Saturday, May 30, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 30, 2009

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New York Times
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The Right to Counsel, Weakened
In a troubling 5-to-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has significantly weakened the Sixth Amendment’s right to legal counsel. The decision came in the case of Jesse Montejo, a Louisiana man sentenced to death for murder based on incriminating statements that he made when the police questioned him without his lawyer present.

Bush-Clinton Policy Talk Strikes a Congenial Tone
TORONTO — Former President Bill Clinton really misses the presidency. “All of a sudden nobody plays a song,” he told an audience here on Friday, referring to “Hail to the Chief,” the anthem played at presidential events.

Washington Post
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Obama court pick puts spotlight on Sen. Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions has made a career of speaking out and voting against anyone he considers an activist liberal judge. Sonia Sotomayor was no exception the last time they crossed paths.

Northern Virginia Votes
Our endorsements in the contested House of Delegates primaries
AS THE NUMBER of Republican delegates in Northern Virginia dwindles, the Democratic primaries take on added importance; often the candidates who emerge have a clear path to Richmond. Here are our endorsements for the contested House of Delegates primaries in Northern Virginia on June 9.

Divided Va. GOP Prepares to Pick Chairman
By Anita Kumar
Virginia Republicans ousted their controversial leader last month, but the beleaguered party still suffers from sharp divisions that could pose problems during the critical fall campaign.

GOD IN GOVERNMENT : The Best From This Week's Blog
Poll Shows Opposition to Gay Marriage
A Gallup poll released this week suggests that Americans are becoming increasingly supportive of civil rights for gay men and lesbians, but one area remains a major holdout: marriage.

A Killer's Charmed life
Murdering his father with a hammer spawned surprisingly few complications in Bill Bond's avid pursuit of the good life. But that may finally be changing.
By Manuel Roig-Franzia
The killer at middle age lives in a stately, terra-cotta-colored Georgian colonial on the same Baltimore block as a former U.S. senator.

Wall Street Journal

Gun Advocates See Reason to Be Wary of Nominee
Gun-rights advocates are using Judge Sonia Sotomayor's involvement in two Second Amendment cases as ammunition to challenge her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, threatening to draw the Obama administration into a debate over firearms laws that it has tried hard to avoid.

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Good news: El Nino may arrive by peak of hurricane season, suppress storm formation
By Ken Kaye
A growing number of tropical experts say El Niño might arrive by the peak of the hurricane season, August through October, and that might keep the number of powerful storms in check. Among them is Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of The Weather Underground, an online weather website.,0,348538.story

Steve Rothaus
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Video | How to Shave Your Groin - Shaving tips from Gillette
In today’s Miami Herald:
Associated Press reports that Gillette is winning fans on YouTube with videos teaching men how to shave more than their cheeks and chins.

Miami Herald
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Cutié trades good graces
Alberto Cutié's exit from the Catholic Church is expected to attract more Hispanics to the Episcopal Church, and sour relations between the two.
A day after celebrity priest Alberto Cutié left the Catholic church, there was a considerable buzz surrounding the small Biscayne Park congregation where he's to give his first sermon Sunday as a new member of the Episcopal church.

Obama court pick puts spotlight on Sen. Sessions
Sen. Jeff Sessions has made a career of speaking out and voting against anyone he considers an activist liberal judge. Sonia Sotomayor was no exception the last time they crossed paths. In 1997, she was nominated to the federal appeals court. Session, R-Ala., was a backbench senator demanding to know whether she had refused to join in a standing ovation for conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. She said she had.

The Advocate
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Gay Marriage Debates vs. Wipeout!
Summer TV is here. So where’s the brainless fun? Coverage of the California supreme court's Prop 8 ruling or Wipeout!? Decisions.
By Dave White
Honestly, if this entire column could be about how great Wipeout! is -- and is there anything not to love about people getting knocked on their ass by low-tech obstacle course punishments in which they’re punched, thrown into icy water, and catapulted through the air past stuff that’s on fire? -- then I’d be way happier than I am right now. Instead I have to keep on talking about all the knuckleheaded fools parading endlessly across my TV screen telling me about why I don’t understand the true nature of marriage and how I shouldn’t be allowed to have one.

Dean: Gay Marriage a "Nonissue" in 2010
Click the byline to view more stories by this author.By Julie Bolcer
Former Vermont governor Howard Dean told a gay rights group in Iowa on Thursday that same-sex marriage would be a “nonissue” in the state’s 2010 election. Dean, who recently ended a four-year tenure as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, addressed a reception held by the One Iowa organization in Des Moines.

Daily Queer News
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Most Americans Oppose Gay Marriage
Jeremy Ganz | PageOneQ
Depending on how you feel about same-sex marriage, the results of a Gallup poll released this morning might surprise you, or seem to state the obvious. The poll’s big finding is that 57 percent of Americans currently oppose making same-sex marriages legal – essentially the same number as last year. And support for those marriages appears to have stalled at 40 percent, after peaking at 46 percent in 2007. Read more

Video: Gay Marriage Controversy in the US
Maine has become the latest US state to endorse gay marriage but gay rights campaigners face an uphill battle to have civil unions accepted across the country. A ban on gay marriage has recently been upheld in California, while national law decrees marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Philippa Thomas reports from Maine. Link

Is It Ever OK for the Media to ‘Out’ Gay and Lesbian Politicians?
Los Angeles Times
That’s the provocative question The Times’ On the Media columnist James Rainey raises today. He notes that some journalists believe it’s their duty to reveal the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian officials who support policies that many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community would oppose. Says Rainey: Read more

Utah to Allow Gay and Lesbian Mormon Marriages
Salt Lake City, UT - More than 7,600 gay and lesbian Mormons streamed into city and town halls across the state yesterday seeking licenses to marry, as Utah marked the first day of legalized same-sex Mormon marriage. Green River received 84 license applications from one gay man, while Cedar City accepted 119 from a lesbian. Logan received 62 applications from two gay men, in addition to the 427 accepted during its special first-in-the-state session that began shortly after midnight. Link

IA: Culver: Gay Marriage Not a Major Issue
O.Kay Henderson | Radio Iowa
Governor Chet Culver says he doesn’t believe gay marriage will not be a “major political issue” in the 2010 election. Culver, a Democrat, intends to seek a second term as governor and Republican critics say Culver’s failure to do something to stop gay marriage from occurring in the state will be an issue with voters. Read more

The Christian Right’s Worldwide Anti-Gay Crusade
Bill Berkowitz | Buzz Flash
Scott Lively, the founder of Abiding Truth Ministries and the author of the Holocaust revisionist anti-gay book, ‘The Pink Swastika,’ is taking his anti-gay crusade overseas and declaring war against the Southern Poverty Law Center. In between battling the homosexual menace in the U.S., hawking his notorious holocaust revisionist book “The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party,” and declaring war against the Southern Poverty Law Center for refusing to remove his Abiding Truth Ministries ( from its list of hate groups, Scott Lively president of “Defend the Family” — a service of Abiding Truth Ministries - has again taken his anti-gay crusade on the road. Read more

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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Tortured and Killed in Iraq for Being Gay
Baghdad's Militias Are Carrying Out a Violent Crackdown on Iraq's Gay Community
Two gay men were killed in Baghdad's Sadr City slum, and police confirmed they found the bodies of four more men, all killed during a 10-day period after an unknown Shiite militia group urged a crackdown on homosexuals in the country.

State Dept Mourns HIV Denier's Death;
U.S. Silent on Gay Iraqi Torture
This is a twisted tale, and I hope you'll bear with me through the many turns that eventually lead to Baghdad and the torture of gays. Let's begin with Thursday's State Department press briefing. On behalf of the United State government and people, spokesman Ian Kelly used 260 words to mourn the passing of longtime correspondent Lambros the Greek, who was also an HIV denier: This is a sad day for all of us here. We learned this morning that our long-time friend and colleague Lambros Papantoniou passed away. Lambros was a veteran member of our press corps family here and he was proud to say that he covered the State Department from Nixon to Obama. He loved his work here and we loved him.

by Doug Ireland
When candidate Barack Obama announced last summer during his campaign that he would expand President George W Bush's so-called 'faith-based initiatives' program, this bad news was greeted with moans of distress from those who believe in the separation of church and state. Among them: the Rev Jesse Jackson, who was caught on videotape whispering into an open TV microphone that Obama's proposal was so repugnant to him that he'd 'cut his nuts off' over it. When Obama rolled out his re-baptized 'Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships' in February, he refused to repeal the Bush executive order permitting discrimination by religious groups receiving federal funds. It was a Scud aimed squarely at nonbelievers. Remember, Congress has yet to pass a law protecting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities against discrimination in employment. There is no constraint on church-sponsored programs from refusing employment to the sexually different.

