Saturday, March 28, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 28, 2009

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Washington Post
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-Moran Endorsed by Ebbin, Young Dems
Del. Adam P. Ebbin, the highest-ranking openly gay elected official in Virginia and the only openly gay member of the General Assembly, endorsed Democrat Brian Moran for governor. Ebbin cited Moran's long-term commitment to fighting discrimination and his opposition to the Virginia marriage amendment, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and was passed by voters in 2006.

Wall Street Journal
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-Singapore Lightens Up
The restrictive city-state relaxes some limits on theaters in a bid to become an arts hub
Hollywood actor Ethan Hawke stars in a production of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," staged here this week by British director Sam Mendes. Meanwhile, across town, the curtain is rising on Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest," with an all-male, all-gay cast. These are the latest marquee productions in Singapore's ambitious bid to claim status as a global performing arts city on a par with London or New York -- even if it means relaxing some long-held taboos. Theaters here increasingly are allowed to take on risqué social and political themes, a sign this tightly controlled Southeast Asian city-state is starting to loosen up.

Steve Rothaus
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-Washington Blade examines compensation paid to leaders of the LGBT rights movement
The Washington Blade has just published a great article about how much money is paid to the leaders of the nation's largest gay organizations: From Washington Blade staff reports Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, which provides meals and nutritional services for homebound people with HIV/AIDS in the Washington, D.C. area, had the highest salary among the heads of the nation's most prominent LGBT advocacy groups and groups that provide AIDS-related services in Los Angeles, New York and D.C. A survey of the compensation paid to heads of 30 LGBT and AIDS organizations, conducted by the Washington Blade, shows that Shniderman had a total salary and benefits package of $382,200 in 2008, the latest period for which the organizations' salary and annual revenue data could be obtained for a completed fiscal year. Shniderman's earnings placed him ahead of Joe Solmonese, executive director of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBT political advocacy group. Solmonese, who ranked second in the salary survey, received a total compensation package of $338,400 in 2008. To continue reading, click here.

The Advocate
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- Blade Outs LGBT Leaders' Salaries
By Ross von Metzke
The Washington Blade has published a report of the country's most prominent LGBT leaders and their salaries, including bonuses and benefits packages -- and the results are somewhat surprising. Craig Shniderman, executive director of Food & Friends, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit providing meals and nutritional services for homebound people with HIV/AIDS, topped the list with a total salary and benefits package of $382,200 in 2008.

-John Berry Aces Confirmation Hearing
By Kerry Eleveld
John Berry, an openly gay man who has been nominated by President Barack Obama to head the Office of Personnel Management, encountered a friendly confirmation hearing Thursday.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-Heroic welcome during Parade of Nations
World Outgames participants are going to get a heroic welcome to Copenhagen at the opening ceremony this summer on the 25th of July. In a break with the traditional stadium parade, World Outgames 2009 organizers, in cooperation with the city government, have planned a sensational tribute traditionally reserved for Danish royalty and national sports heroes at City Hall Square in the heart of the city.

-On the road to Copenhagen: From sissy to ironman
"I was a sissy in high school, I had no athletic abilities at all," said Dabney Tompkins, a real estate broker from Portland, Oregon who will compete in the triathlon at World Outgames this summer.

-Indonesia: Coming out for his rights
When he was an NGO worker involved in gender rights in farming communities, Hartoyo says he was greeted as a hero wherever he went. Today, in his more personal battle for gay rights in Indonesia, it's a much lonelier journey. "Fighting for gay rights is so different from other humanitarian causes such as education or helping the poor, even sex workers," says the 33-year-old, known as Toyo. "If we are working for gay rights, we're considered somebody who is totally amoral. I'm not out to be a hero, but we are not even given respect as a person trying to achieve something." He puts the stigma in blunt terms. "They think I am just fighting for penises and vaginas. That is the challenge for me."

-Uruguay: Investigate TV Discrimination
Stations Refused to Run Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Rights Public Service Spot
The Uruguay authorities should investigate whether a decision by private television stations not to run a public awareness commercial designed to reduce discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people is lawful, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to the Uruguayan minister of education and culture and the Communication Services Regulation Unit. Ovejas Negras, an LGBT human rights collective, opened a public awareness campaign, "A Kiss is a Kiss," on March 23, 2009. Using posters and television and radio spots, the campaign is designed to raise awareness about laws that protect against discrimination, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Two private television stations - that together have ratings indicating they are viewed by more than 70 percent of the viewing public - refused to run the commercials. A third television station agreed to broadcast it outside prime-time for a period of 10 days at the price of a prime-time transmission.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Turkey: Homophobic and transphobic violence doesn't stop: Assault in Eskisehir, murders in Bursa and Edirne!
A transsexual woman was attacked and beaten in Eskisehir. A transsexual woman was found her head cut in Bursa. A man has been killed by his friend on the claim that he asked for sexual intercourse. There is still no word from the authorities about the cases of Ahmet Yildiz who were shot to death on 15 July 2008 in Istanbul and Dilek Ince who were shot to death on 12 November 2008 in Ankara. While we were in grief after them, another transsexual woman Ebru Soykan was stabbed to death on 10 March 2009 in Istanbul. We continue to ask the same question again, "When are you going to stop watching?" The murderers, who are encouraged by the silence of the state, continue on their fearless attacks. The recent news from Bursa horrified the LGBTT community in Turkey. We are in great sorrow after these brutal attacks.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Poll: Voters reject same-sex marriage
Neither the election nor legal challenges over Proposition 8 has changed the majority of Californians' minds about same-sex marriage, a poll released Wednesday shows. Among likely voters, 45 percent favor same-sex marriage and 49 percent are opposed, according to a poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California. In November, Proposition 8 stripped gays and lesbians of right to marry with 52 percent of the vote. In Riverside County, the measure passed by a greater margin - 64 percent.

-Poll: Infidelity is common knowledge in the USA
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY
More than half of Americans - 54% - know someone who has an unfaithful spouse, according to a nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of 1,025 adults. That's more than twice the rate in 1964, when 24% of those asked in a Harris Poll knew someone with a cheating spouse.

-Students Sue Prosecutor in Cellphone Photos Case
When a high school cheerleader in northeastern Pennsylvania learned that she might face criminal charges after investigators reported finding a nude photo of her on someone else's cellphone, she was more confused than frightened at being caught up in a case of "sexting": the increasingly popular phenomenon of nude or seminude photos sent over wireless phones. "They said they had a full-bodied naked picture of me, but I knew I'd never had any naked picture taken of me," the student, Marissa Miller, 15, recalled of the Feb. 10 telephone call to her mother as the two were having lunch together at Tunkhannock Area High School. Marissa is a freshman at the school, where her mother, MaryJo, works with special education students.

-More view cohabitation as acceptable choice

-Gay donors propose omnibus rights bill
Organizers of 'new approach' say activists too timid with Congress

-Male Circumcision Reduces Men's Risk of Contracting HPV, Herpes, Study Says

-Gay wedding row at Queen Mother's castle
Published Date: 24 March 2009
TRUSTEES of the Castle of Mey, the Queen Mother's former Scottish home, are at the centre of a row after insisting only religious marriages will be permitted on the property, pulling up the drawbridge to civil ceremonies or gay partnerships. Management thought they could earn extra funds during the quiet winter months by promoting the late Queen Mother's beloved castle as "Scotland's latest romantic wedding venue". But the move has led to gay groups alleging discrimination and insisting the venue should be open to all. Under the plans, couples seeking a religious wedding can apply to have it in the surroundings of the castle, in Caithness.

-WHO Report: TB, HIV Coinfection Deaths Doubled
In recognition of World Tuberculosis Day, March 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) released new data showing that 1.4 million people living with HIV were newly infected with TB worldwide in 2007. About 456,000 HIV-positive people died from TB that year, which is twice as many as previously estimated. Though the spike resulted from improved data gathering techniques, it makes TB-an infectious disease that affects the lungs-the most common cause of death among HIV-positive people globally.

