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Saturday, December 29, 2001

 
INBOX NEWZ 12/29/01 Information is power!

On the web: www.glbtnewz.blogspot.com or www.saloonmen.com

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HIV research: the year in review

Randy Dotinga, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, December 28, 2001 / 02:29 PM
SUMMARY: Researchers offered plenty of advice in 2001 for people with HIV and those trying to avoid it. Here's a review of the year's discoveries.
Researchers offered plenty of advice in 2001 for people with HIV and those trying to avoid it.
It's perfectly OK to receive oral sex, they said, while some lubricants may send you on a slippery slope away from infection. New warnings came out about poppers, drug resistance and growing nonchalance among gay men about AIDS.
Meanwhile, more states are keeping track of the names of people who turn out to be HIV-positive, while gay prisoners in Los Angeles who have illegal sex behind bars can do it while wearing free condoms.
Here's a run-down of what doctors, scientists and sociologists learned about AIDS over the past year:
-- AIDS patients got both good and bad news on the long-term survival front. A federal report released in March found AIDS patients diagnosed in 1995 lived an average of nearly four years, compared to just 11 months for those diagnosed in 1984. As many as 90 percent of those diagnosed in 1997 were still alive two years later.
But drug resistance loomed as a major challenge, as HIV mutated and became immune to many of medicine's most potent weapons against it. Researchers in San Diego studied patients who were HIV-positive in 1996 and discovered that more than half had developed resistance to at least one AIDS drug. However, viruses that become drug resistant tend to weaken themselves in the process, and resistance to all three classes of AIDS drugs is extremely rare.
-- Health officials in San Francisco are raising the alarm about poppers, which appear to be making a comeback. While their sale is illegal, many stores put the inhaled drugs on display anyway. While the link between AIDS and poppers isn't entirely clear, some experts think use of the drug can make people more susceptible to infection by affecting the biology of the body or encouraging careless behavior.
-- Astroglide may do more than keep your gears in motion. A University of Texas study found that the lubricant -- along with products for women called Silken Secret and Vagisil Intimate Moisturizer -- do a great job of killing HIV cells in a test tube. It's not clear if they'll do the same in people, however.
-- Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco reported that there is no risk of getting AIDS from being on the receptive end of oral sex. But it's still wise to be cautious if someone pulls your zipper down and goes to work. Putting your private parts in someone's mouth can put you at risk of getting syphilis and gonorrhea.
-- If your gay male friends aren't talking much about AIDS, they have plenty of company, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco. Bay Area men reported that they rarely discuss the disease, even with those who are infected. HIV-negative men reported seeing AIDS as more of an "inconvenience" than a killer, while the HIV-positive aren't spending as much time warning their friends to be careful, perhaps because they're looking and feeling better than ever.
-- Researchers found that gay and bisexual men who take sexual risks are more likely to have been abused as children than other men. Nearly one in four men who had been abused were HIV-positive, compared to 14 percent of those who hadn't, according to a University of California at San Francisco study. Researchers say men are more likely than women to turn to drug abuse and risky sexual behavior as a way to cope with the horrors of their pasts.
-- If you're at risk for HIV, get tested. Otherwise you may suffer the fate of four out of every 10 patients who test positive -- it may be too late to do much good. More than 40 percent of newly diagnosed HIV-positive patients were already near or in the full-blown stages of the disease, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente health plan.
-- Without much notice, Oregon and Delaware joined the list of states that keep track of HIV-positive patients by name. About 40 states now do so, although they use different systems and some allow patients to retain anonymity if they request it. Tracking the identities of sick people is nothing new, however. All states must compile reports of AIDS cases by name.
-- If you have AIDS, a good diet may do more than improve your figure. Research by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases suggested that HIV needs plenty of cholesterol to reproduce itself, suggesting that cholesterol-lowering drugs could be a weapon in the fight against the virus.
-- Is AIDS becoming a plague among straight people? Not according to a federal study, which estimated that just five percent of all U.S. AIDS cases are among straight people who had sex with a person who is not in a high-risk group, like male bisexuals and drug users. -- An estimated 2-3 percent of prisoners in California are infected with HIV, and Los Angeles County has taken an unusual step to keep that number down. Officials are now offering condoms to gay prisoners who are segregated into their own section of a county jail. Sex in jail, however, remains illegal. And nationwide, female prisoners are more likely to be HIV-positive than men, probably because many are prostitutes and drug users.
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Antigay cleric may be defrocked

An Episcopal priest who has run afoul of church leaders because of his conservative views will be tried in a church court for preaching in a suburban Washington, D.C., parish without the approval of his bishop, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The Rev. Samuel Edwards was charged December 19 with breaking church law when he ignored an order from Jane Holmes Dixon, acting bishop of Washington, D.C., to leave Christ Episcopal Church in Accokeek, Md., in May. He was later forced out of the parish by a federal order. Edwards is among a group of conservative Episcopal priests who believe that the denomination's current practice of ordaining women and tolerating homosexuality goes against traditional Episcopal teachings. If found guilty of holding services without a license from the bishop, Edwards could be disciplined or, at worst, defrocked.
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DREW BARRYMORE and TOM GREEN's marriage failed because the former child superstar is gay.

America's STAR MAGAZINE claims the 26-year-old beauty's estranged hubby was wrecked with jealously over her past same sex affairs and present female friendships.
A source close to the couple says, "It wasn't just living in the shadow of Drew's fame and wealth that brought out the ugly jealous tantrums in Tom, it was also doubt over Drew's sexuality.
"Tom knew when he married her that she was equally at home in bed with men or women and his worst fear was that one day he'd be replaced by a woman in her affections."
Barrymore has admitted in the past, "I do like women sexually. When I was younger I was with a lot of women, I love a woman's body. A woman and a woman together are just beautiful." (c) 2001 World Entertainment News Network
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Secret Service investigating PFLAG protest

The U.S. Secret Service has launched an investigation after some Michigan gay rights advocates placed slips of paper resembling dollar bills into Salvation Army donation kettles as a sign of protest against the organization's refusal to extend benefits to the same-sex partners of its employees. A Michigan chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays mounted the protest at the start of the holiday season.
Many members placed "reminder bills" into the army's Christmas collection kettles instead of an actual cash donation. The fake bills read, in part, "I would have donated $5, but the Salvation Army's decision to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees prevents my donation now and in the future." But some of the reminders may have looked a little too much like real money. Salvation Army officials in Flint, where the protest began, said they were contacted by a Secret Service agent investigating the phony bills as possible counterfeiting.
"[The agent] was quite concerned," said Maj. Ralph Bukiewicz, Genesee County Salvation Army commander. "In addition to some of the standardized slips that were dropped into the kettles, there were some from PFLAG that had actually duplicated [currency], changing some of the wording."
Protest organizer Mary Scholl, who is president of the Genesee County chapter of PFLAG, said that another Secret Service agent left his card on her door before Christmas, but she has not contacted him yet.
Scholl said the protest bill, which was available for downloading from PFLAG's Web site, had obvious differences in appearance from actual currency. "It looks like a dollar bill, but it's very small, with a little square that looks like a rainbow," she said. Secret Service officials declined to comment on the ongoing investigation
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Spain offers persecuted gays redress

Thousands of gay people persecuted during the Franco regime in Spain will have their criminal records purged and will likely be financially compensated thanks to a recent ruling by the Spanish parliament, according to The [London] Daily Telegraph.
Thousands of gays, mostly men, were jailed, put in camps, or confined to mental institutions under Franco's dictatorship, which lasted for 40 years. Gays were one of the few groups who did not benefit from pardons granted after Franco's death in 1975 nor from a general amnesty in 1976.
The parliament's ruling came after a motion was proposed earlier this month to "morally and economically rehabilitate" the gay people persecuted during Franco's regime. Historian Pablo Fuentes, writing in the magazine Gesto, said, "One of the problems of compensating the victims is that we don't know how many there were. Many people do not want to recall the past."
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Remembering 2001: Hollywood Reporter's gay and gay-friendly obits

In a year marked by incalculable loss, The Hollywood Reporter on Friday noted the deaths of a long list of gay and gay-friendly celebrities. Among them was one of Hollywood's most accomplished behind-the-scenes talents, Ralph Burns, 79, a jazz pianist who scored many of Broadway's and Hollywood's top musicals. Burns, who was openly gay, won Oscars for scoring Cabaret and All That Jazz and a Tony award for Fosse. He also created the arrangements for Ray Charles's recordings of "Georgia" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." Other notables on the obit list: Rosemary DeCamp, character actress whose name became campy dialogue in The Boys in the Band; Jack Haley Jr., married to Liza Minnelli from 1975 to 1979; Kim Stanley, who won an Emmy in Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Christopher Hewett, who originated the wildly fey character of Roger DeBris in the film The Producers; former teen heartthrob Troy Donahue; Dagmar, a '50s TV personality whose name belied her roots in West Virginia; Herbert Ross, director-choreographer behind such gay film staples as The Turning Point and Soapdish; and Dick Schaap, a sports columnist and reporter whose gay-friendly views were ahead of his time
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AIDS Patient Sues Drug Chain Over Prescription Mistake