Abdellah Taïa: Openly Gay Moroccan Writer Takes on Homophobia in the Muslim World

Gay Divorce Still Legal in California
By Robert Mackey
Gay and lesbian couples who took advantage of California’s brief fling with gay marriage last year to tie the knot, but now can’t stand the sight of one another, will be relieved to hear that gay divorce remains an option.

Photos: Rainbow Pride in Russia
St. Petersburg

Other Russian cities:

Honduras: End Violence Against Transgender People
Government Should Prosecute Attackers and Prohibit Discrimination
Honduras should act to end an epidemic of violence against transgender people by investigating, prosecuting, and convicting those responsible, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The organization also called on Honduran authorities to repeal legal provisions on “public morality” and “public scandal” that give police excessive power and enable abuse. To read the Human Rights Watch report, “‘Not Worth a Penny’: Human Rights Abuses against Transgender People in Honduras,” please visit:

Slideshow: To download photos of LGBT demonstrations and transgender victims of attacks in Honduras

Vast majority of Green Euro election candidates pledge to fight LGBT discrimination

United States Exporting Homophobia
Despite the global recession, the U.S. is promoting and aggressively selling a costly product overseas: homophobia. Uganda, one of America's closest partners in Africa, is currently home to vicious and violent attacks on its citizens based solely on their sexual orientation and gender identity. The high cost in terms of individual privacy and freedom of expression is mounting daily. Regrettably, much of the inspiration and call for these attacks is coming directly from these shores.

Forwarded from Kenneth Sherrill - Ken's List
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Two weeks ago, a group of 24 thinkers, activists, and donors got together to discuss how to reach legal equality faster for LGBT Americans. The result was the creation of a document called The Dallas Principles. It includes a preamble, eight principles, goals, and a call to action. The following eight guiding principles underlie our call to action.
In order to achieve full civil rights now, we avow:
1.Full civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals must be enacted now. Delay and excuses are no longer acceptable.
2.We will not leave any part of our community behind.
3.Separate is never equal.
4.Religious beliefs are not a basis upon which to affirm or deny civil rights.
5.The establishment and guardianship of full civil rights is a non-partisan issue.
6.Individual involvement and grassroots action are paramount to success and must be encouraged.
7.Success is measured by the civil rights we all achieve, not by words, access or money raised.
8.Those who seek our support are expected to commit to these principles.
The first, and simplest, thing you can do is tell us you support The Dallas Principles by signing up at

Congress slow to act on key LGBT-rights measures

Iraqi gays thriving, says Baghdad blogger
A radically different view of life for gay Iraqis is on an Islamic web site and worth checking out:

ShanghaiPRIDE 2009: Mainland China's 1st Gay Pride held in Shanghai June 7-14th

America's 'Emerging Church:' Will a New Post-Evangelical Christianity
Reflect More Tolerant Views?

Watch Out Conservative America -- the Queer Base Is Getting Organized

Apologies from California/Wow, did we ever botch the gay marriage thing!
Sorry, world By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

West Virginia: Sexual orientation part of proposed Kanawha schools policy
Kanawha County school board members said Thursday they may consider a student or employee's sexual orientation as part of the county's cultural-diversity policy.

Bush v. Gore lawyers launch new same-sex marriage appeal

On behalf of the National Council for Research on Women, I would like to invite you to our annual conference, "Igniting Change: Activating Alliances for Social Justice." The conference will be held on June 10-12, 2009 at the CUNY Graduate Center(365 Fifth Avenue, New York City).

Perú: Action Alert-Protest Discriminatory New Law to Ban Gay Police

Omaha: 'I'm a boy-girl,' says 8-year-old
Now that Ben has had his final day at a west Omaha Catholic school, he gets to give away the last of his boy clothes — his school uniform — and live full time as the person inside: Katie. This decision seems like a no-brainer for parents who at first presumed their prancing, pink-loving son who squirreled away cousins’ girl toys was gay. That was before he told them he had a girl heart, a girl soul and was, in fact, a girl.

The big gay shrug/Sorry, enemies of gay marriage. Prop 8 or no, you've already lost

Public Sex Memo from incoming NYC Health Commishoner
Policy Regarding Bathhouses and Other Commercial Sex Venues

Transgendered in Prison
Marisa Mauro, Psy.D.
During my first week of work at the prison I spotted a beautiful inmate with dark flowing hair, impeccably arched eyebrows, and a trim figure sitting on the bench amongst muscled and tattooed men with her legs primly crossed. Confused I'd turned to a nearby colleague for answers, "I didn't know we accepted female inmates," I half stated and half asked. "We don't," she replied matter-of-factly and then paused to look up at me questioningly. Her furrowed brow showed bewilderment but her eyes gave away her amusement.

Will Hollywood play a bigger role in California's next round of fighting over same-sex marriages? That was the question for many in showbiz Tuesday after California's Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on such nuptials, approved by a narrow majority of voters in November.

Obama delays on Federal Funding for Needle Exchange HIVPrevention
""The Administration says no. Responding by email, Jeff Crowley, director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy said that the President has no plans to abandon needle exchange, but is simply not moving on the issue yet. "The President is looking forward to working with Congress and the American people to build support for this change," says Crowley, "and his Administration is committed to moving forward to address the federal ban on syringe exchange programs as a part of a national HIV/AIDS strategy.",8599,1898073,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily

Reflecting on The Way to Win Marriage Rights from the Perspective of Roe v. Wade

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender marriages thrive
Glenn A. LeCarl
This spring my life-partner and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary together. While some might say that 10 years of marriage is no big deal — even in this age of high divorce rates — clearly it is a milestone year, and especially for a gay couple like us. I should note from the start that I do not place marriage in quotation marks, as though ours somehow doesn't measure up; our marriage is different in some ways and very much the same in others, but it is certainly not less. We know what a precious gift we have in each other.Our love and commitment, in fact, are as strong and vital as in the best heterosexual marriages, often more so. Why? Because like all successful lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) marriages, ours thrives despite formidable odds, any one of which would crush many heterosexual marriages. Little wonder LGBT friends and acquaintances tell us our 10 years is actually twenty, even 30 — in straight years.

From Transgender Equality
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Teleconference on Transgender Health and HIV: June 5 at 1:00 pm ET
A teleconference, "Transgender Health and HIV," will take place Friday, June 5 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm ET. The training, hosted by the AETC National Resource Center, will include:
* An overview of the transgender community, common issues faced, and culturally appropriate terminology;
* Discussion on current epidemiology of HIV in trans communities;
* Description of specific interventions HIV clinicians and staff can use to improve health outcomes for transgender patients related to prevention interventions, mental health, and general health care.

Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus' Summer Conference - Key West
Alot of you have probably gotten this exciting announcement of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus' Summer Conference, but I just want to make sure every one saves the dates of July 17-19. We are going to Key West and this will be a weekend not to miss!!! Every night's a party in Key West and they will be rolling out the red carpet for us in a big way. Register early at the link below, as we expect to sell out very quickly. Michael A. Albetta
President, Dolphin Democrats


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FLORIDA DIGEST - May 30, 2009

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Ft. Lauderdale: ArtsUnited Presents United & Proud Art Exhibit
ArtsUnited presents is annual member art exhibit, United & Proud, from June 1-18 at the downtown Main Library, in celebration of Gay Pride Month. An artists reception will be held on Wednesday, June 3, to meet the artists. Over 50 member artists will exhibit their work in both 2D and 3D form and prizes are awarded for Best of Show, Best of Class, and People's Choice. The exhibit is on display from June 1 to June 18 at Gallery Six at the Broward Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave. Fort Lauderdale, FL. The exhibit will be on display in conjunction with Stonewall Library & Archives' historical exhibition, Stonewall: The End of the Beginning, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall riots which is widely viewed to have sparke the Gay rights Movement. A reception will be held to view both exhibits, and meet the artists on Wednesday, June 3 from 5:30-7:30pm. Both exhibits and the reception is free and open to the public. The reception will include light fare and cash bar.

