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Saturday, May 25, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 05/25/02 Information is power!

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

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NEWS from the Human Rights Campaign

919 18th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20006
email: hrc@hrc.org
www.hrc.org
________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 24, 2002
Contact: David M. Smith
Phone: (202)216-1547
Pager: (800) 386-5996
Contact: Wayne Besen
Phone: (202) 216-1580
Pager: (800) 386-5997
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN AND COALITION LEADERS TO DENOUNCE EXXONMOBIL'S
DISCRIMINATORY POLICIES
Shareholders Urged To Vote For Proposal To Add Sexual Orientation To Equal
Employment Opportunity Statement
DALLAS - The Human Rights Campaign will join local Coalition leaders at a
Dallas press conference Tuesday, May 28, to denounce the discriminatory
policies of ExxonMobil Corp., and urge shareholders to vote the following
day in favor of a proposal to add sexual orientation to its equal employment
opportunity statement.
The Human Rights Campaign will also join with local Coalition groups
the afternoon of May 28 at a rally in anticipation of the vote. The rally
and news conference will both feature a 25-foot blimp hovering overhead with
the message, "Don't Fuel Discrimination."
"We strongly urge ExxonMobil to join the legions of corporations
that are firmly committed to treating all employees fairly, prohibiting
discrimination and giving equal benefits for equal work," said HRC Executive
Director Elizabeth Birch. "The blimp will fly and our boycott of ExxonMobil
will continue until the company chooses to take a firm stand against
discrimination."
At ExxonMobil Corp.'s annual shareholder meeting May 29, shareholders will
vote for the fourth year in a row on a proposal calling on the company to
add sexual orientation to its equal employment opportunity statement. The
Human Rights Campaign is a co-filer of this resolution, which is being
spearheaded by the New York City Employees Retirement System. In late March,
the Securities and Exchange Commission denied the company's request to
delete the question from the ballot. In December 1999 when Exxon merged
with Mobil, it became the first U.S. employer ever to rescind a
non-discrimination policy covering sexual orientation. At the same time,
executives closed Mobil's domestic partner benefits program to any
additional employees.
Last year, HRC co-filed an identical shareholder resolution, which
garnered 13 percent of the vote - the most of any social responsibility
question on the ballot. That 13 percent represented 290 million shares of
stock with a value of $25.8 billion. At a news conference after the
shareholder meeting, ExxonMobil CEO Lee R. Raymond was asked by a reporter
why the company doesn't actively reach out to gays and lesbians (as it does
to other minorities), and he answered, "We don't want to know [who they
are]. That's the whole point of the policy."
In response to all these acts of corporate irresponsibility, HRC
called for a nationwide boycott of ExxonMobil on June 11, 2001.
Since then, 45 statewide and nine national LGBT organizations have
joined a coalition to convince ExxonMobil to treat its employees fairly. The
Coalition to Promote Equality at ExxonMobil has been employing a variety of
means to convince the giant oil company to include sexual orientation and
gender identity in its written non-discrimination policy and to provide
domestic partnership benefits for all its employees. The nine national
groups in the coalition are: Equal Partners in Faith; the Equality Project;
GenderPac; the Human Rights Campaign; National Gay and Lesbian Task Force;
National Transgender Advocacy Coalition; Parents, Families and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays; Pride At Work; and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.
More information about the Coalition to Promote Equality at ExxonMobil is
available at www.equalityatexxon.org .
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay
political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively
lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to
ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans can be open,
honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
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Piazza's Teammates Concerned About Fans' Reaction to Gay Rumor

The Record, Bergen County, NJ
5/24/2002
by Pete Caldera, Staff Writer at The Record
PHILADELPHIA - Around the Mets, the most uttered phrase about teammate Mike Piazza's private life being public fodder is: "Can you believe this?" That question is often followed by an unprintable comment about irresponsible journalism, and the nasty nature of rumors.
Many of Piazza's teammates are concerned for the slugger's well-being, and did not wish to perpetuate the story, even in defending him. Mets management will not comment further.
With Piazza squashing a printed rumor by publicly saying, "I'm not gay," the Mets are hoping he hasn't opened himself up to more abuse - especially from venomous fans around the National League.
"He was put in a terrible situation," one Met said of Piazza's dilemma whether to dignify a rumor with a response.
A few Mets admitted that Tuesday was an awkward day for everyone around the club. "I wanted to say something to Mike, but I didn't know how to approach him," one Met said. "So I didn't say anything."
Piazza tried his best to be himself, and he was not withdrawn from media or his teammates. But those who know Piazza best have said he is, naturally, furious about having to address a gossip columnist's printed rumor.
"How do you think Mike felt walking in today?" one Met asked, wondering if he could do what Piazza had done - play as if nothing happened.
The players polled said they would not have any problem with an openly gay teammate, and that elements of a player's private life should not be fair game for the public, no matter how famous he is.
"If you're gay, I don't care," one Met said. "If you're wearing the same uniform as me, then we're no different."
That speaks to manager Bobby Valentine's quote in an upcoming issue of Details magazine that "baseball is probably ready for an openly gay player."
Valentine was responding to a rambling Q & A with the magazine, answering a series of questions asked in March. New York Post columnist Neal Travis tied the innocuous quote to a recent rumor about Piazza.
Mo Vaughn was livid about the situation, and rushed to Piazza's defense after Tuesday's game: "To not be around this team, and to make an accusation like that, it's horrible. Something should be done about it. It's not cool at all."
(C) 2002 The Record, Bergen County, NJ. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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Gay, straight political rivals share name

