevens returns as Master of Ceremonies
Care Resource news release:
Care Resource, South Florida's largest and oldest HIV/AIDS community health provider, is delighted to announce that recent SAG Award Nominee Guillermo Diaz, will serve as the official Grand Marshal of the 21st Annual AIDS Walk Miami - RUN, WALK, BLADE For the Cure. Following in the footsteps of past AIDS Walk Miami Grand Marshal celebrities like Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Sylvester Stallone, Cindy Crawford, Rosie O'Donnell and Antonio Sabato Jr., this year Guillermo Diaz will add his own brand of star power to South Florida's largest family fundraising walk-a-thon.

South Florida Blade
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-'Songs of My Family'
Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus performance
By Dan Renzi
Tonight! Saturday, the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus presents "Songs of My Family." Joined by the Miami Gay Men's Chorus, the songs focus on moments in the lives of gay families, a gay man's yearning to adopt a child wishing for a father, and the painful experience of partners not being accepted by relatives. Sounds pretty heavy, bring the Kleenex. 8 p.m., Sunshine Cathedral /MCC, 1480 S.W. 9 Ave. in FTL. 954-764-5150,


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Friday, March 13, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 13, 2009

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New York Times
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-Obama Is on the Spot as Rulings Aid Gay Partners
Just seven weeks into office, President Obama is being forced to confront one of the most sensitive social and political issues of the day: whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. In separate, strongly worded orders, two judges of the federal appeals court in California said that employees of their court were entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers.

-In Interview, Republican Chairman Strays From the Party Line on Abortion
This was supposed to be the week that Michael Steele, the beleaguered new chairman of the national Republican Party, got his groove on, as he might put it: From filling vacancies left by the mass-firing he conducted upon taking office to issuing 100-day plans on how to make the Republican Party competitive on fund-raising and the Internet, among other things.

Washington Post
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-Anti-Bullying Law Debated in N.C.
A fight is brewing in the North Carolina legislature over protecting schoolchildren from bullies. Supporters of an anti-bullying proposal on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require school districts to adopt policies protecting students from violence and harassment. A similar proposal got hung up last year on the issue of identifying gay students as potential bullying targets. The House passed a bill that included them, but the Senate balked after social conservatives who opposed the measure flooded their offices with phone calls and e-mails.

-Testimony Heard on Gay Marriage
A House committee heard testimony yesterday about rival bills, one that would allow gay marriage in Maryland and another that would amend the state constitution to bar same-sex marriage. The General Assembly has debated gay marriage in past years and has declined to establish a route for same-sex unions or to place a ban on such unions in the state constitution. The Senate heard similar measures Wednesday. Both sides acknowledged that their arguments went over familiar ground. Supporters of same-sex marriage said barring it discriminates against gay citizens. Those backing civil unions include Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Travis Britt, whose wife, Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt, championed the issue before she died in office last year. Foes called the unions sinful and harmful to children and said most residents oppose gay marriage.

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-What can I do if my employer bounces my paycheck?
By Marcia Heroux Pounds
Q: I was laid off from employment and my last week they paid me, but the check bounced. I claimed my weeks with the unemployment stating that I was paid. What do I need to do to have this company pay me or can I call unemployment and let them know this company bounced its check? -- Rosa, Orlando.
A: Unfortunately, the Agency for Workforce Innovation says it can''t help you in this matter. You need to contact the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor about an employer bouncing a check. See Wage and Hour.,0,6220477.story

The Advocate
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- Transgender Activist Murdered in Turkey
By Julie Bolcer
Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender rights activist, was murdered in front of her home in central Istanbul on Tuesday. The LGBT rights group Lambda Istanbul says that she had reported being beaten and threatened on several occasions by the same man now in police custody as the murder suspect. Soykan, a leading figure in Lambda Istanbul, was the second member of the group to be murdered in the past year. Advocates attribute the violence in part to lack of legal protections and police inaction. No legislation exists in Turkey to protect people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While homosexuality is not illegal in the country, municipalities have used morality laws to discriminate against the LGBT community.

- Milk Nephew to Rally for Gay Rights in Florida
By Julie Bolcer
Stuart Milk, the nephew of slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk, is scheduled to speak at a rally in Florida on Monday in support of gay rights. The "Rally in Tally," to take place at the state capital of Tallahassee, is being billed as the largest gay rights gathering in the history of the Sunshine State. The event aims to highlight anti-discrimination and domestic partnership bills introduced in the state legislature. The measures come on the heels of Amendment 2, the ban on gay marriage and equivalent unions, which voters passed with 62 percent approval in November. Despite the success of Amendment 2, recent polls show that 77 percent of Floridians support extending basic legal rights to unmarried couples.

Lambda Legal Update

-CA Supreme Court Hears Prop 8 Challenge
On March 5, the California Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Prop 8 legal challenge. NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter delivered an incisive argument after months of preparation with Lambda Legal, the ACLU and other attorneys working on this historic case. To highlight the stakes for all minorities in California, we sought and received permission from the Court to provide time for oral argument from Attorney Raymond Marshall who authored an amicus brief on behalf of several prominent civil rights organizations, arguing that the initiative process cannot be used to strip minority communities of their fundamental rights by a simple majority vote. "Proposition 8 is no 'garden variety' amendment that changes a tax or zoning or safety rule," said Lambda Legal's National Marriage Project Director Jenny Pizer. "This is a radical attempt to strip a cherished constitutional right from just one targeted minority group and then to stop the courts from doing their most basic job of upholding the constitutional promise of 'liberty and justice for all'." In a thoughtful discussion after the arguments, Pizer explains why "equality with exceptions is not equality." The Court will issue a ruling within 90 days.

-What's Best for Children
In February, the Michigan State Court of Appeals reversed a trial court decision that put the safety of three adopted children in jeopardy. When Diane Giancaspro's relationship ended in 2007, Giancaspro asked a Michigan trial court to determine custody of the three children the women had adopted together in Illinois before relocating to Michigan. Congleton moved to dismiss the case, claiming that the adoptions were invalid under Michigan law and citing Michigan's antigay constitutional amendment. The trial court granted the motion, calling into question whether the children's relationships to both parents would be recognized in Michigan for any purpose. In 2008, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Michigan successfully urged the Michigan State Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court ruling, arguing that it violated the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which protects the validity of judicial decrees across state lines. February's decision recognizes that there is no gay exception to Michigan's child custody laws, and that courts must protect all children of couples who separate, regardless of the sex, sexual orientation, or marital status of their parents.

-Antigay Adoption Service Shut Out of NY
On March 4, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced that and, websites owned by two antigay Arizona-based companies, stopped doing business in New York following a civil rights complaint filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of a gay couple that was barred from one of their websites. Rosario Gennaro and Alexander Gardner sought to post their profile on, having obtained certification as "Qualified Adoptive Parents" from the New York City Surrogate Court. But the website's eligibility requirements allowed only couples that are "one male husband and one female wife" to use the service. The companies violated New York laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and marital status. Rosario Gennaro is thrilled: "No [New York] couple will have to experience what we did in our effort to become parents."

-Doctor Refuses Patient with HIV
Lambda Legal and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Melody Rose, a woman who was refused surgery because of her HIV status. While in prison, Rose experienced serious health problems involving her gallbladder. Rose's physician referred her to a local medical facility to have her gallbladder removed, but when the doctor there learned that Rose had HIV he refused to perform the necessary surgery, stating that he was afraid she might infect him and his surgical team. Later, a doctor at another medical facility removed Rose's gallbladder in what is considered a routine surgical procedure. The lawsuit alleges that those asked to provide health care to Rose violated both federal and state law by refusing to do so based on her HIV status.

