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Saturday, March 30, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 03/30/02 Information is power!

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

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Anti-homophobia Plan May Curb Suicide Rate

Waikato Times
3/30/2002
by Rosemarie North, Waikato Times
An anti-gay bashing programme tested in Canberra schools could combat Australia's youth suicide rate.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australia, responsible for 2683 deaths in 1998. The rate for 15 to 24-year-old males has risen threefold in the past 30 years.
The latest figures show 119 New Zealanders aged 15 to 24 killed themselves in 1999.
At an International Planned Parenthood Federation conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which the Waikato Times attended, Family Planning Australia executive director Roberto Rojas-Morales said an anti-homophobia pilot that worked in Canberra schools would go into other states. The programme makes schools safer by educating same- sex attracted teens, teachers and youth workers.
It started after surveys found bullying of same-sex attracted students was rife.
A study of 1200 rural high school students found 11 per cent of teens aged 14-16 were attracted to the same sex.
Another study of same-sex attracted teens found 13 per cent had suffered physical abuse and 46 per cent had suffered verbal abuse. Nearly 70 per cent of the abuse happened at school: 60 per cent by other students, 10 per cent by friends and 3 per cent by teachers.
"It is total bullying," said Mr Rojas-Morales. "It begins at primary school.
"There needs to be an awareness that it's part of overall bullying. It's not an acceptable behaviour."
Mr Rojas-Morales said gay-bashing could cause homelessness, alcohol and drug problems, avoidance of particular subjects and careers, leaving school early and unsafe sex.
Family Planning Australia media adviser Alastair Harris said harassment could have tragic results.
"Suicide is the major cause of death among young men and indications are that, particularly in rural areas, the principal cause of young men taking their own lives is confusion about sexuality.
"This is not just an academic question-this is affecting thousands of families across the country."
Robyn Drysdale, of the Family Planning ACT Program, said homophobia was so pervasive in schools that many people did not see it as wrong. (C) 2002 Waikato Times. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Ex-lover awarded $5 million in HIV suit

Tom Musbach, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, March 29, 2002 / 03:59 PM
SUMMARY: A court awarded $5 million in damages to a man who claims he was infected with HIV from his ex-lover, a former city health commissioner.
A San Francisco court has awarded $5 million in damages to a man who claims he was infected with HIV from his ex-lover, a former city health commissioner, who lied about his HIV status.
The ruling, made public by Superior Court Commissioner Loretta M. Norris on Wednesday, is one of the largest in a civil lawsuit relating to infliction of HIV, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
When Thomas Lister, 36, started dating Ron Hill, 44, in March 2000, Hill said he was HIV-negative. However, Hill had publicly disclosed his positive status after being appointed to the San Francisco Health Commission in 1997 by Mayor Willie Brown.
The two men parted ways in August 2000 after Lister, who was negative, discovered documentation about Hill's HIV-positive status. The relationship was reportedly sexually monogamous. Lister tested positive in October 2000.
After filing a police report, Lister was told by the district attorney's office that criminal charges based on intent would be too hard to prove. After Wednesday's ruling, however, San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan told the Chronicle that his office may reconsider criminal charges against Hill.
In California, infecting someone intentionally with HIV is a felony.
Wednesday's ruling was a default judgment, since the defendant did not contend the lawsuit. The nature of the ruling may not enhance the likelihood for a criminal trial, said Bill Hirsh, executive director of the AIDS Legal Referral Panel.
"The judgment doesn't tell us conclusively if the facts could have been proved," Hirsh told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network
While the $5 million award is rare, similar suits have been settled in recent years for smaller amounts and without much publicity.
In San Francisco, a male plaintiff recently settled for $153,000 in a suit against his former doctor, an HIV specialist, who had unprotected sex with the patient while falsely claiming to be HIV-negative. The Chronicle also cited a $25,000 settlement against a man did not inform his lover he was HIV-positive.
Lister, who told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network that he didn't specify a monetary figure in his lawsuit, said the settlement amount for general and punitive damages sent a strong message. "This says that it's not acceptable behavior to lie about your HIV status in (an intimate) relationship - especially after being asked about it repeatedly," Lister said.
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Louisiana high court upholds sodomy ban

Jennifer Christensen, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, March 29, 2002 / 04:06 PM
SUMMARY: Louisiana's Supreme Court dealt a blow to gay rights on Thursday by upholding the state's 200-year-old ban on sodomy.
Louisiana's Supreme Court dealt a blow to gay rights on Thursday by upholding the state's 200-year-old ban on sodomy.
Louisiana is one of 13 states with laws that prohibit sodomy between consenting adults.
Thursday's ruling said the law does not violate the right to privacy as spelled out by the state's constitution.
"I didn't realize the state's constitution dictated what two consenting adults can and cannot do in the privacy of their own bedroom," said Fe Myers, a steering committee member with the southern gay rights group Kentucky Fairness Alliance. A Kentucky court overturned the state's sodomy law back in 1992.
"This ruling is just another reminder of the prejudice that exists in the Southern states regarding sexual orientation," said Myers.
"The Supreme Court of Louisiana has said the government can go into anyone's bedroom, including married persons, and criminalize what they are doing, even between consenting adults in private with no one watching and nobody paying for anything," John Rawls, a plaintiff in the case, told the Associated Press.
Rawls is also an attorney representing the Louisiana Electorate of Gays and Lesbians Inc., which brought the civil suit.
Rawls noted the case applies to heterosexuals too, but the group did bring a separate action against the law on grounds that it discriminated against gays and lesbians. The Supreme Court refused to rule on that issue, so it remains alive before the state 4th Circuit Court of Appeal in a separate action.
While there is a slight chance that the law could be overturned in the lower court, Southern activists like Andrea Hildebran, executive director of Kentucky Fairness Alliance, said this sets a bad tone for the rest of the South. "I think it's really too bad. States across the country, including in the South, have ruled that individuals have a right to do what they want in the privacy of their own homes," said Hildebran. "These laws are dead letters, and this ruling is really out of step with the rest of the country."
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Parent wants separate rest rooms for gays

A parent in El Cajon, Calif., has filed a discrimination complaint against the Grossmont Union High School District because the district has not addressed "a very clear right of privacy violation that requires my child to share rest rooms, dressing rooms, and showering facilities with those who by their own, and societies [sic], definition, are attracted to the same gender (homosexual students and staff)." Paul Scott filed the complaint last month, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday. But after completing its own investigation after receiving the complaint, district officials announced Wednesday that no discrimination has taken place. In fact, Superintendent Granger Ward said that the district would be breaking the law if it did as Scott is requesting--to designate separate rest rooms and locker rooms for students and staff who are or who are perceived to be gay or lesbian. "We do not see a resolution that he finds acceptable that is legal and appropriate," Ward said.

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Story in high school mag sparks controversy

An Indiana high school's student-run magazine has come under fire for running an ad from a liquor store, an article about lesbian love, and an editorial supporting the legalization of marijuana. Students who write for Elkhart Memorial High School's Genesis magazine first heard complaints about their Valentine's Day feature about a lesbian couple trying to make a long-distance relationship work. The February issue also had an opinion piece calling for legalizing marijuana and two advertisements--one from a local liquor store hawking ice and one from Planned Parenthood offering pregnancy counseling. The combination was too much for Central High School student John Graham, who told school board members during a meeting earlier this month that he was "appalled" by the publication. "I don't think a high school publication is a platform for legalizing marijuana or articles about lesbians," Graham said. "Exposing impressionable teens to those ideas is wrong." Graham isn't the only one complaining. Letters criticizing the February issue appeared in the magazine's March issue, and school board members and the Elkhart mayor have also weighed in. Elkhart Memorial principal Pat Well said he doesn't plan to intervene, citing U.S. Supreme Court decisions supporting high school press freedom. "It's part of a healthy give-and-take," he told the South Bend [Ind.] Tribune. "What we're talking about here is civil discourse in a civil society." The magazine's editors have been forced to defend the content of Genesis in the school's classrooms and hallways. Some say they've even received harassing phone calls.
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Liza: My husband's not gay!

Responding to allegations that her new husband, David Gest, is gay, Liza Minnelli released a statement to the New York Post's Page Six column asserting that he's straight and that he keeps her satisfied. "I know many of my husband's ex-girlfriends, who will agree that if every man was as good in bed as David, there would be a lot of happy women in the world," said Minnelli. "We moved in together one week after we met--that says it all." Various elements of Gest's life--his friendships with aging Hollywood starlets, his worship of Shirley Temple, his crystal collection, having drag queens in lieu of strippers at his bachelor party--have been cited by various sources as indications of his alleged homosexuality, but the producer addressed the question on Larry King Live, stating, "I know who I am. That's the important thing. She knows who she is, and we're so in love, we've got our own world." The Post quoted a response from Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, who wondered, "Does she know who he is?"
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Egyptian Tourism Office Slammed by Protesters

Friday, 29 March 2002
BERLIN -- An expensive dinner sponsored by Egyptian tourism officials at a travel expo held in Berlin this week was beset upon by human rights activists protesting recent anti-gay repression in Cairo.
The protest, organized by Amnesty International and other international human rights groups with a presence in Berlin, passed out leaflets to travel agents and German government officials as they entered the dinner sponsored by Egyptair.
The dinner was part of a lavishly funded marketing effort being pushed by the Egyptian government, which is desperate to recover from dramatic losses in tourism revenue since September 11th. The Berlin Travel Market is the largest industry gathering of its kind in the world.
Several hundred people accepted the Amnesty notices which outlined the ongoing anti-gay campaign in Egypt which has resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of scores of innocent people. Allegations of electric shock torture and regular beatings at the hands of Egyptian authorities were also detailed.
"We don't want gay tourists in Egypt."
The human rights leaflets borrowed Egypt's new tourist logo -- a happyface symbol above the tagline: A Smile On Every Face -- by putting it behind bars.
The protests enraged the Egyptian delegation led by Minister of Tourism, Mamdouh El Beltagui. Several of them came out to heap abuse at the protesters. "You are liars! You are against Egypt! You dishonor our country! Get out of here!" they shouted.
An Egyptair employee entering the hotel where the dinner was being held told the protesters: "It is wrong to attack Egyptair, we have nothing to do with this." He then added, "We have three homosexual colleagues in our offices in Germany, and there is no problem at all because of this."
But Thomas Kolb, who led the protest effort said the Egyptair official was glossing over the issue. "He was omitting the fact, that these [airline employees] would most probably lose their jobs and go to jail, if they worked in the Cairo office of the airline and were known to be gay." A spokesperson for the airline, who refused to give his name, told German journalist Juergen Bieniek: "We don't want gay tourists in Egypt. We would be very pleased if they did not come here."
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Waiting At The Altar

by Jean-Pierre O'Brien
365Gay.com Newscenter in Montreal
(March 30, Montreal) They've waited for 29 years, and now Michael Hendricks and René Leboeuf must wait weeks or possibly months longer to find out if they can legally marry.
The couple are awaiting a ruling from a Quebec Superior Court judge on their challenge to the constitutionality of Canada's heterosexual definition of marriage.
The case wrapped up earlier this week, in Montreal, but there was no date set for the ruling to be delivered.
While Hendricks and Leboeuf wait, so too do hundreds, possibly thousands of gay and lesbian couples across Canada. Because the judge in the case was federally appointed, her ruling has national implications.
"If she decides that the federal law is discriminatory and she decides to overturn it, then gay and lesbian couples will have the right to marry across the entire country," says Anne-France Goldwater, the couple's lawyer.
No matter what she decides it is expected the issue will go to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Hendricks and Leboeuf met at a New Year's Eve party in 1973 and have been inseparable ever since.
The final arguments in the case involved Quebec's proposed Partnership Union law, which would recognize same-sex relationships without granting the right of full marriage.
Goldwater, told the court that Partnership Union is not an option.
Later, outside the court, Hendricks said: "Marriage is marriage. "It's the gold standard in social acceptance, and it's mobile.''
Amy Barratt of Quebec's Lesbian Mothers' Association echoed Hendrick's sentiments.
"If I have a civil union in Quebec many of my rights will be recognized in Quebec, but as soon as I cross the border into another province or the world, I have no rights," she said.
The Law Commission of Canada, in a study released in January, said restrictions on same-sex marriage are discriminatory and should be removed. Two years ago, Parliament revised several laws to ensure same-sex couples have the same benefits and obligations as other common-law couples, but it excluded same-sex couples from legal marriage.
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Police Accused Of Arrogance After Lesbian Teen Attacked

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(March 30, Denver, CO) Denver police are being accused of treating a lesbian teen more like a suspect than a victim after she reported a vicious slashing attack.
17 year old April Mora told police that she had been assaulted by a group of men in a lane behind the home she shares with her partner and her partner's mother.
The girl showed officers razor marks on her arm crudely spelling out the word 'Dyke' and another on her abdomen reading 'R.I.P.'
Roberta Quintana, the mother of the girl's partner said police are not taking her report seriously.
"They were very rude. Actually, not so much rude as arrogant," Quintana told the Denver Post.
"The way she was questioned was not the way I believe you should question someone who has been assaulted. All of us were in shock."
Mora said the officers asked her if her wounds were self-inflicted and if she would take a lie-detector test. A police spokesperson would not comment on whether the teen had been asked to take a polygraph. She did say, though, that officers would be re-interviewing the girl on the weekend.
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The Space Coast Eagle, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
GLBT NEWZ archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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Friday, March 29, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 03/29/02 Information is power!

