GLBT Newz 



The most up to date news for the GLBT community.


Saturday, January 19, 2002

PBS is a reality TV survivor

by Brian Moylan

PBS may be responsible for what we now call reality television. In the 1970s, PBS debuted the groundbreaking series "An American Family," a documentary series that followed the members of the Loud family.

Last year, PBS picked up the remaining episodes of "American High," a documentary series that chronicled the lives of a number of teenagers attending a suburban Chicago high school, after the series was scrapped by Fox for poor ratings.

Now PBS is back with "Senior Year" -- which should probably be titled "American High II" -- a documentary series produced by and for PBS that tracks 15 seniors at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles.

Just like Lance Loud, who came out on national television in "An American Family," and Brad, the gay teenager from "American High," "Senior Year" has Jet, the gay son of Filipino immigrants. Jet, like Brad, is openly gay on campus. Unlike Brad, Jet is a member of Junior ROTC, the school’s Pentagon-sponsored program of military training.

While Jet’s situation presents a clear contradiction, considering the U.S. military’s prohibition against openly gay members, contradictions abound at Fairfax High. This school appears to be one of the most racially and socially diverse schools in the country. This can not only be seen by looking at the kids in the classrooms or walking through the halls, but also in the students the producers singled out for the show. These seniors are equally balanced between male and female and some are white, black, Asian, Latino, wealthy, poor, handicapped, immigrants, or several combinations thereof.

The rainbow of demographics represented by this student body provides viewers with a peek at a variety of perspectives. On the other hand, at times there are so many students included that no single student is afforded adequate airtime. The show seems to focus on Jean and Maria, a straight couple; Kendra, a girl who was permanently disabled in a car accident; and Derard, a football star on the school’s non-winning team.

Jet, and several of the other students whose names are shown in the introduction, are entirely missing from the early episodes. However, when the audience finally meets Jet, it is a rewarding experience.

The audience actually meets Jet’s parents before we met him. His mother tells the camera that Jet doesn’t come home on time, refuses to tell them where he is, and often sneaks out of the house. "He told us he was a gay and I said, ‘You are a gay, that is fine with me, but you are still my son, you have to do what I say,’" Jet’s mother tells the audience.

When Jet finally comes home, he is lectured by his parents and shows the defiance that accompanies every healthy adolescence.

Not that Jet’s actions should be condoned, but it’s refreshing to see a gay teenager on television who has the same problems as everyone else. He’s not being kicked out of the house or beat up at school because he is gay. His sexual identity is so integrated into who he is and accepted by his friends, family, and classmates that he can have the same problems and preoccupations as other teenagers. Though this is not the case for gay teens across the country, it’s good to see the ideal situation, how the world may eventually be for many more gay teens.


Just in case you hate to see celebrities sober in public, this week offers the Golden Globe Awards, every star’s opportunity to be completely disgraceful at an awards show before the respectability of the Oscars.

There are several gay and gay-themed nominees at this year’s ceremony, which honors the best in both television and movies.

Gay writer Alan Ball’s series "Six Feet Under" is up for Best Drama Series. Peter Krause, who plays Nate on the show, is nominated for Best Actor-Drama. If you asked me, Michael C. Hall, who plays Nate’s gay brother David, should be the one up for the award.

On the lighter side of things, both "Will & Grace" and the gay written/produced/directed "Sex & the City" are nominated for Best Comedy Series. And both Will and Grace (Eric McCormack and Debra Messing) and Sarah Jessica Parker of "City" have been nominated in the acting categories.

As for movies, both "The Lord of the Rings," which costars Sir Ian McKellen, and "Mulholland Drive," which features a hot lesbian romance, are nominated for Best Drama.

Tilda Swinton is nominated for her bravura performance as a mother who covers up the death of her gay son’s boyfriend in "The Deep End."

And -- wonder of wonders! -- a gay man, John Cameron Mitchell, has been nominated for his portrayal of a trans woman in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." If Mitchell wins the Best Actor (Musical or Comedy) award, it would be the first major award for a queer actor in a queer role. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.


sat. 19

DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN: This tale of mistaken identity and amnesia in the 1980’s New Wave scene must make star Madonna feel old. (2 hrs.) American Movie Classics at 10 a.m. CC

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH: Twisted omnisexual film featuring Cameron Diaz and Catherine Keener as lovers. (2 hrs.) The Movie Channel at 2:10 p.m. CC

ED WOOD: Wonderfully acted biography of Ed Wood, the cross-dressing director of "Glen or Glenda?" or "I Changed My Sex," as well as other cinematic turkeys. (2 hrs., 30 min.) Encore at 3:40 p.m. CC

THE OPPOSITE OF SEX: Christina Ricci is delicious in gay writer/director Don Roos’ black comedy, as a young woman who moves in with her gay half-brother and steals his boyfriend. (2 hrs)USA at 5 p.m. CC

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: Three champagne-swilling, chain-smoking classic episodes. (2 hrs.) Comedy Central at 6 p.m. CC

AS GOOD AS IT GETS: Jack Nicholson won an Oscar for his role as Melvin, a bigot with a gay neighbor, played by Greg Kinnear. (3 hrs.) TBS at 7 p.m. CC

GREASE: Classic hit from openly gay director Randal Kleiser. (1 hr., 50 min.) TNT at 8 p.m. CC

PERRY MASON: Gay actor Raymond Burr plays the title character who solves the "Case of the Desperate Deception". (2 hrs.) Court TV at 9 p.m.

IN THE LIFE: A rerun episode of the gay newsmagazine. (1 hr.) WHUT at 10 p.m. CC

BEYOND CHANCE: A show about supernatural and miraculous experiences, hosted by Melissa Etheridge. (1 hr.) Lifetime at 11 p.m. and weekdays at 10 a.m. CC

SENIOR YEAR: A documentary about 13 high school seniors, including Jet, a gay Filipino in ROTC. (30 mins.) WETA at midnight CC


sun. 20

EASTENDERS: Two back-to-back episodes of the British soap opera, which features a gay couple among its convoluted cast. (30 min.) WETA at 1 and 1:30 p.m.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS: See Sat. at 7 p.m. listing. (3 hrs.) TBS at 3 p.m. CC

LOS BELTRAN: Spanish-language sitcom featuring a Gay couple as the next-door neighbors. (30 min.) Telemundo at 8 p.m.

THE GOLDEN GLOBES: See if any of the gay actors, characters, movies or shows win. (3 hrs.) Sunday at 8 p.m. CC

SEX & THE CITY: Carrie can’t get excited about planning her wedding. (30 mins.) HBO at 9 p.m. CC

THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW: A camp extravaganza and cult favorite with Tim Curry starring as the "sweet transvestite," Dr. Frank N. Furter, who goes to bed with both innocent Brad and naïve Janet. (2 hrs.) VH1 at 9 p.m.

QUEER AS FOLK: Brian stirs up controversy when he is named the "Gay Hero of the Year." (1 hr.) Showtime at 10 p.m. CC


mon. 21

ALL MY CHILDREN: This long-running serial now features Bianca, the lesbian daughter of legendary Erica Kane (Susan Lucci). (1 hr.) ABC Weekdays at 1 p.m.

THREE TO TANGO: A straight architect (Matthew Perry) pretends to be gay in order to get closer to the woman of his dreams. (1 hr., 40 min.) HBO at 5:15 p.m. CC

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: Watch the series from the beginning; the reruns are just as fun. (1 hr.) Weekdays on FX at 7 p.m. CC

BOSTON PUBLIC: Guber’s relationship starts to fall apart because of his girlfriend’s gay son. (1 hr.) Fox at 8 p.m. CC

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Dave Foley plays the gay best friend in this Brendan Fraser vehicle. (1 hr., 55 min.) TBS at 8 p.m.

GET CARTER: While Jack Carter (Sylvester Stallone) is searching for revenge for his estranged brother’s murder, one of the seedy characters he meets is a fey millionaire played by Alan Cumming. (1 hr. 45 mins.) Cinemax at 8:15 p.m. CC

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: Something old, something new, but nothing borrowed. Three episodes of Pat’s and Eddy’s hedonistic best. (3 hrs.) Comedy Central at 9 p.m. CC

MAN’S FAVORITE SPORT?: Rock Hudson stars as a fishing expert who doesn’t know how to work a rod. (2 hrs. 15 mins.) American Movie Classics at 10:15 p.m.


tue. 22

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: A repeat of the season premier when everyone thought Buffy was still dead. (2 hrs.) UPN at 8 p.m. CC

SPIN CITY: A student under Carter’s care goes for a wild night on the town. (30 mins.) ABC at 8:30 p.m. CC

REAL WORLD: The newest season features Aneesa, a lesbian, and Chris, a gay alcoholic, living in trendy digs in Chicago. (30 mins.) MTV at 10 p.m. CC

QUEER AS FOLK: See Sunday at 10 p.m. listing. (1 hr.) Showtime at 11 p.m.


wed. 23

BEDAZZLED: When a computer geek (Brendan Fraser) makes a deal with the devil (Elizabeth Hurley) to be hip, stylish and witty, she makes him gay. (1 hr. 35 mins.) HBO at 5 p.m. CC

THAT 80’S SHOW: The series premier features Corey’s girlfriend leaving him for another woman. (30 mins.) Fox at 8 p.m. CC

GLORY DAYS: Mike and the crew investigate a killer piano prodigy. (1 hr.) WB at 9 p.m. CC

SEX & THE CITY: See Sunday at 9 p.m. listing. (30 mins.) HBO at 9 p.m.CC

SIX FEET UNDER: Repeats of the first season of gay creator Alan Ball’s hit series. (1 hr.) HBO at 10 p.m. CC

GAY NEWS NETWORK: The DC gay newsmagazine’s latest episode. (30 min.) DCTV Channel 25 at 9 p.m.


thu. 24

DUNSTON CHECKS IN: A farcical family movie where a criminal (Rupert Everett with buck teeth) lets a chimpanzee loose in a hotel to steal diamonds for him. (2 hrs..) Fox Family at 1 p.m.

COMMITTED: Jay (Casey Affleck) lives with a lesbian couple and has a sister who is a stalker. (1 hr. 40 mins.) Starz! at 6:20 p.m. CC

WILL & GRACE: Two repeats in a row! Boring. (1 hr.) NBC at 8:30 p.m. CC

ER: Rerun of the season premier in which Kerry is afraid she’s been outed at work. (1 hr.) NBC at 10 p.m. CC

FLAWLESS: Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a drag queen who is also a vocal coach for a homophobic retired cop (Robert De Niro). (1 hr., 55 min.) The Movie Channel at 2:05 p.m. CC

X-MEN: Sir Ian McKellen plays nefarious mutant menace Magneto in this adaptation of the Marvel comic series that many critics felt had a gay subtext. (1 hr. 45 mins.) HBO at 4:15 p.m. CC

THE ELLEN SHOW: John Ritter guest stars as a motivational speaker that Ellen exposes as a fraud. (30 mins.) CBS at 8:30 p.m. CC

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: Jodie Foster plays an FBI agent trying to stop a gay serial killer. The film won five Oscars, but gay activist groups protested its familiar "gay menace" theme. (2 hrs.) A&E at 9 p.m.

THE LATE SHOW: The world’s most popular fag hag, Debra Messing who plays Grace on "Will & Grace," makes nice with Jay.(1 hr.) NBC at 11:35 p.m. CC

-- listings by Brian Moylan

GLBT NEWZ 01/19/02 Information is power!

