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Saturday, January 26, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 01/26/02 Information is power!

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

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Crystal, unsafe sex linked to gay nightlife

Ari Bendersky, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, January 25, 2002 / 04:03 PM
SUMMARY: A San Francisco study reveals that crystal meth use combined with unsafe sex is a growing problem in the gay club scene.
A new San Francisco-based study reveals that methamphetamine use combined with unsafe sex is a growing problem among gay and transgender late-night club-goers.
The "Party and Play Study," conducted by the AIDS Office of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, revealed preliminary results on Jan. 10 to the city's HIV Prevention Planning Council that men who use crystal meth, or speed, a popular drug on the late-night dance scene, tend to be less cautious when it comes to practicing safe sex.
The six-month study examined the habits of 391 men and male-to-female transsexuals who had sex with men during the previous six months and who often partied between midnight and 4 a.m.
The study confirmed a correlation between drug use and a rise in HIV infection rates through both risky sex and injecting the drug, but some health officials view the risky sex as the larger culprit.
"There's a fair amount of evidence that people are aware of the importance of sharing clean needles," said Michael Siever, director of San Francisco's Stonewall Project, a group that works with men using or addicted to speed. "But it's quite common that people high on speed have high-risk sex. Sex and speed will happen regardless if people are injecting or not."
Of the 391 participants in the study, 84 percent reported non-injection drug use in the previous three months, and 64 percent of this group used crystal meth. Of the 35 percent who reported injection drug use during the three months, nearly all (94 percent) reported injecting speed.
A majority of those taking drugs during late-night partying admitted to having sex without a condom. Of the 81 percent who responded to having anal intercourse, nearly two-thirds did not use protection.
The HIV status of participants: 69 percent reported being HIV-negative, with 31 percent positive.
The study also reveals a greater need, health advocates say, for outreach to gay men and transsexuals who frequent late-night clubs with a message relaying both the dangers of drug use and the imperative need to use condoms during sex.
"HIV is still killing people," said Dr. Ron Falcon, board member of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. "We need better education that's more focused. Both drugs and HIV need attention. People tend to know more about HIV than drugs. Now, unfortunately, drug use is associated with the spread of this disease that's killing off our community."
While speed use and HIV now seem to be receiving more attention, Siever said he's seen it as a problem for 10 years. The study confirmed his fears. "(Crystal Meth) is the No. 1 drug of choice behind alcohol," he said. "The numbers (revealed in the study) are higher than I expected. Many more people inject speed than we realized. It's of great concern."
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Norway names gay prime minister, briefly

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, January 25, 2002 / 04:07 PM
SUMMARY: Norwegian Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss made history on Friday by becoming the first openly gay married man to lead a nation's government, albeit temporarily.
Norwegian Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss made history on Friday, according to Reuters, by becoming the first openly gay married man to lead a nation's government, albeit temporarily.
Foss, who married his male partner earlier this month, was installed as Norway's acting prime minister because both the prime minister and foreign minister were traveling abroad.
"I think that this, perhaps, can have a small impact on the discussion (of gay rights) also in other countries," Foss told Reuters.
Foss, 52, made headlines around the world when he married longtime partner Jan Erik Knarbakk, a director of Norwegian media group Schibsted ASA.
Norway became the second country after Denmark to legalize same-sex marriages in 1993. Registered gay and lesbian partnerships have the same rights as heterosexual married couples, except adoption and church weddings. Approximately 150 same-sex couples register their partnerships in Norway each year, Reuters reported.
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Senators urge vote on hate crimes bill

Dan Kerman, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, January 25, 2002 / 04:11 PM
SUMMARY: A bipartisan group of U.S. senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Tom Daschle on Thursday urging him to bring a hate crimes bill to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators sent a letter to Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., on Thursday urging him to bring a hate crimes bill to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in July of last year by a vote of 12 to 7. It would amend the current law, which permits federal prosecution of hate crimes motivated by race, religion, national origin or color if the victim was engaging in one of six "federally protected" activities.
Called the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (S. 625), the bill would remove the federally protected activity requirement and add sexual orientation, gender and disability to the covered categories of hate crimes.
"It is long past time to give stronger tools to law enforcement officials dealing with hate crimes, and to bring the federal hate crimes statute up to date," the senators wrote in the letter to Daschle. "Knowing of your strong support for this legislation and the principles behind it, we look forward to working with you for a Senate vote as soon as possible."
Though overall serious crime remained unchanged nationally from 1999 to 2000, with the crime index at its lowest level since 1978, the senators say reported hate crimes continued to increase 3.5 percent during the same period.
Hate crimes legislation has passed the Senate twice in the past three years. David Smith of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest gay political organization, says the bill is likely to pass again this year. However, he says, the House continues to be a roadblock.
"The leadership has not been supportive of the legislation and has been standing in its way," Smith told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network. He says House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., are opposed to the legislation, and they decide which bills are sent to the floor.
"So there is a need to be creative in moving legislation through," Smith said. "The obstacles are there, but we will do everything we can to overcome them," he said. Another bill HRC is keeping its eye on is ENDA, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Federal employment discrimination protections are currently based on race, religion, gender, national origin, age and disability. ENDA adds sexual orientation to the list, thereby extending fair employment practices to the LGBT community. The bill has already been introduced in both the House and the Senate, and Smith says Senate hearings should take place in the next couple of months. He says a date will be announced shortly.
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Damaging evidence released in dog-mauling trial

The judge in the trial of the owners of two dogs who last year attacked and killed a lesbian lacrosse coach in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building has released a letter one of the defendants wrote to a prison inmate in which he calls the mauling victim a "little mousy blonde."
The seven-page letter from Robert Noel to Pelican Bay State Prison inmate Paul "Cornfed" Schneider is dated just two weeks before Diane Alexis Whipple was attacked and killed by two presa canario dogs owned by Noel and his wife, Marjorie Knoller.
In the letter Noel gives Schneider a report of the dogs' behavior, including details about a run-in with Whipple, whom he calls a "timorous little mousy blonde." Noel and Knoller face charges of involuntary manslaughter and keeping vicious animals for the January 26, 2001, death of their 33-year-old neighbor. Knoller, who was at the scene when the dogs attacked Whipple, also faces a second-degree murder charge.
Superior court judge James Warren has rejected defense requests to exclude any testimony about Schneider and his relationship to the couple, who are his adoptive parents, ruling it could be relevant to the trial. In the letter, marked "Confidential legal mail," Noel also tells Schneider about the couple's decision to legally adopt him, calling him Knoller's second husband.
"This case began and ended with [Noel and Knoller's] relationship with Mr. Schneider," said prosecutor Jim Hammer. "It is astonishing the degree to which they discussed the activities of these dogs." Hammer says Knoller, Noel, and Schneider "worked actively together and enjoyed creating these monster dogs." Meanwhile, Whipple's life is being honored with a candelight vigil on Saturday, which marks the one-year anniversary of her death. The vigil is sponsored by Diane's friends and several gay rights groups, including Marriage Equality California and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. The vigil will take place Saturday, January 26, 5-7 p.m. in San Francisco's Collingwood Park, on 19th Street at Collingwood in the Mission district. In the event of bad weather, the vigil will be held at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, which is located in the Castro district at 150 Eureka St. at 18th Street.
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Poll: Gays split on Bush's job performance

According to a Zogby International online poll released Thursday, two thirds of lesbians and gays surveyed said they think George Bush is doing a good job in the post-September 11 war on terrorism.
Of 1,386 adults identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, 19% rated Bush's handling of the war on terrorism as excellent; 46% said good; 27% said fair; 12% said poor.
However, when it came to Bush's job performance on domestic matters, the respondents were much less generous: Only 3% rated the president's handling of domestic issues as excellent; 15% said good; 36% said fair; 44% said poor. The online poll was conducted January 11-14.
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AIDS czar backs controversial S.F. program

Three months after the Bush administration criticized sexually explicit HIV prevention programs of a federally funded San Francisco organization, the president's AIDS czar says it appears the program is working and ought to be left alone, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Scott Evertz, a gay man appointed by President Bush as director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, defended San Francisco's Stop AIDS Project Thursday in a session with researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. "We're not going to roll back the clock on any good work that occurred in the past," said Evertz.
Though the university's AIDS prevention experts were encouraged by Evertz's remarks, they voiced their concern to Evertz about the president's selection this week of former Oklahoma congressman Tom Coburn, who has been critical of pro-condom HIV prevention campaigns, to cochair the federal AIDS advisory council.
"While you're reassuring, we're concerned," said Tom Coates, director of the University of California, San Francisco, AIDS Research Institute. "We feel that bad times are ahead of us with this administration." Evertz, who acknowledged that he had advised the president to appoint Coburn, countered that the Oklahoma physician was also instrumental in securing Ryan White Act funding--the major source of money for AIDS programs in the nation.
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Tie not optional for lesbian teen

A lesbian teen and her family are considering legal action against her Tampa, Fla., high school because the school would not allow her senior picture to be included in the yearbook unless she wore a traditionally female outfit, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
When Nikki Youngblood sat for her Robinson High senior yearbook photos, she and her mother decided the best attire for her would be a black suit jacket, white dress shirt, and tie. But her wardrobe choice didn't fly with the school. Nikki and her mom were told only male students could wear shirts and ties. Female students would be photographed in a scoop-necked black velvet drape. Youngblood says it was "like asking a boy to go put on a dress. To my friends, it would have been the biggest joke in the world." So when the school's yearbook comes out this spring, Youngblood's picture will not be in it.
"It's pure discrimination," says Youngblood, who graduated from Robinson early, in December, and hopes to become a clinical psychologist. In correspondence with the school attorney, the Youngbloods' attorney, Karen Doering of Equality Florida, wrote that Youngblood wanted to appear as herself in her senior yearbook "rather than conforming to her school administrators' stereotyped notions of how girls should dress. The shirt and tie...is the attire that is consistent with Nikki's gender identity and expression."
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Elton John's production company getting animated with Disney

DarkHorizons.com reports that Rocket Pictures, Elton John's film company (headed by his partner, David Furnish), is developing a film called Gnome Story with Disney. The film is set to be a combination of traditional and computer-generated animation, telling a Romeo and Juliet-esque story in a world inhabited by gnomes.