by Beth Shapiro
365Gay.com Newscenter, in New York
(December 29, Boston) A Boston man is suing the CVS drugstore chain after he was given the wrong prescription in his AIDS medication.
Adam Barrett was diagnosed with HIV in 1985. When he was put on the 14 pill-a-day cocktail of drugs Barrett said he began to have new hope for his life.
The cocktail, which includes the drug Crixivan has few side effects.
But, last January three weeks after he had had his prescription refilled he noticed that the pills he had been taking were 200 milligrams, half the dosage he was supposed to be taking.
"I stood there for about three minutes thinking this is 200. I kept repeating this in my head: 'This is the wrong dosage,'" Barrett said.
In his suit, Barrett maintains that the mistake gave the virus the opportunity it needed to mutate and develop a resistance to his medications.
AIDS researchers have discovered that any shift in a patient's complex drug regimen can give the virus that edge. Once the virus develops a resistance to one drug, it quickly develops resistance to other drugs.
"Maybe I would have had another year maybe another two years on this combination successfully," Barrett told Boston television station WCVB. "I don't know that. We will never know that. In my opinion, they have done significant damage." Barrett said that he has yet to hear from the drug store chain which has pharmacies throughout the US.
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Drag Race Gaining Support

by Jan Prout
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(December 29, Toronto) Support is growing to put Toronto drag queen Enza 'Supermodel' Anderson on the ticket for the leadership of Canada's far right party.
Anderson needs a $25,000 to officially enter the race to lead the Canadian Alliance party, Canada's Official Opposition in Parliament.
Getting ready to hit the hustings, Enza's biggest problem is in deciding which wig to wear. She opts for auburn. The skirt is an easier choice. Mid thigh, it shows off her long legs.
"I've got great legs, what can I say."
Anderson has launched a leadership website www.Enza.ca where supporters can make donations her campaign. Her first campaign pledge is that none of the money raised will actually go to the party. "Campaign funds will stay in the community."
Her campaign manager, Ian Ross said it will likely cost $100,000 or more to run.
Ross said several benefactors who wish to remain anonymous have already pledged "large funds," and the pool is growing every day.
Anderson is already a seasoned candidate. She placed third in a field of 25 when she ran for mayor of Toronto.
"I talk about issues," she says.
"In the Toronto election I talked about the homeless, about recycling. Things that affect people."
"Now it's about issues that affect the country."
Enza has gotten only silence from the other declared candidates, but in a veiled attack, Grant Hill, the party's health critic, reiterated his stand on homosexuality. "It's sick, it promotes sickness, like smoking," he recently said.
If she raises the deposit required to run, the party will be required to give Anderson equal billing and an opportunity to take part in candidate debates and convention speeches.
It is that forum she intends to use to attack the current homophobic stance of the Alliance. It officially opposes further gay rights, marriage, and partnership unions.
The Leadership vote will be held on March 8, 2002.
If she makes it to the convention, she's hoping enough supporters will take out one year memberships in the party. The ten dollar fee she says is less than the cost of a movie.
And, she point out, that party membership does not bind anyone to actually vote for the party in a general election.
"I'm gonna unite the right," she says. "And let me tell you, there's a lot of sexy MPs I'd like to unite with."
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Australia Stonewalls Tatchell

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(December 29, London) The Australian government continues to turn a blind eye on gay activist Peter Tatchell.
The Australian-born Tatchell who is a British citizen was denied a visa in September. At the time Australian authorities said it was because of fears that he might "molest, stalk or intimidate" the Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe during the Commonwealth Heads of Government conference.
Tatchell has on several occasions attempted to have Mugabe arrested for crimes against humanity in his treatment of gays and lesbians.
In March Tatchell was beaten by Mr Mugabe's bodyguards when he attempted to make a citizen's arrest during the president's visit to Brussels.
But the activist promised in a signed statement that he would not approach Mr Mugabe, although he says he will continue to petition Canberra to arrest the president for torture under Australia's own laws.
In addition, the Commonwealth meeting was postponed.
Still the government in Canberra is continuing to ignore his pleas for a visa. Tatchell's stepfather, who brought him up, is critically ill in hospital following a stroke and his mother has serious health problems.
"This hold-up is tantamount to a de facto visa refusal," Tatchell said.
"To keep a family apart at a time of life-threatening illness is cruel and heartless.
"They are prepared to roll out the red carpet for Mugabe despite his human rights record, yet a human rights campaigner is not allowed into the country of his birth." Australia's immigration minister insists he has not rejected the campaigner, but will not grant a visa until "possible character concerns" are addressed.
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Gay-rights group files suit to block vote

SAVE Dade: Referendum petition drive is a `fraud'
BY KARL ROSS kross@herald.com
Seeking to block a referendum on Miami-Dade County's gay-rights amendment, the advocacy group SAVE Dade filed a complaint in state circuit court Friday that depicts a petition drive by referendum backers as ``an orchestrated fraud.''
The lawsuit challenges the validity of county Elections Supervisor David Leahy's recent certification of petitions submitted more than a year ago by Take Back Miami-Dade, the group leading the call for a September 2002 referendum.
``The core concern which compels this lawsuit is Take Back's patent effort seeking a countywide referendum on the basis of an orchestrated fraud,'' the lawsuit states.
The complaint seeks a judge's order requiring Leahy to carry out a review of all 51,000 signatures turned in to elections officials, claiming the random-sampling method Leahy used failed to weed out all ``illegal, erroneous and fraudulent signatures.''
It also asks the 11th Circuit Court to bar the Miami-Dade County Commission from acting on Leahy's certification and placing the issue on a referendum ballot.
Take Back Miami-Dade, through its communications director, Eladio José Armesto, blasted the complaint.
`EXTREMISTS'
``Homosexualist extremists are abusing the judicial process in an incredibly outrageous attempt to violate the constitutional right of Miami-Dade citizens to vote in a referendum for the just repeal of the legally unnecessary, socially divisive and politically undemocratic `sexual orientation' amendment.
``Take Back Miami-Dade will steadfastly oppose these corrupt enemies of democracy and will demonstrate that there's no room in our community for the shameless subversion of the people's right to vote by extremists who are not qualified to speak for the great majority of nonexhibitionist, nonviolent homosexual persons living in this community.''
SAVE Dade organized the political campaign leading to the 1998 amendment to the county's human rights ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. That amendment is the target of Take Back's referendum push.
Leahy said he was not surprised by the complaint, filed on the last possible day after the Dec. 18 certification of the petition for a referendum.
``I expected it,'' Leahy said. ``It was such a controversial issue. No matter which way you turn, somebody's going to be unhappy with you.''
Leahy said he was satisfied he handled the petition in accordance with state law. Until a court finds a signature to be fraudulent, he said he has no way to discard signatures that otherwise pass muster.
27 PERCENT TOSSED
Even so, 27 percent -- more than one in four -- of the 1,500 signatures sampled by Leahy were thrown out on technical grounds or because they were not from registered voters.
Leahy said he was forced to use a statistical sample to determine certification rather than a full review because of legal tactics employed by Take Back Miami-Dade.
SAVE Dade attorney Benedict Kuehne said Leahy is not the true target of the complaint, and lauded his conduct.
``I think Supervisor Leahy did an exemplary job,'' Kuehne said. ``The lawsuit is designed to force the review of plainly fraudulent and improper signatures, as well as to examine the invalid circular signatures and notary certificates -- matters which the supervisor believes are outside his authority.''
SAVE Dade members allege that some people who circulated petitions carried out ``a scheme to manufacture voter signatures.'' The allegations are under investigation by the state attorney's office.
Kuehne contended that if improper signatures are eliminated, amendment foes will fail to get the signatures needed for a referendum.
© 2001 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. www.miami.com/herald
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Wanna Be's mens club, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Gay TV Listings (USA) www.gaytvlistings.com
Gay TV Listings (Canada) www.365gay.com/entertainment/tv/tv.htm
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Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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Friday, December 28, 2001

 
INBOX NEWZ 12/28/01 Information is power!

On the web: www.glbtnewz.blogspot.com or www.saloonmen.com

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Vandals Put Women on Guard; Police Say Incidents Are Pranks, Not Hate Crimes

by Sara Burnett, Daily Herald Staff Writer
Hate crime or kids being kids?
If they knew, Rondee Kallas and Crystal Winclechter might be able to sleep at night.
Seven times in the past 14 months, the home the women share on Longford Drive in Elgin has been vandalized.
The offenders always have struck at Halloween or Christmas, when decorations cover virtually every foot of the women's front yard. They have stolen hundreds of dollars worth of decorations -- from a 6-foot-tall grim reaper to light-up candy canes and wooden cutouts of ice-skating penguins -- ripped lights out of the ground and even swiped extension cords.
Since the incidents began, the women have assumed they were harmless pranks, the work of neighborhood kids looking to have a little fun.
Then one morning earlier this month, Winclechter walked outside to find Kallas' car had been picked up and moved from the driveway and onto the lawn. Written in the dust on the windows to her own van, Winclechter discovered, were several derogatory terms for lesbians.
Prank or not, the incidents no longer seemed so harmless -- especially when the vandals returned three more times to steal and destroy decorations. The most recent hit occurred Saturday night, while the women were watching television in their living room.
"Right now, we're scared," said Winclechter, who also said she hasn't had any problems with neighbors since the women bought their home in April 2000. "When someone thinks hateful things like that, you don't know what they'll do."
Elgin police Sgt. Chris Troiola, however, doesn't believe the vandalism is a hate crime. While the women may feel like they're being targeted, reports of vandalism increase citywide around the holidays, and this year has been no exception, he said.
"If it really were an adult who hated these people because of their lifestyle, the nature of the crimes would probably be worse," Troiola said. "These are usually more of teenage pranks. ... Unfortunately, they're not the only people in Elgin this has happened to."
Police have put extra patrols on Longford, a generally quiet middle-class residential street off Shales Parkway, in the hopes of deterring any further incidents.
But Winclechter and Kallas say that's not enough.
They already have installed a home security system. Motion-detecting lights in their front yard made them feel better at first but have failed to stop the increasingly bold thieves.
A home video camera has been permanently placed in an upstairs bedroom. The women were setting the machine to record every night when they went to sleep. After being vandalized while watching television Saturday night, however, the women now say the camera will record 24 hours a day.
Winclechter and Kallas also have enlisted friends and neighbors to help them conduct their own "stakeouts." They plan to take turns watching the house from both inside and out until the offenders are caught.
In the meantime, the women say they'll continue to look over their shoulders every time they walk outside.
It's not a very comforting way to live, they say, but they feel they have little choice.
"You just never know," Kallas said. (C) 2001 Chicago Daily Herald. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Female pro footballer gets flak for coming out