On the web: or


Denver police investigate possible hate crime

Denver-area authorities are investigating antigay messages scrawled on the walls of a church office as a possible hate crime. The messages were discovered Thursday morning; vandals also poured bleach and cleaning solutions on furniture and musical equipment in the music office at the Columbine United Church in Littleton. Messages such as "Fag Lover" were scrawled in marker along the walls. Nothing was stolen, and there were no signs of forced entry, Arapahoe County sheriff Patrick Sullivan said Thursday. The damage, estimated at $5,500, was discovered Thursday morning. The church accepts openly gay and lesbian members.
Choral director Michael Hayes, who is gay, said he believes he was the target. "I'm just devastated," Hayes said. "Our church is a place where I thought everyone was welcome. If something like this can happen here, where are you safe?" Hayes, 36, who has been choral director for the past five years, said he's heard slurs and sexually biased comments directed at the church. He said some members left the congregation because of the church's inclusive policy regarding gay people and thinks a former member could be responsible for the vandalism. He said he doesn't suspect any current members. Sullivan said there are no suspects. Pastor Steve Poos-Benson said he has been discriminated against because of the policy and that the church has a reputation among some religious organizations as being too liberal. "I made a very public statement that if you cannot deal with someone who is different from you, then we can't deal with you," he said. "We have a very strong statement here that every person is welcome into the kingdom of God and therefore everyone is welcome in this church." The congregation has grown in the past few years to about 1,080 members, he said. If convicted of the vandalism, a person could face up to three years in prison. State law does not allow for sentences to be enhanced for crimes targeting people because of their sexual orientation, but it does address religious discrimination.

Hawaiian men sentenced for attack on campers

Two men who attacked a group of gay campers on the Hawaiian island of Kauai have been sentenced as youthful offenders. Orion Macomber, 19, and Eamonn Carolan, 18, were given five-year prison terms Thursday by circuit judge Clifford Nakea. Using the youthful offender sentencing option allowed Nakea to hand down sentences half as long as those that older offenders would receive. By pleading guilty to assault, terroristic threatening, and other charges in November, Macomber and Carolan avoided trial on a charge of first-degree attempted murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole. The two were accused of going on a rampage at Polihale State Park that included setting a tent on fire while the campers were inside. No one was seriously injured in the May 26 attack.


Sundance Channel explores gay films, filmmakers

On Saturday, January 19, the Sundance Channel will air Sundance 20, an original documentary about the behind-the-scenes workings of the Sundance Institute, including the Feature Film Lab. Those discussing the institute's development and impact include founder Robert Redford and out filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Also airing on January 19 will be the "Sundance Awards Preview," a half-hour special examining the films in the feature and documentary competitions at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, including such GLBT-interest titles as Liz Garbus's The Execution of Wanda Jean and Arthur Dong's Family Fundamentals. (Winners of last year's festival competition included Hedwig and Kate Davis's Southern Comfort.) Check local listings.


Taliban outing?

Media mull coverage of John Walker's gay father

by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay and straight news media outlets appear to be grappling over whether to report the news that the father of captured American Taliban fighter John Walker is gay and that Walker began embracing Islamic fundamentalism shortly after the father moved in with a male partner.
A debate over how or if a "gay angle" to the John Walker story should be told surfaced Dec. 18, when a columnist for the San Francisco Examiner disclosed that Walker's father, Frank Lindh, is gay. The columnist, P.J. Corkery, reported that friends and relatives of the Walker family believe Lindh's decision to separate from his wife and move in with a male companion may have played a role in prompting John Walker to join forces with radical Islamic forces in Afghanistan.
Corkery told the Bay Area Reporter, a gay paper in San Francisco, that he did not mean to imply that Lindh's sexual orientation drove Walker to become a Taliban fighter, but only that this information "adds a piece to the puzzle" over why Walker did what he did.
But Rob Morse, a columnist for the rival San Francisco Chronicle, hinted that Corkery was trying to make such a connection. In one of his own columns, Morse, without raising the issue of Lindh's sexual orientation, said Corkery's column brought attacks on the Walker family "to a new and disgusting level."
"I did not attack the Walker family," Corkery replied in a letter to an Internet site called Media News. "That's Morse's interpretation based on his assumption that calling someone gay is an insult. It is not. By characterizing as disgusting the news that John Walker's father is gay, it is the Chronicle and Morse who have attacked the Walker family."
Walker was 16 when his parents' marriage ended. Lindh, who has declined to respond to reporters' questions about his sexual orientation, stated in news media interviews last month that his son moved to Yemen in 1998 to continue studies of the Islamic faith and the Arabic language that he had begun in California several years earlier. Shortly after his parents' separation, Walker dropped his father's name of Lindh and adopted the name Walker, which is his mother's maiden name.
U.S. and Northern Alliance forces captured Walker in Afghanistan in early December while he was in possession of an AK-47 rifle, according to U.S. military officials. A spokesperson for the U.S. military command in Afghanistan said Walker had been part of a Taliban fighting unit that surrendered to the Northern Alliance, a coalition of Afghan insurgents that joined the U.S. war against terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and his Taliban allies.
Walker is currently being held on a U.S. war ship in the Arabian Sea, where he is classified as a "military detainee." Attorney General John Ashcroft announced Tuesday, Jan. 15, that the government has charged Walker with conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens in Afghanistan and with providing support to terrorist groups, including groups operated by Osama bin Laden. The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison. Ashcroft's announcement came nearly two months after Bush administration officials considered charging Walker with treason, which carries the death penalty. Ashcroft said Walker would stand trial in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va.
In their extensive coverage of the John Walker saga, many of the nation's mainline newspapers and broadcast news outlets have explored the question of why the son of a well-to-do family in Northern California would take up arms against his own country in a harsh foreign land. A number of media outlets speculated that the break-up of his parents' marriage played a role in shaping young Walker's embrace of Islam and later the Taliban. But the Examiner, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer were among the few non-gay publications to report that Frank Lindh's sexual orientation may also have played a role in Walker's actions.
The reports in the New York Post and the Enquirer prompted the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a media watchdog group, to express concern over "sensationalist" and misleading coverage of the gay angle in the Walker story.
"We don't take issue with a paper reporting the fact that Frank Lindh is gay," said Cathy Renna, GLAAD's media director. "But you cannot prove a cause-effect relationship between a gay father and the son joining the Taliban."
Gay writer and commentator Michelangelo Signorile added to the debate over Frank Lindh-John Walker saga in a commentary last week in the New York Press, a Manhattan weekly. Signorile said Corkery was right to disclose Lindh's sexual orientation, saying it was fair game for the media to explore "every influence and episode in Walker's life in recent year."
"If Lindh had left his wife for another woman and his son were traumatized, it would certainly be discussed in the media," Signorile wrote. "So if Lindh did leave his wife for a man and it affected Walker, it should similarly be reported on. That would be treating homosexuality and heterosexuality equally, rather than relegating one to the level of a dirty little secret."
Among those who agree with Signorile's assessment is Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz, the author of the book "Spin Cycle," which explores the news media's role in covering politics.
"I think it's perfectly reasonable to report this news, just as you would report other aspects of John Walker's upbringing," Kurtz said. "I would not make a screaming headline over it. But I don't see any need to suppress it."
Kurtz expressed his view on the matter to the Blade less than a week before the Post ran a front-page story on John Walker on Jan. 14 that explored John Walker's upbringing but omitted any mention of Frank Lindh's sexual orientation.
Lilly Vincenz, a psychotherapist in Arlington, Va., whose clients are mostly lesbians and gay men, said she doesn't believe a direct "cause-effect" link could be made between Frank Lindh's sexual orientation and his son's decision to join the Taliban. But Vincenz said there could be a link between Walker's action and the breakup of his parents' marriage.
"In any divorce, the family structure comes apart," Vincenz said. "For a young man, the gay element can make the divorce or separation more difficult to deal with. But I would not link a divorce and a gay parent in and of itself with the embracing of an extremist group such as the Taliban."
Vincenz said she believes other factors were likely involved in Walker's life that contributed to his embrace of Islamic fundamentalism and later the Taliban.
Dr. Charles Socarides, a New York City psychiatrist who has long held that homosexuality is an illness, said he, too, agrees that a cause-effect link cannot be made between Frank Lindh's homosexuality and his son's decision to become a Taliban fighter. Socarides' own gay son, Richard Socarides, served the Clinton administration in various capacities, including liaison to the gay community.
"That's just too speculative," Charles Socarides said in a telephone interview. "One cannot make that assumption without talking to the people directly involved. Some families have adapted to a situation where a parent discloses he is gay," said Socarides. "Some families cannot adapt to this.
"All we can say," added Socarides, "is the father changed the family structure by living a homosexual life. The son changed his national structure by going to Afghanistan."
Lindh's attorney, James Brosnahan, said through a spokesperson that Lindh has no comment on press reports about his sexual orientation or the possible motives for his son's embrace of the Taliban.
Telephone directories published on the Internet show that Lindh currently lives San Rafael, Calif., a suburb of San Francisco, at the same address as the man identified in press reports as his male companion. The man identified as his companion, Bill Jones, told the Examiner Lindh rented an apartment from him and that the two were not domestic partners.
Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in San Francisco, which has a mostly gay congregation, declined to comment on press reports that Lindh and his companion are members of the church.
Concerning the question of why John Walker joined the Taliban, Nixon said she's concerned that "people are asking the wrong questions."
"People don't ask if heterosexuality causes such and such," she said. "If society wasn't so homophobic, this whole thing would never have come up."
The New York Daily News reported last month that John Walker expressed anti-gay views in some of his Internet correspondence and postings between 1995 and 1998. According to the Daily News, Walker criticized Florida's Disney theme park for its decision to hold a "gay day" event there. The Daily News said Walker also criticized an Internet posting calling for recognition of gay Muslims.
In a videotaped interview at the time of his capture in Afghanistan, Walker said he joined the Taliban after meeting Taliban supporters while taking Islamic studies courses in Pakistan. "I started to read some of the literature of the scholars, history of the movement," Walker said in the interview, which aired on CNN. "My heart became attached to them. I wanted to help them one way or another."

Ambassador criticized for taking partner to ball

by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
The Family Research Council, a conservative group that opposes gay rights, has charged that the openly gay U.S. ambassador to Romania has offended employees of the American embassy in Bucharest as well as citizens of Romania by "flaunting" his relationship with his same-sex partner.
An article appearing on the FRC's Internet site said an American embassy worker who recently spoke with FRC alleged that several embassy employees and their families have expressed concern about Ambassador Michael Guest's "living arrangement." At least one embassy employee and his spouse "will no longer bring their children to embassy social events because they do not want them exposed to the examples set by Guest and his 'partner,'" the article said. The article did not identify the embassy worker.
President Bush nominated Guest for the ambassador job last June. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve the nomination.
Guest, a career U.S. Foreign Service officer, departed for Romania in September after Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Guest's partner, school teacher Alex Nevarez, during a ceremony in which Powell administered the oath of office to Guest. Nevarez has joined Guest in Bucharest and is living with him in the embassy's residential quarters.
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department in Washington said the department has no knowledge of any problems associated with Guest.
"I have not seen any reports on this," said spokesperson Frederick Jones. "We are not aware of any complaints."
A spokesperson for the Romanian Embassy in Washington said Romanian officials, press commentators, and political leaders have praised Guest for his knowledge of and interest in Romania and Eastern European affairs.
"This is not an issue," said Romanian Embassy spokesperson Geta Juverdeanu. "He is judged on his professional qualities, which are considered the best."
Although Guest was a member of a gay employees group at the State Department, his sexual orientation did not surface publicly until his swearing-in ceremony.
Several anti-gay groups, including the FRC, criticized Bush for nominating Guest for an ambassadorial post, saying Guest would likely try to use his position to advance the "homosexual agenda." Guest has said he would not interject gay issues into his job. But the FRC article said "his mere presence in Bucharest is already having that effect."
The FRC article said some U.S. embassy workers were upset when Guest and Nevarez "escorted one another as a couple at the embassy's annual Marine Corps Ball, a highly formal event."
"It's causing me to have to compromise the values I raise my family by," the article quoted the unnamed embassy worker as saying.
Jones, the State Department spokesperson, said the contingent of U.S. Marine Corp guards assigned to all U.S. embassies overseas sponsors the annual Marine Balls as fundraisers for various charities. He said attendance is not mandatory and that the event is for adult embassy employees and their adult guests.
"All embassy employees are entitled to their own opinions," Jones said. "To the best of my knowledge, there have been no complaints lodged against Ambassador Guest. The State Department has no complaints against this ambassador."
Juverdeanu said Guest stood at Powell's side in Bucharest in early December as Powell joined foreign ministers from nearly 50 European countries who attended a conference of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe. "Ambassador Guest is very highly approved in Romania by the government and by the media," Juverdeanu said. "We feel what is important is how well you are doing your job, not your personal life."