-No Love for Pride
Lambda Legal is challenging Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford for infringing on the free speech of Central Alabama Pride (C.A.P.) by refusing to provide the group with the city resources it needed to display banners in support of its annual Pride celebration. In 2008, Langford announced that he would neither sign a proclamation nor allow city workers to attach pride banners on city poles for gay pride based on his religious beliefs, which do not "condone that lifestyle choice." Lambda Legal joined the case as co-counsel after consultation with C.A.P. and its attorney. We are challenging the mayor's actions, claiming free speech and equal-protection violations for denying C.A.P. the same city resources that are available to other groups.

-A Legacy of Equality With Income Today!
Many supporters have already let us know that they have made Lambda Legal a beneficiary of their wills, retirement plans, life insurance, trusts or other estate-planning vehicles. Careful planning using charitable gift strategies can allow you to enjoy substantial tax benefits, gain the certainty of an income stream for yourself, and ensure your family's security after you're gone, all while building a legacy for equality. For more information about how to include Lambda Legal in your life and estate plans visit our website or contact Judi O'Kelley at As always, when it comes to estate planning, it's important that you consult with an attorney and/or financial planner for guidance.

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-GOP chief Steele in more hot water over gays, abortion
By The Associated Press 03.13.2009
Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said in a written statement that he was disappointed with Steele's remarks to the magazine on abortion and gay marriage. Read more...

-RachelWatch: Blue Dogs in Rachel's Doghouse
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Hey, remember the last eight years when we were setting key chunks of the Bill of Rights on fire to protect ourselves from scary, scary foreigners who might cross our borders with dirty bombs? Guess what?

-Tenn. gay-friendly church shooter hoped attack would spur more
By The Associated Press
An unemployed truck driver seething over liberalism told police he opened fire in a church last year because it harbored gays and multiracial families and he hoped others would follow his example. Prosecutors opened their case file Thursday on Jim David Adkisson, 58, who pleaded guilty a month ago to killing two people and wounding six others at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville. The file includes interviews with investigators and a suicide note Adkisson left in his car.

Pink News - UK
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-Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman warns of rise of 'homophobic' BNP
By Jessica Geen
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Minister for Equality, Harriet Harman has said that the expected low turn-out in the European elections may lead to the "pressing forward of the far right" with groups such as the BNP gaining seats in the European parliament.

-Wales: Man avoids jail for homophobic threats
A man who smashed the door of a gay couple and threatened to kill them has escaped jail. Nathan Dally, 22, shouted: "I'm going to kill you, you faggots" as he kicked down the door of Daniel Smith and Gary Samuel's house in Rhondda, south Wales, as they slept.

-Eleven gay discharges in US military in January
Eleven gay servicemembers were discharged from the US military in January under the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, including a human intelligence collector, a military police officer and four infantry personnel.

-Transgender activist murdered in Turkey
The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist on March 10th in Istanbul, Turkey, has led to calls for the Turkish government to protect trans people.

-Research group to address training in LGBT issues for medical staff
A group of students from the Stanford University School of Medicine are working on increasing training for medical students on LGBT healthcare concerns.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Turkey: Transgender Activist Murdered
Government Should Prosecute Violence, Prohibit Discrimination The killing of Ebru Soykan, a prominent transgender human rights activist, on March 10, 2009, shows a continuing climate of violence based on gender identity that authorities should urgently take steps to combat, Human Rights Watch said today. News reports and members of a Turkish human rights group said that an assailant stabbed and killed Ebru, 28, in her home in the center of Istanbul. Members of Lambda Istanbul, which works for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual (LGBTT) people, told Human Rights Watch that in the last month Ebru had asked the Prosecutor's Office for protection from the man who had beaten her on several occasions and threatened to kill her. Lambda Istanbul was told that a few weeks ago police detained the man but released him two hours later. The same man is under police custody as the murder suspect.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-The unspoken silence Domestic Violence in same gender Relationship
Domestic violence in the GLBT community is a serious issue. The rates of domestic violence in same-gender relationships is roughly the same as domestic violence against heterosexual women. As in opposite-gendered couples, the problem is likely underreported. Facing a system which is often oppressive and hostile towards those who identify as anything other than "straight", those involved in same-gender battering frequently report being afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship. Additionally, even those who attempt to report violence in their alterative relationship run into obstacles.

-U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves New Female Condom
Center for Health and Gender Equity Applauds Expansion of HIV Prevention Options for Women and Men Worldwide

-Trading on America's puritanical streak
Eliot Spitzer, one of the nation's most gifted and dedicated politicians, was hounded into resignation by a Puritanism and mean-spiritedness that are quintessentially American. My European colleagues (I write from an academic conference in Belgium) have a hard time understanding what happened, but they know that it is one of those things that could only happen in America, where the topic of sex drives otherwise reasonable people insane. In Germany and the Netherlands, prostitution is legal and regulated by public health authorities. A man who did what Spitzer did would have a lot to discuss with his wife and family, but he would have broken no laws, and it would be laughable to accuse him of a betrayal of the public trust. This is as it should be. If Spitzer broke any laws, they were bad laws, laws that should never have existed.

-Craigslist is No Pimp: Keep the Erotic Ads
What's really behind objections to the erotic ads on digital classified ad leader Craigslist.

-'American Idol' needs to open the closet door
Adam Lambert isn't the first contestant to have a back story that doesn't fit perfectly inside the homogenous whole the show tries to present.,0,5548765.story

-Florida: Bestiality, monkey husbands and Bullard. Oh my!
The act of bestiality is a step closer to becoming illegal in Florida now that a Senate committee voted to slap a third-degree felony charge on anyone who has sex with animals. Florida is one of only 16 states that still permit bestiality - a fact that animal-rights activist and Sunrise Sen. Nan Rich learned to her horror when a Panhandle man three years ago was suspected of accidentally asphyxiating a family goat with which he was copulating.

-Gay Pride Parade in Chiang Mai Broken Up by Red-Shirted Thugs
More than two hundred red-shirted followers of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra introduced homophobia for the first time into Thailand's festering political scene when on Saturday, February 21, they forced cancellation of a lawful and peaceful gay pride parade and rally in Chiang Mai. The disruption was organized by Rak Chiang Mai 51, the local faction of Thaksin-supported United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). Despite reassurances by local authorities that the parade would be allowed, the police made no effort to provide a buffer separating the disrupters from the marchers. Many of the disrupters wore red masks to avoid being recognized.

-Extreme Defendants Plead Guilty
PITTSBURGH - In the longest running obscenity case in American history, Extreme Associate owners Rob Black (Robert Zicari) and Lizzy Borden (Janet Romano) today each entered guilty pleas to one count of conspiracy to distribute obscene material. Trial had been scheduled to begin with jury selection on Monday. The plea capped a legal battle, begun in 2003 with a 10-count indictment, that had promised to deal with cutting edge free speech issues, most notably the question of whether the Supreme Court's seminal decision regarding sexual privacy rights in Lawrence v. Texas could be applied to sellers of even obscene sexual material if the buyers were other consenting adults.

-Azerbaokam" Controversial Azeri Novel Takes On Double Taboos
A controversial romance novel about two gay men, one Armenian and the other Azeri, is flying off the shelves in Azerbaijan. What's behind the popularity of Ali Akbar's novel "Artush and Zaur," which has sold out at many bookstores? According to Akbar, the book's political and erotic content was guaranteed to hit a nerve in Azeri society.

