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Saturday, March 09, 2002

GLBT NEWZ 03/09/02 Information is power!

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Report: GLBT families live on 'fault line'

Tom Musbach, / Network
Friday, March 8, 2002 / 04:24 PM
SUMMARY: The Human Rights Campaign HRC issued a report on Friday that details how legally vulnerable GLBT families are.
Noting that no state provides full equality to GLBT families in the United States, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) issued a report on Friday that details how legally vulnerable such families are.
"Gay and lesbian families are living on a fault line," said Elizabeth Birch, HRC's executive director, in a written statement that accompanied the "State of the Family" report.
"Even the most expensive and carefully crafted safety net leaves couples, parents and children vulnerable -- and will continue to do so until the law catches up with the realities of the changing family," she said.
In producing the report, HRC, the nation's largest gay and lesbian political organization, took a comprehensive look at the national impact of more than 86 bills, introduced in 2001 in federal and state legislatures, that address the rights and responsibilities of GLBT families.
"The State of the Family" notes, for example, that no state lets same-sex couples marry, or enjoy its more than 1,000 accompanying benefits and protections, but 36 states have expressly legislated against recognizing same-sex unions.
Courts in 10 states refused to allow same-sex parents to adopt, while 20 state courts ruled in favor of such adoptions.
Coincidentally, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on Friday against a lesbian who wished to adopt, as a co-parent, the 5-year-old son borne by her partner, who conceived through artificial insemination.
Of the legislative measures tracked in the HRC report, 80 percent sought to extend protections relating to GLBT families, and 20 percent intended to limit them. The bills addressed issues including domestic partnership, adoption, safe schools and sodomy laws.
The 80-20 ratio is good news, the HRC says, resulting in "an increase in rights, protections and responsibilities for GLBT families, even as anti-gay forces have attempted to tear them down."
The report also ranks states and the District of Columbia based on their GLBT-friendly laws. The places scoring highest in 2001 were the District of Columbia, Vermont, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Oregon and Washington.
The lowest-scoring states were Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia. The 46-page report is available at the HRC Web site.

Final victim fund rules: silent on gays

Ari Bendersky, / Network
Friday, March 8, 2002 / 04:28 PM
SUMMARY: The U.S. Department of Justice announced its final rules for the federal Sept. 11 fund, which do not entitle surviving partners of gay and lesbian victims to receive financial benefits.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced its final rules for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which did not specifically entitle surviving partners of gay and lesbian victims of the terrorist attacks to receive financial benefits.
The final ruling increased the average award amount to approximately $1.85 million for victims' families, up $200,000 from the interim figure announced Dec. 20. Additionally, the final rules state that families of those killed or injured within 72 hours of the attack -- not just within the first 24 hours, as was stated in the interim ruling -- could claim benefits from the fund.
"The regulations aren't spelled out how we wanted," said Joe Grabarz, executive director of New York's Empire State Pride Agenda. "The proof will lie in how things are interpreted. People without a will are in a more difficult situation. Because we're not allowed to marry, the deceased's family relations become more critical."
Without a will, many same-sex partners' eligibility to receive money will be determined by individual state law, which may not prove favorable for many survivors. (On Friday, the Human Rights Campaign issued a report that details states' laws regarding GLBT families.)
"There are so many complicated relationships that we've discovered since this, like fiancées, that have no legal status," said Charles Miller, a spokesman for the Department of Justice. "The only way to deal with this the best way is to go through the state laws. There really was no other reason for this."
When the interim rules were announced by Kenneth Feinberg, the fund's special master, he opened a 30-day public comment period to help determine the definition of a "personal representative" of the deceased. One of the most talked-about issues was eligibility of domestic partners to receive compensation, according to the final rules' documentation.
Amnesty International, among other advocacy groups, submitted comments urging there be "equal access to benefits under the fund for all victims, regardless of sexual orientation or marital status." Because this was not officially set forth in the final rule, many individual cases will go in front of the special master in order for him to make a final determination on whether those survivors will be eligible for federal funds. "The final rules cruelly place gay families in an unresolved state," said Chad Johnson, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats. "While we are hopeful that Ken Feinberg will treat same-sex survivors equally, the Bush administration has missed a powerful opportunity to recognize gay families and to treat them with equal compassion and dignity."

Artist sues the pope over condom stance U.K.
Friday, March 8, 2002 / 04:36 PM
SUMMARY: Pope John Paul II is being sued over his stance against using condoms by a German conceptual artist.
Pope John Paul II is being sued over his stance against using condoms by a German conceptual artist.
Karl-Friedrich Lentze, 54, has filed a case at the International Court in The Hague claiming the pontiff's stance equals an incitement to cause grievous bodily harm by exposing people to diseases like AIDS.
The artist argues that Pope John Paul II "should be made responsible for the deaths of countless people," and his anti-condom position shows "significant contempt and arrogance towards human life."
Lentze told Germany's Express newspaper he does not want the pope to serve any sentence but is merely seeking a "symbolic" conviction.
Catholic Church spokesman Manfred Becker-Huberti underlined the pope's stance on condoms and his belief that they cannot get rid of AIDS. He said: "It needs a different pattern of sexual behavior that is determined by faithfulness to one's partner."

Nebraska blocks lesbian adoption

The Nebraska supreme court on Friday blocked a lesbian's attempt to adopt her partner's child, dodging the question of whether gay couples have the right to adopt children in Nebraska. The court ruled in the case of a Lincoln lesbian who wants her lover to be able to adopt her 3-year-old son. The two women were joined in a commitment ceremony in 1995. Such ceremonies are not recognized as marriages in Nebraska. Voters last year approved a measure to keep same-sex unions from being legally recognized.
The boy, named Luke in court papers, was born in 1997. His mother became pregnant through artificial insemination. The boy has lived with his mother and her lover since birth. The boy's mother also has custody of another son, a 9-year-old, from a previous marriage.
In the ruling the court said that the boy's mother has not relinquished her parental rights, thus making the boy ineligible for adoption by anyone except the mother's legal spouse. "We conclude that with the exception of the stepparent adoption, the parent or parents possessing existing parental rights must relinquish the child" before an adoption can take place, the unsigned opinion said.
In a strongly worded dissent, Judge John Gerrard said the "dispositive issue in this case is whether Nebraska law permits a second-parent adoption when the adoptive parent is not married to the minor child's biological parent. I believe that it does." Gerrard said requiring the mother to relinquish her parental rights "appears to leave the door open" for the women to proceed with the adoption, "but only by virtue of an unwieldy and illogical process."
Deputy attorney general Steve Grasz conceded that the ruling does not necessarily say that a gay couple could not adopt a child whose parent or parents already have relinquished parental rights. "That question was left open," he said. Amy Miller, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, agreed. She said the ACLU has not decided whether to ask the court to rehear the case. "But I can tell you that in order to provide a safe and secure life for their son, our clients are now considering whether they will move from Nebraska to a state where there is more concern for the best interests of the child," she said. Miller said the state's "discomfort" with the lesbian relationship should be irrelevant when it comes to the child's best interests. Florida is the only state with a law barring any homosexual from adopting. Utah and Mississippi do not allow same-sex couples to adopt but have no prohibition against adoptions by gay individuals.

Kansas teen found guilty in gay murder

A Wichita, Kan., teenager has been found guilty of severely beating and helping set a fire that killed a 58-year-old man who had made sexual advances toward his friend. A Sedgwick County jury deliberated about four hours before finding Brandon Boone, 17, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Marcell Eads. He was also convicted of aggravated arson, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary.
Boone is the second person to be convicted in Eads's death. Zachary Steward, 18, of Wichita, pleaded guilty in November to felony murder and aggravated robbery. Steward is serving a life sentence. Boone will be sentenced April 30.
Eads's body was pulled from his burning Wichita home June 29. Although he had been badly beaten, an autopsy showed he died of smoke inhalation. A stereo and computer were missing from the home. Police said Steward and Boone had gone to Eads's home to retaliate for a sexual advance that Eads had made toward Steward. Police said the pair set the fire when they returned to wipe fingerprints away.
Boone did not testify during the trial, and his attorney, Julia Craft-Rochat, did not call any witnesses. In her closing argument she said prosecutors failed to prove that Boone had done anything beyond helping to dispose of stolen property. Also, an arson investigator could not pinpoint the exact cause of the blaze, she said. "He can't rule out, with 100% certainty, that the fire wasn't started by a candle or a cigarette," she said. "If the fire wasn't intentionally set, then Mr. Eads was not murdered." Assistant district attorney Barry Disney disagreed. Disney told jurors that Eads's blood was found on Boone's pant leg and his shoe. Disney also said Boone's mere presence in the home made him guilty as an accomplice to the fire. "It's not necessary that we show who actually struck the match," he said. "It does not matter who was the leader or if there was a leader. What are the usual consequences of setting a house on fire with a person inside?" he asked the jury. "The usual consequence is that the person is going to die."

Bias comments knock radio station off the air

Ramapo College's radio station has been temporarily shut down for airing broadcasts that the Mahwah, N.J., school's administrators considered offensive to minorities, women, and gays. The school said WRPR will remain off the air until the station's advisers and student disc jockeys follow FCC regulations and "our own written rules," college vice president Pamela Bischoff said Wednesday.
At issue were two recent broadcasts. The first, which aired last month, involved a talk show called Chit Chattin' With Chet, hosted by John Tomaszewski, president of the student government. During the show, unidentified guests--one pretending to be Paterson, N.J., mayor Marty Barnes, the other pretending to be Newark mayor Sharpe James--spoke in a way that suggested racial stereotypes, school administrators said. The college newspaper, The Ramapo News, said the show mocked gay men, lesbians, and Hispanics as well.
The second offending show aired Tuesday night, while college president Rodney Smith held a meeting with students and faculty to discuss diversity. "Ramapo College is an educational institution, and we hope to use this experience as an opportunity to learn and grow," Smith told The [Hackensack, N.J.] Record. "We need to begin the process of healing, engage in healthy dialogue, and move beyond the personal to an understanding of these issues in the context of a broader society." Tuesday's show contained derogatory language and "untrue statements," said Bonnie Franklin, a college spokeswoman. She said she didn't know whether the controversial statements were made by callers or the disc jockey. Andrew Bernstein, a sophomore and WRPR's program director, said he would supervise the on-air staff more closely from now on. "I feel like I have to be more stern with the DJs and not sit back and say, 'This is college radio,"' Bernstein said. "People are actually listening." In addition to the campus, the station can be heard in Mahwah, Glen Rock, and Rockland County, N.Y.

Log Cabin official promoted

David Jackson, president of the New York City Log Cabin Republicans, has been named vice president of the New York County Republican Committee as well as issues chairman for the Borough of Manhattan Republican Party. The move makes Jackson the highest-ranking openly gay person appointed to a party office in New York GOP history.
"[Jackson's appointment] is a testament to the winning, inclusive vision of Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki and their steadfast support for the gay and lesbian community of New York," said Tom Wahl, president of LCR New York State. "We're very proud of David and of the New York chapter in the strides they continue to make in such an important state," said Rich Tafel, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans in Washington, D.C. "The Republican Party has never been stronger in New York because it is led by Republicans who understand that inclusion wins."

