Friday, May 08, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 08, 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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-Preventing Hate Crimes
To the Editor:
The Matthew Shepard Act, which if passed by the Senate would expand the 1968 federal hate crimes law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes, is long overdue (editorial, May 6). In today's world, which is so diverse, we cannot condone violence based on actual or perceived identity. If we do, we are all vulnerable. At the New York City Anti-Violence Project, we know that more is needed. We also must stop the violence from happening in the first place. This requires public education and training of first responders and law enforcement. We know in New York that hate-crimes protection can be a powerful tool in prosecuting crimes, but it does not prevent them. Each year we see violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities increase, despite this legislation. More . . .

-'This Is a Question of Fairness'
It is by no means a fast and easy path, but the cause of same-sex marriage is moving forward - proof that justice can triumph over wedge politics and prejudice. It happened this week in Maine and New Hampshire, where both states' legislatures voted to legalize same-sex marriage and promptly put the final say to their governors. More. . . .

-Choosing a New Justice
Never mind that President Obama has not even tipped his hand about his choice to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. It's never too early, it appears, to start the character assassination, especially against one possible candidate, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. More . . .

-Secret Lives in the Age of Gay Rights
With horror-movie music and stark white-on-gray titles, "Outrage" promises to illuminate a "brilliant conspiracy" that protects the secret lives of some powerful politicians while ensuring that the rights and interests of ordinary gay and lesbian Americans remain marginal. The choice of the word conspiracy may be deliberately provocative, but this indignant and methodical new documentary, directed by Kirby Dick, offers a lot of insight into the ideology and psychology of present-day political homophobia.

Washington Post
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-Principles of 'Civil War'
What is the gay marriage debate about for you?
Equality. Making America more just
Secularity. Separating church and state
Semantics. Protecting the definition
Procreation. Marriage is for making kids
Morality. God says it's a sin
Other (explain in comments)

-Special Feuding Edition
By Howard Kurtz
All politics is personal. And it's getting really personal out there. Amid the swirling headlines--banking stress tests, spending cuts, judicial nominees, health care reform, battling the Taliban--are people who have become symbols, people that we can praise or pulverize, depending on our predilections.

-A Compelling Closet Case
The news: This city is swarming with toe-tapping closet cases who champion anti-gay legislation in the light of day. Our source goes by the name of "Outrage," a crisp, efficient, sometimes petty but often infuriating documentary about alleged gay politicians who actively campaign and vote against gay rights. "Outrage" aspires to expose harmful hypocrisy in the U.S. government by laying all the evidence on the table. During the film's brisk 90 minutes, a level-headed, fair-minded viewer might feel a range of emotion: contempt, skepticism, empathy, uncertainty, but never boredom.

-MIA On Gay Marriage
By Eugene Robinson
Believe it or not, often I can see the other side of an argument. I know that tough gun control laws save lives and make our communities safer, for example, but I also see clarity in the Second Amendment. I support affirmative action, but I realize that providing opportunity to some worthy individuals can mean denying opportunity to others. Thinking about some issues involves discerning among subtly graded shades of gray.

Miami Herald
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-College student suspended after school learns he starred in gay porn as 'Vincent DeSalvo'
From The Herald, Sharon, Pa.:
To Grove City College, John Gechter was a bright young student majoring in molecular biology. But to his online audience, he was Vincent DeSalvo, a baby-faced rising star in the gay pornography industry. Both worlds unexpectedly crashed into each other two weeks ago after his online persona was discovered at GCC.

-Video | TV host who threatened to punch gay blogger over 'Outrage!' film:
'An apology? Mike Rogers, you're not getting one!'
Let's Talk Live host Doug Mckelway responds to angry e-mails, after he threatened to punch blogger Mike Rogers of during a segment about the film, Outrage!:

The Advocate
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-CNN Questions Obama's "Gay" Silence
On the heels of a New York Times article calling into question Barack Obama's relative silence on gay issues in his first few months in office, CNN has launched its own investigation. CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley says this has been a sensitive issue for all politicians -- but she suggests Obama is going to face an uphill battle if he wants to distance himself from the mounting debate over marriage equality.

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-Protests against gay foe Ashcroft's honorary degree
By The Associated Press
A Missouri university's decision to award an honorary degree to former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is drawing protests from some students and faculty members. Ashcroft will receive an honorary doctorate and deliver the commencement speech Saturday at Truman State University in the northeast Missouri town of Kirksville. As governor, he signed into law a measure upgrading the school from a regional teacher's college into a selective, statewide liberal arts campus.

-Russian lawmakers reject harsh anti-gay measure
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Moscow) A bill that would have made it a criminal offense for anyone who "openly demonstrated a homosexual way of life and a homosexual orientation" to hold jobs in education or in the army has been defeated.

Pink News - UK
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-Fired US soldier to fight gay dismissal 'tooth and nail'
Dan Choi, the US Army lieutenant who was fired after revealing he was gay, has said he will fight his dismissal "tooth and nail". Choi, a West Point graduate and Arabic linguist, came out live on the Rachel Maddow show in March, knowing it could cost him his job.

-Openly gay minister Peter Mandelson caught up in latest expenses scandal
Business secretary and openly gay minister Peter Mandelson billed taxpayers £3,000 for work on his constituency home less than a week after standing down as MP for Hartlepool.

-Former head of gay charity guilty of sex attacks on children
Eight members of a paedophile ring, including the former head of LGBT Youth Scotland, were today found guilty of a number of child abuse image and abuse charges.

-Opponents file challenge to gay marriage in Maine
Gay couples in Maine hoping to take advantage of this week's legalisation of gay marriage may be forced to wait months or even a year to hold their ceremonies after opponents filed a 'people's veto' challenge to the new law.

-Gay postman 'was called effeminate and girly by manager'
A gay postman is suing the Royal Mail for £25,000, claiming his line manager bullied him and discriminated against him. Liam Black, 22, told a tribunal in Ashford he had been called "effeminate", "girly" and "bitchy" by his line manager Warren Taylor.

-Poll finds zero tolerance for homosexuality among UK Muslims
A survey published today shows that UK Muslims have significantly less tolerance for homosexuality than their French and German counterparts.

-Gay men 'at risk' as UK rates for new HIV infections soar to highest in Europe
Charity Unicef has warned that Britain now has the highest number of new HIV infections in western Europe, with gay and bisexual men and black Africans most at risk.

-God hates fags preacher joins calls to block gay Scottish minister
Fred Phelps, the leader of the Westboro Baptist Church which picket dead soldiers' funerals with chants of 'God hates fags', has said the ordination of openly gay minister Scot Rennie to a Scottish church would be an "abomination".

-Moscow authorities promise to stop gay pride marches
Moscow is preparing to break up any gay pride marches on May 16th. Mayor Yury Luzhkov's press secretary said today the city has once again turned down an application to hold a march next week.

-British minister condemns Burundi over law criminalising gay sex
International Development minister Ivan Lewis has attacked the recent decision by the government of Burundi to criminalise gay sex.

Daily Queer News
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-CNN Poll: Generations Disagree on Same-Sex Marriage
Paul Steinhauser | CNN Deputy Political Director | CNN
A new national poll suggests a majority of Americans oppose legalizing same-sex marriages, but the survey indicates a vast generational divide on the issue.

-Anti-Gay Marriage Groups: Put Ban Before NJ Voters
Organizations opposed to letting gay or lesbian couples marry are urging lawmakers to put a question on the 2010 ballot asking voters whether to amend the state constitution to ban such unions. While there's still time to get a referendum on this year's ballot, conservative activists said at a Wednesday news conference that it's not practical to think officials would put such a question on the ballot in a gubernatorial election year. Such a route would also mean the Legislature could put a question on the ballot without the three-fifths supermajority usually used to propose constitutional amendments. Proposals passed two years in a row by a simple majority also are presented to voters. Gay-rights groups including Garden State Equality are pushing for New Jersey lawmakers to approve gay marriage this year, though a vote seems unlikely before the November election. Read more

-Sessions Open Minded on Gay Justice
Jonathan Martin | CNYCentral
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), a staunch conservative and the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that he was open to the nomination of a gay Supreme Court Justice. "I don't think a person who acknowledges that they have gay tendencies is disqualified per se for the job," Sessions told Mark Halperin in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Sessions, who previously has said he could support a justice who backs abortion rights, said he would make his determination based on the nominee's personal ethics and legal skills. "We need to be looking for a person that can gain full respect of the American people, who can apply the law fairly, when they put on that robe will be nonpartisan and nonbiased, no promoting any agenda, personal, religious, or moral, and follow the law faithfully," Sessions said. Read more

-ME: Challenge to Gay Marriage Bill Filed
Sun Journal
Maine election officials say a formal challenge is being filed to the same-sex marriage bill the governor's signed. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Thursday opponents filed a challenge under Maine's people's veto provision Wednesday, the same day Gov. John Baldacci signed the gay marriage bill. Dunlap says the challengers have been asked to complete their application. Petitions seeking repeal of the law will then be printed so opponents can begin collecting voters' signatures. They must collect signatures amounting to at least 10 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election in order to force a people's veto referendum in November. The signature deadline will likely fall in mid-September.

-MI: Panel Wants More Time for Gay Issue
KATHY JESSUP | Michigan Live
A Kalamazoo City Commission subcommittee wants one more meeting to hash out the fine print before recommending language to ban local housing and employment discrimination against homosexuals. Commissioner David Anderson, subcommittee chairman, said Wednesday that critical questions posed by the public during a recent comment period will be answered June 3, before the three commissioners report back to the full commission later in June. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on a timetable that would allow opponents to get the measure on the November ballot as a referendum if the City Commission acts. With an Aug. 25 deadline for submitting ballot questions, city commissioners likely would need to pass the so-called anti-discrimination ordinance by late June or early July to give opponents time to circulate petitions aimed at letting voters decide the issue in November. The subcommittee has asked City Attorney Clyde Robinson to come to the 5 p.m. June 3 public meeting prepared to clarify issues such as the measure's effect on exercising religious beliefs, on small business and on restroom designations. Read more

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-UN Human Rights Committee gives Russia 6 months to justify Gay Picket Ban in Moscow
Activists hope for a decision before next year's Moscow Pride
MOSCOW (GayRussia.Ru) The United Nations Human Rights Committee based in Geneva, Switzerland, gave Russia six months to give its position on a complaint sent by Nikolai Alekseev, Moscow Pride Chief Organizer. "In accordance with rule 97 of the Committee's rules of procedure, a copy of the communication has been sent to the State party today, with the request that any information (.) should reach the committee within 6 months" states the letter received from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

-Hungarian Parliament Adopts New Registered Partnership Act
Budapest, April 20, 2009 - The Hungarian Parliament has adopted today the revised bill on registered partnership. The bill was introduced to the Parliament following the Constitutional Court decision of December 2008 that struck down the previous version of the law just weeks before its supposed entry into force. The new legislation introduces the institution of registered partnership for same sex couples and also sets up a different scheme of domestic partnership registration for both same sex and different sex couples. The bill was adopted 199-159-8, the governing socialist party and their former liberal coalition partner voted for the bill, other opposition parties voted against it.