-"Gay for Rachel Maddow": What a Hot, Smart, Lesbian Pundit Means for an
Uneasy America

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - GLAAD

Best & Worst of National News


-Suze Orman Speaks Out About Marriage Equality on CNBC
Financial guru Suze Orman took an opportunity on her nationally televised CNBC show to broadcast an important message to the American public on Valentine's Day. During the Feb. 14 broadcast of The Suze Orman Show, the host denounced the recently passed amendments banning marriage for same-sex couples in Florida and California, calling them "a travesty." Orman stressed the critical need for gay people to be able to marry so they can protect their finances. "Every single one of us deserves to have the same financial benefits, whether we are gay or whether we are straight," she said. "Every single one of us deserves to be loved. Every single one of us deserves to love and every single one of us deserves to make the most out of the money that we have. That's my Valentine's Day wish for every single one of us." Orman, who is openly lesbian, has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to LGBT equality, and she will be honored with the Vito Russo Award at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York on March 28, 2009. You can find out more about the event here:
GLAAD urges you to contact Suze Orman and thank her for speaking out about the importance of marriage and its financial significance for all couples, gay and straight alike as well as congratulate her on receiving the GLAAD Vito Russo Award.
Suze Orman

-The Denver Post Publishes Editorial Supporting Protections for Same-Sex Couples in Colorado
On Feb. 19, the Denver Post published "The right thing for gay couples," an editorial supporting two bills currently before the Colorado Legislature that would extend a number of important legal protections to same-sex couples. One bill would allow two unmarried people to file paperwork with their county clerk when estate planning at a much lower cost. "[The bill] would make it easier and cheaper to do things such as giving a designee medical proxy or listing another as an insurance or retirement beneficiary. Much of that can be accomplished now by virtue of legal contracts, but it costs $500 to $1,000 to do so." The other bill would allow same-sex partners of state employees to be eligible for health, life and dental insurance benefits. The editorial concludes by calling for an end to divisiveness over LGBT-inclusive legislation. "We know these measures are going to be controversial. Sadly, anything involving rights for gay people tends to get ugly very quickly. But it's also the right thing to do for gay Coloradans."
GLAAD encourages you to contact Denver Post editorial writers and thank them for their thoughtful argument in support of two Colorado bills designed to help same-sex couples take care of their families and each other.
The Denver Post

-The Seattle Times Publishes Moving Column on Hospital Visitation
The Seattle Times highlighted the heart-wrenching story of Lacey, Wash. resident Janice Langbehn and her family in a Feb. 13 column entitled. "If her name had been Joe, her wife wouldn't have died alone." Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald artfully tells Langbehn's story, replacing her first name with "Joe" in his retelling. He takes the reader through her traumatic hospital visitation ordeal in 2007 at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Langbehn and her children were barred from seeing her dying partner, Lisa Pond, until the moments before she passed away. "It strains credulity to believe Joe would have spent eight hours barred from his wife's bedside as Janice was from hers," Pitts wrote. "Politicians and alleged religious leaders have routinely invited us to hate gay people and call it morality. They have taught us to frame gay lives in cloudy abstracts of tradition and values. But this isn't abstract, is it? It would be good if someone remembered her next time we are invited to hate an abstract. And remember Janice, who could not ache more deeply even if her name was Joe." Pitts, who has written frequently on issues facing the LGBT community, was nominated for Best Columnist for the 20th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The winner will be announced on March 28 in New York.
GLAAD urges you to write to the Seattle Times and syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. and thank them for this powerful op-ed that highlights the personal story of Janice Langbehn and Lisa Pond and starkly portrays the real life and death issues affecting same-sex couples who lack the legal protections and security that come with marriage. Please also congratulate Pitts for his 2009 GLAAD Award nomination for best columnist.
Leonard Pitts Jr.
The Seattle Times


-Sean Hannity Maligns Gay Kisses at the Oscars
Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity led an absurd discussion criticizing Sean Penn's acceptance speech at the Oscars after he won Best Actor for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Hannity allowed one of his guests, Bo Dietl, former New York City police detective and frequent guest on Don Imus' syndicated morning radio show, to spout several crass anti-gay comments. Hannity then went on to falsely assert that the gay kisses shown during the Oscar broadcast hurt children. "You know, they keep showing the scenes of men kissing. And I'm thinking do we have to expose our children to more and more sex, more and more violence?" GLAAD responded by posting an online video that highlighted Hannity's claims while recapping the fourteen straight Oscar night kisses and the three gay kisses that occurred over the course of the broadcast. The video went on to say, "Even kids know that a kiss is just a kiss. Isn't it time Sean Hannity figured that out too?"
GLAAD encourages you to contact Fox News Channel and voice your opinion about Sean Hannity's off the wall commentary vilifying gay kisses at the Oscars.

-New York Post Sparks Outrage By Publishing Racist Cartoon; GLAAD Joins Chorus of Voices Denouncing the Paper's History of Offensive Coverage On Feb. 18, the New York Post ran a racist Sean Delonas cartoon depicting police having shot and killed a chimpanzee while making an implied reference to President Obama, saying, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The cartoon sparked widespread anger and outrage, and community leaders coordinated ongoing protests of the New York Post. GLAAD joined the outcry against the Post and its parent company News Corporation, compiling two slideshows of past anti-gay Delonas cartoons and defamatory LGBT news coverage and calling on our members to contact the paper and NewsCorp. After a week of pressure from numerous community leaders and national advocacy organizations, NewsCorp Chairman Rupert Murdoch issued a carefully crafted personal apology over the racist cartoon, "to any reader that felt offended, and even insulted," acknowledging the mistake and vowing to "be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community ."
GLAAD urges you to continue to call on Rupert Murdoch to take real and appropriate measures to end the ongoing defamation at the New York Post.
News Corporation
Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, News Corporation
Teri Everett, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Jack Horner, Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications

-Two Utah Newspapers Publish Defamatory Anti-Gay Ad
On Sunday, Feb. 15, a group calling itself "America Forever" took out full-page advertisements in two Utah papers, The Salt Lake Tribune and The Deseret News. The ad, titled "Stand Up & Stop the Homosexual Movement," makes a series of grossly anti-gay and defamatory assertions, comparing gay people to "hookers and druggies" and referring to gay relationships as "anti-species behavior." The ad goes on to say, "For example: by holding hands and kissing in the public area of: an apartment complex playground, in a family neighborhood, at a party, or to present one's self as a homosexual person in the workplace, is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy, and if backed by law, will force the acceptance of homosexuality as a relationship equal to a man and woman relationship." GLAAD issued a Call to Action urging our members to speak out about this ad's misleading, outrageous claims that create a hostile climate for gay and lesbian people and make them feel less safe and secure in their communities.
GLAAD strongly encourages you to write a letter to the editor to The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News and join the chorus that has already spoken out about this advertisement. Share your personal story and help illustrate why the defamatory claims made in the ad put members of our community in harms' way.
Salt Lake Tribune
To contact The Salt Lake Tribune, send your letter in the body of the email, not as an attachment to:
The Deseret News


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FLORIDA DIGEST - March 13, 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:

-Living Room readies for Pridefest 2009

Palm Beach Human Rights Council

Hundreds of LGBT activists and our allies will meet in Tallahassee during the week of March 16 to rally for LGBT equality and lobby our legislators to support LGBT initiatives.PBCHRC is working with Equality Florida, the ACLU of Florida, Organizations United Together, SAVE Dade, the Human Rights Council of North Central Florida, the Anti-Defamation League, Florida NOW and many other allied organizations to move the the LGBT civil rights bill and other legislation forward. Updated talking points on the civil rights legislation are attached. Feel free to use the information to help educate your legislators on why they need to support this important legislation. The list of co-sponsors for SB 2101 and HB 397 is also attached. If your state senator and state representative are not yet on the list, please encourage them to sign on as co-sponsors and to support this important legislation. Have a great time in Tallahassee and remember, by working together, we can make a difference!
Judge Rand Hoch (retired),
President and Founder
Palm Beach County Human Rights Council

Broward House
Please join us at another amazing "Boys Night Out" sponsored by Hotspots Magazine, at the Melting Pot on Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale this coming Wednesday, March 18th starting at about 6:00 pm and running throughout the evening. For only $35 you will get a three course delicious fondue dinner with appetizer, main course and desert, plus there will be models presenting some of the latest fashions from Dillard's. Clinique and Paul Mitchell giveaways will come from the Michael Leigh Salon, and there will be special raffle prizes and gifts from Cookies by Design and Victoria Park Florist. This night is a benefit for Broward House. Reservations can be made by calling the number on the flyer below, be sure to mention that you are coming for the "Boys Night Out". Hope you can make it, we were there last month and it is truly a delicious night out and a lot of fun!! Don't forget too, The Florida Gay Rodeo Association will present the Florida Gay Rodeo at the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie on Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th - They too have picked Broward House as their charity of choice this year, make sure to put it on your calendars now and come on out and see some cowboys and cowgirls in a full fledge rodeo event. For more information on the rodeo CLICK HERE
Terry DeCarlo
Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Events

Lambda Legal - Florida

-Lambda Legal in Fort Lauderdale
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL *
3/29/09, 5:00 - 7:30 pm
Join Executive Director Kevin Cathcart, South Florida Board Members, Lambda Legal Plaintiff Janice Langbhen and Lambda Legal supporters for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in celebration of another incredible year of civil rights work. For more info contact Rick Hill at 786-473-6126 or purchase tickets online.