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

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Egypt Tells Gays To Stay Out Of Country

by Jon ben Asher
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(March 29, Berlin) Egyptian tourism officials lashed out at gays protesting that country's persecution of gays this week.
The information zap was organized by Amnesty and gay rights groups in the German capital. Protestors handed out leaflets to travel agents and German government officials as they entered a gala dinner funded by Egyptair, part of a mass marketing plan by Egypt at the Berlin Travel Market the biggest fair of this kind worldwide
Several hundred people accepted the leaflets which outlined a series of arrests and convictions of dozens of gay Egyptians over the past year.
The leaflets capitalized on Egypt's new marketing slogan: A Smile On Every Face, which appears with a happyface symbol. The protestors altered by logo to show a face behind bars.
"You are against Egypt! You are dishonouring our country! Get lost", a group of Egyptians accompanying Minister of Tourism, Mamdouh El Beltagui shouted.
An Egyptair employee entering the hotel where the dinner was being held told the protestors: "It is wrong to attack Egyptair, we have nothing to do with this".
He then said "We have three homosexual colleagues in our offices in Germany, and there is no problem at all because of this."
Thomas Kolb, one of the organizers of the protest later said, " He was omitting the fact, that these men would most probably loose their jobs and go to jail, if they worked in the Cairo office of the airline and were known to be gay." A spokesperson for the airline, who refused to give his name, told German journalist Juergen Bieniek: "We want no gay tourists in Egypt, and we are happy when they don't come!"
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Syphilis Cases Surge

The Cincinnati Post
3/29/2002
Outbreaks of syphilis among gay men in large urban areas, particularly in California, are threatening to reverse progress toward eliminating the disease in the United States.
In San Francisco, the number of new infectious cases grew from a historic low of 26 in 1998 to 139 last year. Officials there say the total could easily top 250 this year-which would be the highest in more than a decade.
San Francisco health officials are so concerned that last week they mandated a sweeping set of new requirements on sex clubs and adult bookstores, which include handing out condoms and lubricant to every patron.
Other major cities also are seeing increases in syphilis. New York City reported 282 cases last year, the most since 1995. Los Angeles County logged 187 cases in 2001, up from a low of 88 in 1999.
And Miami-Dade County reported 186 cases last year, six times higher than its 1998 low.
The cases in these and many other urban areas disproportionately involve gay or bisexual men-61 percent in Los Angeles, for example, and 82 percent in San Francisco.
Though syphilis is treatable with antibiotics, health officials are worried because its sores greatly facilitate the spread of HIV. The outbreaks signal a breakdown in safe-sex practices and often presage a rise in HIV.
Until now, the effort to eliminate syphilis from the United States-launched by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1998-has mostly targeted impoverished minority communities. But the recent rise in infections among gay and bisexual men is undermining the overall elimination goal. (C) 2002 The Cincinnati Post. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Editors note: "The O'Reilly Factor" will rerun the interview with Rosie O'Donnell tonight, Fri. (03/29) at 8:00pm eastern time on Fox News Channel. Check local listings.

Rosie talks about being "not gay enough"

In an E-mail interview with PlanetOut.com columnist Paula Martinac, newly out talk show host Rosie O'Donnell addressed a number of topics, including her clashes with gay activists and journalists. "[S]o many of the loudest gay folk cast judgment and assign blame to those they consider quietly gay--'not gay enough,'" O'Donnell writes. "I have been accused by some of being 'not gay enough.' My response has always been, I do not have to be gay like you. I only have to be gay like me." O'Donnell goes on to say that her coming-out was about alerting "people to the fact that there are half a million kids in foster care in America...[t]hat the laws in the state where I live prevented me from adopting the child I fostered for over 16 months, because I am gay," and not about appeasing her critics in the gay community. When Martinac asked about gay journalist Michelangelo Signorile's assertion that O'Donnell came out to silence gay critics, O'Donnell responded, "He is a moron. His idea of gay America consists of only those he deems worthy enough. I do not enjoy him, his point of view, or his rhetoric. (He isn't even funny.) One reason I did not come out sooner, I didn't want anyone to associate me with Signorile in any way. Same goes for [Village Voice columnist Michael] Musto." Regarding ending antigay discrimination, O'Donnell said, "I think it is important. I think everyone moves through life at their own pace, and patience is a virtue."
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Rosie and Lover Plan to Get Pregnant

World Entertainment News Network
3/29/2002
Chat show queen ROSIE O'DONNELL is planning to follow up her homosexual revelations, by helping gay partner KELLI CARPENTER get pregnant.
American tabloid NATIONAL ENQUIRER claims Rosie, who has three adopted children, and live-in lover Kelli have taken the first steps to become natural parents.
The controversial couple are said to be consulting lawyers about drawing up legal papers that will make them co-parents of the new baby.
A source says, "Rosie is thrilled that Kelli is willing to have their baby. They are deeply in love and see this child as a way to cement their union.
"The baby biologically will be Kelli's, but Rosie will have full parental rights under the agreement they will sign.
"Rosie is 40 and overweight. Kelli is 33 and in terrific shape. So they had decided that if they were going to have a baby together, it would be Kelli who would carry it."
It is unknown who will donate the sperm.
(KL/NE/IG) (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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Gay Police Chief Steps Up Fight to Get His Job Back

The Daily Telegraph London
3/29/2002
by Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor
BRIAN Paddick, the police chief under investigation for allegedly allowing cannabis to be used at his home, stepped up his public campaign yesterday to be reinstated as commander in the south London borough of Lambeth.
He gave an interview to BBC Radio Four's Today programme after attending a meeting the previous evening in Brixton, where he was supported by an audience of about 400.
Mr Paddick said: "Clearly the people of Lambeth believe I am the right man to lead the police in Lambeth. There seems to be support across the country."
His comments appear to have pre-empted the outcome of an internal Metropolitan Police inquiry into allegations made in a newspaper by his former homosexual lover. He has been switched to a desk job at Scotland Yard pending reports on whether he committed a criminal offence and broke police regulations.
Mr Paddick, 43, pioneered a "softly, softly" approach to cannabis use and possession in Lambeth in order to focus resources more on hard drugs and street crime.
He also has been credited with bringing down the rate of street robbery in London's most crime-ridden borough.
In February last year, there were 577 offences of violent crime recorded in Lambeth compared to 595 last month.
In Hackney, a similar inner city borough, the number fell from 493 to 466. Robberies in Lambeth rose from 423 in Feb 2001 to 468 last month; in Hackney they went up from 193 to 259. Overall crime was lower in Hackney last month compared to a year ago whereas it was higher in Lambeth. However, Lambeth has shown sharp falls in street crime as a result of a major operation against muggers in several inner London boroughs. Mr Paddick denies taking cannabis but has conceded that his former lover, James Renolleau, did so in his presence. He and his supporters maintain that he is a victim of a "homophobic" press campaign. (C) 2002 The Daily Telegraph London. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Attackers slash lesbian with razors

Ann Rostow, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Thursday, March 28, 2002 / 04:39 PM
SUMMARY: A 17-year-old Denver girl was viciously slashed Tuesday afternoon, and the word "dyke" was carved into her forearm with a razor.
A 17-year-old Denver girl was viciously slashed Tuesday afternoon, and the word "dyke" was carved into her forearm with a razor, media outlets in Colorado report.
According to the Rocky Mountain News and ABC News, April Mora was walking to a store through an alley near her house at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, when she encountered three teen-age white males in a black Honda. When Mora stopped to look at the car, the teens began calling her "dyke" and hazing her, and Mora gave the passengers a dirty look. The driver then pulled over, and two of the teens got out and dragged Mora to the ground, one holding a knife to her throat.
"Two guys got out of the car, and (one) held me down, while the other guy was cutting something in me," Mora told ABC. "The driver was yelling stuff to them and telling them what to do."
Mora's face was repeatedly slashed, and the letters "RIP" were cut into her stomach. When she screamed, the Rocky Mountain News reports, one of the men flicked her tongue with the blade. The boy with the knife said: "You're lucky we don't rape you."
After awhile, the driver called the others back into the car, leaving Mora face down and covered with blood. Mora, who lives with her girlfriend's family, made her way home, where the Quintana family called an ambulance.
According to Denise de Percin, head of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, Mora was released and is not in any danger of losing her life. Although the wounds may have been skin-deep, they were extensive and frightening to experience. A photo in the Rocky Mountain News shows the face of an attractive young woman, with close cropped hair, and numerous red welts across her forehead and cheeks.
"I was scared," Mora told the News. "I didn't know what these guys were going to do."
Although the Mora attack was unusual, de Percin said that violence against gay and lesbian youth is common in Colorado, as in fact it is everywhere. The state has been the scene of two high-profile crimes, the murder of Fred Martinez Jr., and the assault on Kyle Skyock in Rifle. Last January, de Percin reports, 16-year-old Kapree Brown of Denver was beaten up by over a dozen assailants. "People beat you up and leave physical scars," said Brown. "But when it's because of who you are, it's the emotional scars that stay with you forever."
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Dignity Joins Abuse Victims For Good Friday Observance

by Beth Shapiro
365Gay.com Newscenter, in New York
(March 29, Boston) As Bernard Cardinal Law presides over Good Friday services at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston today, hundreds of Catholics are expected to gather outside the cathedral to pray and send a message of solidarity and sorrow to the victims of child sexual abuse.
Participants will be invited to write messages of support to the victims of sexual abuse on a "Wall of Sorrow." The prayer service will begin at 3 p.m., and will consist of specially adapted Stations of the Cross.
At the close of the service, participants will encircle the cathedral in a gesture of unity, grief and determination to see change in a Catholic Church that has been rocked by the recent revelations of a sex-abuse cover-up by the church hierarchy.
In attendance at the vigil will be Marianne Duddy, executive director of Dignity, the nation's oldest and largest gay Catholic organization; Barbara Blaine, founder of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP); Chuck Colbert, contributor to the "National Catholic Reporter"; survivors of sexual abuse by priests; and concerned Catholics from the Boston area and elsewhere.
In the past month, some Catholic Church officials have attempted to deflect attention from their own culpability in the growing scandal by suggesting a purge of gay priests. During the past week, a number of far-right commentators seized on this notion and have begun to scapegoat gay priests and, by extension, gay people in general.
"One important perspective has been missing from much of this debate, that of gay and lesbian Catholics," said Duddy. "The Catholic Church's scapegoating of gay priests, paired with their historical refusal to discuss their role in oppressing gay and lesbian members of the Catholic Church, is only creating more pain and distrust for those who seek solace in the church."
In a statement Thursday night, Colbert said that "having covered the crisis in the local church in Boston for the National Catholic Reporter and as a layman and seminarian at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, I am deeply concerned about some of the misleading charges by those attempting to link the abuse of children and young adults with gay men in the priesthood." "The truth is that the sexual abuse of children is criminal, pathological, and sinful. Being gay and living outside of the closet is none of those, as so many of us faithful gay and lesbian Catholics, our families and friends bear witness to everyday in our church and in communities across this country."
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Polish bishop resigns over sex charges

Tom Musbach, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Thursday, March 28, 2002 / 04:42 PM
SUMMARY: An archbishop in Poland resigned on Thursday over allegations that he made sexual advances to young men in the seminary.
An archbishop in Poland resigned on Thursday over allegations that he made sexual advances to young men in the seminary.
Juliusz Paetz, who had been archbishop of Poznan, is the highest-ranking prelate to be brought down by the recent, growing scandal of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.
Though Paetz denies the allegations, he said he resigned for the "good of the church," as reported by the Associated Press. His resignation was accepted by Pope John Paul II, a longtime acquaintance.
When fellow priests confronted Paetz in 1999 about credible reports of his sexual misconduct with seminarians, some of them as young as 18, the archbishop denied them. The priests later appealed to the Vatican for an investigation, which was covered extensively in the Polish paper Rzeczpospolita, according to the New York Times.
Paetz maintains that the media misinterpreted his actions and damaged his reputation.
"The biggest criminals have a right to anonymity unless a court decides otherwise. I was deprived of that," he said in a March 17 letter to the Poznan diocese. "Mass media have already judged me and sentenced me."
The resignation was announced three days before Easter on Holy Thursday, a day when most priests rededicate themselves to church service each year.
In recent months, reports of priests' sexual abuse with minors and the failure of their superiors to report the abuse to law enforcement authorities have stunned and hurt many dioceses in the United States. The Vatican has been slow to respond, with one Vatican spokesman blaming gay U.S. priests for the crisis.
Some Catholics hope the Paetz resignation will light a fire under the Vatican and motivate them to address the problem more vigorously.
"I think the perception among Vatican officials is that sexual abuse problems are peculiar to the American church," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry, which serves gay and lesbian Catholics. "Seeing someone at such a high level in the hierarchy in another country will convince the Vatican that this is a worldwide issue that needs addressing."
DeBernardo added that the current crisis may ultimately enlighten church leadership about gay priests and gay Catholics. "The Vatican's remarks about gay priests have been so uninformed and misguided, and that reveals how very little they know about the reality of gay lives," he told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network. "The problem of homosexuality in the church is a problem of church leaders' lack of information, not about the way gay people are living their lives."
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Lesbian mother may seek appeal in Alabama case