-EU: Human rights in the world in 2008: Parliament highlights the pluses and minuses

-Ireland: Children of same sex parents 'do just as well'
Children raised in same sex families do just as well as other children living with heterosexual parents, an Irish child expert has claimed. Co-director of the Children's Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin, Prof Sheila Greene, said there was no evidence that children in lesbian and gay families were experiencing the kind of problems that some people had predicted. Prof Greene said: "Children within gay and lesbian families are not any more or less gay, they are not confused and they don't suffer from mental health problems to any greater or lesser extend than children being reared by a biological mother and father."

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-David Ogden Stiers, the actor who played Major Charles Winchester on MASH, just came out of the closet.

-Christian Fundamentalist Group Preaches Patriarchy and Women's Fertility as
Weapons for Spiritual Warfare
When Americans think of patriarchal societies, female submission, or extreme gender inequality based on religious teachings, visions of Muslim women in burkas or Hindus in poorly arranged marriages may come to mind. The reality, though, is that a growing number of American Christian fundamentalists also have rejected feminism and egalitarianism, embracing instead male dominance and what they call the "Quiverfull" belief system. Picture the Massachusetts Bay Colonies before Hester Prynne's day. The women in such communities live within a stringently enforced doctrine of wifely submission and male "headship," including a selfless acceptance of possibly constant pregnancies and as many children under foot as God might bring. They reject not only "reproductive rights" of any kind, but also higher education and workforce participation for women.

-Newsweek: Fresh Start
High-school seniors are receiving the final college admissions decisions this week. It's an important choice for any kid, but for gay teens, finding a welcoming campus can be a life saver.

-Washington State Joins Iran in Criminalizing Sex Between Consenting Adults
You may remember the school sex bill that set off our unconstitutionality alarm earlier this year-the one that criminalizes sex between high school employees and consenting adult students. Well, the Senate version died, but a House version passed both chambers by a wide margin and was signed by the Governor on Monday. The bill-which might as well have been written on discarded scraps of the Constitution-would criminalize a few scenarios, the most notable being sex between school employees and students more than five years their junior. This was in response to the Division II Court of Appeals overturning a teacher's conviction for first-degree sexual misconduct, when the teacher had had sex with a consenting 18-year-old student. Now, under HB 1385, not only would that scenario result in a felony, but so would one in which a 26-year-old high-school landscaper had sex with a 20-year-old student. The landscaper would now be a sex offender.

At the beginning created against the BUSH's homophobia this song is now an hymn against homophobia in geneal. ANTI HOMOPHOBIA: "theres a disgusting amount of hate on the internet (especially on youtube!) directed at minority groups (especially the LGBT community) so i was inspired to organize this collab video. ..", Steve Bee Bishop Or


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FLORIDA DIGEST - May 08, 2009

and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Steve Rothaus
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-Justin Flippen Leaves Position with Broward Mayor Ritter
Justin Flippen has left his position in Broward Mayor Stacy Ritter's office for a job at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau which he will start Monday. Flippen worked on Ritter's 2006 campaign and then was hired by her office after she won. Since then, he was elected to the Wilton Manors City Commission where he now serves as Vice Mayor. Wilton Manors is not in Ritter's district. "I suggested that it was maybe time for Justin to move on,'' Ritter said. "Maybe working as an aide to a county commissioner when you are a city commissioner is kind of awkward.'' Ritter, who is guiding commissioners as they are looking for ways to cut up to $160 million from the budget, said she has no plans to replace Flippen. "I don't think that I need three fulltime aides,'' she said. Flippen, a former president of the gay Dolphin Democrats, said that he and Ritter talked last year when he was running for office that he would eventually find another job. "We knew it would present unique circumstances for a city official to work for a county official,'' Flippen said. Ritter didn't ask the bureau to hire Flippen, said Nicki Grossman, bureau president. Grossman said she was meeting with Flippen a couple months ago to discuss tourism matters when he expressed an interest in a job. Flippen will promote Broward as a tourist destination at trade shows, Grossman said. "He is a city commissioner in a city that has become very important to our tourism product,'' she said. "I don't know that he needed special destination experience.''

Miami Herald
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-Photo gallery | Aqua Girl 2009 weekend draws women from across the U.S. to
South Beach
The 10th annual Aqua Girl fundraising party on South Beach is in full swing. I attended the Welcome to Paradise party Thursday night at the host hotel, Surfcomber Resort, and met women from all across the U.S., including New York, Maine, Chicago and Nebraska.
From the Aqua Girl website:
As the largest charity women's week in the country, your participation in Aqua Girl contributes to a very good cause. In fact, 100% of the proceeds from Aqua Girl weekend benefit the Aqua Foundation for Women, a not-for-profit-foundation whose primary mission is to promote the equality, strength, health, and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.
Monies raised during the Foundation's signature week Aqua GirlT Week, as well as through individual and corporate donations go directly to educate, empower and foster the women's communities.
Over the past five years the AFW has giving out over $260,000 in grants and scholarships to empower and foster our community.
Aqua Girl runs through Sunday. Click here for more information:

Vice Mayor Ken Keechl Is Honorary Chair of
Friends of The Mental Health Association EPIC Awards
Broward County Vice Mayor Ken Keechl will serve as Honorary Chairman of the 14th Annual EPIC Awards Luncheon, honoring community leaders who have made a positive contribution to the mental wellness of others in the community. The 2009 luncheon is planned for Wednesday, May 20th at the Embassy Suites at 1100 S.E. 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale. The event, which stands for Exceptional People Impacting the Community, is being presented by the Friends of the Mental Health Association of Broward, (MHA) under the chairmanship of Sandra Booth and Chuck Williams. Ken Keechl's reputation as a champion for rights along with his well known advocacy for children, link him directly to the goals and agenda of MHA. Mental Health America, MHA Broward's national partner, is celebrating 100 years of advocacy for rights of persons with mental illnesses and for prevention services that promote healthy lifestyles for children today and for their futures. The Vice Mayor's vision and voice demonstrate his ongoing commitment to those same ideals and values. Sandra Booth, stated, "We are honored to have the Vice Mayor as our 2009 EPIC host." [,,,[ To learn more about the organization, visit

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-Formal charges expected in death of Wilton Manors man killed after sexual
David Ovalle
A fingerprint discovered on a Nintendo Wii helped solve the murder of a Wilton Manors man whose throat was slashed after a three-way sexual tryst inside the home of a Miami Shores doctor, prosecutors say. Johnny Collins, 38, is scheduled to be formally charged with murder today in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in the slaying of Nestor Estefani, 40.,0,3813928.story

South Florida Blade
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-Steak, Scarpariello and straight guys-oh my!
Knife & Fork visit Las Olas Wine and Food Fest
There was a hastened anticipation that weaved through the line in which F and I stood; similar to the way it feels approaching the entry of an amusement park knowing what lies just beyond the turnstile. We shuffled behind fellow festers who, like us, were eager to trade their tickets for a wristband, a souvenir wine glass and a "butler's tray" (a plastic tray the size of a hardcover book), the tools necessary to partake in the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival. What lay before us was a marvelous sight: hundreds of tables aligning the street, offering samples from over sixty local restaurants, and more wine than F and I could shake a grapevine at. With proceeds supporting the American Lung Association, we felt it our duty to gorge ourselves and get hammered for charity.

-Florida Congresswoman co-sponsors GLBT bill
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen leads effort for anti-bullying law
Local U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) was a leading co-sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a federal anti-bullying bill introduced Tuesday in the U.S. House of Representatives. This new bill would fund school implementation of a comprehensive anti-bullying policy for groups targeted by bullies, including race, religion, and most notably sexual orientation and gender identity and others.

-Judy Tenuta live!
Love Goddess to perform in SoFla
By Dan Renzi
Attention all love goddesses! Comedian Judy Tenuta is performing tonight and tomorrow at Zo's Off The Hook Sports Grille, 2861 E.?Commercial?Blvd. We can't imagine this will be a big gay crowd, but Judy would appreciate the gay love nonetheless. Call 561-470-6887 for reservations. 9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday.

-The Miami Blowfish take on SoFla flag football
Latest group to join local intramural sports
South Florida's gay sports scene welcomes a new team: the Miami Blowfish is a flag football team currently looking for men and women who enjoy the game of football and all of its aspects. The team practices every Sunday, in preparation for this year's annual Gay Bowl in Washington, D.C. Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level, whether interested in playing competitively or recreationally.

-Switchboard to build GLBT 'virtual community center'
Grant funds effort to bring together social services
The Switchboard of Miami, a nonprofit organization that provides crisis phone counseling and referral services, has received a grant to explore the development of a GLBTQ Virtual Community Center. There will be a public discussion of the idea on Saturday, May 16th, starting at 10:00 a.m. The purpose of the meeting is to explore ways to unite the services that currently exist within the community, and bring them to an online format such as a web site, in order to reach a larger segment of our community at a lower cost.

-Helping our kids
Program trains foster parents in GLBT needs
Florida's GLBT kids who are kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation, or whose parents are unable to take care of them, have a new resource that will assist in placement under foster care. The Family Resource Center of South Florida, in partnership with Yes Institute, has announced a new program for GLBT-friendly foster care.