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Anne Heche on Ellen: "I would never say a bad word about her"

Anne Heche spoke with TVGuide.com about her new film, John Q, but the conversation inevitably turned to Ellen DeGeneres, with whom Heche spent more than two years before leaving her and marrying a man, Coley Laffoon, whose child Heche is bearing. "Each choice I've made has helped to bring me to where I am today," says Heche. "I haven't talked to Ellen since I left. I have no idea what she'll do if she sees me in public.... I know that it's always more painful to be left. It wasn't easy to break up." She also added, "I loved my relationship with her. I would never say a bad word about her. I wish her success in love."

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Growing Visibility Of China's Gays

by Peter Hacker
365Gay.com Newscenter in Sydney
(January 26, Beijing) For the first time China is officially recognizing it has a gay community. The Ministry of Public Health says there are between 30 and 40 million gay men in the country. But, it says it has no information on the number of lesbians.
Still the publication of the figures is a major shift in policy for a country which a decade ago denied it had any gay population at all.
The government figures are considered conservative at best, representing only about three per cent of the total population. But, even at that, it makes China the country with the world's largest gay community.
For years police have turned a blind eye to the growing number of gay clubs in the country, particularly in Beijing, but there is little community organization and few outspoken gay activists in the tightly controlled society.
This week the official English language magazine in Beijing, City Weekend, did a cover story on the growing visibility of gays in the city. It is considered another indication the government is reaching out to gays.
The change it government attitude is not an indication of a growing liberalism, rather it is seen as a pragmatic way of bringing gays into the open to discuss AIDS.
The spread of the disease has become so rapid the World Health Organization has warned that if nothing is done to combat it, China could see AIDS deaths surpass those of sub-Saharan Africa.
Chinese law does not define homosexuality as a crime, although until the mid-90s gays were arrested under a hooliganism clause. But even that provision was removed in 1997 in a legal reform.
The Chinese Psychiatric Association has also declassified homosexuality as a mental disorder requiring psychiatric care, and instead re-categorised it as an 'identity crisis'. Even so, most gays say they feel immense social pressure from relatives and friends who often blame them for failing to 'carry on the blood line'.
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Moderate UK Tories Score Gay Victory

by Jon ben Asher
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(January 26, London) Moderates within Britain's Conservative party have succeeded in getting support for gay legislation in Parliament.
Ending weeks of wrangling within the party, Tory peers will be allowed a free vote on a bill to create Partnership Unions.
The private members bill from Liberal Democrat Lord Lester was given second reading Friday.
But, the party is not about to abandon its right wing either. In a compromise worked out by supporters of party leader Iain Duncan Smith, the Lords will be given a free vote. But, the front benches formally oppose it.
Lady Buscombe, prominent in the campaign to modernize the party, told the Lords during Friday's debate: "It must be right to confront any form of discrimination which compromises mutual respect and commitment within a stable and loving relationship for no good reason."
Like most private members bills it has little chance of passing: the government is not officially endorsing it.
Labour peer Lord Alli challenged his own government to prove its radicalism by supporting the bill. "The government has a moral obligation to give the bill safe passage," he said. He quoted the example of a man who was made homeless because he had to pay inheritance tax after his partner of 30 years died. A widow or widower would have been exempt.
But, even though the bill is expected to die, many of the points the legislation raises are being considered by the ruling Labour party which is working on its own Partnership Union legislation.
The government bill could come as early as fall.
With the Conservatives moderating their historic anti-gay stand, it could pass. The Tories have been grappling with the image of a stodgy old lady, Margaret Thatcher, whose policies still loom larger than life. Moderates have been attempting to reinvent British Conservatism, making it more inclusive to both gays and visible minorities.
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Garland, Crawford & Garbo Were All Lesbians: New Book

January 25, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
A shocking new book is set to wow classic movie fans by claiming Hollywood's silver screen divas were lesbians and bisexuals who entered into sham marriages to keep their love lives a secret.
Author AXEL MADSEN claims stars like JUDY GARLAND, MARLENE DIETRICH, GRETA GARBO and JOAN CRAWFORD were all part of a secret circle of lesbians in his new book THE SEWING CIRCLE.
Madsen even suggests that JOAN CRAWFORD once appeared in a pornographic movie in which she was shown having sex with another woman.
Bosses at movie studio MGM bought the negative of the film for $10,000 (£6,700) to prevent speculation about Crawford's sexuality spreading. (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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Suge Knight Upsets J.Lo Again with Lesbian Video Slur

January 25, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Controversial hip-hop mogul MARION 'SUGE' KNIGHT has rocked JENNIFER LOPEZ's world by claiming he has a video featuring her performing sex acts on women.
The DEATH ROW RECORDS boss, who was released from prison last August (01) after serving half of a nine-year sentence for parole violation, had agreed not to talk about the sex tape after Lopez filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against him.
But when he was lured to chat about the infamous tape on New York DJ HOWARD STERN's radio show recently, Knight revealed there's more to the tape than just J.LO making love to an ex-boyfriend.
He told Stern, "Put it like this: PAMELA ANDERSON is PG compared to J.Lo. She's got some women, some guys."
Lopez claimed last year (01) that she had no knowledge of the video, and if it was a home movie she wanted the tape stopped from being put on sale. She was denied a temporary restraining order that would have barred the marketing of the tape.
She dropped the legal action against Knight after his lawyer denied there was a sex tape, and now she's upset and furious with Knight's latest outburst.
One friend says, "She has had a year of trying to persuade people that any tape that Suge might have is not her. She thought it was all behind her. She was so upset. She was in tears." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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Dr. Weaver's Lesbian Confession

January 24, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Actress LAURA INNES may only play a lesbian on TV in ER - but the redhead admits to being attracted to her co-star ELIZABETH MITCHELL in real-life.
Innes, plays feisty doctor KERRY WEAVER in the hit medical drama, and loved her recent romantic storylines with Mitchell's psychiatrist character KIM LEGASPI.
Innes enthuses, "The chemistry that existed between us was much better than the chemistry between any of the guys they hooked me up with.
"Elizabeth is beautiful. I remember during a scene having a real in-the-moment feeling of wanting to kiss her and being amazed that I was feeling that way.
"It was great. It was like, 'Oh yeah, this feels right'." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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'Elvira, Mistress of the Dark,' arrives incognito for benefit

BY TERRY SCHMIDA
www.keysnews.com
ROB O'NEAL/The Citizen
Cassandra Peterson, right, is greeted at the Key West International Airport by local residents Richard Dennison and Elvira look-a-like Flower Conroy.
The inconspicuous red-headed woman who stepped off a puddle-jumper flight at Key West International Airport shortly after noon Wednesday looked like any other tourist to the Southernmost City.
But as a crowd -- including a voluptuous, vampish beauty carrying a rose -- gathered around the small plane, passengers began to guess the identities of their flight companions: none other than "Mistress of the Dark" Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson and her husband/manager, Mark.
A little sleepy and clearly caught off guard by the enthusiastic reception, Peterson smiled as she was handed a flower and welcomed to Key West by Elvira look-alike Flower Conroy and Richard Dennison, organizer of the Red Ribbon Kids Foundation benefit for which she is in town.
"I'm happy to be here," she said with a smile that gave no hint to her horror flick alter-ego. "Helping children with AIDS is important. And I've never been to the Keys, so I hope I get to see everything."
The benefit Peterson is headlining begins at 6 tonight at La-Te-Da, with a meet-and-greet session. The party then moves to Atlantic Shores Resort for a screening of Peterson's latest film, "Haunted Hills," which she made independently with her husband.
The finale is a look-alike contest at the Bourbon Street Pub that the mistress herself will judge. A variety of sponsors, including U.S. Airways and Cape Air, donated travel and accommodations to make the benefit a reality.
"Richard [Dennison] said, 'We want you to get dressed up and come to the airport to pick her up,' " said Conroy. "I had this dress in my closet, so I said OK. I remember watching her when she was on TV, back in the day."
Dennison seemed thrilled to have Peterson on board for a cause dear to his heart.
"We worked with her agent for the past six months to make this happen," he said. "And Cassandra was gracious enough to come. I've been very excited about the whole thing."
Peterson, too, seemed glad to be in Key West, though the actress known for her long black dresses did seem a bit out of sorts on one regard.
"I didn't bring one pair of shorts," she said. "It was a little colder when we got on the plane." tschmida@keysnews.com
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Rights ordinance widely supported

Miami Beach officials backing law
BY NICOLE WHITE
nwhite@herald.com
Miami Beach officials have historically supported and even led the county's push for a human rights ordinance and the protection it offers gay men and lesbians. They will not waver in that support, says Mayor David Dermer -- especially now, as voters in Miami-Dade will decide whether or not to repeal the amendment to the human rights ordinance, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.
``We do not want a repeat of the boycott in Colorado,'' said Dermer, referring to the 1992 call by singer-actress Barbra Streisand for a boycott of that state when Colorado Springs approved a ballot initiative that banned laws that protected gay men and lesbians from discrimination.
``Our city has always been at the forefront of gay and lesbian rights advocacy in the country,'' Dermer said. ``We would hate to see Miami Beach tainted with a broad brush.''
Dermer and Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas have shown their support for the amendment by attending several events, including last Friday's Human Rights Day observation and an unsuccessful sit-down late last year with Take Back Miami-Dade leaders, who fought to get the question on the ballot.
A compromise between the two mayors and the coalition of religious, political and civic members fighting the ordinance, who called the mayors ``merchants of death,'' was not to be. Voters will go to the polls in September.
Neither Miami Beach nor the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau keeps statistics detailing how many gay men and lesbians visit the city each year or how much they spend.
But Miami Beach has long been viewed as a gay-friendly haven for residents and tourists, and would be crippled economically and culturally if the ordinance were repealed, said business owner Joe Pallant.
Pallant, who operates South Beach Villas, a guesthouse for gay tourists, said if Ft. Lauderdale estimated its earnings from gay tourism to be some $570 million a year, then Miami and Miami Beach's income from gay tourism ``would be far greater than $570 million.''
``The economic fallout from any sort of boycott would be millions,'' Pallant said.
City commissioners are unanimous in their support.
``We've always embraced gays and lesbians and we have had no reason not to,'' said Commissioner Matti Bower.
``It's really unfortunate that this is even a topic for discussion in this day and age,'' Bower said.
Anyone seeking more proof of Miami Beach's stance on the issue, said Pallant and others, need look no further than the overwhelming support residents showed when they voted last November to have the city extend domestic partner benefits -- including health insurance and pension -- to partners of unmarried city employees, gay or straight.
Voters in November gave the green light, with 65.7 percent of the 13,024 who cast ballots approving, for the city to extend health-care benefits to the domestic partners of its employees.
Michael Aller, the city's tourism and convention director, estimates 10 percent of the city's 90,000 residents are gay. ``We are human beings who have a right to live, work and play just like anybody else,'' he said.
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Friday, January 25, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 01/25/02 Information is power!