Decision Could Affect GL Spousal Rights

by Jean-Pierre O'Brien Newscenter in Montreal
(January 19, Montreal) A precedent-setting decision by a Quebec quasi-judicial board could have far reaching implications for gay and lesbian couples.
The Tribunal Administratif du Québèc has ruled that a couple does not need to live together to be considered in a common law relationship.
The case involved a man whose female partner had died in a car crash. Because they were not legally married, did not live together, or share a bank account, he was turned down for survivor benefits.
The Tribunal ruled that the Societé de l'Assurance Automobile du Québèc must pay full benefits.
In striking down the understanding that full-time cohabitation is a prerequisite for recognizing spousal rights the path has been opened for same-sex couples seeking access to pensions, insurance claims and survivor benefits, gay activists in Quebec said Friday.
The tribunal heard that the man lived in the country, while the woman stayed in the city where she worked. There were no shared finances and although she wore his ring they were never formally married.
"If the fact of cohabitation is one of the necessary elements to demonstrate marital life, the fact of non- cohabitation is not necessarily proof of an absence of marital life."
The man's lawyer, Andre Mongrain, said: "In my opinion, this enlarges or adjusts the law."
"This is important because for the first time, an administrative tribunal has recognized that people can be spouses even if they don't live together."
Irene Demczuk of the Coalition for the Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses said the decision could affect some gay and lesbian partnerships.
Same-sex spouses, she said, have had access to benefits since 1999 if they met three criteria applied to all unmarried couples: cohabitation, shared responsibility and public recognition of their relationship.
But some same-sex spouses who cannot meet the criteria because of special circumstances could be helped by the ruling, she said.
"In small towns and villages all across Quebec there are gay and lesbian couples who are spouses, but cannot live together or do not go out together publicly because they are afraid of negative criticism," Demczuk said. It is not yet clear if the decision will have any impact on binational same-sex couples. Although foreign partners of Canadians are entitled to landed immigrant status, the couple must have cohabitated prior to the application for Canadian immigration. Nor is it clear if the decision will affect federal law.

BC Rights Tribunal Awards TG Woman Biggest Damage Award In Its History

by Rich Peters Newscenter, Vancouver
(January 19, Vancouver) The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has issued a stinging rebuke to a rape crisis centre which refused to accept a transgendered woman.
Kimberly Nixon was ordered out of a rape relief training programme at the Vancouver Rape Crisis Centre because she was not born a woman.
Nixon, a survivor of an attack by a male, had applied to the centre to help other women who were victims of male assault.
In testimony before the tribunal she said she was hurt, humiliated and even contemplated suicide after being rejected.
The Centre did not disagree that Nixon had been excluded, but argued that the exclusion was justified.
A lawyer for the centre said first, that transgender people have no human rights protection because 'gender identity' had not yet been added to human rights legislation.
Then they argued that in order to prove discrimination, Nixon had to prove not only the exclusion, not only that the exclusion was based on a protected ground, but, she also had to prove that harm resulted -- and "hurt feelings" were not enough.
Next, the Centre said that even if what they did was discriminatory, they had a "bona fide justification" to exclude her, because childhood socialization as a girl was an indispensable element of being able to work as a rape crisis counsellor.
Finally they argued that as a women's organization they were protected by the "affirmative action" section of the Human Rights Code. (That section says that if a group is formed for the purpose of improving the condition of people traditionally discriminated against, the group can be composed entirely of that group without offending the discrimination provisions of the code.)
The Tribunal rejected all of the Centre's arguments.
The ruling said that there was no evidence that Rape Relief considered transgendered women in the development of the standard who could be a volunteer; that it did not have any policy about trans women; that the organization made absolutely no effort to assess Kimberly Nixon's skills; and only relied on stereotyped assumptions.
It also said that Rape Relief made no effort to explore with Kimberly whether there was a way for her to be part of the training program.
It ordered the Centre pay her $7,500 for injury to her dignity and feelings. The award is the largest the tribunal has ever made.
B.C. tribunal chair Heather MacNaughton says the $7,500 award is appropriate.
She has also ordered Rape Relief to let transsexual women take part in its training programs.
Nixon has been unable to find work at all since the publicity of the hearing. Her lawyer, Barbara Findlay, said: " The decision will make it clear that it is no more acceptable to say that they cannot imagine working in a rape crisis centre with a transsexual woman, than it would be to say that they cannot imagine working in a rape crisis centre with a woman of colour, a lesbian, or a woman with a disability. "

Man Confined & Raped Over 9 Days In Flower Shop Torture Chamber

by Newscenter Staff
(January 19, Wayne, NB) A Houston area man was held against his will and tortured over nine gruelling days in an S&M chamber built in the back of a flower shop in a quiet Nebraska college town.
Police say that 36-year-old Jonathan Cooper was lured from his home in Houston, Texas, to Wayne, Nebraska by a man he met in an internet chat room. Authorities say that although Cooper is gay and was interested in bondage, he did not know he was to be turned into a sex slave by the man.
Two days after arriving in the small rural community, Cooper decided he wanted to leave, but the man refused to let him go, restraining him inside a small cell at the flower shop.
Police say Cooper was raped and tortured repeatedly by two men.
Roger Van, 55, who owns the flower shop and allegedly lured Cooper, and 36-year-old Jerry Marshall are charged with sexual assault, two counts of assault, false imprisonment and terroristic threats.
Cooper escaped after nine days in confinement after Marshall took pity on him and helped him get away.
When Cooper returned to Houston, he contacted authorities there who then alerted the Nebraska State Patrol and Wayne Police Department.
Police say Marshall has cooperated with investigators by providing information in the case. Wayne, a community of 5,583 people, is 85 miles northwest of Omaha in northeast Nebraska. It is home to Wayne State College.

Enza's Big Night

by Jack Siu Newscenter in Toronto
(January 19, Toronto) It may not replace "Hockey Night In Canada" in prime time, but the contenders for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance Party will duke it out in the first of a series of debates tonight in Chatham, Ontario.
And, in the left corner of the ring, wearing the pink mini skirt and spiked heels will be Toronto drag queen Enza "Supermodel" Anderson.
The better known combatants include Stockwell Day, the former leader of the party. Day, during the last federal election told voters there should be national referenda on sensitive issues such as homosexuality.
Then there is Dr. Grant Hill, the party's Health Critic. Hill has been plugging away for a decade that gays are sick and need help.
Rounding out the card for tonight's fight are party back benchers Stephen Harper, and Diane Ablonczy.
The Alliance, Canada's Official Opposition, has sunk to third place in public opinion polls. If an election were held today, the Liberals would be swept back to an unprecedented fourth majority government.
Anderson, best known for her 9-inch spiked heels, long legs, miniskirts and a profound lack of shyness, says she entered the campaign to "save the party from its own homophobia." But she's quick to add she has other ideas for solving Canada's problems too.
"I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself," Anderson says from her campaign headquarters in downtown Toronto.
"This will be an opportunity for everyone, especially the media, to see that I'm a serious candidate and that 'the legs have a brain!'"
Anderson ran for mayor in Toronto's last civic election and came in third in a field of more than 20 candidates. "It's time to take the Alliance out of the closet. It's time to break all the stereotypes of the party being racist and anti-gay and make it a truly national party," s he said.

Cops Under Fire At Oz Pride

by Peter Hacker Newscenter in Sydney
(January 19, Melbourne, Australia) More than 60-thousand people are taking part in GLBT Pride Weekend in Melbourne, Australia. It is the world's first official Pride of 2002.
The highlight will be Sunday's parade in the bayside suburb of St Kilda, and leading it off will be Chief Police Commissioner Christine Nixon.
Nixon has been a strong advocate of gay rights in the force.
She will lead a contingent of 30 gay and lesbian cops.
But, their involvement is not without controversy. The officers will all be paid for the day, a fact that has rankled some politicians.
Opposition Leader Denis Napthine said police wanting to participate should do so in their own time.
"It is inappropriate for the Chief Commissioner to take part in this march and it is also wrong for police officers to be paid to march in their uniforms," Napthine said.
"The police uniform is an important symbol and should not be used in parades which relate to any social or political agenda."
National Party leader Peter Ryan joined the condemnation of Nixon's involvement saying it pandered to special interests.
A ban on uniformed police officers participating in the march was overturned last July.
Acting Premier John Thwaites is supporting Nixon's involvement. As for the overtime pay, Thwaites said it was an operational matter for police.
Nixon, who will be joined in the march by Assistant Commissioner Noel Ashby and Commander Leigh Gassner, said their involvement reinforced the community spirit of policing.
President of the Victorian Police Equity and Diversity Unit, Acting Superintendent Jill Wood, defended the decision saying it was a significant step in repairing relationships.
"We are simply supporting a community - a community we are trying to build bridges with because traditionally we haven't had a great relationship with the gay community," Wood said. Relationships between police and the gay community were soured in 1994 when 463 patrons and staff at a gay club were strip-searched.

Two Car Hustle

by Jan Prout Newscenter in Toronto
(January 19, Toronto) Toronto police are on the trail of a mysterious hustler car thief.
Police say the suspect picked up a man at Zippers Bar in the Gay Village. The men agreed to go to the victim's home, but the suspect said he would follow in his own car.
After spending some time together, the victim went to sleep. When he awoke in the morning, he discovered some cash missing from his wallet and his car gone from the driveway.
But, the suspect's car was still there.
The victim called Toronto Police and investigators discovered that the suspect's car was really that of another victim in London, Ontario. That car had been reported stolen December 26th. The owner of the car told police the suspect had stayed at his home for 3 days over Christmas. It is believed they met at a London gay bar.
Police are scratching their heads. They say neither of the victims actually had sex with the man. There was no violence or threat of violence.
What they can't figure out is why the man is only after the cars or where is going next.
Police also say that while there has been no violence so far, they cannot rule out potential harm to victims in the future.
The man is described as personable, and average looking.
He used the name "Larry" in London, and "David" in Toronto. He is white, about 30 years old, and 5'10-5'11 weighing 165-170 lbs
He has short military style dark hair, no facial hair, no scars, marks or tattoos.
He told both victims that he was from Vancouver, studied at Simon Fraser University and then at Langley Community College. He also claims that he was enrolled in RCMP training, but dropped out. He says he now lives in the Ottawa area.
He smokes Dunhill cigarettes and drinks Molson's beer.
It is possible he is headed for Ottawa, or Montreal, but could also be heading west. Should you have contact with him, however, please contact the Toronto Police Service's 13 Division Criminal Investigation Bureau (416 808-1304) or CrimeStoppers (1-800 222-TIPS (8477)) or Constable Judy Nosworthy, the Toronto Police Service's GLBT liaison officer (416 808-7083).