Alissa Wykes of Bensalem, Penn., who plays fullback for the Philadelphia Liberty Belles--the 2001 National Women's Football League champions--came out publicly in the December-January issue of Sports Illustrated Women. Now she's getting flak for it from the league's owner, according to Philadelphia Gay News.
In the three-page article, Wykes's sexual orientation is mentioned three times. "Of course I am a lesbian," Wykes says in the story. "I've had a partner for six years, and it's been awesome. I guess you can call this my coming-out party."
According to Wykes, after the issue hit newsstands, Catherine Masters, founder and owner of the National Women's Football League, phoned her, calling her "stupid" for revealing her sexual orientation. Wykes also says that Masters called her a dyke. Masters denies using either term but admitted to the Gay News that she thinks an out lesbian is bad for business.
"This is a business; we're new," Masters told the Gay News. "I want to go after mainstream sponsors. Alissa's coming-out in a national publication was inappropriate and was certainly more harmful than helpful. I don't know of any major corporation trying to speak to the gay demographic." Wykes says she was initially cautious of coming out in the article and agreed to do so only if Sports Illustrated Women addressed her sexuality in a matter-of-fact way. Wykes says she told her family, coworkers, and Liberty Belles owner Marie Olsen that she was going to come out in the article and that she received support from everyone.
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Suspicious fire damages gay businesses

Fire officials in Palm Springs, Calif., are investigating a suspicious blaze that destroyed one business and damaged four others in the city's gay business district Wednesday, according to The [Palm Springs] Desert Sun.
The fire broke out about 5:25 a.m. in the office area of Coin-Op Laundry, then spread eastward along the 200 block of Arenas Road through the attic and the ceiling to the Street Bar. The blaze then turned west and caused smoke damage to the AIDS Assistance Program office,Tomboyz Cafe, and Classic Chic Consignment. Coin-Op Laundry was totally destroyed, while the Street Bar sustained damage to the attic, roof, and beams.
It took more than 20 firefighters several hours to extinguish the flames. ''It's suspicious at this time because everything was locked up since Christmas Eve,'' said Palm Springs fire marshal Carl Thibeault.
The owner of Coin-Op, Jim Fundin, said he hopes the fire was not deliberately set by someone trying to cause damage to the gay business district. ''Since it happened in the office and nobody broke a window, I don't think it was anything like that,'' Fundin said. He added that he plans to reopen as soon as possible. Dick Haskamp, owner of the Street Bar, expressed shock as he viewed the damage but also said he'd reopen as soon as possible. ''I'd like to find out it was not suspicious, because I don't want to think that's what happened,'' Haskamp said. "I don't know of anybody that's unhappy with us. This is the last thing that I expected.''
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Popeye Outed

by Beth Shapiro
365Gay.com Newscenter, in New York
(December 28, New York) Olive Oyl is only a foil. Popeye only has eyes for Bluto. The truth about the spinach loving cartoon character comes out in a new series of ads for Minute Maid orange juice.
The ads show beefy Bluto squealing with joy as he pushes Popeye back and forth on a swing in a children's playground.
Their affection for each other is sealed when they get the words "Buddies For Life" tattooed on their bulging arms.
Olive is left in their dust as the pair ride off into the sunset together.
Charles Torrey, Minute Maid's marketing director, said the ad was meant to be fun. He said: "We're certainly not targeting any one group." But, Torrey acknowledges the gay market is worth billions of dollars.
GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation hailed the ad as a major step forward in gay positive advertising. Cathy Renna said: "Gay people are raising their eyebrows and winking along with the ad."
But, the outing of Popeye and Bluto has outraged conservative Christian groups.
The right-wing Culture and Family Institute is hinting at a boycott of Minute Maid. "If parents think their children are being targeted by a homosexual campaign, they will switch brands of juice without blinking." The CFI's Robert Knight said.
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Support For Partnership Union Remains Strong In Quebec

by Jean-Pierre O'Brien
365Gay.com Newscenter in Montreal
(December 28, Montreal) A new poll shows public opinion in Quebec continues to support partnership unions for gays and lesbians, but was down from a similar survey in the summer.
The CROP poll taken in mid December for La Presse shows that 61 percent of Quebecers approve of civil unions.
A survey conducted last summer found 76.5 per cent of Quebecers would support same-sex civil unions.
While 55.1 per cent of the public approved of gay and lesbians adopting children in the summer, 43 per cent approve now.
47 per cent of those questioned said gays and lesbians should be given the right to marry.
CROP surveyed 500 people across the province over between December 13 and 17.
The poll showed that the strongest support came from better educated young people, while the most opposition was from people over the age of 60.
While it would appear that support for partnership unions may be waning in Quebec, it may not be necessarily so.
The poll taken in this month asked if "you support the [provincial] government's partnership union legislation for gays and lesbians." The question in the summer was simply put: "Do you support partnership unions for gays and lesbians."
The apparent dip in support (the first since polling on the question of marital rights began) could be attributed to the proposed wording in the legislation and a growing discontent with the Parti Quebecois government.
The poll showed a higher acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships among Francophones than other groups in the province.
The Montreal couple challenging the government ban on gay marriage in the courts said it was happy with the results of the survey.
Rene Leboeuf and Michael Hendricks will celebrate their 29th anniversary on New Year's Eve. They are challenging the constitutionality of the ban on gay marriage.
Hendricks said, "Obviously, one is delighted owing to the fact that about two thirds of the population support that we have marital rights."
A decision by the Quebec Superior Court is expected in February. Whatever the outcome, it is expected the case, like similar ones in Ontario and British Columbia will end up in the Supreme Court of Canada. The preliminary draft of law to grant civil unions was tabled in the National Assembly at the beginning of this month.
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Kids Raised by Gay Parents Put Under Microscope

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(December 28, London) A major study of children raised by same-sex couples shows they are as well adjusted as other kids, and do as well in school.
The research conducted in Norway contradicts a widely held belief in the country that the children of gay and lesbian couples would be maladjusted.
A public opinion poll several years ago indicated that half the Norwegian population believed being raised by single-sex couples would harm a child.
The new study, by two University of Tromso psychology students, followed the development of 55 children.
Lesbian couples raised 19 of the children, 10 were raised by single mothers and the remaining 26 by heterosexual couples. The families studied were comparable in terms of education and earning level.
Margrethe Seeger Halvorsen, one of the two researchers, said: "The results are somewhat surprising in view of the negative attitude that still exists towards homosexuality in society."
The main arguments against children being raised by gays and lesbians have been based on the fear of stigmatizations or teasing of the children. Another recurring concern has been the lack of role models of both sexes.
Researcher Andreas Joner said: "Part of the explanation for the children not being taunted more could be the openness of the parents in our study, towards day care and schools."
Joner said the children were largely open about their families. About half of the 19 children raised by lesbians had frequent contact with their biological fathers. Only eight of the 19 had never experienced anything other than lesbian parents with the other 11 having been born while their mother was in a heterosexual relationship.
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Going Online To Fight Hate

by Jon ben Asher
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(December 28, London) Scottish police have created an internet site to allow victims of gay hate crime to file anonymous reports.
Police say they believe that many crimes against gays are under-reported.
Many victims are thought to be too scared to report attacks, or want to conceal their sexual orientation. The site, www.lbp.police.uk , contains information about issues such as safe nights out and what to do if you are the victim of an attack.
Sergeant Steve Bennett, an LGBT liaison officer within the force's diversity unit, said police had made positive links with the LGBT community and were keen to build on the relationship they had established.
"In the unfortunate case that someone does become a victim we need to hear about it, firstly to try and trace the culprit and secondly to take any action necessary to warn others of any potential danger. People can remain anonymous if they want to because a lot of gays are reluctant to come forward because of the perceived stigma attached to being 'different' in society."
"This is part of a long-term plan to help us tackle this problem which is at least ten years behind the way race hate is tackled but we are making good strides forward," he said. "People just have to try and use the service they are entitled to without fear of stigma and prejudice."
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Book Closes On Satellite Debacle

by Peter Hacker
365Gay.com Newscenter in Sydney
(December 28, Sydney) The chapter has ended in the saga of Satellite Group, the gay publishing and real estate company that went public and then collapsed under about $10 million in liabilities.
This week, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission concluded legal action against two former executives of the failed company.
It followed a decision in the New South Wales Supreme Court that managing director Gregory Fisher and former executive manager Jonathon Broster had used Satellite funds for their personal ventures without authority from directors or shareholders.
ASIC has banned both men from being a director of a private company for five years and from a public company for eight years.
In addition, Broster has agreed to pay $150,000 in fines. Fisher is bankrupt and so no penalty or compensation has been paid.
Once dubbed the world's first "pink float", Satellite was forced into voluntary bankruptcy in November 2000 Shares in the group, which traded as high as 50 cents in 2000, slumped to 15 cents and were halted from trading in July last year.
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Faith Moves To Remove Gay Pastors

