Tuesday, January 05, 2010

GLBT DIGEST - January 04, 2010

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New York Times
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After Americans Visit, Uganda Weighs Death for Gays
KAMPALA, Uganda - Last March, three American evangelical Christians, whose teachings about "curing" homosexuals have been widely discredited in the United States, arrived here in Uganda http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/uganda/index.html?inline=nyt-geo> 's capital to give a series of talks. The theme of the event, according to Stephen Langa, its Ugandan organizer, was "the gay agenda - that whole hidden and dark agenda" - and the threat homosexuals posed to Bible-based values and the traditional African family. For three days, according to participants and audio recordings , thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how "the gay movement is an evil institution" whose goal is "to defeat the marriage-based society and replace
it with a culture of sexual promiscuity."

Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships
For over a decade, the issue of same-sex marriage has been a flashpoint political issue in the United States, setting off waves of competing legislation and ballot initiatives attempting either to legalize or ban the practice. Rifts have also opened among religious groups over the decision to recognize same-sex marriage or condemn it.

Gay in Uganda, and Feeling Hunted
KAMPALA, Uganda — Isolation, insults, threats and violence: this is what Uganda’s mostly closeted gay community has dealt with for years. But now that Ugandan politicians are threatening to pass a new anti-homosexuality bill that would sentence some homosexuals (serial offenders, those who are H.I.V. positive and others) to life in prison or even death, many gay men and lesbians said they felt hunted.

Washington Post

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Dave Marsden for Senate
IN VIRGINIA, the two candidates running in a special election to fill the state Senate seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli II, in western Fairfax County's District 37, offer voters a stark choice. One of them, Dave W. Marsden, a Democrat, is a well-respected expert on incarceration, juvenile justice and rehabilitation, having run the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center for 17 years as well as the state's Department of Juvenile Justice, a position for which he was chosen by a Republican governor. Mr. Marsden has served two terms in the House of Delegates with distinction.

California's scary sneak preview
By Ezra Klein
We Californians pride ourselves on the crystal-ball quality of our state. Auto emissions regulations, the tech boom and bust, Ronald Reagan, Hispanic immigration, the anti-tax revolt, the mortgage bubble, the struggle for gay rights, most movies, the popularity of Richard Nixon, the unpopularity of Richard Nixon, plastic surgery, and Tiger Woods's marital problems were all tested in the Golden State before being released to audiences nationwide.

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Houston officially becomes nation's largest city with openly gay mayor after private ceremony
By Associated Press
Annise Parker has been sworn in as Houston mayor, officially making her city the nation's largest to be led by an openly gay person. Parker took the oath of office in a private ceremony at City Hall on Saturday, two days before a public inauguration during which she will be sworn in again.

Saddleback Church Raises $2.4 Million After Plea for Donations
By KTLA News
Evangelical pastor Rick Warren says his appeal for donations to his Orange County megachurch pulled in a "history-making" $2.4 million. At Saturday evening's church service, Warren announced that $2.4 million was raised after he appealed on the church's website for members to donate.

Steve Rothaus
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Women’s Empowerment Luncheon to be held Jan. 20 at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables
News release from the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce: The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, presents A Women’s Empowerment Luncheon, the first of a bi-monthly program showcasing successful Chamber Members who are professional women. The guest speaker will be Ms. Shelley Freeman, President, Wells Fargo/Wachovia Florida, on January 20, 2010, at The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Blvd., Coral Gables, FL. (305-445-1926). Registration begins at 11:30am with lunch and presentation at 12:00 Noon. Lunch is $35 for MDGLCC members and $45 for non-members. Luncheon reservations are requested. RSVP to the office and pre-payment is required. Please submit your name (and guests) by calling the Chamber office at 305-573-4000. You may also fax to our secure line at 305-573-4787 or, via email to mdglcc@bellsouth.net.

HRC: After 22 years, HIV travel and immigration ban lifted
News release from Human Rights Campaign:
“The United States of America has moved one step closer to helping combat the stigma and ignorance that still too often guides public policy debates around HIV/AIDS,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, hailed the announcement that a ban on HIV positive visitors and immigrants entering the country, first established in 1987, has been lifted. A regulation promulgated by the Obama administration last summer and finalized in November goes into effect today, removing HIV from the list of communicable diseases that bar foreign nationals from entering the United States.

Keys gay, political activist Henry Woods, 58, dies
KeysNet.com reports that Key West gay activist Henry Woods, an adjunct political science professor at Florida Keys Community College, has died after suffering an aneurysm and slipping into a coma on Christmas Eve. Woods ran for Monroe County elections supervisor in 2008. “He was a leader in the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus and the Key West Lambda Democrats. Sudden and sad news,” says Stephen Gaskill, a Washington/South Florida political consultant.