Journalism teacher may lose contract over orientation survey

An Arkansas high school journalism teacher in hot water because she allowed a student reporter for the high school newspaper to distribute a questionnaire about sexual orientation learned this week that her contract for the 2002-2003 school year has yet to be renewed, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Margaret Sorrows, who teaches journalism at Bryant High School in Bryant, Ark., said Thursday she does not know why her name was left off a list of more than 400 educators whose contracts were renewed by the Bryant School Board on Monday.
Superintendent Vickie Logan said about 10 people were omitted from the list for "a wide range of reasons." Sorrows's name was omitted because her evaluation has not been completed, Logan said. However, Logan added that a school newspaper reporter's poll on students' sexual orientation was in "very bad taste" and played into the delay of Sorrows's evaluation. Sorrows is the adviser for Bryant High School's newspaper, the Prospective.
The flap began last month when student reporter Hanna Ricketson, 16, distributed questionnaires asking students about their sexual orientation. According to Ricketson, the principal seized the responses and ordered her not to write the final segment of a three-part discrimination series. "He said there were some parents who were angry and that we might get sued," Ricketson said.
Arkansas law allows free expression as long as student publications are not obscene to minors; libelous or slanderous; don't constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy; or incite students to commit unlawful acts, violate school regulations, or disrupt orderly school operations. Sorrows's omission from the list doesn't necessarily mean she has been or will be fired, said a spokesman for the Arkansas Education Association, the state teachers' union. For that to occur, the administration must notify the teacher of such a decision before May 1. Failure to do so would result in automatic contract renewal.

Goldie Hawn moves from Matthew Shepard to Mark Bingham

Variety reports that Goldie Hawn's Cosmic Entertainment has made a deal with cable's FX network to produce an original movie about the passengers of United Flight 93, the hijacked jet that crashed in a Pennsylvania field on September 11. Aboard that plane was gay public relations exec and rugby player Mark Bingham, who is thought to be one of the passengers who fought back against the hijackers. Hawn is also an executive producer of The Matthew Shepard Story, which premieres on NBC on March 16.


Hate Letters To Arson Victims Probed By FBI

by Newscenter Staff
(March 8, Missoula, Montana) The investigation into the arson attack on the home of a lesbian couple has entered a new phase.
The FBI is conducting tests on letters sent to the couple and another lesbian couple in the state prior to the fire.
Fred Van Valkenburg, the Missoula County attorney, said that the letters threatened the women and made derogatory comments about lesbians.
Valkenburg also said a white powder was found in the letters. He said that the FBI lab had determined it was not anthrax.
Carla Grayson, Adrianne Neff and their toddler son barely escaped the burning home with their lives in the early morning hours of Feb. 8.
The fire came a few days after Grayson, a University of Montana assistant professor of psychology, and Neff filed a lawsuit charging that the Montana University System was violating the state constitution by not providing health insurance and other benefits to same-sex partners of gay and lesbian employees.
"It's a widely held belief that there is a link between the fire and the lawsuit and the letters so there is some crossover in the investigation," Van Valkenburg said.
He has also chastised Missoula police for publicly speculating on who might have been responsible.
Last month a police spokesperson said that the women themselves had not been ruled out as suspects leaving the impression they were being investigated.
The spokesperson said said that they were investigating two standard arson scenarios - that the fire was started by an intruder or that it was ignited by someone already in the house.
Van Valkenburg has ordered local investigators not to speak to the media.
"The nature of the investigation just dictates that there not be public comment about specific theories," he said. "We don't want to be commenting on specific theories." He said that if there are any breakthroughs in the investigation, his office would release the pertinent information.

Durex Launches Penis Shape Condom

Durex has launched a new-shape condom with 'no odour'
Durex claim it is the first anatomically shaped condom complete with a latex odour masker.
The Durex "easy-on" condoms have a "unique anatomical shape" which makes them easier to put on and provides a better feel and fit, a spokeswoman for the firm claims. The condoms are also free of any rubber smell. The "easy-on" range has been designed with the shape of the man in mind and look less like a condom and more like a normal penis, the spokeswoman said.

Melissa's Lover Uses Cyberspace to Attack Fans

March 8, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Rocker MELISSA ETHERIDGE's lesbian lover TAMMI LYNN MICHAELS has taken to using her lover's website to urge jealous fans to stop picking on her.
The actress has long been a target of bitchy fans, who disapprove of her romance with Etheridge.
Michaels reportedly jumped into cyberspace recently to tell fans, "Quit picking on me. I got the girl." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Tomlin Makes Most of Amanpour Resemblance

March 8, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Hollywood funnywoman LILY TOMLIN is enjoying a resurgence in her level of fame - because fans constantly mistake her for popular TV journalist CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR.
And according to the NINE TO FIVE star's longtime lesbian lover JANE WAGNER, Lily has been taking full advantage of fans' mistaken sightings.
The pair got a huge laugh when an excited fan ran up to Lily in San Francisco and mistook her for the CNN correspondent. Tomlin shook her hand, posed for a photo and chatted with her, without ever revealing her true identity. (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Bernhard Criticises Bush

Sandra Bernhard, the bisexual talk show host and performer, has hit out at president George Bush.
She told the Washington Post that the president's track record is "Pretty dismal and pretty scary."
Bernhard continued: "I think Bush is amateurish and self-serving, and frankly it`s disgusting. I think everybody is covering their asses with the Enron scandal and it was very convenient that 11 September came along to deflect the fact that they should never have been in the White House in the first place. What happened in the election was completely corrupt."
She went on to deny that she was out of touch with what most Americans thought. Bernhard said: "I`m an intelligent person from America. I was born in Michigan and raised in Arizona, and while I do reside in New York, I travel the country extensively. Any thinking person who lives in the world would be disturbed at what`s going on right now."
The outspoken performer, who was once romantically linked with Madonna, rubbished reports that she had mellowed since becoming a mother. She said: "I certainly continue to be instructive and interested in the culture. That doesn`t make somebody `mellow.` I think when you have a kid, people suddenly assume you`re going to get sort of sleepy from watching `Barney` all the time." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Gays Face Zimbabwe Election

Zimbabwe's largest lesbian and gay group has expressed resignation over the result of the country's forthcoming presidential election, which has been steeped in controversy and accusations of corruption.
President Robert Mugabe has compared homosexuals to animals, and accuses Britain of being run by a "gay mafia". He has been accused of human rights abuses and of unfairly manipulating the media in the run-up to the election.
Keith Goddard, Programmes Manager for GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe) told RainbowNetwork: "The elections are not the great watershed that everyone believes they are."
He said that whilst most people declared support for Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in public, many held different views in private. Goddard remarked: "The constant violence against citizens of this country has led to a situation where people will publicly state allegiance to ZANU-PF whilst waiting for the day to put their cross next to Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party."
Goddard said that an election victory by Tsvangirai would be the most preferable outcome. He continued: "If Morgan wins the election, we are home and dry because we will be given carte blanche to educate the public using all the most powerful communication tools of state. If Mugabe wins the election, we will continue with the slow but sure process of normalising ourselves in society and waiting for the day when the dinosaurs become extinct."
Goddard added that GALZ had not adopted a party to support. He said: "We didn`t bother to educate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community about which way to vote in the election. There hardly seems any point in explaining the obvious to people since ZANU-PF and the MDC have both made their positions very clear regarding our issue. We just told people that they should register and vote on the day. It seems very many have done so." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Pridefest marks its 25th year with Lauderdale celebration

By Rafael A. Olmeda
Staff Writer
March 9, 2002
FORT LAUDERDALE · This weekend's Pridefest at Holiday Park and War Memorial Auditorium isn't just about gay pride, acceptance and tolerance, organizer Richard Chimoch said. It's about fun, lots of it, for anyone and everyone.
"It's going to be nonstop entertainment," said Chimoch, co-chairman of Pride of South Florida, the organization presenting the weekend festival. "This is our 25th anniversary. We've had festivals every year. Sometimes it was just a parade, sometimes it was more. This year it's more."
The event's headlining act is Tito Puente Jr., son of the legendary musician, who will play both days. Other entertainers will include the Gay Men's Chorus, the Flamingo Freedom Band and the Country Western Dream Team.
Pridefest started 25 years ago as a way of getting South Florida's gay and lesbian residents together to meet, celebrate and learn about the programs available throughout the region, Chimoch said.
"Today it's also an opportunity for people who have just moved here to find out what the community has to offer," he said.
With 50 nonprofit organizations dealing directly with issues facing gays and lesbians, along with a growing number of businesses and corporations adopting policies that are "gay friendly" -- such as providing domestic partner benefits for employees -- Pridefest has no shortage of information to provide this weekend, said Chimoch.
The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Sunday. Admission is $7 for anyone over age 12 and free for younger children. War Memorial Auditorium is at 800 NE Eighth St., east of Federal Highway. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Friday, March 08, 2002

GLBT NEWZ 03/08/02 Information is power!

On the web: or


The Laramie Project: True Must-See, Experimental TV


by D.L. Trout
The Laramie Project poignantly and successfully delivers one message
in particular: that Matthew Shepard's murder and similar anti-gay
hate crimes can and do happen anywhere.
Stage writer and director Moisés Kaufman and the eight-member New
York-based Tectonic Theatre Project interviewed citizens of Laramie,
Wyoming, about the October 1998 Shepard attack/murder over a two-year
period. More than 400 hours of interviews were crafted into an off-
Broadway play that told the story of the murder from the perspective
of the town.
The Laramie Project toured extensively throughout America and became
one of the most performed plays in the country. (As a film, The
Laramie Project was selected as the Opening Night Premiere at this
year's Sundance Film Festival and will premiere on HBO Saturday,
March 9, 2002.)
The film was shot on location in Laramie and Denver, Colorado.
Production Designer Dan Leigh and Composer Peter Golub deserve
recognition for creating a powerful juxtaposition between the natural
beauty of the terrain and the harsh thoughts and realities of those
living near Laramie. The eerie beauty and the accompanying track are
Most notably, The Laramie Project also features a star-studded cast
that includes Steve Buscemi, Laura Linney, Dawson's Creek's Joshua
Jackson, Jeremy Davies, Christina Ricci, Peter Fonda and The
Practice's Camryn Manheim, among others. From this accomplished
ensemble of talents, some performances stand out as particularly
outstanding and memorable.
Amy Madigan plays the first police officer on the scene after the
attack was discovered; she later learns that she was exposed to HIV
while trying to treat Shepard. Frances Sternhagen, best known most
recently as Bunny McDougal on Sex and the City, plays her mother.
Actor-comedian Janeane Garofalo is powerfully understated as an
intelligent, outspoken and scared lesbian faculty member (and mother)
at the local University of Wyoming. All three women place themselves
within the minds and emotions of the characters they play and all
three communicate those characters perfectly.
One cannot help but notice, however, that some in the large cast
(namely Linney and Manheim, surprisingly) suffer from an awkward,
over-acted earnestness in their delivery. The result of both the over-
emoting and the interview format creates a very two-dimensional
picture at first. Thankfully, the acting considerably improves as the
film progresses.
The unique approach to the subject matter is fascinating to watch,
though at times the interviewers tread on very thin ice between
observer and actor. Are they in Laramie to conduct interviews and
tell the world about the town's reaction or are they in Laramie to
educate and open the minds of the residents?
During most of the film, the theatre group seems to adopt the initial
tack, documenting commentary that is runs the gamut from revelatory
and surprisingly human to frightening and downright offensive. When
faced with a particularly egregious comment from a Laramie reverend,
the group suddenly and clumsily almost change gears as Clea Duvall's
lesbian character laments not confronting the homophobe.
Overall, such problems are small in the larger picture of conveying a
community's reaction to a brutal murder and the resulting attention.
The Laramie Project is not exactly the "feel-good" movie of the year,
but it's an important and compelling production that just might
inspire viewers to action.
The Laramie Project premieres Saturday, March 9, at 8PM (Eastern) on
For more information, see HBO's Laramie Project website. Copyright
2002 Gay Wired. All rights reserved.