Registration Now Open for “The Smart Ride 6”
165 mile bike ride to raise money for six Florida HIV/AIDS agencies
Fort Lauderdale – On January 8, 2010, over 500 participants will depart Miami for a two day, 165 mile ride to Key West in order to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and six agencies throughout the state of Florida. The Smart Ride, now in it’s sixth year and one of the largest HIV/AIDS rides in the country, was born out of a dream to make a real and significant difference in the lives of those infected, affected and at risk for HIV/AIDS. 100% of the funds raised from the ride go to six HIV/AIDS Charities throughout the state of Florida Registration for riders and crew members is now open at

News from GLCCSF - Ft. Lauderdale

SunServe's Polynesian Pride Event
June 1, 6:00-8:30PM
Galanga, 2389 Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors, Tickets $35. Come join us on Galanga's beautiful outdoor patio for an evening of hor d'oeuvres, cocktails, music and more. Support SunServe, your LGBT Social Services Agency. Contact Joel Rosado for more information: 443-722-3988,

Call for Volunteers
The Stonewall Street Festival needs you!
The Stonewall Street Festival and Parade will soon be upon us. This year's event will take place on June 20 & 21 with an expected attendance of over 30,000. The organizing committee depends on volunteers to ensure the success of this event. There is no better way to celebrate the meaning of the Stonewall Rebellion than to be part of the festival itself. The committee needs volunteers to set up for the parade, crowd control, breakdown and parking. To volunteer, send contact info to:

The Women's Theatre Project Presents:
First Annual Lesbian Play Reading Festival
The Women's Theatre Project will be presenting GIRL PLAY, the First Annual Lesbian Play Reading Festival on Saturday, June 27th at 8 PM and Sunday, June 28th at 2 PM in association with the GLCC at their new building, 2040 N. Dixie Hwy, in Wilton Manors. Scripts were submitted for consideration from all over the USA, as well as Australia. The two performances are completely different programs featuring readings of the thirteen selected short scripts with a focus on lesbian themes. For more information or to reserve seats, call TWTP's Box Office at 954-462-2334.

From Lambda Legal
Lambda Legal invites you to help spread the word about how we are making the case for equality. Come help out at our informational booth at the Stonewall Street Festival on Sunday, June 21 where we will be passing out some fun and educational giveaways! With the help of members and supporters like you, we will attend over 30 Prides this year. Last year, we engaged over 10,000 people at Prides. Together, we can reach even more people in 2009. If you’d like to help out at the Stonewall Street Festival, please email Simone Bell or call 404-897-1880, ext. 235. Indicate when you are available, so we can send you details about when and where to meet us. For more information, visit Lambda Legal’s Pride Central. See you at Pride!


From the Fort Report

Florida officials' salaries to be cut 2 percent

More socially accepted, multiracial people outpace Hispanics to become fastest-growing group,0,7957867.story

Will Crist Lose in Sotomayor Confirmation?


The Big Inflation Scare\

LeMieux reviews legislative session


Property insurance: Florida stands alone

Gov. Crist signs Fla. workers' compensation bill

Florida hospitals not eager to report bad doctors, study says

SEARCH: Florida FCAT reading and math test score results,0,122929.htmlstory?appSession=74230533366492&RecordID=&PageID=2&PrevPageID=1&cpipage=1&CPISortType=&CPIorderBy=


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GLBT DIGEST - May 29, 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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Celebrities Champion State’s Same-Sex Marriage Bill
State Senator Shirley L. Huntley, a brassy, big-haired Democrat from Queens who opposes same-sex marriage, received a call on Wednesday that left her momentarily stunned. Maya Angelou was on the line, and she wanted to know if the senator might reconsider her position. Ms. Huntley, hardly the type to be played for a fool, at first thought her staff might be pulling a fast one.

Washington Post
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D.C. Pledges Quick Review On Marriage Referendum
By Tim Craig
City election officials said yesterday that they will expedite their review of a request for a referendum to block a D.C. Council bill recognizing same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, as opponents vowed to fight to keep it off the ballot.

'The Mormons Are Coming!'
Supporters of Same-Sex Marriage Trumpet the Church's Work Against It
By Karl Vick
As more states take up the debate on same-sex marriage, some advocates of legalization are taking a very specific lesson from California, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dominated both fundraising and door-knocking to pass a ballot initiative that barred such unions.

Wall Street Journal
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The Sotomayor Rules
Some were made to be broken.
President Barack Obama has laid down his ground rules for the debate over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The big question now is whether Republicans agree to play by rules that neither Mr. Obama nor his party have themselves followed.

Steve Rothaus
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Photo gallery | Gay-rights protesters demonstrate at Democratic Party fundraiser attended by Obama
From Associated Press:
Dozens of gay rights protesters demonstrate outside the Beverly Hills hotel, where U.S. President Barack Obama attended a Democratic Party fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Wednesday, May 27, 2009. The crowd chanted and waved rainbow flags and American flags outside the hotel, a day after the California Supreme Court upheld a voter approved ban on gay marriage.

ABC News: 'Idol' Judge Kara DioGuardi Says Adam Lambert Was Always 'Out'
On 'The View,' Kara DioGuardi Talks About Adam Lambert's Sexuality
Adam Lambert may want the world to "keep speculating" about his sexuality but, according to "American Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, there's no way he's not gay. In a taped interview scheduled to air on ABC's "The View" Friday, DioGuardi said she has no doubts that Lambert's "out." Lambert lost the "Idol" title to Kris Allen last week.

SAVE Dade: Prop 8 affects our work in Florida
News release from SAVE Dade:
As the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community continues to cope with the heartbreaking decision of the California Supreme Court to uphold Prop 8 and write discrimination in its laws, SAVE Dade is calling on Floridians to focus now more than ever in fighting injustices in our home state.

ACLU of Florida: Prop 8 won't rain on our parade
Mailing from the ACLU of Florida:
June is Pride month, and we will be celebrating our successes in Florida at Pride events all across the state. Even in the face of a crushing defeat on prop 8 in California this week, LGBT equality is marching forward here in the Sunshine State largely because of the support of our donors and the staff of our recently expanded project, as well as the groundswell of grassroots support. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for e-mails about your local festivals and parades. June social Wednesday at Brasserie Les Halles on Ponce de Leon Boulevard

21st Lambda Literary Awards announced
Here are the winners:

South Florida Blade
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Gay circus takes flight in SoFla
Troupe gives teens a unique social outlet
If flying though the air with the greatest of ease, clowning around, or sewing costumes has always been a dream but you are not sure where to start, one local school is making it possible for GLBT youth and adults to run away to the circus.

Festival struggles amid confusion
Conflicts arise between staff, board members
Tempers flared at the Wednesday, May 27 meeting of the Pride of Greater Fort Lauderdale, as the board of directors continued to make plans for the upcoming Stonewall Street Festival and Parade scheduled for the weekend of June 20 and 21. With just three and a half weeks prior to the festival, board members at the meeting argued over a variety of issues, most notably who was in charge: the Board of Directors of the festival, or the newly appointed executive director, Lance Horton.

Wilton Manors Vice-Mayor Flippen takes new job with CVB
Position aimed at bringing in travelers from across the US
Justin Flippen, former Executive Assistant for Broward County Mayor Stacey Ritter and current Wilton Manors Vice Mayor, recently started his new position as the Tourism Project Coordinator for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. Flippen is charged with working with travel agents all over the United States to sell Broward County as a vacation destination and increase hotel room bookings. He will also focus on the Gay and Lesbian Travel industry, including promoting the region in anticipation of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Associations annual convention in 2010.

Cuba to reinstate sex changes
Return of procedures announced on state television
Cuba will reinstate sex-change operations previously banned on the island, President Raul Castro's daughter Mariela said Wednesday.

The Advocate
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Maya Angelou Calls for Marriage Equality
By Julie Bolcer
Acclaimed autobiographer and poet Maya Angelou is among the celebrities lobbying New York state senators to vote for marriage equality legislation, reports The New York Times .

Designing Women Made You Gay
The shoulder-pad sisterhood of ladies from Atlanta that paved the way for Sex and the City is now on DVD -- and Dave White is all over it.
By Dave White
Back when I lived in Texas, in the early 1990s, I dated a guy named Les who was really into country music. He used to take me to this bar in Dallas called The Round Up where gays in cowboy hats and boots would two-step. I couldn't dance -- even though Les tried to teach me -- so in order not to cramp his style, I'd watch from the sidelines as he spun other men around on the dance floor.

ExxonMobil Says Yes to Gay Bias
For the past decade a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to ExxonMobil's official equal employment opportunity policy has been voted down by the oil company's shareholders. At the most recent vote more shareholders than ever voiced support for the protections -- but the proposal still failed.