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(December 28, Seattle) The first step has been taken in the removal of two gay United Methodist ministers in Seattle.
The Rev. Mark Edward Williams disclosed his sexual orientation at the denomination's Pacific Northwest Annual Conference in June.
The United Methodist Church bars the appointment of openly gay clergy, but Williams' parishioners have fought to keep him.
Bishop Elias Galvan of Seattle at the direction of a high court of the church has filed an official complaint against Williams.
The United Methodist Judicial Council affirmed in October that the denomination's Book of Discipline forbids the appointment of openly gay pastors but added that due-process rules must be followed before Williams could be disciplined or removed.
The council directed Galvan to file a complaint to begin the process.
The bishop and an investigation committee will determine whether there are grounds for a church trial in which a jury could impose penalties ranging from suspension to expulsion from the church. Galvan also filed a complaint against the Rev. Karen Dammann, a lesbian Methodist minister who previously served at the same church and is now on family leave.
*******************************************************************

Twenty Years After Its Founding, There Is Still Dismayingly Much for Pflag to Do, Its President Believes

December 25, 2001, Knight Ridder/Tribune
Twenty years ago, a few parents were searching for help. Their children had recently told them that they were homosexual, leaving the parents distressed.
Those couples began meeting on Sundays to find ways to handle this information. They called themselves Parents of Gays. It was the beginning of what soon was called Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG.
In this new century, the question I had is: Does the need for such a group still exist?
PFLAG president Susanne Cassidy believes it does. Cassidy told me this story. In connection with the anniversary, she called a woman who was a cofounder of the Philadelphia chapter. The woman, who has since died, was happy to talk, but asked that Cassidy not mention her name in retelling how the chapter began.
"It's been 20 years and her daughter's partner still hasn't come out to her family," Cassidy said. "I'd say we still have work to do."
Cassidy, 61, joined the group nine years ago, when her son, Paul, told her he was gay. But she did more than just attend the meetings. She became one of the more vocal participants, willing to speak and be identified by name. For her, it is an issue of civil rights.
"I initially felt I was doing something to make the world a better place for my son," she said. "But I quickly realized my work could make the world a better place for a lot of people."
The greatest contribution the group makes, Cassidy believes, is being a safe place for parents, siblings and friends to share their feelings, good and bad, and not be judged.
Also important is the education PFLAG undertakes in its meetings and monthly workshops.
"We help people understand who their children are," Cassidy said. "That they are no different now than they were before they came out. They are still the good, loving, decent sons and daughters that these parents raised."
In the middle of the holiday season, Cassidy is especially hopeful that this message can be put across. At a time when family seems all-important, many gays and lesbians find themselves or their partners unwelcome at the family table.
"How sad," murmurs Cassidy. "I just want parents to put their arms around their child and say, `Thank you, God, for the gift of this child.' " Copyright 2001 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.
*****************************************************************

Wanna Be's mens club, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Gay TV Listings (USA) www.gaytvlistings.com
Gay TV Listings (Canada) www.365gay.com/entertainment/tv/tv.htm
Rainbow downloads. www.rainbowflag.com
Start your spiritual journey at www.staghornmanor.com
Inbox Newz archives. www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
*****************************************************************



Thursday, December 27, 2001

 
INBOX NEWZ 12/27/01 Information is power!

on the web: www.inboxnewz.blogspot.com or www.saloonmen.com

*******************************************************************

Falwell Tops Mad List of 20 Dumbest People of 2001

December 2001 (Newstream) -- The editors of MAD Magazine, America's
foremost experts in stupidity, have chosen Rev. Jerry Falwell, for
blaming the terrorist attacks of September 11th on "the abortionists,
feminists, gays and lesbians" to top its list of the fourth annual
MAD 20, the humor monthly's year-end review of "The Dumbest People,
Events and Things of 2001."
"We thought Falwell had reached his personal pinnacle of dumbness a
few years ago when he accused the Teletubbies of promoting
homosexuality," said MAD co-Editor, John Ficarra. "Give the guy
credit, we underestimated him."
"He was listed sixth on the list in 1999," chimed in fellow co-
Editor, Nick Meglin. " But now he's redefined dumbness and made it to
the top spot. We congratulate the Reverend!"
The MAD editors point out that the millennium is off to an
extraordinarily dumb start. Ficarra explained, "The botched
Presidential election made 2000 a very dumb year, but between
Falwell's moronic comments after September 11th, the Gary Condit
affair and the XFL debacle, 2001 was even dumber!"
The previous winners of MAD's "dumbest thing of the year" were
Monicagate (1998), The Y2K Panic (1999) and last year's Presidential
Election.
The MAD 20, a special full-color 18-page section, is featured in the
year-end issue of MAD Magazine (#413), on sale at newsstands,
bookstores and comic book shops everywhere.
THE MAD 20
The Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2001
1. Jerry Falwell's Ugly Remarks About September 11th
2. Celebrity Substance Abuse As A Career Move
3. "13-Year Old" Danny Almonte And The Bronx Little League Scandal
4. Bill Clinton Gets A Sweet $10 Million Book Deal
5. Anne Heche Says Bye "Bi," Goes Hetero
6. NASCAR's Abysmal Safety Record
7. Err Jordan: Michael's Foolish Comeback
8. The Supreme Court Snuffs Out Medical Marijuana
9. The Timothy McVeigh Death Lottery
10. Fuzzy Math: The Bush Tax Rebate
11. McDonald's McFixed Monopoly Game Contest
12. Puff Daddy Changes His Name To "P. Diddy"
13. The Butchers Of Beijing Awarded Olympic Games
14. Elton John Duets With Eminem At Grammy Awards v
15. Weird Beard: Al Gore Grows Facial Hair
16. The XFL Debacle
17. The Bush Daughters Drunken Adventure
18. That Millionaire Guy Who Bribed The Russians To Launch Him Into
Space
19. The Gary Condit Affair
20. MAD Magazine Sells Out, Accepts Ads
©2001 Newstream.com. All rights reserved.
*****************************************************************

Larry Kramer Expected to Be Moved Out of Intensive Care After Liver
Transplant

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Five days after undergoing a liver transplant, AIDS
activist and author Larry Kramer was listed in serious condition but
was expected to be moved out of intensive care.
A nurse supervisor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
said late Tuesday that Kramer was expected to be moved to a private
room on Wednesday. His doctors have said his condition was
progressing as expected. Kramer, 66, spent seven months on a waiting
list for his liver transplant.
He moved to Pittsburgh in early November to wait for an organ to
become available.
While many transplant centres oppose the surgery for HIV-positive
patients, UPMC's Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute has
performed 10 liver transplants on HIV-positive patients since 1997.
Eight of the patients have survived.
Kramer's HIV has been relatively well controlled, but he suffered
from end-stage liver failure caused by hepatitis B.
Kramer is the author of the plays The Normal Heart and The Destiny of
Me, and books about the front line of AIDS and gay activism. His
screenplay for the film Women in Love was nominated for an Academy
Award.
He also helped found Gay Men's Health Crisis, a provider of services
to those with AIDS, and later helped created ACT UP, an AIDS advocacy
group. © The Canadian Press, 2001
******************************************************************

Sir Nigel Hawthorne, actor, dies at 72

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Wednesday, December 26, 2001 / 03:50 PM
SUMMARY: Sir Nigel Hawthorne, the British actor best known for roles
in the film "The Madness of King George" and the British television
series "Yes, Minister," died on Wednesday at the age of 72.
Sir Nigel Hawthorne, the British actor best known for roles in the
film "The Madness of King George" and the British television
series "Yes, Minister," died on Wednesday at the age of 72.
Hawthorne, who was reportedly suffering from pancreatic cancer, died
of a heart attack at his home, said his agent, Ken McReddie.
Born in 1929 and raised in South Africa, Hawthorne became a versatile
classical actor who was successful on both stage and screen, but it
wasn't until later in his career that he became widely known.
The role that first brought him fame in 1980 was Sir Humphrey
Appleby, the calculating civil servant on "Yes, Minister," which then-
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher admitted was her favorite television
series.
In 1991, he won the U.S. Tony Award for his portrayal of C.S. Lewis
in the play "Shadowlands." The following year he won the Olivier
Award for best actor in "The Madness of King George III," which was
later made into a film that earned Hawthorne an Academy Award
nomination for best actor.
Queen Elizabeth II knighted Hawthorne in 1999. He is survived by his
partner, Trevor Bentham.
******************************************************************

Gay-friendly Republican to head U.N. Development Corp.