-Meghan McCain and Steve Schmidt to Address Marriage Equality at National Convention
Log Cabin Republican National Convention Speakers Urge GOP to be More Welcoming of Gays

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-Spring 2009 Catholic Action
Now that the United States has signed on the United Nations Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - a reversal of the Bush administration stance on the statement currently backed by 66 UN member states - renewed energy must focus on the Vatican's refusal to support the measure. This April we are asking the Vatican's ambassador to the United Nations, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, to work with us in doing just that. And we are excited to invite you to join with us in many ways. * You can add your or your organization's name to the growing list of people who have endorsed the statement of support. Text and contact information here.

From Transgender Equality
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-Gay donors propose omnibus rights bill
Organizers of 'new approach' say activists too timid with Congress
by Lou Chibbaro Jr., Washington Blade Staff Writer
The leaders of a nonprofit LGBT donors group in Florida are calling on members of Congress to introduce a far-reaching omnibus LGBT rights bill that combines all of the gay- and transgender-related bills that have been pending before Congress, some for as long as 30 years. alled the Equality & Religious Freedom Act, the combined measure also includes new provisions, including a clause that requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships legalized by states.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - March 28, 2009

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Fundraiser for Gay American Heroes Foundation
Wine Tasting - Please join us Saturday April 4, 2009 From 4 to 7 pm at the Wine Warehouse - Located at 1301 E. Oakland Park Blvd. - Oakland Park - With special guest, Stuart Milk - Tickets $20. This event is a fundraiser for the Gay American Heroes Foundation. Please call Kevin at 954 465 8521 for Tickets or more information.


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-Tri-Rail considering raising fares, eliminating weekend service
Passengers could pay more to ride Tri-Rail starting in June. But looming larger this fall, there could be drastically fewer trains on weekdays and no service on weekends. Tri-Rail's board of directors will hold a public hearing April 24 to discuss raising fares by 25 percent, the first increase since 1995. If approved, one-way fares to travel the full 72 miles between Miami International Airport and Mangonia Park would rise from $5.50 to $6.90 on June 1. A monthly adult pass would cost $100. With the three counties it serves threatening budget cuts, Tri-Rail is trying to persuade the state Legislature to approve a new $2 rental car tax in South Florida. If no new dedicated revenue source is found, Executive Director Joseph Giulietti said Tri-Rail will reduce service from 50 to 30 trains on weekdays and no weekend service starting Oct. 5. - Michael Turnbell,0,6212484.story


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Friday, March 27, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 27, 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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-Gay Marriage, Set Back in One State, Gains in a 2nd
The New Hampshire House voted Thursday to legalize same-sex marriage, narrowly approving a bill that faces an uncertain future in the State Senate and, should it pass there, most likely a veto by Gov. John Lynch.

-Britain Considering Abortion and Condom Ads
In an effort to reduce teen pregnancy rates, Britain may start allowing ads for abortion and condoms on both radio and prime-time TV, the AFP reports. The move is under consideration by the Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee on Advertising Practice watchdog groups; right now only one channel is allowed to run condom ads after 7 p.m.

-States Moving Towards Legalizing Medical Marijuana
More states are moving toward legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, in response to the Obama Administration's decision to limit prosecution of distributors, USA Today reports. New Jersey, Illinois and Minnesota are among states considering new laws

-Defeat and Some Success for Texas Evolution Foes
In an evenly split vote, the State Board of Education on Thursday upheld teaching evolution as accepted mainstream science.

Washington Post
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-Kansas Church Says It Will Protest at Whitman High in MoCo
By Anne Bartlett
A church based in Topeka, Kansas, is scheduled to demonstrate next month outside Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda because the school, which opened in 1962, is named for a man who may have been homosexual. Westboro Baptist Church has been drawing national attention for staging anti-homosexuality demonstrations at military funerals, on the theory that fallen troops are God's punishment for a country tolerant of homosexuals. The church Internet site says a picket is scheduled for the afternoon of April 24. A narrative on the event states that the school's name "certainly explains A LOT about Maryland." Whitman Principal Alan Goodwin sent a letter to parents Thursday pledging to hold a normal school day, even if protesters show up. "In his poetry, Whitman celebrates individual spirit, celebrates our nation as the center of democratic values, and celebrates nature," Goodwin wrote. "Unfortunately, there is a small group of persons who want to defile his name because Walt Whitman may have been homosexual." Goodwin notes the group announces protests all over the nation but "has rarely shown up." A church spokeswoman confirmed the planned protest in an e-mail, writing, "The children that attend that high school are taught Rebellion Against God 101 every day in every way."
-- Daniel de Vise

South Florida Blade
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-PrideFest of the Palm Beaches
March 28 and 29 in Lake Worth
By Dan Renzi
This weekend is PrideFest of the Palm Beaches-organized by Compass, the gay and lesbian community center of Palm Beach County. This 16th annual event is being held at Bryant Park in Lake Worth on March 28 and 29, and is open from noon to 6 pm. On Sunday, there will also be a parade prior to the festival opening, starting at L and Lucerne, 11:30 am. For more information, visit Tickets $7 at the door.

-Winter Music Conference plays to gays
Official events at Twist, Score bring headliner DJs
Winter Music Conference continues with events all over Miami-and while the music festival has long been a major draw of the GLBT crowd, this year several events are programmed specifically at gay venues. On Thursday, March 26, head to Score for "Future Anthems 2009," which will feature Kim English, and deejays Pride, Joe Bermudez, Trevor Simpson and Manny Lehman. That same night, Twist has Alan T live with his song "I Smell Ass!" as deejays Craig Mitchell and Manny Ward will spin.

-McCain strategist endorses same-sex marriage
Schmidt urges GOP to be more welcoming of gays
Steve Schmidt, chief strategist for U.S. Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, came out in favor of marriage rights for same-sex couples in an interview with the Blade last week while urging the Republican Party to be more inclusive of gays and lesbians.

-Finding a place at the federal government's table
Time to start making changes for the GLBT community
This issue of South Florida Blade features a story on Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a political watchdog organization fighting to eliminate the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" ban on openly gay or transgender people serving in the armed forces. Members of SLDN are holding a series of events in Fort Lauderdale to raise awareness about the implications of DADT, both in the military and for the community as a whole.

The Advocate
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-Gay Service Weekend Scheduled During Mormon Conference
By Julie Bolcer
The LGBT community in Utah plans to sponsor a weekend of service projects in conjunction with the upcoming general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The "General Service Weekend" is scheduled for April 4 and 5.

-Resolution Honoring Gay Men's Chorus Rejected in Missouri
By Julie Bolcer
A resolution honoring a men's chorus in Missouri has been rejected by the state senate leadership because it mentions gay men and fighting homophobia, says its sponsor. Democratic Senator Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, planned to present the courtesy resolution to the Heartland Men's Chorus at a performance on Saturday.

-Teen Charged for Killing Gay Journalist
The teenage boy accused of stabbing a New York journalist pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and weapons charges on Thursday. Sixteen-year-old John Katehis, who was arraigned Wednesday night in Brooklyn, is being held without bail.

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-Corvino: Why we need the Transgender Day of Visibility
By John Corvino, columnist,
March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility. I'm supposed to participate in a panel that day. I'm a bit apprehensive.

-Outsourced condom production could shut US factory
By The Associated Press
The last U.S.-based supplier of condoms for global HIV/AIDS prevention programs could be forced to shut its doors because the federal government sent the work to cheaper suppliers in Asia.

Pink News - UK
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-The Lancet: Pope 'distorted science' with condom comments
Respected medical journal The Lancet has criticised Pope Benedict XVI over his recent comments on condoms and AIDS and demanded he make a retraction.

-'High number' of gay and bisexual domestic violence victims in Northern Ireland
The gay and bisexual community in Northern Ireland is suffering from disproportionate rates of domestic violence, an official report has claimed. The paper, published this week by the Northern Ireland Policing Board, concluded that a high percentage of those experiencing domestic violence are gay or bisexual men and women.