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

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Body Found in New Zealand Gay Farmstay

by Brandon Sparrow
NEW ZEALAND -- "Inconsistent" injuries on the body of a guest found dead at a gay farmstay near Takaka over the weekend are concerning police.
They are treating the death as suspicious until the injuries can be explained.
A pathologist was travelling from Wellington today to examine the body of 54-year-old Wellingtonian Paul Alexander Bailey.
Mr Bailey, an employee of the Education Review Office, was found dead at central Takaka's Autumn Farm property on Saturday evening. He was lying on the floor of a garage, near the bottom of some stairs leading to a loft in a detached building at the farmstay.
Senior Sergeant Grant Andrews of Motueka police said today Mr Bailey was a tourist who had been at the property for 17 days.
Mr Andrews said he would wait to see what the pathologist's findings were, but at this stage it remained a "suspicious death."
"It's suspicious in the sense of where the body was found and the injuries he (Mr Bailey) had sustained," he said.
"Mr Bailey sustained some injuries that we are concerned about, hence the pathologist's examination. Those injuries are not consistent with where he was found."
Nelson police cordoned off the property on Saturday evening and talked to people at the property and nearby residents.
Forensic scientists and a fingerprint expert were at the scene yesterday.
Mr Andrews said he and Wellington pathologist Ken Thompson were driving to Takaka today to examine the body, which remained at the scene.
The body was to be removed this afternoon and taken to Nelson Hospital for a post-mortem.
The farmstay where the body was found, Autumn Farm, is co-owned by former Green Party co-convenor Richard Davies, who is often outspoken in support of gay and lesbian rights.
Autumn Farm co-owner Peter Finlayson was in the news in October 2000 reacting to criticism of the farmstay's website by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
An annual gay camp is held at the farm and includes a Mr Gay Summer Camp award. (C) 2002 The Nelson Mail. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Lutheran dean to direct gay research

Associated Press
Thursday, January 24, 2002 / 04:31 PM
SUMMARY: The Rev. James M. Childs Jr. starts work Feb. 1 as director of a four-year study of homosexuality ordered last year by an assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
CHICAGO -- The Rev. James M. Childs Jr. starts work Feb. 1 as director of a four-year study of homosexuality ordered last year by an assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The study will produce a sexuality statement and shape future policy. Liberal Lutherans have been advocating ordination of openly homosexual pastors and blessings for same-sex couples.
Childs is a theology and ethics professor and former academic dean at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He is taking a leave, since the job at Chicago church headquarters is full-time. Childs said the process "will be attentive to God's Word, open, fair, rigorous and as representative and participatory as possible."
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Jury selection begins in dog-mauling case

Jury selection began Thursday in Los Angeles in the criminal case against Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller, the owners of two presa canario dogs that attacked and killed a lesbian lacrosse coach in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building on January 26 of last year.
The trial is beginning just days before the first anniversary of Diane Alexis Whipple's death and was moved to Los Angeles in an effort to increase the chances of finding impartial jury members. Knoller, 46, and Noel, 60, face charges of involuntary manslaughter and keeping dangerous animals. Knoller, who was the only one present at the scene when the dogs attacked Whipple, also faces second-degree murder charges. After the criminal charges against Noel and Knoller are resolved, the couple will face a wrongful-death civil suit brought by Whipple's partner of seven years, Sharon Smith. "The criminal trial is about justice for Diane," said Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, who is representing Smith in the wrongful-death suit. "The civil part of it is about justice for Sharon."
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Connecticut official commits suicide after arrest in gay sex sting

A Republican city official in Plainfield, Conn., killed himself four days after he was charged with exposing himself at a Rhode Island adult video store.
Stuart Denton, 55, was found dead in a shed on his property Sunday night. The Plainfield medical examiner's office concluded that the cause of death was "asphyxia by neck compression as a result of hanging." Denton, who was the city's planning and zoning commission chairman and a member of the Republican Town Committee, was one of seven men arrested in a January 16 police raid at Amazing Express Video in Johnson, R.I. He was scheduled to appear in Providence superior court on Wednesday. Plainfield officials were shocked and saddened by news of Denton's death. "Tragedy doesn't begin to describe what I think about it," said Monique Allard, chairwoman of the Plainfield Republican Town Committee. "He was a dedicated public servant. He took it seriously, and he loved living in this small town. It's just a waste."
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Pataki wants same-sex survivors guaranteed federal benefits

New York governor George Pataki and state attorney general Eliot Spitzer have filed a written objection to portions of the government's September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that they say leaves surviving same-sex partners vulnerable to inadequate compensation. Pataki, a Republican, and Spitzer, a Democrat, sent a joint letter outlining their complaints to the fund administrator before the public comment period closed on Tuesday; they released the letter Wednesday.
Pataki and Spitzer said the interim regulations "unfairly exclude many victims from participating in the fund, provide inadequate compensation to other victims, and contain numerous other important flaws." The fund's special master, Kenneth Feinberg, is reviewing public comments on his interim rules and is expected to issue final regulations early next month. Pataki and Spitzer are seeking a change to a requirement that injured victims must have sought medical care within 24 hours of the attack to qualify for compensation. They also are seeking guarantees that gay partners will be eligible for benefits under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
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MTV upgrades Brian Graden

Variety reports that openly gay MTV and MTV2 president of programming Brian Graden has been advanced to president of entertainment, putting him in charge of creative content for the networks across all platforms. The promotion is part of a new multiyear deal for Graden, who joined MTV almost five years ago as executive vice president of programming. In his new position, he will oversee content on the company's expanding roster of outlets, including the cable networks MTV and MTV2 and the mtv.com Web site as well as such emerging platforms as digital channels, MTV radio channels, and even wireless content. Graden's promotion follows the recent announcement that the Viacom-owned networks MTV and Showtime would be collaborating on a new GLBT cable channel. MTV and MTV2 president Van Toffler told Variety, "Brian has given us some twisted, wonderful creative ideas and brought a great team of people in music, news, development, animation, and scheduling that have helped lead MTV to some record results.... Without much of a stretch, I would say Brian is the best, if not one of the best, programmers in television and great at inspiring a creative team to deliver compelling programming."

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Triangle Television Network to pitch cable systems

During the next two weeks, the Triangle Television Network will be making presentations of its library of gay and lesbian family programming to Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Adelphia Communications, Comcast, and Charter Communications. TTN president Frank Olsen explains that the company "seeks to make its gay and lesbian programming available through the largest cable carriers and satellite companies immediately. Our goal is to fast-track TTN's gay and lesbian family programming, which has been well received by the marketplace and has experienced strong demand for wider accessibility since its preview of September 7." If it makes a successful nationwide launch, TTN would be entering a suddenly crowded marketplace for GLBT cable, with proposed new networks from Viacom and MDC Entertainment Group as well as a possible U.S. launch for Canadian digital network PrideVision.

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Ft Lauderdale Moves To Protect Gay Workers

by Fidel Ortega
365Gay.com Newscenter in Miami
(January 25, Ft Lauderdale, FL) Gay and lesbian city workers will be given job protections under a proposal before city council.
The city had written a new anti-harassment, anti-discrimination policy earlier this month as part of steps the city is taking to correct alleged workplace problems. But it failed to cover gay workers.
City commissioners agreed unanimously this week that GLBT provisions need to be added.
"We can't discriminate against someone from Sarajevo," Commissioner Tim Smith. said, reading the current policy, "but if we have a gay person, we can discriminate against them. ... In this day and age, it's ridiculous not to have it in there."
Smith suggested the gay-protection clause, and the idea was supported by his colleagues -- even Mayor Jim Naugle, who has taken a conservative stance on gay issues in the past. Naugle voted against a 1997 change in the city's diversity policy to offer job opportunities without regard to sexual orientation, family status or political party. And he was the sole vote supporting continued funding for the Boy Scouts in 2000, when his colleagues voted to cut off their money because they exclude gays from scout leadership.
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UK Gays Protest At Police College

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(January 25, London) About 20 gay activists have staged a noisy protest outside a police training college near Coventry.
It was sparked by the college's refusal to allow Gay Times, the UK's major gay publication to be sold in the open at the school.
The protestors, from the National Union of Students Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Campaign.
The college said that it had removed the publication from the community information centre to "avoid the potential for offending people".
Copies of Gay Times were instead placed behind a barrier and people wishing to see them had to ask.
Adrian Bradley, protest organiser, said the move was "blatant censorship".
"Gay Times is a news and features magazine - how is that offensive? The police are supposed to be helping us as much as anyone else.
"If they are taking steps to keep magazines like Gay Times out of sight, then how are we supposed to have any confidence in them and believe that they will help us with our problems when the time comes?" And in a curious twist, the Police Service advertises in the magazine for police officers
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Gay Anti-Abortion Leaders Arrested at National Pro-Life March

Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter in Washington
(January 25, Washington) A gay conservative group has discovered that shared beliefs do not necessarily mean you will be embraced by other conservatives.
Leaders of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) say they were arrested Thursday at the 29th annual March for Life.
The arrests were conducted by the United States Park Police by direct orders of Nellie Gray, the March for Life Leader and holder of the permit, according to the Park Police.
PLAGAL President Cecilia Brown and Vice-President Eric Jurek were at the March for Life, with other members of their organization, protesting the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion-on-demand.
They said that Park Police ordered them to remove a banner which stated the organization's name and "Human Rights Start When Human Life Begins."
When they refused Brown and Jurek say they were wrestled to the ground and dragged to an area away from the crowds where they were handcuffed and taken away.
"How can Miss Gray claim to stand for the dignity of all human life while at the same time denying gays and lesbians our dignity in openly defending the rights of all human beings to life?" asked PLAGAL Vice-President, B.A. Keener.
She said:, "Most every group that attends the March for Life, openly identifies itself with signs and banners -- be they feminists, Democrats, Catholics, etc. It seems that PLAGAL has been targeted by the leadership of the March for Life simply because their sexual orientation. PLAGAL and its leaders have a long and solid history in pro-life activism."
"According to Nellie Gray, in a meeting a few years ago, PLAGAL may participate in the March for Life so long as we do not identify ourselves as lesbians and gays," stated Moses Remedios, VP for Media Relations. "That's as offensive as telling an African American, 'you can ride on the bus, but just sit in the back.'"
Prior to the arrest, Brown stated, "PLAGAL participates in the March because we believe in positive, life-affirming alternatives to the tragedy of abortion." March for Life leaders have declined comment.
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Riordan Steps Back On Partnership Union Support

Mary Ellen Peterson
365Gay.com Newscenter in Los Angeles
(January 25, Los Angeles) Former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan has made an about turn in his position on gay and lesbian partnership unions.
Riordan is running for the Republican nomination for governor. During the first debate among the three top candidates this week, Riordan came out forcefully against gay marriage, just days after indicating he had an open mind on civil unions such as those legalized in Vermont.
The 60-minute debate offered Californians their most prolonged exposure to Riordan, Bill Jones and Bill Simon Jr. since the nomination campaign began.
Riordan is considered the most liberal of the three.
His shift on partnership unions took gay leaders by surprise.
Throughout the debate, Riordan was forced to defend a number liberal positions including abortion.
He called for removing anti-abortion rights language from the state GOP plank. "We need a platform that's going to respect differences of opinion if we're going to get Republicans elected."
Most of the hour was spent on California's ailing economy. Goveror Gray Davis is running essentially unopposed on the Democratic side and will face the winner of the GOP primary in the Nov. 5 general election.
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Gay Digital Radio Launches In London & South East

Purple Radio, a new digital radio station for London and the South East launched last night.
The station, which describes itself as "young, gay, fresh and funky", has a 12 year license to broadcast.
Boy George flicked the switch to send the station digital at midnight last night at a showbiz bash at London's Atelier. Purple Radio had previously only been available online. It can now be accessed via Digital (DAB) Radio in London on digital cable and satellite TV platforms such as Telewest, NTL and Sky.
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Jerusalem rabbi says homosexuals should be killed

January 24, 2002, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)
A leading Jerusalem rabbi has said that according to Jewish religious law, homosexuals should be "put to death", the Israeli Ma'ariv daily reported Thursday.
"Homosexuals and lesbians are not only a sickness, they are an abomination which should be removed from every city in the country, also from those districts where they feel protected, like in Tel Aviv," the daily quoted Rabbi David Batzri as saying.
Tel Aviv has a thriving homosexual community.
The rabbi's remarks, made during a lesson at his Shalom yeshiva (religious seminary), have caused outrage among liberal Israeli politicians and rabbis.
"The rabbis should learn to understand that homosexuals and lesbians are an inseparable part of Israeli society," legislator Zahava Galon, of the left-liberal Meretz party, was quoted as saying.
Reform Rabbi Uri Regev said, "the only abomination here are the words of Batzri, and not the existence of homosexuals and lesbians, who are part of the world created by the will of God."
Batzri, one of Jerusalem's leading Kabbalists (scholars in Jewish mysticism), also stunned Israelis last months, when he blamed the country's increasing poverty on excessive masturbation.
Posters published by his Yeshiva and distributed in Jerusalem said masturbation created "pestilence and corrupting elements" and was the cause of "nearly all troubles, agonies, wars, diseases and poverty".
The posters announced a special prayer service led by Batzri, to asked for forgiveness for this "bitter and hasty transgression" by men. Copyright 2002 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH
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God punished Orlando -- feeling better?

Mike Thomas
January 25, 2002
Last Sunday, I mentioned Pat Robertson's warnings about what God might do to Orlando because the city flew gay-pride flags downtown.
The list of items included hurricanes, fires, terrorist attacks and killer asteroids from outer space.
The next day, I received this anonymous message in my phone mail from an elderly woman:
"Honey, you don't have to get back to me. I just want to ask you to do something. Look up the weather conditions during that month when gay flags were up on the posts in Orlando. I think we had a big drought then. And I think right after the flags came down, it started to rain. Put it in the paper if you can, honey. Bye-bye."
By golly, let's do it. Let's see, once and for all, if God punished Orlando for those gay flags.
The flags began flying downtown at the start of June 1998. I quote from a news story that summed up weather conditions that month: "June was a month of drought, record-breaking heat and the start of wildfires that made international headlines. It was the hottest, driest June on record in the Orlando area, with temperatures nearly 4 degrees above normal."
Meanwhile, on the 24th of that month, Robertson said on his TV show, "What happens to these fires in Florida could be a prelude to some things that are going on all around the world."
He further said that people must "turn from their wicked ways" and urged elected and religious figures in Florida to pray for rain.
A few days later, Gov. Lawton Chiles urged people to pray for rain. The gay flags were removed shortly thereafter.
And now I quote from a story that ran two weeks later: "The rains are back with a vengeance, ending a drought blamed for one of the worst wildfire outbreaks in Florida history. A low-pressure system is credited with bringing widespread drenching rains and answering the prayers of more than a few fire-weary Central Florida firefighters."
The story further notes that the "low-pressure trough" that brought the rain was even "better than a tropical storm" because it "didn't come with the threat of high winds."
The story quotes a meteorologist who notes that the trough was "unusual for this time of year." You be the judge.
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The Space Coast Eagle, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Rainbow downloads www.rainbowflag.com
GLBT NEWZ archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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Thursday, January 24, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 01/24/02 Information is power!

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

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Child Custody Case Could Hinge on Who Is a Man

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Michael Kantaras says that he is a loving father to his 10-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. He wants to raise them.
Whether the Pasco County resident gets to do that may hinge on a question that probably has never been litigated in a Florida courtroom. Namely, when is a man a man?
Michael Kantaras, 42, used to be named Margo before undergoing a sex change 14 years ago. Beginning Tuesday and through the rest of the week, a Pinellas-Pasco Circuit judge will hear testimony in the case to decide whether he or his former wife, Linda Kantaras, gets custody.
One of the Kantaras' children is Linda Kantaras' child from a prior relationship, a child that Michael Kantaras legally adopted after the couple married. The other child is the product of artificial insemination, using donated sperm from Michael's brother.
"The relationship that he has with his children is the same as any father who is heavily involved with his kids," said Michael Kantaras' attorney, Collin Vause.
Linda Kantaras, 33, a substitute teacher who has custody, is challenging the legal validity of her marriage and says she should keep the children, and deny visitation, because Michael is not a man. She and her attorney declined to comment. Michael Kantaras, a supermarket bakery manager, also declined to comment.
In a court filing, Michael Kantaras' attorneys said, "He is a man and a father, and he should be recognized as such."
Legally, Michael Kantaras' attorneys say he meets the legal definition of a man. During testimony Tuesday, a psychologist said the fact that Kantaras is a transsexual should have no impact on his ability to be a good parent.
But Senior Judge Gerard O'Brien, in questions to the psychologist, appeared troubled by the notion of a transsexual providing a male role model to his children, especially to his son.
"In the courthouse and in divorce cases, we hear judges and attorneys speak about the importance of male bonding, man to boy," the judge said. "It's important in the growth of normal development of a boy to have a male model of maleness, something the boy can respect and honor and emulate. . . . Male identity is very important.
"Can a boy feel a . . . bonding with a father who he understands was born a woman?"
Psychologist Walter Bockting said a good parent is a good parent, regardless of the sex change.
Linda and Michael Kantaras met in 1988 when they both worked in a supermarket near Melbourne. Linda knew about the sex change when they married the next year.
The Kantarases lived as husband and wife in Holiday and New Port Richey for the next nine years before the divorce.
Florida allows marriage only between a man and woman, which means the marriage could be ruled invalid on the grounds that same-sex marriages are not recognized. State marriage law does not mention anything about transgender people.
"This case is very important to transsexual people all over the country," said Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "Michael is a man and should be recognized as such by the courts." © St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.
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Colombia: Congress Says Gay Issues Must Wait