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Man sues NYC cops for $220M over alleged sodomy attack
By The Associated Press
A man filed a $220 million lawsuit on Thursday claiming that New York Police Department officers robbed him of his civil rights by sodomizing him with a baton in a subway station.

Gay teen elected prom queen
By The Associated Press
An openly gay teen was voted prom queen at Los Angeles’ Fairfax High School in a campaign that began as a stunt but ended up spurring discussion on the campus about gender roles and teen popularity. Sergio Garcia, 18, was crowned queen Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Gay foe arrested near Air Force One
By The Associated Press
A writer for a small Georgia newspaper who wanted to give President Barack Obama a letter was forcibly removed from a press area near Air Force One on Thursday shortly before he arrived at the airport. Airport security officers carried the woman away by the feet and arms as she protested her removal. She was then allowed to leave. She said the letter she had written was opposing gay marriage.

Aviator hopes gay ban will end in time for him
By The Associated Press
Barack Obama’s campaign promise to scrap the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy gave Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach hope. Now the aviator is wondering if the president will deliver in time to save his 18-year Air Force career.

RachelWatch: Geek Chic
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
The Obaminee
Rachel noted earlier in the week that Judge Sonia Sotomayor is very likely to be confirmed and most people in Washington know it, so the vehement attacks against her are kind of like what gets shouted from the bleachers at Cubs games when it’s already all too clear that this year isn’t the one either.

Ask the Expert: “My partner gave me an ultimatim: marry, or end it”
By Joe Kort, relationship expert
My partner and I met through conversing online, and within six months, we did the lesbian U-Haul moving-in-together thing. We’ve now been together for four years, in a committed relationship for the last three years. Despite some ups and downs, our connection has still remained strong. But just a month ago, my partner flirted with another woman, and the two developed feelings for each other. The other woman’s now out of the picture. To my knowledge, there’s been no contact. But needless to say, that was a shock, and I told her I wasn’t ready for an open relationship.

Pink News - UK
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EastEnders to feature gay Muslim storyline but Muslim group calls for a "normal character"
EastEnders is to screen a storyline involving a Muslim character who has a gay affair. New character Syed Masood, a Muslim property developer who has a girlfriend, is to fall for openly gay Christian Clarke. But the Muslim Public Affairs Committee say that the BBC should have a "normal friendly Muslim character."

Lesbian sports presenter Clare Balding suffering from thyroid cancer
Clare Balding, the openly lesbian BBC sports presenter, has revealed she is battling thyroid cancer. She underwent a throat operation in April to remove a cyst but a second operation was necessary to remove her thyroid gland, which was found to be cancerous.

Radical Iraq cleric orders 'depraved' homosexuality to be eradicated
Moqtada Sadr, a radical Shiite cleric in Iraq, has ordered that the "depravity" of homosexuality must be eradicated, yet urged an end to violence against gays and lesbians.

The Lancet attacks UK's 'extraordinary failure' on tackling HIV
Respected medical journal The Lancet has criticised the UK's policy on HIV over the estimated numbers of individuals unaware they carrying the virus.

Video: Fraiser star David Hyde Pierce reveals he's married
Frasier actor David Hyde Pierce has revealed that he married TV producer Brian Hargrove, his partner of 25 years, last autumn.

Civil servant escapes jail over gay male prostitute service
An Irish civil servant who was exposed by journalists for running a gay escort service has avoided jail. Eugene Leech, 48, given a six-month suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to controlling or directing the activities of prostitutes for gain on dates between May and July in 2005

California parole board appointee rejected over homophobic comments
An appointee selected by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the state's parole board has been rejected over homophobic comments he had made in 1993, despite apologising for his words.

Daily Queer News
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In South Africa, Lesbians Fear ‘Corrective’ Rape
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29, 2009
South Africa is considered the most progressive country in Sub-Saharan Africa. The country boasts a developed economy, and has a post-apartheid constitution that stresses equal rights for everyone. It’s one of the few countries in the world with a specific provision in its constitution prohibiting discrimination against gays and lesbians. It’s also the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa where there are openly gay bars. But behind the gay-friendly exterior of South Africa, lies the reality: a society that remains, for the most part, virulently homophobic. Like much of the rest of the continent, attitudes towards homosexuality range from being viewed as unnatural or “un-African” to people calling it “a condition” that comes from and is encouraged by the West. Nowhere is this more evident than in the practice of “corrective” rape: men raping women who have come out as lesbians in an effort to “turn them straight.” Many of these woman end up being murdered. Read more

Bill Seeks to Bolster State Hate Crimes Prosecutions
Emily Kimball, Special to | Stateline
A bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting Senate action seeks to bolster prosecution of so-called “hate crimes.” It would provide special funding to state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute such crimes, and expand protection for the first time to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and the mentally and physically disabled. Currently, such protections are extended only on the basis of race, religion, and national origin. The bill’s critics are raising concerns about its expansion of federal jurisdiction. It would repeal a provision of an earlier law, a 1969 restriction that limits federal hate crimes prosecutions to cases in which victims are engaged in six categories of protected activity — including activities such as going to school, serving on a jury and eating in a lunchroom. Read more


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Thursday, May 28, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 28, 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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Would You Slap Your Father? If So, You’re a Liberal
If you want to tell whether someone is conservative or liberal, what are a couple of completely nonpolitical questions that will give a good clue? How’s this: Would you be willing to slap your father in the face, with his permission, as part of a comedy skit?

Bush v. Gore Foes Join to Fight Gay Marriage Ban
The David and Ted show is back in business. Eight and a half years after their epic partisan battle over the fate of the 2000 presidential election, the lawyers David Boies and Theodore B. Olson appeared on the same team on Wednesday as co-counsel in a federal lawsuit that has nothing to do with hanging chads, butterfly ballots or Electoral College votes.

Government & Politics
The National Organization for Marriage has bought advertising time on New York City and Albany stations in an attempt to stop the approval of a gay-marriage bill. [NYT] The city agreed on a $2 milllion settlement for the family of Esmin Elizabeth Green, who collapsed and died at Kings County Hospital Center’s psychiatric emergency room last June. [NYT] (Also see City Room and The New York Post.)

Washington Post
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Obama touts economy, Sotomayor, at fundraiser
President Barack Obama defended his Supreme Court pick and painted an upbeat vision of the economy Wednesday as he addressed major donors to the Democratic Party in Beverly Hills. "It's safe to say we have stepped back from the brink, that there is some calm that didn't exist before," Obama told donors and celebrities at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. He said the stimulus bill that Congress passed three months ago is starting to improve the economy.

Episcopal Church ousts 61 clergy in bishop dispute
National leaders of the Episcopal Church have ousted 61 clergy who aligned with a former bishop in California when he broke with the national church in a dispute over the Bible and homosexuality.

Battle Lines Are Drawn On Sotomayor Nomination
Ideology, Abortion and Remarks on Ethnicity Come to Fore
By Robert Barnes
On the day after Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court, both sides in the fight over her confirmation moved quickly to try to define the woman who may become the court's first Hispanic justice. The White House enlisted lawyers and constitutional experts to say that in Sotomayor's 17 years on the federal bench, she has been a cautious jurist who respects precedent. But conservative legal groups countered that her remarks in speeches and symposiums bolster their claims that she is a liberal activist waiting to flower on the high court. One prominent conservative accused her of "reverse" racism, and another called her a "wild-eyed judicial activist."

Rigorous Questioning Hasn't Fazed Nominee
By Alec MacGillis
Senate Republicans have yet to decide how tough they will be in grilling Judge Sonia Sotomayor in her confirmation hearings, but this is clear: The Supreme Court nominee already has shown an ability to withstand rigorous questioning. Partisan tensions were high when Sotomayor arrived in Washington in 1997 for her confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. A rumor was making Republican rounds that President Bill Clinton wanted to elevate her from the federal trial bench because he planned to "fast-track" her to the Supreme Court if Justice John Paul Stevens decided to retire during Clinton's second term. Senate Republican leader Trent Lott (Miss.) delayed her confirmation by the full Senate, which occurred nearly a year after her hearing. And the rumor of Stevens's retirement turned out to be false.

CALIFORNIA: Federal Lawsuit Challenges Prop. 8
Spurned by the California Supreme Court, gay couples wanting to marry appealed to the federal courts Wednesday to strike down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. The lawsuit -- brought by two unlikely allies, former Bush administration solicitor general Theodore B. Olson and his Bush v. Gore opponent David Boies -- was met with skepticism about the conservative Olson's motives. The challenge brought in U.S. District Court in San Francisco also worried gay rights advocates, who have avoided taking the issue to federal court because of the predominance of conservative judges on the federal bench.