Scotland: Gay Father Wins Landmark Ruling

A gay man who fathered a child for a lesbian couple has been awarded
the same rights as a heterosexual father in a landmark ruling.
The sheriff hearing the case called on the Scottish Parliament to
clarify the law on the parental rights of same-sex couples.
The 30-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had
turned to the courts after disagreements with the lesbian couple over
access to the 18-month-old boy.
The boy's mother wanted her partner to be awarded full parental
The court heard that once the baby was six-weeks-old the couple had
tried to restrict visits.
They said he was just a sperm donor and wanted legal recognition for
the mother's partner.
In a written judgement at Glasgow Sheriff Court, Sheriff Laura Duncan
ruled that a lesbian couple cannot constitute a family unit.
She said the child's welfare was of paramount importance in granting
the man "full parental rights and responsibilities", because it would
be in the baby's best interests to have access to his father.
Copyright © 2002 2dayuk. All Rights Reserved.

McKellen: Coming Out Was Great for My Career

World Entertainment News Network
SIR IAN McKELLEN's career has improved so much since he publicly
declared his homosexuality he wants to go back in the closet.
The extra attention the LORD OF THE RINGS star has attracted
since 'coming out' is beginning to wear the respected British actor
down--and he's starting to pine for the "quiet life" again.
He jokes, "I've had enough of being a gay icon! I've had enough of
all this hard work, because, since I came out, I keep getting all
these parts, and my career's taken off.
"I want a quiet life! I'm going back into the closet. But I can't get
back into the closet, because it's absolutely jam-packed full of
other actors!"
(CPT/WNWDN/MCM) (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Cher: I Don't Fit in Anywhere

World Entertainment News Network
Legendary singer CHER has always found life difficult--because she's
never been able to fit in anywhere.
The BELIEVE superstar, 54, is aware she's never been taken seriously
as an actress or a singer--despite winning both an OSCAR and GRAMMY
for her efforts.
She says, "I always felt--and I still do--just on the outside, just
on the perimeter of everything.
"I'm not an actress; actresses don't consider me an actress. Singers
don't consider me a singer."
And Cher adds that her differences also spill over into her personal
life--although there's acceptance from one group.
She continues, "Gay men consider me their best friend and straight
men are a little bit nervous."
(RGS/WNV/ES) (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Lawyer claims maul victim's partner lied / Network
Thursday, March 7, 2002 / 04:21 PM
SUMMARY: Sharon Smith, partner of dog-mauling victim Diane Whipple,
lied on the witness stand, said defense lawyer Nedra Ruiz outside of
Sharon Smith, partner of dog-mauling victim Diane Whipple, lied in
testimony when she said her deceased partner lived in fear of the
dogs that later killed her, said defense attorney Nedra Ruiz outside
of court.
Ruiz, who is representing dog owner Marjorie Knoller, made the
comments Tuesday night on the Fox News show "On the Record." Her
remarks prompted Judge James Warren on Thursday to order a hearing to
determine if Ruiz violated a court order against attacking the
credibility of a witness, the Associated Press reported.
"She (Smith) contends that her life partner lived in fear to even use
her own elevator," Ruiz told the show's host, Greta Van
Susteren. "Her life partner, Diane Whipple, was afraid to go out into
the hallway. I don't believe it."
"Are you saying that Sharon lied about it?" Van Susteren asked.
"Yes, I am," Ruiz replied.
The public exchange outraged Smith's lawyer, Michael Cordoza, who
complained to the judge that Ruiz's statements were slanderous
and "way over the line," as reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"It does no good for counsel to go out and make comments like this,"
Judge Warren said. "It's precisely the type of conduct likely to
infect the jury, should they hear it."
On Jan. 26, 2001, 33-year-old lacrosse coach Diane Whipple was
fatally attacked in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment
building by two Presa Canario dogs owned by Knoller and her husband,
Robert Noel. The couple is charged with involuntary manslaughter and
owning an animal that killed a person. Knoller, who was present
during the attack, is also charged with second-degree murder.
The criminal trial has been proceeding for nearly three weeks in Los
Angeles, where the case was moved from San Francisco due to extensive
publicity. Last week Ruiz harshly cross-examined Smith, a witness for
the prosecution, charging that Whipple would still be alive if Smith
had complained about an earlier dog bite incident.

Anti-gay mailings disrupt Texas GOP

Ann Rostow, / Network
Thursday, March 7, 2002 / 04:27 PM
SUMMARY: With less than a week before the March 12 Texas primary
election, Republicans are up in arms about a series of mailings sent
by the far right Free Enterprise Political Action Committee
With less than a week before the March 12 Texas primary election,
Republicans in the Lone Star state are up in arms about a series of
mailings sent by the far right Free Enterprise Political Action
Committee (FreePAC).
The fliers targeted about two dozen GOP moderates, accusing several
of them of supporting the "radical homosexual agenda," assisted
suicide and other propositions. At least three lawmakers who voted
for the Texas hate crimes bill in the last session were attacked with
hit pieces showing two men kissing, two men getting married or photos
of parade-goers in leather.
In addition to being characterized as pro-gay, state Rep. Brian
McCall was accused of advocating classroom discussions of gay sex.
"Do you want young school children to be allowed to read the North
American Man/Boy Love Association magazine in the classroom?" asked
the McCall flier.
State Sen. Jeff Wentworth was described as "extremely liberal."
Superimposed on a photo of several teenaged girls was the text: "They
can't vote. They can't drive a car. They can't buy alcohol or
cigarettes. But Jeff Wentworth believes teens are responsible enough
to abort their own children."
In a press conference Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff, (who is
running for the state senate), called FreePAC's mailing "political
pornography," and asked lawmakers from both parties to join him in
condemning the half-million-dollar campaign.
"This type of hate mongering is reminiscent of the Nazis," said
Ratliff. "This type of hate mongering is reminiscent of the Ku Klux
Klan." In fact. one of FreePAC's six-figure contributors, according
to Ratliff, is James Lightner, who has financed former Klan Grand
Dragon David Duke on five separate occasions. Several top state
Republicans, including Gov. Rick Perry, Comptroller Carole Keeton
Rylander, Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs and former state
Supreme Court Justice Greg Abbott, are among those speaking out
publicly against FreePAC. Perry called FreePAC's tactics, "divisive
and unacceptable," while the Republican Party of Texas spokesman Ted
Royer said the state GOP "does not condone tactics like these that
diminish our public discourse."

Ex-lawmakers reverse on adoption ban / Network
Thursday, March 7, 2002 / 04:29 PM
SUMMARY: Saying "we were wrong," nine former Florida state
legislators who voted 25 years ago for a ban on gay adoptions pledged
to support a repeal.
Saying "we were wrong," nine former Florida state legislators who
voted 25 years ago for a ban on gay adoptions pledged to support a
repeal of the controversial law.
The former state House and Senate members signed statements that
said: "In 1977, we were among the state legislators who helped pass
Florida's law prohibiting gay people from adopting children. We now
realize that we were wrong. This discriminatory law prevents children
from being adopted into loving, supportive homes - and we hope it
will be overturned."
Citing Anita Bryant's anti-gay crusade in the state during that late
1970s, Elaine Bloom, a former House member who voted for the ban in
1977, said, "The hysteria of the time led us to do the wrong thing."
The former lawmakers' reversal, announced in a press release from the
American Civil Liberties Union, lends support to the ACLU's challenge
of the Florida law's constitutionality. Last month, several
children's advocacy groups united in support of the challenge, which
will be heard later this year in a federal appeals court.
The issue will also be in the spotlight next week, when Rosie
O'Donnell will speak on a prime-time television special about how the
adoption ban has affected her family. The written statements were
signed by former Sens. Sherrill "Pete" Skinner, Paul Steinberg, Sam
Bell, Sherman Winn and Harry Johnston (former Senate president and
U.S. congressman); and former Reps. Tony Fontana, Barry Kutun, Tom
Gustafson (former House speaker) and Bloom.

Missoula arson investigators clam up

The Missoula County, Mont., county attorney has asked police not to
talk to the media about the investigation into an arson fire that
gutted the home of a lesbian couple last month.
"The nature of the investigation just dictates that there not be
public comment about specific theories," said Fred Van Valkenburg. "I
think we need to ensure that if there is ever prosecution in this
case, it's not tainted by inappropriate pretrial comment."
Carla Grayson, Adrianne Neff, and their infant son escaped a fire
that gutted their home on February 8. The fire came a few days after
Grayson, a University of Montana assistant professor of psychology,
and Neff filed a lawsuit charging that the Montana university system
was violating the state constitution by not providing health
insurance and other benefits to same-sex partners of employees. Van
Valkenburg said he did not tell police to clam up because the
investigation has reached a dead end, but he did say that he does not
believe there will be any charges filed in the near future. He added
that his office will release information if there are any
breakthroughs in the investigation.