-Melbourne Catholic Church to 'test' potential priests for homosexuality
Melbourne Catholic Church has confirmed it is following Vatican recommendations to test would-be priests to ensure they are not gay. The head of the Vatican committee which released the guidelines has also stated that celibate gays must also be banned because homosexuality is ''a type of deviation''

-Comment: I'm not hungry - Gay men and eating disorders
Omar Hassan examines eating disorders in the gay community and explores issues such as peer pressure, low self-esteem and how the gay press presents beauty.

-HIV rates in gay men still at high levels
Around 7,370 new HIV diagnoses were made in the UK last year, according to latest figures from the Health Protection Agency. Thirty-eight per cent of all new diagnoses were probably acquired through sex with men.

Daily Queer News
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-Are Evangelicals Suffering from Buyer's Remorse with Obama?
Bill Berkowitz | Religion Dispatches
Are evangelicals who supported Obama or have agreed to work with his administration experiencing what religion writer David Gibson has termed "buyer's remorse," or are they getting what they expected out of Team Obama? Recently, some Christian evangelicals have expressed their disappointment in Obama's approach to the issue of abortion. In a USA Today column dated March 16 and titled "Mr. President, we need more than lip service," David P. Gushee wrote: Read more

-CA: San Diego Appeals Firefighter Gay Pride Ruling
365gay Newscenter Staff |
(San Diego, California) The city of San Diego will appeal a jury verdict that found four San Diego firefighters were sexually harassed for being ordered to participate in a gay pride parade and awarded them combined damages of $34,300. City Council voted 7-0 in a closed session to file the appeal. The firefighters - Alex Kane, Chad Allison, Capt. John Ghiotto and Capt. Jason Hewitt - claimed they were subjected to sexually charged conduct and lewd comments while riding a fire engine in the July 2007 parade, which drew about 150,000 spectators. The firefighters' attorney, Charles LiMandri, said during his closing argument that his clients were targets of vulgar gestures and catcalls while being forced to watch barely clothed men and women simulate sex acts and touch themselves and one another. Read more

-PCUSA Committee to Consider Removal of 'Homosexual Perversion' from Document
Lillian Kwon | Christian Post Reporter | Christian Post
Members of a committee in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will gather this week to consider proposed changes, including the removal of a negative reference to homosexual behavior, to a historic document. The General Assembly Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism is scheduled to begin a two-day meeting on March 27. Last June, the General Assembly, which is the highest governing body of the denomination, approved a proposal to begin revising the Heidelberg Catechism - a document of the Reformed Christian faith that is part of the PC(USA)'s constitution. Presbyterians at the biennial meeting debated the current Miller-Osterhaven translation of the Heidelberg Catechism, which was adopted by the PC(USA) in 1967. Much of the controversy revolved around a reference to "homosexual perversion" among a list of sinful behaviors that is not found in the original German text. Read more

-Education Secretary Pledges Safe Schools for LGBT Students
Jennifer Vanasco |
(Washington) Education Secretary Arne Duncan has told a gay student advocacy group that he intends to make schools safe for every student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Duncan made the pledge during a meeting with representatives of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and a delegation of students and teachers. It is the first time that a Secretary of Education has met with LGBT advocates. The Bush administration rejected calls to meet. "It was moving to witness these students and teachers sharing their personal stories of pain, rejection, resilience and hope with the nation's top education official," said GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard who attended the meeting. Read more

The Petrelis Files
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-Boycott Jamaica
The Bay Area Reporter's guest opinion column this week is my column about the boycott of Jamaica I'm helping to pull together. Hoping to see lots of friends and activists on Saturday, at noon, at Harvey Milk Plaza, for the official launch of San Francisco's contribution to the boycott Jamaica campaign.

-Video of Jamaican tranny bashing

-Official Jamaica Boycott Site

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Serbian lawmakers pass anti-discrimination law
BELGRADE, Serbia: Serbian lawmakers narrowly gave final approval Thursday to an anti-discrimination law that is part of pro-Western reforms but was strongly opposed by the Serbian Orthodox Church and other conservatives. Parliament passed the bill with a slim majority of 127 votes in favor to 59 against - one more vote than was needed for passage in the 250-member parliament. The remaining deputies did not attend. The law bans any kind of discrimination, whether based on race, religion, sexual orientation or gender or other factors.

-"MEPs congratulate France for the move to recognise foreign same-sex partnerships."
On 25 March the French Senate approved amendments recognising foreign same-sex partnerships in France. When the amendments pass the vote in National Assembly they will become law. "We congratulate the French Senate for finally moving forward to solve this unfair situation which is discriminatory on the grounds of nationality as well as a hindrance to freedom of movement within the EU," said Michael Cashman, President of the Intergroup. "We have been approached by many European citizens, especially British, who suffer discrimination because their same-sex partnership in not recognised in France. One man was forced to sell his house after his partner's death because he could not afford to pay 60% inheritance tax. Otherwise this tax is not applicable to same-sex married spouses or couples in a French partnership".

-UKCP and Pink Therapy "gravely concerned" about research into curing gays
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) and Pink Therapy are deeply concerned about the research by Professor Michael King of University College Hospital which demonstrates that 17% of psychotherapists and counsellors have been willing to help gay and lesbian clients eliminate their homosexuality. Homosexuality is not an illness and therefore is not curable" said Tom Warnecke, vice chair of UKCP. "These alarming figures confirm our view that more training opportunities are needed to ensure that psychotherapists and counsellors can respond appropriately to people who are distressed about some aspect of their sexuality. We have invited Pink Therapy to hold a joint conference with UKCP on this subject in London on 15 and 16 May, which will explore the mental health difficulties and distress experienced by sexual minorities and propose ways to address the issues that sexual minority clients bring to therapy."

-Pix: Day against Xenophobia in Belarus

National Equality Rally - Philadelphia - May 3

-Don't Be Afraid to Let Them Show... Watch it Now!
Click here to view the video, rate it, embed it on your site and share it with friends.

-National Equality Rally at Independence Hall Make History!

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Steps Toward Equality
Today the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs reviews the nomination of John Berry to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM. If confirmed, Berry would face an urgent human capital crisis, with almost half of the federal workforce reaching retirement age in the next 10 years. He could use a number of much-needed reforms at OPM to attract and retain skilled employees, but the Center for American Progress hopes that Congress will give him an essential tool in this effort by passing the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act. Berry would become the highest-ranking openly gay official in any administration, and his support for the act could significantly improve the federal workplace for lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees.

-Spring 2009 issue of "mental health AIDS" now available

-Vermont: Douglas will veto gay marriage bill
Gov. Jim Douglas, calling the issue a distraction, declared Wednesday that he would veto the same-sex marriage bill working its way through the Legislature. "The speculation about my decision has added to the anxiety of the moment and further diverts attention from our most pressing issues, and I cannot allow that to happen," he said at an afternoon news conference. "I intend to veto this legislation when it reaches my desk." The move surprised many, as Douglas normally steadfastly refuses to comment on whether he will veto a bill until after it has made its way through the Legislature. The same-sex marriage bill passed the Senate this week, with a 26-4 vote, but the House Judiciary Committee had just started taking testimony Tuesday.

-Scalia Uses The Language Of Sin To Describe His Ideological Opponents

-The 2009 State of the States Report , published by the Federation and MAP, is the lgbt movement's guide to capacities and priorities of statewide lgbt advocacy organizations. Find Your State of Equality

In a desperate attempt to extend the failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that the federal government's own evaluation found to be totally ineffective, Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) is expected to offer an amendment in the Senate Budget committee tomorrow that would provide an opportunity to fund these failed programs. We NEED your CALLS URGENTLY to the below friendly Democratic offices. Urge them to vote NO on Bunning's amendment to try and fund failed abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. These offices need to hear from us.
Kent Conrad (ND), 202.224.2043
Patty Murray (WA), 202.224.2621
Ron Wyden (OR), 202.224.5244
Russ Feingold (WI), 202.224.5323
Robert Byrd (WV), 202.224.3954
Bill Nelson (FL), 202.224.5274
Debbie Stabenow (MI), 202.224.4822
Robert Menendez (NJ), 202.224.4744
Benjamin Cardin (MD), 202.224.4524
Bernie Sanders (VT), 202.224.5141
Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), 202.224.2921
Mark Warner (VA), 202.224.2023
Jeff Merkley (OR), 202.224.3753

-Canada: The Harper government is prepared to defend the constitutionality of Canada's criminal ban against polygamy, arguing the practice represents a "clear challenge" to Canadian values, newly released federal documents show. In January, the RCMP charged Winston Blackmore and Jim Oler, two prominent members of a fundamentalist Mormon sect in Bountiful, B.C., with practising polygamy.