by Yadira Ferrer
BOGOTA, Jan 22 (IPS) - Colombian homosexuals will have to wait until the next legislative session for lawmakers to vote on legalising same-sex couples, and whether this should give gays inheritance rights and social security benefits.
While the spotlight has been focussed on the government and the insurgent Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who have been to the brink of war and back, and are now engaged in peace talks, other political matters have not disappeared.
But some have been postponed - if for unrelated reasons. Congress decided to leave debate on a homosexual rights bill for the next legislature.
If the bill survives the numerous parliamentary hurdles on the way to becoming a law, it would benefit approximately two million homosexual Colombians, half of whom live in stable relationships, according to social researcher José Fernando Serrano.
The legislation, which also covers inheritance rights and prison visit rights, was approved by the First Senate Commission. The full session of Congress is slated to take up the measure during the next legislative session, which begins in March.
The text approved by the commission includes just 20 percent of the points proposed in the original bill, presented by Senator Piedad Córdoba, of the opposition Liberal Party.
"Despite the cuts made by the commission, the bill came out well. We have to begin little by little to open the political space" for homosexual rights, Manuel José Bermúdez, member of the gay community and a leftist candidate for the Senate in the mid- 2002 elections.
Bermúdez explained that the law would provide for the legal registration of same-sex couples, covering the property rights of the two parties as well as social security benefits.
Senator Córdoba, also a human rights activist, commented that the bill she proposed responds to the fact that in this country of 40 million people, "in nearly all households there is a homosexual, whether it is a son or daughter, aunt or uncle, or neighbour."
However, the legislative initiative has run up against strong opposition, with some politicians referring to gay couples as "pseudo-families".
Justice Minister Rómulo González Trujillo objected to the gay rights bill saying it violates Article 42 of the Constitution, which consecrates the family as a heterosexual institution.
The Constitutional Court utilised the same argument in rejecting the petitions of homosexuals seeking to adopt children or to register a partner for health insurance benefits.
The court did not recognise these rights because homosexual couples, as such, "are not families" and therefore may not claim the same benefits, according to the ruling.
But Eduardo Cifuentes, the People's Defender (Ombudsman) - a governmental post -, interprets the Constitution differently.
The law gives legislators the authority to protect the free exercise of minorities' sexual rights, he explained.
Germán Rincón, an attorney specialising in gay rights, said, "by failing to recognise that we, too, can live in stable couples, the justice authorities assume that we live in permanent promiscuity and that we cannot maintain solid relationships."
In 1970, Colombia's first gay liberation movement began, and a decade later the law that criminalized homosexual acts was annulled. Such punishment, however, remains on the books in at least 70 countries worldwide.
The first legal inscription of gay couples by notary's offices began in 1999, and is now a widespread practice.
The Colombian civil war is not outside the scope of the gay rights controversy. Right-wing paramilitaries and leftist guerrillas have forced homosexuals out of the areas under their control stating that gays are enemies of their political values.
Last year, a jury in Pereira, capital of the western department of Risaralda, denied a petition presented by a lesbian in prison who requested a conjugal visit for her partner.
The proponents of the gay rights bill wonder why this country, whose laws recognise diversity, equality and basic rights, upholds discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"In Colombia, one can be homosexual, but must be quiet about it," said Bermúdez in reference to this double standard.
The candidate for Senate says Congress is unlikely to pass a law that allows same-sex legal unions because the debate has entered the moral arena, meaning the Catholic Church could step in and block legislative action on the bill.
"It is a legal debate, not a moral one, which is why the discussion must be taken out of bed, out from between the sheets, and placed among civil rights," Bermúdez said.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that the bill came at an opportune moment and has prompted a much-needed debate.
The candidate said it was "very positive" that indigenous Senator Jesús Piñacue had become one of the initiative's leading proponents.
Piñacue "is a brother who has been marginalized, and the position he has taken is wonderful. This is a demand for the rights of a group, something he is familiar with because he fights for the rights of indigenous communities," said Bermúdez.
He says that if he wins the elections, he will work to remove the sensationalism surrounding gay issues in the Senate. He is running on the ballot-list of presidential candidate Luis Eduardo Garzón.
The three pillars of the Bermúdez campaign are: a negotiated end to the civil war, the search for an economic "third way" that makes globalisation compatible with the Colombian economy, and a political reform to eradicate the institutional system's vices.
"The country will see a homosexual working on serious issues, which will be a major contribution towards changing the image we have. After working to improve the country, we will focus our efforts on the matters affecting the gay community," he said.
Garzón has made the gay rights cause part of his presidential campaign, saying societies that ignore this reality are discriminatory.
"Colombia can no longer afford to generate phobias of difference, which have already cost us hundreds of deaths," Garzón said. (END/IPS/LA/HD IP/TRA-SO LD/YF/DM/02) Copyright © 2002. Inter Press Service. All rights reserved.
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'Jenny Jones' murder appeal rejected

Associated Press
Wednesday, January 23, 2002 / 04:18 PM
SUMMARY: An appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a man who killed his gay secret admirer days after the man came forward during a taping of "The Jenny Jones Show" in 1995.
LANSING, Mich. -- An appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of a man who killed his gay secret admirer days after the man came forward during a taping of "The Jenny Jones Show" in 1995.
Jonathan Schmitz went to Scott Amedure's trailer and shot him three days after Amedure, 32, confessed his crush on the show, which never aired.
Schmitz, who was 24 at the time, said he went on the show expecting a female admirer. He was convicted in 1999 of charges including second-degree murder and is serving a 25- to 50-year prison sentence.
In his appeal, Schmitz argued that the trial court should have allowed evidence of his history of alcoholism and suicide attempts, which could have resulted in a reduced charge, such as voluntary manslaughter. But the three-judge appeals panel rejected his argument, saying the decision to omit evidence is within the trial court's discretion, which it found was not abused.
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New York organizations launch antihate initiative

In the wake of an apparently bias-motivated shooting of a gay man January 11 in New York City's Harlem, gay advocacy groups the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project and Gay Men of African Descent have scheduled a press conference for Thursday to announce plans for an ongoing public service campaign to address hate-motivated violence.
The organizations are calling on gay and community-related organizations, local merchants, and elected officials to participate in the antihate initiative, which will include public service announcements, posters, and community programs, according to Clarence Patton of the Anti-Violence Project. "We've already received some support from many organizations and elected officials," says Patton. "Now we want to get something more tangible organized to make sure this issue gets addressed." "We have a history of community organizing and raising visibility around issues of violence at the grassroots level across the city that we've developed over the last 22 years that I think will be highly effective when implemented in this broader-based way," Richard Haymes, executive director of the Anti-Violence Project, said in a statement. "We've organized in Harlem over the past few years in response to other antigay incidents, and we are excited about pooling our resources and energy in a proactive way with so many others invested in the safety of the community to help prevent antigay attacks from happening in the first place."
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ACLU wants fired cross-dresser reinstated

A Louisiana truck driver fired by the Winn-Dixie grocery chain after his bosses found out he cross-dresses while off duty does not need a trial in his suit against the company, according to a court motion filed Wednesday in New Orleans.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the fired employee, Peter Oiler, filed a court motion Wednesday asking U.S. magistrate Lance Africk to rule in favor of Oiler without a trial. Winn-Dixie has until February 22 to reply to the motion. "We don't need a trial, because there's no disagreement over what happened. The only disagreement is whether it's legal to fire someone for this," said Ken Choe, the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights staff attorney handling the case. Oiler was fired in January 2000 after his supervisors and company executives learned that he occasionally dresses as a woman away from work. In October of the same year, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on Oiler's behalf, claiming that Winn-Dixie engaged in sex stereotyping in violation of state and federal laws banning sex discrimination.
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West Virginia gay-bashing investigation questioned

Representatives from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a statement on Thursday expressing concern about a West Virginia city's investigation into an attack on a 28-year-old man who was leaving a gay bar.
Michael Fiffe was beaten and left for dead November 18 after he left a Huntington, W.Va., gay bar. The attack, which was caught on closed-circuit video from a nearby bank's security camera, left Fiffe in a coma for several weeks. Though friends of Fiffe say he is not gay, they say the fact that he was leaving a gay bar may have been the reason he was targeted.
Fiffe's friends contacted the NCAVP after three suspects in the beating were released from jail on other, unrelated assault charges on January 12. "When Michael's friends called, they had two concerns," said Clarence Patton, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. "First was that neither the prosecutor charged with advocating for Michael nor the magistrate who released these men were considering the brutality or the impetus for this crime. To date, the prosecutor has resisted classifying this as a bias-related incident or even investigating that angle of the attack." Though West Virginia hate-crimes statutes do not include sexual orientation as a protected group, community members are still calling for it to be part of the investigation and prosecution. "The other concern they had was that all of the individuals suspected of being involved in this attack are walking around free despite what appears to be a long history for them of violent attacks," said Patton.
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Slovakia says no to gay partnerships

Government officials in Slovakia on Monday unanimously voted against a proposed blueprint for registered partnerships for same-sex couples. "There will never be a government in Slovakia which would pass such a law, and if there ever was, it would lead the country into decline," said justice minister Jan Earnogursky, adding that the legislation would "devalue heterosexual families."

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Sexuality switcheroo on Will & Grace

The New York Post's Page Six column reports that the sexuality of the character that Rosie O'Donnell will be playing on Will & Grace went through some changes in the writing and rehearsal process. O'Donnell plays an old girlfriend of Sean Hayes's Jack character, and the original version of the script had the characters having a child together before they both realized they were gay. After O'Donnell signed on for the role, the show's creators made the character heterosexual, only to find that O'Donnell wanted the character to stay gay. A spokesperson for O'Donnell told the paper, "The character was always supposed to be straight. But when she sat down with the producers, they all felt that it would be funnier if her character was a lesbian." The episode is scheduled to air Thursday, January 31.

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Buchanan Book Enrages Community Leaders

Wednesday, 23 January 2002
LOS ANGELES --Radical right figurehead and failed presidential candidate Pat Buchanan has unleashed a ferocious round of criticism with the publication of his latest book, "The Death of the West."
Buchanan's main thrust is that "non-assimilating minorities" from "Non-European" countries threaten to bring down U.S. institutions and turn the most prosperous nation on earth into a Third World country.
Such statements have been understandably branded as racist and xenophobic, but compared to the assertions he has made about gay people, they seem rather tame.
"Homosexuality is not redemptive; it is addictive," writes Buchanan. "By the very way in which they define themselves, the homosexuals are killing themselves, physically, morally, and spiritually."
Buchanan quotes Thomas Jefferson as saying that homosexuality is worse than bestiality, and writes, "Homosexuality is not liberation, it is slavery. It is not a lifestyle, it is a death style."
"The Death of the West," published by Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's, also takes pot shots at Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, Tom Hanks, and, of course, Hillary Clinton. It ranked No. 13 on Amazon.com on Tuesday.
"Pat Buchanan has the right to his own ideas, no matter how ignorant, uninformed, or bigoted those ideas might be," Marty Algaze, a spokesman for Gay Men's Health Crisis told MSNBC. "His ideas only stir up hatred against gay men, lesbians, and people with AIDS. Buchanan has more in common with the Taliban of Afghanistan than the fair-minded people of the United States."
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Big Biz Joins Drag Campaign

by Jack Siu
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(January 24, Toronto) More than 100 of Toronto's movers and shakers pulled out their cheque books Wednesday night to help a drag queen run for the leadership of Canada's Official Opposition party.
The guest list at the fundraiser for Enza "Supermodel" Anderson, at the Mockingbird in the Entertainment District, was a who's who from some of the biggest companies in the country: Bay Street lawyers, internet executives, and financiers.
Anderson is running for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance Party. "I'm going to drag the Alliance into the 21st century," Anderson says with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
If it were not for the drag queen in the micro miniskirt, one might have thought they were at a Conservative Party function. Perhaps they were.
The evening was organized by three businessmen with close ties to the Ontario Tory party: Financial wiz Duncan Jackman (son of Hal Jackman, former lieutenant-governor of Ontario, Tory fundraiser and multi-millionaire): Erik Penz from the law firm of Lang Michener (as in Roland Michener former Governor General of Canada) and Rudyard Griffiths, executive director of the Dominion Institute.
The three deny they are "wolves in Alliance clothing." They say they are acting as "concerned private citizens." Others are not so sure. The Alliance and the Conservatives have been alternately sparring for control of the right of centre in Canadian politics and trying to merge to create a united front against the ruling Liberals.
Whatever the reason, the cash was flowing as freely as the 40 year old Scotch. "Money is money," said Enza's campaign manager Ian Ross.
Anderson needs to plunk down a $25,000 deposit to be officially included on the ballot. Ross told 365Gay.com Wednesday night, "If we didn't get there tonight we came in very very close." The campaign has until February first to raise the money. If she is not confirmed, the money from tonight's party will go to the Lesbian Gay Bi Youth Phone Line.
And, while some may find her campaign frivolous, Anderson said it is from it.
"She got into this to hold the Alliance accountable for its racist homophobic views," Ross said.
As for the Tory's using her to embarrass the Alliance, Ross said, "no one can tell Enza what to do."
Another group of Conservatives found that out when they offered financial and organizational help if she would "trash" the Alliance in her speeches. Ross said the group was asked to leave the campaign last month. No one expects Anderson to win the race. But, by the time it ends, few if any in Canada will not know the name Enza "Supermodel" Anderson.
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Lesbian Dog-Mauling Trial Begins