Washington State senate passes antibullying bill

A bill mandating antibullying policies in Washington State schools
passed the senate Wednesday after it was broadened to attract more
votes from lawmakers.
The modifications to House Bill 1444 clarify that the bill applies to
all children, not just children in protected minority groups. The
bill has always contained a reference to the state's malicious
harassment law, which bans harassment based on race, color, religion,
ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or mental,
physical, or sensory handicap. It also banned bullying based on any
distinguishing characteristics, such as size or hair color. The
amendment added Wednesday clarifies that bullying victims need not
possess any such characteristics to merit protection.
The changes are expected to be approved by the house, after which the
bill will be sent to Gov. Gary Locke, said Rep. Ed Murray (D-
Seattle), who has been pushing similar bills for five years. Locke
has promised to sign it. "I'm so happy," said Murray, an openly gay
lawmaker who advocated the bill as a way to protect gay students and
other common victims of bullying. "This is the happiest I've ever
been in Olympia." "Passage of this bill sends a clear message that
bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our schools,"
said Locke and Attorney General Christine Gregoire in a joint
statement. "We must make sure that every student has a safe place to

Sweden proposes legalizing gay adoption

The Swedish government on Thursday proposed new legislation to allow
same-sex couples to adopt children and to allow lesbians to be
artificially inseminated at public hospitals. The proposal was based
on findings from a parliamentary research committee saying gay
couples have the same ability to care for children as heterosexual
parents. "The proposal means that only the best interest of the child
will determine when an adoption will take place, not the sexual
orientation of the parents," said justice minister Thomas Bodstroem.

Study: Spermicide does not prevent STDs

Nonoxynol-9, the world's most widely used spermicide, does not kill
the bacteria that cause the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhea
and chlamydia, despite earlier lab tests that hinted the compound may
do so, according to a report by researchers at Durham, N.C.-based
Family International. The scientists, reporting in the Journal of the
American Medical Association, conducted a clinical trial to compare
the effectiveness of nonoxynol-9 gel and condom use to just condom
use alone in preventing the two STDs. The study showed no significant
differences in infection rates between the two study groups, leading
researchers to conclude the spermicide provides no additional
protection. Earlier research also has shown that nonoxynol-9 does not
prevent HIV infection but instead appears to facilitate infection by
irritating the genital mucosal tissues. "Although the message that
nonoxynol-9 is not an effective vaginal microbicide is disappointing,
it should not discourage further microbicide research," wrote Barbara
Richardson of the University of Washington in Seattle in an
accompanying editorial.


Audit accuses Chicago gay minister of misspending AIDS clinic's

Auditors with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community
Affairs have concluded that a Chicago gay minister who opened an AIDS
center last September misspent at least $68,000 in state grant money
to the center, the Chicago Free Press reports. Bishop James
Wilkowski, founder of the Eugene Sawyer HIV/AIDS Center and pastor of
the Independent Evangelical Catholic Church, spent more than half of
a $105,000 grant on such personal items as beer, wine, sunglasses,
landscaping services, and travel expenses. "It's a preliminary
report," said Rob Phillips of the DCCA, adding that Wilkowski will be
given an opportunity to respond to the audit. The audit also claims
that the center's board met only once and that the facility served
few clients. Wilkowski is also alleged to have violated the terms of
the grant by using funds to purchase a building adjacent to the
center and to have donated $250 of the grant money to the campaign
committee of state senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), who represents
the area where the center is located. The audit has reportedly been
turned over to the Illinois attorney general's office for a possible
criminal investigation.


Madonna, Kylie Minogue Invited To Perform At London Pride

by Jon ben Asher Newscenter in London
(March 8, London) Kylie Minogue and Madonna are just two of the big
name acts the organizers of this year's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras have
invited to perform on the main stage.
Invitations have also been sent to Robbie Williams, Will Young and
Mardi Gras will take place at Brockwell Park in South London on July
The Mardi Gras entertainment committee says it has not heard back
from any of the performers. The invitations went out this week.
Last year, Steps, Five, Atomic Kitten, Hear'Say, Culture Club, EMF,
and Gay Dad performed at the event, which was held in Finsbury Park.
It was moved to Brockwell Park to accommodate more people.

Versace Family Win Defamation Case In Australia

An Australian private investigator defamed members of the Versace
fashion dynasty by alleging Mafia ties and involvement in the murder
of Gianni Versace, a court ruled today.
Sydney private investigator Frank Monte said in his book, The Spying
Game, that he was hired to protect Gianni Versace from 1996-97, and
that the designer confided in him about the family's alleged links
with organised crime.
Monte's book also claimed Gianni's sister and brother, Donatella and
Santo Versace, were involved in his 1997 murder.
Judge Brian Tamberlin said he was convinced Monte never had "any
relationship, contact or communication of any type with Gianni
Versace'' and that his statements had no credibility.
Tamberlin will decide on damages at a later hearing. He granted an
injunction against further publication of the book, released last
year but withdrawn after the family threatened legal action.
A spokesman for the Versaces, Paul White, said family members were
overjoyed with the decision.
"They wanted Monte to stop peddling garbage. They came here to
achieve that and they've done that so it's a great result; they're
very, very pleased,'' he said outside the court. Versace, 50, was
shot twice in the head by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997, as he
walked up the steps of his South Beach mansion in Miami. Cunanan, who
was wanted for four other murders, killed himself nine days later.

New civil rights council assailed for not including gays, lesbians

By Gregory Lewis
Staff Writer
March 8, 2002
A newly formed civil rights organization finds itself steeped in
controversy over diversity and who does or doesn't get to sit at the
The South Florida Civil Rights Council, an organization formed by
Jeff Gorley that is still in its infancy, ran into trouble because
Gorley initially failed to name any gays or lesbians to council's
potential board of directors, which is multicultural. Meanwhile, he
asked Lorna Bryan, who led a drive last year to repeal a law
protecting gays from discrimination, to serve.
Three gay men, Bill Rettinger, Marc Dickerson and Jim Woodward, all
members of Americans for Equality, a political action committee
devoted to protecting gay rights in Broward County, attended the
group's first meeting Saturday and were asked to leave.
Gorley, a black man who organized the civil rights group to deal with
poverty, housing and education issues that plague minority
communities, initially named a potential board of about 20 people --
none of whom were gay or lesbian -- and included Bryan.
Bryan, a black activist and conservative Republican from Tamarac, led
a charge last year asking Broward County residents to eliminate rules
banning discrimination against gays. As director of Equal Rights, Not
Special Rights, she failed to garner enough names to place an
initiative on the ballot to repeal a 1995 county ordinance banning
discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Rettinger said his organization worried that with Bryan as a board
member, the new civil rights group might take up anti-gay efforts.
"She's a bigot," said Rettinger. "Her serving on the board is like
having the Grand Dragon [of the Ku Klux Klan] on a civil rights
Bryan said it was not her intent to oppose gay rights and that she
just wanted to help the Boys Scouts get their funding back. The
county had cut that funding, citing the anti-discrimination
She said after her husband died 10 years ago, she was left to raise
seven children and the Boys Scouts was instrumental in helping her
rear her sons.
"As a Christian, I don't hate anybody," Bryan said. "I have nothing
against gay people."
Bryan is running for a city commission seat in Tamarac and won't make
a decision about serving on the board until after the March 12
Gorley said he has talked with Rettinger and Dickerman to resolve the
issue and will ask Terry DeCarlo, executive director of the Gay and
Lesbian Outreach Center, to serve on the board.
DeCarlo said he has not received a formal written invitation and that
when he does, he would review the board's goals before accepting.
"Terry DeCarlo is a very good choice," Dickerman said Thursday. "He's
a Hispanic male. He's gay, and he's knowledgeable on the issues."
Dickerman and Rettinger voiced support for the new organization,
although Rettinger said he was troubled by some published comments
that could be characterized as questioning gay rights.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," Rettinger said. "I would like to think
the groups can all work together."
Gorley said he agrees and that not naming a gay or lesbian to the
board was an oversight on his part and not intended as a slight.
"They do have a right to a seat at the civil rights table," he
said. "Latinos, Hispanics and them. I think everybody who wants to be
heard has the right to be heard.
"But if you join the South Florida Human Rights Council, your
individual views are not important. You have to look at the whole
picture of minorities. If you focus on one issue, then we can't use
you, but we'll recognize you're there."
Gregory Lewis can be reached at or 954-356-
4203. Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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Views On AIDS Unchanged, Helms Says

The News and Observer
by John Wagner, Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms made headlines around the globe last month when he told hundreds of Christian activists that he was "ashamed" for not having done more to fight the worldwide spread of AIDS.
But the North Carolina Republican made clear Tuesday that his comments didn't mark a wholesale conversion on the issue, as many activists for people with AIDS in the United States had hoped.
In an interview with reporters from North Carolina newspapers, Helms pledged that he would work during his remaining months in the Senate to direct more attention and funding to the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 28 million people are infected with HIV or AIDS.
But Helms said his views hadn't changed about funding priorities in the United States, where "we're taking so much money away from scientists looking into heart problems and other medical defects of humanity and dumping it into research on AIDS."
Helms also remained highly critical of gay-rights activists, with whom he clashed repeatedly during the 1990s, and said he still disapproves of the "homosexual lifestyle."
"I don't have any idea on changing my views on that kind of activity, which is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States," Helms said.
Several health-care advocates, who greeted reports of Helms remarks last month favorably, expressed disappointment Tuesday when hearing of Helms' more detailed explanations.
"It seemed too good to be true, and I guess it was," said Jacquelyn Clymore, director for the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina in Raleigh. "His compassion for the people in Africa is commendable. It's too bad he doesn't have the same compassion for his own people."
Aides to Helms said some news reports made too much of the senator's remarks last month at the conference of Christian activists, where he was widely quoted saying, "I have been too lax too long in doing something really significant about AIDS."
In Tuesday's interview, Helms suggested he is focusing on Africa partly because of his role as the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and party because of the extent of the crisis there.
Helms also cited two individuals who helped draw his attention to the issue: the Rev. Franklin Graham, who organized last month's "Prescription for Hope" conference in Washington; and Bono, the lead singer of the rock band U2, who is a major activist on African issues and has struck up an unlikely friendship with Helms.
Helms said he has told Graham "to let me know where I can help."
And though he did not provide specifics, Helms said he and Bono may team up in an effort to draw more public attention to what's occurring in Africa, which he called "a continent that's about to go under, in terms of deaths of people and all the rest of it."
The issue is not entirely new to Helms. In 2000, while still chairman of the Foreign Relations panel, he co-authored legislation authorizing $600 million for AIDS relief efforts in Africa and elsewhere in the developing world. The measure passed without much fanfare.
Asked about those who question why he isn't doing more in the United States, Helms said, "Maybe they ought to talk less and do more."
Of the 40 million people worldwide estimated to be infected with HIV or AIDS, about 28.1 million live in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that about 850,000 to 950,000 Americans are infected with HIV or AIDS.
In the United States, more than 77 percent of people with AIDS are intravenous drug users or men who have sex with other men, according to CDC figures. In Africa, the disease has spread primarily through heterosexual contact.
Helms suggested that in both situations, promiscuity is largely to blame for the disease's spread. He praised the efforts of Janet Museveni, the first lady of Uganda, who is spearheading a campaign to stop the spread of AIDS by promoting "biblical values and sexual purity."
"She has reduced AIDS in her country by about 50 percent simply by just passing the word that this is a dumb thing to do, all these sexual habits and so forth," Helms said.
Helms has previously characterized homosexual conduct as "incredibly offensive and revolting," and he said Tuesday that his views hadn't changed.
In 1995, Helms was one of three senators to vote against the Ryan White Act, which authorized funding for AIDS prevention and treatment programs for the following five years.
The chamber voted down two proposed Helms amendments: one that would have frozen federal funding of treatment and prevention programs at 1995 levels, and another that would have forbidden higher federal spending on AIDS than on cancer.
Helms succeeded in passing three amendments, including one that reversed a new requirement for federal employees to attend AIDS training classes.
Jo Wyrich, executive director of Equality North Carolina, a political action group for gays, said Helms has done "tremendous damage" over the years with such arguments. She said there is plenty Helms could do to help fight AIDS in the United States if he wanted to.
"Many of the drugs are extraordinarily expensive," Wyrich said. "For many people, it's a choice between medication and paying their rent."
Clymore said that Helms has tried to turn AIDS into an issue about morality rather than public health.
"His ugly rhetoric gave people across their country an excuse to turn their back on people who were dying," she said. "The reality is, both heterosexual and homosexual people spread AIDS." © Copyright 2001, The News & Observer All material found on is copyrighted The News& Observer and associated news services.