-God vs. Gay
On the heels of learning the San Francisco Presbytery will allow her to move forward in the process toward being ordained a minister, out lesbian deacon Lisa Larges weighs in on the concept of god vs. gay.
By Lisa Larges
Like a colonoscopy or head lice, the word Christian is a conversation killer among LGBTs. So I will admit up front that whatever it is you're thinking right now about Christians -- hypocritical, antigay, anti-sex, anti-women, anti-choice -- you've got plenty of evidence to back you up. Let's also say, while we're still here in the first paragraph, that whatever the church or its representatives did to you -- whatever abuse, whatever violation of trust, whatever was said to make you believe that you were not a child of God in your whole beautiful queer self, whatever the silence in which you did not hear how infinitely and immeasurably God loves you -- whatever drove you out of the church is simply inexcusable. But unless our community changes the "God vs. Gays" paradigm, we will never achieve full equality. Nor will it be possible for so many of us to live out our truths. My truth, strange as it may be, is a calling to ministry. It's also the truth of a lot of fierce and beautiful gay people I know, whose stories aren't told often enough.

Palm Beach Human Rights Council
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-Gay donors propose omnibus rights bill
Organizers of 'new approach' say activists too timid with Congress
The leaders of a nonprofit LGBT donors group in Florida are calling on members of Congress to introduce a far-reaching omnibus LGBT rights bill that combines all of the gay- and transgender-related bills that have been pending before Congress, some for as long as 30 years. Called the Equality & Religious Freedom Act, the combined measure also includes new provisions, including a clause that requires the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages, civil unions and domestic partnerships legalized by states. "We decided that asking for our rights incrementally was not enough," said Juan Ahonen-Jover of Miami, a gay philanthropist and co-founder of "We feel the less you ask for, the less you get."

From Transgender Equality
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-Queer in Miami? Fear Not: There Are Three Places You Can Pee
When it comes to breaking the law in Miami, no place is sacred. The greasy claw of crime will dig its fingernails in anywhere. Churches and synagogues? Be damned. Schools and hospitals? Fair game. That apparently doesn't stop at the bathroom door. Our classy city's latest claim to fame: The least queer-friendly, most hate crime-prone public restrooms. According to -- a site that maps secure spots for transgender folks to tinkle -- Miami has the fewest safe toilets of all major U.S. municipalities. On the Safe2pee homepage, the group calls "harassment, violence, and discrimination" in the loo "a very real problem facing many in our society." It allows users to post addresses of gender-bending potties, where GLBT ladies and gents can squat freely together. Some are not marked with girl/boy signs. Others are labeled unisex. And the 1950s would so not approve.


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NATIONAL & WORLD DIGEST - March 27, 2009

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New York Times
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-Pakistan and Afghan Taliban Close Ranks
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - After agreeing to bury their differences and unite forces, Taliban leaders based in Pakistan have closed ranks with their Afghan comrades to ready a new offensive in Afghanistan as the United States prepares to send 17,000 more troops there this year.

-Obama Sets New Afghan Strategy
President Obama plans to further bolster American forces in Afghanistan and for the first time set benchmarks for progress in fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban there and in Pakistan, officials said Thursday.

-Aided by Safety Nets, Europe Resists Stimulus Push
VIENENBURG, Germany - Last month Frank Koppe gathered together all 50 of his employees at Koppe-Apparatebau for coffee, cake and the kind of bad news that has lately become all too familiar. He told them the small company's business, designing and manufacturing custom equipment for industrial plants, had been sliced nearly in half.

-Suicide Bomber Kills 48 in Pakistan
PESHAWAR, Pakistan - A suicide bomber brought the roof of a crowded mosque crashing down on worshipers in northwest Pakistan Friday, setting off explosives as a cleric intoned the holy prayers, killing scores of people in what was the bloodiest attack this year.

-Obama Makes History in Live Internet Video Chat
The White House said more than 64,000 people watched President Obama answer questions on Thursday in the first live Internet video chat by an American president. But in declaring itself "Open for Questions," on the economy, the White House learned it must be careful what it wishes for.

-The Market Mystique
On Monday, Lawrence Summers, the head of the National Economic Council, responded to criticisms of the Obama administration's plan to subsidize private purchases of toxic assets. "I don't know of any economist," he declared, "who doesn't believe that better functioning capital markets in which assets can be traded are a good idea."

-The Winnable War
Khyber Pass, Afghanistan: I came to Afghanistan skeptical of American efforts to transform this country. Afghanistan is one of the poorest, least-educated and most-corrupt nations on earth. It is an infinitely complex and fractured society. It has powerful enemies in Pakistan, Iran and the drug networks working hard to foment chaos. The ground is littered with the ruins of great powers that tried to change this place.

-Being a Partner for Peace
As he prepares to take office as Israel's next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is offering what sounds like a tantalizing commitment. He said that his government will be a "partner for peace."

Washington Post
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-North Korean Nuclear Test A Growing Possibility
By Blaine Harden
SEOUL -- North Korea moved a long-range missile to a launchpad this week and plans to send it into space in early April in defiance of repeated international warnings.

-Political Parties See Dramatic Decline in Fundraising
'08 Debts Linger As Recession Slows Giving
By Paul Kane and Chris Cillizza
In the wake of a recession, months of falling stock markets and a marathon campaign that endlessly taxed donors, political party committees find themselves racked by declining revenue and mounting debt.

-Slow Boil Over Egg Roll Tickets on Web
By Timothy Wilson
Maybe we should go back to standing in line. The White House's Internet distribution of tickets to this year's Easter Egg Roll appears to have begun with a splat.

-U.S., Mexico to Intensify Fight Against Violent Drug Gangs
By Mary Beth Sheridan
MONTERREY, Mexico, March 26 -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that Mexico and the United States had agreed to develop a "checklist" of tasks for both sides to intensify the fight against Mexican drug gangs engaged in a bloody turf war.

-Sebelius faces hearing on HHS nomination
The Associated Press
Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius faces a confirmation hearing next week in Washington on her nomination as U.S. secretary of health and human services.

-Vatican Archbishop Issues Apology
Comments on Abortion Are Being Used to Attack D.C., Arlington Dioceses' Leaders
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
A Catholic archbishop who believes abortion rights politicians should be denied Communion has apologized that his comments are being used as an attack on Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and Arlington Bishop Paul Loverde.

-Drugs, Guns and a Reality Check
By Eugene Robinson
It's an indictment of our fact-averse political culture that a statement of the blindingly obvious could sound so revolutionary. "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on her plane Wednesday as she flew to Mexico for an official visit. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border . . . causes the deaths of police, of soldiers and civilians."

-Protection for Smokers
Why is the deadliest product sold legally in the United States free from federal oversight?
THERE HAS BEEN a flurry of outrage at the lax regulation that allowed contaminated peanuts to kill nine people and sicken close to 700. Yet it almost goes unnoticed that cigarettes, the deadliest products sold legally in the United States, are free from oversight. That's right: The Food and Drug Administration regulates almost everything Americans ingest, including nicotine gum, but not the product that makes that gum necessary. That allows cigarette makers to peddle a noxious mix of chemicals with impunity. Long-stalled legislation that would give the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products would change that. The House shouldn't hesitate to pass the measure, which could come up for a vote as early as Monday.