After 33 years in the New York state senate, gay-friendly Republican
Roy Goodman will leave office to take over as president of the U.N.
Development Corp., New York City mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg
announced Monday.
"He is the perfect person," Bloomberg told reporters. "The United
Nations and the whole diplomatic community is so important to
America, and particularly to New York, that we need someone with
strong leadership, someone who understands the needs of the
diplomatic community and the needs of New York City. It's the perfect
combination." Goodman, who has close ties to New York governor George
Pataki as well as to President Bush, has been a champion of funding
for gay rights, arts funding, and abortion rights. He had been under
consideration by the Bush administration to head the National
Endowment for the Humanities, but that idea was derailed by
conservative opposition.
*******************************************************************

University expands services for gay students

St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn., announced it will
expand services for GLBT students this spring semester. The
university's counseling center, in collaboration with its Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Services office, will offer a
support group program that allows students struggling with personal
issues to meet with professional counselors free of charge. "People
really do need to find a place to talk to people who understand,"
said Sheri Atkinson, GLBT Services coordinator. "We wanted to provide
other avenues for students."
Meanwhile, Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich.,
disappointed gay rights supporters when the university president
announced via the school's Web site on Friday that the university
won't extend benefits to domestic partners of its unmarried
employees. "Despite the university's stated commitment to diversity
and equity, this decision brands gay and lesbian staff and faculty as
second-class citizens not deserving of a range of benefits provided
to other faculty and staff," the Grand Valley State University
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Faculty and Staff Association
said in a news release. Seven of Michigan's 15 public universities--
including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University--
offer benefits such as health insurance and funeral leave to domestic
partners of their gay and straight employees.
*****************************************************************

TCM airs Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song

Turner Classic Movies will air the new documentary Marlene Dietrich:
Her Own Song, directed by Dietrich's grandson, J. David Riva, on
Thursday, December 27. While the film does not delve into her affairs
with other women, it contains exclusive footage of Dietrich and
explores her life as an actress, singer, and avowed enemy of the
Third Reich. For a schedule of showtimes for the documentary--and for
TCM's broadcast of the Dietrich films Blonde Venus, Seven Sinners,
and Judgment at Nuremberg--visit www.turnerclassicmovies.com .

******************************************************************

New Year's Party Warning

by Jack Siu
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(December 27, Toronto) Gay community medical experts are warning New
Year's Eve raves could be dangerous, even fatal.
According to a new study gay men are more likely to use recreational
drugs and have risky sex when they attend raves or circuit parties.
The findings suggest a need for special HIV prevention strategies
that are targeted toward men who attend circuit parties, according to
the study's authors.
"Circuit parties are an important and often positive influence on the
gay community,'' Dr. Grant N. Colfax of the San Francisco Department
of Public Health says.
In the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes Colfax writes
that after taking into account drug use, attendance at circuit
parties itself was not linked to high-risk sexual behaviour.
But, Colfax said, "a substantial proportion of circuit-party
participants report high-risk HIV-transmitting behaviours, often in
relation to substance abuse.''
He and his colleagues surveyed nearly 300 gay and bisexual men in the
San Francisco area. The men answered questions about their drug use
and sexual activity during the weekend of a circuit party in San
Francisco, an out-of-town circuit party weekend, and two weekends
spent in San Francisco without attending a circuit party.
Most of the men reported using at least one recreational drug when
attending an out-of-town circuit party, Colfax and his colleagues
report, with 80% taking Ecstasy, 66% taking ketamine, 43% crystal
methamphetamines, 29% the so-called ''liquid Ecstasy'' GHB, 14%
taking the impotence drug Viagra, and 12% taking amyl nitrates, also
known as ``poppers.''
At San Francisco circuit parties, however, the men used certain
drugs, including ketamine and crystal meth, less frequently than when
out of town. And they were significantly less likely to use drugs--
with the exception of alcohol--during weekends in San Francisco when
they went to a dance club instead of a circuit party. On weekends
when men did not go out to a club or a party, most did not use any
drugs, the researchers found.
As was the case for drug use, risky sex was most common at out-of-
town circuit parties, where 21% of HIV-positive men and 9% of HIV-
negative men had anal sex without a condom with a partner whose HIV
status was unknown or different from their own.
Colfax's team suggests several possible reasons why men are more
likely to have risky sex at out-of-town circuit parties. Increased
drug use may contribute, as may the anonymity possible at an out-of-
town party. In addition, the availability of new sexual partners at
an out-of-town party, as well as an absence of regular partners, may
lead some men to have unsafe sex, the authors report.
``There needs to be a greater focus within the public health
community on the high prevalence of club drug use in relation to high-
risk sexual behaviour,'' according to Colfax. And since Viagra was
frequently used by men at circuit parties, ``physicians should
provide safer sex messages'' whenever prescribing the drug, he noted.
******************************************************************

Oz Gov't Pledges Support For Mardi Gras

by Peter Hacker
365Gay.com Newscenter in Sydney
(December 27, Sydney) The government of New South Wales has pledged
to save Sydney's gay festival, Mardi Gras, from financial ruin.
The annual parade and party has teetered on the verge of disaster for
the past several years.
The situation worsened when the city demanded $160,000 for police and
cleanup crews.
The plight of Mardi Gras came up in the state parliament, with an
independent MP calling on the government to support the festival.
Clover Moore said that if the parade were to be cancelled it would
have a devastating impact on Sydney's economy already hurt by the
fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. The Sydney
Star Observer reports that Moore appeal was favourably met by the
premier's office. It is not clear, however, whether the state will
give Mardi Gras a grant to cover the city expenses, or forgive them.
******************************************************************

Juror Says State Withheld Evidence In Gay Man's Trial

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(December 27, Dallas) The foreman of the jury which convicted an
Austin, Texas barber of sexually abusing his 3-year old niece, said
he now believes the man was innocent.
Wade Caraway said that evidence was withheld from the jury that would
have proved Jerry Martin innocent.
Caraway says Martin should be released.
He has sent a letter to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles that
says: "It is my opinion now that Jerry Don Martin was wrongly
convicted of the crime, and I recommend a pardon."
Martin, 58, was sentenced to 50 years after his niece, then 4,
pointed to him in the courtroom and indicated that he touched her
genitals.
What the jurors weren't told was that no physical evidence tied
Martin to the assault, that Martin tested negative for a venereal
disease transmitted to the girl, and that Martin is gay.
An investigation by an Austin newspaper, the Star-Telegram has also
questioned the verdict. It has reported that jurors weren't presented
with evidence that could point to Martin's innocence and implicate
the girl's father.
Keith Hampton, Martin's attorney, said Caraway's pardon
recommendation sends a strong signal that could help deliver
additional support from trial officials. Clemency bids are usually
successful when trial officials such as the district attorney and
judge back them. District Attorney B.J. Shepherd, however, said he
opposes a full pardon, which would release Martin without
restrictions. He said he had earlier considered supporting parole,
under which Martin would be returned to jail if he violated certain
conditions.
*****************************************************************

Wanna Be's mens club, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Gay TV Listings (USA) www.gaytvlistings.com
Gay TV Listings (Canada) www.365gay.com/entertainment/tv/tv.htm
Rainbow downloads. www.rainbowflag.com
Start your spiritual journey at www.staghornmanor.com
Inbox Newz archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
*****************************************************************

 
Wednesday, December 26, 2001

INBOX NEWZ 12/26/01 Information is power!

On the web: www.inboxnewz.blogspot.com or www.saloonmen.com


******************************************************************


Survey finds cybersex addiction in men


Tom Musbach, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Monday, December 24, 2001 / 01:11 PM
SUMMARY: A survey of cybersex habits suggests that about 6.5 percent of male Internet users are compulsive with their online behavior.
An online survey of cybersex habits suggests that about 6.5 percent of male Internet users are so compulsive with their online behavior that it's affecting their off-line relationships.
The survey, conducted by MSNBC and the Marital and Sexuality Centre of San Jose, Calif., revealed that this group of Internet users engaged in cybersex for an average of 5.7 hours per week -- twice as much as most of the men surveyed.
Al Cooper, a psychologist who helped conduct the survey, told Reuters that spending more hours a week on Internet porn sites and sex chat rooms were some signifiers of online sexual compulsion.
Cooper added that many who reported signs of cybersex compulsion also reported a decline in sexual activity with an offline partner.
Some scientists questioned the validity of the findings, according to Reuters, and the editors at MSNBC said the survey's results do not represent "hard scientific" data.
Is it an addiction?
The study of online sexual habits is relatively new, and the medical community is still refining definitions and treatment for this particular condition.
"This is still a very young phenomenon," said Dr. Jerrold Polansky, a psychiatrist who chairs the education committee for the board of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). "The nomenclature for this condition is still developing."
Polansky said that for now he prefers to call it "out-of-control sexual behavior," which can affect a person's life like an addiction.
For example, one who is compulsive with his online sexual habits may experience a loss of interest in having sex with a partner or an inability to get sexually aroused apart from Internet use, Polansky said.
Other symptoms of the condition might include going to bed too late to get up for work in the morning, lying or being secretive about Internet activity or getting into financial difficulty because of Internet use.
Polansky recommends that men who think they may be losing control with their cybersex habits should find a good therapist or talk with a trustworthy, sensitive friend. A physicians' referral network is available at www.glma.org .
******************************************************************


Frank attacks Bush's silence on Egypt trial


Paul Johnson, 365Gay.com
Monday, December 24, 2001 / 01:17 PM
SUMMARY: Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has criticized the Bush administration for not pressing Egypt on its persecution of gays.
WASHINGTON - Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has criticized the Bush administration for not pressing Egypt on its persecution of gays.
During debate in the House of Representatives on the foreign aid package for Egypt, the gay congressman warned that cooperation between Egypt and the United States on many issues of mutual concern may be negatively impacted if Egypt's persecution and mistreatment of gays continues.
Last May, 52 men were arrested in a gay club in Cairo on suspicion of engaging in homosexual behavior. The Egyptian government prosecuted the men on charges of "habitual debauchery" and "contempt of religion" under the country's Emergency Law, which is intended to crack down on terrorist groups and other threats to national security.
The Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2002 provides $1.3 billion in military assistance and $655 million in economic assistance to Egypt.
During debate on the measure, Frank stated in part, "The Egyptian government ought to understand that it cannot with impunity continue to be so oppressive toward people's human rights, and in particular, its most recent outbreak of severe, unjustified, blatant prejudice, jailing men for no good reason whatsoever. They cannot continue to do that and not have it have an effect on how people view Egypt here and how people deal with Egypt. I hope Egypt will once again play a more active, constructive role in the Middle East."
Last August, before the trials of these men began, Rep. Frank organized a letter to Egyptian President Mubarak, which was signed by 35 members of the House of Representatives, calling the arrest and prosecution of these men on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation indefensible.
The letter stated in part, "As you know, Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. We note that this assistance comes from the people of the United States, including a great number of taxpayers who are gay and lesbian, and it is approved by members of Congress, many of whom are fully supportive of the right of gay and lesbian people to be free from discrimination and violence. Given this, it is very troubling for us to hear that these Egyptian men are not only facing trial and possible jail sentences, but also may have been mistreated, beaten or tortured while in detention." Since then, 23 of these men were sentenced to hard labor prison terms of between one and five years, and at least four more were arrested and are currently in detention.
*****************************************************************