Anne Heche to Tell Son All About Her 'Weird' Life

World Entertainment News Network
New mother ANNE HECHE is excitedly preparing to tell her son all about her life - including her lesbian affair with comedienne ELLEN DeGENERES.
The actress who, along with husband COLEY LAFFOON, became a parent to HOMER on 3 March (02), says she looks forward to telling her child about her past - including all of its controversies.
Heche, who split with DeGeneres in August 2000, says, "Will I tell my child all about the adventures of my life? Absolutely! The weirdness is part of who I am.
"I've taken my own path. But it led me to every girl's fantasy about being a wife and mother. I think it's hilarious, and I love the way things turned out." (RGS/US/MCM) (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Gonorrhea Continues Rise in Major Cities

by Rita Rubin
In 2000, gonorrhea infection rates rose in 13 of the 20 cities with the worst rates the year before, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Although the nationwide rate remained stable from 1999 to 2000, 'there certainly are signs that certain sexually transmissible diseases continue to pose a health threat in the U.S.,' says Ronald Valdiserri, deputy director of the CDC's National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention.
In five of the top 20 1999 cities -- Kansas City, Mo.; Buffalo; Jacksonville; Detroit and Birmingham, Ala. -- the gonorrhea rate rose by more than 20% in 2000, according to the CDC. Nashville, with a 34.6% increase over 1999, jumped into the top 20 list in 2000.
'Our point in highlighting these cities is not to suggest that local health officials are not taking steps to prevent gonorrhea infection,' Valdiserri says. Instead, he says, the CDC wants to emphasize that the battle against sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, is waged primarily on the local level. Public health officials in the cities with the fastest-growing gonorrhea rates need more support to narrow gaps in screening and treatment, Valdiserri says.
'There are encouraging signs as well,' Valdiserri notes. In Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C., infection rates dropped more than 20% between 1999 and 2000. In fact, Chicago dropped off the top 20 list in 2000. Syphilis infection rates also fell in 15 of the 20 cities with the highest rates in 1999.
In another report presented at the National STD Prevention Conference in San Diego, the CDC provided the first national data about the prevalence of infection by human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 among gay or bisexual men. In women, HPV-16 is associated with about half of all cervical cancer cases, and it's been linked to penile and anal cancer in men.
Based on a representative sample of 83 men who have sex with men, the CDC concluded that 38% of gay or bisexual men in the USA are infected with HPV-16. That's nearly five times higher than the prevalence in heterosexual men and twice that in women.
The high rate of HPV-16 infection in men who have sex with men isn't totally surprising, Valdiserri says. Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, he says, epidemiologists have noticed an increase in anal cancers in this population.
Still, says Stuart Berman, chief of epidemiology and surveillance in the STD Prevention branch at the CDC, more research is needed to understand the connection between HPV-16 and cancer in men. © Copyright 2002 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

Historic state primary yields gay victors

Ann Rostow, / Network
Wednesday, March 6, 2002 / 04:19 PM
SUMMARY: In the California primary, gay politician Mark Leno won a race against two other gay candidates for an Assembly seat held by a lesbian.
In the California primary on Tuesday, two gay men and one gay woman faced off for a state Assembly seat presently held by lesbian Carole Migden, who is moving to the Board of Equalization due to term limits.
Perhaps "only in San Francisco" is going too far, but there are very few places in the country where such a race could occur.
By late Tuesday night, Supervisor Mark Leno claimed victory, edging out Harry Britt by 850 votes with a number of absentee ballots yet to count. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Britt, a former supervisor who had left the political stage in 1992 after failing in a run for Congress in 1988, had not conceded as of a midnight speech. Two other candidates, including lesbian Holli Thier, were trailing.
Leno's nomination assures him the election in the heavily Democratic 13th District.
The contest between Leno and Britt forced the GLBT community to choose between the progressive idealist Britt, and the hard-working Leno, who, among other accomplishments, led the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass transgender benefits for city workers, including sex-reassignment surgery, last summer.
Britt, who has spent the last decade as a college teacher, won the backing of his old friend, Carole Migden, despite the fact that Leno and Migden worked closely on community issues.
And although Britt was a friend to the legendary Harvey Milk, it was Leno who evoked the martyred hero who was shot dead in his City Hall office (where he was the first gay man to serve on the Board of Supervisors). "It was a dream of Harvey Milk," Leno told his supporters, "that one day a gay man would serve in the state Assembly. We're going to Sacramento!"
According to the Chronicle, Leno will become one of the first two gay male California legislators ever, along with John Laird who won the Democratic nod in liberal Santa Cruz. In other state Assembly primaries, lesbian incumbents Christine Kehoe of San Diego and Jackie Goldberg of Los Angeles both won Democratic nominations.

Judge's antigay comments spark new bill

A bill has been introduced in the Alabama legislature to declare that no class of Alabama citizens is "inherently evil." State representative Alvin Holmes said he introduced the bill Tuesday in response to a recent written opinion by supreme court chief justice Roy Moore that homosexuality is "inherently evil." Moore's declaration was made in his decision awarding custody of children to their heterosexual father instead of their lesbian mother.
Holmes said he wants to make sure that some future court does not interpret Moore's opinion to be the law of the state of Alabama. "This clears up that matter of what's evil," Holmes said. Moore has said he based his opinion on common law. Holmes's bill says that interpretation should not be considered part of Alabama law. "Any interpretation of common law or any provision of statutory law that has been or may be cited to declare any class of citizens to be 'inherently evil' is null and void," the bill reads.

Defense witnesses in Whipple trial say dogs were friendly

Defense witnesses in the trial of the owners of two dogs that fatally mauled San Francisco lesbian Diane Whipple testified Tuesday that the animals were well-behaved and gentle. The first five witnesses for the defense were called to show that defendants Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel did not know that their two presa canario dogs would become killers.
"The dogs were normal. They didn't behave any differently than a normal, friendly dog did," said Allan Paul, owner of the San Francisco Brewing Co., a restaurant the couple frequented, often taking their dogs with them.
"I thought she was beautiful," Antoinette Creyer, a waitress at the restaurant, said of the female dog, Hera. Creyer said she told Noel that the male dog, Bane, was "a good dog" who took treats directly from her hand. On cross-examination, witnesses told assistant district attorney Jim Hammer that they never saw the dogs at the Pacific Heights apartment house where the couple lived. Tenants have testified that the huge dogs terrorized them, lunging and snarling, and Hammer suggested that the animals became more aggressive and protective in their home environment.

Texas Republicans condemn antigay campaign literature

Texas Republican governor Rick Perry and several other Republican leaders on Tuesday denounced a state conservative group's antigay campaign mailing targeting several GOP lawmakers as promoters of a "radical homosexual agenda." The fliers, mailed to Texas voters, were created by the Free Enterprise Political Action Committee and included photos of men kissing and "other methods intended to shock readers."
Perry and a group of Republican state officials, including attorney general John Cornyn, comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, and agriculture commissioner Susan Combs, all condemned the group's fliers. "Discussion of policy issues is an important element of any political campaign, but the tenor of the debate should [be] positive and civil," Perry said. "FreePAC's tactics are divisive and unacceptable."
FreePAC chairman Richard Ford stood by the mailings. He said that of 24 mailings to voters done by his group, only three addressed the controversial issues that sparked Republicans' fury. "When you want to make people angry, lie. When you want to make them absolutely livid, tell the truth. They're all based upon voting records," Ford said.
The fliers target several Republicans who face primary challenges: acting lietenant governor Bill Ratliff; Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio; Reps. Kyle Janek of Houston, Kip Averitt of Waco, Tommy Merritt of Longview, Brian McCall of Plano, and Delwin Jones of Lubbock. Also targeted were State Board of Education members Grace Shore and Dan Montgomery. Ford said the targeted lawmakers consistently scored low on the group's conservative voting score cards.

Six Feet Under sees ratings bounce reports that Sunday's season premiere of HBO's Six Feet Under, the Golden Globe-winning drama series from out Oscar winner Alan Ball, attracted 6.2 million viewers. That's up from the show's average viewership during its first season.


Channel 4 unveils transsexuals, gay animals, and Graham Norton

BBC News reports that the United Kingdom's Channel 4 will offer several programs of GLBT interest as part of its spring and summer season. The network's lineup includes a two-part program on male-to-female sex changes, a program hosted by comedian Scott Capuro on gay sex lives in the animal world, and a new nightly talk show starring out TV personality Graham Norton. "It's a daily treat rather than just a weekly fix," says Norton. "I can't wait to be stripped." (In television, "strips" refers to five-times-a-week shows.)


TV Show Profiles Gay Animals

by Peter Moore Newscenter in London
(March 7, London) London's Channel 4, often referred to as the Sex Channel because of its sometimes raunchy programmes, says it is working on a show about the sex lives of gay animals.
The show will be called "The Truth About Gay Animals" and will feature monkeys, chimpanzees and other species in which homosexual behaviour has been observed.
Channel 4's Programme Director, Tim Gardam said, "It's a funny 11 O'Clock Show."
Gardam said that the animals in the show were mainly American, "amusing and quite sweet". It will be hosted by comedian Scott Capuro. The animal programme is one of three devoted to gay sex, Gardam said.