Group Aims to Block D.C. Marriage Bill
Same-Sex Union Foes Seek Referendum
By Tim Craig
A coalition of ministers and same-sex marriage opponents formally requested a citywide referendum yesterday to block the District from recognizing gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions, setting the stage for a heated legal and political battle over the issue this summer.

Bush v. Gore lawyers take on gay marriage ban
By Steve Gorman
Two lawyers who squared off in the legal battle over the 2000 U.S. presidential election teamed up on Wednesday to challenge California's gay marriage ban in a move that, if successful, would allow same-sex couples to wed anywhere in the United States.

Wall Street Journal
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Battle Over Sotomayor Heats Up
As White House Gathers Backers, Conservatives Heighten Attacks on Judge's Record
Both parties braced for a summertime confirmation battle over Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, with the White House gathering a team to push her through, and conservative critics sharpening attacks on her past speeches and writings.

Federal Suit Divides Gay-Marriage Backers
Theodore Olson and David Boies, the two lawyers who faced off in the case that decided the U.S. presidential race in 2000, have teamed up to file a challenge in federal courts to California's gay-marriage ban. But some top gay-rights groups call the action potentially ill-timed. They would like to get more public opinion in favor of gay marriage around the country before seeking to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Steve Rothaus
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Gay Moroccan writer takes on homophobia
By JENNY BARCHFIELD, Associated Press
PARIS -- A soft-spoken slip of a young man, Abdellah Taia hardly looks the part of an iconoclast. But as Morocco's first high-profile, openly gay man, Taia has made it his mission to win acceptance for homosexuals throughout the Muslim world. Taia has defied Moroccan society's don't-ask, don't-tell attitude toward homosexuality - and prison sentences that are still on the books in the North African kingdom - to write five autobiographical novels about growing up poor and gay in the northern coastal city of Sale.

Video | Tearful Drew Barrymore fights for gay rights
From AP:
Drew Barrymore, Kathy Griffin, Perez Hilton and other celebrities join thousands of protestors on Santa Monica Boulevard to protest the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8.

Podcast | Wilton Manors hosts gay rights festival, despite economic woes
From WLRN Miami Herald News:
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the riots that began what is now considered the modern gay rights movement. Wilton Manors, which has one of America's highest gay populations, hosts a weekend festival to commemorate the riots, as do many cities nationwide. But the economy has put such a strain on fundraising that this year's event was in danger of not happening at all. WLRN Miami Herald reporter Joshua Johnson has details.

Attorney, civic activist Javier Soto to head Dade Community Foundation
Attorney Javier Alberto Soto -- civic activist, fund raiser and one-time chief of staff to Miami-Dade's mayor -- has been named president of the philanthropic Dade Community Foundation.

Video | St. Petersburg city council candidate responds at debate to rumor that he’s gay: ‘Yes,’ he says. Gets standing ovation.
On YouTube:
Asked whether he is gay or not, [St. Petersburg City Council candidate] Steve Kornell responds with the honesty and transparency we all deserve from our elected officials. This question was asked at the first debate of the campaign on Saturday, May 23, 2009.

Jill Biden to give speech on Monday at GLSEN Respect Awards in New York City
A note I got this morning from the office of Vice President Joe Biden:
On Monday, June 1st in the evening, Dr. Jill Biden will attend and give remarks at the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) Respect Awards in New York City. GLSEN is a national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. The program portion of the event is open to the press. About the GLSEN Respect Awards (from the GLSEN website): GLSEN's Respect Awards recognize individual and corporate leaders who have helped propel GLSEN's efforts to ensure safe schools for all of America's students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

The Advocate
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Sit-in, Citations at S.D. County Clerk's Office
More than 60 people who staged a sit-in at the San Diego County clerk’s office Wednesday were escorted out of the building with citations. Though arrests were threatened, in the end none were made, and the paddy wagon was on the scene just as a precaution. People were escorted from the building by to cheers and applause.

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Cuba to resume transgender surgery
By The Associated Press
(Havana) Cuba will reinstate sex-change operations previously banned on the island, President Raul Castro’s daughter Mariela said Wednesday.

Poll: Majority of RI voters favor gay marriage law
A survey released Wednesday shows that more than half of Rhode Island voters favor a law allowing gay marriage, leading advocates to point out to state leadership that it’s what residents want.

Pink News - UK
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Gay minister faces new challenge in 'disrepute' allegation
Openly gay minister Scott Rennie, whose appointment threatened to split the Church of Scotland, is facing a new challenge after it was claimed his congregation had not known he was gay.

Stars out in force to oppose Prop 8 ruling
Celebrities such as Kelly Osbourne, Perez Hilton, Pete Wentz, and Emmy Rossum joined the vocal protesters who marched on Los Angeles yesterday to demonstrate their opposition to the California Supreme Court's decision not to overturn the ban on gay marriage.

New Zealand survey finds gay teenagers at risk
A survey of more than 9,000 students has found that gay teenagers are more likely than their straight peers to be affected by depression, suicide and self-harm.

Desmond Tutu supports gay clergy
Archbishop Desmond Tutu received a standing ovation when he spoke out in support of gay clergy at the Church of Scotland General Assembly yesterday.

Civil servant escapes jail over gay male prostitute service
An Irish civil servant who was exposed by journalists for running a gay escort service has avoided jail. Eugene Leech, 48, given a six-month suspended sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court after pleading guilty to controlling or directing the activities of prostitutes for gain on dates between May and July in 2005

Gay couples 'are better at communicating'
Recent studies indicate that same-sex couples have greater levels of satisfaction in their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts due to better communication.

Nick Griffin pulls out of Queen's garden party
BNP leader Nick Griffin has said he will not attend a garden party hosted by Buckingham Palace. The politician was invited by fellow BNP member Richard Barnbrook, but said today he has “no wish to embarrass the Queen”.

Video: Britney Spears films spoof gay perfume ad
Britney Spears has been reinforcing her status as a gay icon by filming a spoof perfume advertisement for gays. The perfume, named 'Mo', has the tagline "One spray and the gays will run your way!”

India's only gay magazine back on newsstands
Bombay Dost, India's first and only gay magazine, has been relaunched and is now back on sale. The English-language magazine was forced out of print in 2002 when it ran out of money.

Gay Apprentice candidate Howard fired by Sir Alan
Howard Ebison, The Apprentice's openly gay contestant, was fired at the climax of last night's show, having volunteered as project manager in the shopping channel task.

David Cameron voted worst politician of the year
Tory leader David Cameron has been voted the worst politician of the year. Cameron, who reportedly plans to prioritise outreach to gay groups, topped the poll of bad politicians in the Gay Times Readers' Awards.

Trans group boycotts London Pride march
TransLondon, the largest group in the capital for all trans-identified people, has announced it is boycotting London Pride. The decision comes after trans women were denied access to female toilets at last year's Pride and one was allegedly sexually assaulted.

Daily Queer News
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Tortured and Killed in Iraq for Being Gay
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 28, 2009
Two gay men were killed in Baghdad’s Sadr City slum, and police confirmed they found the bodies of four more men, all killed during a 10-day period after an unknown Shiite militia group urged a crackdown on homosexuals in the country. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs believes as many as 30 people have been killed during the last three months because they were — or were perceived to be — gay. In a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the human rights group Amnesty International called for “urgent and concerted action” to end the violence against the gay community, the group reported on its Web site. Homosexuality is prohibited almost everywhere in the Middle East, but conditions have become especially dangerous in recent years for gays and lesbians, as religious militias have become more powerful since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. But an Iraqi military source claimed the recent killings were linked to tribal violence, not militias, and his characterization of the killings hints at how deep homophobia runs in Iraqi society. Read more

California Was the Cutting Edge for Gay Rights–Not Any More
Sandip Roy, New America Media | AlterNet
When I first moved to San Francisco from India, my aunt said, “Be careful, it’s full of homosexuals. And it has earthquakes.” I didn’t tell her that I wanted to feel the earth move. I had watched The Times of Harvey Milk on video and knew that this was where you came to be gay, from places where you didn’t dare to say its name. California drew not just the lonely teenagers from Idaho and Missouri on Greyhound buses. It also drew immigrants like me from all over the world seeking to put an ocean or two between them and their parents and clans trying to arrange their marriages. This was where software companies gave us domestic partner rights and the mayor marched in Pride Parades and Hollywood sold the world its glamour. This was where the world looked to see if change had come to America. And where we came for sanctuary. But now the center of gravity is shifting. In the wake of the court decision on the legality of Proposition 8 (as opposed to its righteousness) there will protests and candlelight marches and angry rhetoric. Already I am getting the faxes and emails. But perhaps it could also be a time for those of us who have been used to the world looking at us, to look out at the world instead. Read more