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-Going by the book is a Supreme criteria for Supreme Court selection
Kingsley Guy
Elections have consequences. Among them is the makeup of supreme courts. In Florida, Republican Gov. Charlie Crist has made four appointments easily approved by the Republican-majority Legislature. Liberal opponents may cringe that the four aren't clones of the late hyper-liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, but all have impeccable legal credentials and Crist deserves high marks. Jorge Labarga distinguished himself particularly well while serving as a judge in Palm Beach Country during the 2000 election debacle, putting the law ahead of politics in his decisions.,0,2982863.column

-Bad bikers targeted in I-95 Broward crackdown tonight
Motorcyclists who flaunt traffic laws will be targeted this evening by a special law enforcement task force made up of police agencies from across Broward County. The Multi-Agency Aggressive Driving Task Force will be continuing Operation "BAD" ---Blitz on Aggressive Drivers--- from 7 p.m. until midnight along Interstate 95 from Griffin Rd. north to the Broward-Palm Beach County line.,0,1913150.story

-Former skinhead shares message of tolerance in West Boca
By Patty Pensa
Growing up, Angela King thought it was normal to hear racial slurs. After all, they came from her parents. King on Thursday described her early descent into the rough and hateful world of white supremacy groups. But despite almost a decade as a skinhead, it was a reformed King who stood before about 85 students at the Donna Klein Jewish Academy. Three years in prison saved her.,0,7628768.story

-Boynton Beach police bust identity theft ring, arrest 10
By C. Ron Allen
Police say they have busted a major identity theft and credit card ring that defrauded at least 20 residents of about $200,000. Most of those victims live in Boynton Beach, but detectives think there are many others in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.,0,2344513.story

Miami Herald
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-Classics rock at New World Symphony bash
The seasons may not change much here, but they sure do come to an end -- and for some, with a bigger bang than for others. Take the Friends of the New World Symphony, for example. . . . Finally, the girls of summer are in full swing this weekend thanks to Aqua Girl '09, the country's largest charity week for girls who like girls. All proceeds go to the Aqua Foundation for Women, a nonprofit group promoting equality, health, strength and visibility of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women through community initiatives, grants and scholarships. A slew of soirees from a dinner party at China Grill Saturday night to a jazz brunch at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens are among the festivities. For more info, go to


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GLBT DIGEST - May 08, 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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-With Gay Issues in View, Obama Is Pressed to Engage
As President Obama deals with enormous challenges, some gay activists have counseled patience. But others are suspicious of his commitment to their cause.

-Among Filmgoers, It's the Age of Outrage
Ticked off? Take it out on a movie. Everybody else does. In a remarkable measure of cultural prickliness, most of the major movies opening this month have someone, somewhere, rumbling about a boycott.

-Group Renews Fight for Same-Sex Marriage in California
As the California Supreme Court mulls the fate of a 2008 ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage, one of the state's largest gay rights groups is laying the groundwork for a campaign to overturn the measure, perhaps as soon as next year. The announcement by the group, Equality California, comes almost a year after the court's initial decision to legalize same-sex marriage, a ruling that voters negated in November when they passed the ballot measure, Proposition 8. The proposition has since been challenged in court, but gay rights advocates worry the court will uphold it, and are preparing for the next stage of the fight.

-Maine Governor Signs Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Gov. John Baldacci of Maine signed a same-sex marriage bill on Wednesday minutes after the Legislature sent it to his desk, saying he had reversed his position because gay couples were entitled to the state Constitution's equal rights protections.

-Campaign Trail Leads to a Web Start-up
They figured out how to get New Mexico residents to vote for George W. Bush in 2004. Now, some of the nation's top political strategists are creating an online-advertising company, hoping to apply to the Web what they know about aiming messages on the campaign trail.

Washington Post
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-Gay rights advocates celebrated swift and unexpected twin victories in New England on Wednesday when Maine became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage and New Hampshire's legislature shortly afterward sent a marriage equality bill to the governor. If Gov. John Lynch (D) signs the New Hampshire bill or allows it to become law without his signature, New Hampshire will become the sixth state to legalize marriages of same-sex couples, leaving Rhode Island as the only New England holdout.

-White House Cheat Sheet: Sifting Through the Specter Damage
A series of odd incidents that have proceeded from Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's party switch last week have raised questions about whether the newest Democrat has permanently damaged himself in the eyes of the state's voters. The White House is concerned enough about the developments that deputy chief of staff Jim Messina and Ron Klain, a senior adviser to Vice President Biden, traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and huddled with Specter to try to iron out the problems, according to informed Democratic officials.

-Eye Opener: Budget Day!
Happy Thursday! The president's detailed FY 2010 budget gets released today and hundreds of government programs appear headed for the chopping block.

-In Search of Scoundrels
By Howard Kurtz
It's not that there's a news vacuum: After all, Bank of America needs to find $34 billion, the leaders of Afghanistan and Pakistan were at the White House, and Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston are sniping at each other on the morning shows.

-Play Vibrantly Chronicles Wilde's Demise
By Michael J. Toscano
You can focus on what interests you most with "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde," a historically accurate account of the trials that ruined the life of the celebrated Irish writer. It's an engrossing courtroom thriller and a fascinating historical document. It can also be a compelling character study and an illuminating bit of sociology.

-NH gov. promises 'best decision' on gay marriage
The legalization of gay marriage in New Hampshire hinges on the next move of Gov. John Lynch, who remains uncommitted but has said he believes the word "marriage" should be reserved for the union of a man and a woman.

-Maine and N.H. Move to Expand Gay Rights
By Keith B. Richburg
Gay rights advocates celebrated swift and unexpected twin victories in New England on Wednesday when Maine became the fifth state to legalize same-sex marriage and New Hampshire's legislature shortly afterward sent a marriage equality bill to the governor.

Wall Street Journal
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-Civil-Rights Gains Test New Memorials' Relevance
Obama's Success Is a Fund-Raising Obstacle for Museums, Monuments Devoted to African-American Struggle
Does the America of 2009, led by an African-American president, need any more museums or monuments to the struggle for civil rights?

-Should Obama Appoint a District-Court Judge?
By Ashby Jones
President Obama should appoint a woman to fill David Souter's seat. He should appoint an academic. An Hispanic. A gay man or lesbian woman. A politician in the vein of Earl Warren. Seems there's no shortage of opinion on the category from which Obama should draw when making his selection. Today, in a NYT opinion piece, we're introduced to yet another take: Obama should go with a federal district court judge.

Miami Herald
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-Joe the Plumber calls gays 'queer'
Samuel Wurzelbacher, the Ohio man hailed as "Joe the Plumber" by Republican John McCain's presidential campaign last year, said he believes gays are "queer" and said he won't allow them near his children. Nevertheless, Wurzelbacher said the decision about whether to allow same-sex couples to marry should be left to states.

The Advocate
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-Two Out Lesbians Considered for Supreme Court
By Amita Parashar
Pam Karlan a Stanford University law professor, is one of two out lesbians rumored to be on Obama's list to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, who is due to retire this spring.

-McDonald's Pays Up After Gay Slurs
By Neal Broverman
McDonald's has agreed to pay a settlement and fund diversity training for managers at 30 Louisville, Ky., restaurants after two men were subjected to antigay slurs at a Louisville McDonald's in July 2008.

Pink News - UK
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-Poll finds zero tolerance for homosexuality among UK Muslims
A survey published today shows that UK Muslims have significantly less tolerance for homosexuality than their French and German counterparts.

-Openly gay soldier Dan Choi dismissed from National Guard under Don't Ask, Don't Tell
Lieutenant Dan Choi, the National Guard soldier who publicly came out live on national television, has been dismissed from duty. He was dismissed for "homosexual conduct".

-Former M*A*S*H star comes out
David Ogden Stiers, who played Major Charles Winchester in "M*A*S*H," has revealed he is gay. In an interview with the blog, he said: "I am [gay]. Very proud to be so."

-Conservative Party 'to prioritise gay rights'
Reaching out to gay rights groups is one of Tory leader David Cameron's top five priorities, it has been claimed. A shadow cabinet member told blogger Tim Montgomerie that the move is part of Cameron's drive "to show that 'new Toryism' is still alive and kicking".

-US radio presenter threatens to sue over UK entry ban
American radio presenter Michael Savage has threatened to sue Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for placing him on a list of 'undesirables' banned from entering the UK.

-California Senate committee gives green light for Harvey Milk Day
The California Senate Education Committee voted 7-2 yesterday to designate a day to honour murdered gay rights activist Harvey Milk. If passed by the Senate, it would designate May 22nd, Milk's birthday, as a special commemorative day.

-Gay group lobbies Obama for lesbian Supreme Court nominee
A new grassroots group called Equal Rep is lobbying US president Barack Obama to appoint a lesbian to the Supreme Court.

-Former employee wins unfair dismissal case against gay charity
An employment tribunal has decided that Manchester's Lesbian and Gay Foundation unfairly dismissed an employee. Molly Dunn, a therapeutic services manager, won her case against the LGF.

-'Outraged' parents attack drag queen website
A parents' group has attacked the creators of an online drag queen community, saying it may encourage children to "see gay sex as normal".

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

-States Grant More Rights to Gay Couples
Carol J. Williams | Tribune Newspapers | Chicago Tribune
When Maine's highest court ruled two years ago that lesbians Marilyn Kirby and Ann Courtney could adopt the two children they had cared for since 2001, the man who has led the state battle against gay marriage for 25 years got a glimpse of the defeat now looming. "There's a sense people have - a sense of inevitability - and a tremendous sense of frustration because of the history of the gay-rights fight in Maine," said Michael Heath, executive director of the Maine Family Policy Council. He was referring to rights incrementally accorded gay couples that have led to virtual equality between same-sex and heterosexual unions in states where gay marriage remains banned, a growing trend in Maine and elsewhere, experts on both sides of the issue agree. These rights are expanding as legally married gay couples relocate to states that don't allow gay marriage, forcing courts, legislatures and employers to deal with a new wrinkle on issues of custody, divorce, inheritance and end-of-life decisions. Read more

-CA: Governor Asks: What if Pot's Legal and Taxed?
Kevin Yamamura | | Sacramento Bee
As California struggles to find cash, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tuesday it's time to study whether to legalize and tax marijuana for recreational use. The Republican governor did not support legalization - and the federal government still bans marijuana use - but advocates hailed the fact that Schwarzenegger endorsed studying a once-taboo political subject. "Well, I think it's not time for (legalization), but I think it's time for a debate," Schwarzenegger said. "I think all of those ideas of creating extra revenues, I'm always for an open debate on it. And I think we ought to study very carefully what other countries are doing that have legalized marijuana and other drugs, what effect did it have on those countries?" Read more

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

- The Butch Voices Conference will be held in Oakland from August 20 to 23 of this year. Butch Voices is a grassroots organization dedicated to all self-identified butches, studs, aggressives, transmasculine folks, and our allies. We can be found online at

-Participants Sought for Survey to Develop Lesbian Health Research Agenda -
The survey is available at:

-Maine: Governor Signs LD 1020, An Act to End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
"I have followed closely the debate on this issue. I have listened to both sides, as they have presented their arguments during the public hearing and on the floor of the Maine Senate and the House of Representatives. I have read many of the notes and letters sent to my office, and I have weighed my decision carefully," Governor Baldacci said. "I did not come to this decision lightly or in haste."