-Rally in Tally for LGBT Equality
Florida Capitol Building, Tally, FL * 3/16/09, 12:00 pm
Join fair-minded Floridians from across the state as they gather at the State Capitol to demand that all Floridians be treated fairly and equally under the law, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Endorsed by Lambda Legal. For more info and to register, visit Rally in Tally online.

-Lambda Legal Pride in Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach
Join us for Pride South Florida in Ft. Lauderdale (3/21-3/22) and Pridefest in Palm Beach (3/28-3/29). Help us spread the word about Lambda Legal's groundbreaking work. To help out at a Pride booth, contact Simone Bell by Tuesday, March 17.

-Liberty Awards National Dinner
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street & The Hudson River, New York, NY *
5/4/09, 6:00 - 11:00 pm
Join us for our flagship event as we honor Jeffrey S. Kalinsky, founder of the LGBT fundraiser Jeffrey Fashion Cares, and Martha Stark, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Finance. For more info contact Jennifer Kunin at 212-249-6188 or purchase tickets online.


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-Fort Lauderdale Spring Break: Come on down ( or maybe not )
It's easy to ignore the fuss about Spring Break when you're sipping from an 84-ounce bowl of booze. "What's the problem?" asks Katie Kennedy, 21, who checked into a Fort Lauderdale beachside hotel Saturday before heading to Lulu's Bait Shack with 13 pals from Eastern Kentucky University.,0,7237953.story?page=2


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Thursday, March 12, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 12, 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
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-Religious Leaders Battle Abuse Bill in New York
Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish officials in New York are mounting an intense lobbying effort to block a bill before the State Legislature that would temporarily lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging the sexual abuse of children.

Wall Street Journal

-RNC Chairman Steele Is Under Fire for Abortion Comments
By Susan Davis
Call it baptism by fire. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, elected in January, has had a rocky six weeks on the job. Just as the dust was starting to settle on his very public dispute with conservative talker Rush Limbaugh, the chairman gave an interview to GQ magazine in which he made comments about abortion that have ruffled some conservative feathers.

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-Judge approves injunction for gay club at Florida high school
Associated Press
A federal judge has ordered the Nassau County School Board to allow a club promoting tolerance of gays to meet at Yulee High School. U.S. District Judge Henry Adams issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday in the case ordering the district to grant official recognition of the Gay-Straight Alliance and afford it the same privileges as any other student organization.,0,233593.story

-Our goofy Legislature: Bestiality still legal, gay adoption not
Posted by Michael Mayo
She's tried before, and Democratic state senator Nan Rich of Weston is trying again: Rich wants to make it legal for gays to adopt and illegal for Floridians to have sex with animals. You'd have thought by now, in the year 2009, the law would be the other way around.

Steve Rothaus
Go to this link for the following articles: Congressman John Lewis Speaks OUT!
From James Hipps of
I recently had the honor and pleasure of speaking with Congressman Lewis and had the opportunity to ask his thought on Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, and equality for all U.S. citizens. Congressman Lewis feels strongly that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation should be entitled to equality, and the same rights, as all other citizens.

-Tyra Banks, Suze Orman & Phil Donahue to be honored at 2009 GLAAD Media Awards
GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, has announced honorees and presenters at this year's media awards. Tyra Banks, Suze Orman and Phil Donahue are special award winners. Among the presenters: Clay Aiken and T.R. Knight.

Go to this link for the following articles:

-Jury begins deliberations in gay porn murder case
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The jury in the Bryan Kocis murder case began deliberating Thursday the fate of 27-year-old Harlow Cuadra. If found guilty, Cuadra could receive the death penalty.

-Trial begins for teen in NYC gay hate murder
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The trial has begun for the alleged killer of a 20-year-old gay Brooklyn man, who was murdered because another man thought he was flirting with him.

-Judge tosses confession of man accused of killing transwoman
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
The confession of a Colorado man who is accused of fatally battering a sex partner with a fire extinguisher after discovering she was a transgender woman, cannot be presented into evidence, a district court judge has ruled.

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

-Blood ban on gay men to be reviewed
By Jessica Geen
A review of blood donation policy in the UK will be carried out following the publication of new research. The latest review, in January 2007, recommended that the policy of banning gay and bisexual men from donating blood should be continued.

-Medical advice 'puts lesbians at risk of cervical cancer'
Research has suggested that government guidelines should be revised to ensure more lesbian women are screened for cervical cancer. Currently, NHS advice states that women who have never been sexually active with a man have a very low risk of the disease, suggesting these women may decline to attend cervical smear tests.

-2010 US census 'will not include gays'
The next US census, to be carried out next year, will not ask about sexual orientation or recognise gay marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships. If two men or two women who live together list themselves as husband and husband, or wife and wife, they will be counted as unmarried partners.

-Research group to address training in LGBT issues for medical staff
A group of students from the Stanford Uninersity School of Medicine are working on increasing training for medical students on LGBT healthcare concern

-Family Guy provokes anger over gay orgy scene
Animated TV show Family Guy has come under fire from a parents' group over a recent episode that showed a gay orgy. In the episode, screened in the US on March 8th, storylines included a gay orgy featuring 11 men, a baby eating horse semen and bestiality.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
Contact for the full article:

-Cayman Islands: Ensure Equality for All
Restore Broad Anti-Discrimination Protections in Draft Constitution
The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, should revise a draft constitution that will be submitted to voters on May 20, 2009, to ensure that it gives full protections to all against unequal treatment, and the British government should ensure that this happens, Human Rights Watch said today in letters to the Cayman governor, Stuart Jack, and the British foreign secretary, David Miliband. The draft constitution is being revised by the Cayman Islands government and will eliminate a free-standing guarantee of equality before the law and limit anti-discrimination protections only to rights expressly included in the constitution. This means that large and critically important areas of daily life would not be covered, including access to jobs, housing, and medical treatment. Reportedly, the government succumbed to pressure from religious groups, and the action was apparently intended to deny protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

-Gay Pride Parade in Chiang Mai Broken Up by Red-Shirted Thugs
More than two hundred red-shirted followers of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra introduced homophobia for the first time into Thailand's festering political scene when on Saturday, February 21, they forced cancellation of a lawful and peaceful gay pride parade and rally in Chiang Mai. The disruption was organized by Rak Chiang Mai 51, the local faction of Thaksin-supported United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). Despite reassurances by local authorities that the parade would be allowed, the police made no effort to provide a buffer separating the disrupters from the marchers. Many of the disrupters wore red masks to avoid being recognized. About two hours before the parade was to begin, spoilers blockaded a compound where organizers had come earlier to prepare for the event. Later, thugs yelling homophobic insults prevented other parade organizers from entering the site. Also, 30 violence-threatening spoilers forced organizers of the concluding rally to dismantle a stage set up at the rally site.