OH: Gay Local Air Force Officer Plans to Fight Discharge from Service
Margo Rutledge Kissell | Daytona Daily News
Staff Writer Updated 9:00 AM Thursday, May 28, 2009
Air Force Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach, a decorated military weapons systems officer who grew up in the Dayton area, is being recommended for discharge after 18 years of service for homosexual conduct, an Air Force spokesperson said. The move has made Fehrenbach, who was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and graduated from Wayne High School in Huber Heights, a face on the controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy for gay military personnel because of his high rank and distinguished career. “Victor is a great human face that shows the problem that is ‘Don’t ask, Don’t Tell.’ This is happening every day,” said Kevin Nix, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national non-profit organization that is providing Fehrenbach with free legal counsel. Read more


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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 27, 2009

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

New York Times
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Sotomayor’s Rulings Are Exhaustive but Often Narrow
Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s judicial opinions are marked by diligence, depth and unflashy competence. If they are not always a pleasure to read, they are usually models of modern judicial craftsmanship, which prizes careful attention to the facts in the record and a methodical application of layers of legal principles.

California High Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban
The California Supreme Court upheld a ban on same-sex marriage Tuesday, ratifying a decision made by voters last year. The ruling comes at a time when several state governments have moved in the opposite direction.

Every Justice Creates a New Court
Washington: EVERY time a new justice comes to the Supreme Court, “it’s a different court,” Justice Byron R. White liked to say — and he was in a position to know, having witnessed the arrival of 13 new justices during his own 31-year tenure.

A Setback for Equality
The California Supreme Court got it terribly wrong Tuesday. It upheld Proposition 8, a state constitutional change on last fall’s ballot intended to prohibit marriage by couples of the same sex. In addition to denying basic fairness to gay people, the court’s 6-to-1 ruling sets an unfortunate legal precedent that could allow the existing rights of any targeted minority to be diminished using the Election Day initiative process.

Proposition’s Opponents Say Fight Will Continue
Supporters of same-sex marriage in California wasted little time on Tuesday turning away from their courtroom defeat on Proposition 8, and toward a potential campaign to overturn the measure.

Levi’s Adopts a Tie-In With a Gay Marriage Symbol
LEVI’S is getting in the spirit of the season by dressing its storefront mannequins in white. In Levi’s-owned stores in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco, that means more than just marking the passing of Memorial Day, the traditional date to begin wearing white: in 20 stores, the mannequins’ white Levi’s jeans and shirts are adorned with White Knots, a symbol of solidarity with the same-sex marriage movement.

Interest Groups Prepare to Battle on Sotomayor
By David D. Kirkpatrick
A Supreme Court nomination, and the interest-group battle begins. The left was quiet Tuesday. Aside from commending the president’s pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, most liberal groups kept their comments to a minimum so that she could hold the spotlight. But privately several acknowledged that they begin this debate with far fewer resources than they could marshal during the Bush administration. Democratic dominance of the White House and Congress had sucked the urgency out their fundraising appeals and put liberal donors at ease.

Washington Post
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Secretly Selling Sotomayor
By Howard Kurtz
Less than an hour after President Obama announced his Supreme Court nominee yesterday, two "senior administration officials" began holding forth for reporters on the virtues of Sonia Sotomayor.

Historic nomination: Hispanic Sotomayor as justice
Reaching for history, President Barack Obama on Tuesday chose federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court, championing her as a compassionate, seasoned jurist whose against-the-odds life journey affirms the American dream. Republicans who will decide whether to make a fight of her confirmation said they want thorough hearings.

I'm a gay male, mid-20s, good job, etc. There is a guy who lives in my building who is maddeningly attractive. I say maddeningly because, well, I'm not. Not even close. I work out, have a decent haircut, etc., but I was born with a face "only a mother could love." Oh, and this guy, he's very nice and polite. I'd feel better if he were a jerk. So what does one do when the gods sprinkled all of the fairy dust onto others and ran out when they got to you?
Kansas City, Mo.
One remembers that's just your opinion of you. Be wry, realistic, fatalistic, whatever helps -- but don't speak for anyone else.

Riskiest Choice on Obama's List Embodies His Criteria
President and Judge Cite Her Life Experience
By Robert Barnes and Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama chose the most controversial of his potential nominees to the Supreme Court, and he presented Judge Sonia Sotomayor yesterday as the embodiment of the qualities he seeks in a judge: a rigorous intellect, an appreciation of the limited role of the judiciary and "an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live."

Proposition 8 Stands
California's highest court rules that the voters have the right to be wrong. THE JUDGES of the California Supreme Court ruled yesterday that they can be overruled by the people of their state. That's the import of their 6 to 1 decision upholding Proposition 8, which bars same-sex marriage. They're probably right on the law, but the outcome is wrong as a matter of fairness, and our guess is that the people of California will reconsider before too long.

Gay Moroccan writer takes on homophobia
PARIS -- A soft-spoken slip of a young man, Abdellah Taia hardly looks the part of an iconoclast. But as Morocco's first high-profile, openly gay man, Taia has made it his mission to win acceptance for homosexuals throughout the Muslim world.

Gay marriage battle to return to Calif. ballot
Gay leaders say they are moving into campaign mode with an eye toward trying to repeal Proposition 8 at the ballot box as early as next year after the state Supreme Court upheld the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriages.

Calif. Ruling Shows Hurdles Remain for Gay Marriage
By Keith B. Richburg
The ruling Tuesday by California's Supreme Court upholding a ban on same-sex marriages shows that, despite a year of successes for gay activists, the road toward full marriage rights remains difficult -- particularly when voters are given a direct say.

Wall Street Journal
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Questions for Sotomayor
The confirmation process shouldn't be a rubber stamp.
Yesterday President Barack Obama announced his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. She is federal circuit court judge Sonia Sotomayor. What sorts of questions should senators and the American people ask a nominee to the Supreme Court?

A Victory for Democracy
California judges leave gay marriage to voters.
"It bears emphasis . . . that our role is limited to interpreting and applying the principles and rules embodied in the California Constitution, setting aside our own personal beliefs and values." That sigh of judicial restraint was actually issued by the California Supreme Court, which yesterday upheld Proposition 8, last year's ballot initiative prohibiting same-sex marriage in the state.

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What's next for Judge Sonia Sotomayor? Questions and answers about the process ahead
The process for Sonia Sotomayor, a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, to be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice is just beginning. Some questions and answers:,0,2637652.story

Steve Rothaus
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George Takei, Ellen DeGeneres, other stars react to California court's Prop. 8 decision
George Takei and his longtime love, Brad Altman, are still legally wed. So are Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi. Both couples tied the knot during the five-month window when same-sex marriage was legal in California.

Miami Herald
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Gay marriage supporters prepare for next fight
By Susan Ferriss
No sooner had the California Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that voters have the final say on same-sex marriage than gay rights activists vowed to fight Proposition 8 at the ballot box as soon as next year.

The Advocate
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Did AT&T Sway American Idol Outcome?
Evidence continues to mount that AT&T, one of the largest corporate sponsors of the American Idol program on Fox, might have improperly influenced last week’s outcome, according to The New York Times.

Harrah's Exec to Gay Tourists: "Don't Walk Away"
After Nevada's Republican governor vetoed on Monday a domestic partnership bill that would have benefited the state's LGBT couples, a casino executive urged gay travelers to not count out Las Vegas and Reno as vacation destinations.

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Prop 8 ruling moves to federal court
By 365gay Newscenter Staff
Hours after California’s top court upheld Proposition 8, the voter approved ban on same-sex marriage, a federal lawsuit was filed arguing that Prop 8 violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection and due process.