-New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. today issued the following statement regarding the recent enactment of a marriage equality law by the State of Maine:
"I applaud Maine Governor John Baldacci for his action today to support marriage equality. I have long been a proponent of marriage of same-sex couples to ensure equality for all. Same-sex couples deserve the same legal protections as heterosexual couples. Simply put, this is an issue of civil rights and same-sex couples in committed relationships should benefit from the same rights and legal protections as heterosexual couples. I am hopeful that our State legislators will follow the lead of other States, such as Maine and Vermont, and move swiftly to work with our Governor to enact the recently introduced marriage equality legislation so that all New Yorkers can have the freedom to live and love as they wish."

-Craigslist to meet with state AGs over sex ads

-Analysis: First Amendment Jurisprudence By Gut Check
The long-awaited decision in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) v. Fox Broadcasting has arrived ... and it only took until page 3 before Justice Antonin Scalia, author of the majority opinion, dragged in the "morality" issue. "In FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, supra, we upheld the Commission's order against statutory and constitutional challenge," Scalia recounts. "We rejected the broadcasters' argument that the statutory proscription applied only to speech appealing to the prurient interest, noting that 'the normal definition of "indecent" merely refers to nonconformance with accepted standards of morality.'" "Morality," of course, is not defined in the law, and one might have thought that a "strict constructionist" like Scalia would understand that - but it's clear that the current opinion was not authored by a "strict constructionist." Rather, its author was the life-long Roman Catholic who once described himself as a "fool for Christ's sake."

-"Joe the Plumber": Some of My Best Friends Are Queer, but I Wouldn't Let Them Near My Kids

-There are just about ten days left to apply for Soulforce Q Camp, a free summer retreat that will assist grassroots LGBTQ and allied activists in their work for justice and collective liberation. Location: Austin, TX at the Alma de Mujer Center for Social Change

-Will Obama pick an out Supreme Court candidate?
Kathleen Sullivan, an out First Amendment expert and former dean of Stanford Law School, is being touted by The Victory Fund as a strong candidate to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, while openly gay Pam Karlan, who is also on the Stanford Law faculty, is another name being mentioned for consideration. Attorney and longtime LGBT-rights advocate Dixon Osburn said he believes President Barack Obama would choose a gay nominee if the candidate were the most qualified. "I don't think he would shy away from that, but first and foremost he's going to pick someone he thinks has constitutional gravitas," Osburn said. The Politico (Washington)

-Florida Keys News
Monroe County debates nude beach sites
To bare or not to bare? And if so, where? Those are the questions facing Monroe County government and possibly the city of Key West. County attorneys last month began researc hing the idea of creating a clothing-optional beach, after a group of naturists made the request for a nude beach in Key West. The subject came up during a discussion of the revitalization of Higgs Beach. Political gadfly Sloan Bashinsky, who has announced his candidacy for Key West mayor, proffered the idea of establishing a nude beach on the small strip of sand between the West Martello and the ocean, and the County Commission agreed it was worth pursuing. While a majority of the commission agrees a nude beach could be good for tourism, allowing it at Higgs Beach might be a problem, as it would be difficult to shield naked sunbathers and swimmers from children at the neighboring Astro City Park and pedestrians on the White Street Pier.

-California Supreme Court rules school can expel students for being gay

-Iowa: Gay man gets 25 years for one-time non-HIV-disclosure to a single complainant

-Florida: Suspects arrested in Broward County attacks
After an anonymous tip through the Crime Stoppers hotline, two men are under arrest in connection with the April assaults on two gay men in Broward County, according to the Broward County Sheriff's office. Victor Gonzalez, 21, and Pargu Leandro, 25, of Deerfield Beach are being held at Broward County Main Jail with charges of Attempted Felony Murder, Strong Armed Robbery and Aggravated Battery for their April 6 attacks on 25-year-old David Villanova and 47-year-old Craig Cohen, each attacked in separate incidents, according to BSO.

-Congressman Plays "Name That Fetish" on House Floor
Transcribers cringe, wash hands repeatedly
Fort Lauderdale Rep. Alcee Hastings nearly turned C-Span into XXX-Span when he ran through a laundry list of sex fetishes on the House floor in D.C. on Thursday. The outraged Hastings was apparently mad that the odd array of sex acts and fetishes were listed in an amendment to a hate crimes bill that he had to read over.

-While gay and lesbian couples have been planning their celebrations, the extreme right has been plotting to take the freedom to marry away in Iowa. On the same day that gay and lesbian couples began to marry, 17,000 signatures were delivered asking County Recorders to disobey the law!

-Iowa Guard will still oust married gays

-UK: Visiting Fellowships at IDS this summer
The Institute of Development Studies, in University of Sussex UK, is offering six visiting fellowships this summer on themes related to power, social change, masculinities, heteronormativity, sexuality etc. Please see enclosed for details. And please do circulate.

-Craigslist Killers Constant Danger for Erotic Service Providers
Coverage of "death trick" Philip Markoff accused of killing masseuse Julissa Brisman and robbing prostitute Trisha Leffler in Boston and a prostitute in Rhode Island shows the sordid underbelly of the actress/model/singer/dancer but currently a stripper syndrome.

-Defining sexual health in your life

-How can we justify denying a child a loving home?
Gay adoption before Fla. Legislature, high court

-Dutch signs point to gay sex seekers
A park near Amsterdam has unveiled information signs pointing out spots where officials say gay men are known to have sex, so visitors are not taken by surprise.

-Iowa: GOP poll: Voters put economy over social issues
A poll conducted for an Iowa Republican group and released today found that voters in the state decidedly prefer a candidate that will put the economy and government management ahead of social issues such as gay marriage. Seventy percent of likely Iowa voters surveyed in the poll said they preferred a candidate focused on economic and government management issues.

-Take up the IDAHO video challenge -- Help fight homophobia and transphobia
The Idaho Challenge is a community project by to produce a user-generated video to be released 17 May 2009, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). While 67 countries have signed the new United Nations statement to decriminalise homosexuality worldwide, anti-gay discrimination remains a reality in many parts of the world. This year, with your help, we want to create a video that sends out the message that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people are just like everyone else. We come from all over the world and we come in all shapes and sizes and colours. And we want to send this message to the people of the world in every language that's out there!

-'They kill people like us,' says gay Iraqi
BAGHDAD - Widespread violence is down across Baghdad, but not for one minority group. Iraq's gay population is being targeted by militia groups in a wave of killings that has claimed the lives of up to 25 young men and boys in the past month. "They know I am gay. I don't know if I am going to be killed, this is up to God," said Moyad, a 38-year-old Baghdad resident who would not give his last name out of fear for his safety.

-MOSCOW (Reuters) - A lesbian couple will try to defy deep-rooted Russian homophobia next week in the first attempt at a gay marriage even though rights activists say it will be rejected outright. Public relations worker Irina Fyet, 31, and her partner of the same age will apply for a marriage license at a register office on May 12 in Moscow, a city where mayor Yuri Luzhkov once described gay pride marches as "satanic."

-The Pink Army
The first time he said it, his face was so passive I didn't register what he was saying. "Did you get that?" Georges asked me. "They raped him." We were sitting in the courtyard of Helem, the Lebanese gay rights organization located in a beautiful French colonial building not far from downtown Beirut. Helem's director, Georges Azzi, was helping me interview a young arrival from Baghdad. I looked back at the slender 21-year-old with the confident voice and tried to determine what invisible force was holding him upright, helping him to speak. Three weeks of rape and torture at the hands of the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, followed by a month of living as a fugitive before fleeing to Lebanon would surely destroy a person, I thought.

-Gay Men's Zarah Leander
Zarah Leander was the Swedish singer and actress who became the leading star of the Third Reich, where there was little competition, as few actors wanted that position. She never had a Nazi conviction, but she supported Nazism, as it favoured her interests. This caused plenty of bitterness and disappointment among her Swedish colleagues, as she had belonged to strongly anti-Nazi circles in Sweden, and acted in anti-Nazi revues, written by Karl Gerhard (a bisexual man, who wished to marry her). So she was in no way
politically naive. After the war, she was boycotted by the Swedish audience
for some time, but then Karl Gerhard helped her to a come back. In spite of
her background, gay men loved her prima donna manners, especially as she had
broad shoulders and a dark, "lesbian" voice. She, too, liked gay audiences,
who gave her plenty of applause. In a new book, Gay Men's Zarah, Tiina
Rosenberg explores this gay diva cult. (I suppose Marlene Dietrich, who had
a different attitude to Nazi Germany, can be said to be another example of
this diva cult.)

-From the Arab worlds first gay rights demonstration to wild parties to a
new graphic magazine, sexual attitudes are changing in Beirut. For a country
once known more for wars, car bombs and political assasinations, Lebanon is
assuming a new identity. Worldfocus special correspondent Kristen Gillespie reports on sexual attitudes in Beirut.

-A new United Nations human rights report for Iraq for the last half of 2008 has just been published, and Larry Kaplow of Newsweek has pored over the document and made note of what was omitted and included related to LGBT persons:

-Social workers reject 'reparative therapy' for gays
Social workers have taken a stand against therapies which claim to "cure" homosexuality on the grounds that they add to the mental distress of gay and lesbian people. Declan Coogan, spokesman for the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW), said sexual orientation conversion therapy, also known as reparative therapy, "is based on the erroneous belief that homosexuality is an illness". "There is no evidence that conversion therapy is effective, though there is evidence of mental health risks associated with the use of such approaches with gay, lesbian or bisexual people," he said.

