Thursday, January 14, 2010

GLBT DIGEST - January 14, 2010

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New York Times
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AP Exclusive: Lawyers Advise Wait to Lift Gay Ban
Lawyers for the nation's top military officer are recommending holding off on an internal Pentagon effort that could lead to the repeal of the ban on openly gay military service. The delay could push a decision by Congress to the middle of the next presidential election. Other advisers at the Pentagon, however, argue that lifting the ban would not cause unmanageable problems or divisions among the uniformed military, according to two U.S. officials. They discussed internal conversations about the ban on condition of anonymity.

Prop. 8 Backer Questioned About Child Sex Comment
Animosity against gays was so prevalent in the campaign to ban same-sex marriage in California that voters were told legalizing sex with children was next if gay couples were given the right to wed, according to attorneys trying to overturn the measure. San Francisco resident Hak-Shing William Tam, a defendant in the case, wrote in a letter to Chinese-Americans church groups during the 2008 campaign that legalizing same-sex marriage was part of a broader gay agenda.

Washington Post
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Supreme Court bars broadcast of Prop 8 trial in California
By Robert Barnes
The Supreme Court split along ideological lines Wednesday as it barred a federal judge in San Francisco from broadcasting a high-profile trial involving same-sex marriage.

Wall Street Journal
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Same-Sex Marriage Complicates Trust Terms
By Max Alexander
Emotions run high on both sides of the same-gender marriage debate, with proponents and opponents often characterizing their arguments as a fight over the future of society. But, political and cultural clashes aside, the issue has financial implications that go beyond the realm of theory for some families. Just ask Myra Salzer, founder of the Wealth Conservancy, a Boulder, Colo., firm that specializes in helping its clients manage inherited estates.

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AP Exclusive: Pentagon lawyers urge further delay in repeal of ban on openly gay troops
Lawyers for the nation's top military officer are recommending holding off on an internal Pentagon effort that could lead to the repeal of the ban on openly gay military service. The delay could push a decision by Congress to the middle of the next presidential election.
Other advisers at the Pentagon, however, argue that lifting the ban would not cause unmanageable problems or divisions among the uniformed military, according to two U.S. officials. They discussed internal conversations about the ban on condition of anonymity.,0,2611588.story/

Steve Rothaus
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SunServe monthly mixer 6:30 p.m. Monday at Gallery 101 at U.S. 1 and Oakland Park Boulevard
From SunServe in Fort Lauderdale: Click here to RSVP
SunServe is your premiere non-profit social service agency designed to meet the diverse needs of South Florida's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community.
To find out more, visit us at

Miami Herald
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BSO lieutenant fired over explicit computer images
The Broward Sheriff's Office fired a lieutenant after learning he had used his computer to view sexually explicit images.
Broward Sheriff's Lt. James Murray was fired this week for using his computer to access sexually explicit content, among other policy violations. Murray is also at the center of a federal sex-discrimination suit filed by a female Broward Sheriff's Office lieutenant. But Murray's firing was unrelated to that lawsuit, BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal said.

The Advocate
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McGreevey's Ex Opposed to Gay Marriage
By Julie Bolcer
Dina Matos, the ex-wife of openly gay former New Jersey governor James McGreevey, said Wednesday that the state senate was right to reject the marriage equality bill last week.

Signorile Reconsidered
COMMENTARY: Michaelangelo Signorile says gay media watchdog GLAAD is muzzled by the entertainment companies it’s supposed to police, a claim GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios (pictured) says is unfounded.
By Jarrett Barrios
In his commentary, “GLAAD Reconsidered,” Michaelangelo Signorile offers a mixture of criticism and claims about the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation that are not supported by the facts. And while criticism is certainly welcome, as it would be from all who we serve in our media advocacy work, the central thesis of Signorile’s piece is incorrect.

Pink News - UK
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Homophobic attack victim condemns Iris Robinson
A man who was beaten in a homophobic attack shortly before Iris Robinson made her now infamous anti-gay remarks has said her husband should divorce her. Robinson had criticised the attack on Stephen Scott but added that gay people couldbe "cured".