Berlin assembly votes in gay mayor

January 17, 2002, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
Germany's first openly gay political leader, Klaus Wowereit, was formally voted in as Governing Mayor of Berlin's city government on Thursday.
Wowereit heads a controversial red-red coalition government compromising Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD), and the former East German communists, the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS).
Members of the German capital's assembly confirmed Wowereit in office with a vote of 74 out of 140.
Thursday's ceremony to vote in the new administration comes nearly four months after the city's government elections ended with the SPD failing to winning a majority.
Wowereit turned to the PDS after talks to forge a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and the liberal Free Democrats collapsed. Copyright 2002 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Ellen DeGeneres Reportedly 'Weds' Lesbian Lover

January 18, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
ELLEN DeGENERES has taken to wearing a wedding band prompting speculation she has 'wed' lesbian lover ALEX HEDISON.
Friends claim comedienne Ellen won jealous Hedison back after just one date with THE MUMMY RETURNS star PATRICIA VELASQUEZ - and the couple have made 'marriage' commitments to each other. Hedison has reportedly moved all her possessions into the home she moved out of before Christmas (DEC01) - claiming Ellen's party-going nature was compromising her tee-total attitude.
Ellen has promised to mend her ways and the couple are now reportedly talking about having a baby together.
A friend says, "It's amazing what another woman can do to ignite the fires of love. A little jealousy brought Ellen and Alex together again." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Estefans get restraining order

Herald Staff
A Miami-Dade County judge granted Gloria and Emilio Estefan a temporary restraining order Friday night against a man claiming the singer's record-magnate husband sexually harassed him.
Venezuelan actor and aspiring singer Juan Carlos Díaz is himself seeking a restraining order against Emilio Estefan, as well as an Estefan bodyguard Díaz said physically threatened him. Judge Deborah White-Labora refused Diaz's request this week for a temporary ``stay away order'' against Estefan and bodyguard Antonio ``Tony'' Almeida, but set a hearing for Jan. 28. That's the same day a judge will consider granting the couple's request for a permanent restraining order against Díaz.
The couple's lawyers say the 33-year-old Díaz has a ``history of trespassing and harassment,'' showing up at the Estefan'scouple's Star Island home on New Year's Eve and leaving messages on Almeida and Emilio Estefan's cellphones.
© 2002 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Get it straight: The time has come for gay TV

Washington Post Service
What's on, girlfriend?!
The Gay Channel, that's what!
With Viacom's announcement that MTV and Showtime are collaborating on a new pay cable channel devoted to gay programming, what self-respecting homosexual cannot help but flex his or her show biz muscles and hope they notice?
Comedian Kate Clinton already told CNN she wants a talk show called Satellite Dish, and now everybody is hot to develop a show. The market potential, after all, is simply huge -- well . . . hugeish, anyhow: Viacom estimates that 6.5 percent of the nation's 105 million households have at least one gay clicker.
``We want to develop something that, when it hits the marketplace, will be right,'' Showtime Executive Vice President Mark Greenberg told the Associated Press.
Sister, we read you loud and clear. You need content. We got some.

a.. The Weakest Twink (game show): Randomly selected nightclub patrons compete to answer incredibly easy questions to which the answer is usually ``Stonewall.'' Dismissive host Ian McKellen gets snippy when they don't know the answer.

a.. Law and Order: Special Rights Unit (drama): Tough-minded team works to pass equal-rights and domestic-partner laws in states that don't want them.

a.. Bitchy Switches (lifestyle): Lesbian couples swap houses with male couples and each has just two days and $1,000 to completely redecorate a room in the other's house. Pilot: Fur flies when Rita Mae and Sneaky Pie Brown add wood paneling and Napa Valley style to Jann and Matt's ultra-minimalist loft.

a.. That Early `90s Show (sitcom): This week: Josh quits ACT UP and joins Queer Nation; Lucy tries to meet k.d. lang; Steve is outed by a hipster magazine.

a.. With Six You Get Eggroll (reality): Upscale American couples race across China to navigate communist adoption laws. First one back -- with baby -- wins $1 million and a bonus baby.

a.. Everybody Hates Andrew (cartoon): Once-sensible conservative pundit starts a contrarian website with his wisecracking pet beagle.

a.. Savvy Regina (drama): Gutsy but lonely teenage lesbian snarkily narrates life in her Catholic high school.

a.. I'll Wait in the Xterra (nature): Join hunky Kyle McAdoo on gritty wildlife adventures into jungles, swamps and grasslands. Or fine, don't.

a.. The Real World: Rehoboth Beach (reality): Find out what happens in the summer rental house when 23 men (it was supposed to be seven) have to stop being polite and start getting real.

a.. You Gotta Love Rae (sitcom): Big ol' gal Rae gets overly involved with the lives of her family and neighbors.

a.. Live to Tell (reality): Young contestants have just 60 minutes to come out to their parents, fight, reconcile and get back to college before the semester starts.

a.. Bear With Me (sitcom): Sam and Art, a couple of bearded guys, start a bed-and-breakfast for like-minded hirsuters. But the neighborhood association's not too happy!

a.. Never Again (more drama): Follows the complicated lives of Tom and Brian, who broke up after 11 years together and are now finding their separate ways in a new world.

a.. Yves (talk): Retired haute couturiste welcomes guests, hems skirts, smokes Gauloises.

a.. It Was, You Know, Okay (dining): Two men (formerly boyfriends, now ``business partners'') travel to other cities and review trendy restaurants in a peevish manner.

a.. Abercrombie's Creek (drama, b/w): Artfully shot saga of a shirtless teenage boy and his many, many friends who all live near a misty swimmin' hole at the edge of town.

a.. Where'd You Get That? (shopping): Underemployed designers Todd Oldham and Isaac Mizrahi take you on a never-ending clothes spree through Manhattan.

a.. Queen Bea (dramedy): Robert lives alone in his later years, but fantasizes his life as a Golden Girls episode. This week: A pre-Oscars dinner party goes horribly wrong.

a.. Take Back the Night (adventure): Vigilante drifters Marsha and Jo (and their Weimaraner, Cleopatra) travel the country and help out women in dire straits.

a.. Breeder Lane (drama): Daily life in a cul-de-sac of straight people involves cookouts, soccer practice, Lamaze classes. Critically acclaimed, diversity-oriented glimpse of life in another world.
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Where would Martha shop?

Why Kmart is going out of business: Women who watch Martha Stewart shop at Burdines.

S.F. Reaction to Anti-Gay Ads Ruled OK

by Bob Egelko
San Francisco supervisors did not violate freedom of religion when they denounced a conservative religious group's 1998 advertising campaign declaring that homosexuality was sinful and that homosexuals could change, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.
In a 2-to-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the main purpose and effect of the supervisors' actions was to promote equality and condemn hate crimes, not to attack or inhibit religious beliefs.
A full-page ad in The Chronicle, sponsored by the American Family Association, declared that Christians love homosexuals but that the sexual practice was sinful and associated with disease and destructive behavior. The organization said it offered "healing for homosexuals, not harassment."
In response, the Board of Supervisors passed two resolutions saying such advertising "validates oppression of gays and lesbians" and creates a climate that may encourage violence. One resolution called on the "religious right" to take accountability for the effect of its rhetoric. Another urged local television stations not to run similar ads.
Upholding a ruling by U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong that dismissed the lawsuit against the city, the appeals court said the resolutions "may appear to contain attacks on (the organization's) religious views" but had a chiefly secular message: "encouraging equal rights for gays and discouraging hate crimes." The opinion by Judge Michael Hawkins also said the supervisors did not threaten any official action against the religious group.
Judge John Noonan dissented and said the suit should be reinstated. By linking the ads to anti-gay violence, the supervisors "officially stigmatized a religious belief," as if a city council today blamed Islam for the attack on the World Trade Center, he said.
Brian Fahling, a lawyer for the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss., said the group would request a rehearing.
"This is the clearest case of hostility by government toward religion that I've ever seen," he said. (C) 2002 The San Francisco Chronicle. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

Youth wins settlement in harassment case / Network
Thursday, January 17, 2002 / 04:12 PM
SUMMARY: A Pennsylvania youth will receive $312,000 from a public school district as a settlement for claims that school officials did nothing to prevent anti-gay harassment he endured at school.
A Pennsylvania youth will receive $312,000 from a public school district as a settlement for claims that school officials did nothing to prevent anti-gay harassment he endured at school.
The Erie Times News reported that Timothy Dahle, 19, said he was verbally and physically harassed by former classmates for five years and that school officials ignored his and his parents' requests for protection.
Dahle and his parents subsequently filed suit in U.S. District Court in Erie against the Titusville Area School District. The lawsuit, filed in June 2000 and scheduled to go to court Jan. 24, was settled Tuesday.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national advocacy group for GLBT students in grades K-12, said the settlement is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.
The school district denied Dahle's allegations, according to Erie Times News, saying that he was belligerent to other students and that he did not notify school administrators of the harassment.
"I hope this sends a message to all school districts in Pennsylvania," said Dahle's lawyer David Long, "and that message is if you turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the kind of harassment Timothy Dahle endured for five years, you're going to be in for an expensive lesson." A GLSEN spokeswoman told the newspaper that "five or six" similar lawsuits have been filed in the United States since 1996.

Gay 9/11 fund raises $190,000

The September 11 Gay and Lesbian Family Fund, created last month to assist surviving same-sex partners of individuals killed in the terrorist attacks, has raised nearly $190,000, according to a coalition of groups that organized the effort. The groups also announced that, to date, 16 surviving partners have submitted applications for assistance and that initial gifts of $4,000 have been made to survivors as their applications are approved. To make sure that all surviving partners have a chance to apply for a gift, the application deadline has been extended to February 14.
The fund was launched on December 13 to help offset the discrimination gay and lesbian partners are facing, including the denial of government benefits such as Social Security and worker's compensation. These benefits, and many others, are afforded automatically to spouses. The fund, administered by the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, started with $140,000--$90,000 raised by the Empire State Pride Agenda and $50,000 contributed to the Stonewall Community Foundation from donations across the country. Since then, an additional $50,000 has been donated to Stonewall.
"Widespread publicity about the fund during the holiday season resulted in both new donors to the fund and additional survivors coming forward," said Joe Tarver, spokesperson for the Empire State Pride Agenda. "We are grateful to the outpouring of support from across nation." Tarver said the deadline for applications was being extended to be sure that as many surviving partners as possible were given assistance. "Anyone who knows a surviving partner should encourage them to apply," Tarver said, noting that all applications are kept in strictest confidence and those eligibility criteria and application forms are available on the Anti-Violence Project's Web site, . The groups are also encouraging surviving partners to contact the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund to discuss their options in seeking compensation from the federal compensation fund created by Congress in the days following the attacks. Survivors, or their attorneys, should contact Lambda attorney Jennifer Middleton at (212) 809-8585.