Mary Ellen Peterson
365Gay.com Newscenter in Los Angeles
(January 24, Los Angeles) A San Francisco couple go on trial today in Los Angeles in the dog-mauling death of Diane Whipple.
Whipple was killed when she was attacked by two massive Canario dogs in the hallway of her Pacific Heights apartment last year.
The couple in charge of the dogs, Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel are charged with manslaughter. Knoller also is charged with second-degree murder.
The trial was moved to Los Angeles after the publicity of the killing threatened the selection of an impartial jury.
Knoller and Noel were caring for the dogs after the owner was sent to prison. The couple are lawyers and had represented the man.
The prosecution is expected to introduce evidence the dogs had been trained to kill. There is also considerable speculation the issue of bestiality will be raised.
Following the killing Knoller suggested Whipple was at least partly to blame for her own death, suggesting she might have been wearing a pheromone-based perfume.
Knoller went on a network TV morning show and denied any responsibility for the attack.
Whipple's partner changed California's legal landscape by winning the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the dogs' caretakers as well as the apartment building's owner. The state legislature passed a law permitting GL partners to sue in wrongful death cases.
Friday, Whipple will be honoured with a day of commemoration in San Francisco. Saturday is the anniversary of her death
The memorial day was the idea of Supervisor Mark Leno. His resolution was quickly passed by the Board of Supervisors this week. Leno's resolution notes that Whipple, a 33-year-old lacrosse coach at St. Mary's College in Moraga, was a standout athlete who twice played on the World Cup team in that sport and came within seconds of qualifying for the 1996 Olympic track team.
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UK To Grant GL Couples Adoption Rights

by Jon ben Asher
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(January 24, London) The Blair government has moved another step closer to recognizing gay and lesbian relationships.
One day after a leak that the government will allow the transgendered to marry, Downing Street has signalled it will not oppose a motion to let gay and lesbian couples adopt.
Singles, including gays and lesbians, are already allowed to adopt children, but only as individuals. A group of MPs from all three parties is proposing an amendment to the new adoption act to allow couples to become parents.
If passed, the act could be the prequel to legislation recognizing gay unions. Supporters say Partnership Union legislation could be necessary to set the ground rules on what constitutes a "couple" for the purposes of adoption.
Potential parents will have to be aged 21 and over, be able to show they have a long-term commitment and are living in a stable relationship. The amendment to allow adoption already has the support of 130 MPs.
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Virginia Turns Down Gays For Low-Interest House Loans

Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter in Washington
(January 24, Richmond, VA) Virginia will provide low-interest home mortgages to the disabled, the elderly and single parents. But, a plan to include gays and lesbian couples has been turned down.
The Virginia Housing Development Authority rules currently restrict the joint purchase of a home to people related by blood, birth, marriage or custodial guardianship.
Governor Warner's chief of staff presented the VHD with a letter from Warner urging the board to make gay couples eligible for the loans.
Late last year, the authority undertook a major study of housing needs state-wide. Officials said the findings, coupled with input from real estate agents, developers, lenders, non-profit groups and others, prompted the staff proposal to eliminate the family rules.
Conservative activists fought the proposal to include gays and threatened to block the change in the General Assembly if necessary. The Virginia Housing Development Authority is a self-supporting agency established in 1972 to assist borrowers of limited means. During the fiscal year that ended June 30, the authority approved about 5,000 loans worth about $680 million.
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Lauderdale to add gays to anti-bias work policy

By Brittany Wallman Staff writer
January 24, 2002
FORT LAUDERDALE · Gay employees will get further protection from being mistreated in the city workplace when the city rewrites its harassment policy.
The city had written a new anti-harassment, anti-discrimination policy and distributed it early this month as part of steps the city is taking to correct alleged workplace problems. But city commissioners agreed unanimously Wednesday that it needs to be revised again to include protection for homosexual employees.
The suggestion came as city commissioners discussed persistent allegations that city employees are mistreated, and City Manager Floyd Johnson provided a status report on his recent promises to address workplace issues. He has called for more training for supervisors, additional complaint-office staff and a poll of all city employees.
Problems have not abated despite city action. Commissioners approved a settlement Wednesday in the case of Katrenia McCutchen, who had filed a hostile workplace lawsuit. The city agreed to pay $450,000, including legal fees. McCutchen had been awarded a $638,936 judgment last year in her suit, and the city had appealed. Insurance will pay about $99,000 of the cost.
Commissioners supported Johnson's efforts, but also suggested he put out a newsletter every 60 days outlining what he has done to fix the workplace in order to counter what they called negative and unfair media coverage.
"We're not perfect," said Vice Mayor Gloria Katz, "but we're not the ogres we've been made out to be."
Commissioners also agreed with Mayor Jim Naugle's suggestion that the city's policies include a prohibition against supervisors dating subordinates and hiring subordinates to work on their homes.
Commissioner Carlton Moore and other commissioners said Johnson has their full support to make changes.
"We've given strong comment that each of us wants results to this," Moore said.
Katz demanded deadlines and follow-up on each of Johnson's plans.
"I just want to be sure we keep following up, that we don't let this slide," she said.
"You've got to move ahead as boldly as you can and as speedily as you can," said Commissioner Tim Smith. "It's an important issue. The citizenry is very concerned about it."
Smith suggested the gay-protection clause, and the idea was supported by his colleagues -- even Naugle, who has taken a conservative stance on gay issues in the past. Naugle voted against a 1997 change in the city's diversity policy to offer job opportunities without regard to sexual orientation, family status or political party. And he was the sole vote supporting continued funding for the Boy Scouts in 2000, when his colleagues voted to cut off their money because they exclude gays from scout leadership.
"We can't discriminate against someone from Sarajevo," Smith said, reading the current policy, "but if we have a gay person, we can discriminate against them. ... In this day and age, it's ridiculous not to have it in there."
Gays already are protected by any county, state or federal anti-discrimination laws that provide safeguards based on sexual orientation. But the commission's move gives added protection to city employees who may think they lost a promotion, job opportunity or were mistreated because of their sexual orientation.
Moore said the city should look beyond how it treats its employees to assess how it deals with minority businesses. He suggested the city needs to study whether it is providing fair opportunities for minority businesses to compete for and win city contracts.
Brittany Wallman can be contacted at bwallman@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4541. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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Wednesday, January 23, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 01/23/02 Information is power!

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

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DNC Supports Same-Sex Partner Inclusion in Social Security

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Calls Resolution "Historic"
by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
January 22, 2002 -- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hailed a resolution passed today by the Democratic National Committee that called for equal treatment of same-sex partners under Social Security.
"In taking this historic and precedent-setting step, the Democratic National Committee has committed itself to equality for same-sex partners," said Lorri L. Jean, executive director of NGLTF. "Currently, our inability to access survivor benefits costs same-sex surviving partners approximately $100 million a year. We pay into the Social Security system our entire lives, yet in retirement we are denied funds to which we are entitled."
The resolution was passed at the DNC winter meeting in Washington, DC, states simply that "Social Security would be strengthened if same-sex partners were treated equally." The inclusion of same-sex couples in the program was a policy recommendation of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 2000 when it issued a groundbreaking report on the public policy issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) seniors. It has since conducted trainings with the DNC, AARP, and other aging policy organizations, and sponsored a Congressional briefing to push for these changes.
"The tragedy on September 11th demonstrated the inequality of same-sex relationships in vivid detail as the surviving same-sex partners of those who died found themselves unable access the same benefits as heterosexual surviving partners," continued Jean. "This discrimination is wrong. Social Security and other programs need to be broadened to include access for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender families."
There is significant majority support among the American public for equal treatment of same-sex partners and the number of GLBT elders continues to grow. In a 1997 Princeton Survey Research Associates poll, 57 percent of Americans polled supported "equal rights for gays in terms of social security benefits for gay spouses." One to three million elders in the U.S. are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. According to current trends, this population will double by the year 2030.
Also at the meeting, the DNC approved a resolution denouncing hate crimes and racial profiling by calling for immediate action on S. 989, "End Racial Profiling Act of 2001," and S. 625, "Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act" (LLEEA). LLEEA would add gender, sexual orientation, and disability to the federal hate crimes statute and would provide much needed federal assistance to local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.
For more information on issues affecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender elders, copies of NGLTF's report "Outing Age" are available at www.ngltf.org/library or by calling 202-332-6483.
______________________
Founded in 1973, NGLTF works to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people at the local, state and national level. As part of a broader social justice movement for freedom, justice and equality, NGLTF is creating a world that respects and celebrates the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society. Copyright 2001 GayWired. All Rights Reserved.
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Gay political groups question fund rule