Speaking out for the first time, a mother who lost an Alabama child custody case because of her homosexuality said she is still deciding whether to go to the nation's highest court to try to get her children back. "Presuming that I am an unfit parent simply based on whom I choose to love is wrong," said Dawn Huber, 42, of Van Nuys, Calif., whose bid for custody of her three children was unanimously rejected in February by the Alabama supreme court.
Alabama chief justice Roy Moore has drawn protests and criticism from gay rights groups, clergy, and the city council in Birmingham, Ala., for his concurring legal opinion that homosexuality is "an inherent evil" and a criminal act that "is destructive to a basic building block of society--the family." "If a person openly engages in such a practice, that fact alone would render him or her an unfit parent," Moore wrote.
Huber appeared at a Los Angeles press conference with attorney Gloria Allred to denounce the ruling. "I am not a deviant, nor am I evil," she said. "I am the one who helped my children prepare for their first Holy Communions. I am the one the principal of their parochial school asked to serve as the secretary of the PTA." Huber hasn't decided whether to take on the expense of appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. That job would fall to her attorney in Alabama, not Los Angeles-based Allred, who sent a letter to President Bush urging him to preclude Moore from consideration for any federal judicial post. Allred also called on the California Republican Assembly, a grassroots GOP group, to withdraw its 1995 commendation of Moore. But CRA president and former state senator Dick Mountjoy said, "We wouldn't even think of it.... I believe that he's right in the decision. His moral values are what America's all about."
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Locke signs antibullying bill

With an enthusiastic crowd of schoolchildren, parents, educators, and lawmakers looking on, Washington governor Gary Locke signed a bill Wednesday mandating antibullying policies in the state's schools. The measure, a priority for Locke, state attorney general Christine Gregoire, and several lawmakers, was among more than 50 bills the governor signed into law.
"We can't legislate away bad behavior--it's a fact of life, particularly among young people," Locke said. "But we will do everything in our power to keep our kids physically and emotionally safe at school." Gregoire, especially, has pushed the bill as a way to combat school violence, citing federal statistics that indicate that two thirds of school shootings stem from a desire for revenge on bullies. "We will stop this kind of violence," Gregoire said. House Bill 1444 defines bullying as any written, verbal, or physical act that harms a student, damages a student's property, interferes with a student's education, creates an intimidating or threatening environment, or disrupts the orderly operation of a school. School districts will be required to adopt an antibullying policy by August 1, 2003. The superintendent of public instruction will create a model policy.
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Connecticut speaker supports gay rights bill

Connecticut house speaker Moira Lyons said Wednesday that she supports reviving legislation that would expand some rights for same-sex couples. A legislative committee approved a bill Monday that would have given gay couples some of the same rights as married couples in making medical and burial decisions for their partners. The bill also would have given gay partners visitation rights at hospitals and nursing homes. But the committee missed a filing deadline, which automatically killed the bill. Supporters want to revive it by attaching it as an amendment to another bill. Lyons said she would support the amendment. "As presented, I don't see why it would be really controversial," Lyons (D-Stamford) said. "These are basic things we give to all people." Republican governor John G. Rowland said Wednesday that lawmakers should concentrate on finding ways to close the budget gap--not on passing a bill on gay rights.

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Health Commission Told Not Enough Being Done For GLBT Patients

by Jack Siu
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(March 29, Toronto) The Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights in Ontario (CLGRO) has submitted a written brief to the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada, urging it to recognize and address the broad health and wellbeing issues faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgendered (LGBT) communities.
The Commission, headed by former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow, is currently on a cross-country tour holding public hearings and accepting written submissions, on how Canada's health care system can be improved.
CLGRO, which sponsored a four-year study on the health and social service needs of the LGBT communities in Ontario found that the health care system failed to adequately address the broader health care issues of these populations.
Despite wide spread data indicating high rates of suicide, addictions, mental health problems and stress within these communities, the study found that few resources are provided in terms of programming and funding. Mainstream programs tend to be ill informed and insensitive. Specialized programs are under funded, the report said..
Nick Mulé, a CLGRO spokesperson said, "Health Canada does not appear to recognize how homophobia and heterosexism has a direct and detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing. In fact, our communities are not recognized as a distinct population with specific health concerns as women, children, seniors, the disabled and Aboriginal populations are."
The CLGRO brief to the commission is urging that these communities are recognized in the health care system, reflected through policies, and that health care professionals be adequately trained. "There is an enormous amount of work to be done at all levels of the health care field to make it more accessible, equitable and sensitive to the health and wellbeing issues of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and transgendered communities" said Mulé. "Our health depends on a system we are paying into that is failing to respond."
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Colorado Bans Co-Parenting

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(March 29, Denver) The Colorado legislature have voted 36-28 to prohibit listing two women or two men as parents on birth certificates.
The legislation was written after to two Boulder judges' approval of 45 co-parenting cases.
"This piece of legislation deals with birthing," said Rep. Lynn Hefley, R-Colorado Springs. "It takes a man and it takes a woman to make a baby."
Besides outlawing birth certificates listing two parents of the same sex, HB1356 would bar "maternity suits" petitioning for same-sex maternity or paternity if the birth mother or birth father is known.
Rep. Jennifer Veiga, led Democratic opposition to the bill in the House.
"The intent of the law is not to draw legal conclusions about who the biological parents are, but to provide for the child's protection," Veiga said, supporting the Boulder judges' interpretation of Colorado's Uniform Parentage Act. "Between 6 million and 14 million children are being raised by gay parents," Veiga said. "Gays and lesbians are going to continue to have children and raise families."
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Lawmaker's office a bully pulpit for opposition to gay adoptions

By JULIE HAUSERMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 29, 2002
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida state Rep. Randy Ball sent out a letter on his House stationery Thursday that featured a religious diatribe against homosexuals -- part of his increasingly public defense of a state law that prevents gay people from adopting children.
A Brevard County Republican, Ball condemned gay adoption this month on the Fox network show The O'Reilly Factor and on ABC's Primetime, where talk show host Rosie O'Donnell talked about her life as a gay parent.
Ball's letter, sent to Florida newspapers, said a "transcendent God" oversees the world and "condemns homosexuality as an abomination."
"Yes," the legislator wrote, "homosexuals lead very unstable lives as a rule."
On March 15, Ball also sent out a series of e-mails on his state computer, invoking Jesus Christ and condemning the idea of gay adoption as "dangerous."
There's no rule preventing state lawmakers from using their official stationery or computers to spread religious messages, but most don't do it, to avoid offending people of other faiths.
Ball defended using House stationery and computers to spread his religious message.
"It's a policy issue," Ball said in an interview. "It's a policy issue of whether we do or do not have a ban on gay adoptions, and my rationale is religiously based. Engagement in politics does not require me to be a hypocrite and leave my religious values at home."
Ball said he sent his letter to the press Thursday in order to get his message out for Easter.
"There's so much interest in this," Ball said. "This is a theological matter. This gives me a chance to get the truth out, uncut. This country runs and operates on the Judeo-Christian ethic that comes from the Bible."
Florida's ban on gay adoptions, the only one like it in the nation, was passed by the Legislature in 1977. Anti-gay crusader Anita Bryant was its most famous supporter. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit.
Despite O'Donnell's national crusade on the issue, few sitting legislators have been vocal about it. Primetime host Diane Sawyer told viewers ABC called 24 Florida lawmakers for comment, and only one would talk: Ball.
"When you see some of what he's saying, it's surprising to see this go out on state letterhead," said Eric Ferrero, who is organizing opposition to Florida's law for the ACLU. "He gets to believe whatever he wants and we would fight for his right to his beliefs. We just don't think you get to base state law on your disdain for gay people."
Since that show earlier this month, Ball has appeared on other television and radio shows. On The O'Reilly Factor on March 15, Ball said he was speaking "for most of Florida's legislators" when he said it would be a "safer decision" to leave a child in foster care than to let him be adopted by a gay couple.
"I'm stunned," host Bill O'Reilly responded. "I can't believe, again, that you'd say "Keep them in foster care and deny them a stable home run by gays.' It just seems cruel to me to do that. . . . What you're doing, Mr. Ball, is you're tarring a whole group because you don't like their conduct. That's wrong."
Ball said Thursday that O'Reilly was off-base.
"He suggests that we could put kids in a -- quote -- stable homosexual home. The flaw in his argument is that it's extremely difficult to find a stable homosexual home."
Ball, a former Marine and former sheriff's detective, graduated from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, a Virginia school founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell.
Because of the state's term limits law, Ball will leave office this fall. He said he plans to run again when a new Senate seat or congressional district opens up.
Activists fighting Florida's law say they plan to bring the issue up at the Legislature next spring. -- Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.
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AIDS rate in Miami highest in nation

BY ANDREA ROBINSON
The Miami Herald
South Florida AIDS service providers, already stung by decreases in funding and donations, are facing higher caseloads as the Miami metropolitan area finds itself in the unenviable position of having the highest rate of the disease in the nation.
The Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach metropolitan areas also placed in the top five of U.S. cities with the highest rates of AIDS per 100,000 people -- in third and fourth place respectively.
''This is a serious problem we're having now. Everyone who deals with HIV/AIDS in our community knows this,'' said Dr. Michael Kolber, director of adult HIV services for the University of Miami School of Medicine.
A recent report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows the Miami area has the nation's highest AIDS rate -- about 60 per 100,000 people as of last June.
Nationally, overall rates of new AIDS cases have decreased. That was the trend in the Fort Lauderdale area, where the rate dropped from about 57 per 100,000 to about 48, and the West Palm Beach area, where it decreased from 50 to 44.
However, Miami's rate increased last year -- from about 58 to about 60 -- reversing five consecutive years of declines.
Rounding out the top five in the report released in late February are New York, second; and Baltimore, Md., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, tied for fifth.
Tom Liberti, chief of the HIV/AIDS bureau for the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee, said one reason the South Florida rates are so high is that aggressive outreach and testing of more than 500,000 Floridians over the last two years identified more people who previously had not been tested for AIDS and HIV, the virus that causes the disease.
Among the places health officials and community groups visited for tests were jails, substance-abuse facilities, clinics, pharmacies, parks, mobile vans, prisons, detention centers and maternity clinics.
''Any place where we thought there was a good facility to offer a test, we worked to get it done,'' Liberti said.
Evelyn Ullah, director of Miami-Dade's HIV/AIDS office, said that as outreach efforts continue, the number of cases will increase.
But she and other experts said the better reporting is not the sole cause of the increased rate in Miami. ''We still have individuals practicing unsafe sex behaviors,'' she said.
Dr. Margaret Fischl of the University of Miami, a leading researcher in HIV/AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic, said Miami tends to be a barometer of what will happen in the rest of the country. The figures, she said, are cause for concern.
''It tells me that people are still doing or practicing sexual behaviors or drug and substance abuse that put them at risk,'' Fischl said.
``Miami's epidemic continues to occur, and we have no indication that it's slowing down in this area. None.''
She added that people still tend not to access testing for early detection. When a person finally is tested, the diagnosis is more likely to be AIDS, not HIV.
LESS MONEY
The increased rate comes as local AIDS agencies find themselves with less money to spend.
Already this year, state legislators have cut $5 million from the Medicaid Project AIDS Care Waiver program. Another $5 million may be cut later this year.
So far, the program has eliminated funding for about a dozen services, including physical and respirator therapy, substance-abuse treatment and home-care services. Funding for other services was reduced.
Manuel Laureano-Vega, executive director of the League Against AIDS, said he has had to lay off three workers -- half of his case management staff. Remaining employees saw their caseloads rise by 25 clients each, and everyone took a 16 percent payroll cut.
How are they getting by doing more with less?
''Everyone's asking themselves that question,'' he said.
TALLAHASSEE TRIP
Earlier this month, he and other AIDS advocates and patients went to Tallahassee in an effort to get the funding restored. He's hopeful that it will happen during next week's special legislative session.
David Trussell, spokesman for People With AIDS Coalition in Miami, said the organization was already feeling the pinch from higher caseloads. PWAC doesn't receive state or federal funding and relies solely on private donations. He said those donations have dried up since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
SERVICES CUT
He said the agency will have to cut transportation and clothing-assistance services to its 1,700 clients.
``With the cuts [at other agencies], people are coming to us. We get people who other agencies can't help, but we need cash to survive.''
One of PWAC's clients, Bobby Hamilton of Miami, said the organization's demise would be unfortunate.
''People living with HIV and AIDS are able to function and have normal lives. They can work,'' he said. ``This is going to hurt a lot of people.'' © 2001 miamiherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. www.miami.com
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The Space Coast Eagle, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
GLBT NEWZ archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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Thursday, March 28, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 03/28/02 Information is power!