-Nepali TG beauty queens appears on front page on the most prestigious magazine called VOW Nepal.
Please check the link for their portal, fashion and personal stories of these beauties.

-Israeli Activist To Be Jailed For Caring
Without international intervention, Israeli human rights activist Ezra Nawi will most likely be sent to jail. Nawi is not a typical rights activist. A member of Ta'ayush Arab-Jewish Partnership he is a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent who speaks fluent Arabic. He is a gay man in his fifties and a plumber by trade. Perhaps because he himself comes from the margins, he empathises with others who have been marginalised - often violently. His "crime" was trying to stop a military bulldozer from destroying the homes of Palestinian Bedouins from Um El Hir in the South Hebron region. These Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for almost 42 years; they still live without electricity, running water and other basic services and are continuously harassed by Jewish settlers and the military - two groups that have united to expropriate Palestinian land and that clearly have received the government's blessing to do so.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
Contact for the full article

-Improving security prompts UN to revise guidelines for Iraqi asylum claims
A drop off in levels of violence in some parts of Iraq has allowed the United Nations refugee agency to revise its guidelines on eligibility for those seeking asylum. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) previously advised that all Iraqis from the central and southern governorates be considered refugees. In its latest recommendations, the agency believes that the international protection needs for those originating from Al-Anbar, encompassing much of the country's western territory, and the south should be assessed on individual

-Scottish paedophile ring found guilty of more than 50 charges
Severin Carrell, Scotland correspondent
A ring of eight paedophiles, including a former welfare campaigner for young gay men, were today convicted of child abuse and producing indecent images of children. The men, from across central Scotland, were found guilty by a jury in Edinburgh of more than 50 charges, ranging from abusing infants from three months old to conspiracy and holding more than 125,000 images of child pornography.

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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-Moscow city authorities will not allow gay parade - mayor's spokesman
The Moscow city authorities will not allow a gay parade in the city, Sergey Tsoy, a spokesman for the Moscow mayor, told journalists on Thursday. "Members of the gay movement are threatening to hold their action on May 16 regardless of whether they get permission or not and without reckoning with the opinion of a community majority. The Moscow government is declaring that no gay parades have been and will be held in Moscow," Tsoy said.

-Ireland: Marriage rights the main issue for LGBT community
Marriage rights are the main priority for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Ireland, according to a survey due out today. The results of the questionnaire, which gauges issues of importance to the LGBT community, are due to be presented to the National Lesbian and Gay Federation in Dublin. Marriage rights were the top priority for more than 40% of respondents and were among the top three issues for more than half of all those surveyed. The Government has proposed civil partnership rights for gay couples, but campaigners say they will not be happy with anything less than full marriage rights.

The following events have been arranged to mark the fifth International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia campaign in London. Please support these events and tell others about them.. For more info and to see if an invite is necessary-please refer to

Truth Wins Out - TWO
by Wayne Besen

-TWO Applauds The Irish Association of Social Workers For Rejecting 'Ex-Gay'
NEW YORK - Truth Wins Out applauded the Irish Association of Social Workers (IASW) today for condemning "reparative therapy" -- a fringe and discredited practice that claims to "cure" homosexuality.

-A Fractious Movement
In an online discussion forum, a respected activist recently lamented the decentralization of gay community advocacy. He made a powerful case that we would be better off if our efforts were more regimented and unified.

-I am proud to announce that Truth Wins Out has finally moved into its new Manhattan office!
For the past three years, I had run the organization out of a small studio apartment in Brooklyn. While I loved the short commute and liberal dress code, space was extremely tight. As the organization grew, so did the stacks of media packets, brochures and educational materials. Even my cat, Critter, began to complain about the lack of space. Clearly, the time had come for Truth Wins Out to find an office. This is especially true, when you consider that our main "ex-gay" opposition, Exodus International, has a one million dollar budget, thirteen staff members and a large office complex to plan its destructive "pray away the gay" operations. Exodus also has a quarter-million dollar youth program to shame vulnerable teens into renouncing their sexual orientation. To effectively compete with Exodus and stop them from shattering more families and ruining more lives - it was time to spread our wings. I hope you will consider a tax-deductible contribution to help us cover our new office space. There is so much more for us to accomplish. At a time when the GLBT movement has seen rapid advances, our opponents have grown more desperate and shrill. They will stop at nothing to smear the gay community and distort our lives. It is more important than ever to support our work. If you are able, please sponsor a month's rent with a $1,500 contribution. A week's sponsorship of $375 would also be enormously helpful. If this is not possible, please consider covering a day of TWO's vital work with a donation of $50.

Forwarded from Susan Frishkorn
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-Analysis: New justice may reignite social issues
President Barack Obama has tried to hold off debate on contentious social issues such as abortion, immigration and gay rights as he focuses on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Supreme Court vacancy will make that harder to do.

-GOP group launches listening tour to rebrand image
WASHINGTON - With its party struggling to define itself, a group of prominent Republicans launched a listening tour Saturday in a bid to boost the GOP's sagging image and regroup for future elections. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., held a town-hall style meeting at a pizza restaurant in the Democratic suburb of Arlington, Va., to hear about people's concerns on issues from the economy and health care to the rising costs of college tuition.


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FLORIDA DIGEST - May 07, 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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-Miami Beach Bruthaz pre-event party to be May 16 at Vlada Lounge in Miami Miami Beach Bruthaz (''for same gender loving men and women from across the country'') returns to South Beach July 16-19. A pre-event party will be held Saturday, May 16, at Vlada Lounge in Miami:

-Mack Mixer Tuesday, May 12, at Chima Steakhouse in Fort Lauderdale
From Mack Planet:

-'Valentino: The Last Emperor' film opens Friday in South Florida
From Jan Mitchell:
Valentino: The Last Emperor, directed by Matt Tyrnauer, is a feature-length movie that takes the viewer inside the singular world of one of Italy's most famous designers, Valentino Garavani. The film documents the colorful and dramatic closing act of Valentino's celebrated career, capturing the end of an era in global fashion. But at the heart of the film is a love story: the unique relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.
The film opens Friday, May 8 at Regal South Beach, Sunrise Cinemas Gateway 4, PGA Cinema (WPB), and Muvico Parisian (WPB).

GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale

-GLCC Group of the Week
Coffee and Conversation - Senior Advisory Council
Come and enjoy the pastries and coffee at this friendly gathering. Tuesday, May 19, 10:30 AM - 12:00PM. The group meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

-Founder Reception on May 13th will be Hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce - 6:00PM- 8:00PM - 512 NE 3rd Avenue, Fort LauderdaleIn the latest issue of the Voice, there was a misprint concerning the date of our May Founders Event. Invitations have been sent out. For more information about membership in the Founders Circle, please contact Robert Boo, 954-463-9005 or

-Community Meetings/Events
AQUA GIRL 2009 - May 6 - 10, South Beach, "Where the Girls Are". For information or call 305-576-AQUA
SENIOR GAY MEN'S SUPPORT GROUP - Beginning May 11th. This group will provide a forum for men to discuss personal issues in a supportive and confidential environment. If interested contact Fred Berger at 954-561-0988. Space is limited.
PASSIONROUTES DATING GROUP FOR WOMEN - This group is for women who want to become better at dating. The group will neet at the GLCC for six weeks beginning Friday, May 15 and will run from 7:30PM - 9:00PM. If interested, please contact Michele Lifland, 954-530-1561.
FORT LAUDERDALE WOMEN'S CHORUS - Sat, May 23rd, 8:00PM,"Sing for the Cure: A Proclamation of Hope", Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave, 33315. Click her for more info.
STONEWALL STREET FESTIVAL - June 20 & 21, 2009. Click here for more information.

Dolphin Democrats - Ft. Lauderdale
For the first time in 24 years, the mayor of the city of Ft. Lauderdale (Jack Seiler) will address the Dolphin Democrats at our meeting on Wednesday May 13, 2009 beginning at 7:30 p.m. Of course Jack Seiler has addressed the club recently; however it is in his posistion as the Mayor of Ft Lauderdale that he has not addressed the club in the past 24 years. Join us as we celebrate this historic occasion!


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-Broward School Board won't require four-day weeks for high schools
Board looking into seven-period class day for $30 million projected savings
By Kathy Bushouse
Broward County high schools won't have to go to a four-day school week, but high schoolers may be on a seven-period class day starting in 2010. School Board members today put the kibosh on requiring all high schools to go to four-day school weeks, though any school can request the change if their faculty votes to approve it.,0,1336100.story

-Smoking ban snuffed out for Palm Beach County beaches
By Andy Reid
Smoke 'em if you got 'em at Palm Beach County beaches. Officials this week rebuffed a push to put up "No Smoking" signs at county beaches. A beach cleanup group concerned about discarded cigarette butts littering the waterfront called for the county to put up signs just like the ones Boca Raton posted on its beaches in January.,0,5732786.story

-Scouts reaching out to Hispanics to grow troops
Scouting is changing to keep up with a changing population. The Boy Scouts have launched a $1 million pilot program to boost Hispanic membership; the Girl Scouts are selling dulce de leche cookies.
By Alexia Campbell,0,4771759.story

-Everglades land deal could be delayed 6 months
By Andy Reid
Financial concerns could delay Gov. Charlie Crist's blockbuster Everglades land deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. until next year. The South Florida Water Management District released more details Wednesday about the proposal to buy U.S. Sugar farmland that would be used to build reservoirs and treatment areas to reconnect Lake Okeechobee water flows to the Everglades.,0,1186651.story


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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 06, 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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-Matthew Shepard Act
After years of unconscionable delay, the House has approved legislation that would, for the first time, extend federal hate-crimes law to give substantive coverage to gay people. The act would be an important step forward in protecting all minorities from violence and a tribute to a young man whose life was cut short by bigotry.

-Washington, D.C., Council Approves Recognition of Out-of-State Gay Marriage
The Washington City Council on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill that recognizes gay marriages performed in other states, a vote could have far wider implications beyond the District of Columbia. Amid growing momentum from states approving gay marriage, the federal government will have the chance to debate the issue because of a rule that charges Congress with approving the laws of the city.