Romania lifts gay ban; church objects


Gay.com U.K.
Monday, December 24, 2001 / 01:19 PM
SUMMARY: Aging communist-era laws criminalizing gays and lesbians was removed Friday in Romania.
Aging communist-era laws criminalizing gays and lesbians was removed Friday in Romania.
The scrapping of the law, which was introduced during the reign of Nicolae Ceasescu, was prompted by the European Union's insistence that until the law was removed Romania could not join the EU.
The law, Article 200 of the Penal Code, had been used to harass and imprison thousands of Romanian homosexuals, and its demise sparked celebrations amongst the East European nation's gay community.
"This is an important step forward; you could say that finally the state is out of your bed," said Adrian Coman, director of Romania's leading gay rights group ACCEPT.
However, despite the law's removal, Coman says the EU forced the change on Romania rather than being the result of Romania becoming more progressive.
"The fact that law was repealed does not necessarily show that people in this country became more tolerant towards gays and lesbians in Romania," noted Coman. Romania's powerful Orthodox Church, however, was furious at the decision. "We need healthy young people in mind and body, like any civilized country, and we must try to protect them from contamination by such serious sinners," said Holy Synod bishop Vincentiu Ploisteanu. "We want to join the European Union, not Sodom and Gomorrah."
******************************************************************


Special Christmas For Romanian Gays


by Jon ben Asher


365Gay.com Newscenter in London


(December 26, Bucharest) Romanian gays and lesbians celebrated Christmas with family and then with friends in the clubs, much like their counterparts in most other western countries. But, this Christmas was different. It was the first time they did not fear being rounded up by police and sent to prison. The government has finally scrapped the law which criminalized homosexuality. The notorious Article 200 of the Penal Code was conceived during the repressive Communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. It was used to harass and imprison thousands of gay and lesbian people. But, it took 12 agonizing years after the fall of Ceausescu for the law to be repealed. Romania's gay rights group ACCEPT led the campaign against the law. But, the greatest pressure came from European Union . Christmas night Heaven, Bucharest's new new gay nightclub was packed. "I am really happy we have got a club where we can meet, have fun and feel free," said one customer. "Everyone has a right to their freedom and that includes their sexuality," said another. "I feel good - it is super." But while the government has voided anti-gay legislation, the burgeoning gay community must find its place in Romanian life, and it will take work to change long held attitudes. Last year a public opinion poll found that 86% of Romanians would not want a gay or lesbian person as their neighbour. The Orthodox Church still exerts huge influence in Romania. When politicians debated Article 200, the voice of the church was equally loud. It warned of the dangers to Romania and to the family. Senior priests say laws and punishment are still necessary to stop what they call ' gay propaganda'.


******************************************************************


Surgeon advocates for Thai transsexuals


Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Monday, December 24, 2001 / 01:20 PM
SUMMARY: One of the most popular sex-change surgeons in Thailand has urged the government to legally recognize the new gender of transsexuals, according to the Associated Press.
One of the most popular sex-change surgeons in Thailand has urged the government to legally recognize the new gender of transsexuals, according to the Associated Press.
Preecha Thiewanon, addressing a seminar last week on the behavior of men after sex changes, said that current Thai laws were unfair toward the transgendered.
Men who become women are still considered men under the law, for example, and their marriages to other men are not legally sanctioned.
Thiewanon noted that at least 300 Thai transgender people are currently in marriages that aren't legal. The surgeon has performed hundreds of sex-changed operations, mostly on men becoming women. Thailand has become popular as a destination for sex-change operations because of the low cost compared to Western countries.
******************************************************************


Matthew Shepard Film To Open Sundance


Mary Ellen Peterson
365Gay.com Newscenter in Los Angeles
(December 26, Los Angeles) A film adaptation of the play "The Laramie Project" will be the opening night film at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah on January 10.
"The Laramie Project" is an account of the reactions in Laramie to the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard.
"It's an incredible honour," writer/director Moises Kaufman said. "Number one, because it is such a testament to the town of Laramie. ... Number two, because it means that the heads of the festival feel that it is a universal enough story. This is Laramie, but it really is Everytown USA.
"And lastly, I am very moved about it because of Matthew. Opening the festival with the movie means that his story will now be told in a very different way."
Shepard died October 12, 1998, after he was lured from a bar, kidnapped, tied to a fence and beaten with the butt of a gun in a homophobic attack. He was left lashed to the fence on a lonely snow swept Wyoming country road to die. Two men are serving life in prison for the murder.
A month after Shepard was murdered, Kaufman, already an award-winning playwright, and members of his Tectonic Theatre Project company traveled to Laramie and began a series of face-to-face interviews with the people of the town where the story unfolded.
Over the next year, the company traveled six times to Wyoming and conducted over two hundred intensely personal documented interviews. Many of the writers/actors who conducted the interviews performed in the original play.
"The Laramie Project" premiered at The Denver Centre Theatre Company opened to rave reviews. When it played New York, the Times Ben Brantley called it a "deeply moving work of theatrical journalism."
The film won't be released in theatres but will be featured in other festivals around the world, including the Berlin Film Festival. It is tentatively is set to air on HBO is the US March 23.
*****************************************************************


Kramer Receives New Liver


by Beth Shapiro
365Gay.com Newscenter, in New York
(December 26, New York) AIDS activist, author and playwright Larry Kramer is in stable condition after a liver transplant.
His play about the early years of AIDS, The Normal Heart, has had over 600 productions all over the world. It holds the record for being the longest-running play at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in New York, where it starred Brad Davis, and it's London production at the Royal Court, starring Martin Sheen, broke all existing box-office records at that theatre.
His 1978 novel "Faggots" is considered one of the finest pieces of American fiction.
Kramer helped found Gay Men's Health Crisis, a provider of services to those with AIDS, and later helped created AIDS advocacyy group ACT UP.
The 66 year old Kramer spent seven months on the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre's waiting list. He moved to Pittsburgh in early November to wait for an organ to become available
His HIV has been relatively well controlled, but he suffered from end-stage liver failure caused by hepatitis B.
While most transplant centres oppose the surgery for HIV-positive patients, UPMC has performed 10 liver transplants on HIV-positive patients since 1997. Eight of the patients have survived.
Prior to surgery Kramer said: "I am having this transplant because I want to live longer. I have unfinished work to finish, principally my long novel about the history of America and the history of this plague, "The American People", which needs a year's more work yet to get it where I want it to be."
Doctors had given him one year to live without the transplant. "I'd also like to let other [HIV/HBV] co-infected individuals see that there is quite possibly a decent alternative to a slow death from liver failure, which has not been available to us until recently," he said.
******************************************************************


Christmas Memorial For Murdered TG Activist


by Fidel Ortega
365Gay.com Newscenter in Miami
(December 26, Miami) A memorial was held Christmas Eve for Terrianne Summers. The 51 year old Summers was found shot to death outside her Jacksonville, Florida home on the evening of Wednesday, December 13, 2001.
To date, police have no leads on the perpetrator or the motive. But, friends believe she was the victim of a hate crime.
In a memorial service that packed The Norm, a neighbourhood haunt frequented by Terrianne, family and friends from around the state and the nation gathered to remember her life and her work.
"Terrianne unified this community," said Cindy Watson, executive director of the Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN). "I've never seen anyone with her energy or her drive. In fact, I'd never even met anyone who was trangendered before . after meeting Terrianne, I knew all about transgenders."
Summers, a 22-year Navy veteran, was the driving force behind the local Winn-Dixie protest at their corporate headquarters in Jacksonville. Her organizing the local community against the regional supermarket chain was perhaps the crucial element in making the ongoing suit against Winn-Dixie effective. "She really got JASMYN heavily involved in the Winn-Dixie protest," added Cindy Watson during the memorial.
The suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Winn-Dixie pits the corporate supermarket giant against crossdresser Peter Oiler. Oiler was fired January 5, 2000 after he told a supervisor that he crossdressed occasionally. As a result, the ACLU and TBLG activists from around the nation are organizing another campaign on January 4, 2002, at the company's Jacksonville headquarters.
Summers worked closely with the local ACLU, giving a thorough education on transgender issues. "A co-worker once told me to be kind to everyone you meet. We all have our personal battles to fight," said Ken Hurley, president of the Jacksonville ACLU. "Terrianne truly had her battles to fight. And Terrianne was unfailingly kind."
"Terrianne was an activist's activist," opined Vanessa Edwards Foster of the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC). "She didn't get a lot of national notice. But the true measure of an activist is not how much press you get, it's how effective you are. Terrianne was effective."
But, the most poignant words came from Terrianne's father and siblings.
They related how they joked on the telephone about their getting the pronouns wrong, or calling her by her old name. Terrianne was very easy with it all; a fact that endeared her to her family. Joe Heiney, a World War II Navy veteran said "I'm very proud of my son - my daughter. Terrianne, Gary . she was something special to bring all these people together."
"I flew down here from Wyoming, the state where Matthew Shepard was killed." remarked Terrianne's oldest brother, Joel Heiney.
He said he remembered "the trials for Matthew Shepard's killers, and the pain on the faces of Shepard's parents. I never thought that a couple years later, I'd be speaking before a roomful of people at [Terrianne's] memorial service; and looking across the room and seeing that same look of pain on my father's face."
The Jacksonville community, as well as the state and national transgender community are pressuring police to beef up the investigation and label it a hate-crime. Initial police reports tagged it as a robbery attempt; however, nothing was taken or disturbed during the incident. Information from the authorities is also sketchy and slow in coming, frustrating many in the local community.
******************************************************************