-30 Years of CEDAW: Achievements & Continuing Challenges Towards The Realization of Women's Human Rights
International women's human rights activists gathered in New York on Monday, March 9, 2009, to observe the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Organized by the Kuala Lumpur-based International Women's Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific and New Jersey-based the Center for Women's Global Leadership, the event featured a panel on the theme: Celebrating 30 Years of CEDAW:
Achievements and Continuing Challenges Towards the Realization of Women's Human Rights. Featured speakers traced the origins of CEDAW and described its achievements, which occurred despite its "step-child" status in the United Nations system-denied the support, credibility and resources given to other treaty monitoring bodies. Speakers also addressed the impact the Convention has had on challenging governments and improving commitments to respect, defend and promote women's human rights.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Contact if you can't access the article

-Top Task Force staffer attends today's White House signing of executive order creating White House Council on Women and Girls
President Barack Obama signed an executive order today creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The council is designed to provide a coordinated federal response to the challenges confronting women and girls, and to ensure that all cabinet and cabinet-level agencies consider how their policies and programs impact women and families. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Deputy Executive Director Darlene Nipper attended today's signing at the White House. "The highest echelons of government need to be aware of and actively engaged in finding solutions to critical issues affecting women and girls - issues like pay equity, threat of violence, work-life balance for working women, and access to affordable health care and child care. Women and their families are particularly vulnerable on all these counts during an economic downturn. Lesbian, bisexual and transgender women face additional obstacles because they are unprotected by most nondiscrimination employment laws and family recognition laws. This new council will hopefully ensure the voices of women and girls are heard and that these issues remain front and center in the White House."

-2009 Transgender Leadership Summit!
We want to see you at the 4th Annual Transgender Leadership Summit! The 2009 Summit will be held at UC San Diego from March 27 - 29, 2009. The cost of this event is $25 and is open to individuals of all skill levels who are involved or interested in advancing civil rights for transgender people in California. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. We look forward to seeing you there!

-Please find more on Serbia and human rights in the report published today
by the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Hammarberg:

-Increase In Anal Intercourse Involving At-Risk Teens And Young Adults
A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center suggests that the incidence of heterosexual anal sex is increasing among teens and young adults - particularly those who have recently had unprotected vaginal sex. These findings mirror recent data that show anal sex rates among adults doubled between the years 1995 and 2004. The study, published online by the American Journal of Public Health, is among the first to report on the little-known factors associated with heterosexual anal intercourse among adolescents and young adults.

-Still need volunteers to participate in a study on dating violence among college students in same-sex relationships -Password : Butterfly007

-We are writing to ask for your participation in Campus Pride's
National LGBT College Climate Survey - GO ONLINE and register to WIN A FREE RSVP CRUISE
or $500 CASH!

Southern Poverty Law Center
Live webcast: Hate group count rises
Join SPLC President Richard Cohen and Intelligence Project director Mark Potok as they discuss the growing number of hate groups in the United States. We've documented 926 hate groups in the U.S. - an increase of more than 50 percent since 2000. Hate groups are trying to swell their ranks by exploiting the election of President Obama, the struggling economy and immigration fears. Listeners will be able to submit questions before and during the event. The webcast will be Wednesday, March 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern. Register today.

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-Watchdog Groups Demand 'Ex-Gay' Organization Dismiss Leader, Alan Chambers,
After Exodus International Participates In Ugandan Anti-Gay Hate Conference
Exodus Under Fire After Group Remains Silent As Speakers At Ugandan Event
Seek To 'Wipe Out' Homosexuality And Imprison Gays
NEW YORK - The three leading watchdog organizations that monitor "ex-gay" ministries today called on the largest such group, Exodus International, to fire its leader, Alan Chambers. The coalition charged in a letter to Bob Ragan, chair of the Exodus Board of Directors, that Chambers allowed the organization to be used and give credibility to a conference that promoted human rights abuses against gay and lesbian people.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - March 12, 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
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-As Cities Go From Two Papers to One, Talk of Zero
The history of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stretches back more than two decades before Washington became a state, but after 146 years of publishing, the paper is expected to print its last issue next week, perhaps surviving only in a much smaller online version.

-Financial Fraud Is Focus of Attack by Prosecutors
Spurred by rising public anger, federal and state investigators are preparing for a surge of prosecutions of financial fraud.

-Israel Stance Was Undoing of Nominee for Intelligence Post
When Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, announced that he would install Charles W. Freeman Jr. in a top intelligence post, the decision surprised some in the White House who worried that the selection could be controversial and an unnecessary distraction, according to administration officials.

-Investigation Into Madoff Fraud Turns to a Small Circle of Accountants
As Bernard L. Madoff faces another big day in court Thursday, some details are emerging about how he operated his vast Ponzi scheme.

-At Stake for Madoff in Hearing: His Freedom
When Bernard L. Madoff arrives in federal court on Thursday to plead guilty to operating a vast 20-year Ponzi scheme, there is a strong chance that he will not return home.

-Gordon to the Rescue
If, as a British prime minister, you get a five-minute segment on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," you know you've made it, especially when the much-loved Stewart describes your country as a place that "gets about two hours of sunshine a year" and resembles a "coffee-less Seattle."

-Iraqi Shoe Thrower Gets Three Years
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi journalist who gained widespread acclaim throughout the Arab world for hurling his shoes at President Bush during a visit here in December was sentenced to three years in jail by a court on Thursday.

Washington Post
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-Choice of Drug Czar Indicates Focus on Treatment, Not Jail
By Carrie Johnson and Amy Goldstein
The White House said yesterday that it will push for treatment, rather than incarceration, of people arrested for drug-related crimes as it announced the nomination of Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske to oversee the nation's effort to control illegal drugs.

-Obama Signs Spending Bill, Vowing to Battle Earmarks
By Paul Kane and Scott Wilson
President Obama's call to rein in the use of earmarks was met with derision yesterday even from some of his past reformer allies, dealing an early blow to his attempt to change how business is done in Washington.

-The Country's Loss
By David S. Broder
The Obama administration has just suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of the lobbyists the president vowed to keep in their place, and their friends on Capitol Hill. The country has lost an able public servant in an area where President Obama has few personal credentials of his own -- the handling of national intelligence.

-Robert Parham
Limbaugh's Unrighteous Hold on Christian Right
Rush Limbaugh told what he thought was a joke to a cheering crowd at the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists and politicians. In his rambling remarks televised on FOX News, Limbaugh said that when Larry King died, he went to heaven and was met at the gates by Saint Peter. King's one question was: "Is Rush Limbaugh here?"

-Alaska Gov. Palin's Daughter, Fiance Break Up
Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin, the teenage daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, have broken off their engagement, he said Wednesday, about 2 1/2 months after the couple had a baby.

-Tax-Prep Software Doesn't Add Up
By Rob Pegoraro
I knew I was doomed about five minutes into this year's tax-prep ordeal. Two different programs -- having been fed nothing more than basic personal info and the contents of a pair of W-2s -- did not agree on the total tax bill for my wife and me.

-Paved With Magnificent Intentions
By George F. Will
Charles Dickens, who visited in 1842, described Washington as a "city of magnificent intentions" because of the incongruity between the city's grand aspirations and muddy, swampy actuality. Today Washington's discrepancy is not architectural but political. It is between the extraordinary powers and competences the administration claims it has and the administration's inability to be clear or plausible about what it is doing.

-A 'Phony War' On the Crisis
By David Ignatius
For all the legislative commotion surrounding the economic crisis, we are still living in the equivalent of "the phony war" of 1939 and 1940. War has been declared on the Great Recession, but it's basically politics as usual. The bickering and mismanagement that helped create the crisis are continuing, even though we elected a president who promised a new start.

-Building a Better Capitalism
By Harold Meyerson
So what kind of capitalism shall we craft? Now that the market fundamentalism to which we've adhered for the past 30 years has -- by its own criterion of increasing shareholder value -- totally failed? Now that Alan Greenspan has proclaimed himself "shocked" that "the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity" proved to be an illusion?