-Gay Marriage Advances in Maine
Gay-rights advocates moved remarkably close to their goal of making same-sex marriage legal throughout New England on Tuesday, when the Maine House of Representative voted to legalize such unions. Supporters of same-sex marriage have won victory after victory this spring, with the legislatures of Vermont, New Hampshire and now Maine embracing it. The region is close to offering such marriages full support; Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to let gay couples marry in 2004, and Connecticut began allowing same-sex marriage last fall.

Washington Post
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-Date Night
By Howard Kurtz
ABC has Rahm and Jon Bon Jovi! CBS has Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner! CNN has Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore! Time has Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw!

-Britain Bans 16 for 'Fostering Extremism'
Radio Host Savage Among 6 Americans
By Karla Adam
LONDON, May 5 -- The British government on Tuesday named 16 people who have been banned from entering Britain for "fostering extremism or hatred," including Muslim extremists, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, a U.S. radio talk show host and a Kansas preacher.

-Behind Justice's Blindfold
By Ruth Marcus
Should the judge be an umpire or an empathizer? Chief Justice John Roberts memorably likened the judge to a baseball umpire, dispassionately applying existing rules to call balls and strikes.

-Uproar in D.C. as Same-Sex Marriage Gains
By Tim Craig
The D.C. Council overwhelmingly approved a bill yesterday to recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, in a vote that followed a sharp exchange between an openly gay member and a civil rights champion and set off shouts of reproach from local ministers. The council passed the measure by a vote of 12 to 1. During the debate, council member David A. Catania (I-At Large) accused Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), who cast the dissenting vote, of having taken a "bigoted" position.

-Documentary's Camera Aims To Shed Light On D.C.'s Closet
By Richard Leiby
Documentary filmmaker Kirby Dick's latest exposé, "Outrage," promises to be a PR nightmare for certain closeted gay politicians. He names names. He interviews their alleged sex partners. He portrays these officials -- overwhelmingly Republican, with anti-gay voting records -- as hypocrites of the worst sort.


-First Look: Kirby Dick's "Outrage"; New Tribeca Doc Names Names
The current governor of a major U.S. southern state, the campaign manager of a U.S. president, a senior West Coast congressman, a former mayor of New York City, and others are among those outed in Kirby Dick's "Outrage," a provocative new documentary debuting tomorrow night at the Tribeca Film Festival. Unseen in its finished form until yesterday, the film is likely to cause waves in political and media circles as word gets out about its subject matter. (indieWIRE watched the final cut of the documentary on Thursday.)

Go to the links for the following articles:

-With Obama at forefront, backers of fatherhood initiatives see rare chance for progress
With a centennial celebration of Father's Day coming next month, and a new president committed to supporting better parenting, liberals and conservatives alike say the political stars may be aligned for major progress in promoting responsible fatherhood. It's an issue that's been divisive in the past, even as research made clear that the estimated 24 million children growing up with absent fathers - a disproportionate number of them African-American - are at higher risk in regard to poverty, crime and other social problems.,0,5242291.story

Miami Herald
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-As Obama considers court nominee, diversity could be many things
Supreme Court diversity could mean many different things to President Barack Obama, if he wanted it to. Justice David Souter's pending departure will leave Obama with a court consisting of six white men, one white woman and one African-American man. Even if the president appoints another woman, as many expect, the court will remain strikingly uniform.

South Florida Blade
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-Rep. Foxx sends apology to Judy Shepard
N.C. lawmaker called hate crime charge against son Matthew as a 'hoax'
A North Carolina congresswoman has sent an apology about her comments to the mother of a slain gay man whose name is on legislation that adds sexual orientation to the list of hate crimes. Rep. Virginia Foxx, RN.C., sent the letter to the mother of Matthew Shepard.

-Banned U.S. "shock jock" says will sue Britain
By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) - An outspoken American radio presenter barred from entering Britain said on Wednesday he would sue the British government for defamation after his name was published on an official list of "promoters of hate." Michael Savage, a so-called "shock jock" radio host who has a right-wing talk show called The Savage Nation, described British Home Secretary (interior minister) Jacqui Smith as a "lunatic" and said he had set his lawyers to work on the case.

The Advocate
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-Marie Osmond Loves Her Gay Daughter
By Rhiza Dizon
In an interview with Los Angeles radio station KOST 103.5, Marie Osmond confirmed rumors that her daughter Jessica is a lesbian and spoke about her views on marriage equality. Though the interviewer suggested the question might be "a sensitive topic" because of Osmond's Mormon faith, the entertainer didn't hold back. "That's not a sensitive topic, I love my daughter," said Osmond with a laugh.

-Robinson Opens "Clergy Call" on Capitol Hill
By Kerry Eleveld
Bishop Gene Robinson gave the opening remarks Monday at the Human Rights Campaign's "Clergy Call," which has assembled about 300 clergy members from across the country to lobby U.S. lawmakers for LGBT rights on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Robinson, the first openly gay bishop consecrated by the Episcopal Church, used his time to acknowledge the challenges faced by religious leaders working on behalf of LGBT equality. He shared the story of a man who had been arrested about three months ago by Vermont state police. When they searched his car, officers found Mapquest maps to Bishop Robinson's house lying beside pictures of Robinson and his partner that had been pulled off the Internet with the words "Save the church, kill the bishop" scribbled across them and lying next to his sawed-off shotgun.

-Forty Under 40: Dustin Lance Black
Oscar-winning screenwriter, 34, Los Angeles
By Ari Karpel
Dustin Lance Black is used to dreaming big. When the then-unknown screenwriter decided to tackle a script about his hero, gay civil rights revolutionary Harvey Milk, he approached Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the producers who had long held the rights to Randy Shilts's definitive Milk biography, The Mayor of Castro Street. By that time Zadan and Meron already had spent more than a decade trying to get a film about Milk off the ground, even recruiting heavyweights Oliver Stone, Gus Van Sant, and Robin Williams to their effort. When they turned down Black's offer to write a completely new script, he decided to go it alone.

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-Moscow gays to ignore Pride ban
By Jennifer Vanasco
(Moscow) Moscow gay pride organizers announced Tuesday they will ignore threats of arrest and go forward with plans to hold a march and rally May 16. LGBT civil rights leader Nikolai Alexeyev said he filed a request Tuesday for permission to march through Moscow to the square in front of the former KGB headquarters.

-Pastors lobby Congress to support LGBT bills
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
More than 300 gay-positive clergy were on Capitol Hill today, urging Congress to support LGBT rights bills. It is the second time the lobbying effort known as Clergy Call has been held on Capitol Hill - the first event was held two years ago. Both have been sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign.

-Greek court annuls gay marriages
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(Athens) A court Tuesday annulled the only two same-sex marriages performed in Greece. In June, Mayor Tasos Aliferis, on the island of Rhodes, performed the weddings after LGBT rights group OLKE said it had found a loophole in a 26-year-old update of the Greek civil marriage law that refers only to participating "persons," without specifying gender.

-Rudy a no-show at gay pals' wedding
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
When then-mayor Rudy Giuliani was forced to leave home during a nasty divorce in 2001, he was taken in by Howard Koeppel and his longtime partner Mark Hsaio. He stayed for months with the couple in their $2.37 million dollar Manhattan home and invited the men to his wedding to Judith Nathan, the "other woman" who led to his divorce. That was when the mayor was appearing in drag at an LGBT rights event and touting his support for gay issues.

-UK Permanently Bars US Homophobes Phelps, Savage
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
(London) The British government has published a list of people permanently barred from entering the country for fostering extremism or hatred. The list includes two well known American gay opponents - Rev. Fred Phelps and talk-radio host Michael Savage.

Pink News - UK
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-Conservative Party 'to prioritise gay rights'
Reaching out to gay rights groups is one of Tory leader David Cameron's top five priorities, it has been claimed. A shadow cabinet member told blogger Tim Montgomerie that the move is part of Cameron's drive "to show that 'new Toryism' is still alive and kicking".

-Controversial pastor Rick Warren 'one of the world's most influential people'
Rick Warren, the US evangelist pastor who spoke out against gay marriage, has been included in Time magazine's latest list of the world's most influential people.

-Lesbian couple to appeal in the UK over Gibraltar's housing policy
A lesbian couple who were refused a joint tenancy in government housing in Gibraltar are to appeal in the UK. Three years ago, the Housing Allocation Committee refused to grant them a joint tenancy on the basis that they were unmarried.

-Scottish MPs condemn clergy for attacks on gay minister
Members of the Scottish Parliament have criticised the clergy for attempting to block the appointment of openly gay minister Scott Rennie.

Daily Queer News
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-Gay Travel Snapshot - Spring and Summer 2009
New online study shows GLBT travel shows more resilience
Rochester, N.Y. and Washington, DC - May 4, 2009 - While Americans cope with new economic realities, many by shifting consumer priorities and curbing household expenses across-the-board, a new national survey conducted online by Witeck Combs Communications and Harris Interactive® shows marked differences in travel expectations over the next four months. On balance, for all American adults sampled who also say they plan to travel in the next four months - gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) consumers report on average they are likely to spend about $2,300 between May and August 2009 for both leisure and business travel, while heterosexuals on average they are likely to spend about $1,500 during that same period. The new nationwide survey of 2,401 U.S. adults, (ages 18 and over), of whom 146 self identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, was conducted online between April 13 and 21, 2009, by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market. Note that this survey was completed prior to the publicly reported cases of swine flu in Mexico City and the flu contagion. More . . .

-NLGJA Announces Michael Tune as New Managing Director
Tune to lead premier LGBT journalist group beginning May 4, 2009
Today the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) announced that Michael Tune has assumed its top staff post and will oversee its efforts to support newsroom diversity and ensure fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. As managing director, he will also lead NLGJA's flagship programs, including its annual convention, scheduled to take place in Montreal in September. "The nation's journalists face unprecedented challenges and opportunities in their careers, and we're excited to have Michael's energy and experience behind finding new and innovative ways of supporting and promoting LGBT journalists," said NLGJA National President David Steinberg. "In addition, with LGBT issues such as same-sex marriage equality so much in the news today, LGBT journalists play a unique role in ensuring fair and accurate coverage, both in their reporting and by educating their colleagues in the newsroom."