Denise King, mother of slain gay teenager Simmie Williams Jr., dies suddenly at age 40
Sad news from Fort Lauderdale: Denise King, mother of Simmie Williams Jr., an openly gay teen who was slain nearly two years on Sistrunk Boulevard, died suddenly on New Year’s Eve. King was 40 and collapsed in her apartment about two hours before midnight.

The Advocate
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Osteen Thanks God For Annise Parker
By Julie Bolcer
Megachurch pastor Joel Osteen, who ignited a firestorm in November with his comment to The View that gay people were not among “God’s best,” thanked the heavens on Monday for Annise Parker, the newly inaugurated openly lesbian mayor of Houston. According to a tweet from the Victory Fund, during the inauguration ceremony Monday morning, Osteen thanked God for "lifting up our new mayor, Annise Parker."

Track Star Nixes Fake Breasts for Speed
By Julie Bolcer
Australian track star Jana Rawlinson, who recently underwent breast augmentation surgery, admits that she promptly had the implants removed because of fears that the fake breasts would hinder her upcoming Olympic performance. The 27-year-old hurdler, a straight mother of one, spoke about her decision with the new issue of Woman’s Day magazine, according to The Daily Telegraph.


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Democrat eyeing Kennedy seat avoids family legacy
By The Associated Press
Attorney General Martha Coakley may be the front-runner in the race to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat, but she is crafting a campaign largely free of the Kennedy mystique. Although she shares Kennedy’s position on key issues and is appealing to the same liberal Democratic voters who returned him to office during his 47 years in the Senate, Coakley is helping usher in a post-Kennedy Massachusetts – a state whose politics have been inextricably linked to the family for generations.

Neff: New Hampshire’s new era
By Lisa Neff, columnist, 365gay.com
The new year brought a new era in New Hampshire. Some of us ushered in 2010 — the start of a new year and a new decade — with noisemakers, bubbly champagne and hearty attempts to remember the lyrics to “Auld Lang Syne.”

Withers: Parker is ready to be Houston’s most vocal booster
By James Withers, contributing editor, 365Gay Blog
Annise Parker is more than willing to talk about her place in history. The 53 year old was inaugurated in a private ceremony this past weekend as the mayor of Houston, making her the first openly gay politician to run a major American city. However, that conversation bores her. She gets animated when discussing the Houston and Texas she knows and how her win is not that odd. A lot of the media coverage has been about me being first in Houston and this has given me an opportunity to talk about Houston and Texas as I know them,” Parker said in an interview with 365Gay. “Houston is a very diverse, open, tolerant, and business oriented city. People care more about what you can do, as opposed to who you are. It is the most diverse and international city under the radar.”

RachelWatch: Stay Classy, Dick Cheney
By Ali Davis, Contributing writer
Record Scratch
Rachel started us off with the attempts by numerous Republicans to score political points with the attempted underpants bombing on Christmas Day. Dr. Maddow seemed to have had exactly enough of that sort of thing, characterizing the political opportungasm as “a serious of obviously baseless, factually incorrect, demonstrably untrue, and hypocritical attacks.”

Pink News - UK
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US HIV travel ban lifted today
The ban on HIV-positive people entering the US officially ends today. The 22-year-old law was one of the most restrictive immigration policies in the world for people with HIV but was lifted by President Barack Obama in November.

Woman fails to hand child to lesbian ex-partner
A US woman who was ordered to hand over custody of her child to her lesbian ex-partner could be charged with parental abduction for failing to comply with a court order.

Copyright holder baulks at 'gay' Sherlock Holmes film
The US copyright holder of the Sherlock Holmes series has threatened to withdraw permission for a film sequel if producers develop a homoerotic storyline.

Bisexual penguin fights serious illness
The bisexual penguin at the centre of a much-reported love triangle is gravely ill. Harry, a Magellan penguin at San Francisco Zoo, is suffering from a respiratory illness.

Lady Gaga tackles homophobic fan
Lady Gaga was reportedly forced to confront a homophobic man at one of her gigs. The gay-friendly singer had performed in an Ottawa club and was dancing with friends when a man approached her to hurl homophobic abuse at her and fellow star Adam Lambert.

Daily Queer News
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Halo bar to change name, go green
Posted on 04 January 2010 by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
The D.C. gay bar Halo is changing its name to MOVA and will evolve over the next year into an environmentally friendly “green” business with an expanded program to support both LGBT and broader community causes and projects. Gay attorney and businessman Babak Movahedi, owner of Logan Circle Spectrum, LLC, the company that owns Halo bars in D.C. and Miami Beach, said the name change and plans for the business’s community-related projects would be formally announced during a Jan. 1 celebration at the club in D.C. at 7 p.m. Halo is located at 1435 P St., N.W.