Transphobic teacher gets her own rest room

A public school in Minneapolis met its legal obligation by giving alternate rest room options to a teacher who did not want to use the same facilities as a male-to-female transgendered employee, the American Civil Liberties Union said in papers filed in federal appeals court today. Southwest High School teacher Carla Cruzan complained that allowing transgendered library employee Debra Davis to use the women's rest room violated Cruzan's religious freedom and created a hostile workplace based on sex. As a result, the school provided Cruzan with ready access to several other rest rooms, including single-person facilities and other women's rest rooms.
"Carla Cruzan is the person who thinks there is a problem here, so the school was right to find some other alternative for her," said Tamara Lange, an ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project staff attorney. Unsatisfied with the school's accommodation for her, Cruzan asked a federal court to block Davis from using the women's rest rooms at the school. She lost and is appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis. A three-judge panel will hear the case later this year. In a friend-of-the-court brief filed today, the ACLU said that Cruzan, not the school, was unreasonable when she demanded that the school allow her own personal beliefs to dictate Davis's use of school rest rooms. The ACLU, filing on behalf of groups that include the Minnesota chapter of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, also noted that students, teachers, staff, and parents at Southwest High School roundly supported Davis and the school's handling of the situation. "The Minneapolis public schools have shown a willingness to learn about and support the needs and concerns of LGBT students, parents and staff. From students who plastered the walls with signs supporting Debra to the Out4Good office in the Minneapolis district itself --this community is a model for every school in the country," said J.J. Kahle, cochair of GLSEN-Minnesota. "Debra was supported so she could continue doing her good work in the library. While it's too bad that Carla Cruzan is intolerant, her concerns were addressed by finding other rest rooms she can use."

Partner plan rejected at U. of Alabama

The University of Alabama, rejecting a plan endorsed by a committee of professors and staff, said it will not offer health benefits to same-sex couples because it would be too expensive. The plan would have allowed employees to place their same-sex domestic partners on their health insurance coverage. The plan would not have covered unmarried heterosexual couples. "We did our homework so we could do our best to calculate the costs," Robert Wright, the university's vice president for financial affairs, told The Tuscaloosa News. He said the costs could not be justified when the university is facing cutbacks, and employees might not get pay increases because of budget cuts. Wright said allowing same-sex benefits probably would have added between $75,000 and $300,000 to the university's annual $14 million health insurance costs. Between 15 and 20 employees were expected to take advantage of the plan. Premiums for the university's health coverage increased by 10% this year and are expected to rise another 10% next year.


New York leather bar converted to art gallery

New York Daily News columnists Rush & Molloy report that the Spike, an infamous leather bar of decades past, reopens Thursday as an art gallery, keeping the same name. The new owners are dedicated to presenting cutting-edge sculpture, painting, and performance art, but they also want to honor the memory of the old club--they're putting together a CD compilation of disco tunes that used to play at the Spike, and they've commissioned author Brad Gooch to put together a book and a documentary on the space, which began as a watering hole for longshoremen and meatpackers. The Spike's inaugural exhibition will feature paintings by Tim Case.


Police Refuse To Lay Gay Bash Charge

by Ben Thompson National Editor
(January 18, Moncton, NB) After sitting on the case for three months, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they will not lay charges after a man was beaten for holding hands with his partner at a Moncton, New Brunswick bus stop.
The RCMP said the Crown Attorney recommended no charges be laid.
The case goes back to a cool fall day in 2001 when Lindsay Parent, 42, and his partner were holding hands at a bus stop outside a shopping mall.
Parent said a straight couple arrived at the bus stop a few minutes later. The woman saw they were holding hands and told them what they were doing was "disgusting".
She said, "There are children around," Parent says. He says she then told her boyfriend to beat them up.
"She told him to go ahead and make trouble. They started calling us names. They called me a fat faggot," Parent said.
Parent, an epileptic had two seizures. An ambulance rushed him to hospital, where he received stitches.
The RCMP said the Crown, after reviewing the case, has decided there isn't enough evidence to warrant a charge.
The Mounties announcement they would not press charges a day after gays in Winnipeg questioned why police in that city refused to lay a hate crime charge in the murder of a 24 year old man. The RCMP has also been fighting allegations of homophobia over asking if perspective Mounties are gay. The RCMP says in the interests of National Security, gays are not permitted on the force, a violation of Canada's Human Rights Code.

Priest On Track To Become First Gay Episcopal Bishop

A clergyman is on track to become the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.
Rev. Canon Gene Robinson has tried six times to become the Church's first gay bishop and will try again when the bishop of New Hamphsire, US, retires in 2004.
"It would be fair to say that I'm very open to the possibility," the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson, assistant to the current bishop, the Right Rev. Douglas Theuner told Associated Press. "My being gay is rarely alluded to by me or the congregation."
Theuner, bishop for 16 years and a gay rights advocate, declined to comment. The Episcopal Church is divided over homosexual clergy and same-sex unions. A 1979 church resolution that discourages homosexuality is not a church law, so dioceses set their own agenda.

Robbie Williams Ordered To Take Holiday

Pop king Robbie Williams (am I in or am I out?) as been ordered to take a nice, long break - to stop him from cracking up.
Record bosses are worried that if the star does not take a break his health will suffer, according to the Sun. They've advised a six month break. Robbie is now soaking up the sun in one of his favourite cities - Los Angeles.

Have A Gay Time At The Zoo

January 16, 2002, The Age
IF DR GERTRUDE GLOSSIP has her way at Melbourne Zoo this weekend, homophobes will no longer be able to fall back on the old line that ``it's just not natural''.
For nature itself is frequently queer, as Glossip plans to demonstrate on her guided zoo tour, Creature Comforts, as part of the Midsumma Festival.
The tour reveals a steamy underside of samesex and transgender activity within the animal kingdom. Lesbian koala couples, frisky maletomale gorilla action, heavy necking among male giraffes, and bumprumping chimpanzees. And that's not to mention the kinky peccadilloes of the emu, or the eastern grey kangaroo.
``If our Prime Minister knew what emus and kangaroos get up to, he'd have them removed from the coat of arms!'' exclaims Glossip.
Glossip is the creation of Will Sergeant, a gay activist and performance artist from Adelaide.
``She's sort of a queer Dame Edna,'' he says of his character, whom he describes as an amateur archeologist from a small rural community in South Australia. Glossip's career began with a gayhistory walking tour at Adelaide's Feast Festival in 1997. Her walks at Adelaide Zoo during last year's Feast Festival were a great hit, attended by more than 250 gay, lesbian and straight animal lovers.
``When she started off, she was a bit of a frump,'' says Sergeant. ``Now she's smartened herself up a bit - with all that contact with gay men, you've got to!''
The zoo tour is based on the findings of American biologist and linguist Dr Bruce Bagemihl, whose work Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was named one of the best books of 1999 by the New York Public Library and Publishers Weekly.
Biological Exuberance challenged much conventional theory on samesex behaviour within the conservative discipline of zoology, by documenting the sexual practices of nearly 450 species of mammals, birds, insects and reptiles.
The 768page illustrated book demonstrated to Sergeant that ``queerness is universal in the world of living things'', and inspired the Glossip zoo tours, which make the boatride tour of Big Gay Al's Big Gay Animal Sanctuary from South Park look, well, tame.
``It is an adult tour,'' Glossip warns. ``I do use technical terms such as anal intercourse, ejaculation, and samesex mounting. There are some very delicate areas, though, such as the whole issue of intergenerational love - sex with much younger animals - and incest. They're almost too controversial to suggest, but I do touch on those in my walk. It does happen, and I don't think we should whitewash.''
Glossip has never actually witnessed the samesex animal partnering she describes on her tours. ``The animals don't perform for me,'' she says, a little dejectedly. ``I've never seen any untoward behaviour.''
THE gay life of animals is not all Xrated, however, nor is it all about mindless sex. As Glossip points out, many animals display affectionate samesex behaviour, pair bonding, parenting, and elaborate courtship rituals. The blackwing stilt, for example, demonstrates that lesbian mating practices are common within the ornithological world.
``The blackwing stilt is very lesbian - an elegant Australian bird,'' says Glossip. ``The stilts are very civilised. They do change partners, but often the new pair will invite the divorced birds back into their home, and I see that as a lesbian interaction.''
In the case of black swans, samesex parenting has successful results. ``Male black swans are excellent parents. They form longstanding bonds; they either mate temporarily with the female, or shoo her off and take over a heterosexual nest with their (male) partner. Chicks raised by gay male pairs have an 80 per cent survival rate, whereas heterosexuals only have a 30per cent survival rate.''
Although Biological Exuberance is a dry scientific text, it has obvious relevance to queer politics, since its findings refute longheld notions within biology that sex is geared towards reproduction, rather than pleasure. In her tour, Glossip uses case studies from Bagemihl's text to drive this point home.
``Lesbian interaction between gorillas goes for five times as long,'' she says. ``Queer animal lovers, what does that suggest to you?''
As for the mutual masturbation practices of elephants, the ``bellow and jerk'' of koalas, maletomale ``diddling'' by baboons and the curious mounting behaviour observed among orangutans in the wilds of Sumatra, these are all, perhaps, best left to the imagination.
``That old idea that the animals went into the ark two by two, as heterosexual, monogamous couples?'' Glossip says. ``Darling,'' she whispers solemnly, ``it's just not true.''
· Dr Gertrude Glossip hosts Creature Comforts this Saturday at Melbourne Zoo. Meet at the front gate, 4pm. Tickets $16. For information, phone 94159819.
Dr Glossip also conducts a queer history walk around Melbourne on Saturday, February 2. Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

Indigo Girls' New Studio Album Become You In-Stores March 12

January 16, 2002, Mi2N Newswire
Renowned Singer-Songwriters Indigo Girls' Amy Ray and Emily Saliers Eighth Studio Album BECOME YOU In-Stores March 12
Indigo Girls Announce Intimate Acoustic Duo Promotional Club Tour
NEW YORK, Jan. 15 -- Epic Records is proud to announce the March 12 release of the Indigo Girls' eighth studio album Become You, arguably the best work of their remarkable two-decade career. Become You blends 12 beautifully constructed folk-pop songs that show off the Indigos' contrasting but complimentary songwriting styles. To celebrate the new release, the Girls have planned an intimate acoustic duo promotional club tour, which begins on February 11.
The 12 songs that comprise Become You are evenly divided between Amy and Emily's compositions. The album was produced by Peter Collins, producer of the Indigo Girls' 1992 platinum album Rites of Passage and the 1994 Grammy-nominated Swamp Ophelia, and mixed by Bob Clearmountain, who has worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Shelby Lynn, and Rufus Wainwright. The Indigo Girls also turned to their versatile touring group: Carol Isaacs (Hammond B-3, Wurlitzer, piano, accordion, penny whistle, recorder, percussion), Clare Kenny (acoustic and electric bass), and Brady Blade (drums and percussion), to round out the album's sound.
Become You was recorded in the Indigo Girls' hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and leads off with the first single ``Moment of Forgiveness,'' a simple, open-hearted melodic song of reconciliation. Other songs include the album's title track ``Become You'' ``Deconstruction,'' ``Our Deliverance,'' and ``Collecting You,'' which are reflections of personal evolution and approach to life, reminiscent to the simplicity of Indigos' early work. Copyright 2002 Tag It