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

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Legendary 'Mr. Television' dies at 93

By Hal Boedeker
Sentinel Television Critic
March 28, 2002
Milton Berle, television's first superstar and the comedian fondly known to millions as "Uncle Miltie," died Wednesday after a long illness.
Berle, who was 93, had been diagnosed with colon cancer last year. He died at his Los Angeles home with wife Lorna and several family members beside him.
The performer also known as "Mr. Television" might not be as well known to younger viewers as Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason or Dick Van Dyke, but he paved the way for them and every other star of the small screen.
"He's the reason people are watching today, and I'm sure he would agree," said actress Arlene Dahl, who knew him for decades. "He never had an ego problem."
Dahl described Berle as nice, genial, into his own persona -- he was no different from the man viewers saw on television.
"He was always trying out gags on the people around him," she said. "Anybody and everybody was his audience."
"From the first days of my career, he was one of my comedic heroes," said comedian Don Rickles. "He was always a great mentor. His style of comedy will never be replaced."
Berle's place in television history is secure, said Tim Brooks, co-author of The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows.
"It is hard to overstate how important he was at the very inception of television in America," Brooks said. "He brought a lot of Americans to television."
Through his visual, slapstick act on Texaco Star Theater, Berle was critical in helping television differentiate itself from radio.
"The sight of this middle-aged man prancing around in women's clothes or dressed in a barrel after paying his taxes perfectly emphasized the visual aspect of the new medium," Brooks said.
Berle's Tuesday-night variety show ran on NBC from 1948 to 1956. It was the No. 1 show in the 1950-51 season and remained in the Top 10 through 1954. Berle won an Emmy as "Most Outstanding Kinescope Personality" in 1950, the second year of the awards.
"When I started out with the Texaco series in 1948, television was brand new, and I knew as much about it as anybody else," Berle once said. "I was in charge of everything because I wanted to be. . . . We didn't have any experts in 1948."
Later efforts at variety series, in 1958 on NBC and in 1966 on ABC, failed quickly.
But Berle was a popular guest star for decades on such programs as The Hollywood Palace and The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
He was born Mendel Berlinger in New York. When he was 5 years old, he won a contest with a Charlie Chaplin impersonation. He appeared in silent movies with Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Marie Dressler.
He learned the vaudeville ropes by studying Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson and others. "I have eight or 10 press books of bad notices from those years, but it was a good education in learning what not to do," he said in 1984.
Berle was notorious for stealing jokes and was called the "Thief of Bad Gags." He had an acerbic, take-no-prisoners comedy style.
He was a headliner with the Ziegfeld Follies. He made appearances in many films, the most memorable being It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World in 1963.
His other films included Always Leave Them Laughing (1949), Let's Make Love (1990), The Loved One (1965), The Oscar (1966), Who's Minding the Mint? (1967) and Broadway Danny Rose (1984).
His impact on television was his most profound contribution to the culture. "He did for the television set what Caruso had done for the phonograph: one look, one listen, and you had to have one," The New York Times said in 1990.
In 1984, Berle was one of the first seven inductees into the TV Hall of Fame of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Publicist Ted Faraone recalled watching Berle prepare to receive a lifetime achievement award from the television academy in New York in 1995.
"Berle walked into rehearsal, looked at the blocking and completely redirected the show," Faraone said.
"It was amazing and totally, totally shocking to those of us who hadn't worked with Berle. He was brilliant and he knew it, and you couldn't argue with him. If Berle came in and changed something, it was going to be better."
Longtime friend Dahl was standing in the wings when Berle received the lifetime achievement award.
"I heard him say, 'It's about time,' " she said. "Everybody loved it. He knew how to keep an audience in the palm of his hand."
Berle was married four times. He twice divorced showgirl Joyce Matthews; together they adopted a daughter, Vicki. He married press agent Ruth Cosgrove in 1953, with whom he adopted a son, Bill. Cosgrove died in 1989. In 1991, Berle married fashion designer Lorna Adams.
When NBC celebrates its 75th anniversary in May, it's a certainty that Berle will be mentioned. You can't talk about NBC or the history of television without talking about Berle.
Wire services were used in this report. Hal Boedeker can be reached at hboedeker@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5756. Copyright © 2002, Orlando Sentinel
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Gay fraud suspect may be in Washington

Ari Bendersky, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Wednesday, March 27, 2002 / 04:31 PM
SUMMARY: Patric Henn, a Florida gay man suspected of bilking Sept. 11 charities, has been traveling and is believed to be in Washington, D.C.
Patric Henn, a Florida gay man suspected of bilking charities out of thousands of dollars after claiming he lost his life partner in the Sept. 11 attacks, has been traveling across the country and is believed to be in Washington, D.C.
On March 20, Henn was spotted in Littleton, Colo., outside of Denver, where he made connection with a man, Andrew Tweedie, in an AOL chat room. The day after having dinner with Henn, Tweedie read a news story on PlanetOut.com about Henn's suspected fraud and contacted The Express, a gay newspaper in South Florida that has been tracking the story on Henn.
According to The Express, a note stuck to a calendar hanging in Henn's Fort Lauderdale, Fla., apartment read: "March 25: move to Washington, D.C." Recent posts in a Denver AOL chat room showed Henn, using the moniker DCBoy4now, was looking to meet guys in the Washington area.
Express Publisher Norm Kent said Henn's friends in Colorado have reported hearing him say last week he was leaving Colorado for Washington, where he was born.
Authorities suggest men in the Washington area who frequent M4M chat rooms on AOL should be on the alert for Henn, who is wanted by the police for allegedly defrauding the Red Cross, Safe Horizon and the Empire State Pride Agenda out of nearly $30,000.
Henn is being investigated by the New York Police Department, which did not return repeated calls, as well as by the Red Cross. The agency would not comment on this particular investigation, saying only that they're cooperating with the authorities and are concerned with retrieving the money that was in essence stolen from them, according to Mitch Hibbs, a Red Cross spokesman for disaster public affairs.
Anyone who speaks with Henn or comes into contact with him is encouraged to call authorities with any information.
People familiar with the case say Henn will try to win people's affection by relaying a story that his lover died when the World Trade Center was hit. He tries to convince others that he is well-off but has lost his wallet or has money tied up. He'll try to scam strangers into "loaning" him money, explaining that he is about to come into some funds but needs help to tide him over for a short time, according to Kent.
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Colorado takes on gay parents

Same-sex couples in Colorado have sought court approval to list both their names on their children's birth certificates in an attempt to bypass the state legislature, supporters of a bill to ban the practice argued Tuesday. Proponents of House Bill 1356, which gained initial house approval, criticized as "black-robed despots" two judges in Boulder County who had ordered the state health department to issue about 45 birth certificates listing both members of same-sex couples as parents.
In most of the cases, one of the women in a same-sex couple became pregnant through artificial insemination, and her partner asked a judge to invoke a rarely used provision of law to establish maternity. The move was necessary to ensure such children their rights of inheritance and access to health insurance, Social Security, and other benefits, opponents of the bill to ban such double listing argued. They also said double listing is necessary to avoid children's being placed in foster care if the biological mother dies.
Rep. Mark Paschall (R-Arvada) called the judges "black-robed despots" whose actions threaten the American form of government. "It is simply the advocates' step-by-step building block to change society through the courts rather than through the legislative process," said Rep. Shawn Mitchell (R-Broomfield). "This is a quirk in the law being seized upon by activist judges who want to change policy." The bill, sponsored by Rep. Pam Rhodes (R-Thornton), was scheduled for a final house vote Wednesday. Opponents argued that the bill is an attack on gay men and lesbians that would hurt children of committed couples. "The Boulder courts are trying to adapt to a situation that we in the legislature have failed to recognize," said Rep. Jennifer Veiga (D-Denver). "In doing this, we're not going to change what's happening in the homosexual community. All we'd be doing is harming the child in a two-parent family."
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Convicted Teena murderer says DNA would prove his innocence

Nebraska death-row inmate John Lotter claims that DNA tests would prove he did not kill Brandon Teena, whose murder inspired the movie Boys Don't Cry. Lotter claims that his friend, Marvin Nissen, actually murdered Teena and two witnesses in a farmhouse outside Humboldt, Neb., on New Year's Eve 1993.
Lotter's attorney, Jerry Soucie of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy, asked Richardson County district judge Daniel Bryan on Tuesday to order DNA testing on gloves that Nissen wore the night of the murders. "I want to determine if there is blood from all three victims on his gloves, which would contradict his version of the events," Soucie said. Nissen alleged that he stabbed Teena but that it was Lotter who shot him and witnesses Lisa Lambert, 24, and Philip DeVine, 22. Lotter claims Nissen did the shooting. Prosecutors said Teena, a 21-year-old transgendered male, was killed because he accused the men of raping him after they learned he was a biological woman. Nissen, in a deal with prosecutors, testified against Lotter and was sentenced to life in prison. Lotter received three death sentences. Prosecutors say that Lotter should have asked for DNA testing during his 1995 trial. But Soucie argues that the type of DNA testing he wants was not available at the time and that DNA tests weren't deemed legal evidence in Nebraska until 1997.
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Mabon to be released for five days

A Multnomah County, Ore., judge has agreed to release anti-gay rights activist Lon Mabon for five days so he can testify in a deposition in a civil trial against him. Mabon will be released April 3, his attorney Frank Patrick said Tuesday. Mabon must return to jail April 8 on a contempt-of-court charge for refusing to cooperate in another civil filing against him. Mabon has refused to pay a $30,000 judgment against him and his anti-gay rights organization Oregon Citizens Alliance. He has said the group does not have the money to pay Catherine Stauffer, a gay rights activist who won a lawsuit against Mabon in 1992. Mabon has been in jail since February 20, when Multnomah County judge Ronald Cinniger found him in contempt for his refusal to appear at a debtor's hearing to determine whether he could pay. Mabon's release next month is being allowed so that he can testify in a second lawsuit filed by Stauffer, accusing Mabon of fraud for his refusal to pay the judgment, Patrick said.

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Robert De Niro talks up new Queen musical

Robert De Niro flew from New York to London Tuesday to talk up We Will Rock You, a new musical coproduced by De Niro's Tribeca Productions that will feature the music of British rock band Queen, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show opens May 14 in London with a book by British comedian Ben Elton, who also recently wrote lyrics and dialogue for another upcoming musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Beautiful Game. We Will Rock You is set in a future civilization where everyone watches the same movies, wears the same clothes, listens to the same computerized music, and where musical instruments are banned. Queen drummer Roger Taylor, who appeared at the press conference alongside De Niro and Elton, said that the late Freddie Mercury, the group's gay lead singer, would have been pleased by the new production. "Freddie would have loved it," Taylor said. "He was a very theatrical character."

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Study Says Cocaine Hastens Production of HIV

Wednesday, 27 March 2002
LOS ANGELES, Ca. -- A new study released by the UCLA AIDS Institute suggests that cocaine use may dramatically accelerate the spread of HIV in the body of infected individuals.
"Cocaine not only influences risky behaviors," said Dr. Gayle Baldwin, associate professor of hematology-oncology and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute. "It also has a direct and profound effect on the AIDS virus." The findings of the researchers are reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
The experiment used mice specially bred without immune systems. Baldwin's team inoculated the animals with human cells, then infected the cells with HIV. Four days following infection, the researchers gave half of the mice daily injections of liquid cocaine. The rest of the mice received a saline placebo.
After 10 days, the UCLA team measured the level of HIV in the blood. "We saw a 200-fold increase in AIDS viral load of the animals injected with cocaine compared to those that received the placebo," said Baldwin. "In only two weeks, the drug radically stimulated the production and spread of HIV."
The mice exposed to cocaine possessed more than double the number of HIV-infected cells than the mice injected with saline.
Baldwin's team also saw a significant nine-fold drop in CD4 T-cells -- the immune cells that HIV targets to destroy the immune system -- in the cocaine-exposed mice. "The cocaine increased HIV's efficiency so dramatically that it nearly wiped out the CD4 T-cells," observed Baldwin. "We found nine times fewer CD4 T-cells in the cocaine-treated mice than in the animals that received the placebo."
"This means that the cocaine produced a spectacular double outcome," she added. "Not only did the drug double the number of HIV-infected cells -- it produced a nine-fold plunge in the number of T-cells that fight off the virus." Baldwin proposes that the mouse model provides a practical method for examining other factors that may influence how the AIDS virus affects the body, such as diet, alcohol and other illegal drugs in common usage.
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Prom Ban Student Overwhelmed By Support

by Jan Prout
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(March 28, Toronto) Marc Hall says he is overwhelmed by the support he has received in his fight to bring his boyfriend to the Senior Prom.
The 18 year old student was told by the principal of Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School that condoning a same-sex date for the prom would contravene Catholic teachings on homosexuality and "school policies.''
Gay rights groups, PFLAG, and the giant Canadian Autoworkers Union have thrown their support behind the teenager, and on Wednesday, Ontario Liberal Dalton McGuinty issued a public appeal to the Durham Catholic School Board to reconsider.
"By refusing to allow him to attend the prom with his companion, Marc Hall is being denied some of his most basic rights as a human being and as a Canadian. There is nothing more basic than having the right to choose one's companions. In Marc's case, I cannot understand how the decision to invite his boyfriend to his high school prom poses a threat to Catholic education, " McGuinty said.
The suburban Toronto school board is not getting any support from other Catholic boards in the area. Toronto, Ottawa, and Clarington Separate School Boards have all dealt with the issue in the past and allowed gays and lesbians to bring dates of their choosing to proms.
George Smitherman, the Member of the Legislature who represents the downtown Toronto area which includes the Gay Village, told 365Gay.com he is impressed with Hall.
"This is just a nice kid, and all he wants to do is bring his boyfriend to the school dance." Smitherman said.
The gay MPP met with the teen and his parents on the weekend.
"What struck me about Marc was that he had never been to Pride, he has never been to the Village. This kid has no agenda, and he isn't interested in making gay history. He just wants to go to the prom with the most important person in his life right now. Period."
Smitherman said he was also impressed with Marc's parents.
"They have infused strong values in their son," Smitherman said. "This is one very courageous young man, and he is fortunate to have such a supportive family."
Hall will be at the school board's next meeting, April 8. The board has not said if it will hear his case, but he says if the board continues to hold out, he's prepared to go to court.
Marc says he's prepared for a fight if that is necessary, but he says he wants the issue resolved so he can go back to being a normal kid. Marc Hall website: http://geocities.com/rights_and_freedoms/
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Delaware Rights Bill Stalls In Senate

Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter in Washington
(March 28, Washington) A bill that would provide gays and lesbians civil rights has been pulled in the Delaware Senate.
The bill, authored by Rep. William B. Oberle, R-Newark, was intended to "prohibit discrimination against persons on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations and insurance."
It passed the House of Representatives in March 2001 by a 21-20 vote.
But, Christian groups throughout the state pressured the Senate, claiming the law would undermine traditional family values by forcing Delawareans to accept what they consider an unhealthy and immoral lifestyle.
Thursday, Sen. Robert L. Venables Sr., D-Laurel, who opposes the bill, announced he would not be send the legislation to the Senate floor for a full vote.
Venables said his Small Business Committee had discovered "myriad" problems the bill would cause that had not been considered when the House approved the bill. Venables said laws passed since the House vote would "materially alter" the bill's impact on small businesses in the state.
Dennis Crowley of Gay Delaware called Venables' statement "outrageous."
Crowley said, "was totally endorsed by the Delaware Bar Association and met muster." "He's just trying to come up with an excuse not to bring it to the Senate floor."
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College Rights Gay Wrong

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(March 28, Boston) Forty years ago Smith College fired three gay professors who were caught up in a gay sex scandal in which they were later exonerated.
Now, the prestigious college in Northampton, Mass is making amends.
Smith is honouring the men with a scholarship and a programme on civil liberties.
Smith did not renew its contracts with Edward Spofford and Joel Dorius after they were convicted in 1960 for possessing pornography. A third professor, the only one with tenure, Newton Arvin, was allowed to retire after his conviction on the same charge. All three were exonerated by the state's highest court by 1963, the year Arvin died.
"If they gave me money, that would be nifty," said Edward Spofford, one of the professors. "But if they did that or gave us a formal apology, they might be compromising their position if we ever wanted to sue them. I'm sure they don't want to admit any wrongdoing."
Smith's board of trustees instead has voted to create the Dorius/Spofford Fund for the Study of Civil Liberties and Freedom of Expression, a $100,000 fund that will pay for lectures, research and programs on civil liberties.
The board also created the Newton Arvin Prize in American Studies, a $500 annual scholarship.
Despite appeals from faculty and community members, the board did not issue a formal apology.
"Many of my colleagues were interested in an apology or expression of regret," said Jefferson Hunter, chairman of the faculty council. "The reason the board gave us was that it wouldn't be right to apologize because no one could know what really happened 40 years ago." Smith spokeswoman Laurie Fenlason said the board's action was prompted by "The Scarlet Professor," a book by Northampton author Barry Werth about the professors' dismissal. When the book was published last year, Werth proposed that the college apologize.
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Stole $1.2M To Fund Sex Change

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter in London
(March 28, London) A pre-op transgendered woman has been sent to prison after stealing $1.2 million to finance her sex change operation.
Kevin Stewart, a marketing manager for the supermarket chain Somerfield, pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, and was sentenced to three years in prison..
His co-defendant, Olwen Brock, who ran a store for the transgendered and was charged with helping Steward open fake bank accounts to store money was sentenced to two years behind bars.
The court heard that Stewart had not told his wife he was seeking sex reassignment, and set up the phoney accounts so she would not find out.
He embezzled and defrauded the company in small amounts over a period of time. Half of the money went to Brock for her help in the scheme. She used it to buy a Mercedes sports car, her son's education and travel to the United States.
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Internet Filters Do More Harm Than Good

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(March 28, Philadelphia) A court case challenging the constitutionality of a federal law that would require libraries to install internet filtering devices has been told they would do more harm than good.
"My conclusion after reviewing 40 studies is that filters are systemically flawed," said Christopher Hunter, a communications doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania who did research for libraries, library patrons and website operators that are suing to block the legislation.
Hunter estimated software filters blocked benign websites 21 percent of the time while successfully stopping objectionable material 69 percent of the time.
He said many of the benign sites were GLBT information and news sites, such as this one, and sites run by gay civil rights advocates.
The federal legislation aims to shield children from Internet pornography but a teenager from Portland testified the law would harm young people who need information about sexuality and health issues but cannot confide in adults.
Emmalyn Rood, a 16-year-old who is a freshman at a Massachusetts college, said public library computers were her lifeline when she was getting advice on coming out.
The name of the law, the Children's Internet Protection Act, "is ironic because it's really something that's so detrimental to many teen-agers," she said during the second day of a trial on the legislation's constitutionality.
"I had a computer at home but I went to the library because it was the only place I had privacy - and for people who don't have computers at home, the library is the only place they can go," Rood said. "If this law was in effect, I wouldn't have had access to that at all."
Stanford University linguist Geoffrey Nunberg testified that the crude mathematical methods used to operate filtering software were no match for human judgment.
"These are problems that ... can't be overcome," said Nunberg, an expert in automated classification systems.
He said that even if filtering software were more than 90 percent accurate at stopping material deemed harmful to minors, the number of innocuous websites blocked would still be enormous given the breadth of the Internet.
Under the law being contested in U.S. District Court, any library that receives federal technology funding must have "a policy of Internet safety for minors that includes" protection against "visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors."
"Is there any way a library can honestly certify it is complying with the statute without over-blocking?" asked U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III. "No," Nunberg replied.
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Magazine Probes Jodie Foster On Her Sexuality

In an interview with Marie-Claire magazine, actress Jodie Foster was questioned about her sexuality - but she was giving little away about her private life.
She was asked if she was annoyed with the American feminist movements for saying she was gay. "They can talk, but I don't have anything to approve or anything to contradict," she said
Dissatisifed with the answer the interviewer went on to ask her if she thought she played a liberating role for gay women who do not live a full life. "Possible"she said. Jodie Foster said that for the moment she was not thinking of having a third child.
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Italy To Allow Liver Transplants In HIV Patients

Italy is to allow liver transplants for HIV patients after the AIDS Commission and National Transplant Centre overturned a ban it said was discriminatory against people with the virus.
The country's health ministry said that some details still remain to be firmed up, such as criteria by which HIV patients will be added to a transplant list.
"Finally, the anachronistic barriers that prevented HIV patients to access liver transplants have fallen," Angelo Magrini, president of Associazione Politrasfusi Italiani, a group representing multiple transfusion recipients, told Reuters Health.
"Until now, these patients have been discriminated, as they were barred from transplants in favour of 'common patients' who would have a longer life expectancy, theoretically."
Dr. Ignazio Marino, director of Palermo's Mediterranean Transplants Institute, welcomed the new ruling. "Such transplants have given positive results in the US in these years. Now we hope that the ministry will also authorise kidney transplantations in HIV patients," he told the daily Il Giornale di Sicilia.
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UK's First 24 Hour Gay Radio Station To Relaunch

The UK's first 24 hour gay radio station, LBH, is to relaunch with a new name and focus.
The station will relaunch as 'The Scene' at noon on April 1. It will be available on Sky Digital channel 889 and online at www.thesceneradio.co.uk . The station will focus on the UK's gay nightlife and feature regular live broadcasts and interviews from gay nightclubs.
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Tennant Happy at Outing Timing

March 27, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
PET SHOP BOYS star NEIL TENNANT was happy to come out as a homosexual in 1994 rather than earlier.
The outspoken GO WEST singer believes he chose the perfect time for 'outing' himself - any earlier would have affected his pop star status, as it would do for many of today's pop acts.
He says, "I'm very ambivalent about the coming out issue, because in the '80s when we were big pop stars, I always thought it was more interesting that people were speculating about us.
"I still think that's apart of being a pop star - you speculate about whether one of S CLUB 7 is gay.
"But by 1994 I was 40 and I was in a relationship. It seemed churlish not to say you were gay if you're being interviewed for the cover of a gay magazine." (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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Gay Clubbers Back Paddick

In a surprise move by one of London's most successful club promoters, Patrick Lilley from Queer Nation, an email campaign was launched in support of Commander Brian Paddick.
Commander Brian Paddick was moved to lower profile duties at Scotland Yard after a former lover, James Renolleau, made allegations that Paddick smoked cannabis and allowed the drug to be kept at his home.
Britain's highest-ranking openly gay police chief, introduced a softly-softly approach to drug use in Lambeth, which was recently branded a success by his colleagues and local residents. Initial findings by the Met's internal evaluation into the Lambeth cannabis warning scheme, has shown that officers' time saved in completing arrest formalities and the preparation of court case papers can be put to more crime-fighting use.
Mr Paddick`s claims that recreational drug use was not a priority saw the commander rebuked by senior Police Chiefs, but was also welcomed by clubbers and promoters in the London Borough of Lambeth, where many popular lesbian and gay clubs are based.
Lilley decided to start the campaign after conversations with staff and customers at his club, Queer Nation. "Many of Queer Nation`s customer`s live, work and play in Brixton/Lambeth area. I want the police in Lambeth and across London to concentrate on hard drugs dealers not individuals who possess small quantities of cannabis. It`s a waste of police time." Lilley explained.
The Bring Back Brian Paddick /Queer Nation Grass Roots Campaign asks supporters to email the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office, urging them to re-instate Brian Paddick to duty in Lambeth. It also condemns the homophobic witch-hunt against Commander Paddick conducted by sordid cheque book journalism resulting in destroying Paddick's reputation.
Those that want to participate in the campaign can write to commissioner@met.police.uk and
public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk and are asked to send a copy to bringbackbrianpaddick@QueerNation.org, in order for the results to be monitored.
An online petition will also be available on the www.QueerNation.org website . And from this Saturday, Queer Nation will also have a hard copy for people to sign at the club, so those without email can show their support too.
Lilley hopes that more gay club promoters will join the campaign and said that it may be time for promoters to put on hold any of their differences and support this Grass Roots campaign. " I am Brixton based gay businessman I think we should all support the highest ranking out gay officer in the Met against the Daily Mail / EveningStandard / The Sun witch hunt. Paddick`s policy is just common sense." © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.
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Don't Suffer In Silence

Calls from the Metropolitan Police Service officers in the City of Westminster to help us wipe out hate crime went answered at G-A-Y, last Friday night.
Officers from Westminster's dedicated Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Liaison Team held a roadshow at G-A-Y in a bid to encourage the reporting of hate crime and give advice about personal safety.
DCJ Adrian Hanstock, head of Westminster's Community safety Unit, said: "I was overwhelmed by the response we got from the crowds at G-A-Y. Everyone appeared happy to see us there and we were able to give crime prevention advice, offer information and even provide career advice to potential recruits!"
"Officers must have marked over 300 mobile phones through the course of the night, which is all part of the Met wide Safer Streets operation.
"I will continue to urge people to keep talking to us, if you tell us about hate crime we can work to stamp it out. The police will not tolerate abuse or harassment because of sexuality or skin colour and neither should you."
Following on from information given to police we are appealing for anyone who has been a victim of, or has witnessed what is thought to be a series of street robberies.
It is believed that three men are primarily targeting men who are leaving the Old Compton Street, SW1, area of Soho, in the early hour of the morning, perhaps on their way home from a night out.
The only description at this stage is that the suspects are three black males, all aged in their twenties.
If you know anything about these robberies please call police on the LGBT Help Line on 020 7321 8788, or call Crimestoppers anonymously.
DCI Hanstock added: "If anyone does know anything about these street robberies please get straight in touch with us. Even what seems like the most insignificant of information can be vitally important to us.
"Please take some simple precautions and keep safe:
a.. Plan your route home
b.. Keep in a group if possible
c.. Get your mobile phone or other property marked
d.. Keep your mobile phone out of sight when you're no using it
e.. If you are victim of crime get in touch with us - please do report it to police."
The next police roadshow will be held at Heaven, Villiers Street, SW1, on Saturday 6 April. © 1999, 2001 Rainbow Network. All Rights Reserved. Partnered with New Media Spark.
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U.K.: Young Thugs' Gay Hate Attack

Newsquest (Brighton & Hove) Ltd
3/27/2002
BRIGHTON, ENGLAND -- Graham Munday's nose was broken in the onslaught
A gang of boys as young as 12 left Graham Munday bruised and bleeding in the street -- just because he is gay.
About a dozen young drinkers, none aged more than 15, shouted homophobic insults before punching and kicking their victim.
Mr Munday, 32, was knocked to the ground during the onslaught. As he lay on the pavement they hurled bottles and drink cans at him before runnning off.
Mr Munday suffered a broken nose, black eyes and cuts.
Covered in blood, he staggered to a house where the occupier helped him and raised the alarm.
The attack happened in Ashton Rise, a short distance from Brighton police station in John Street.
Mr Munday was walking with his partner Jeff Hall, 33, who suffered a cut to his face but managed to escape serious injury.
Officers searched the area but there was no trace of the attackers.
Mr Munday, who is recovering at his Brighton home after treatment at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, said: "It was a very shocking experience and the first time I have suffered homophobic violence.
"I have been in Brighton for 15 years and never had any trouble before."
Mr Munday said the attackers were young but there were so many of them he was unable to defend himself.
He said: "It's shocking they were so young. I think better education at school is needed."
Mr Munday praised the homeowner in Ivory Place who helped him and two women police officers investigating the attack.
He added: "There was a feeling in this city at one time that if you were gay it was no good phoning the police.
"That has definitely changed. They were helpful, sympathetic and understanding and I would encourage all other victims to contact them."
Inspector Julie Wakeford of Brighton police said: "This was a particularly vicious assault on innocent members of the public and we urgently need to speak to witnesses."
Detective Chief Inspector Martin Cheesman, head of Brighton CID, said he was disturbed by the offence and the age of the attackers.
A full investigation has been launched and Mr Cheesman urged any other victims of homophobic crimes to come forward.
He added: "At one time we would receive letters of complaint from victims.
"Now we are receiving letters of appreciation and I hope this demonstrates how seriously we take such offences and how sympathetic we are to victims."
Anyone with information about the Ashton Rise attack at 9.30pm on Friday is asked to contact Brighton police on 0845 6070999. Copyright © 2002 Newsquest Media Group - A Gannett Company
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The Space Coast Eagle, Cocoa Beach, Fl. www.saloonmen.com
GLBT NEWZ archives www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
Our e-mail is cyberqueer@hotmail.com
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Wednesday, March 27, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 03/27/02 Information is power!