Pew Research center
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-Do U Txt?
Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference
Glance at any coffee shop or airport boarding gate, and it is easy to see that mobile access to the internet is taking root in our society. A new Pew Internet study divides users of communication technology into 10 groups ranging from "Digital Collaborators" and "Media Movers" to "Tech Indifferent" and "Off the Network." Read more

-What Kind of Tech User are You?
Find out which group you're in at Take our quiz
Middle Class Missed Out
Before the Great Recession, a Phantom Recovery
The eight-year period from 1999 through 2007 is the longest in modern U.S. economic history in which inflation-adjusted median household income failed to surpass an earlier peak. Read more

-Looking Ahead
Unusually Wide Gap in 'Satisfaction,' 'Right Direction' Measures
Americans' perception about the state and direction of the nation usually go hand-in-hand. However, big events, like last fall's election, can split these two indicators of the public's national outlook. Read more

-Obama's Euro Trip
Optimism and Obstacles in Europe
Polls suggest the president may receive a mostly -- but not entirely -- warm reception on his overseas trip with stops in Britain, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Turkey. Read more

-Policy Agenda Plus: Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties
New polling finds the public favors setting limits on carbon emissions, allowing gays to serve openly in the military and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Read more

-Populist Pandering
For the Media, AIG Is All the Rage
The narrative for a complex economic crisis got much simpler: one corporate villain and one angry public. Read more

-AIG Taxes Broadly Supported
Most Americans found the media attention the AIG bonuses received appropriate and a majority supports Congress' plan for a heavy tax on the bonuses. Read more

-An End to Religion, Newspapers and the American Way of Life
Bloggers largely eschewed the parsing of economy-related details in the news for a more abstract and far-reaching discussion. Read more

-Daily Number
72% Decline - Capitol Beat
As the size of government has grown in recent decades, the Fourth Estate on Capitol Hill has shrunk by 72%; currently 160 outlets maintain reporters with Congressional credentials, down from 564 outlets in the mid-1980s. Check back every weekday for another number in the news. Read more

Fort Report
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-GOP offers budget outline with details to come
By Molly K. Hooper and Reid Wilson
House Republicans outlined their party's budget objectives, but not without Democrats accusing the GOP of skimping on the details.

-The House GOP "Budget"
Posted by Ed Kilgore
In response to the president's taunt the other night that GOP critics of his budget haven't bothered to offer their own, the House GOP today made a big show of, well, confirming his point, for the time being at least.

-Blacks, Latinos Take Hit On Jobs
The ax fell without sound or shadow: Tatiana Gallego was called into human resources and laid off from her job as an admissions counselor for a fashion college.

-Media savvy making Obama the Ubiquitous President
From social-networking sites to a bilingual speech on Univisión, Barack Obama has emerged as the Ubiquitous President. Chatting on late-night shows. Beaming bilingual messages via satellite. Even lingering in your Inbox. If the new president is anything, he's this: digital and ubiquitous.

-Cuomo Widens His A.I.G. Investigation
Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Thursday afternoon that he was widening his investigation of the American International Group to examine whether its trading counterparties improperly received billions of dollars in government money from the troubled insurer. Those counterparties include Goldman Sachs, which received $12.9 billion, as well as Société Générale of France and Deutsche Bank of Germany, which each received nearly $12 billion.

-Sources: GOP leaders split on budget "blueprint"
By Glenn Thrush
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) raised objections to an abbreviated alternative budget "blueprint" released today -- but were told by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) they needed to back the plan, according to several Republican sources.

-THE PARTY OF NO (IDEAS).... About nine years ago, then-Gov. George W. Bush was asked about his budget experience. Bush said he was proud of what he'd put together: "It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it." Keep that quote in mind when considering the "budget" House Republicans unveiled this morning. Stung by their stereotyping as the "party of no," House Republicans eagerly promoted the unveiling of their alternative to President Obama's budget today -- but when they finished speaking, reporters had one big question: Where's the actual budget? You know, the numbers that show deficit projections and discretionary spending?
-Steve Benen 2:30

-Where's the Plan, Wall Street?
FOR the last several months, Americans have looked to Washington to lead them. But where's the leadership on Wall Street? There is an enormous opportunity for a C.E.O. to come forward with a plan to reform the financial system and pledge a change from business as usual. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase's chief executive, has been the most outspoken of his peers during the crisis - and has done an admirable job addressing the issues - but he has been more focused on helping instill confidence in the economy and the health of his own firm. John Mack, the chief executive of Morgan Stanley, has shown glimpses of public leadership, at one point apologizing for the crisis by saying, "We are sorry for it."

-Obama on the World Stage: What Power Means
By Joe Klein
"Power is getting people or groups to do something they don't want to do," writes Leslie H. Gelb, former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in his new book, Power Rules. It seems an aggressively simplistic thought for a member of the foreign policy priesthood. But Gelb doesn't define power merely as the use or threat of force. (In fact, he argues, wars usually occur when the creative use of power has failed.) Power is a combination of factors - military, diplomatic, economic, moral - that give a country the ability to make its way in the world. Gelb believes that most recent Presidents have used power foolishly, squandering it - which is something Barack Obama should bear in mind as he goes forth to meet with the world's leaders in Europe the first week in April. The new President has shown a predilection for diplomacy, a subtle strategic sense of the world. But sometimes you have to throw your weight around - quietly, but firmly - and Gelb has raised an essential question: Will Obama know how, and whether, to react if diplomacy fails? (Read "Is Europe Falling Out of Love with Obama?"),8599,1887709,00.html


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FLORIDA DIGEST - March 27, 2009

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


Steve Rothaus
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-Gay rodeo in Davie to be protested Saturday by Florida animal-rights activists
1104184 This weekend is the fourth annual Sunshine Stampede gay rodeo at Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie. The picture at right and those below are Miami Herald file photos from previous gay rodeos in Davie. (Click photos to enlarge.)
Ellie Brecher, our Crazy for Critters blogger, sent me this news release tonight about a planned protest on Saturday by Animal Rights Foundation of Florida:
The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida plans demonstration against the Gay Rodeo in Davie, FL
DATE: Saturday April 4, 2009
TIME: 11 A.M. - 1 P.M.
PLACE: Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, Davie, FL.
(Davie) - Rodeos are violent and encourage brutal treatment of animalsand insensitivity to animal suffering. It is common for the animals in rodeo events to suffer multiple physical injuries and to be psychologically scarred for life. The Gay Rodeo in Davie is no exception, and the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida will protest the cruel event on April 4, 2009 from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
Steers are subjected to painful tail-twisting to make them run from chutes. Terrified baby calves are chased around the arena during the calf-roping* event, before being snapped to a halt by a lasso tightened around their necks. It is common for these animals to suffer multiple injuries.
In the "bronc riding" or "bull riding" events, the animals are physically provoked into displaying so-called "wild" behavior through the use of bucking straps or electric prods. Take away the cruel tail-twisting, the painful electro-shock prods and bucking straps, and you take away the rodeo.
"Unless you like to support extreme animal cruelty, the rodeo is not for you," said Brad King, ARFF volunteer. "It is true that cowboys, cowgirls and animals all risk injury in the rodeo, but the animals do not have a choice about whether or not to participate."
ARFF encourages people (including cowboys and cowgirls) who respect animals to stay clear of the Gay Rodeo and to join in ARFF's protest. Visit or call ARFF for more details: 954.727.2733.
Thank you!
*This event has recently been renamed "tie-down roping" by the rodeo to deflect criticism.