Came Out On National Television Lance Loud Dies


by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(December 26, Los Angeles) When Lance Loud came out on the PBS series "An American Family" in 1973 the highly acclaimed series came under attack from Republicans and the Christian right.
The 12-part series was one of the first unscripted programs on mainstream television. The show focused on the family, who allowed filming of their daily lives for seven months in the early '70s.
For countless American gays and lesbians struggling with the closet door, Loud was a very important symbol.
After the series aired, Loud remained in New York for several years and performed in a rock band called the Mumps.
In 1981, he moved back to California, where he studied journalism. He often wrote articles for the Advocate, Details and Interview. He also had a few small television and film roles as an actor.
In 1983, HBO produced a sequal to the PBS series, called "An American Family Revisited", introducing him to a new generation of gays and lesbians. Loud died on the weekend of complications from hepatitis C. He was 50.
*******************************************************************


Gays Gone Wild


'Never Too Busy Productions', an up-and-coming producer of amateur gay and lesbian videos, have released two new 'Gays Gone Wild' titles.
Following a huge demand, Vice President Larry Silver, announced the release of "Wild Acts/Cocks & Jocks" and "Southern Decadence".
Gays Gone Wild film crews were on location in Florida for the largest gay beach dance festival as well as capturing the Southern Decadence festival in September.
The videos feature gay and lesbian clubbers partying hard and are infamous, among fans, for their nudity and sexual situations.
"The pent up demand for our new videos has been overwhelming", says Silver.
The www.GaysGoneWild.com website has helped fuel the frenzy for such titles and features both 'Queer Gear' and 'Sneak-A-Peek' sections.
As Silver states, "Everyone is literally GOING WILD to see what we're up to!" © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.
******************************************************************


Divine's mom looks back on his life, career


An exterminator came to Frances Milstead's Margate condo last week and noticed the photos of a 300-pound drag queen on her bedroom wall.
``I just came out of another apartment and they have pictures of him on the wall. A big poster,'' the exhilarated exterminator told Milstead. ``I know that fellow. That's Divine! Are you his fan?''
``No,'' said Milstead, 81. ``I'm his mother.''
Nearly 14 years after Divine's sudden death at age 42, Milstead has written My Son Divine ``to set the record straight.''
And director John Waters, who cast Divine in the starring role in the notorious Pink Flamingos, Polyester and Hairspray, still refers to him as ``my Elizabeth Taylor.''
Waters grew up in Baltimore with Divine, born Harris Glenn Milstead on Oct. 19, 1945.
``We were all kids trying to get away from suburbia,'' Waters said. ``We all met downtown. It was gay people, it was straight people. Black and white. Left-wing political people and drag queens.
``That was very important in our development of `cinema rebellion' -- gay people who didn't like the gay world; preppies who were drug addicts -- they had a basic hatred for authority.
``When Divine was young, he was preppyish. He was not at all flamboyant. Underneath all that was an anger. With Divine's partnership, I came up with this character that was very very different from Glenn Milstead.''
What they came up with was Divine -- a big-haired, arch-eyebrowed, 300-pound creature stuffed into miniskirts and high heels.
Not your typical movie star.
In 1973's Pink Flamingos, Divine's character aims to be the filthiest person alive. She succeeds by eating dog feces.
In Female Trouble, Divine murders her own daughter and dies (on camera) in the electric chair.
``It was a humorous way for Glenn Milstead to vent his anger, and John Waters to vent his,'' the director said from his home in Baltimore. ``A combination of Jayne Mansfield and Godzilla.''
Divine quickly became a gay cult figure, appearing on greeting cards and posters, and singing in discos worldwide.
Glenn Milstead made sure his mother knew none of it.
``She might have been cool about it then, but he didn't think she would be,'' Waters said. ``What mother can be so liberal to understand her son's in a dress eating dog s---? No mother.''
After Glenn's birth, Frances kept a journal of his life. ``Just a mother's instinct,'' she said.
From the beginning, it appeared Glenn was gay.
``When he was 2 years old, my mother said to me he's more feminine than he is masculine,'' she recalled. ``I ignored her.''
``When Glenn was 10 or 11 years old, he caught a cold and I took him to a doctor. He told me the same thing my mother said.''
Milstead said her son's attitude changed about the same time he met Waters.
``After he got involved with John Waters, he could care less what I thought,'' she said. ``He was doing his own thing.''
Throughout the late 1960s and early '70s, Waters, Divine and their friends made low-budget films such as Eat Your Makeup! and Multiple Maniacs.
``I remember one time I was helping the maid turn the mattress over and I saw this script,'' Milstead said. ``The script said `Divine' and other kids' names. I didn't know who Divine was.''
In 1972, Glenn Milstead left his parents' house after an argument over Glenn's broken-down station wagon. Frances wouldn't pay to get it fixed.
Frances and her husband, Harris, who had muscular dystrophy, then sold their beauty shop and moved to Margate.
Frances got a job inspecting eyeglass lenses at a Fort Lauderdale optical company. Years later, she befriended a young co-worker named Richard.
``Richard brought in this magazine called The Blade. A gay magazine. It had a picture of this woman on the front with a flag wrapped around her.
``I looked at her eyes and said, `It looks like Glennie.'
Richard told Milstead: ``You've got to see this man. He's a female impersonator and his name is Divine.''
``Uh, oh,'' Milstead said.
At the time, Divine was in Fort Lauderdale playing the Copa, a gay nightclub.
Milstead gave Richard a note and asked him to give it to Divine. ``I handed him this paper that said to call his mother,'' she said.
Divine did just that.
``We had a crying good time,'' Milstead recalled. ``He said, `Mom, can I come back home? We can be a family again.' I said, `Yes, we'd be happy for you to come home again.' That was the sweetest thing he could have said.''
From then on, the Milsteads stayed in touch. And Frances became an activist, sometimes chastising fellow Baptist church parishioners who spoke poorly of gay people.
On Feb. 7, 1988, Divine escorted his mother to the premiere of Hairspray at the Miami Film Festival. It was the first time she saw him perform.
Glenn had never wanted her to see his work.
``He said, `Mom, when I do something I'm proud of I'll invite you.' Hairspray was the first thing he invited me to,'' Milstead said.
She never saw him again. On March 7, Divine was found dead of heart failure in a Los Angeles hotel.
Divine died as he entered a new career phase -- he had just been cast as a man in TV's Married With Children.
At the funeral in Baltimore, John Waters was a pallbearer.
Since then, Waters has stayed in touch with Milstead, whose husband died in 1993.
The director said he has changed the way he makes movies. Now, they have bigger budgets and conventional stars such as Johnny Depp in Cry-Baby, Kathleen Turner in Serial Mom and Melanie Griffith in Cecil B. Demented.
After Divine, Waters vowed he ``would never ever use another man in a dress.''
Those were Divine's ``work clothes,'' Waters said. ``When he was home entertaining, he was never in high heels. They broke anyway -- we had to get steel ones.''
He is wistful about his days with Divine and their films. ``He could never live down eating s--- and I could never live up to it.''
*****************************************************************


Links:
Wanna Be's mens club, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Gay TV Listings (USA) www.gaytvlistings.com
Gay TV Listings (Canada) www.365gay.com/entertainment/tv/tv.htm
Start your spiritual journey at www.staghornmanor.com
Inbox Newz on the web. www.inboxnewz.blogspot.com or www.saloonmen.com
Inbox Newz archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
*****************************************************************
posted by Rob Robinson 9:19 AM





Tuesday, December 25, 2001

INBOX NEWZ 12/24/01 Information is power!

Happy holidays from Inbox Newz


*****************************************************************


Newsmakers of the Year


Mark Bingham & Fr Mychal Judge




The world changed forever the morning of September 11, 2001 as two
planes slammed into the World Trade Towers in New York. A third plane
crashed into the Pentagon outside Washington. And, a fourth plane
crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania.
The terrorist attacks that morning destroyed countless lives and
resulted in the deaths of more than four-thousand people.
But, in the midst of these unspeakable acts came immense bravery. The
365Gay.com Editorial Board has named two gay heroes of the September
11 terrorist attacks on America as the Newsmakers of 2001.