Wall Street Journal
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-For More Mayors, School Takeovers Are a No-Brainer
Oversight by City Hall Can Help Push Through Reforms, but Some Parents and Teachers See Too Much Bullying
More U.S. cities are considering scrapping a longstanding tradition in American education, the elected school board, and opting to let mayors rule over the classroom.

-Obama Outlines Plan to Curb Earmarks
President Barack Obama signed a $410 billion spending bill Wednesday that includes thousands of pet projects inserted by lawmakers, even as he unveiled new rules to restrict such so-called earmarks.

-High School Shooting in Germany Leaves 16 Dead
BERLIN -- A shooting rampage that began in a southern German school on Wednesday and left 16 dead is likely to stoke fresh debate in Europe about gun control and public security. The shooting began about 9:30 a.m., when 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer, a former student, entered Albertville high school in Winnenden, a suburb of Stuttgart. He killed nine students and three teachers with a Beretta 9mm pistol before fleeing, police say. In Winnenden, he killed a passerby and then hijacked a car, setting off a massive police manhunt.

-Obama, Geithner Get Low Grades From Economists
U.S. President Barack Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner received failing grades for their efforts to revive the economy from participants in the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey.

-Tariq Aziz Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison
Saddam Hussein's former foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of price gouging while Iraq was under U.N. sanctions. The conviction was the first against Mr. Aziz, who for years was the former regime's public face to West.

-Bill Gates Reclaims Title as Richest Man in World
The global economic crisis has reduced the number of billionaires and made the richest people in the world poorer, according to Forbes magazine. Forbes found 793 billionaires in 2009, down 30% from a year earlier. This is the first decline since 2003.

Fort Report
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-Dumbest Proposal Ever?
By Joe Conason
If President Barack Obama's response to the economic crisis is imperfect, as he acknowledges, and if the Congressional Democrats leave much to be desired as well, then Americans can at least be thankful that the nation's fate has not been consigned to the frozen minds on the other side of the aisle. Things are bad, and seem very likely to get worse-but the Republicans seem determined to plunge us into a real depression, gambling that catastrophe would return them to power.

-Steele Under Fire
By The New York Times
Michael Steele, whose rocky start as chairman of the Republican National Committee had already led to chatter about his job security, has more trouble on his hands. In an interview with Lisa DePaulo of GQ, Mr. Steele was asked about his views on abortion and homosexuality, and in both cases gave answers that could give heartburn to conservatives.

Pew Research center
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-States of Movement
Magnet or Sticky? A State-by-State Typology
Alaska has trouble keeping 'em down on the tundra: just 28% of the adults born in that state still live there now, placing it 50th on this measure of state population "stickiness." New York, meantime, has trouble attracting newcomers: just 19% of its current residents were born in another state, making it the nation's least "magnetic" state. Find out where your state lands on these novel measures of state migration patterns. Read more

Few in Pakistan Support Extremists -- But Few Favor Military Confrontation
Extremist groups are increasingly demonstrating their ability to strike throughout a country in which support for al Qaeda or the Taliban has declined sharply in recent years and where few agree with their widely noted tactic of preventing education for girls. Read more

-Stop the Presses
Many Americans Wouldn't Care a Lot if Local Papers Folded
Fewer than half of Americans say losing their local paper would hurt civic life a great deal; even fewer say they would miss reading it a lot. Read more

-Seeing Red?
Socialism, American-Style
We love the free market, but fear corporations and global competition, and depend on Uncle Sam to keep us safe. Read more

-Poll Paradox
Why Surveys of Muslim Americans Differ
Because Muslim Americans make up a very small percentage of the U.S. public, it is difficult to provide a reliable picture of their views and differences in survey design can crucially affect findings. Read more

-Buy, Sell, Yell
Media Get on Dow Rollercoaster
For the fourth time in four weeks a different component of the economic crisis was the top storyline. Also, Limbaugh was the No. 2 newsmaker of the week. Read more

-Daily Number
33 - Candidate to President
America's impression of Barack Obama has changed substantially from his time on the campaign trail last fall to his current position in the Oval Office. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more


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FLORIDA DIGEST - March 12, 2009

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


Fort Lauderdale Gay Mens Chorus

-Songs of My Family
Sunshine Cathedral - 1480 SW 9th Ave. - Ft. Lauderdale

Stonewall Library and Archives - Ft. Lauderdale

-Psychotherapist Dr. Ann Mody Lewis to speak about her just released book Me, Again -
Saturday, March 28 - 2:00 PM
On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 2:00 pm, Stonewall will host a lecture by psychotherapist and writer Dr. Ann Mody Lewis. Dr. Lewis will be speaking about her new book Me, Again: The Untold Story of Every Woman's Life. Dr. Lewis insightful book offers a fresh look at the role gender plays in the lives of women. Her work leads women on a journey to inner peace and self-liberation. [...] For further information, please call 954-763-8565. Stonewall Library & Archives is located at 1300 East Sunrise Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale, FL.


Presented by Nova Southeastern University Fischler School - The Association for Child & Youth and Care Practices, Inc. - Council of Canadian Child & Youth Care Associations
WHAT: 120 workshops delivered by 160 presenters from all over the world
WHERE: Broward Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale
WHEN: May 26 to May 29 of 2009

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-Top 5 clubs and pubs in Fort Lauderdale
Forum Publishing Group
5. Sea Monster, 2 S. New River Dive W., 954-767-6200: Attention all gay and lesbian club enthusiasts: The cavernous Sea Monster nightclub is once again hugging the south bank of the New River in Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here.. Shuttered for four years, the renovated club retains much of its old charm. The club still consists of four rooms: a main room with pool tables and a well-populated bar; a large dance-floor area; a cozy, red-lit bar in the back; and an enclosed garden patio.,0,6657333.story

Steve Rothaus
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-'Unfriendly Fire' author Nathaniel Frank to speak Wednesday at Books and Books on Lincoln Road
From Jon Schwenzer, South Florida chapter president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association:
One of our members, Nathaniel Frank, will read from his new book,
"UNFRIENDLY FIRE"-How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military & Weakens America
Wednesday, March 18, 7:00pm
Books and Books
927 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, FL 305.532.3222

Miami Herald
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-Lawmaker seeks to legalize adoption by gays in Florida
Florida's gay-adoption ban will now face two challenges: one in a Miami appeals court, the other in the state Legislature.
As gay-rights advocates and religious groups queue up in an effort to influence the outcome of a Miami appeals court case that will help decide whether gay people can adopt children in Florida, a state lawmaker has quietly introduced two bills that could render the dispute moot.

-Army fired 11 soldiers in Jan. as openly gay
The Army fired 11 soldiers in January for violating the military's policy that gay service members must keep their sexuality hidden, according to a Virginia congressman.

South Florida Blade
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-Presbytery votes to overturn gay minister ban
Similar amendments considered in 1996
A majority of Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation leaders in central and eastern Kentucky have voted to overturn a national ban on gay ministers.

Fort Report
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-Florida legislators defend earmarks as Obama signs bill chock-full of them
By Wes Allison, Times Staff Writer
When it comes to the age-old practice of Congress sending millions of dollars back home, not even President Obama is likely to bring much change. As the president signed a massive government spending bill that earmarks billions of dollars for members' hometown projects, Obama urged Congress to increase the transparency of the earmark process and warned that tough budget times ahead may curtail future largess.

-Voting Rights Elude Some Florida Ex-Felons, Study Says
Florida's procedures for restoring voting rights to convicted felons are so cumbersome, bureaucratic and confusing that some ex-convicts are being denied their rights, according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida.

-Democrat named to Florida Supreme Court
Gov. Crist appointed Judge James E.C. Perry to the Florida Supreme Court -- the fourth black justice ever appointed. Gov. Charlie Crist made a Central Florida circuit judge the Florida Supreme Court's fourth-ever black justice on Wednesday, disappointing conservatives seeking to tilt the court more to the right.