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

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Exodus moves headquarters to Florida

Ann Rostow, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Tuesday, March 26, 2002 / 03:44 PM
SUMMARY: Exodus International, the "ex-gay" ministry, has moved its U.S. headquarters from Seattle to Winter Park, Fla., as of mid-March.
Exodus International, the "ex-gay" ministry, has moved its U.S. headquarters from Seattle to Winter Park (an Orlando, Fla., suburb), as of mid-March.
The move was decided, in part, by the organization's new executive director, Alan Chambers, who took over the top job last October after running an Exodus-type operation in Orlando. According to the Associated Press, Chambers wanted to be back in Florida, and the move made sense financially. Florida's tax laws favor religious organizations, and Florida is also home to several other conservative church groups.
Florida, a gay rights battleground, is the scene of a number of major lawsuits and political campaigns. The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the state law prohibiting adoptions by any gay man or lesbian, whether single or attached. Last fall, a federal judge granted summary judgment on all counts to the state of Florida, but with Rosie O'Donnell leading the public charge, the ACLU has appealed that ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Jacksonville is the home of grocery chain Winn-Dixie, which faces its own ACLU challenge for firing truck driver Peter Oiler, a married heterosexual who cross-dressed on his off hours. Last December, one of the leaders of the fight against Winn-Dixie, transsexual Terrianne Summers, 51, was shot in the back of the head in her driveway in an (unsolved) crime that may well be related to her activism.
Gay rights legislation is under fire in Miami-Dade county, where a referendum to repeal the county anti-discrimination ordinance reached the ballot under a cloud of suspicion, and it will be decided on September's primary day. Save Dade has challenged the petition process in court, and a separate fraud investigation was recently reassigned to a different (conservative) county by Gov. Jeb Bush.
Meanwhile, Orlando itself is preparing to debate expanding the city discrimination ordinance to cover sexual orientation, and Broward County narrowly missed seeing its own gay rights law subjected to a public vote, when a petition drive came up short several months ago.
Exodus has now moved into the thick of things, but Chambers told the Associated Press that the group won't be actively involved in political or legal battles, and that the choice of location was based on other factors. Founded in 1976, Exodus has over 100 chapters in North America, devoted to the idea of "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ," and committed to the underlying notions that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is a sin, and anti-Christian.
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Lawmakers back gay bill, miss deadline

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Tuesday, March 26, 2002 / 03:51 PM
SUMMARY: A Connecticut state legislative panel voted to support limited legal rights for same-sex couples, but it failed to meet an administrative deadline for delivering the decision.
A Connecticut state legislative panel voted Monday to support extending limited legal rights to same-sex couples, but it failed to meet an administrative deadline for delivering the decision.
The state's judiciary committee approved the measure shortly before 5 p.m., and a clerk did not deliver the vote tally by the 5 p.m. deadline. Thus, the bill - which addressed health care issues and decision-making - was rejected by the Legislative Commissioners Office.
Gay rights advocates, however, considered the 29-11 vote as significant progress, reported the Hartford Courant.
"What we saw here was 3-to-1 support," said Betty Gallo from Love Makes a Family, a coalition of GLBT civil rights groups. "I really do believe we will see this General Assembly start to address the problems."
Committee co-chair Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, predicted that the measure would reappear later in the session as an amendment to a different bill. The bill stopped short of providing the same range of rights granted to same-sex couples in Vermont and California.
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HIV protein may cause drug side effects

Gay.com U.K.
Tuesday, March 26, 2002 / 03:53 PM
SUMMARY: A protein made by the HIV virus could be responsible for the harmful side effects that can occur in AIDS patients taking certain drugs, researchers report.
A protein made by the HIV virus could be responsible for the harmful side effects that can occur in AIDS patients taking certain drugs, researchers report.
HIV-infected patients who take sulphamethoxazole, a type of drug from an older class of infection-fighting agents, can have side effects including a serious skin rash, often with fever and liver and kidney damage.
Dr. Michael Rieder and colleagues from the University of Western Ontario in Canada believe a protein made by HIV, known as Tat, may be associated with the increased sensitivity of infected cells to breakdown products of sulphamethoxazole. Tat is one of only 12 proteins made by the virus that causes AIDS. The research team concluded that these findings may well extend to drugs other than sulphamethoxazole.
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Phelps outnumbered in Alabama

Members of an antigay church demonstrated at the Alabama State Judicial Building on Monday to show their support for Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has called homosexuality "an inherent evil." The demonstrators were outnumbered 5-1 by opponents. Six members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan.--all relatives of the church's outspoken minister, Fred Phelps--traveled to Montgomery to stage two days of demonstrations, including standing in front of the State Judicial Building during Monday morning's rush hour. Topeka attorney Fred Phelps Jr., the minister's son, said God caused the terrorist attacks on September 11 to punish America for embracing homosexuality. "If you've seen these filthy beasts walking in gay pride parades in New York, you'd say September 11 is not enough," Phelps said.
Across the street, 30 counterdemonstrators stood quietly, carrying signs that read "No Moore Hate" and "Moore and Phelps, Brothers in Hate." Ken Baker of Montgomery said he was pleased by the turnout for his side and that no one from Alabama joined the Kansas group. "We're the citizens of Alabama," Baker said. "Those are outside troublemakers." On February 15, the Alabama supreme court ruled unanimously that a heterosexual father should have custody of three children rather than the lesbian mother. The court's opinion did not cite homosexuality as a factor, but Moore issued a separate 35-page concurring opinion that quoted common law and scripture about homosexuality, which Moore called "abhorrent, immoral, detestable."
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Michiganders want clarification on adoption law

Vague language in a Michigan law lets state judges interpret gay couples' right to adopt children, but advocates on both sides of the issue say the law needs clarification. But they differ on the desired clarity. Gay parents, some child-care experts, and civil rights advocates want the law clarified so that same-sex couples can adopt jointly in every Michigan county. Opponents of gay adoption, including family values and conservative activist groups, want it banned altogether.
Since 1994, more than 60 gay couples seeking to adopt in Michigan have traveled to Ann Arbor, where Washtenaw County circuit judges allow gay and lesbian couples to adopt together, the Lansing State Journal reported Sunday. Experts say that most Michigan judges allow gays to adopt as single parents. A joint adoption gives both parents equal rights to the child. It gives children adopted by gay couples the same safety and financial security guaranteed to children of married parents.
The language in Michigan's law is as follows: "If a person desires to adopt a child...that person, together with his wife or her husband, if married, should file a petition." Many judges interpret the law to mean that two people must be married to adopt jointly. Gay couples, of course, can't legally marry in the United States. Vermont offers civil unions, which are recognized only in Vermont. But some say Michigan's law means that if two people are married, they can adopt together, but if they're not married, they can co-adopt. "We need to have something on the books that makes it very clear to the judges that [gay adoption] is a possibility," said Jay Kaplan, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.
Washtenaw County chief circuit judge Archie Brown said that because Michigan's law allows single people to adopt, children are living with gay couples anyway. Brown says there's no reason not to grant both partners the same rights. Ingham County circuit judge Laura Baird disagrees. "A gay couple can't adopt as a married couple," Baird said. "The state, in my estimation, is very clear about that." Some gay adoption opponents are glad to see the law being taken up by judges and, they hope, lawmakers. "Now that it's the focus of public attention, it's more likely that someone will take this issue on," said Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association of Michigan. Glenn hopes the attention will drive an effort to bar gay people from adopting. Even some advocates of gay adoption worry that a higher-profile push could damage their cause. "I wish [gay supporters] would lie low," said Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Township), who's running for governor. "The law's not perfect, but it's better than creating a ban."
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William Hurt to star in Léa Pool's new film

Lesbian director Léa Pool (Set Me Free, Lost and Delirious) has snagged William Hurt to play the lead in her next film, according to Variety. Hurt will star in Blue Butterfly, based on the true story of Georges Brossard, the host of the Discovery Channel series Insectia, and his trek to Central America to find the rare Blue Morpho butterfly. A 10-year-old boy dying of brain cancer asked Brossard for a last wish--to find the butterfly, said to have magical curative powers. Brossard caught the butterfly, and soon after, the boy's cancer went into remission. Shooting began Sunday in Costa Rica.

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CDC Takes First Look at Barebacking

Monday, 25 March 2002
Source: Southern Voice
Some 14 percent of gay men took part in unprotected anal sex -- popularly referred to as barebacking -- in the last two years, according to the first-ever attempt by federal health officials to quantify the practice.
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control & Prevention released the results of the study last week, though the effort is already raising concerns that it underestimates the practice of barebacking.
"There has been a lot of discussion about barebacking in anecdotal terms, but this is the first quantitative discussion," said Gordon Mansergh, the CDC behavioral scientist who headed the study. "Now we can start to look at it as a starting point for outreach, education and interventions."
While the popular definition of barebacking is anal sex without the use of condoms, the CDC analyzed the occurrence of intentional anal sex without a condom between two men who are not primary partners.
"People in relationships might have come to certain understandings that make it different than other encounters," Mansergh said. "We also wanted to differentiate the people who seek out barebacking from spontaneous or unplanned behaviors."
Some 554 gay men in San Francisco participated in the study; 35 percent of the men reported being HIV positive.
All of the men were first asked if they had heard the term "barebacking." Among the 390 men aware of the term, 53 -- or 14 percent -- said they took part in barebacking in the last two years.
The actual percentage of gay men having unprotected anal sex with a non-primary partner is probably far greater, said gay activist and author Eric Rofes, who wrote "Reviving the Tribe" and "Dry Bones Breath," books about AIDS.
"Fourteen percent strikes me as considerably lower than reality," Rofes said. "This is a highly charged issue and expecting people to self-report automatically raises questions about the research."
Mansergh agreed that the CDC study interviewed men in person, which may indicate that the numbers are underestimated because of a stigma surrounding barebacking.
"Because the interviews are face-to-face, there is a potential that the men are less than honest out of embarrassment," he said.
But the research does provide a basis for further study and some implications for improving outdated methods of outreach and prevention, Mansergh said.
"It's always good to have more and larger studies in other geographic areas to get the big picture," Mansergh said. "This is just a first step to try and get a handle on what's happening."
The research is welcome to the AIDS prevention battle, though barebacking is already addressed, said Tony Braswell, executive director of AID Atlanta.
"Any scientific data that are valid are helpful," Braswell said. "But we don't need a study to know barebacking is happening. We are already discussing barebacking in all our education programs directed at gay men."
The CDC study found that barebacking tends to be largely "assortive behavior," with a majority of men reporting barebacking with men of the same sero-status, or HIV-positive men with other positive men and men without HIV barebacking with other HIV-negative men.
"But a sizable proportion -- 38 percent -- of positives had practiced insertive anal sex with men of a negative or unknown sero-status," Mansergh said. "And 39 percent of negatives reported having receptive anal sex with positive or unknown sero-status partners."
Perhaps of most interest to researchers were interview questions addressing the motivations of barebackers. Some 80 percent of HIV-positive and 65 percent of HIV-negative barebackers said that the primary reason for their behavior was greater physical stimulation.
The second most common motivation was a greater sense of intimacy with unprotected partners, according to the study.
"The bottom line is that people have multiple and competing needs," Mansergh said. "Physical and emotional motivations may outweigh motivations for protecting their own health and their partner's health."
Finding a way to address people's complex lives in prevention efforts is key to the next phase of the AIDS battle, and innovative prevention strategies are needed, Mansergh and Rofes said.
"We hit a wall about five years ago in prevention methods," Rofes said. "There is a dawning awareness that the old methods aren't working anymore." The CDC study attempted to show implications for future outreach by asking subjects if they would be willing to use a rectal microbicide -- a lubricant applied before anal sex that is already being developed -- that could reduce the likelihood of HIV infection. Some 75 percent of barebackers said "yes."
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Appeals Court Overturns 20 Year Old 'Trade' Conviction