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Tuesday, January 22, 2002 / 04:51 PM
SUMMARY: The two largest GLBT partisan political groups joined forces to urge changes to the proposed interim rules for cash payments from the federal Sept. 11 compensation fund.
The two largest GLBT partisan political groups joined forces Tuesday to urge changes to the proposed interim rules for cash payments from the federal Sept. 11 compensation fund.
Responding to the Department of Justice's request for public comment, the National Stonewall Democrats (NSD) and the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) said the fund's guidelines should be refined to specifically allow for equal treatment for the families of gay and lesbian victims.
The fund's special master, Kenneth Feinberg, announced the interim guidelines for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund on Dec. 20. He also initiated a month-long public comment period, which ended Tuesday.
The guidelines have since drawn widespread criticism for penalizing victims with life insurance, for example, and not guaranteeing benefits for non-traditional families, among other faults.
The regulations authorize compensation to relatives or "personal representatives" of a deceased individual who was physically injured or killed as a result of the attacks. In terms of determining who is the "personal representative," the regulations instruct Feinberg to rely on state law.
The joint NSD/LCR letter noted that most state laws do not recognize same-sex partners' rights in inheritance and estate matters, especially in cases where there is no will.
Such dependence on state laws, warned the directors of the two political groups, "could result in same-sex survivors being denied their rightful compensation and support."
Similar sentiments have been expressed in recent weeks by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., New York Governor George Pataki, the Human Rights Campaign, the Empire State Pride Agenda and several members of Congress. Feinberg plans to release final rules for the fund in early February, according to the Associated Press.
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Court: California governor cannot block gay inmate's parole

In considering the case of a California gay inmate whose parole bid was quashed by Gov. Gray Davis, a state appeals court ruled Friday that a voter-approved proposition allowing the governor to veto parole board decisions does not make that power absolute.
Robert Rosenkrantz, 33, was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for the 1985 murder of family friend Steven Redman. After a fight with Rosenkrantz, Redman revealed to Rosenkrantz's father that his son is gay. A week later Rosenkrantz confronted Redman and shot him 10 times with a semiautomatic weapon.
The California Board of Prison Terms decided last year that Rosenkrantz is suitable for release. The board said he shows remorse, accepts responsibility for the crime, and is a low risk for future violence. But Davis vetoed the release, saying Rosenkrantz poses a threat to society. The court's Friday ruling says Davis cannot simply say somebody is a danger if the board doesn't think so. Davis said he will appeal the decision to the California supreme court. Last year the state supreme court blocked Rosenkrantz's release pending the outcome of the court case decided Friday. The high court could decide to free him or hold him in prison while it considers whether to hear Davis's appeal.
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GOP chooses gay-friendly finance chairman

A few conservatives are angry that the Republican Party's choice for national finance chairman is Lewis Eisenberg, who favors abortion rights and gay rights and has contributed to a number of leading Democrats. The Republican National Committee announced the appointment Friday.
"This is really kind of a slap in the face to the economic and socially conservative wings of the party," said Stephen Moore, president of Club for Growth, a free-market political action committee in Washington, D.C. But despite similar objections voiced by some Republican National Committee delegates, Eisenberg's appointment was approved without dissent during the party's meeting in Austin. RNC chairman Marc Racicot stressed Eisenberg's loyalty to the GOP. "Regardless of ideology," Racicot said, "he has been committed to the Republican Party and to our president, first and foremost."
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Barney Frank to chair gay-straight event

Openly gay Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank has been named as honorary chairman of Walk With the Ones You Love 2002, an initiative organized by gay rights group the Maine Speakout Project to create public opportunities for nongay people to show their support of tolerance and equality and make the point that equality is a desired goal not just of gay people but of the wider community as well. In a statement Frank called for gay people to reach out to nongay friends, family, and colleagues and organize a walk in their communities. "We would like to see walks in every state in the country," Frank said. Maine Speakout's "Guide to Organizing a Walk" can be found on their Web site, www.mainespeakout.org/walk.htm .
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Yves Saint Laurent hosts gala farewell

The Associated Press reports that some 2,000 movers and shakers in the fashion world descended upon Paris's Centre Pompidou on Tuesday for the grand farewell of gay fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, whose final show included both a new collection and a career retrospective. The 65-year-old designer, who announced his retirement two weeks ago, told Le Monde, "We live in a world of disorder and decadence. This struggle for elegance and beauty caused me much distress. I no longer felt part of the world." While Saint Laurent's house of haute couture is no more, his name will remain visible: In 1999 he sold the rights to his label--including the ready-to-wear Rive Gauche collection, perfumes, cosmetics, and accessories--to Gucci Group NV for $70 million cash plus royalties. Out American designer Tom Ford has since been in charge of the ready-to-wear collection, fragrances, and cosmetics.

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Web site for The Fluffer vandalized

Internet hackers peppered obscenities and foul language on a Web site promoting the gay independent film The Fluffer, which began its Los Angeles run on Friday. After a shutdown, a new temporary www.fluffer.com site has been posted. "These hackers are vigilante censors who are against free speech, which is a big theme in our movie," said codirector Wash West. "The only good thing is that we have a high enough profile to draw attention to this kind of criminal activity," added codirector Richard Glatzer (Grief). "Filmmakers and other artists need to be aware that there are people out there who will stoop to this kind of mean-spirited vandalism, and therefore need to find ways to protect their work on the Internet."
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Rupert Everett as Captain Hook?

Jason Isaacs (The Patriot, Sweet November) and out actor Rupert Everett have both tested for the role of Captain Hook in a new live-action Peter Pan movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The project is in the early stages of development and would be a coproduction of Revolution Studios with Disney and Columbia Pictures. Monster's Ball director Marc Forster has signed to direct a film for Miramax about the first staging of James M. Barrie's beloved play.

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Queer Duck returns to the Web, makes TV debut

Queer Duck, who made a big splash online in 2001, returns to the Internet on www.Sho.com/queer, as Showtime prepares to bring the Miss Thing of mallards to television. The Queer Duck episodes make their debut on the Showtime site on Wednesday, January 23, and the network will begin broadcasting those episodes Tuesday nights (starting January 29), following the 11 p.m. rebroadcast of Queer as Folk. Check local listings

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UK Transgendered To Win Marriage Rights

by Jon ben Asher
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(January 23, London) Britain's transgendered will be given the right to marry. The Blair government is said to be preparing legislation to bring into the Commons in this session.
Word of the decision was leaked a day after Britain's Law Lords decided to hear the case of a transgendered woman whose marriage was annulled when it was learned she had not been born a woman.
Thousands of people in Britain who have changed sex are unable to wed because they cannot have their new gender marked on their birth certificates.
Under the plans, said to be under consideration by Lord Chancellor Lord Irvine, are new birth certificates that state the holder's proper sex. Only Britain, Ireland, Albania and Andorra fail to give transsexuals full legal rights in Europe. Advocates for the transgendered hailed the word saying the legislation will end more than 50 years of discrimination.
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Anti-Gay Ex-Congressman To Head Bush AIDS Panel

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(January 23, Washington) The Bush administration is preparing to name former Rep. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla) as the head of its AIDS advisory council.
Coburn, who had a consistent record of opposing GLBT legislation in Congress is also a strong advocate of abstinence over the use of condoms.
Coburn said Tuesday that the administration had asked him to co-chair the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS with Louis Sullivan, who served as secretary of health and human services under the first President Bush
"We have a prevention strategy that's failed," Coburn said.
A hard-line conservative, Coburn said his personal views would not dictate his work. He said he would direct the AIDS council based on science and public health, not any political agenda.
"It shouldn't be based on someone's political philosophy,'' he said. ``It ought to be based on what's going to work.''
But, but added he planned to challenge the national focus on condom use to prevent the spread of HIV.
"Condoms are fairly effective against HIV if people will use them,'' he said. "[But] are people going to use them?"
Despite a stabilizing of AIDS there has been a recent increase in the number of young gay men becoming infected.
AIDS activists offered mixed reaction to Coburn's appointment.
Darin Johnson of AIDS Action expressed concern: "Will the committee be a true honest voice or is a council being put together that can basically give a public green light for moving a lot of conservative HIV policies,'' Johnson asked.
Wayne Turner of the AIDS group Act Up said: "Coburn is guaranteed to shake things up.''
Despite his opposition to condoms, Coburn was the primary sponsor of legislation renewing the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides more than $1 billion a year for AIDS prevention and treatment. Coburn also made common cause with many Democrats as an early Republican supporter of a patients' bill of rights.
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UK Tory Leader Nixes Reaching Out To Gays

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(January 23, London) Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith has rejected suggestions by moderates in the party to be more inclusive to gays, women and ethnic minorities.
His comments, in a BBC interview, came on the heels of a survey showing that 81 per cent of Tory female would-be parliamentary candidates experienced an anti-women bias at the hands of party selection committees.
"In terms of representation in the party, we don't set quotas, because out there in the country people don't live their lives by quotas," he said.
And, a strong supporter in the party of Duncan Smith, John Redwood, hit out at shadow chief secretary John Bercow's suggestion that the Tories should advocate gay rights and back calls for the registration of same-sex relationships. Redwood, who has considerable influence with Duncan Smith is generally regarded as speaking for the party
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Gay Exec Murdered In London

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(January 23, London) The body of internet executive Martin Warwick has been found in his London apartment.
A co-worker went to Warwick's Earl's Court apartment when he failed to show up for work.
Police said Warwick, 43, had been stabbed to death.
He was last seen in several gay clubs in the neighbourhood. Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen Warwick the night of killing. Police will not say if they believe he met his murderer in one of the clubs.
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Man Does Drag To Visit Jailed Partner

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(January 23, Osorno, Chile) A gay man has been arrested after dressing as a woman to visit his partner in a Chilean prison.
The jail in Osorno, allows wives and girlfriends to visit inmates and spend time alone with their partners.
But it does not make any special provisions for gay prisoners, and their partners are not allowed to visit.
The 24-year-old is reported to have dressed up and pretended to be his lover's girlfriend.
The newspaper La Cuarta says he wore a blouse and miniskirt, put on lots of make-up. and borrowed an identity card from a female friend.
The paper claims he was even whistled at while he was waiting to enter the prison.
It says prison guards became suspicious when they noticed he had a lot more hair on his arms than they would have expected.
He was strip-searched and charged with using a false identity. He is due to appear in court next week.
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Lesbian Pair Try for A Baby