-Why Rush Limbaugh Is Good for the Republicans
By Ramesh Ponnuru
Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs knew what they were doing when they declared Rush Limbaugh the leader of the Republican opposition. They were putting Republican politicians in a trap. Repudiating Limbaugh would mean alienating millions of conservatives and declaring Limbaugh's plainspoken conservatism - which many of those politicians share - outside the lines of the national debate. But neither could Republicans allow the insinuation that they take orders from a radio host stand. If voters got that impression, they would look weak. Worse, the polls show more people dislike Limbaugh than like him.,8599,1884289,00.html

-Florida: Ten hot congressional races next year
By Hastings Wyman
Democrats gained two congressional seats in the Sunshine State last year and came close in several more districts. Republicans see the Democratic freshmen as especially vulnerable in 2010. Moreover, there are several districts where the incumbents are stepping down -- or may step down -- to seek statewide office, creating much sought-after open seats. And at least one incumbent is facing a contested primary.

-Judge warns of cost to imprison mentally ill as report pans Fla.
Florida will have to spend an estimated $3.6 billion to build new prisons if the number of people with mental illness behind bars keeps growing as fast as it has, a South Florida judge said Wednesday. "It's madness," said Steve Leifman, a Miami-Dade County judge who serves as special adviser on criminal justice and mental health to the Florida Supreme Court.

-Federal spending bill includes funds for 7 Everglades projects
Several long-awaited Everglades restoration projects got a cash infusion from the $410 billion spending bill President Obama signed into law Wednesday. The bill included nearly $200 million for seven projects aimed at restoring flows and reducing pollution in the struggling and shrinking ecosystem. The Everglades Foundation cheered the spending, saying the projects would create hundreds of jobs, protect the drinking water supply and contribute to the long-term health of the tourism, fishing and other dependent industries.


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 11, 2009

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

Washington Post
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-Wash. Senate OKs domestic partner rights expansion
Same-sex domestic partners would have all of the rights and benefits that Washington offers married couples under a measure passed by the state Senate.

-Proposal to strike 'marriage' from California law
The Associated Press
California's top election official says supporters can start collecting signatures for a proposed ballot measure to strike the word "marriage" from all state laws. Supporters of this ballot measure want to replace it with the term "domestic partnership," while keeping all the rights of marriage in place.

-Doubling Down
By Richard Leiby
A new administration, a new opportunity to anoint new Washington power couples. (It's just what we do around here.) But identifying them proves a bit harder than we thought. Rule No. 1 about power couples: They deny that they are power couples.

-Virginia & Maryland In Top 10 Porn-Rich States
By Marc Fisher
Ask most folks which population is most likely to buy a lot of pornographic material and the near-universal response will be people not like themselves. Just the other day, a religious Christian in Virginia made the case to me that your heavy porn users are your social liberals, seeing as how they think anything goes. From the other side of the red-blue divide, secular types in the District argue that of course it's the conservatives who keep the porn industry going, because their public quest to impose one set of morals on others is driven by their knowledge of their private shortcomings.

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-Supporters can gather signatures for California measure to strike 'marriage' from state laws
California's top election official says supporters can start collecting signatures for a proposed ballot measure to strike the word "marriage" from all state laws.,0,240817.story

-Democrats close in on a Palm Beach retort to Rush
One of five responses to 'I hope Obama fails' will get billboard space
By Howard Goodman
The national Democratic Party has come up with five ideas for needling Rush Limbaugh on a West Palm Beach billboard and is asking Democrats to vote for their favorite. Out of "tens of thousands of submissions," party leaders have picked these five top contenders, Jen O'Malley Dillon, Democratic National Committee executive director, said in an e-mail sent Tuesday to supporters.
."Americans didn't vote for a Rush to failure"
."Hope and change cannot be Rush'd",0,7711728.story

Steve Rothaus
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-Washington state Senate OKs domestic partner rights expansion
By RACHEL LA CORTE, Associated Press
Same-sex domestic partners would have all of the rights and benefits that Washington offers married couples under a measure passed by the state Senate. Supporters of the bill said it offers same-sex couples fairness that has been denied them under the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts marriage to unions between a man and woman.

South Florida Blade
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The Advocate
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-Advocate Hits the Trail With the L.A. Frontrunners
Every Saturday, the Los Angeles Frontrunners - a running group for the LGBT community -- get together to bond while they break a sweat. But as Advocate contributor Derrick Shore found out when he hit the trail with this athletic crew of people, being a frontrunner is about much more than getting in shape - it's a chance to make friends, be social and, for a lucky few, even find a significant other.

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-Neff: Insecurity about Social Security
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Month to month my partner and I save several hundred dollars to invest in our retirement. We don't earn much money - we're two women in pay-by-the-hour jobs in a state not known for being super friendly to labor. So we don't have a lot to save or invest.

-Vermont mental health groups back gay marriage
Vermont mental health professionals are backing legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry. The Vermont Psychiatric Association, the Vermont Psychological Association, the Vermont Mental Health Counselor Association and the Vermont chapter of the National Association of Social Workers said in a joint statement that arguments by opponents of same-sex marriage who claim it is not in the best interest of children to allow gays and lesbians to marry are wrong.

-Concerns mount over Ohio adoption rules
Butler County commissioners have asked the county prosecutor to review a new rule by the Children Services Agency that could be used to discriminate against gay and unmarried couples. Butler County is in suburban Cincinnati.

-Federal appeals court asked to revive case against Baptist childcare agency
A federal appeals court was asked Tuesday to reinstate a lawsuit accusing a Baptist childcare agency of proselytizing youngsters in its care and firing gay employees. The lawsuit was brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Pink News - UK
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-Update: Missing teenager caught on CCTV
More information has come through on teenager William Wright, who went missing after a night out with friends in Manchester's gay village at the weekend. William, 19, from Crick, Wales, was last seen by his friends at 4:20am on Saturday, March 7th outside the View bar on Canal Street. Click here for full article

-Islington registrar denied right to appeal over civil marriages ruling
The Islington registrar who refused to carry out civil partnerships has been denied leave to appeal against the latest ruling. Lillian Ladele, 48, from Finsbury, was threatened with the sack after she told Islington borough council she could not carry out the ceremonies due to her Christian beliefs. Click here for full article

-Robbie Williams to star in Little Britain sketch
Former Take That star Robbie Williams is to appear as a little girl in a Red Nose Day special Little Britain sketch. "It's hard to say no when asked to take part in a Little Britain sketch for Comic Relief," said Williams. Click here for full article

-Iowa senator introduces gender-neutral civil marriage legislation
Openly gay Iowa state Senator Matt McCoy (Democrat) has introduced legislation that would make civil marriages in Iowa gender neutral. The bill would remove words such as 'husband' and 'wife' from the state's laws, replacing them with 'spouse'. Click here for full article

-US mental health experts support gay marriage
Leading mental health organisations in Vermont, US, have come out in support of gay marriage, claiming it will validate relationships, increase benefits for the families and could reduce discrimination. Click here for full article

-Pet Shop Boys wax lyrical on Blair, Obama and Kylie
Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys has criticised "gestural" politics, saying that comfort and convenience are what drives the political agenda. In an interview with Attitude magazine and bandmate Chris Lowe, he compared Tony Blair and Barack Obama for their inclusivity, calling them "big tent" people. Click here for full article

-Home and Away to introduce lesbian romance
Australian soap Home and Away is set to show a lesbian relationship. The storyline will see tough policewoman Charlie Buckton, played by actor Esther Anderson, falling in love with Joey Collins, played by Kate Bell, who works on a trawler. Click here for full article

-Event to raise funds for homophobic bullying campaign
An event to raise money for Stonewall's Education for All campaign to stop homophobic bullying in schools will be held next month at the Paramount Club, at the top of the Centre Point Tower in London. Click here for full article

-Homophobic bullying 'rife' in schools
A survey of UK teachers has found a "deeply alarming" amount of homophobia in schools. The report, released today by Stonewall, is the largest ever survey of both primary and secondary school teachers on the issue of homophobic bullying. Click here for full article

-US mental health experts support gay marriage
Leading mental health organisations in Vermont, US, have come out in support of gay marriage, claiming it will validate relationships, increase benefits for the families and could reduce discrimination. Civil unions for same-sex couples in Vermont were legalised in 2000.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-155 Banned Moscow Gay Pride Marches Appealed to European Court of Human Rights

-IRanian Queer Railroad - IRQR
Across the floor of the Geneva human rights conference, Arsham Parsi spotted the Iranian government representative. This was his chance. Parsi fled Iran in 2005. Despite keeping his advocacy work underground, the police had found out he was a homosexual rights activist. But Geneva was not the Islamic Republic. Homosexual rights are mired in controversy worldwide. Currently, there are 58 countries that punish homosexuality - nine with death. The regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so horrifying, the 28-year-old Parsi has dedicated his life to fighting its extreme brutality. "A friend once told me I didn't decide to become an activist," says Parsi. "Society forced me to."