Scottish HIV charity could lose funding after review
HIV Scotland has been criticised in an external review for not being active enough, being too close to the government and "neglecting" the needs of some at-risk groups

MPs sign motion to condemn Uganda's gay execution bill

Twenty MPs have signed an early day motion to attack Uganda's plans to introduce the death penalty for gays. The motion was tabled by Labour MP Harry Cohen and calls for the British government and European Union to press Uganda not to proceed with the law.

Homophobic Iris Robinson resigns from parliament
Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson resigned from Westminster yesterday after it was revealed last week that she had solicited loans for her 19-year-old lover.

Lesbian UKIP MEP leaves European group
A lesbian MEP for the UK Independence Party has left the group her party joined in the European Parliament. Nikki Sinclaire announced this week that she was leaving the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group.

Suspect in Puerto Rico gay murder will stand trial

The man accused of murdering a gay Puerto Rico teenager has been found fit to stand trial. Juan A Martinez Matos, 26, is accused of killing Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado in November in the city of Cayey.

Ugandan president Museveni distances himself from anti-gay bill
Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni said yesterday that the country must take into consideration its foreign policy interests when debating an anti-homosexuality bill.

Daily Queer News
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Gates, Mullen to testify on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
by Chris Johnson
Both the top uniformed leader and top civilian leader at the Pentagon will testify at the end of this month before Congress on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” according to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Bryan Thomas, a committee spokesperson, said Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) has made arrangements for Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of Joint of Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen to testify on the issue, although an exact day for the hearing hasn’t been scheduled.

Last Word: Who's saying what about gay and lesbian issues
Here's the Pitch: A conservative lawyer uses Hollywood money to battle in court for gay marriage rights! [video]
Posted by duy on January 14, 2010 9:12 AM | Permalink
''Ted Olson joining our team and deciding to spearhead the legal effort has given us an opportunity to basically say, ''This is not a partisan issue. This is not Republican. This is not Democrat. This is not conservative or liberal -- this is about equal justice and equal rights for everybody in this country. And the Constitution provides for that.''

In the thick of it: when fatphobia plays out in politics
by: Pam Spaulding
In the New York Times, Adam Nagourney has a long profile on under-siege Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, covering his "light-skinned/Negro dialect" dustup, his behind-the-scenes political maneuvers, and his personal life. I'm reading along and then this jumped out at me: By reputation and appearance, Reid, who is 70, is one of the blander elected officials in Washington. Upon closer inspection, he is deeply and deceptively interesting. He is a senator from Nevada who hates gambling ("The only people who make money from gambling are the joints and government"); a backroom deal-maker who does not drink alcohol or coffee; a Washington celebrity who sniffs at the dinner-and-party circuit. "Senator Daschle went to dinner almost every night with someone," he told me. "I go to dinner never, with anyone, during the week." He does find time, at least twice a week, to slip on a pair of black Lycra stretch pants to do yoga with Landra at their apartment in the Ritz-Carlton. He has intolerance for fat people, manifested in asides to aides who seem to be getting portly and an office staff that is suspiciously slim.

Shannon Minter: Perry v. Schwarzenegger Proceedings, Day 3
by: Autumn Sandeen
BLEND EXCLUSIVE: Trial analysis by the National Center For Lesbian Rights' (NCLR's) Shannon Minter.
**Update from Daimeon: Click below the fold to see a video blog from Kate Kendell.
As other bloggers and news outlets have reported, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a final order today preventing the trial from being broadcast. The 5-4 opinion was unsigned, meaning that its authorship was not attributed to any one justice. The court largely ducked the substantive issue of whether federal trials should be more accessible to a broader public, holding that the San Francisco district court judges had not followed the proper procedures when they amended the local court rules to allow the broadcast. Justices Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito were in the majority.

Live Twitter feed of Prop 8 trial: Day 4
Filed by: Bil Browning
Our live Twitter feed of the Prop 8 trial has been really popular this week, so I'm bumping it back up to the top to make it handy for Projectors to find. Unfortunately, Davina isn't able to attend the trial today so our inside source is out of commission until tomorrow. With the Supreme Court ruling that cameras will not be allowed at all now, Twitter is your best source for as-it-happens updates. The feed shows all the tweets from people covering the trial live from inside the courthouse. Right now the currently featured tweeters are:
• @ellemenohpe
• @Chris_Stoll
• @NCLRights
• @AmerEqualRights
• @CourageCampaign
• @ACLU_NorCal
• @FedcourtJunkie
• @TheAdvocateMag
The feed will show you anything the eight of them send out - not just Prop 8 trial tweets. This keeps them a little more human and less "reporter-ish." You might see off-topic tweets occasionally, but think of it as an extra bonus feature! Live stream after the jump. It'll keep going as long as they do.