-Congregation Etz Chaim reads love poetry from the Bible on April 10
From Jesse Monteagudo:
Congregation Etz Chaim, Wilton Manors' only synagogue, will hold a special service on Friday, April 10, at 8:00 p.m., when service leaders will be reading excerpts from the Song of Songs - a series of amazing Biblical love poems attributed to King Solomon. One might not think of the Bible as a repository of love poetry, but the text of the Song of Songs is exactly that. Jews all over the world read these wonderful romantic poems on the Sabbath that comes during the Passover holiday, which this year is on Friday, April 10. Congregation Etz Chaim is located at 1881 NE 26th St., Suite 100, Wilton Manors, FL 33305. Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Cong. Etz Chaim offers its members a variety of religious, educational and social events, as well as its Sisterhood and Men's Club. For more information about Cong. Etz Chaim phone 954-564-9232 or visit

South Florida Blade
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-Bottoms & Tops coming to Wilma again
Outlet store opening on Wilton Drive
Bottoms & Tops is moving their B & T outlet store from the Hub Plaza across from Searstown to Wilton Drive at the former space of Audace. Audace, which was a fashion fixture on Las Olas for over a decade, recently moved to The Drive late last year and recently closed their doors. "With the success of Sidelines and everything's that happening at that end of the street," said John Anderson, owner of Bottoms & Tops, we felt it would be wise to have a location there. Some people down there may not mosey on down to this end." The move to the new location has been delayed due to the heavy rains we have recently been having. "Thank God the roof caved in before we moved in.", said Anderson. The roof is currently under repair and remodeling of the space for the store will begin on Monday, March 30. Anderson expects the new store should open around April 10th.


From Kristin Jacobs
Broward County Commission District 2
From increasingly intense weather patterns to rising sea levels, we know that climate change is already impacting life on our planet. This Saturday, March 28, 2009, from 8:30 pm - 9:30 pm, Broward County will take part in Earth Hour-the world's largest global climate change event. By simply turning out all non-essential lighting for one hour in our own homes, we will join tens of millions of concerned citizens throughout the world in calling for action to save our planet for future generations. To read more about Broward County's participation visit: [...] This year, Earth Hour will be even bigger. In the US, cities large and small have said they'll participate including Washington, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, San Francisco.with more signing up daily. They will join international cities such as Beijing, Cape Town, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, Rome, and Toronto. To get a better sense of the magnitude and inspiring nature the event, take a moment to watch WWF's video about Earth Hour 2008 by visiting Participating in Earth Hour is easy, fun and absolutely free. To get more information for Earth Hour 2009, visit I hope you'll join us, and encourage people you know in our community to also take part. AND - Send me pictures of your before and after you turn out the lights- to share your experience!!!! Don't forget-Saturday, March 28th at 8:30 pm, turn out, take action!

Fort Report
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-Crist Facing Conservative Rebellion
Florida Republican Party circles are hearing increasing talk of conservative dissatisfaction with Gov. Charlie Crist, and a possible primary challenge if he runs for the U.S. Senate next year.

-Former speaker of House weighs 2010 Senate bid
Staff Report
Former House Speaker John Thrasher said Thursday he likely will run in 2010 for a seat that will be vacated by state Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville. Thrasher, who served as speaker from 1998 to 2000 and has been an influential player in state Republican politics, would run in Senate District 8, which includes parts of Volusia, Flagler and three other counties. King cannot run in 2010 because of term limits.

-Florida losing an uncommon voice
Voters in this state are losing another valued ally with Common Cause's decision to shut down its Florida operations and lay off longtime state executive director Ben Wilcox. The cuts, part of the nonprofit government watchdog group's larger national response to falling contributions in the dour economy, come at a bad time for Floridians.

-Shadow on the solar debate
Question of feed-in tariffs vs. credits deserves a fair hearing
The sun's daily rise is a predictable thing. A Florida legislative session, not so much. Bright, promising proposals sometimes never make it above the clouds of politics in the halls of the capital.

-Schools could get funds
Florida House proposal would use stimulus to shore up education
Florida House leaders ended speculation they might turn down stimulus dollars for education by putting about $1 billion in federal recovery cash into a preliminary public schools budget Thursday, but they may yet reject a big chunk of stimulus aid for the unemployed.

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-Postal Service Could Cut Jobs, Reduce Delivery Days
Postmaster General: Service Could Have $6B Deficit
Financial troubles could prompt the U.S. Postal Service to lay off some employees and close some offices. The U.S. Postal Service said it could be out of money by the end of the 2009.


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - March 26, 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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-Hawaii: Measure on Civil Unions Dies in Senate
An effort to force a vote on same-sex civil unions failed in the Senate, essentially killing the bill. Only six senators supported the effort, short of the nine votes required for a full Senate vote. About 18 senators have indicated they support civil unions, but they lacked the political willpower to go against the Senate president, Colleen Hanabusa. Ms. Hanabusa, a Democrat, has supported civil unions but said she did not want to override the lawmaking process by lifting the bill from its committee, where it stalled after a 3-to-3 vote. Brian T. Taniguchi, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said there was hope the bill could be revived.

-Mayor Bloomberg urges New York State to pass bill to allow gay marriage
BY Adam Lisberg
Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday night he stands ready to ask the Legislature to allow gay marriage in New York State, but doesn't know when the time will be right.

-Gay Marriage in Vermont Faces Veto by Governor
Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont said Wednesday that he would veto a same-sex marriage bill if it reached his desk, setting a new hurdle for a measure that had been moving swiftly through the legislature.

-Relief for Patients
Attorney General Eric Holder announced last week that the federal government will no longer prosecute dispensers of medical marijuana if they comply with state law. That should bring relief to people who need marijuana for health reasons and free up law enforcement resources for more important work. There is considerable evidence that marijuana can be useful in treating pain, nausea, weight loss and other symptoms associated with chemotherapy and H.I.V. and other illnesses. Thirteen states, including California, have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, which remains illegal under federal law.

Washington Post
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-Clinton: U.S. Drug Policies Failed, Fueled Mexico's Drug War
By Mary Beth Sheridan
MEXICO CITY, March 25 -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton traveled to Mexico on Wednesday with a blunt mea culpa, saying that decades of U.S. anti-narcotics policies have been a failure and have contributed to the explosion of drug violence south of the border.

-A Vaccine Debate Once Focused on Sex Shifts as Boys Join the Target Market
By Rob Stein
When a vaccine designed to protect girls against a sexually transmitted virus arrived three years ago, the debate centered on one question: Would the shots make young girls more likely to have sex?

-U.N. urged to reject bar on defamation of religion
By Robert Evans
GENEVA (Reuters) - Some 200 secular, religious and media groups from around the world on Wednesday urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to reject a call from Islamic countries for a global fight against "defamation of religion."

-He Dresses Michelle's Tresses
Chicagoan Shapes First Lady's Hair -- and Keeps the Details to Himself
By Avis Thomas-Lester
Johnny Wright met Michelle Obama two years ago, not long after Barack Obama announced his quest for the White House. The hairstylist, then popular in Chicago's Wicker Park area, was called in for an Essence magazine photo shoot -- not that he had to do much with the candidate's wife's hair, he says. Wright and Obama quickly hit it off.

-Vatican official criticizes US bishops on abortion
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the former St. Louis prelate who now leads the Vatican supreme court, said President Barack Obama "could be an agent of death" if his support for abortion rights becomes a model for leaders in other countries.

Wall Street Journal

-More Cities Target Teens With Daytime Curfews
This city is considering joining a rising number of others across the country that are imposing criminal penalties on kids who skip school to hang out at the mall or on local street corners. Such juvenile daytime curfews to combat truancy and crime are drawing protests from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and from the parents of homeschooled children who, along with some parents of public-school students, object on grounds that such laws in effect criminalize otherwise law-abiding kids who may have good reasons for not being in school.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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-The Petrelis Files
A handful of gays in San Francisco will launch a boycott of Jamaican products and tourism on March 28 at noon at Harvey Milk Plaza because of violence and human rights abuses suffered by GLBT people down there. I'll be sending out a release on the Saturday kick-off tomorrow. But today, I need your help evaluating three fine logos that all send the same message: Boycott Jamaica. Not sure which is the absolute best for our campaign, or if there should be only one official logo for us organizers to promote. Give them all a looking-over, then leave a comment about which you approve of the most.