Gay 'Widows' To Get Back Pensions

by Jean-Pierre O'Brien Newscenter in Montreal
(March 7, Montreal) Four Quebec gay surviving spouses have won a decisive victory in a suit over the date when partners are eligible to receive Widows Pensions from the government, and thousands of Canadian gays and lesbians could benefit.
The pensions were originally created by the federal government to assist widows in dire need. The plan was then extended to all widows in Canada, and finally to include men.
Quebec and Canada have separate pension plans for their citizens, although the two plans are virtually identical.
In 1998 both Canada and Quebec amended the laws covering pensions to include surviving partners in same-sex relationships.
The pensions are worth about $400 a month. The money is in addition to the survivor's own government pension.
However, both the federal and Quebec governments will pay only those gay and lesbian survivors whose partners died after the law went into effect in 1998.
Four Quebec gay men whose partners died before 1998 took Quebec to court, arguing that the benefits should be effective from the date gays and lesbians were given civil rights rights in the Canadian Constitution, 1977.
In a decision published by the Quebec Court of Appeal this week, the justices ruled the Quebec Pension plan had discriminated against the four.
The court ordered the government to roll back the date at which surviving partners could be considered 'widows' to coincide with the Constitutional protections.
The back pensions owed plus interest could be over $100,000 for each of the survivors.
A similar suit, against the Canadian government, has been launched by gay and lesbian surviving partners in the rest of the country and is still before the courts.
The class action suit, seeks $440 million on behalf of an estimated 10,000 gays and lesbians whose partners died before the Canada Pension Plan began recognising same-sex couples. It is expected the Quebec case will be used as a precedent in the class action suit.

Canadian same-sex couples treated as "common law" for 2001 tax year

March 6, 2002, by Merv Taylor - contributor to
We have won, or have we?
Our long struggle to be recognized within our relationships may or may not have paid off. For the purposes of income tax, its benefits and its obligations, we are now "common-law partners". These changes became law July 31, 2000 and affect the tax year for 2001. Due to the change in status of gay and lesbian couples who cohabitate in a conjugal relationship, we must claim that relationship. I just looked over some information on the web site dealing with this year's income tax.
Common-law partner is defined as "two persons, regardless of sex, who cohabit in a conjugal relationship and have done so for a continuous period of at least 12 months". If we have presented ourselves as a couple publicly, or have claimed that status for the "purposes of a pension or health plan, etc" we are a considered to be "common-law partner"(s), under the income tax act. Failing to correctly declare that status now carries penalties. Make sure you check of the correct box on the declaration page of the tax forms.
Coupledom brings with it rights and obligations. For some of us this is not going to be a benefit, for others it is. For all of us it is a step toward full recognition of our relationships, and we demanded it. For more information there is a web site covering some questions and answers about this change. Check out the web site and talk to your accountant before you file and good luck at tax time.
For more information, consult the following web site:

Gay Hero Honoured With Liberty Award

by Newscenter Staff
(March 7, Washington) Mark Bingham will be posthumously honoured with the Liberty Award by Lambda Legal.
The award to be given May 6th will be accepted by his mother Alice Hoglan.
Mark Bingham was the ad agency owner who joined his fellow passengers on United Flight 93 to take on the September 11 terrorists.
Bingham and the other passengers prevented the plane from being used against a Washington target believed to be the Capitol and in the process lost their lives.
Bingham was also named, along with Fr Mychal Judge the gay chaplain with the New York Fire Department who was also killed September 11 as People Of The Year by
The ward will be presented at Lambda's 16th Annual Liberty Awards in New York.
Also honoured will be the award-winning television documentary series "In The Life," and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and novelist Anna Quindlen.
"In the Life," now celebrating its tenth year on the air, is the only nationally televised newsmagazine that focuses on the history and contemporary experiences of the lesbian and gay community. This award-winning cultural news program is shown on 130 public television stations in 31 states. Anna Quindlen in the past 25 years has appeared in America's most influential newspapers and widely read magazines, plus authored best-seller books. As a columnist for The New York Times, she won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1992. Since 1999, she has been writing Newsweek's prominent "Last Word" column.

'Ex-Gay' Group Leaves Christian Organisation

A Christian charity has split away from an evangelical group in a row about homosexuality.
The Courage Trust, an organisation which has attempted to cure people of their homosexuality, has left the Evangelical Alliance after being a member of the group for 13 years. The Courage Trust declared that it could no longer support the view that people are "naturally heterosexual" or support the belief that gay and lesbian people are "not of God".
Jeremy Marks, head of the trust, said that in failing to convert homosexuals, he had driven people away from the church.
Marks, who is married, said that his disagreement with the Evangelical Alliance's stance stemmed from his own experience of having a relationship with a man. He said: "I found it the most healing experience I have ever known, restoring my confidence in God."
The Courage Trust said that it did not agree with the Evangelical Alliance's view that marriage should be the only basis of sexual relationships. The alliance believes gay men and lesbians should be regarded in the same way as prostitutes and thieves.
John Smith, a spokesman for the Evangelical Alliance, told The Times: "In the end there was a fine line separating us. It is not homosexuality, but how we interpret the Bible which divides us. We cannot promote homoerotic practices, because it takes us outside of ideas laid down in the Bible. We must therefore draw the line at what Courage preaches and say this is wrong." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Transgender Toilet Charges Dropped

Charges have been dropped against a transsexual man who was arrested after being found in a men's public toilet.
Dean Spade, a female-to-male transsexual, was arrested in the male toilet at Grand Central Station in New York on 2 February, along with two friends.
Spade was held in custody for 23 hours. He told RainbowNetwork: "There was no legal basis for my arrest. It is not illegal for me to use the men's room, even if my gender is legally `female`, in New York."
He added: "I was arrested as part of the all-too-common New York Police Department practice of harassing and falsely arresting transgender, transsexual, and gender non-normative people."
All charges against Spade and his companions were dismissed.
Spade said: "The judge made sure we were up first, even before our lawyer had a chance to arrive and represent us, possibly because he wanted to get rid of our yellow-uniformed crowd as soon as possible. Our giant fake yellow flowers might have signaled 'trouble' to him; who knows. It was over so fast we never got to wear our signs made out of sticker paper that read 'NYPD: Stop Harassing Trannies,' '23 Hours In Jail For Being Trans,' 'There Is No Wrong Bathroom' and the like."
The group are considering bringing a civil suit against the police for false arrest. © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Police search for suspect in alleged hate crime

Key West police are looking for a suspect involved in an alleged hate crime that occurred early Sunday morning on Duval Street. Officers Eric Biskup, Dave Black and Mike Smith responded to the 500 block, where they saw what appeared to be a fight taking place in front of the Epoch nightclub.
The officers learned that one of the men was trying to stop another group that had allegedly attacked two Minnesota men in their 30s who had been walking past the club.
One of the victims told Biskup he had been walking past the club with his partner when three men approached. They allegedly began to yell, "faggot," and surrounded the couple.
A man identified only as a "light-skinned black man" allegedly punched one of the victims in the face and the other in the back of the head, the police report said.
The suspect fled before police arrived, and Black was unable to locate him. The search continues for the man who now could be charged with "evidencing prejudice while committing an offense" -- a hate crime. The other men involved with the incident were not charged, and the investigation continues.

Gays ushered from Broward rights group's initial meeting

A group formed to fight discrimination began its first meeting by rejecting gay people.
The new South Florida Human Rights Council was born of frustration among some black leaders who think that Broward's mainstream minority groups -- the NAACP and the Urban League -- don't fight discrimination aggressively enough. They also reached out to Hispanic leaders.
But at the group's organizational meeting on Saturday at Bass Park in Fort Lauderdale, three gay men were asked to leave. They had shown up to protest the lack of gay representation on the new group's board, and the fact that the group included an opponent of Broward's gay rights law.
''It was very obvious the three of us were asked to leave for no other reason than we were representing a gay and lesbian organization,'' said Marc Dickerman, treasurer of Americans For Equality, a political action committee set up to fight negative changes to Broward County's human rights ordinance.
The ordinance includes a provision protecting gays from discrimination.
Dickerman attended the meeting with Bill Rettinger and Jim Woodward.
All three men wore ID badges stating they were members of Americans for Equality.
Civic activist Leola McCoy, who coordinates the new civil rights group's board meetings, asked the men to leave, she said, because the new group's focus is on discrimination against blacks and Hispanics.
''We're not focusing on gays,'' McCoy said. ``I don't want our time to get all boiled up in side issues. They are important, but right now I think there are some other priorities that need to be addressed. We can't do everything.''
After the men left the meeting, they protested to the civil rights group's newly elected president, Jeff Gorley.
In response, Gorley asked Terry DeCarlo, development director for the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida, to join the group as an advisory board member.
''When you're trying to start a civil rights organization, you've got to include everybody,'' said Gorley, who also is a member of the Broward County Human Rights Board. ``I may not agree with gay rights, but I certainly cannot exclude them from participating.''
But DeCarlo said he has not yet agreed to join the group.
''There has been talk from Jeff about asking me to be on the board, but as of right now, I have received nothing, no paperwork,'' DeCarlo said. ``Once I get something in writing, I will look at their mission statement.''
The dispute began Friday when gay rights activists read a newspaper account that Lorna Bryan, executive director of a group that led an unsuccessful petition drive last year to repeal Broward's gay rights ordinance, would join the new civil rights group's executive board, Dickerman said. Bryan said she was asked to be a member of the executive board, but never agreed to do so.
''What are they going to do, follow me around all my life just because they feel I am against them?'' Bryan asked, adding that she is not anti-gay but simply wanted the Boy Scouts to continue receiving funding.
Broward County, the United Way and the City of Fort Lauderdale all cut aid to the Boy Scouts after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the organization's ban against homosexuals. Government officials cited the county's law prohibiting discrimination against gays.
Critics said the petition drive to overturn Broward County's gay rights' law misled voters by trying to capitalize on support for the Boy Scouts.
Members of the new civil rights group say they are still trying to decide what issues they will address. ''It's going to be a while before we know what the group is going to focus on,'' said group member Margarita Zalamea.
``Jeff made it very clear that it is the mission to include any and all groups.''
© 2001 miamiherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2002

GLBT NEWZ 03/06/02 Information is power!

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The 25th Annual South Florida Pride-Fest Will Be Celebrated

Saturday & Sunday, March 9th & 10th, 2002.
War Memorial - Holiday Park, Federal Highway (US 1 - East Side)
Between Broward Blvd. and Sunrise Blvd in Fort Lauderdale.
11am - 6pm Both Days
In addition to what is listed below, there will be: A Disco Dance Floor
and a Country-Western Dance Floor, Continuous Live Entertainment,
Lots of Food & Beverage Vendors and over 200 Booths in the Park
Under Circus Type Tents.
Message From:
Pridefest 2002 is going to be the biggest pride party to hit Fort Lauderdale's
Gay, Lesbian, Transgender & Bi-Sexual community ever!!!
"It's heartwarming to see how the entire community is rallying together
and offering support for this 25th Anniversary Celebration of Pride South
Florida", says Jodi Ihme (Board Member PSF, Chair of Names Project).
Plan to come early and stay late for 2 fun-filled days of non-stop
entertainment, dancing, inter-active games and great food.
"We're very excited to have performing on the main stage: Tito Puente Jr.,
J.D.Danner, comic Matina Bevis, the Flamingo Freedom Band, the
Gay Men's Chorus, the Rough Riders and some of South Florida's top
female impersonators, including Miss Florida, Valentina, Champagne
Bordeaux and Velvet Lenore", says Kurt Litzenberger (Asst co-chair of
Pride South Florida).
There will be a large display of collectible cars from the Flamingo antique
car club of South Florida. There are still some volunteer positions available
so if you want to be a part of this spectacular event call the Prideline at:
Admission is still only $7.00 after all these years.
For each paid admission attendees receive a chance at winning a 7-night
stay at Cormorant Beach Club and Hotel on St Croix including the airfare
on American Airlines courtesy of Liberty Travel.
The park only charges $3 for parking and don't forget that according to
city ordinance there are no pets allowed in the park (Sorry!!).
The Board of Directors of Pride South Florida looks forward to seeing
everyone at this great indoor/outdoor event this coming Saturday and Sunday, March 9th and 10th.