-CA: Book launch for Pre-Gay L.A.: A Social History of the Movement for Homosexual Rights
Dear Victoria:
I am very pleased to be announcing my book launch for Pre-Gay L.A.: A Social History of the Movement for Homosexual Rights, which was released last week by the University of Illinois Press. The launch will take place at Book Soup, at 8818 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, on Tuesday night, May 26th, at 9:30 p.m.. You can find information on the event here: More . . .


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FLORIDA DIGEST - May 06, 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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-HIV, AIDS educator Ann D. Johnson Carter dies at 61
Ann Delores Johnson Carter, retired director and CEO of the Comprehensive AIDS Center at the University of Miami School of Medicine, died April 29 while being treated for leukemia. She was 61. ''She helped bring winds of change to our community,'' said former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek, who met Carter decades ago at Mount Tabor Baptist Church in Miami. ``She was a teacher. She cared. She really taught our community about HIV and AIDS. And she did it in a caring way. That was her focus. She had tunnel vision when it came to teaching people.''
More . . . .

-Ros-Lehtinen a lead co-sponsor of anti-bullying bill introduced Tuesday in Congress
News release from GLSEN:
GLSEN Lauds Anti-Bullying Bill Introduced Today in Congress
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is proud to join the National Safe Schools Partnership in supporting the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a federal anti-bullying bill introduced today in the House of Representatives by Calif. Rep. Linda Sánchez. Sánchez was joined by lead cosponsors Fla. Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and N.Y. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy among the total of 40 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill requires schools that receive Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act funding to implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories often targeted by bullies, including race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and others. It also requires states to include bullying and harassment data in their state-wide needs assessments reporting. More . . .


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-Fort Lauderdale leaders want to relax drinking laws
Officials want to offer more lax environment on the beach during four upcoming big events: Boat Show, Orange Bowl, NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.
By Brittany Wallman
Get ready to say, "It's party time!" After years of strict enforcement against public drinking at Fort Lauderdale beach, city leaders are ready to loosen their ties, and offer a more lax environment. At least during four big events that are coming up.,0,2641216.story


Miami Herald
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-GOP must find the road to moderation
Jeb Bush hopes to change the GOP's tattered image from an immigrant-hating, privacy-meddling party of the Deep South to the national optimism of the Reagan years. The new National Council for a New America took its ''listening'' tour to a Virginia pizza parlor over the weekend to start the Republican Party's reformation. The group of mostly Southern governors (current and former) and Massachusetts' Mitt Romney did most of the talking. They took only four questions from the public.


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Sunday, May 03, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 02, 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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-Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus
The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is "global warming." The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Washington Post
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-Tribeca film targets hypocrisy in U.S. gay politics
A documentary called "Outrage" argues that closeted homosexual U.S. politicians who vote against the interests of gays and lesbians should be "outed" because their hypocrisy has slowed the progress of gay rights. Written and directed by Kirby Dick, the film relies on interviews with people who claim to have had gay relationships with politicians who vote against gay marriage, hate crime legislation, gays in the military, and funding for HIV/AIDS research.

-Obama pledges careful choice to replace Souter
President Barack Obama is promising to work quickly and deliberately to name a replacement for retiring Justice David H. Souter who could double the number of women on the Supreme Court, become the first Hispanic justice, or do both.

-Analysis: New justice may re-ignite social issues
President Barack Obama has tried to hold off debate on contentious social issues such as abortion, immigration and gay rights as he focuses on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Supreme Court vacancy will make that harder to do. Political battles over new justices tend to center on those types of social issues far more than on economic and foreign affairs, which have dominated the opening months of Obama's administration.

-Not the Justice Republicans Expected
Souter Surprised Observers by Leaning Left in Several High-Profile Decisions
By Robert Barnes
Justice David Hackett Souter started on the Supreme Court's right, very briefly became part of its center and then for a much longer period was firmly established on the left. Conservatives and liberals are not finished debating whether he's the one who drifted or if the court itself moved.

-A Message From Morehouse
By Colbert I. King
Eliminate young African American men, and what would police, jailers, social workers, and sports and entertainment moguls do for a living? After all, young black men live to get in trouble, make babies, act out on stage, slam-dunk and dance in the end zone. That, at least, is the mass-media-influenced image that is accepted as "authentic" by people who should know better.

-Where's Our 'Fierce Advocate'?
By Richard Socarides
In December, while trying to quiet the furor over his invitation of Rick Warren to take part in his inauguration, Barack Obama reminded us that he had been a "consistent" and "fierce advocate of equality for gay and lesbian Americans." But at the end of its first 100 days, his administration has been neither.

-Specter's Exit Isn't the Problem
By Reihan Salam
At his party-switching news conference at the White House last week, the newest Democratic senator, Arlen Specter, shared Amtrak memories with Vice President Joe Biden, reminiscing about the long hours they've spent riding "that train." It was a useful reminder that this 29-year Senate veteran has never been the most rock-ribbed Republican. Specter has always represented Acelaland -- that dense urban region that snakes along the Eastern seaboard and is home to America's financial and political establishment.

-Hate and a Question of Rights
By Kathleen Parker
Once a cause such as hate-crimes legislation becomes associated with something as emotionally devastating as the savage murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998, it becomes difficult to question the merits of the issue. That is one lamentable fact.

Wall Street Journal
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-Succeeding Souter
Will Obama send a left-wing Scalia to the High Court?
With Justice David Souter's announced retirement, a Democratic President will replace a Republican appointee to the Supreme Court. Normally, this would be a chance to alter the ideological balance of a closely divided Court. Justice Souter's replacement is unlikely to do that, but who President Obama does choose will tell us whether Mr. Obama's early move to the left on domestic issues is mirrored in his judicial picks.

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-Analysis: Supreme Court opening puts new focus on liberal causes such as abortion, immigration
President Barack Obama has tried to hold off debate on contentious social issues such as abortion, immigration and gay rights as he focuses on the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Supreme Court vacancy will make that harder to do.,0,5394779.story

-Obama wants replacement for Justice Souter to have empathy, intellect; groups seek fight
President Barack Obama is promising to work quickly and deliberately to name a replacement for retiring Justice David H. Souter who could double the number of women on the Supreme Court, become the first Hispanic justice, or do both.,0,7794504.story

The Advocate
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-How the House Voted on Hate Crimes
By Michelle Garcia
When the House voted on Wednesday in favor of the Matthew Shepard Act to add protections for LGBT victims to the existing federal hate-crimes law, it marked the first time since 2007 that Congress has wrestled with major gay-related legislation. The roll-call vote of 249-175 was enough to pass the bill on to the Senate, which may address it as early as next week. Looking at the numbers, 231 Democrats and 18 Republicans favored the bill, while 17 Democrats and 158 Republicans opposed it. Ten Members (eight Democrats and two Republicans) did not cast a vote.

Pink News - UK
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-Exclusive: Chris Bryant criticises Tories over support for anti-gay Catholic adoption agencies
The Openly gay Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Rhonda MP Chris Bryant, has criticised the Conservative party over a poll which suggested that 71 per cent of Tory candidates for the next election support the right of religious adoption agencies to refuse gay couples.

Daily Queer News
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-FL: Lesbian Mom Claiming Discrimination Lawsuit Dismissed
DAN RENZI | Florida Blade
After more than a year of evidence gathering and witness statements, a Broward-County judge has dismissed a lesbian mother's claim that her gay supervisor discriminated and illegally fired her. Sonya Gossard, who worked as an account executive loan officer at JP Morgan Chase until the spring of 2007, filed a lawsuit claiming her then-supervisor James Theckton had made comments to her that her work performance was suffering after the birth of her son in June 2006. Theckton vehemently denied the charges and said he feels vindicated that a judge agreed with his side of the story. The gay single father said he was completely caught by surprise at the lawsuit, and an article published in The South Florida Blade where he was not given the chance to comment. "I'm like, how can I be biased against a single lesbian mother when I am a gay single father, and I'm so supportive of the gay community, that a member of my team would say that against me," Theckton said. Read more

-FL: Sheriff Addresses Hate Crime
Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti spoke at the opening of the new location of the Stonewall Library and Archives and announced that the Crimestoppers' reward for the recent beatings of two Fort Lauderdale-area men has increased from $1,000 to $4,000. Speaking to an audience of about 150 people at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Lamberti stated that when he was appointed in 2007, reports he read indicated that Broward County was the most diverse county in the State of Florida and also led the state in the number of hate crimes. "I don't want to be the #1 County for hate crimes when the attorney generals report comes out next year," Lamberti said. "We have to bring the numbers down by bringing all the diverse groups of people that live here together." In a separate interview, Lamberti credited the GLBT community for coming together to raise money to increase the amount of the reward, and emphasized the need for South Florida to curtail its status as the county with the most hate crimes in the state. Read more

-Deception, Denial and Opus Dei
On April 17, 2009 I made a trip from Florida to Princeton, NJ, for the sole purpose of visiting 20 Nassau Street. One of the organizations in this building, formerly in Suite 242, is the Witherspoon Institute, an "independent research center" that works to uphold Republican policies; the same suite, 242, is also home to the National Organization for Marriage, which spearheaded the multi-million dollar homophobic "Yes on 8" campaign in California.
It was no surprise to discover a Republican-affiliated organization is tied to the National Organization for Marriage. However-according to the Opus Dei Awareness Network (ODAN), the Witherspoon Institute is an "Opus Dei-affiliated organization."

Opus Dei is the controversial sect within the Roman Catholic Church that gained notoriety in the best-selling novel and blockbuster film, The Da Vinci Code. The term Opus Dei is Latin for, "work of God." A 2006 Time Magazine article reported that there are approximately 85,500 members of the group worldwide with a "mere 3,000 in the US," yet it is estimated that Opus assets are roughly $344 million dollars within the US-and $2.8 billion globally. Read more

-Delaware Agency Sorry for Saying What Not to Say
Washington Post
Delaware's Transportation Secretary has apologized after a department newsletter on diversity offended minority employees by spelling out many of the slurs that it advised workers not to use. Carolann Wicks said the Diversity Spotlight newsletter tried to directly address workplace issues by letting employees know what's not acceptable. The newsletter published a racial epithet often directed at blacks and derogatory terms for homosexuals and Asians, advising people not to use the words. And it specified offensive phrases not to use with lesbian, gay and transgender co-workers, as well as Asian, Hispanic and older employees.
Delaware NAACP President Charles Brittingham says the newsletter went too far but is moving in the right direction.