National Institute Of Health To Conduct Unprecedented Study Of LGBT Health
posted by Joe
The National Institute of Health is inviting public comment on an unprecedented planned study of LGBT health issues. An insider writes us on how to help:
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), part of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), has been asked by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct a report on LGBT health. Nothing like this has been done in the past, although IOM did do a report on lesbian health at the end of the Clinton administration. There is a period of public comment between now and Feb 1. People should be encouraged to take advantage of this. Vague comments ("We need more services for gay men") won't have much impact. Data-based comments will help, but commonplace, vivid examples of health disparities affecting LGBT folks may get noticed.There will be face-to-face meetings with opportunities for public participation, but they are likely to be DC-based and the dates have not been announced. The report will be used by NIH for planning purposes. It's likely that other federal agencies (CDC, HRSA, SAMHSA) will take notice of its findings and Congress usually is interested in the outcome of these reports.

Male-On-Male Sexual Harassment Rises
posted by Joe
According to a Newsweek report, reported incidences of workplace male-on-male sexual harassment are on the rise. The story notes that most of the cases don't arise from flirting gone too far, but from actions meant to sexually humiliate the victim.
The EEOC tracks the number of men and women who file claims with the agency, but doesn't always keep track of the gender of the harasser. However, Grinberg confirms that the EEOC has recognized a growing trend in the number of men alleging same-sex sexual harassment. "The classic image of sexual harassment is Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill; it's not two men or even two women," says Dr. Liza H. Gold, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University who serves as an expert in sexual-harassment suits. And yet the experience of men harassed by men may help to illustrate the realities of all such cases. When women are the victims, they may face assumptions that the abuse is the result of an affair gone wrong, hurt feelings, or mixed signals. In truth, sexual harassment of both genders has more to do with issues of control and abuses of power for the purpose of humiliation than with sexual attraction. By exposing the men to taunts about their genitalia, sexually suggestive simulations, and lewd comments, the men perpetrating the harassment are seeking to embarrass and target the male victims—not sexually stimulate or "flirt" with them.

Military Lawyers: Wait On DADT Repeal
posted by Joe
Pentagon lawyers are recommending at least a year's delay before beginning work on the repeal of DADT. That could push a vote by Congress back until the middle of the 2012 elections, a time when many would be hesitant to support the repeal.
"Now is not the time," the in-house legal counsel for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote recently in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press. "The importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns, demand that we act with deliberation." Mullen received the conflicting advice this month about whether to move quickly to lift the 1993 ban, and it is not clear what he will recommend to President Barack Obama. Although allowing gays to serve openly in the military was one of Obama's campaign promises, the issue was put on a back burner during his first year in office. Some liberal supporters and several congressional Democrats are pushing for action.

Gay Left Smears GOP Senate Hopeful
Posted by LibertyDC
Below is my op ed published today by the DC Agenda on the smearing of US Senate candidate Scott Brown (R-MA) by the gay left. Next Tuesday, voters in Massachusetts will go to the polls for a special election to replace U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy (D). Recent polling shows Republican State Senator Scott Brown in a virtual tie with Democrat Martha Coakley. As the polls get closer and closer, Democrats and their allies on the left get more and more desperate. Democrats are unable to defend their record on taxes, spending, the economy, job creation, healthcare or the global war on terror, so instead they predictably turn to smears, distortions and name-calling. The gay left, always willing to do the bidding of the DNC, is attempting to characterize Scott Brown as ‘anti-gay’. This paper ran a headline that blared “Could an anti-gay Republican win Kennedy’s Seat?” The Edge, a New England gay paper, had a similar headline in December, “Anti-gay Mass. Pol Seeks to Succeed Kennedy.”


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