-We request your assistance with an urgent case involving Mehdi N., a 29-year-old gay
Iranian who seeks asylum in Germany.
"In Iran, one of my biggest challenges was having to deny my sexual orientation. Now, in Germany, the hardest challenge is to prove it," Mehdi N. wrote in his letter to the IRQR. Mehdi N. is in an unjust situation and needs your urgent action. Please visit our website (www[dot]irqr[dot]net) to read his full story and show your support by writing to the Deutsch government to urge them to grant refugee status to Mehdi N. You may copy and paste the sample letters into an email and send it to the provide emails or you may write your own letter in support of Mehdi N. In addition, if you or your organization is interested in hosting an event to support Mehdi and other Iranian gay refugees, please contact us as soon as possible.
Thank you for
your support.

-Serbia: Pass Anti-Discrimination Law
Restoring Bill to Legislative Agenda Will Guarantee Rights
(Brussels, March 10, 2009) - Serbia's government should ensure that an anti-discrimination law is passed, rebuffing efforts to delay its progress, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the vice-prime minister for European integration, Bozidar Delic. The government withdrew the draft law from consideration on March 4, 2009. Media reports in Serbia have said the law was withdrawn because of a last-minute objection by the Serbian Orthodox Church and other religious denominations to two of its provisions - one prohibiting discrimination based on religion (article 18), and the other barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (article 21).

-UK: LGBT university staff and students face 'high levels' of discrimination
A survey has suggested that many gay, bisexual and trans staff and students in UK higher education institutes suffer homophobia and discrimination. The research, led by Professor Gill Valentine at the University of Leeds, found that 20 per cent of LGB students and 28.5 per cent of trans students had been forced to suspend their studies due to homophobia and transphobia. Although over 90 per cent of gay and bisexual students were out to their peers, 46.8 per cent said they had been subjected to negative comments, while others said they felt they couldn't participate in certain activities such as sports, as they felt other students may be wary of being phsyically close to them.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Religiosity and Perceived Intolerance of Gays and Lesbians
People living in countries where more people say religion is important in their daily lives are much more likely than those living in countries where fewer people say religion is important to report that their communities are not good places to live for gays and lesbians.

-Ark. judge allows group to help defend foster law
An Arkansas judge has ruled that a conservative group behind a successful ballot measure banning unmarried couples from fostering children can help the state defend the ban in a lawsuit. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza on Friday granted the Arkansas Family Council's request to help the state defend the measure it helped put on the November election ballot.

-Yes, College Students Have Sex. So Why Deny Them Information?
When I decided to attend Boston College, a private Jesuit university, I didn't think to ask whether they provided comprehensive health care for women. But as I soon learned, Boston College's reproductive health services fell far short of those typically offered on secular or some other religiously affiliated college campuses across the country. While some may see the university's decision as a valid extension of its religious affiliation, it is worth understanding the consequences. Not providing condoms, pregnancy testing, and information about sexually transmitted infections doesn't stop students from having sex. It does, however, prevent them from making informed decisions about their health and lives.

-CA: Field Poll shows voters evenly divided on gay marriage ShareThis
Four months after the passage of Proposition 8, a new opinion poll released today shows California voters almost evenly divided over same-sex marriage but significantly more accepting of it than just three years ago. "It's a general progression toward accepting same-sex marriage over time," said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll. The survey asked how respondents would vote if a new constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage qualified for a future ballot.

-Kiss Thailand's Tolerance for Gays Goodbye
More than two hundred red-shirted followers of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra introduced homophobia for the first time into Thailand's festering political scene when on Saturday, February 21, they forced cancellation of a lawful and peaceful gay pride parade and rally in Chiang Mai. The disruption was organized by Rak Chiang Mai 51, the local faction of Thaksin-supported United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD). Despite reassurances by local authorities that the parade would be allowed, the police made no effort to provide a buffer separating the disrupters from the marchers. Many of the disrupters wore red masks to avoid being recognized.

-American Religious Identification Survey
Evangelical or born-again Americans make up 34 percent of all American adults and 45 percent of all Christians and Catholics, the study found. Researchers found that 18 percent of Catholics consider themselves born-again or evangelical, and nearly 39 percent of mainline Protestants prefer those labels. Many mainline Protestant groups are riven by conflict over how they should interpret what the Bible says about gay relationships, salvation and other issues.

-Can people unlearn their naked shame?
Once we were all happy to walk around naked, now we're not. But can an experiment in nudity help us understand why we are so embarrassed by being seen in the buff and help shed our inhibitions? It's a classic anxiety nightmare - you're standing in front of a room full of work colleagues, your boss is there, maybe even that new colleague you've been trying to impress. And you're stark naked. Ouch. Why are we so ashamed of being seen naked? Is there something deep in human nature that finds naked skin abhorrent? Some prudishness inherited from our Victorian ancestors?

- Sexual Abuse of Minors OK But Not Floral Sales to Gay Couples
There are some days when the lunacy and disingenuousness of the Roman Catholic Church just simply goes off the charts. Here we have an institution that has (i) a worldwide problem with the sexual abuse of who knows how many thousands of minors, (ii) paid out literally billions of dollars in damages to abuse victims with no end of finacial hemmoraging in sight, and (iii) to date still failed to discipline any of its hierarchy that enabled and/or covered up the abuse of minors. But what are the Catholic Bishops in Connecticut worried about? Oh the horror! That with same sex marriage now legal in that state that florists might be forced to sell flowers to same sex couples getting married. I kid you not.

-THE Legal Challenge to DOMA (the "Defense of Marriage Act") is Filed!
Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders has filed a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a provision of federal law that requires the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages, or to treat the partners in same-sex marriages as spouses, for any purpose of federal law. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston under the name of Gill v. Office of Personnel Management on March 3, brings together the claims of fifteen plaintiffs, all of whom were lawfully married in Massachusetts soon after the Goodridge decision went into effect on May 17, 2004.

-New Web Site Seeks to Fight Myths About Circumcision and H.I.V.

-Sex in Spain: is 13 just too young?

Raw Story
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-Recent poll showed Bush with higher favorable rating than Limbaugh
Republicans appear to be bowing down left and right to conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh, even though most Americans view the radio talk show host unfavorably.

Huffington Post
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Why I'm Not Now and Have Never Been the Democrats' "Rush Limbaugh"
by Michael Moore

Anything but Straight
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-Religion and Republicanism Losing Converts
In pandering to the fanatical and the fearful - both religion and Republicanism may have compromised their future. First, the Republican Party seems in an awfully big rush to implode with Rush Limbaugh as its mercurial mouthpiece. The GOP's other savior, Michael Steele, is just a big mouth who seems more suited to Limbaugh's talk show gig than chairman of the Party. The GOP's first African American leader, Steele, promised a "hip hop makeover" that would attract even "one armed midgets." It is Steele, however, who is the incredibly shrinking chairman, with his promised "Big Tent" turning into a circus act.


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