-A Rising Anger in India's Streets
Emily Wax | Washington Post Foreign Service | Washington Post
BANGALORE, India - At a trendy pub in this cosmopolitan IT capital,
Hemangini Gupta, 28, and some of her girlfriends were recently relaxing wit cocktails after work. A group of Hindu men later followed them outside, verbally accosting them for drinking in a public bar and for wearing jeans.
"These guys went psycho," Gupta said. "This isn't Afghanistan. But here in Bangalore, as a young woman on the streets, if you are driving a car or in a pub or dressed a certain way, you just feel this rising anger."
The incident was mild compared with some of the violent assaults on women that have taken place here. The attacks are part of what many see as rising Hindu extremism in much of the country over the past few years, especially in places such as Bangalore, precisely because it is a bastion of India's fast-changing culture. Bangalore is home to an explosion of software companies, a lively heavy-metal rock music scene and burgeoning gay rights and environmental movements. Read more

-Bush's House of Cards Begins to Fall
Jameel Jaffer, Director, | ACLU National Security Project | ACLU
The Bush administration built an elaborate house of cards to justify torture, but thanks in part to some recent ACLU victories, the house of cards is finally beginning to fall.Over the last few weeks, we've secured the release of the Bush administration's torture memos and won an important appeals court ruling in our challenge to Jeppesen DataPlan's involvement in the CIA's rendition program. We are also anticipating the release of torture photographs that the Bush administration managed to suppress for years. These victories didn't happen overnight. In fact, the ACLU first filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the treatment of prisoners on October 7, 2003. Since then, ACLU lawyers and cooperating lawyers have filed dozens of legal briefs and appeared at dozens of court hearings. ACLU suits have resulted in the release of more than 100,000 pages of government documents relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. We were gratified to finally get the Bush administration's torture memos on April 16, but it's worth noting that it took us several years to get them. We wouldn't have been able to invest that time without your consistent support.
.Earlier this week, a federal appeals court overturned a decision that would have dismissed the ACLU's case against Jeppesen DataPlan, a subsidiary of the Boeing Corporation that facilitated the CIA's rendition program. The Bush administration - and then the Obama administration - had argued that the case could not be litigated without the disclosure of "state secrets. "
However, we asked the court of appeals to overturn that decision, and it did. Now our case can move forward and our clients - victims of the CIA's rendition program - can have their day in court.
.In connection with our long-running Freedom of Information Act litigation, the Department of Defense has agreed to release, by May 28, a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel.
.In the same lawsuit, the judge has ordered the CIA to disclose records related to the agency's destruction of 92 videotapes. The tapes captured CIA interrogators waterboarding prisoners in their custody.
We're now focused on ensuring comprehensive transparency about the torture program and on ensuring that those who authorized torture are held accountable for it.As the stories in this special edition of ACLU Online indicate, the ACLU is at the forefront of exposing the truth of the Bush administration's illegal torture program. We're grateful for the support you've given us, and we ask for your continued support as we press for accountability.
Thank you for standing with us.

-We Matter
Bilerico Project
Editors' Note: Guest blogger Lena Dahlstrom is a crossdresser from the San Francisco Bay Area who also performs as a drag queen under the stage name "Joie de Vivre."
Wednesday was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for me.
I took grim satisfaction that the Library of Congress was ordered to pay Diane Schroer nearly $500,000 in what is the largest award in transgender job discrimination case. (Short version: Schroer, a former Army Special Forces commander, was widely agreed to be the most qualified applicant for a job as a terrorism analyst, but when the woman who offered the job found out that Schroer was transitioning from David to Diane, she had a blatantly transphobic freak-out and yanked the job offer the next day. We're still waiting to see if the Obama administration will appeal the decision.)
I was pleased to see the U.S. House of Representative once again passed a bill expanding anti-hate crimes laws to include both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. (The real test will be when the Senate votes on it.)
I was ecstatic when the New Hampshire Senate unexpectedly passed a marriage equality bill, making that state poised to become the fifth one to allow same-sex marriages.
But there was also some news you probably didn't hear about. That same morning, the New Hampshire senators unanimously - let me repeat that, unanimously - voted to kill a bill that would have extended housing and employment anti-discrimination protections to trans people. Read more

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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The International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO day) on Sunday May 17th will this year in Ireland be marked for the first time by special church services in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. The services are being organised by Changing Attitude Ireland, the Christian pro-gay network which is working within the Churches for full affirmation of LGBT persons. There will be services for IDAHO day at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin (3.30pm), at St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork (7pm) and at St George's Parish Church, High Street, Belfast (3pm).

-England: Faith schools free to preach against homosexuality
. Government plans include sex education for all pupils
. Catholic schools welcome clause on teaching 'values'
Sex education is to be made compulsory in all state schools in England but faith schools will also be free to preach against sex outside marriage and homosexuality, under government proposals.

-Masters and Johnson claimed to convert gays to heterosexuality in a 1979 book. But did they?

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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-Social Networking Could Be a New Virtual Bathhouse - or a Tool to Help Stop AIDS

-White House issues new language on "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy
by John Aravosis
Policy change, or poor editing?
In a move that many people I've spoken with see as a shift in policy, and a backward step from a clear campaign promise that was reiterated during the first days of January of this year, the White House has changed the language on its "Civil Rights" page, as it concerns gay civil rights. The changes were first noted yesterday by gay blogger JoeMyGod. And while most of the deletions noted yesterday have since been un-deleted, the new language on President Obama's commitment to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy appears to indicate a significant change in policy, for the worse. Prior to yesterday, approximately one half of the White House Web site's Civil Rights page was devoted to gay civil rights. It specifically included 8 promises:
Including sexual orientation in America's already-existing Hate Crimes law.
Passing ENDA.
Supporting Civil Unions and explicitly repealing DOMA.
Opposing any constitutional amendment on marriage.
Repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell.
Expanding Adoption Rights to include gay parents.
Promoting AIDS Prevention.
Empowering women to prevent HIV/AIDS.
As of yesterday, that list of promises was distilled into two sentences, and included only 3 promises:
Passing ENDA.
Supporting Civil Unions, but no longer a mention of repealing DOMA.
Opposing the constitutional amendment.

-Poll: Rising U.S. Support for Social Issues, Such as Gay Marriage
By Jennifer Agiesta and Alec MacGillis
Republicans may not be able to rely on social issues as they try to rebound against a popular president and increasingly dominant Democratic Party, as a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows rising support for same-sex marriage, legalized marijuana and a process by which undocumented immigrants could become legal residents. None of these issues has become an early priority for President Obama, who has marshalled his political capital on the economic stimulus package and revamping foreign policy instead. He does not support legalizing marijuana, and has said he favors civil unions giving gay couples the same legal rights as married couples, though not marriage.

-Taking nude pictures of yourself--nothing good can come of it. --Police Capt. George Seranko, Greensburg,Pennsylvania
Captain Seranko made his observation after three girls and three boys at Greensburg Salem High School were charged with child pornography. The girls, ages 14 and 15, are charged with taking pictures of themselves, nude or seminude; the boys, 15, 16 and 17, with receiving them. The cellphone in which these dangerous images were lodged had been confiscated at school, not an outrageous exercise of authority if school officials had merely stashed the phone in a drawer, unmolested, until the student could collect it. But the officials had to snoop.

-You did it! Congratulations on the first step!
Wednesday the United States House of Representatives voted 249 to 175 in favor of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H. R. 1913). This bill would add sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability to the categories included in existing federal hate crimes law and would allow local governments who are unable or unwilling to address hate crimes to receive assistance from the federal government. Find out how your representative voted by checking the roll call vote at

-Who's the First Lady When the President's a Polygamist?
South Africa's New Leader Has Two Spouses And a Fiancée, but Only One Can Reign
Mr. Zuma, who led the African National Congress party to an overwhelming victory in last week's elections, is a onetime goatherd who enthusiastically embraces his Zulu roots. That means, for the first time, an avowed polygamist will be occupying the Cape Dutch-style presidential palace in Pretoria. Mr. Zuma has been married four times and currently has two wives and one fiancée waiting in the wings. It's "Big Love," South African style.

-In Military, New Debate Over Policy Toward Gays
Here at the military academy that is nearly as old as the nation itself, two cadets recently engaged in a modern debate: whether they agreed with President Obama's pledge to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy and allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly. From what I've heard from my classmates, people are kind of against it," said Daniel Szatkowski, a senior from Edmond, Okla. But Adrienne Rolle, a senior from Brooklyn, said she had no problem with lifting the ban, although she said that some of her male classmates did. "People are more comfortable with ignorance," Cadet Rolle said of the reality that gay men and lesbians already serve in the military. West Point is not a perfect microcosm of the armed forces, but recent conversations with the cadets who will become the Army's next generation of leaders reflect uncertainty about what Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has characterized as a "complex and difficult problem."

-Britain: Sex in Kindergarten
Anneli Rufus
Is it a mark of how civilized and/or progressive we are that our children learn about sex in school at ever younger and younger ages? By "in school," I don't mean via locker-room gossip but officially, in government-ordained sex-education classes. In Britain, plans are afoot to start teaching schoolchildren aged four about sex. [1] This compulsory program, set to start in 2011 and approved by Britain's Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families Ed Balls (I know, I know, but that's really his name), was created after the UK was shaken in February by headlines blaring that thirteen-year-old Alfie Patten had impregnated (while he was still twelve) fifteen-year-old Chantelle Stedman. Wanting to stem the tide of teenage pregnancies, in which Great Britain leads the Western world, educators rushed to expand an already comprehensive sex-education curriculum, and start it earlier.

-Late-in-Life Lesbians: A Sexual 'Surprise Party'
Easing Social Mores Give Women Like Carol Liefer and Cynthia Nixon 'Permission' to Come Out at an Older Age

-Writers of Ancient Greece and Rome
Ancient Greek literature openly celebrated same-sex love in its poetry and prose. For the most part, Roman writing on homosexual themes followed the Greek models, though the two cultures held sharply differing attitudes toward love between males.

-Sweden: First gay marriages - May 1 2009
Today the first gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry, according to the new gender neutral marriage law taking force in Sweden May 1, 2009. Alf Karlsson (37) and Johan Lundqvist (30) both from Uppsala north of Stockholm is according to The Dagens Nyheter.


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