-Box Turtle Bulletin
At the risk of sounding too alarmist, but our worst fears may soon be realized in Uganda. Three weeks ago, we reported on the three American anti-gay activists who spoke at a conference in Kampala, Uganda. They included Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, Exodus board member Don Schmierer, and Richard Cohen protege Caleb Lee Brundidge. We (Truth Wins Out, Ex-Gay Watch and Box Turtle Bulletin) followed that with an open letter calling on Exodus President Alan Chambers to resign and for Exodus to drop Schmierer from the board and definitively denouce Scott Lively's revisionism which blames Nazi Germany on gay men. It now appears that the aftermath of that conference has now led to the possible start of a new campaign of anti-gay vigilantism, with a press conference in Uganda that has been picked up by Ugandan television stations and at least two newspapers so far. We will be monitoring the situation closely.

-One in six psychiatrists has tried to 'turn gays straight'
Therapists admit using harmful practices to 'cure' homosexuals despite evidence they do not work Psychotherapists are offering to help "cure" gays and lesbians of their homosexuality without any evidence that such treatment is beneficial or safe. One in six said they had tried to turn gays straight, or reduce their gay or lesbian feelings, even though the mainstream medical view is that this is impossible. The idea that homosexuality can be cured has a long and dubious history and the disclosure that a significant minority of therapists and doctors still think it is possible is "worrying", Professor Michael King, of the University College Medical School, said. "Heaven knows what they do. We didn't attempt to ask them because there is no evidence that anything works. We didn't expect it to be happening at this rate and we are really rather concerned. It ought to stop. It is distressing and harmful and there is absolutely no evidence it works," he said.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Serbia Debates Anti-Discrimination Law
Serbian parliament: Deputies in the Serbian Parliament last night adopted a controversial Anti-discrimination law and will consider amendments to the same law today. Deputies adopted the law around midnight, but without discussing all proposed amendments, after the time for the debate had expired. A total of 446 amendments were submitted to the draft law, of which the government adopted six. During the debate, Serb Radical Party and Democratic Party of Serbia MPs criticized the law, claiming that it did not safeguard the rights of all marginalized groups. During the four-hour discussion, the most heated debate centered on articles concerning sexual orientation. Opponents were outspoken in their criticism, indicating they would not vote for the law.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Straightlaced, by Oscar-winner Debra Chasnoff, seeks to enhance gender justice by opening national dialogue among youth and adults San Francisco, CA, March 10, 2009

From Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director
Family Equality Council
I have some exciting news. Just recently, President Obama's Administration reached out to Family Equality Council directly, encouraging us to encourage you, our supporters, to apply for tickets to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll! The Obama Administration knows Family Equality Council's history with the Egg Roll. As the first administration to publicly affirm our families' equal value, they want to take the opportunity provided by this year's Egg Roll to recognize the event's importance to us. I am so proud that the efforts of LGBT parents in their communities, in their schools and in their places of worship have brought us to a moment in history where the White House is reaching out to Family Equality Council to have LGBT-headed families included in the time-honored tradition that is the Egg Roll. This year, for the first time, Egg Roll tickets will be available online, not on the White House lawn. No more camping out overnight on the Ellipse to secure our spots! Tickets will be available at starting Thursday, March 26th. This could mean midnight, 8:00am, or later, so if you're interested in applying for tickets I suggest you check the site starting at 12:00am tonight! The Egg Roll will take place Monday, April 13th.

From Nancy Keenan
NARAL Pro-Choice America
Right now Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is deciding whether to sign or veto a bill that could funnel thousands of dollars to fake clinics that mislead women about their options when faced with an unintended pregnancy. We need pro-choice Americans nationwide to call on Gov. Kaine, who also serves as chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to veto this anti-choice bill. Please send him an email today.

Steve Rothaus
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-Vermont's GOP governor says he'll veto gay marriage bill
By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press
Gov. Jim Douglas said Wednesday he will veto a gay-marriage proposal if it passes the Legislature, the first time he has signaled such an intent before final legislative action on a bill. Speaking at an afternoon news conference, the Republican governor said that he thought Vermont's first-in-the-nation civil unions law, passed in 2000, provided sufficient rights to same-sex couples and that he believed "marriage should remain between a man and woman." More . . .

-Actor Isaiah Washington and wife face eviction
Associated Press
Isaiah Washington's landlord has started an eviction procedure against the former "Grey's Anatomy" star, claiming he owes $100,000 in rent. Documents filed in Santa Monica, Calif., on Tuesday claim that Washington and his wife have fallen behind on their $20,000 a month payments on a home in the Venice area of Los Angeles. The complaint filed by Sandalwood Properties states the Washingtons have not paid rent since November. More . . .

-Diva Elaine Lancaster invites you to 'The Blacks' Annual Gala' April 18 at Eden Roc [Miami]
From Elaine Lancaster: Saturday, April 18, 2009, join Lea and Roy Black for "The Blacks' Annual Gala" to celebrate the Power of Hope benefiting the Consequence Program and Bay Point Schools. More . . .

-Family Equality Council: Buy White House Egg Roll tickets online
An open letter from Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Equality Council:
Dear Friends and Families,
I have some exciting news. Just recently, President Obama's Administration reached out to Family Equality Council directly, encouraging us to encourage you, our supporters, to apply for tickets to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll! More . . .

Miami Herald
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-Serbian lawmakers pass anti-discrimination law
The Associated Press
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Serbian lawmakers have approved a law against discrimination due to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other factors despite opposition from the Serbian Orthodox Church. Parliament passed the bill Thursday 127 votes in favor to 59 against. Remaining deputies in the 250-member assembly did not attend.

The Advocate
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-Out on Their Own
After decades of rocking out together, Indigo Girls shirk the big labels for a DIY venture.
By Karen Iris Tucker
When Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first offered up their guileless lyrics, braided harmonies, and fevered acoustic strums in Atlanta's Little Five Points pub in the mid '80s, the ladies in the audience appreciatively tossed bras and underwear at their feet. Pop culture has since had its fickle way with their careers, but Indigo Girls are nevertheless icons to a core of lesbian fans who through the years have comingled with frat boys and neo-hippies as they all pumped fists in the air at shows to the duo's signature song "Closer to Fine."

-Conservative Group Invites Anti-gay Leader to Speak
By Julie Bolcer
A local chapter of a California conservative group has invited a controversial anti-gay leader to speak at an upcoming meeting. The Murrieta Temecula Republican Assembly asked Scott Lively, whose work maintains that the Nazis were gay-friendly, to address its members in Riverside County. The initial meeting, scheduled for April 3 at the Temeku Hills Golf Course and Country Club, was cancelled by the club on Tuesday after threats of demonstrations against Lively.

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-Barney Frank clarifies 'homophobe' comment
By Jennifer Vanasco, editor in chief,
Sen. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) hit the news circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday, explaining why he called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a homophobe in an interview with 365gay. "What a 'homophobe' means is someone who has prejudice about gay people," Frank told Boston radio station WBZ. Scalia, he said, "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people" in his written opinions.

-NH House to vote on gay marriage
By The Associated Press
The House is expected to vote today whether to make New Hampshire the third state allowing gays to marry. Two years ago, the Legislature approved civil unions for gays, but some proponents of joining Connecticut and Massachusetts in allowing marriage said the time isn't right in New Hampshire. Opponents argue same-sex marriage is morally wrong and would cheapen marriage.

Pink News - UK
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-Nelson Mandela and Will Young among the gay icons to be showcased at National Portrait Gallery
Gay Icons, a photography exhibition held to celebrate the contribution of gay people to history and culture, will open at the National Portrait Gallery this summer.

-BBC is "institutionally homophobic"
A survey has found that 69 per cent of gay respondents think Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles should be sacked over a "homophobic" imitation of gay singer Will Young. The figures come after Chris Smith, the former head of Ofcom, criticised the BBC for allowing Moyles to continue making anti-gay comments.


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NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS - March 26, 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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-The Fierce Urgency of Peace
Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building from former senior officials whose counsel he respects. Following up on a letter dated Nov. 6, 2008, that was handed to Obama late last year by Paul Volcker, now a senior economic adviser to the president, these foreign policy mandarins have concluded a "Bipartisan Statement on U.S. Middle East Peacemaking" that should become an essential template.

-Cities Deal With a Surge in Shantytowns
As the operations manager of an outreach center for the homeless here, Paul Stack is used to seeing people down on their luck. What he had never seen before was people living in tents and lean-tos on the railroad lot across from the center.