Monday, 25 March 2002
Source: Southern Voice
James T. Fisher
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- A federal appeals court on March 12 overturned the murder conviction of a male prostitute who was sentenced to death for killing a male customer in Oklahoma City in 1982, ruling that the defense attorney was "grossly inept" and harbored prejudice against homosexuals.
The ruling by the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver presents a new twist to the longstanding claims by gay civil rights attorneys that anti-gay prejudice has played a role in prompting prosecutors and judges to favor death sentences against both lesbians and gay men convicted of murder.
In the March 12 ruling, the appeals court ordered Oklahoma authorities to hold a new trial for James T. Fisher, who was 19 when he was charged with the slashing death of Terry Neal, 30, inside Neal's apartment in Oklahoma City in December 1982.
Fisher, who has been on death row since his murder conviction in September 1993, has insisted he is not gay, according to attorneys working on his appeals cases. Court records show he referred to the men with whom he engaged in sex for money as "homos." He told police at the time of his arrest that he met Neal on the night of the murder at a location in downtown Oklahoma City where male prostitutes congregated.
A co-defendant, who testified against Fisher in exchange for an agreement from police to drop a murder charge against him, told the jury in the 1993 trial that he and Fisher stole Neal's television and car.
The appeals court ruling states that Fisher's defense attorney, E. Melvin Porter, exhibited hostility toward his own client and failed to adequately defend Fisher against a death sentence. The ruling points to testimony by Porter at an appeals court hearing, held years after trial and conviction, that his hostility toward Fisher stemmed, in part, because Fisher had sex with the man he allegedly murdered.
"[A]t that time, I thought homosexuals were among the worst people in the world, and I did not like that aspect of the case," Porter testified during one of Fisher's appeals court proceedings. "I believe my personal feelings towards James Fisher affected my representation of him."
Fisher admitted to police that he struck Neal over the head with a wine bottle but denied he murdered Neal, who was married and had children.
Court records show that the lead prosecution witness in the case was 15-year-old Fadjo Johnson who, along with Fisher, had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Neal's death. Prosecutors later dropped the charge against Johnson and named him as their material witness.
Johnson testified that he and Fisher met for the first time on the night of the murder in a location in downtown Oklahoma City known as a place where male prostitutes sought out male customers. He testified that Neal approached the two in his car and drove them to his apartment.
Sources familiar with the case have said Neal used the apartment for sexual liaisons and that he lived with his family at another location.
Johnson testified that he watched television in Neal's apartment while Fisher and Neal had sex. He testified that Fisher hit Neal over the head with a wine bottle after the two finished having sex, and Fisher stabbed Neal repeatedly in the neck with the broken end of the bottle.
According to Johnson's testimony, Fisher ordered him to take Neal's television out of the apartment, and the two drove Neal's car to another location in Oklahoma City, where they sold the television. Johnson testified that Fisher then drove him to a location near Johnson's home and told Johnson he planned to drive to Tulsa. Fisher was later arrested in Buffalo, N.Y., where he gave police there a statement admitting he struck Neal with the bottle but denying he killed Neal.
The appeals court ruling states that Porter "sabotaged his client's defense" by acting more as a prosecutor than a defense attorney. The ruling cites instances in which Porter failed to properly cross exam prosecution witnesses, failed to explore contradictory statements by witness Johnson, and failed to seek out potentially exculpatory evidence from police and prosecutors.
The appeals court ruling also states that Porter -- who was an elected state senator at the time -- did not present an opening statement and waived his client's right to present evidence during the trial. During the phase of the trial in which the death sentence was being considered, the appeals court points out, Porter chose not to make a closing argument, telling the judge and jury, "we waive."
The appeals court ruling noted Porter had questioned Fisher at the trial in a manor that resembled "a police interrogation of a hostile suspect rather than the presentation of a defense."
Porter could not be located for comment by press time. Prosecutors with the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office did not return calls seeking comment on the appeals court decision.
Assistant District Attorney Richard Wintory told the Daily Oklahoman that his office will "absolutely retry" Fisher for Neal's murder, even though the new trial would take place nearly 20 years after the slaying. He described Neal's death as a "horrible, slow, nasty killing," the Oklahoman reported.
Unjust treatment for gays?
The appeals court ruling in Fisher's case came less than a week before the HBO cable network broadcast a television documentary on the capital murder case and execution of lesbian Wanda Jean Allen.
The defense in the Allen case argued that prosecutors used Allen's sexual orientation in an effort to appeal to anti-gay bias by the judge and jury in a complicated case that touched on race, homophobia, and assertions by the defense that Alan was mentally impaired.
The ACLU's Lesbian & Gay Rights Project and the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, a gay litigation group, have pointed to several other death penalty cases in which gay defendants reportedly faced anti-gay bias by prosecutors and judges. Both groups oppose the death penalty.
"My first reaction is we have a sinister combination of incompetence and homophobia," said ACLU attorney Diann Rust-Tierney, in discussing the Fisher case.
Rust-Tierney, who heads the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project, said that while the anti-gay prejudice acknowledged by the defense attorney in the Fisher case is unusual, homophobia and unqualified defense attorneys are common components in death penalty cases involving gays.
"This should send chills to the whole community," she said. "It shows how bigotry undermines justice."
But sources familiar with the Oklahoma County Public Defender's office, which waged the successful appeals case resulting in the order for a new trial, said the strategy Fisher's new lawyers will likely use for his upcoming murder trial may not please gay activists.
One source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said public defenders familiar with the case would likely seek to portray Neal as a "pedophile' and "sexual predator" who sought to exploit the 19-year-old Fisher and Johnson. Court records show Johnson turned 15 in August 1982, four months prior to the murder.
Police initially believed that Johnson might have participated in the murder, and he was incarcerated from 1985 to 1990 after being convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, according to records from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
The records show that he returned to prison in 1992 following conviction on a series of drug-related charges, including two counts of drug trafficking. Under Oklahoma's strict anti-drug laws, Johnson received three consecutive, 20-year prison sentences for the drug convictions.
Richard Green, an official with the corrections department, said the convictions could result in as much as 60 years of incarceration for Johnson, depending on whether the state's governor agrees to grant him parole.
Notable gay death row cases
CALVIN BURDINE, a gay man from Houston, was convicted of killing his roommate, but that conviction was thrown out by an appeals court because his court-appointed lawyer slept through portions of his 1984 trial. The appeals court did not rule on what Robert McGlasson, the attorney who handled Burdine's appeal, and gay legal activists and death penalty opponents have said was homophobia on the part of both prosecutor and defense lawyer during the original trial.
In arguing for the death penalty and against life imprisonment following Burdine's conviction, the prosecutor told the jury, "Sending a homosexual to the penitentiary [for life] certainly isn't a very bad punishment for a homosexual, and that's what he's asking you to do." The prosecutor also said, in seeking the death penalty during the sentencing phase of the trial, that Burdine's 1971 Texas conviction for sodomy, a consensual offense, was evidence of his "likeliness to commit criminal violent acts in the future."
McGlasson said Joe Cannon, the sleeping defense attorney who has since died, was himself homophobic, failing to challenge the prosecutor's biased statements to the jury as well as prospective jurors who exhibited anti-gay bias.
Burdine's conviction was for the 1983 stabbing murder of W.T. Wise, an older Houston man who associated with young male hustlers. Wise let Burdine stay in his trailer and had a brief sexual relationship with Burdine. The two men had an acrimonious break-up. Burdine told police he moved out because Wise wanted him to work as a prostitute.
Burdine was subsequently beaten up by a group of young men and was told Wise had put out a contract on him. He then went to Wise's trailer with a friend, Douglas McCreight, to stop Wise's aggression and get money from him. According to Burdine, after talking with Wise, McCreight stabbed Wise, killing him. The prosecution maintained that each man stabbed Wise once, but McCreight avoided the death penalty by agreeing to cooperate with police.
WANDA JEAN ALLEN was sentenced to death in 1989 for killing her girlfriend Gloria Leathers in Oklahoma City a year earlier. She was executed on Jan. 12, 2001, the first black woman put to death in the U.S. in 47 years.
There were references to her sexual orientation during her trial, including negative stereotypes about lesbians that activists argued may have prejudiced her case. At trial, the prosecution asserted that Allen "wore the pants in the family," that she was the dominant partner and exercised control over Leathers. The prosecution repeatedly stressed the lesbian nature of the relationship, according to activists.
Leathers had driven to a police station in an Oklahoma City suburb after trying to break up with Allen, who followed her and fired a single gunshot wound into Leathers' abdomen. Allen, who was 41 at the time of her execution, had previously received a four-year prison sentence for first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Detra Pettus in 1981.
STANLEY DEWAINE LINGAR was executed by lethal injunction on Feb. 7, 2001, in Potosi, Mo. The 37-year-old gay man sentenced to die for the January 1985 murder of Thomas Allen, 16, a high school student who was offered a lift by Lingar and his friend, David Smith. Lingar and Smith abducted Allen and killed him when he resisted orders to strip and masturbate in front of the men. Smith, who testified against Lingar, served a 10-year sentence.
"It's pretty clear that the reason the prosecution [pushed for the death penalty for Lingar] is because they thought that a rural Missouri jury would be offended by the fact that he was homosexual and use that as a reason to give him the death penalty," Kent Gipson, an attorney who represented Lingar on appeal, told the Blade just days before his client was executed.
GREGORY SCOTT DICKENS was sentenced by Yuma County Superior Court Judge Tom Cole to death for the 1991 robbery-murder of Alabama newlyweds at a Yuma, Ariz., rest stop. According to court papers, Travis Amaral, 16, Dickens' partner, shot Laura and Brian Bernstein while Dickens watched. Amaral, who struck a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, admitted firing the gun, but said Dickens planned the robbery and instructed him not to leave witnesses. Jurors acquitted Dickens of premeditated murder, but found him guilty of committing a homicide in the act of a felony, also punishable by death.
Defense lawyer Daphne Budge contends that Judge Cole should have recused himself from the case because of his loathing for gays. In a letter to his son, Cole wrote, "I hope you die in prison like all the rest of your faggot friends."
GLEN ALAN MCGINNIS, a 27-year-old, openly gay African-American man who was 17 when he killed a mother of two, was executed by the state of Texas on Jan. 25, 2000. McGinnis shot Leta Ann Wilkerson in the head, shoulders and back during the robbery of a laundromat. His attorney said a number of societal factors worked against McGinnis, including his sexual orientation. "He was polite, respectful, legitimately sorry about what he'd done," defense attorney William Hall told the Associated Press. "But he was also a black man who killed a white woman. And he was very, very gay, and that didn't help." Then Texas Gov. George W. Bush declined to stop McGinnis' execution.
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Bully Trial Expected To Have Impact On Gay Students

by Rich Peters
365Gay.com Newscenter, Vancouver
(March 27, Vancouver) In a landmark ruling a British Columbia court has convicted a teenage girl of criminally harassing a classmate who later committed suicide.
Dawn-Marie Wesley, a Grade 9 student in suburban Vancouver, hanged herself in the basement of her home in November 2000.
The 14 year old left a note for her parents saying she took her own life out of fear of girls who had been bullying her and threatened to kill her.
The accused, a16-year-old, who cannot be identified under the Young Offenders Act, is facing a maximum sentence of six months in custody or 24 months' probation.
A second teenage girl was acquitted of uttering threats. A third teen will be tried at a later date.
"This wasn't just for Dawn-Marie today," the dead girl's mother, Cindy Wesley, told reporters after the verdict. "This ruling goes for every child in this country that's been bullied.
A recent national conference of educators and parent groups in Vancouver called for a heightened awareness of the effects of bullying.
Studies indicate that anti-gay epithets are the most common insults hurled in bullying attacks.
In the US, statistics paint a bleak picture for GLBT students. More than 80 percent of gay students were subjected verbal harassment in schools, according to national surveys.
Gay youths are two to three times as likely as heterosexuals to attempt suicide.
Canadian authorities say they believe there is no reason to think the results are not the same for Canada. People who work with gay youth hope the ruling will make all bullies think twice before acting, and say that it now encourages students to come forward when they are attacked.
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Gay Prom Ban May Go To Court

by Jan Prout
365Gay.com Newscenter in Toronto
(March 27, Toronto) A gay high school student in the Toronto suburb of Oshawa says he's preparing to go to court to force a Roman Catholic school board to back down on its ban on gay prom dates.
17 year old Mac Hall met with legal advisors Tuesday.
The teen was told by the principal of Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School that condoning a same-sex date for the prom would contravene Catholic teachings on homosexuality and "school policies.''
Hall says he will do all it takes to go to the prom with his 21 year old boyfriend.
A meeting of the school board Monday night erupted into a shouting match when chair Mary Ann Martin refused to allow Hall to address the board.
Hall says unless the board reconsiders he is prepared to go to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
The teenager, who has the backing of the powerful Canadian Autoworkers Union, and a large number of his grade 12 classmates, said the board's position is not only discriminatory, it contradicts its own policy.
Hall said that it despite the church's opposition to premarital sex. the school allowed a pregnant teen to attend last year's prom. "I will not be silenced, I will not give up," Hall said.
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London's Mayor Says Police Chief Victim Of Homophobic Witch-Hunt