Mark Bingham




In a tragic way, Mark Bingham spent much of his life preparing for
what happened to him on Sept. 11. As he boarded United Flight 93,
Bingham carried with him a sense of confidence and competitiveness,
the friendship of those close to him and those of us who never got to
meet him.
Mark Bingham, all 6-feet, 5-inches of him, loved a lot of things:
food and wine shared with good company, discussions on politics,
travel to foreign lands and laughing with friends.
Rugby was also a big part of his life. He was a sophomore on Cal
State's 1991 national championship team-the squad that started a
string of 11 consecutive national titles.
"The unique thing about that '91 team is that we were pretty close
because of what we had to go through in training to win," says team-
mate Jon Beck, who stayed in touch with Bingham over the years.
After college he played for The Fog, a San Francisco gay rugby team.
Bingham built his public relations firm into one of the most
respected small agencies in America with offices in San Francisco and
New York.
Bingham never strayed from a fight. He played to win always using the
skills he learned in college rugby.
September 11, he used those same skills to protect a nation.
As the flight was taken over by terrorists, Bingham and a few other
courageous men fought back.
The burly Bingham, used his cell phone to call his mother and tell
her the plane was being hijacked - and that he loved her.
Moments later the plane crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field.
"I may very well owe my life to Mark," U.S. Senator John McCain said
at a Berkeley service earlier this year honouring Bingham. "I love my
country and take pride in serving her. But I cannot say that I love
her more or as well as Mark Bingham did."
Transcripts from the flight recorded, McCain said, showed that the
terrorists had intended to crash the plane into the US Capitol
building.
Sen. Arlen Specter said he will nominate Bingham and the other
passengers on the plane for the Freedom Medal.
Friends remembered Bingham as a big loveable bear of a man ready for
anything. One time he raced across traffic to save a child from being
run down, another he ran with the bulls in Spain a friend recalled.
"He was this physically imposing but incredibly compassionate and
intelligent man who would not have stood by and let terrorists kill
thousands more people," said Bryce Eberhart, a team-mate of
Bingham's.
"He would say, 'Oh, well, this is an excellent opportunity to learn
fill-in-the-blank,' and he meant it," said friend Brian Johnson.
Bingham's mother, Alice Hogan, said: "It gives me a great deal of
comfort to know my son may have been able to avert the killing of
many, many innocent people."



Mychal Judge




A leader in Dignity, the organization of gay Catholics, a priest, and
a chaplain for the New York Fire Department Mychal Judge was killed
during the collapse of the towers while giving the last rites to a
dying firefighter.
Like Mark Bingham, Judge never strayed far from a good fight.
He had battled alcoholism much of his life and was an active member
of AA. He fought often with New York's homophobic Cardinal Cardinal
O'Connor.
"I heard that if Mike got any money from the right wing," says friend
and actor Malachy McCourt. "He'd give it to the gay organizations. I
don't know if that's true, but that's his humour, for sure."
"He was the busiest person alive," says Joe Falco, a firefighter with
Engine 1-Ladder 24, the company across the street from Judge's
home. "He'd come back at all hours of the morning, blowing his siren
so we could park his car. No one knew how he did it. No one
understood how he maintained his energy."
The firemen loved him. He had an encyclopaedic memory for their
family members' names, birthdays, and passions; he frequently gave
them whimsical presents. Once, after visiting President Clinton in
Washington, he handed out cocktail napkins emblazoned with the
presidential seal. He'd managed to stuff dozens of them into his
habit before leaving the White House.
Back in the early eighties, Judge was one of the first members of the
clergy to minister to young gay men with aids, doing their funeral
Masses and consoling their partners and family members. He opened the
doors of St. Francis of Assisi Church when Dignity, a gay Catholic
organization, needed a home for its aids ministry, and he later ran
an aids program at St. Francis. Last year, he marched in the first
gay-inclusive St. Patrick's Day parade, which his friend Brendan Fay,
a gay activist, organized in Queens.
Within minutes of the attack on the first tower of the World Trade
Centre Father Mike was on the scene. When the tower collapsed,
trapping firefighters he went through the debris giving comfort to
the dying.
As he gave the Last Rites to one firefighter the second tower fell on
top of him.
One month after Mychal Judge's body was pulled from the shattered
lobby of 1 World Trade Centre, and three weeks after his televised
funeral, some of the friar's friends decided to hold a smaller
memorial evening of Celtic music and storytelling.
Priests, nuns, lawyers, cops, firefighters, homeless people, rock-and-
rollers, recovering alcoholics, local politicians, members of the gay
community, and middle-aged couples from the suburbs all streamed into
the Good Shepherd Chapel on Ninth Avenue. "Only Father Mychal could
get a room like this together," said Joe Hartnett, an electrician and
father of five from New Jersey.
*****************************************************************


Egypt's Gay Persecutions Raised In US Congress


by Paul Johnson
365Gay.com International News Editor in Washington
(December 24, Washington) Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank has
criticized the Bush Administration for no pressing Egypt on its
persecution of gays.
During debate in the House of Representatives on the foreign aid
package for Egypt, The gay congressman warned that cooperation
between Egypt and the United States on many issues of mutual concern
may be negatively impacted if Egypt's persecution and mistreatment of
gays continues.
Last May, 52 men were arrested in a gay club in Cairo, Egypt on
suspicion of engaging in homosexual behaviour. The Egyptian
government prosecuted the men on charges of "habitual debauchery"
and "contempt of religion" under the country's Emergency Law, which
is intended to crack down on terrorist groups and other threats to
national security.
The Foreign Operations Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2002
provides $1.3 billion in military assistance and $655 million in
economic assistance to Egypt.
During debate on the measure, Frank stated in part, "The Egyptian
Government ought to understand that it cannot with impunity continue
to be so oppressive towards people's human rights, and in particular,
its most recent outbreak of severe, unjustified, blatant prejudice,
jailing men for no good reason whatsoever. They cannot continue to do
that and not have it have an effect on how people view Egypt here and
how people deal with Egypt. I hope Egypt will once again play a more
active, constructive role in the Middle East."
Last August, before the trials of these men began, Rep. Frank
organized a letter to Egyptian President Mubarak, which was signed by
35 members of the House of Representatives, calling the arrest and
prosecution of these men on the basis of their perceived sexual
orientation indefensible.
The letter stated in part, "As you know, Egypt is the second largest
recipient of U.S. foreign assistance. We note that this assistance
comes from the people of the United States, including a great number
of taxpayers who are gay and lesbian, and it is approved by members
of Congress, many of whom are fully supportive of the right of gay
and lesbian people to be free from discrimination and violence. Given
this, it is very troubling for us to hear that these Egyptian men are
not only facing trial and possible jail sentences, but also may have
been mistreated, beaten or tortured while in detention." Since then,
23 of these men were sentenced to hard labour prison terms of between
one and five years, and at least 4 more were arrested and are
currently in detention.
****************************************************************


Anti-Gay Miami Coalition Rebuffs Mayor


by Fidel Ortega
365Gay.com Newscenter in Miami
(December 24, Miami) At attempt by Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas to
diffuse an attempt to roll back gay rights has been met with scorn by
a right-wing coalition.
Penelas asked leaders of Take Back Miami-Dade to meet in his city
hall office Friday. (story)
The meeting ended with the fundamentalist group calling the Penelas,
and Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer "merchants of death."
Penelas had called the meeting to appeal to Take Back Dade to end its
three-year crusade against the civil rights amendment.
The acid reaction to Penelas overture points to a hostile conflict
ahead.
Gay rights groups have said they will mount a major effort to keep
the job and other rights protections in place.
After walking out of the meeting with Penelas, Take Back Dade's
assistant director, Nathaniel Wilcox said the mayor was attempting
to "spread homosexuality."
Wilcox said: "One of the reasons we don't want you spreading
homosexuality in the community is because it's the lifestyle of
death.''
Penelas says he has abandoned any hope of scuttling the referendum
and is pledging to fight it with all the resources at his command.
``I just think this is a very sad day in this community,'' Penelas
said. ``And I just hope and pray -- to the same God as you -- that we
can conduct this campaign in a way [that] does not demoralize this
community.''
Dermer said he feared a tourism backlash against the referendum
campaign could have economic consequences for Miami Beach.
"I'm just listening to some of the rhetoric that's already beginning.
Where is this going to lead us? We don't need that now. All this is
doing is creating a divisive cause célbre.'' Gay tourism is credited
with keeping South Florida alive after the September 11 terrorist
attacks on the US. Tourism is the major industry in the area and
while there was a general decline gay tourism actually increased.
******************************************************************


AIDS Drugs Failing


by Beth Shapiro
365Gay.com Newscenter, in New York
(December 24, New York) Drug-resistant strains of HIV are increasing
at an alarming rate. New research shows that more than three-quarters
of all U.S. patients with the virus have an infection that resists
one or more of the drugs used to treat it.
Researchers say the grim news means that drug-resistant HIV is
spreading even faster than was feared, and the lifesaving cocktails
of drugs that help many patients lead normal lives are becoming
increasingly limited in their usefulness.
Dr. Douglas Richman of the Veteran's Administration hospital and the
University of California in San Diego, who led the study said that
unless more potent drugs are developed soon, or until a vaccine is
invented that can control the virus, patients will have ever-
lessening chances of using drugs to counter AIDS.
Other studies had shown that HIV was evolving to evade nearly every
drug available, but these are the most startling numbers yet.
``Many of the previous studies were relatively small and in highly
selected populations, so that accurate estimates were not possible,''
Dr. Samuel Bozette, who worked on the study, said in a statement.
Bacteria are known to mutate to resist drugs, which is why new
antibiotics are being developed regularly. But Richman said a virus
such as HIV is trickier than any bacteria. ``The reason is this virus
replicates to higher levels at faster rates, so it evolves faster,''
he said.
*****************************************************************


Links:
Wanna Be's mens club, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Gay TV Listings (USA) www.gaytvlistings.com
Gay TV Listings (Canada) www.365gay.com/entertainment/tv/tv.htm
Start your spiritual journey at www.staghornmanor.com
Inbox Newz archives. www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnews
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
*****************************************************************
posted by Rob Robinson 7:07 AM






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