Daily Queer News
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Statement from Robin Tyler, plaintiff in CA Supreme Court Prop 8 case
No civil rights movement has ever lost. Never. We will win. It’s not an “if” its a when. Only we are going to have to fight like hell. Shame on the California Supreme Court. 6 of them, except Justice Moreno, issued a cowardly decision based on one word..not amendment, not revision, but reelection. I pledge that my wife Diane Olson and I, and the 18,000 other couples who were married in the California prior to Nov. 5, 2009, will be part of a grassroots army of love warriors, and will never stop fighting until all of our rights are won, here in California, and on a Federal level for all of us in every State. Let us take our anger, and our passion to the streets, and never, ever get off. And if the National Democratic party does not, after 35 years of promises to our community, make sure we have full equal rights in this country, the gay divorce you are going to see is the gay communities divorce from the Democratic party. We are a civil rights movement. It’s time we acted like one. Robin Tyler, Petitioner in CA Supreme Court Case to overturn Prop 8 (Tyler et al v State of California)

Moving Past Prop 8
Wayne Besen | Truth Wins Out
Having watched the court proceedings on television, I was pretty certain that the California Supreme Court was going to uphold Proposition 8, the ballot initiative to overturn an earlier court ruling allowing gay couples the freedom to marry. Still, knowing that a punch to the gut is coming does not make it hurt any less. The 6-1 ruling was degrading, humiliating and a shameful day that will live in infamy. The decision upheld tyranny of the majority and promoted the idiotic idea of mob rule.
What next?

We Lost….For Now
Sara Whitman | Bilerico Project
I have never been a graceful loser. I have, however, learned a few things about patience and strategy in my life that has made losing a little easier to take. The California court ruled to keep some marriages, take away the right of any others to get married in a decision that leaves us once again facing another costly ballot fight. To be honest, we would have had one anyway. Read more


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 26, 2009

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

New York Times
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Favorites of Left Don’t Make Obama’s Court List
Pamela S. Karlan is a champion of gay rights, criminal defendants’ rights and voting rights. She is considered brilliant, outspoken and, in her own words, “sort of snarky.” To liberal supporters, she is an Antonin Scalia for the left.

California Couples Await Gay Marriage Ruling
After more than 30 years together, Brent Lok and Wade French have accumulated more than a few possessions, including a hilltop home, an impressive collection of Asian art and, alongside their diplomas, vacation photos and family portraits, a framed marriage license, dated June 17, 2008.

Washington Post
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California court to rule Tuesday on gay marriage
California's Supreme Court decides on Tuesday whether gay marriage is legal in the most populous U.S. state, a key battleground in American culture wars. Passage of a gay marriage ban in a November California vote bucked the state's reputation as a liberal trendsetter and sparked national protests by gay advocates and congratulations among social conservatives.

There's a Hot Race in Va., but Will Voters Show?
By Marc Fisher
A t the past three campaign events I've gone to, I've heard the same opposing views from Virginians contemplating the June 9 Democratic primary: "It's only governor, so I don't think I need to vote" runs slam into "I'm tired of politics after last year, but this is for governor, so I guess I better get out there and vote."

California awaits court's gay marriage decision
The nation's most populous state stood poised to recapture the spotlight in the debate over gay marriage as California's highest court prepared to rule on the legality of a voter-approved ban on same-sex unions.

Wall Street Journal

Gay-Marriage Fight to Persist in California
California's Supreme Court on Tuesday will issue its ruling on whether the state's gay-marriage ban will stand, but the decision likely won't mark the end of the highly divisive matter.

Forwarded from Gays Without Borders
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Peru to ban gay police who cause scandal?
A bid to clean up police says Interior Minister“
The British Ambassador to Peru has confirmed that the left-of-centre Lima government plans to ban gay police officers whose sexual behaviour causes scandal and damages the reputation of the police. Existing gay and bisexual officers could face the sack,” said gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell. “Critics say the new law is probably unconstitutional. To its credit, the British government is consulting with Peruvian human rights groups and the European Union to consider what action to take in protest at this discriminatory legislation,” he said.


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Monday, May 25, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 25, 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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Dance Judge’s Apology
Compiled by FELICIA R. LEE
He’s sorry, says Nigel Lythgoe, a judge and executive producer on the popular reality competition show “So You Think You Can Dance” according to a statement by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The organization had mounted a “call to action” against Mr. Lythgoe after he made what the group considered homophobic remarks about the male dance duo Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel last week. “I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience,” Mr. Lythgoe said on the show last Thursday after the couple performed a samba. “I mean, we’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but they’ve never really done it each other’s arms before,” Mr. Lythgoe said. “Do you know what? I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl.” In an apology included in the official statement released by the alliance, Mr. Lythgoe said, in part: “I sincerely regret the fact that I have upset people with the poor word choices and comments I made.” Producers of the show apologized too, “if any viewers were offended” by the remarks.

Powell Jousts With Cheney on Path of Republican Party
Colin L. Powell challenged Dick Cheney on the legacy of the Bush administration and the future of the Republican Party on Sunday, declaring that Republicans should not bow to “diktats that come from the right wing.”

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RachelWatch: Ticket To Deride
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Cheney-Gingrich 2012
Rachel led off with not so much new news as finally-sinking-in news that Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich are becoming the voices of the Republican Party.

Daily Queer News
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MA: Provincetown Woman Beaten in Anti-Gay Hate Crime
The Gaytheist Agenda
Provincetown is a lovely town at the tip of Cape Cod, MA. Overall it is a safe, friendly and welcoming place for LGBT people. However there are still a number of individuals who think their “deeply held religious beliefs” and related chosen bigotries give them the right to treat others hatefully, even violently. In front of an angry crowd, a man was arrested early yesterday morning and charged with a hate crime after he allegedly beat a woman on Commercial Street, police said. More . . .

IA: Group Aims to Draw Gay Weddings
Chris Rhatigan | Iowa City Press-Citizen
After the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision last month to legalize same-sex marriage, it appears that the Iowa City area could become a hotspot for gay and lesbian weddings. A group of wedding service providers, tourism officials, hoteliers and members of the gay and lesbian communities have created an informal committee to generate ideas of how to market the Iowa City area for same-sex weddings.

Anti-Gay March Draws Some Scores of People in Bucharest, before Pro-Homosexual One
Some scores of people, mostly young members of the Noua Dreapta (The New Right) organization, got together today at a march against homosexuality in Bucharest, displaying placards and chanting for “normality in Romania”, few hours before the annual gay parade. The participants met around 11 a.m. nearby the Romanian Athenaeum, next to several older persons who themselves are against homosexuality. “Romanians, wake up! Sexual perversions are contagious mental diseases” or “Romanians, stop the homosexual epidemic! It is more dangerous than the flue” are just some of the messages written on the placards. The participants also chorus “Romania is not Sodom.” We have nothing against homosexuals, but it bothers us so see that they make public their options and attitudes that should remain private, one of the participants at the march told NewsIn. The organizers of the normality march said they will not try to sabotage the march of sexual minorities that will take place this afternoon at 5 p.m, and added they are just trying to express their points of view through this action, said Alexandru Nastase, the leader of Noua Dreapta Bucharest. This is the fourth year in a row when such a march is organized. Read more

Illinois Poised to Approve Civil Unions
CHRIS JOHNSON | Washington Blade
The Illinois General Assembly is expected to approve a measure next week that would legalize civil unions, according to an LGBT activist. Rick Garcia, political director for Equality Illinois, said Thursday he’s “absolutely” expecting the full state House and the Senate to pass a civil union measure either Tuesday or Wednesday. The bill has support from Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D). The House Youth and Family Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Harris, who’s gay, intends to attach an amendment legalizing civil unions to a “shell bill” that’s already been approved by the Senate, Garcia said. If the full House votes in favor of the legislation, the bill would be sent to the full Senate within hours for a vote of concurrence. Garcia said Illinois lawmakers often use “shell bills” to pass legislation expediently. He said it’s necessary to legalize civil unions through this method because the legislative session ends May 30 and the approach limits the time that opponents of civil unions can lobby lawmakers. “We get it out of the House and then senators only have a few hours of being beat up by our opponents rather than three days or a long weekend,” he said. “Since there is a perfectly legitimate way of doing it in one day, that’s what we’re going to do.” Read more

Forwarded from Euro-Queer
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Bishops fight for right to criticise gay lifestyle
Cross-party peers cite free speech defence to block changes to bill
Church of England bishops are on a collision course with the government over its plans to amend the incitement to hatred laws, claiming they will stifle what they believe is legitimate criticism of homosexual lifestyles. In what is being portrayed in some parliamentary quarters as a battle for free speech, a coalition of Anglican bishops, Conservative peers, Labour malcontents and leading crossbenchers have united to block the proposals. "No reasonable person supports the stirring up of hatred of any kind," said Andrea Williams, director of Christian Concern For Our Nation, which is helping co-ordinate opposition to the plan. "However, in 21st-century Britain we must find a way of being able to live peaceably alongside one another allowing for free and robust debate around every aspect of life, including reasonable criticism and discussion of all forms of sexual behaviour."