Study: 1 in 3 gay men have incurable STD

Randy Dotinga, / Network
Tuesday, March 5, 2002 / 03:59 PM
SUMMARY: A small study suggests that 38 percent of gay men may be infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease linked to cancer.
A small study suggests that 38 percent of gay men may be infected with an incurable sexually transmitted disease that is linked to cancer, researchers announced this week.
Experts aren't sure how much risk that gay men face from the disease, genital human papillomavirus (HPV). But HPV has been linked to anal and penile cancers, especially among men infected with HIV.
Federal officials were concerned enough to highlight the new findings during a press conference Tuesday in San Diego at an annual conference on STD issues. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined the medical records of 83 gay and bisexual men who were surveyed from 1988 to 1994. Of the men, 38 percent were infected by HPV type 16, which has been linked to half of all cervical cancer cases.
"This rate (in gay men) is nearly five times that of heterosexual men and twice that of women," said Dr. Stuart Berman, an official with the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.
Another study examined 349 men -- gay and straight -- who attended an STD clinic in Tucson, Ariz. It wasn't clear when the study was completed.
Nearly 32 percent of the men tested positive for HPV; the rate was lower among those who were sexually monogamous, used condoms or avoided anal intercourse.
HPV often has no symptoms, although it may cause warts in the genital area. Infected people may never know they have it.
Researchers are very interested in possible links between HPV and anal cancer in gay men, said Dr. Hunter H. Handsfield, director of the King County public health department's STD Control Program in Seattle. Some experts suspect that anal cancer is as common in gay men as cervical cancer was in women before screening became common, he said; one study suggested that 35 gay men per 100,000 -- or 1 in 2,900 -- may develop anal cancer each year.
"It's an area of very active research," he said. "A certain amount of emotionality has arisen around it. Some advocates for gay men's health believe that gay men ought to be having annual Pap smears."
The common procedures known as Pap smears detect the presence of pre-cancerous cells in women and can do the same thing for men. Even so, Handsfield said more research needs to be done before anal Pap smears become a routine part of medical examinations for gay men.
Experts consider "bottoms" -- men who are on the receiving end of anal sex -- to be at the highest risk of contracting HPV.
Anal cancer itself is uncommon among the population as a whole and often curable.
Other STD conference news:
-- A small number of drug-resistant cases of gonorrhea are appearing on the West Coast, but doctors are still able to knock out the disease by using alternate antibiotics.
-- Federal officials said the number of cases of gonorrhea in the country remained steady in 2000, while syphilis cases landed at their lowest rate in history. But a decreased emphasis on safer sex may lead to more cases of both diseases among gay men, officials warned.
-- Older lesbians often don't get Pap smears, even though they are susceptible to cervical cancer regardless of whether they've ever had sex with a man, according to Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, who studies lesbian STDs at the University of Washington at Seattle.
-- About 25 percent of lesbians suffer from bacterial vaginosis, a disease that causes irritation and discharge, Marrazzo reported. It may be sexually transmitted.
-- Fourteen percent of gay men who know what barebacking is acknowledged that they engaged in it during the last two years, according to the first survey to ever look at the phenomenon.
The study, by the CDC, defined barebacking as intentional unprotected anal sex with a man who is not a partner. Of 554 men surveyed, 70 percent knew what barebacking is. Of those, HIV-positive men were more likely (22 percent) to engage in barebacking than HIV-negative men (10 percent). The barebackers said they don't use condoms because they want better physical stimulation and a heightened emotional connection.

Vatican links gays, pedophiles; gays react

Tom Musbach, / Network
Tuesday, March 5, 2002 / 04:05 PM
SUMMARY: As a Catholic pedophilia crisis expands, some Catholics are denouncing implied links between homosexuality and the reported incidents, especially after recent remarks from the Vatican.
As a pedophilia crisis in the Catholic Church expands to more U.S. cities, some Catholics are denouncing implied links between homosexuality and the reported incidents, especially after recent remarks from the Vatican.
In an interview published in Sunday's New York Times, a spokesman for the Vatican noted that many of the recent cases of sexual abuse by American priests involve teen-age boys, while typical cases of pedophilia involve younger children. The discrepancy, Vatican conservatives say, is caused by the presence of gay priests.
"People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for Pope John Paul II.
"That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality," he added. "But you cannot be in this field." To rectify the situation, Navarro-Valls suggested that ordinations of gay priests be nullified, as marriages are annulled.
"If they were to eliminate all those (priests) who were homosexually oriented, the number would be so staggering that it would be like an atomic bomb; it would do the same damage to the church's operation," said A.W. Richard Sipe, a former priest and psychotherapist.
"It would mean the resignation of at least a third of the bishops of the world," Sipe said. "Discriminating against orientation is not going to solve the problem."
Mary Louise Cervone, president of the GLBT Catholic group Dignity/USA, predicted that Navarro-Valls' remarks would not influence many American Catholics.
"Members of our church know the difference between abuse of children and a healthy, mature sexuality," she said. "They see the sex abuse issue for what it is -- a symptom of a repressive, arrogant system that sees self-preservation as more important than caring for individuals."
In recent weeks, dioceses of Boston, Los Angeles and St. Louis, among others, have suspended or forced retirement on priests who have been accused of sexual abuse with minors. The Boston Archdiocese alone may pay up to $35 million to settle more than 86 pedophilia cases linked to one priest, John Geoghan, according to the Boston Globe.
On Monday, a Boston priest, accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old boy more than 30 years ago, revealed that he had two gay affairs during a prior leave of absence.
"Being gay doesn't mean you're a pedophile," Rev. D. George Spagnolia, 64, told reporters after acknowledging the affairs. "I am saying, yes, I have had gay relationships, but I have never harmed a child."
Spagnolia, who has said he'll fight to clear his name, has decided not to oppose being placed on administrative leave from his parish in Lowell, Mass.
Episcopal priest suspended for antigay views
An Episcopal rector who opposes the ordination of women and gay people was suspended Monday for six months and could be stripped of his priesthood.
The bishop of the Episcopal Church USA's Pennsylvania diocese barred the Rev. David L. Moyer from officiating following a decade of tension between the suburban Philadelphia priest and church leaders. Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. supports the ordination of women and of gay people who are in committed relationships. Moyer, who leads a national conservative movement called Forward in Faith, has said his group's members don't condone what they regard as "a lifestyle that is contrary to the Christian religion." Last week the diocese's 10-member standing committee found that Moyer had "abandoned the communion of this Church" and charged him with violations of canon law, including preventing the bishop from preaching at the church or looking at the church's records. If Moyer does not "make a good-faith retraction of his canonical failures" within six months and does not allow the bishop to visit the church, he faces being stripped of his priesthood, Bennison said.

Arson victim remembered

About 500 people attended a Monday night candlelight vigil for Clinton Risetter, a Santa Barbara, Calif., gay man who was killed by an acquaintance who set him on fire because he was gay. During the vigil at Santa Barbara's Trinity Episcopal Church, participants condemned intolerance.
"I can't be silent. This is my community," said Russ Chaffin, a nurse at a local hospital. "I cannot stand it that something like this could happen in my community." Martin T. Hartman, 37, surrendered to police two days after the blaze. He allegedly told police that he soaked the sleeping Risetter with gasoline and then lit him on fire because he was gay. Hartman has been charged with murder and arson during a hate crime. If convicted, he's eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Gay activists criticize Bush meeting with Mubarak

Gay and human rights activists criticized the Bush administration Tuesday for failing to raise human rights concerns with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak during Mubarak's visit to the United States on March 4 and 5.
"Our president met with the Egyptian president on the very day that the State Department released a devastating report about Egypt's human rights record," said Sharon Burke of Amnesty International USA. "And yet the issue apparently never even came up."
On Monday the U.S. State Department released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. The report acknowledges the "Cairo 52" case, in which an Egyptian court last November sentenced 23 men to prison terms ranging from one to five years on charges of having gay sex.
"We have documented a growing pattern of arrests and sham trials in Egypt of people suspected of homosexuality," said Scott Long, program director at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. "At the same time, the United States government has rewarded Egypt with a multibillion-dollar aid package. How will our government now translate its own human rights report into action?" Long noted that March 4 was also the opening day of a trial of five men in Damanhour, Egypt, suspected of participating in consensual gay sex; if found guilty, they could face three years' imprisonment.

Michigan United Way drops Boy Scout funding

The city of Ann Arbor, Mich., will restore a county United Way chapter as its charity fund-raiser after the chapter agreed to stop directly funding the Boy Scouts, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The Ann Arbor council voted in August to withdraw from the United Way campaign because the Boy Scouts' ban on gay members and Scout leaders conflicts with Ann Arbor's antidiscrimination ordinance. Last week the Washtenaw United Way board voted to stop giving money directly to the Boy Scouts through the community fund and pass along only those donations designated specifically by donors for the Scouts. Following the United Way board's decision, the Ann Arbor city council voted Monday night to restore the Washtenaw United Way as its charity fund-raiser.

Student's gender change provokes rest room flap

A group of parents in Nanaimo, British Columbia, are pressuring the school board to stop a transsexual teen from using the girls' rest room at the high school their children attend, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
The Grade 12 student, who dresses as a female and has adopted a female name, is in the process of a sex change. In December she asked the principal for permission to use the girls' rest room, and after consulting with the school board and legal and human rights experts, the school approved her request. "We have medical documents saying the student should now be referred to as female," said Nanaimo-Ladysmith school superintendent Carola Lane. "She is at a phase in her transition when it was appropriate for her to make the request to use the girls' washroom."
Vicki Podetz, chairwoman of the school's parent advisory council, said she has concerns about "the comfort level of the female students.... These are young girls, some as young as 13 years old." But school trustee Mike Forrester said that if a person "truly believes they have been born the wrong gender and that person then becomes female, they should be able to use the women's washroom."