-Could It Really Be Him? Yeah, Probably
WASHINGTON: IT has been only two months since the Obamas moved into the White House, but here in the nation's capital, some people are already asking: Have you bumped into your president and first lady yet? This is no idle question. During the Bush years, Washington got used to a homebody president who preferred bringing friends into the Executive Mansion to venturing outside it. But these days, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, are popping up all over this city.

-Geithner to Outline Major Overhaul of Finance Rules
The Obama administration will detail on Thursday a wide-ranging plan to overhaul financial regulation by subjecting hedge funds and traders of exotic financial instruments, now among the biggest and most freewheeling players on Wall Street, to potentially strict new government supervision, officials said.

-Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say
The Taliban's widening campaign in southern Afghanistan is made possible in part by direct support from operatives in Pakistan's military intelligence agency, despite Pakistani government promises to sever ties to militant groups fighting in Afghanistan, according to American government officials.

-Clinton Says U.S. Feeds Mexico Drug Trade
MEXICO CITY - Seeking to ease a cross-border relationship strained by drug trafficking, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here Wednesday and offered the clearest acknowledgment yet from an Obama administration official of the role the United States plays in the violent narcotics trade in Mexico.

-Paid Handsomely to Stay
Before the furor over pay at A.I.G., most Americans probably had never heard of a retention bonus. But like C.D.O. and credit-default swap, the term, a bit of sugar-coated corporate-speak, is quickly entering the popular lexicon.

-Optimism Grows in Congress for Retooled Budget's Prospects
Congressional Democrats began advancing retooled versions of President Obama's budget on Wednesday as the president visited the Capitol to urge senators to preserve his initiatives on health care, energy and education.

-Extravagant Results of Nature's Arms Race
Nature is reputed to be red in tooth and claw, but many arms races across the animal kingdom are characterized by restraint rather than carnage. Competition among males is often expressed in the form of elaborate weapons made of bone, horn or chitin. The weapons often start off small and then, under the pressure of competition, may evolve to attain gigantic proportions. The Irish elk, now extinct, had antlers with a span of 12 feet. The drawback of this magnificent adornment, though, was that the poor beast had to carry more than 80 pounds of bone on its head.

-Head Injuries: Looking for Signs and Acting Quickly
THE 18-year-old runner was rounding third base for home so fast that his batting helmet flew off. The infielder rifled the ball to the catcher, but it caught the runner instead, hitting his suddenly bare head. He scored, walked to the dugout, and five minutes later began to experience a violent headache.

Washington Post
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-China criticizes new US report on its military
BEIJING -- China slammed a newly released U.S. report on Beijing's growing military power as a "gross distortion," saying Thursday that it could damage military relations between the two countries.

-Obama Defends Push to Cut Tax Deductions for Charitable Gifts
By Philip Rucker
President Obama defends his proposal to cut the tax deductions that wealthy Americans can claim for their charitable donations by arguing that the shift would not have an adverse effect on giving, but two independent analyses concluded that the proposal could result in a drop of as much as $3.87 billion for the already reeling nonprofit sector.

-In Afghan War, U.S. Dominance Increasing
With More American Troops and Civilians On the Way, NATO Is Likely to Lose Clout
By Karen DeYoung and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
After years of often testy cooperation with NATO and resentment over unequal burden-sharing, the United States is taking unabashed ownership of the Afghan war.

-Re-emerging As an Emerging Market
By Desmond Lachman
Back in the spring of 1998, when Boris Yeltsin was still at Russia's helm, I led a group of global investors to Moscow to find out firsthand where the Russian economy was headed. My long career with the International Monetary Fund and on Wall Street had taken me to "emerging markets" throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America, and I thought I'd seen it all. Yet I still recall the shock I felt at a meeting in Russia's dingy Ministry of Finance, where I finally realized how a handful of young oligarchs were bringing Russia's economy to ruin in the pursuit of their own selfish interests, despite the supposed brilliance of Anatoly Chubais, Russia's economic czar at the time.

-Deficit Dodge Ball
Will Anyone Admit That Taxes Have to Rise?
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
The debate on the budget is phony, the howling on deficits a charade. Few politicians want to acknowledge that if you really are concerned about long-term deficits, you have to support tax increases.

-A Tax Break Fuels Middle East Friction
By David Ignatius
For many years, the United States has had a policy against spending aid money to fund Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which successive administrations have regarded as an obstacle to peace. Yet private organizations in the United States continue to raise tax-exempt contributions for the very activities that the government opposes.

-Bite the Bullet?
Congress and the District don't have to accept a dire choice between voting rights and city gun laws. THE DEBATE about whether the District should accept the loosening of its gun laws as a condition for voting rights has centered on politics and strategy. Absent has been any real discussion of what it would mean for the nation's capital to go from having the country's most restrictive gun laws to perhaps the least restrictive. If Congress is so intent on taking over local governance, it should -- at the very least -- have the sense to hear from experts about the impact of this radical rewriting of gun laws on public safety and homeland security.

-Pakistan hopes for U.S. re-think on missiles
By Alamgir Bitani
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan wants the United States to reconsider its use of pilotless drones to attack militants, a government spokesman said on Thursday, hours after 11 people were killed in two missile attacks.

Wall Street Journal

-Gasoline Prices Creep Upward Along With Demand
Gasoline prices have been relatively steady in the past month, but a jump in oil prices and tightening gas supplies could lead to higher prices at the pump heading into the summer driving season. U.S. efforts to stimulate the economy fueled expectations that a recovery might materialize sooner than anticipated, lifting oil-future prices earlier this week above $53 a barrel -- a level not seen since November.

-IBM to Cut U.S. Jobs, Expand in India
International Business Machines Corp. plans to lay off about 5,000 U.S. employees, with many of the jobs being transferred to India, according to people familiar with the situation. The technology giant has been steadily building its work force in India and other locations while reducing the number of workers based in the U.S. Foreign workers accounted for 71% of Big Blue's nearly 400,000 employees at the start of the year, up from about 65% in 2006. The latest round of cuts target the company's global business-services unit, which does everything from running corporate data centers to managing human resources for ...

-China and the Dollar
Markets don't like Treasury talking down the dollar's status. As if the dollar didn't have enough problems, Timothy Geithner took China's bait yesterday and said he was "quite open" to its suggestion this week to displace the greenback with an "international reserve currency." The dollar promptly fell and stocks followed, before the Treasury Secretary re-emerged to say "the dollar remains the world's dominant reserve currency. I think that's likely to continue for a long time."

-Democrats Bid Business Adieu
Barack Obama meets with a flock of nervous bankers at the White House tomorrow to reassure them he understands their interests. Good luck. There has always been tension between the Democratic Party and the private sector. That tension is over. With its vote in the House of Representatives to punish corporate bonus payments, the national Democratic Party has disconnected itself entirely from the private sector.

Fort Report
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-Do the Secret Bush Memos Amount to Treason?
Top Constitutional Scholar Says Yes
By Naomi Wolf
In early March, more shocking details emerged about George W. Bush legal
counsel John Yoo's memos outlining the destruction of the republic. The memos lay the legal groundwork for the president to send the military to wage war against U.S. citizens; take them from their homes to Navy brigs without trial and keep them forever; close down the First Amendment; and invade whatever country he chooses without regard to any treaty or objection by Congress.

-With friends like these, who needs Republicans?
After a successful press conference, the president works a tougher crowd -- congressional Democrats.
By Mike Madden
Apparently the easy part was bumping "American Idol" off the air and battling CNN's Ed Henry on live TV. For President Barack Obama, the hard part of selling his budget might turn out to be persuading conservative Democrats not to get in the way.

-What Constitutional Rights Should Schoolchildren Have? Two Recent Cases Underscore the Ways in Which Children Are Not Simply Miniature Adults
Two 2008 federal appeals court rulings-one that may be on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and another that is already there-raise thorny questions of the extent to which schoolchildren enjoy the protections afforded by the Constitution to adults.


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