Gay-rights issue won't be decided until April at earliest

By Mark Schlueb Sentinel Staff Writer
January 18, 2002
Orlando officials won't hold hearings on whether to ban discrimination against gays for at least three months, an advisory board decided Thursday.
Members of the volunteer Human Relations Commission ordered city staffers to research similar anti-discrimination laws in other cities and counties in the meantime.
"We're here as representatives of the citizens, and we want to do what is just and right for the community," said Owusu Amaning, chairman of the Human Relations Commission.
A group of gay-rights activists known as the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee has asked the city to add "sexual orientation" to the classes of people protected by city ordinance.
If the City Council agrees, employers could not refuse jobs or raises because of sexual orientation, landlords could not refuse to rent to gays, and public facilities like restaurants and hotels could not turn away gays.
Details of the proposal haven't been worked out, but city officials say it wouldn't apply to small businesses with fewer than six employees, religious organizations or private clubs.
Other cities and counties have adopted similar measures, which go beyond protections included in state and federal law. Gainesville, Miami Beach and Key West all have such laws, and St. Petersburg joined the list just two weeks ago.
But gay-rights initiatives are rarely adopted without bitter public debate.
Voters in Miami-Dade County will decide in the fall whether to repeal gay-rights protections.
Orlando residents can expect similar debate.
The Rev. John Butler Book, a Maitland evangelist who criticized Orlando leaders for extending rules against discrimination to gay city employees in September 2000, said he'll oppose the current proposal as well.
"It forces their lifestyle on other people," he said. "It removes the rights of people who want to base hiring decisions on their moral and religious beliefs."
Hearings aren't expected to begin until at least April. Members of the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee said they aren't bothered by the delay and expect the proposal to pass eventually.
"I would hope we have progressive council members who will do the right thing," said Michael Slaymaker.
Mark Schlueb can be reached at or 407-420-5417. Copyright © 2002, Orlando Sentinel

Teacher's arrest at gay club revives debate on their private lives

By Bill Hirschman Education Writer
January 18, 2002
A Broward County teacher was arrested in a raid at a gay club Tuesday, mirroring circumstances that ignited a 1999 firestorm over whether educators can be punished for what they do in their private lives.
An internal school investigation began Wednesday after Fort Lauderdale police told district officials they had arrested a Ramblewood Middle School teacher, according to Joe Melita, chief of the school's Special Investigative Unit.
Mark Raskind, 52, was charged with one misdemeanor count of lewd behavior at Chaps lounge at 1727 N. Andrews Ave., allegedly for having oral sex in the bar, police reported. Ten others, including the bar owner, were arrested.
Raskind, a 30-year educator, has worked for the school district since 1986, much of it at the Coral Springs school where his wife also is a teacher. He has been reassigned to administrative duties off-campus while the investigation continues, Melita said.
If Raskind is convicted, the Broward School Board will find itself dealing once again with an issue that has divided the board and the community.
"This will resurrect it," Board Chairman Bob Parks said. "But this time we'll have a clearer understanding of what questions need to be asked before we make a decision."
In 1999, sheriff's officers sent undercover agents into Athena's Forum, a swingers' club in Pompano Beach. Several people were arrested on sex-related charges, including two Broward teachers.
A passionate debate raged over whether their actions in a private club should have any impact on their employment as teachers. After the board launched the process to fire them, one resigned and the other cut a deal in which he gave up his tenure and was reassigned to teach adult-education classes while on two years' probation.
In this new case, Parks thinks the board needs to consider these issues: was the raid legal, did the teacher violate the state code of ethics, did the teacher violate his contract with the district and what is the definition of moral turpitude -- the key question in the 1999 debate.
Board member Lois Wexler also expects that newer policy changes and clarifications will make the discussion smoother. "Yes, here we go again, but this time we have more protocol and more rules," she said.
Conviction of sexual battery or inappropriate sexual conduct could result in anything from a suspension to a dismissal.
Bill Hirschman can be reached at or 954-356-4513. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Gay-rights milestone hailed, but new battle lines forming

Twenty-five years after he filed suit against Miami-Dade County's first anti-discrimination ordinance for gay men and lesbians, Ellis Rubin -- who is unapologetic about many things -- wants to say he's sorry.
Back in 1977, a brash, younger Rubin went to court to fight the fledgling county law. He failed to derail it, but his courtroom fight helped fuel national headlines with Anita Bryant leading the charge against gay rights.
``I was wrong,'' Rubin now says. ``Over the years I have learned that the grounds I was asserting were wrong and inadequate. I have changed my mind in that regard. It was wrong. It was out of line.
``To each his own. I have seen the light, and I would like to apologize,'' Rubin says.
Though Rubin lost in court, others took up the cause and voters soundly rejected the ordinance in a referendum just a few months later. The defeat set off a landmark battle widely considered a mobilizing force for the national gay rights movement. It would be more than two decades before another, similar ordinance would again win passage in Miami-Dade.
As community leaders assemble today to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ordinance's original passage, Rubin's change of heart offers some measure of change in the county since 1977.
Protection of gay men and lesbians from discrimination continues to be a hotly debated issue in Miami-Dade. In September, unless legal challenges succeed, voters will be asked again to decide if they back the current amendment. The referendum was forced onto the ballot by a petition drive organized by a group called Take Back Miami-Dade.
But one who believes the county has made strides is former county Commissioner Ruth Shack, who sponsored the ordinance and fought fiercely for it amid threats that her political career would end if she persisted.
``It's very heartening that we have allies in the field of antidiscrimination that we didn't have 25 years ago,'' said Shack, now the president of the Dade Community Foundation. ``I'm convinced we have made tremendous progress.''
But she acknowledges the fight continues, a few steps forward, a few steps back.
``There are still people who don't understand the issue and never will. I'm never surprised by the amount of ignorance out there,'' she said.
The pivotal hearing took place on a cold January day in 1977. Inside the commission chambers, emotions ran hot. Opponents held signs: ``God Says No. Who Are You to Be Different?'' The audience booed and hissed as people spoke on both sides of a subject long considered taboo: homosexuality.
Bob Kunst, a gay activist who spoke at the hearing, said the commission's actions set in motion a social force that continues today. ``This was a turning point in our whole movement,'' he said. ``We made `gay' a household word.''
A transcript of the hearing offers a taste of the bitterness that pervaded the proceedings. Baseball coach Alvin Dark, a Hialeah born-again Christian, called homosexuality ``a sin in the eyes of God.''
Orange juice pitchwoman Bryant, who would continue her crusade for years, testified against the ordinance, too:
``As an entertainer, I have worked with homosexuals all my life, and my attitude has been live and let live.'' But, she added, ``Now I believe it is time to realize the rights of the overwhelming number of Dade County constituents.''
At the end, a 5-3 vote clinched it. The ordinance passed.
The decision wouldn't last the year. By June, voters had defeated it by more than 2-1. Gay activists would spend the next 21 years working toward passage of similar legal protection.
Bruce Winick, University of Miami law professor and legal strategist for the ordinance, remembered the hearing:
``It was a very heated moment in history. . . . In the long run I think we set in motion some forces 25 years ago that have carried the day -- maybe not completely, but it was a very, very important effort.''
UM's law school, along with Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas and the county's Community Relations Board, will hold a forum today from 10 a.m. to noon in County Commission chambers.
The panel of speakers will include Winick, Shack, Fred Fejes, a Florida Atlantic University professor who is writing a book chronicling the effort, and Jorge Mursuli, former chairman of SAVE Dade who led the successful effort to enact a similar ordinance in 1998.
``What happened in 1977 put Dade County on center stage, nationally and worldwide, on the issue of gay rights,'' Winick said. ``It's worthy of being celebrated for that reason and because it was an important chapter in human rights.''
Some argue that little progress has been made. The 1998 human rights ordinance, which protects gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing and employment in Miami-Dade, passed in a cliff-hanger, 7-6 vote.
And, in another echo of 1977, it is being challenged. Opponents collected signatures to place a referendum before voters. It is scheduled to be on the ballot in the September primary.
Eladio José Armesto, communications director for Take Back Miami-Dade, which opposes the amendment, said he remains unconvinced that special protections are needed.
``I have never seen homosexual persons marching down the streets in Miami because their rights have been violated. You don't see long lines of homosexuals who are out of work because they've been discriminated against,'' he said. ``No one has ever demonstrated the need for this amendment.''
If the arguments sound similar to those voiced more than two decades ago, that doesn't surprise Heddy Peña, chairwoman of SAVE Dade.
``For me, personally, it is frustrating to be fighting the same fight, the fact that we haven't been able to get past the basic idea of protecting our fellow citizens from discrimination,'' she said.
© 2002 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
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NEWS from the Human Rights Campaign

919 18th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2002
WASHINGTON - Ellen DeGeneres hopes to have "at least one child, if not
more," but says she hasn't quite figured out how or when she'll do it. In an
exclusive interview with her mother, Betty - a columnist for the Human
Rights Campaign's FamilyNet ( - Ellen DeGeneres talks
about feeling different as a child and how that might influence her when she
becomes a parent.
"I hope to have at least one child if not more, and I will try to figure out
the best way to do that," Ellen says in the first part of a two-part
interview posted today, "because it's a challenge to be a parent and not
screw somebody up - to have that responsibility, to have a living being and
not squelch their spirit but allow them to soar and find out who they are
without telling them who they are."
Reflecting on some of the challenges specific to gay and lesbian parents,
she adds, "You also have to know that, on some level, the kid is going to
have a hard time at school, no matter where they are, because it's hard to
be different growing up. It was hard for me to be a Christian Scientist and
be the only one not getting a vaccination. I felt left out. ... It's all
relative for a kid - that you're just different is hard. I give a lot of
credit to people who have children and enter that world."
Part Two of the interview will be posted Feb. 1 on HRC FamilyNet.
The star of "The Ellen Show" and recent host of the 2001 Emmy Awards, Ellen
DeGeneres in 1997 became the first person to come out while starring in a
television series. Her mother, the author of Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter
Journey (William Morrow & Co., 1999) and Just a Mom (Advocate Books, 2000),
is an outspoken supporter of GLBT families and a monthly columnist on HRC
In the interview, Ellen reflects on her relationship with her mother. Their
candid conversation reveals the love -- and love of fun -- they both share.
"[I]t helps that you embrace not only me but my relationship, which is a
very important thing for me to be able to share," Ellen says. "And a lot of
parents lose out on experiencing other sides of their children."
"Well,' Betty replies, "it's a little mutual admiration society because you
are a very special daughter. And that's the sad thing, too, for parents who
aren't able to accept a son or daughter who is gay. That son or daughter may
be the most wonderful person, and then all of a sudden they're not accepted.
And that's just ridiculous. But it's people not thinking for themselves.
Sorry, I'm getting on my soapbox."
Ellen also calls her coming out process "a journey for spiritual growth."
"I didn't realize how much pain I was holding in and how hard that is to
live with because it wasn't a big deal to me," she says. "I was completely
accepted by all my business associates. Everybody knew I was gay. I was on
television and living a successful life. I was making a lot of money. To me,
I didn't think I needed to come out. ... when I realized the source of shame
I was holding in by not saying the words, not being able to say the words,
once I realized that, I had to come out."
HRC FamilyNet is the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender family
project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Developed in cooperation
with more than 15 national GLBT organizations, HRC FamilyNet provides
information about adoption, civil unions, coming out, custody and
visitation, donor insemination, family law, families of origin, marriage,
parenting, schools, senior health and housing, laws and legislation,
transgender issues and more.
HRC FamilyNet is also a web channel that features more than 30
experts who answer questions from users and monthly columns by Betty
DeGeneres and Emmy-award winning comedian Judy Gold. In past columns,
DeGeneres has talked to feminist icon Gloria Steinem, actress Kathy Najimy
and author Jesse Green about their opinions about GLBT family issues.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national gay and lesbian political
organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies
Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

11 arrested on alcohol, sex charges at Lauderdale gay bar

The Sun Sentinel (South FL)
January 16, 2002
FORT LAUDERDALE The owner of a gay bar, two bartenders and several
patrons were arrested late Tuesday night for mixing alcohol with sex and
safety, police said.
The arrests of club owner Steve Holt, two of his employees and eight
patrons took place around 10 p.m. at Chaps Lounge, 1727 N. Andrews
Extension, by undercover cops and state beverage agents.
Holt was charged with blocking three emergency exits in the club, which
could have proved dangerous if there had been a fire. His workers were
charged with serving alcohol and allowing nudity -- lounge patrons to
expose themselves or engage in lewd behavior, police said. All the
charges are in violation of city ordinances.
Charges against the eight patrons ranged from public nudity and lewd
behavior, which included participating openly in oral sex or
to the exposure of sexual organs.
The arrests and raid at Chaps, a drinking establishment that is open to
the public, followed several complaints.
The undercover operation discovered that the lounge had set aside two
areas that encouraged and promoted illicit sexual activity between club
patrons. It also found that sexual activity was a nightly occurrence
between customers.
Additionally, patrons often joined in illicit acts in a simulated
club or in a simulated locker room at Chaps while in contention for $100
to $200 cash prizes in weekly contests, police said. (C) 2002 The South Florida Sun Sentinel

Maryland majority leader comes out

Maggie McIntosh, a 10-year state delegate from Baltimore and the new majority leader of the Maryland house of representatives, has become the state's first legislator to come out of the closet, The Baltimore Sun reports. Although the speech in which McIntosh acknowledges her sexual orientation was delivered in October, there were no press accounts of it until The Washington Blade reported it last week. McIntosh, 54, told the Sun that she was motivated to come out after a visit with friends from her Kansas hometown. After noticing that one of her friends appeared sad, McIntosh asked her about it, saying the friend responded, "Growing up in a small town--and gay--leaves a mark."