Gay American Heros

Please Honor our Heroes.. and not let there Deaths be in Vain
All People who live honestly about their sexual orientation are heroic, as it takes great strength and courage to face the daily struggles for personal freedom in the face of enormous opposition; to ultimately give their life for said freedom makes them HEROES. We Need YOUR Help TODAY! Please Adopt -A- Hero for just 25.00 and help build our Rainbow Memorial - link to see one min 3-D video of Rainbow Memorial


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Sunday, May 24, 2009

GLBT DIGEST - May 24, 2009

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New York Times
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La Cage aux Democrats
THE most potent word in our new president’s lexicon — change — has been heard much less since his inspiring campaign gave way to the hard realities of governing. But on Tuesday night, the irresistible Obama brand made an unexpected and pointed cameo appearance on America’s most popular television show, “American Idol.” In the talent competition’s climactic faceoff, the song picked for one of the two finalists, Adam Lambert, was Sam Cooke’s soul classic, “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

University Bans Club for Democrats
Liberty University has banned its fledgling College Democrats club, saying the group stands against the conservative Christian institution’s principles. The president of the club, Brian Diaz, said he was notified by an e-mail message that the group was being banned by Liberty, a private university in Lynchburg, Va., that was founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Nuance Is a Fine Word Until It’s Pronounced Flip-Flop
“Now, some have suggested that this represents a reversal on my part,” President Obama declared last week in the soaring rotunda of the National Archives, a snippet of self-defense tucked into a far-reaching philosophical address on terrorism and the rule of law. “They should look at the record.”

Queer Developments
The first elected official who ever made the case to me for legalizing gay marriage — and maybe the last, come to think of it — was Jesse Ventura, the former governor of Minnesota, with whom I spent a fair amount of time in the late 1990s. A political independent, Ventura swept into office on the simple premise that if the state government, flush with revenue, didn’t actually need all the tax money it collected, maybe it should give some back. His libertarian philosophy extended to social issues, on which Ventura, who counted gay men among his closest aides and friends, said government had no business intruding.

Washington Post
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When the Stage Has No Closet Space
By Aaron Hicklin
How did a somewhat goofy, family-style talent show on Fox become a bellwether of America's changing attitudes toward sexuality?

Gay Diplomats to Get Equal Benefits: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon announce that gay U.S. diplomats will be given benefits similar to those that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, U.S. officials said Saturday. In a notice expected to be sent this week to State Department employees, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press, Clinton says regulations that deny same-sex couples and their families the same rights and privileges that straight diplomats enjoy are "unfair and must end," as they harm U.S. diplomacy.

Church of Scotland votes to appoint gay minister
The Associated Press
LONDON -- The Church of Scotland has voted in favor of appointing an openly gay minister _ the latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican Communion.

Out's 50 Most Powerful Gays and Lesbians [2009]

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Welcome to Florida: 'Fantasy' spot for Indian journalist
By Jaideep Hardikar
"Are you gay?" The question, posed by my driving instructor, rather jolted me. "No," I said. And in fact, I'm not, and am happily married to a woman back in my native India. I am in South Florida for five months as part of a journalism fellowship program.,0,3455297.story

Daily Queer News
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Gay Couple Have Twins by Indian Surrogate
Ieila Magazine
Two Melbourne men have become the first Australian gay couple to have a baby via a surrogate mother. Trevor Elwell and Peter West paid $40,000 for a woman in India to give birth to their twin girls Gaia and Evelyn, the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes will report tonight. The girls, born last week, were conceived with the couple’s sperm in a test tube with eggs bought over the internet. Adoption and commercial surrogacy is illegal for homosexuals in Australia, but there is no law against providing the service in India. Read more

CA: However High Court Rules on Prop 8, Culture War Heating Up Again
WIRE SERVICES | LA Wave Newspaper
The California Supreme Court won’t reveal its ruling on legal challenges to Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriages in the state, until Tuesday, but advocates on both sides of the issue are already gearing up for action. Both supporters and opponents of same-sex marriage have said they expect a split decision — that the high court will find that Proposition 8 legally amended the state Constitution to outlaw gay marriage, but will sanction the marriages of 18,000 same-sex couples who tied the knot after the court struck down Proposition 22, which also outlawed gay marriage. Monday, a group calling itself the American Civil Responsibilities Union will hold a news conference at the California Supreme Court Building to announce plans to initiate a statewide effort to recall any state Supreme Court justices who vote to overturn Proposition 8. Read more

Scottish Kirk Appoints First Openly Gay Minister
Jenny Booth | Times Online
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has upheld the appointment of an openly gay minister after an intense debate ended with nearly one third of members abstaining. Last night the Kirk’s ruling body voted by 326 to 267 in support of the Rev Scott Rennie after more than four hours of discussion, as demonstrators on both sides of the debate protested outside. Around 900 elders and ministers took part in the session in Edinburgh, but not everyone cast their electronic vote. Mr Rennie, 37, had the support of the majority of his congregation and Presbytery at Queen’s Cross Church in Aberdeen - but the move to appoint him sparked strong protest from traditionalist members, and has led to fears of a split in the Church. Read more

How Obama Set the Tone for a Quiet Revolution in Gay Rights
Joanna Walters in New York | The Observer | Guardian | Sunday 24 May 2009
Even 40 years on, police officer Seymour Pine is still amazed. “We knew something had happened that had never happened before. We’d never had any trouble, but it just came out of nowhere,” he said. “It” was the Stonewall riot in the early hours of 28 June, 1969, in New York’s Greenwich Village, when, sick of being harassed, the gay community fought back en masse for the first time and the grassroots gay and lesbian equality movement was born. Deputy Inspector Pine led the raid on the Stonewall Inn that night, when his handful of club-wielding officers suddenly came under siege from an angry mob of gay men and women. “It was never the same again,” the 89-year-old retired policeman said from New Jersey last week, admitting that the police were anti-gay, but just “doing our jobs” when the raid turned into a riot. Read more

MA: Gay Couples Say Being Married Really Matters
Stephen Smith | Globe Staff | Boston Globe | May 24, 2009
Five years after the first same-sex weddings in Massachusetts, gay and lesbian couples express deeply traditional reasons for deciding to wed and cite equally conventional benefits flowing from marriage, according to a study being released this week. A significant majority of the 558 gay men and women surveyed said that since marrying, they feel more committed to their spouses, more accepted in their community, and more likely to be open about their sexual orientation at work. The survey indicates that there is something universal about the legal protections and social advantages afforded by the institution of marriage, said the study’s authors from the University of California, Los Angeles as well as independent researchers. And it suggests, they said, that a ritual once scorned even by many same-sex couples has the power to ease discrimination. “This really helps us confirm and makes us understand why same-sex couples demand marriage - if it’s just about the legal rights, why wouldn’t they be happy with civil partnerships?” said Stephanie Coontz author of “Marriage, A History.” Read more

Seeking Purpose in Life and Death in ‘The Intelligent Homosexual’
“The only real death is to live a meaningless life,” says Gus Marcantonio, a tough-minded bird who once hoisted crates with his hands and walked picket lines on the dock. “You’re only human if you have work to do.” Now retired and bored to the point of translating Latin during his empty days, Gus reasons suicide is a mere formality. His three children demur, and in that conflict Tony Kushner searches for his play, “The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures,” which had its world premiere Friday at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

Bigot-Branding Aids Gay Marriage Forces
Sun Sentinel
Here’s the thing about homosexual marriage in the United States: It is going to be legal in about half the states. There is no stopping the gay nuptials now, even though most Americans say they are opposed to extending marital law to same-sex couples. Right now, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Iowa and Maine allow gays to marry. New Hampshire will soon do so. Once the legislatures of New York and New Jersey get finished taxing the life out of their citizens, they, too, will most likely pass gay marriage. A new CNN/Opinion Research poll says 54 percent of Americans oppose gay marriage, while 45 percent support it. But if you oppose gay marriage, your opinion makes you a bigot. Did you know that? That’s what the Miss California controversy was all about. Your humble correspondent doesn’t really care much about gay marriage because I believe it is no danger to the Republic and the deity can sort all this stuff out after we’re dead. Read more


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