January 21, 2002, Evening Mail
A MIDLAND lesbian couple want to undergo a new technique pioneered in the US which could enable them to have a baby which shares both their genes.
The couple from Coventry, who would only name themselves as Adele and Dawn, said they wanted their names put forward for any medical trial of the technique.
'It would mean everything to us if we could have our own baby,' they said.
The technique has already being tested on human eggs and could be available in as little as 18 months. Scientists at the Reproductive Genetics Institute in Chicago have devised a way to create 'artificial sperm' from any cell in a woman's body which can be used to fertilise another woman's egg.
The technique was initially developed to allow men with no sperm after radiotherapy to father children.
But it is being seen as a way of enabling lesbian couples to have a genes from both baby with partners. (C) 2002 Evening Mail. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Visa Denied

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been prevented from entering Australia to attend his stepfather's funeral.
For the last four weeks the Australian government has refused Tatchell's repeated requests for a visa on compassionate grounds, so that he could at the bedside of his dying stepfather, Edwin Nitscke. Following his stepfather's death, the decision of the Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to refuse Tatchell a visa has prevented him from attending his stepfather's funeral.
"Our family tragedy has been compounded by Philip Ruddock's cruel and heartless decision to prevent me from visiting my dying stepfather and attending his funeral", said Tatchell.
"My mother, brother and sisters are deeply distressed that I am not allowed to be with them at this time of loss and grieving. To keep a family apart when a loved one is dying is callous enough, but to prevent a son from attending his stepfather's funeral is vindictive beyond comprehension".
"The Immigration Minister ignored my request for a visa on compassionate grounds for four weeks. Having waited until my stepfather is conveniently dead and cremated, Philip Ruddock is now off the hook. He is no longer under any legal obligation to grant me compassionate admission to Australia".
The visa denial follows Tatchell`s bid to use Australian law to have President Mugabe of Zimbabwe arrested by the police for the crime of torture when he attends the Commonwealth conference in Brisbane in March. Eleven weeks after filing his appeal against visa refusal (on 31 October 2001), Tatchell has had no reply from the Australian Immigration Minister (appeal rulings usually take less than two weeks).
"It is monstrous that President Mugabe - a leader accused of gross human rights abuses - is being allowed into Australia to attend the Commonwealth summit, while someone like myself - a human rights defender - is being denied the right to return to the country of my birth to visit my family", said Tatchell. © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.
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Fleeing Transvestites

The current economic crisis in Argentina is reportedly leading to hundreds of transvestites leaving the country and entering neighbouring Paraguay in search of work.
Local newspaper, The La Cuarta, reports that 200 transvestites are preparing to cross the border.
Transvestites in Paraguay fear that the arrival of 200 more sex workers will flood the market and affect their income.
Piter Balbuena, leader of the Paraguayan homosexual organisation, warned there was no room for any more transvestites in Paraguay.
"This is also a tough market. Things aren`t much better here and we will do what we can to stop them coming in. Transvestites nowadays have to work twice as hard as before just to pay their expenses. And clients have either disappeared or aren`t paying as much as they used to." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.
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Man charged in alleged downtown hate-crime attack

www.keysnews.com
A Sweetwater, Fla., man was charged with a hate crime Sunday after he allegedly shouted "faggot" before attacking a man walking on Duval Street.
Key West police said the victim and his male companion were walking hand in hand in the area of Duval and Angela streets about 12:30 a.m. A white Mercedes pulled up and the four people inside reportedly began to shout at the pair. When the victim and friend tried to walk away, the occupants of the car reportedly got out and confronted the men.
"One occupant, later identified as Irley Fletes, grabbed the victim, threw him against the wall of a business and punched him in the back of his head," said officer Eric Biskup.
Fletes, 18, reportedly denied the battery, claiming he was from Miami and was looking for a club.
However, a witness supported the victim's claims. Fletes was charged with battery, exhibiting prejudice while committing a crime and taken to the Monroe County Detention Center.
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Manors should hire an openly gay officer, mayor says

By Karla D. Shores Sun-Sentinel
January 22, 2002
WILTON MANORS -- When African-Americans and Hispanics moved into town, the police department hired officers who looked like them.
Haitians became residents, and the city swore in a Haitian officer a year ago. Now, it just makes sense to start recruiting an openly gay police officer for a city where many of the 12,000 residents are gay, Mayor John Fiore said.
While no official count of gay and lesbian residents exists, Fiore estimates it could be 35 percent of the population.
"I'd like our police department to represent the makeup of our city," said Fiore, who is openly gay. "We already have minority officers and I feel that a gay police officer would certainly help truly represent the city."
Fiore's election victory in 2000 made Wilton Manors the second city in the country with a majority gay city council.
As he launches his re-election campaign, Fiore faces politically driven rumblings he isn't as gay-friendly as he could be.
He uses this latest push as proof that isn't true. Fiore encouraged Police Chief Richard Wierzbicki to start looking for a gay officer last year.
Wierzbicki set up a recruiting booth during the Stonewall Street Festival and Parade and has since interviewed a few gay candidates.
But no one passed the screening process.
The search should be more successful this year because the department is stepping up efforts to find openly gay candidates, Wierzbicki said.
The 33-officer department has four open positions.
"It's important for our law enforcement agency to reflect the community we serve," he said. "We were fortunate to get [Haitian Officer] Frantz [Petitpapa]. Hopefully we can get a gay officer as well."
Fiore said the current police department works well with the gay community. But in certain cases, especially domestic dispute calls, he said the sensitivity of a gay police officer would be a plus.
His idea has the full support of his election opponents, Councilwoman Joanne Fanizza and businessman Jim Stork.
"We have recruited several gays to work for City Hall but it's my understanding we don't have any gay police officers," Fanizza said. "Expanding our recruiting horizons is a good idea."
Stork said he would continue the push for a gay officer if he were elected. "It would be great if the police force would have the diversity or mixture of what our community has in its city," Stork said. "It would be wonderful if we had a gay or lesbian police officer."
With non-politicos, however, the idea is a flop.
John Templeton, a gay Wilton Manors resident who boasts his disinterest in politics, said he thinks Fiore is just looking for attention.
"It's like, oh, come on, John," Templeton said. "If anything, I have found our police force being very sensitive to the gay community. It's funny to me that this is coming out right now at election time."
If Fiore's idea takes, Wilton Manors could match the efforts of the Key West Police Department, whose seven openly gay officers are the largest number in South Florida relative to the city's population, said Key West police Sgt. Alan Newby, who is openly gay. Wilton Manors would have to make more internal preparations if a gay man, instead of a lesbian, joins the force, Newby said.
Police work traditionally is viewed as a macho job, and departments are usually more accepting of lesbian officers than gay officers, said Newby.
"Many of these officers are exposed to gays and lesbians every day, but they've never worked side by side with an openly gay police officer," Newby said. "When they know a gay or lesbian is coming to work with them, there's going to be mixed reactions."
Newby said the Florida Department of Law Standards requires all police officers to receive one-time cultural training, which includes sexual orientation.
But "depending on the agency or instructor, they could cover it in 30 seconds," said Newby, who also is the president of the Florida chapter of Law Enforcement Gays and Lesbians. "The important thing is that the agency support gay and lesbian police officers and let that officer know he is going to be judged on work product, not sexual orientation."
Newby said he sees no reason to publicize the sexual orientation of a police officer but said any city with a significant gay population needs gay officers. Newby said the Key West department recruits gays regularly.
For example, a gay officer might understand that the victim of a gay domestic dispute might not want to "come out" in a police report, and prepare a report accordingly.
The Miami Beach Police Department also has a welcoming climate for gay officers, but recruitment isn't necessary, Detective Bobby Hernandez said.
Hernandez said at least four of the city's 370 police officers are openly gay but the department got there by doing what it always does. "We hire the most qualified applicants. It's not an issue and quite frankly it's none of our business," he said.
Hernandez said Wilton Manors should let the same evolution happen naturally for its police department.
If Wilton Manors has a strong gay population, the department eventually will reflect that, he said.
Wierzbicki said the effort is necessary. He plans to fax applications and news releases to several gay police associations as well as publicize recruitment in Express, a local gay publication.
Terry DeCarlo, development director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, said the effort may help Fiore garner a few more votes but he doubts the mayor will receive cheering accolades from the gay community.
Said DeCarlo: "It does not matter to me whether a police officer is openly gay, closeted, or straight as long as the police department keeps my neighborhood safe."
Karla Shores can be reached at kshores@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4552. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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AIDS activists protest planned cuts

BY KENY FEIJOO
mfeijoo@herald.com
It was impossible not to hear the voices coming from Biscayne Boulevard on Tuesday night.
We don't want to die.
AIDS activists, patients, family members and friends gathered in front of the Torch of Friendship to protest the proposed budget cuts for Prospect Aids Care (PAC).
``This is terrible,'' said Arturo Alvarez, case manager for The League Against AIDS, a nonprofit organization. ``If we stop all the services that we give to the patients, their quality of life will lower. And honestly, the lower the quality of life is, the greater the possibility of death.''
The main issue at the meeting was Gov. Jeb Bush's budget plan, which would eliminate $10 million in funds this year for the Medicaid PAC Waiver program. Representatives from several agencies that work with the waiver program -- providing AIDS' patients with home-delivered meals, nursing, care managers, companionship, plumbing services and massage therapy -- attended the rally.
``I'm very depressed with the disease,'' said Jose A. Hernandez, 47, diagnosed with HIV 15 years ago. ``I have distanced myself from everybody since then.''
In addition to the help from family members and friends, Hernandez said, the services he receives from the League are essential for his survival. ``We need help to alleviate our own feelings a little,'' he said, explaining he gets food, massages and home cleaning. ``This illness is not an easy thing.''
Activists, patients and their family members stepped up on the stage and talked about their needs, their worries and their expectations.
``I feel like the rug is being pulled,'' said Vanessa Wedemier, an AIDS patient from North Miami Beach.
While holding lit candles and chanting ``More Cuts, More Deaths,'' the activists gathered signatures for the Legislature.
``As far as we are concerned, [the legislators] are going back to the beginning of the epidemic,'' said Manuel Laureano-Vega, founder and executive director of the League.
© 2002 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. www.miami.com/herald
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The Space Coast Eagle, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
Rainbow downloads www.rainbowflag.com
GLBT NEWZ archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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