Antihomophobic dress code ruled illegal

A high school in Minnesota violated a student's constitutional rights last year when the principal ordered him not to wear a sweatshirt emblazoned with the words "Straight Pride," a judge has ruled. U.S. district judge Donovan Frank ruled that the school's dress code was unconstitutional when applied to the student, Elliott Chambers. Though Frank noted that there are circumstances when a school can prohibit student expression ordinarily protected by the U.S. Constitution, he said Woodbury High School officials failed to demonstrate that Chambers's shirt could disrupt school activities. Chambers, currently a junior, wore the sweatshirt in January 2001 to show support "for the traditional and wholesome way to approach sex...which is God's plan," his mother, Lana Chambers, said at the time. She also said it was an effort to counteract what she felt to be the school's promotion of a "homosexual agenda." Principal Dana Babbitt told Chambers that he could not wear the sweatshirt because it violated the school's dress code. The teen and his parents sued the district, and Frank issued a preliminary injunction last May saying that the school had to allow Chambers to wear the shirt. His ruling on the constitutionality of the school's dress code was issued January 2.

California civil union bill halted

California assemblyman Paul Koretz announced this week that the civil union bill he introduced in the state assembly has made it as far as it will go this session. Friday is the deadline for the bill--which would establish Vermont-like civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in the state--to make it out of the judiciary committee. "I knew when I introduced this historic legislation that it would be a challenging, multiyear process for it to pass," Koretz said in a statement. "We scored a huge victory this year. We put civil union on the map in California and began the dialogue. We opened many eyes to the need for full legal recognition of committed same-sex couples."
Eric Astacaen, legislative advocate for the California Alliance for Pride and Equality, commended Koretz for his stewardship of the measure and agreed that getting it passed could take several years. "But we have a wonderful domestic-partnership law in California," Astacaen added, "and we encourage couples up and down the state to take advantage of that law." The far-right groups that rallied hard against the proposed legislation celebrated what they consider a victory by issuing press releases Tuesday. "California families landed a major victory Monday in round one of the fight to defend marriage against assault by homosexual activists in California," a Family Research Council press release reported.

Marines' stop-loss order excludes gays

The United States Marine Corps has issued a "stop-loss" order, halting some administrative discharges during the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, according to a press release Tuesday from the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. The order, however, calls for continued discharges under the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay service personnel. The order, issued January 2, instructs commanders to discharge "marines who are denied further service due to...involuntary administrative separation or violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice." The order goes on to state that these guidelines may be waived only in "the most exceptional cases." C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of SLDN, notes that the order closely follows language used by the Army, Navy, and Air Force in their stop-loss orders, issued late last year. "No service member should assume they can serve while being openly lesbian, gay, or bisexual," Osburn said. "'Don't ask, don't tell' remains in full effect, and gay-related discharges are continuing without interruption."

W.Va. capital considers hate-crimes proposal

West Virginia's capital may become the first city in the state to add extra punishment for crimes committed because of the victim's sexual orientation or disability. Charlie Loeb, chairman of Charleston's rules and ordinances committee, introduced the proposal and will try to get committee members to endorse it when they meet Thursday. "Of the people who approached me, the support for the bill has far exceeded any opposition," Loeb said.
Sexual orientation and disability are not part of the state's hate-crimes law. Last year a state senate proposal to amend the hate-crimes law died in the house judiciary committee. Judiciary committee chairman Jon Amores (D-Kanawha) said the bill died because delegates ran out of time.
Judiciary committee member John Smith (D-Kanawha) said he originally opposed the amendment but changed his mind following the 2000 murder of Arthur "J.R." Warren, a gay black man, in Marion County, W.Va., and the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. "Up to that time, my inclination was marginal, to say the least," said Smith, a former mayor of Charleston. "But when those things occurred, it really brought home to me the importance of some legislation of this nature. Its time has come." During 2000, 60 hate crimes were reported in West Virginia, seven of which occurred in Charleston, according to FBI statistics. Of the 60, none involved a disability, but 19 were reported as being committed because of sexual orientation.

Wisconsin employees challenge payroll donation

A handful of Wisconsin state employees asked officials Tuesday to enact a rule that prohibits state workers from donating part of their paychecks to charities that discriminate based on sexual orientation. Opponents of the administrative rule, including Gov. Scott McCallum, say it would prevent state workers from donating money, through payroll deductions, to the Boy Scouts of America or United Way chapters that don't have a nondiscrimination policy addressing sexual orientation. "His position hasn't changed," McCallum spokeswoman Debbie Monterrey-Millett said. "If state employees want to be able to give to the Boy Scouts, they should be able to give to the Boy Scouts."
State employees are free to make donations privately to any group, but they must follow state guidelines when donating part of their paychecks--including not donating to charities that discriminate. The current rule does not list sexual orientation as a category to receive protections against discrimination. The payroll donation rule would require charities receiving donations from state workers through payroll deductions to have policies prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, disability, age, and sexual orientation. Chris Ahmuty, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said the state is in violation of antidiscrimination laws without the rule. ACLU attorneys filed the petition Tuesday with the state department of administration on behalf of eight state employees. The group is ready to file a lawsuit in Dane County circuit court if McCallum and administration officials decline to enact the rule, Ahmuty said.

Virginia governor asked to clarify executive order

The gay group National Stonewall Democrats on Wednesday called on Virginia governor Mark Warner to clarify his intentions with respect to his executive order establishing a nondiscrimination policy for the government of the commonwealth. The order does not include sexual orientation in the list of protected groups. "Assuming that there was not a clerical oversight in drafting it, NSD considers Executive Order 1 to be simply unacceptable and contrary to the governor's campaign promises," said Chad Johnson, NSD executive director. "While gay and lesbian Virginians were right to work with Warner to defeat a ferociously antigay Republican, we will be disappointed if this action indicates the direction of this administration."


Winnipeg Gay Murder Shocks Community

by Newscenter Staff
(January 17, Winnipeg) The murder of a 24 year old man has many people in the city's gay community concerned that police have failed to see a hate crime.
Derek Todd Buboire was found in a pool of blood in a cruising area. He died a short while later in hospital of a knife wound.
Police say Buboire had gotten into an argument with a man at a party a short while earlier.
That man, Joseph Cleeton, was arrested and has been charged with first-degree murder. He appears in court Jan. 31.
Winnipeg police say there is no evidence to point to a hate crime. Police say Buboire was a former hustler. The area where he was found, under the Midtown Bridge, is popular with young male prostitutes and crack cocaine dealers.
But, people who knew Buboire say the police have a simplistic view of the killing. A makeshift candlelight memorial marks the spot where he was found.
In interviews with Winnipeg media friends describe Burboire as a quiet, gentle man who was getting his life together.
He had a partner who had gone to the party with him, was working, and was preparing to go back to school.
Justin Stockport, who does outreach work, with street kids said he believes the argument started when Buboire and his partner were kissing at the party. Most of the people there were not gay.
"We had known each other for about eight years," the 37-year-old Stockport said.
"We were in tune with each other. He was my best friend."
Members of Winnipeg's gay community are planning a vigil. The details have not been finalized. It was the first murder in Winnipeg this year.

AIDS Vaccine Setback

by Beth Shapiro Newscenter, in New York
(January 17, New York) The AIDS virus is able to alter itself and overcome an experimental vaccine that researchers hoped would one day be able to control the spread of HIV.
The scientists, working at Harvard University, said the experimental vaccine was being tested on monkeys. They report that the virus overcame it by changing a single gene, killing one of the animals.
The researchers are quick to point out that this does not mean that all AIDS vaccines are doomed to fail. But say it illustrates how powerful the virus is and that it will not be easily defeated or even contained.
The findings were published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
For some time scientists have known that the virus can mutate making it impervious to standard AIDS drugs in at least half of all cases.
This is the first time it has done same in a vaccine.
More than one dozen experimental vaccines using different genetic strategies have been tested in various laboratories. Some have been successful for more than two years. Federal scientists who reviewed both the Harvard study said the simian version of HIV used in the Harvard trials is very aggressive and hard to control. It may not reflect how vaccines will perform in humans, where HIV infection is more gradual.

Holding Hands For Diversity

by Fidel Ortega Newscenter in Miami
(January 17, Gainesville) The two young college men holding hands as they walk across the campus of the University of Florida Gainesville are not gay. Neither are the two girls who are holding hands.
They are part of a two day campus project to promote diversity sponsored by Gator Gay Straight Alliance.
First held in the fall 2000 semester, it encourages students of any sexual orientation to walk through campus while holding hands with a member of the same sex. The group says its goals are to promote tolerance, end homophobia, and eliminate assumptions and stereotypes about gay students.
Gator Gay Straight Alliance hopes it will help straight people to identify with the difficulties that gay students encounter.
"I think straight people take hand-holding for granted," said Idan Solon, a junior.
Katherine Poyner, a straight member, said it was interesting to watch people's reactions when she held another woman's hand. Other students, she said, looked on with curiosity or made attempts not to look as she strolled across campus with a female friend.
GGSA member Steven Supitux said the hand-hold-a-thon was well received.
But he also said that dealing with the possibility of violence or name-calling is a reality for gay people. Supitux said he actually felt more comfortable with other alliance members on the hand-holding day than he does when he is at "straight clubs" or at a restaurant.

Gay Mayor Eyeing Federal Politics

by Rich Peters Newscenter
(January 17, Winnipeg) Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray may finally succumb to wooing by the federal Liberals.
In this week's cabinet shuffle, longtime Winnipeg Liberal MP Ron Duhamel was packed off to the Senate.
That leaves an immediate opening in Winnipeg's St. Boniface riding.
A byelection is expected within six months.
The out mayor says he has not made up his mind running for the seat.
"Anything I say at this point is going to start a whole amount of speculation," Murray told reporters.
The party has been anxious for the popular mayor to run federally for some time.
Murray was under pressure to run for another Winnipeg seat in 2000 when Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy left politics. If he does decide to run he'll have some competition for the nomination from Dan Lussier, a senior advisor to Duhamel. City councillor Gord Steeves is also said to be interested.