Ban gay marriage? How about divorce, too?
In response to the article (Dec. 27) in which Bryan English, of the Iowa Family Policy Council ACTION, advocated putting gay marriage to a public vote: It seems to be the position of his organization that marriage should be only between one man and one woman. I say let's put it on a ballot as long as a vote to ban gay marriage also includes a vote to ban divorce in Iowa.

NJ gay marriage advocates plan Trenton rally to urge lawmakers' vote
By Mary Fuchs/Statehouse Bureau
Clergy from 19 different faith groups around the state are asking Senate President Richard Codey (D-Essex) and Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) to vote on same-sex marriage legislation before the current legislative session ends. In a letter addressed to the leaders of the two houses, 120 clergy members said the current marriage law favors a religious viewpoint of traditional marriage over their beliefs, which allow gay marriage.

N.J. lawmakers return to Trenton to debate on bills in lame-duck session
By Claire Heininger/Statehouse Bureau
State lawmakers return to Trenton today to close out a lame-duck session with debate on bills to legalize medical marijuana, relax prison sentences for some drug offenders in school zones and allow towns to stave off property tax hikes by postponing pension payments.

The politics of gay marriage
By Jonathan Rauch
For the gay marriage debate, 2009 was transitional instead of transformative, but last year was historic nonetheless. To mangle Churchill, it was not the end, nor even the beginning of the end, but it was at least the beginning of the middle. This is an issue on which the fundamentals of public opinion change glacially. Support for same-sex marriage is rising, but only by about a percentage point or so a year. Essentially, a third of the public supports gay marriage, another third or so supports civil unions instead, and the remaining third opposes any kind of legal status for same-sex couples.

Gay Socastee couple looks to be first married couple in D.C.
By Mason Snyder
17 years ago Craig Dean and his partner Patrick lived in Washington D.C., and they wanted to get married. “Back in the 80’s and 90’s [gay] marriage wasn’t even a blimp on anybody’s thinking,” Dean said. “Nobody even contemplated the idea of gay people being married.“ So Dean proposed to Patrick and later that year, the couple tied the knot. But when the couple filed for a marriage license, they were denied.

Dutch Christian schools start teaching respect and empathy for gays
by: Lurleen
I have become convinced that pretending homosexuality doesn't exist is not an option. ...It does exist. Gay teachers work at each of the four Reformed schools and there are students with homosexual feelings. We want these students have a good school experience, they are allowed to exist.
-- Huib van Leeuwen, President of the Reformed Schools committee
When Christian conservatives say with regard to gays and lesbians that they "love the sinner but hate the sin", what do they do to demonstrate that love? In the United States, too often such "love" is translated into cruel efforts to try to negate or "cure" a person's innate homosexuality, and punish gays with punitive laws and unrelenting vilification.

Scott Lively practiced 'pink-baiting' in Uganda
by: Alvin McEwen
Yesterday, the New York Times came out with a sensational article about the Ugandan anti-gay bill. It was short, precise and linked Scott Lively, Caleb Lee Brundidge, and Don Schmierer to the bill, making sure to note that their "teachings" that homosexuality can be cured has been discredited in this country and also noting how the bill came to pass because of a conference the three took part in earlier last year in Uganda. And in the article, they come across exactly as they are - anti-gay charlatans who are now cowardly backtracking after the world sees what they have done.

Neil Patrick Harris needs us!
Filed by: Bil Browning
Neil Patrick Harris has called his fans and followers to battle! My favorite stalkee out gay celeb is in a Twitter battle royale for the title of AfterElton.com's Man of the Decade. Neil sent a tweet to his followers asking them to vote for him, but Dr. Who actor John Barrowman took up the Twitter challenge too. Umpteen other celebrities have taken sides in this phallic measuring contest - and you know Neil's..., well, okay, so we don't know, but I can imagine!

That is Mayor Annise Parker now
Filed by: Alex Blaze
Congrats to the new mayor: Annise Parker has been sworn in as Houston mayor, officially making her city the nation's largest to be led by an openly gay person. Parker took the oath of office in a private ceremony at City Hall on Saturday, two days before a public inauguration during which she will be sworn in again. The 53-year-old Parker took the oath before state District Judge Steven Kirkland and alongside her partner, Kathy Hubbard. Good for her. I'm currently living in the largest city in the world with a gay mayor, and while her political beliefs will be a lot more important to how she governs than her sexuality, it does make me feel better to know it can happen.

Testicle terrorist tormented by repressed sex issues
Filed by: Bil Browning
"As i get lonely, the natural sexual drive awakens and i struggle to control it, sometimes leading to minor sinful activities like not lowering the gaze [in the presence of unveiled women], and this problem makes me want to get married to avoid getting aroused." -- Testicle terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in a comment left on an Islamic Forum Web site, gawaher.com.

Lady Gaga outfits inspired by Pokemon?
Filed by: Bil Browning
Suddenly Lady Gaga's outfit choices start to make sense. Who knew she was getting her inspiration from Pokemon characters?


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