Adopt An MP (Member of Parliament)

by Ben Thompson National Editor in Ottawa
(March 6, Ottawa) Canada's national gay rights organization, EGALE, today launches an Adopt an MP programme.
Gays and lesbians across the country are being encouraged to take a member of parliament under "their wing" to help educated them about GLBT issues.
"Some MPs are very committed to gays and lesbians," said John Fisher, the executive director of EGALE. "Others are problem children who need patience and persistency."
Fisher said that " With a number of anti-gay contenders vying for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, matching MPs with caring, supportive parents has never been more needed." The Alliance is the only political party in Canada with a set policy defining the family as heterosexual. The party, Canada's official Opposition, will select a new leader this month. EGALE has published a booklet on the caring and nurturing of MPs. Called "Caring for your MP", it is available from EGALE at

Bounty On Gays

by Newscenter Staff
(March 6, Spokane, WA) Spokane's regional health department has placed a bounty on the heads of gay men.
The department says it will pay up to $30 to people who bring in gays, intravenous drug dealers, and prostitutes for AIDS testing.
The health board disputes the term "bounty" or that it is a witch hunt, as some gays in the state of Washington have described the programme.
A spokesperson for the Spokane Regional Health District called the pilot project a cost-effective way to prevent spread of HIV, the AIDS virus, and reach people who may not know they are infected.
Testing is anonymous and voluntary.
A one-year $100,000 grant from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention pays the bills. The federal agency will monitor the results.
Anyone who brings in a person in the high risk group for contacting AIDS will be paid $10 when the person gets the HIV test and an additional $20 if he or she returns to learn the results. The program hopes to reach more than 250 individuals at risk of HIV infection and identify up to 50 people who did not know they are infected.

Boss Jailed For Sexually Assaulting Job Recruit

by Peter Moore Newscenter in London
(March 6, London) A sales manager who plied a job applicant with liquor and then sexually assaulted him has been sent to jail for nine months.
A London court was told that Iain Caldwell, 34, had spotted the young man at a job fair.
He invited the him to dinner and then offered him a job. Two days later, he invited the young man to a local pub where he got the man drunk.
He woke up the next morning in a bedroom above the bar unable to recall anything of the night's events.
But the man, who cannot be named, began to realize later in the morning what had happened when his new boss said that what happened was "just between us." Caldwell was convicted of indecent assault. In addition to the jail term he will have to pay $2,000 compensation to his victim and $6,000 prosecution costs.

Portia De Rossi wants a baby

March 5, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
ALLY McBEAL star PORTIA DE ROSSI wants to have a baby with her lesbian lover FRANCESCA GREGORINI.
British tabloid THE DAILY STAR claims the stunning blonde, who plays ice maiden NELLE PORTER in the legal comedy, is eager to start a family after finding love with former BEATLE RINGO STARR's step-daughter.
The Ally star told pals, "We want a baby. We'll make great parents since we have the money and the love to give our child a wonderful life."
Portia started seeing Francesca seven months ago and it was alleged the two had tied the knot in a secret ceremony in January (02).
Friends say the couple are discussing using a sperm donor or adopting.
One friend explains, "They have tons of guy friends willing to help them out.
"They've just got to decide which of them will carry the baby." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Russell Crowe's Girlfriend Enjoys Lesbian Attention

March 5, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Actor RUSSELL CROWE was forced to step back when his girlfriend DANIELLE SPENCER attracted a bevy of stunning women - at a lesbian bar.
The PROOF OF LIFE star brought his singer lover to West Hollywood's FELT and was anxious about the attention Danielle was getting, according to American tabloid THE STAR.
Witnesses saw Danielle flirting with the girls, while Russell initially watched amused.
One Felt patron says, "Danielle was just letting go of her inhibitions and talking to a lot of the women at the bar.
"All of a sudden, Danielle moved up close to a pretty Latina who sat on a barstool and had been talking to her.
"They started canoodling and seemed lost in the moment. Danielle was the one instigating the encounter."
Some drinkers claimed Danielle was completely oblivious to her Hollywood hunk and he had to fight to get her attention.
One customer says, "He tried to tickle Danielle to get her attention, but she didn't even turn around."
Eventually the OSCAR-winner motioned to his bodyguard to get Danielle and they left the bar quickly.
A bar employee says, "They had to get her out of there in a hurry." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network

Gays Join London Hunger Strike for Human Rights in Zimbabwe

March 4, 2002, PrideVision TV
Ten hunger strikers completed a two-day vigil and fast outside the Zimbabwe High Commission in London tonight (Sunday 3 March 2002), after braving sub-zero temperatures overnight.
Timed to coincide with the start of the Commonwealth summit in Australia, the hunger-strike was called to demand that the Commonwealth "stop appeasing Mugabe and start imposing serious sanctions on his tyrannical regime".
"Our main demand is for the Commonwealth to issue warrants for the arrest of President Mugabe on charges of torture and genocide", said protest organiser, hunger striker, and gay Zimbabwean exile, Alan Wilkinson.
"The possibility that he could one day be put on trial, like Slobodan Milosevic, might act as a restraint on his repression".
"The hunger strikers were a mix of black and white, men and women, young and old, and gay and straight. Most were Zimbabwean exiles, including refugees who have fled to Britain after suffering violent attacks at the hands of Mugabe's supporters".
"We got many supportive responses from passing members of the public of all races, and received over £500 in spontaneous donations".
"This money will be forwarded to human rights organisations monitoring repression in Zimbabwe and supporting the victims of ZANU-PF's murderous regime", said Wilkinson.
"How many people have to be killed before the Commonwealth gets tough with Mugabe?", asked hunger striker Peter Tatchell.
"Over a hundred opponents of Mugabe have been murdered in the last year and still the Commonwealth does nothing".
"The feebleness of the Commonwealth's response is an insult to the victims of Mugabe's reign of terror."
""Don McKinnon should resign as Secretary General of the Commonwealth. He has failed to show leadership in dealing with the gross violations of human rights in Zimbabwe. For two years he has dithered while Zimbabwe burns", said Tatchell. Further information: Alan Wilkinson at

Barrymore Case Closed

Detectives are to take no further action in the case of a man who died at the home of television star Michael Barrymore last year.
On 31 March 2001 Stuart Lubbock was found unconscious in Barrymore's swimming pool wearing only his underwear. He died shortly afterwards.
Police said Lubbock had spent the previous evening at a nightclub in Harlow and had returned to Barrymore`s Royden home in a taxi with the star and a number of other men.
A postmortem examination showed he had drowned and that he had suffered serious sexual injuries shortly before his death. Tests revealed he had taken cocaine and drunk large quantities of alcohol.
Barrymore was arrested on suspicion of possession and supply of Class B drugs, possession of a Class A drug and allowing premises to be used for taking Class B drugs. The star's friends John Kenney and Justin Merritt were also arrested.
No charges were brought against any of the men, although Barrymore was later cautioned for possession of cannabis and allowing his premises to be used for the smoking of cannabis.
A police spokesman said that after consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service it had been decided to take no further action against anyone. He said a file was being prepared for the coroner. © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.

Rundle pressed on gay rights law

Groups ask Bush to take her off case
Under criminal investigation, supporters of a petition drive to overturn Miami-Dade County's gay rights ordinance are trying to get the governor to remove State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle from the case.
The move comes about two months after her office subpoenaed members of Take Back Miami-Dade, the Christian Coalition and others to produce handwriting samples, so investigators can determine if they falsified the signatures of voters who signed their petition.
In a recent e-mail to the governor's office, Take Back Miami-Dade contends Rundle has a conflict of interest because she received an endorsement and a $500 campaign contribution from SAVE Dade, the gay rights group fighting efforts to repeal the ordinance.
A spokeswoman for the governor's office said General Counsel Charles Canady will review the allegations and ''make a recommendation'' to Gov. Jeb Bush. Spokeswoman Lisa Gates said his office often receives requests to appoint special prosecutors, and Bush routinely reassigns state attorneys who make known their conflicts.
Rundle told Canady last week that she has no conflict.
Some of the supporters who want to repeal the ordinance are under investigation for supposedly forging the signatures of people who signed the petition -- an allegation Take Back Miami-Dade vehemently denies. The group collected enough signatures to challenge the gay rights law in a referendum on the September ballot.
In 1998, Miami-Dade commissioners passed the ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
''They have sought to politicize this [probe] and shop for another forum,'' Rundle told The Herald. ``It's a sad day when anyone in this community thinks they can be unaccountable by casting aspersions on others.
''The real question is, how can these people feel they can avoid this investigation?'' she said. ``They're trying to do everything they can not to cooperate with this investigation.''
Four supporters of the Take Back Miami-Dade petition drive must appear at a court hearing March 18 to explain why they should not be held in contempt for failing to respond to Rundle's subpoenas for handwriting samples.
One of the four subpoenaed, Anthony Verdugo, head of the Miami-Dade chapter of the Christian Coalition, said he went to Tallahassee last week to talk with lawmakers about legislation and Rundle's investigation. Verdugo also said he attended the governor's prayer breakfast, but did not ask Bush about removing Rundle.
''It's a local issue within Dade County politics,'' Verdugo said. 'Tallahassee has nothing to do with the `sexual-orientation' [ordinance].''
Rep. Gaston Cantens, R-Miami, said Verdugo asked him in Tallahassee if he was familiar with the process of having a state attorney removed from a case because of a conflict. But he said Verdugo did not ask him to approach the governor on the issue.
''I don't think there's any doubt they would like to see her conflicted [removed],'' Cantens said.
Eladio José Armesto, communications director for Take Back Miami-Dade, said he was not aware of any effort by the group to lobby the governor to have Rundle removed. Armesto also said he did not join Verdugo in Tallahassee last week.
Armesto said the organization's lawyer, George L. Sigalos, sent a Jan. 17 letter to Rundle, asking her to recuse herself because of her alleged conflict with SAVE Dade. That letter was copied and sent to Canady, the governor's general counsel, and Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth.
''She is the one who is refusing to do the right thing,'' Armesto said. ``She is creating a very serious problem for herself.''
Armesto, who also must appear at the contempt hearing for not responding to a subpoena, blasted Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Leonard Glick for calling it.
''This is a judge who tramples on the rule of law. . . . We are willing to go to jail for our constitutional rights as American citizens,'' Armesto said.
Judge Glick declined comment.
If Glick finds Verdugo, Armesto and two other Take Back Miami Dade supporters, Marisel Rodriguez and Eliezer Veguilla, in contempt, they could face up to six months in jail or a $500 fine.
SAVE Dade members said Take Back Miami-Dade is trying to quash Rundle's probe.
''We are not surprised they are trying to change prosecutors, because that would delay the investigation,'' SAVE Dade chairwoman Heddy Peña said. ``They don't want to face up to their wrongdoing here.''
One legal expert said he does not believe Rundle has a conflict.
''If prosecutors had to step down every time somebody under investigation complained about a campaign contribution, they would be out of business,'' said Robert Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, who teaches about conflicts of interest.
``It would bring to a grinding halt the state attorney's office.''
© 2001 miamiherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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