New Zealand: Jails Face Transsexual Dilemma

January 14, 2002, The Evening Post
The Department of Corrections' policy of putting pre-operative transgender inmates in male prisons may be placing them at much higher risk of abuse, a parliamentary committee has found.
It wants Corrections to investigate the impact of its policy more thoroughly to see whether it is justified.
The call has been backed by transgender support group Agender which says some transgender inmates suffer regular abuse - including rape - in male prisons.
The concerns were raised in Parliament's law and order select committee's financial review of the department, tabled late last year.
Corrections places post-operative transgender inmates in the prison of their chosen gender.
But pre-operative inmates, estimated to number 10-20 in prisons at any one time, are sent to a prison in accordance with their gender at birth.
The committee report said the policy complied with international practice, and Corrections said many women inmates supported it because they would feel threatened by the presence of biologically male inmates in their prisons.
But the committee said it was still concerned about the policy.
"This could place inmates at a significantly increased risk of psychological or physical abuse from other inmates."
Corrections needed to gather better information on the issue to ensure its policy decisions were well-founded, the report said.
Corrections' Public Prison Service assistant general manager of corporate development Catherine Hall said a review last year examined whether transgender inmates' rights to safe imprisonment were being upheld.
While New Zealand's policies were in line with those of other countries, "we do recognise Agender's concerns and acknowledge the additional challenges presented, particularly by post-operative inmates in male prisons."
"The department continues to be in close contact with interested groups."
Ms McKay said the placement policy on post-operative placements had to be more flexible to reduce the dangers the inmates faced and to increase their rehabilitation chances.
While a small group - usually former sex workers - may choose to "trade" sex in prison, the majority of transsexuals were victims of unwanted verbal and physical abuse.
"There are some who face rape on what can be almost a daily basis."
Some were forced to remain in isolation wings in male prisons to stay safe.
The rights of women inmates also had to be considered, as did Corrections' concern that post-operative inmates at an early stage of hormone treatment would be able to impregnate a woman inmate if they had sex, she said. (C) 2002 The Evening Post. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

Hate Speech Spree Mars Ryerson University, Toronto

January 15, 2002, PlanetOut
A hate-crime investigation has been launched at Ryerson University after the campus was covered with violent homophobic and racist graffiti.
The downtown polytechnic university is located at the south end of Toronto's gay village.
Some of the graffiti stated: "Homos must stop infesting Toronto the good. You're ruining our image," and "Death to homos and Israeli Jews." Others read: "Jews have hell to pay," and "Zionists are the enemy."
Still others proclaimed, "Islam will take over Ryerson. Islam will take over Canada. Muslim students unite to destroy America."
University officials said they do not know if the graffiti is the work of students or people coming in from the outside. The campus is located on city streets and is open to everyone.
The graffiti was photographed by university security officers over the weekend, then caretakers painted out the hate messages. A spokesperson for Ryerson said if more graffiti is posted police may be called in. In the meantime, an internal investigation is underway. The spokesperson also said the university would post signs stating that hate messages are a violation of Canada's Human Rights Act.

Gay Times Ban

A police training college in Coventry has been accused of censorship after refusing to display Gay Times magazine.
Ryton Police Training College has agreed to keep a copy of the magazine, if it is kept in a clearly labelled box file, after a campaign by gay officers.
Chief Superintendent Stan Horlock described the front covers of the magazine as "salacious and suggestive", despite a number of surrounding police forces using Gay Times to advertise for new recruits.
A spokesman for the Lesbian and Gay Police Association said that the college's action was a form of "censorship" and "sent out the wrong signals at a time when the police are trying to attract more gay officers." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Legal protection for gays could spark bitter debate

By Mark Schlueb Sentinel Staff Writer
January 17, 2002
One of the most controversial and bitter issues to grip American communities in recent years is coming to Orlando: the debate over whether to ban discrimination against gays.
A group of gay-rights activists known as the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee has pushed the proposal, which would add "sexual orientation" to the list of classes protected under city ordinance. Those now include race, color, age, disability, religion and national origin.
City leaders have agreed to call public hearings on the proposal.
If ultimately approved, the legislation would prohibit private employers within city limits from turning away gay job applicants or denying promotions or raises because of sexual orientation.
It would also prevent property owners from refusing to rent or sell to gay tenants, and keep restaurants and other businesses that are open to the public from denying service to gays.
"Being gay is a difference that can be hidden, but that doesn't mean it should be hidden," said City Council member Patty Sheehan, Orlando's first openly gay politician. "If you feel like you have to hide your personal life at work, you're not going to be a good employee."
Neither federal nor state law extend protection from discrimination to gays. Across the country, many cities and counties have adopted similar ordinances, but some states have countered with laws prohibiting gay-rights protections.
Cities adopt protection
In Florida, Gainesville, Key West, Miami Beach and several other cities have adopted at least some form of protection based on sexual orientation; no communities in the Orlando area have such an ordinance.
Martha Chapman, a Central Florida employment-discrimination attorney, said Orlando needs to follow suit.
"I get calls all the time, but there is no protection for gays, and not only gays but straight people who are mistaken for gay," said Chapman, a member of the group lobbying to change Orlando's ordinance.
The city's Human Relations Commission, a volunteer advisory board, will meet today to set a schedule for public hearings. The final decision rests with the City Council.
Members of the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee have been hesitant to speak publicly about the proposal, fearing the divisive battles that have struck other communities over the same issue. Supporters worry it will spawn an ugly fight reminiscent of the one over gay-pride flags four years ago.
In 1998, employees of Watermark magazine, which is targeted to gays and lesbians, paid $15,000 to fly rainbow-colored flags downtown to celebrate National Gay Pride Month. At the time, city policy allowed any organization to fly flags from city light poles, as long as they paid for the banners and for city workers to hang them.
The seemingly innocuous display -- the flags bore no written message -- put Orlando at the center of national debate over gay rights. Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers of his 700 Club broadcast that Orlando leaders were putting the city in the cross hairs of God's wrath by allowing the flags to fly.
"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you," Robertson said at the time. "This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."
One resident was arrested for ripping down dozens of the flags and tossing them in Lake Lucerne.
By contrast, another gay-rights initiative passed without a whimper in 2000.
A few months after she took office, Sheehan pushed to add "sexual orientation" to the anti-discrimination policy that affects city employees. That proposal was suggested by some of the same people lobbying for the current proposal.
The council made the change without comment or public hearing; some residents complained later that city officials sneaked the item through without adequate public notice.
But the new proposal to change Orlando's human-rights law would be much more far-reaching.
Instead of affecting only city employees, the law would cover every business in the city. Religious organizations and private clubs would be exempted.City leaders are probably right to expect opposition. Throughout the country, legal protections for gays have typically been earned only after long fights.
Miami enacted gay-rights legislation in the mid-1970s but repealed it under a charge led by former beauty queen and Florida orange juice TV pitchwoman Anita Bryant and televangelist Jerry Falwell. The controversy drew national attention.
Miami-Dade to repeat fight
Miami-Dade officials put those protections back in place in 1998, but South Florida voters are now poised for a repeat of the battle a generation ago: Religious groups, with help from the Christian Coalition, have gathered enough signatures to force a vote on whether to repeal the measure this fall.
Two weeks ago, city leaders in St. Petersburg approved their own sexual-orientation law. Many in the gay community, however, aren't satisfied because protection was not extended to the transgendered -- those who wish to appear as the opposite sex or have undergone surgery to do so.
Perhaps nowhere has the debate been longer or angrier than in Louisville, Ky., said Eric Ferrero of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project in New York. Gay-rights activists in Louisville tried to persuade city leaders to adopt anti-discrimination protections for gays for seven years before it won approval in 1999.
"People are struggling with this right now," Ferrero said, "town by town, county by county, state by state."
Mark Schlueb can be reached at or 407-420-5417. Copyright © 2002, Orlando Sentinel

Gay rights leader N. Aaron, 80

By Ron Hayes, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 17, 2002
WELLINGTON -- Norman Aaron was unable to attend the grand opening of the county's gay and lesbian community center last Friday night because he was busy dying.
Nothing less would have kept him away.
For nearly two decades, the retiree from New Brunswick, N.J., was a dedicated, persistent and often very loud voice for the equal rights of Palm Beach County's gay and lesbian residents.
Mr. Aaron, 80, died Tuesday. He had been in failing health for some time.
"He's sort of the godfather of gay politics in Palm Beach County," FAU media studies Professor Fred Fejes said in May. "He's provided a sense of continuity and stability that many gay political efforts lack."
In 1990, Aaron and attorney Rand Hock founded the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, which worked to add sexual orientation protections to fair housing and employment laws.
Mr. Aaron is survived by Jack Bradley of Boynton Beach; two nephews, Jack Casner of Coral Gables and Kenneth Casner of Texas.
A memorial service will be held Friday at 1 a.m. at Unity of the Palm Beaches, 1957 S. Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach.
Donations may be made to the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, care of Dan Hall, 715 Park Place, West Palm Beach, Fla. 33401.

Lawyer's home searched for clues in death of client following sex

By Jon Burstein Staff Writer
January 17, 2002
Federal agents searched a former assistant public defender's apartment for guns after he talked about the weapons with police investigating the death of an 18-year-old man inside the home.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms executed the search warrant at least four days after Florida Atlantic University student Douglas D. Rozelle III died in attorney Damon Amedeo's West Palm Beach apartment.
The cause of Rozelle's death Jan. 6 is still unknown, but there were no signs of physical trauma to his body, according to the federal search warrant. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office is awaiting toxicology reports.
West Palm Beach police had Amedeo give blood, hair and saliva samples last week as part of their investigation into Rozelle's death. The search warrant to obtain those samples indicates that police wanted to see whether Amedeo, 29, might have used drugs with Rozelle before the student died.
Amedeo has not been charged with any crime related to the death.
Amedeo works for Rozelle's father and had been representing the younger Rozelle as the college freshman went through an intervention program so he could avoid drug-related charges. Amedeo had once helped coordinate the county's drug court before his departure from the Public Defender's Office in January 2001.
Richard Lubin, Amedeo's attorney, said Wednesday he is confident that West Palm Beach police will absolve Amedeo of any wrongdoing in what has been "a heartbreaking tragedy" for everyone close to Rozelle.
Amedeo wants to cooperate with police so they can conduct the most thorough investigation possible, Lubin said.
Both West Palm Beach police and the ATF declined to comment Wednesday on questions related to Amedeo.
Amedeo admitted to police that he occasionally used illegal drugs after drug paraphernalia possibly related to cocaine and marijuana use was found in his apartment, according to the federal search warrant.
In addition, Amedeo told police that he had a locked box in his apartment containing firearms, including a Glock semiautomatic pistol and a rifle.
The federal search warrant states that the combination of the guns and possible drug usage indicated Amedeo might have been committing a federal crime by possessing a firearm while using an illegal substance.
Lubin acknowledged Amedeo's apartment was searched but said there were no unlicensed weapons found.
Amedeo told authorities that he spent the night of Jan. 5 with Rozelle, having sex with him before going to sleep, wrote West Palm Beach police Detective Amy Sinnott in the police search warrant.
But during the night, Amedeo said, Rozelle urinated in the bed, prompting him to move Rozelle to the floor after the student wouldn't wake up, Sinnott wrote. Amedeo then went to a guest bedroom to sleep and went out in the morning with a friend.
Sinnott wrote police did not receive a 911 call from the apartment until 12:48 p.m.
Initial autopsy results indicate Rozelle had been dead face down for at least 30 minutes before he had been moved onto his back, Sinnott wrote. It also appears he may have been dead several hours before paramedics responded, Sinnott wrote.
Jon Burstein can be reached at or 561-832-2895. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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