London's Mayor Ken Livingstone has said police chief Brian Paddick was the victim of an "orchestrated campaign''which was "highly homophobic, intrusive and personal''.
Commander Paddick last night made a dramatic entrance at a meeting called by his supporters who want him to be reinstated in his old job. He told supporters that his sole wish was to return to serve the people of Lambeth.
The 43-year-old head of Lambeth police has been moved to a desk job at Scotland Yard pending an investigation into allegations by his former gay lover that he smoked cannabis in their home.
Lambeth Community Police Consultative Group chairman Lee Jasper read out a statement from Mr Livingstone which claimed Commander Paddick would have fared better if he were not gay.
The statement read: "There can be little doubt that Commander Paddick would not now be in the position he finds himself were it not for his sexuality".
"The campaign which has been orchestrated against him has been highly homophobic, intrusive and personal, and threatens to deter lesbian and gay officers in the force from coming out to their colleagues".
"My own view is clear: Commander Paddick has successfully cut crime by setting sensible priorities, gaining the confidence of the community and maximising officer time on the streets".
"Those who have waged a campaign against this police officer are the real obstacles to the fight against crime. The commander should be returned as a matter of urgency to his responsibilities, which is what the people of Lambeth rightly expect.''
Mr Livingstone's statement went on: "The reason I support Commander Paddick is because on the acid test of policing, he has cut crime. Commander Paddick's methods worked".
"Under his stewardship, we have seen a 14% decrease in burglary in the borough in the year up to February 2002. In July 2001 there were 760 street crime incidents in Lambeth, which was cut to 556 in February of this year. This is a 27% fall in street crime incidents".
"Most notable of all, Commander Paddick has overseen an 11% increase in arrests for drug dealing since July last year".
"Some allegations have been made against Commander Paddick which are strenuously denied and cannot be proven. Some of the less serious allegations have also been made which - particularly in light of his record in cutting crime - do not constitute a reason to remove a very effective commander from his responsibilities.'' Commander Paddick said: "All I want to do is to come back and serve the people of Lambeth. I hope I'm going to be allowed to do that very soon but in the meantime thank you very much.''
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Retirement Communities Planned for Gay And Lesbian Seniors

Diane C. Lade South Florida Sun-Sentinel
March 26, 2002, Knight Ridder/Tribune
The Palms of Manasota seems just like the hundreds of new retirement communities that continue sprouting from Florida's sandy soil.
The 21 neat, compact homes, on quiet streets in a small town south of Tampa, are built in a similar stucco style. The new neighbors throw impromptu dinner parties or organize theater trips. The days are warm, the lawns lush.
Yet these aren't the reasons Greer North and Roger Robinson - known as "the bachelors" in the Oregon town where they lived together for 39 years - chose to move across the country. It's because they wanted to grow old safely among their own.
"It's like having an instant family," said North, who like Robinson is 60, retired and gay. "As we age, we know that the support and security will be there. You can live among people who know you are gay and are OK with that. But they don't want to be in your life on a personal level."
The Palms - which became a mission for the late Bill Laing, a gay senior who bankrolled it with $650,000 of his own money and lived there until he died two years ago - is the country's first retirement community built for and marketed to gay and lesbian seniors.
But others are chasing the same vision.
Plans are under way in several cities around the country to build what some predict will be a first wave of communities catering to this new generation who, for the first time, intend to live their golden years out of the closet.
"I think in the next five years, the concept is going to explode," said Amber Hollibaugh, a director at Senior Action in a Gay Environment, or SAGE, the first national group dedicated to gay and lesbian aging.
It's estimated 3 million to 4 million gay men and women are among America's 53 million baby boomers. "And this demographic is finally making people pay attention in a serious way," said Hollibaugh, whose group is based in New York City but also has chapters in Florida.
"Versions of this idea have been discussed around dinner tables and at parties in the gay community for years as we wondered what would happen to us when we got old. But none of this would have been possible five years ago," said John DeLeo, 57, who didn't tell people he was gay until he was in his 40s.
It literally was a dream that turned DeLeo, then a health care administrator, into a developer about four years ago. "I dreamed I was dying and realized the only person I could call was my dog," he said. "I woke up thinking, `What is going to happen to me when I get old?' "
DeLeo is one of two partners behind The Arbours, a development group that has been trying to bring a gay and lesbian retirement center to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for three years. Abandoning a plan for new construction near downtown, DeLeo now is considering converting a high-rise closer to the beach into 350 apartments and 50 assisted living units for adults 45 and older.
He estimates the project will cost $100 million. But he's convinced the demand is there and it's the perfect location, with an estimated 250,000 gays and lesbians in Broward County. Fort Lauderdale has been gaining a national reputation as a gay and lesbian retirement destination; there are 1,500 people on a waiting list for the first Arbours brochure.
To get into the Arbours, however, they'll need a large wallet. The entrance fee will be between $250,000 and $750,000 (the original purchase price is refunded to the buyer's estate upon death), followed by monthly maintenance charges of $1,500 to $4,500. Projects being planned for Santa Fe and several cities in California have similar buy-in rates, which worries Hollibaugh.
"We need to realize these are model communities that most people, even if they wanted to, couldn't afford," she said. "These are people who usually did not get couple's benefits and, if they lose a partner, have to survive on one salary."
Robert Chellis, a Boston-area consultant who does feasibility studies for proposed senior communities, said gay and lesbian housing is part of a new spin on an old formula: Location may sell real estate, but affiliation sells retirement housing.
When retirees began flocking to Florida's sprawling condo developments in the 1970s, they often settled among friends from up North who had similar cultural or religious backgrounds.
Now developers build near college campuses and market to the alumni. Or they do projects for emerging aging ethnic groups, such as Asian-Americans.
"We're redefining retirement housing in terms of the Baby Boomers because there will be so many of them, and they'll have higher expectations," Chellis said. "Your retirement community will be like going to summer camp or college. You'll go there because you have a special interest, or to be among people you like and know already."
DeLeo and others interested in building for gay and lesbian elders think their consumers will want many of the same things as their straight baby boom counterparts: comfortable houses or apartments, activities geared around arts and fitness, available housekeeping, and meal packages.
While continuing health care is a selling point for retirement housing in general, it is especially so for gays and lesbians. They are far less likely to have biological children and may be estranged from their families. More than straights, they are aware they are going to have to depend on one another when they get old, Hollibaugh said.
Gays and lesbians fear nurses in a skilled facility or assisted living won't want to care for them if they discover they're gay, or that their life partners won't be allowed to visit or make decisions for them. At the very least, they worry about feeling different.
"We are working right now with a gay man in his 80s (in assisted living) who is dying to leave. He finds he's the odd man out," said Joan Ensink, senior services director at Ruth Rales Jewish Family Service in Boca Raton, which started Palm Beach County's first senior gay and lesbian support group. "He doesn't have grandchildren, so he can't relate to many of their conversations. But he's closeted, so he keeps to himself and is isolated."
The interest may be there. But so far, the money hasn't been. The Palms of Manasota remains a first because the half-dozen other projects scattered around the country still are struggling with financing.
The Palms is a residential home community with no support services in a semirural area, although President John Goodwin is considering someday adding an assisted living center. Most of the other projects, targeted for gay-friendly cities where land is more expensive, plan to open with some kind of cost-intensive health service support or assisted living.
Chellis, the consultant, said it costs at least $2 million to $3 million just to get a 200-unit project out of the starting gate, and developers can plan on at least five or six years with no return. Such economics are why about 90 percent of such projects are sponsored by private, not-for-profit corporations.
The not-for-profit Boston consortium that runs Stonewall Communities wants to create a 100-unit community supported by home health services in their downtown, setting aside 20 percent of the apartments for seniors with lower incomes. After three years, the group has $200,000 of the initial $1.5 million it needs, but still is determinedly looking for a private partner.
"Our interest," said Stonewall President David Aronstein, "is learning how people will grow older in our community." (c) 2002 South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
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McKellen's Bible Bashing

March 25, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
SIR IAN McKELLEN has a habit of defacing bibles - because he's offended by pages slating homosexuals.
The outspoken actor and gay rights activist, nominated for a Best Supporting Actor OSCAR for his role in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, admits he can't help himself when he comes across religious tomes in hotel rooms.
Every time he opens a drawer to find a free copy of the GIDEON BIBLE, the star turns to LEVITICUS 18:22 and rips out the page.
He says, "I don't know if anyone's even noticed what I do, but that section railing against homosexuality offends me.
"I must have censored hundreds of Gideons by now!" (c) 2002 World Entertainment News Network
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Bisexual soldier has civilian job in Florida

By MARTHA WAGGONER
Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. - His job in the civilian world in Florida did not influence his requests to resign from the Army on the basis of his bisexuality, says Capt. David Donovan.
And it did not affect the military's decisions to reject those requests, an Army spokeswoman says.
Donovan confirmed Tuesday that he has been part-owner and chief technology officer of Lorien Technologies, a digital film conversion company in Sunrise, Fla., for about four years. He works for Lorien at night and on weekends from his computer, he said.
He said he earns "roughly equivalent to what I make in the Army," which he said in a previous interview was about $70,000 a year. He said he would earn that amount regardless of whether he also was in the military.
When asked if the civilian job was related to his resignation requests, Donovan replied, "absolutely not." His wife and teen-age children live in Fort Lauderdale, of which Sunrise is a suburb.
Donovan first sought to resign from the Army in August 2000, while he was in graduate school in Fort Lauderdale. He asked to resign "for homosexual conduct in lieu of a general court-martial," and offered to repay the Army for education it had financed.
He came to Fort Bragg in November 2000 and since then has filed three more resignation requests, including an unqualified resignation request that did not mention his bisexuality.
The Army raised the possibility that Donovan was lying to avoid his active-duty service obligation, saying supporting evidence may be necessary if the "credibility is in question."
Donovan said he did not know if his civilian job played a role in the Army's decision to reject his four resignation requests, three based on homosexual conduct.
"It's meaningless, actually," he said. "I've been offered jobs in the high six figures for years and they never played a part."
It's obvious that an Army captain with a master's degree would be employable, he said. "Should I have to be poor and uneducated and then the Army would act according to its regulations?" he asked.
A spokeswoman for the Army Review Board Agency, which reviewed Donovan's three resignation requests citing homosexual conduct, said his outside employment played no role in its rejections.
"They were not even aware of it," spokeswoman Martha Rudd said.
Donovan's active-duty Army service obligation will be fulfilled in 2005, Rudd said.
Meanwhile, Donovan said he will try a different tactic to leave the Army. His attorney and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network will submit a "coming out statement" that Donovan said goes to a different part of the Army than a resignation request.
The statement will be submitted soon, said Steve Ralls, a spokesman for SLDN, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group for homosexuals in the military. "He will acknowledge his sexual orientation and that should begin a don't ask, don't tell discharge process," Ralls said. Donovan's attorney, Todd Conormon of Fayetteville, did not return a phone call seeking specifics on how the statement differed from a resignation request.
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KKK to rally in St. Petersburg

By BRYAN GILMER, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times, published March 27, 2002
The group, based in Indiana, will speak out against the firing of police Chief Mack Vines.
ST. PETERSBURG -- An Indiana-based Ku Klux Klan faction with a presence in Lakeland plans to rally on the steps of City Hall on Saturday, preaching white pride and decrying the firing of former police Chief Mack Vines.
The black socialist Uhuru Movement and aligned groups plan to hold counterdemonstrations at City Hall beginning at noon, but other community leaders vowed to ignore the Klan.
NAACP president Darryl Rouson and many City Council members are advising people simply to ignore the rally. "People need to ignore those fools," council Chairwoman Rene Flowers said of the Klan. She is black. Rouson said people should skip the rally and instead attend the previously scheduled "Come-unity Day" party sponsored by the Front Porch Florida effort to improve predominantly black neighborhoods in the city. The party is in Campbell Park, across town from City Hall.
"We don't need to be there," Rouson said of the Klan rally. "They are preaching a message we don't need to hear."
It is believed to be the Klan's first visit to St. Petersburg since the late 1980s. That rally, in 1988, lasted a few minutes before counterprotesters threw debris at the seven Klansmen, causing them to flee. Former Klan figure David Duke visited in 1998.
This year, the Klan received a city permit for the rally.
Its application for the permit said the group expects up to 100 people to show up.
It would have been unconstitutional to deny the Klan its right to speak on the City Hall steps, City Attorney John Wolfe said Tuesday.
St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon said he will assign "a very light presence" of officers to maintain order Saturday, adding, "We're going to try to separate the antis from the pros."
Vines said he had not heard about the rally until a reporter asked him about it Tuesday.
"Obviously, I'm surprised to hear something like that, and I have nothing to do with it."
The Ku Klux Klan today is highly fragmented. Many independent and even rival groups include the designation in their names.
"Since the 1970s, the Klan has been greatly weakened," says the Web site for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks the Klan. "While some factions have preserved an openly racist and militant approach, others have tried to enter the mainstream, cloaking their racism as mere "civil rights for whites.' "
Saturday's rally is by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a relatively small sect based on a farm near South Bend, Ind. The group openly slurs Jews and blacks. Burt B. Colucci, the group's "Grand Dragon of Florida," lives in Lakeland and goes by the alias Burt Nicosia. "The Ku Klux Klan is not just a bunch of dumb rednecks with no teeth who spit Copenhagen (snuff)," Colucci said. He said his group believes Mayor Rick Baker violated Vines' civil rights by firing him last year. Vines used the word "orangutan" in discussing the arrest of a black suspect.
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