Steve Friess, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Friday, May 24, 2002 / 02:40 PM
SUMMARY: Nevada's only openly gay elected official is facing a unique challenge in his quest for a fourth term in office: a candidate with the same name as his.
Nevada's only openly gay elected official is facing a unique challenge in his quest for a fourth term in office: a candidate with the same name as his.
The tactic, apparently engineered by a right-wing family who has tried repeatedly to unseat Assemblyman David Parks, is being blasted even by some Republican activists who consider it an embarrassing political trick.
Yet some gay advocates fear it could work -- or at least complicate the incumbent's campaign.
"There's always going to be a percentage of voters who are not the most attentive, so the fact that two names that are identical appear on a ballot is bound to create some level of confusion," said Lee Plotkin, who earned a lifetime achievement award from the local GLBT center this year. "If you go from a state with one openly gay official to zero, that would be a tremendous blow to the community."
Parks, a Democrat who represents a region of Las Vegas and was instrumental in adding sexual orientation to the state's employment anti-discrimination laws in 1999, tried to shrug off the decision by software salesman and political novice David Parks to hop into the race.
"I'm trying to stay positive and don't want to sink myself into this," Assemblyman Parks told Friday's Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Challenger Parks appears to have been put up to the task by Phillip and Tony Dane, a father-and-son duo who have been after Parks' seat since the assemblyman first ran in 1996. Tony Dane ran against Parks in 1996, and his father ran against him in 1998 and 2000 and is running again in the GOP primary. Tony Dane admitted involvement in mailing a 1996 campaign flier that showed news clippings about a 10-year-old boy accused of raping two younger boys alongside Parks' endorsement by the local gay newspaper, The Bugle.
Despite earlier insistences that the Danes and challenger Parks have no connections, the candidate admitted Tony Dane helped him file for office. A fax number given on Parks' filing form is the same as one for Dane's business, too.
The tactic drew outrage from prominent GOP activists like Chuck Muth, who told the newspaper the Danes' "actions disgust me. They hate gays and they just want to find any way at all to beat him."
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Fundamentalist Christian Survivor winner discusses her views on gays

TVGuide.com spoke with Vecepia "Vee" Towery, the winner of the recent Survivor: Marquesas, about how she balanced her fundamentalist Christian views with her relationship with fellow contestant John Carroll, who is openly gay. "John told me, 'You realize I'm openly gay,' " said Towery. "And I said, 'Yeah, I kind of figured that. But I have to be honest, based on my spiritual beliefs, I don't agree with the lifestyle. But you, as a person, I have nothing against.' " Towery admitted to having an out lesbian stepsister and said that Carroll was "initially hurt" by her comments but added that "he eventually came around because he proclaims to be a Christian also. He believes that God loves everybody, no matter who you are, and [he's] absolutely right. But then also, the scripture says this, this, this, and this. So we hashed it out, and once he saw my position and realized, 'God, Vee, you really do love me and it's really not an issue with you,' he was able to get past it."
And would Towery hope that Carroll "gets past" his sexual orientation? "My hope is that he remains happy, just like my sister," she said. "And if that meant that one day [they] decided to go straight, then I'd be even more happier. But it's not something I'm praying for."
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Irreversible causes controversy at Cannes

The latest film from I Stand Alone director Gaspar Noë has caused controversy at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, although Reuters reports that Noë told the press, "If people don't want to see it, that's fine. I have walked out of films too. It's not every day that you want to see this kind of thing." Audiences and critics have been taken aback by the film Irreversible because of, among other things, its 10-minute-long rape scene and a stream of homophobic and misogynistic epithets uttered by the film's underworld characters. The film also features a visit to a gay S/M club called Rectum. The film's star, Monica Bellucci (Malèna), defends its content: "The film is about vengeance. It takes us into a violent world, a space from which we can't escape, that is irreversible. The film is not a crime; it is about a crime." Noë added, "This is just a movie; it doesn't really change anything in the world. It is part of the knowledge of man to know the beast that lies within and to reject it." Noë also said he didn't expect U.S. distributors to pick up the film.
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Gay Teens Taunted at School Face High Health Risks

Fri May 24, 2:57 PM ET
By Merritt McKinney and E. J. Mundell
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Just how well gay and lesbian teens avoid problems like risky sex or drug abuse may have to do with how picked-on they are at school, according to new research.
A survey of US high school students finds that gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers who are routinely taunted in and out of the classroom are at high risk of taking drugs, having unsafe sex or attempting suicide, while gay teens who don't face this type of abuse are no more likely to engage in these risky behaviors than their straight peers.
"There is a certain percentage of kids experiencing high victimization and they are at high health-risk status," said researcher Daniel E. Bontempo of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. He and co-author Dr. Anthony R. D'Augelli published their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Previous research has detected high levels of risky health behavior among gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. Recent studies have also shown that gay teens are more likely to be picked on or bullied at school than heterosexual students.
To see how the victimization at school influences the kinds of health risks gay, lesbian and bisexual youths face, Bontempo and D'Augelli examined the results of a 1995 survey of more than 9,000 high school students in Vermont and Massachusetts.
As expected, gay and lesbian students were much more likely to report being picked on or bullied at school. Twenty-eight percent of teens who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or who were questioning their sexuality reported high levels of victimization at school, compared with just 7% of heterosexual students.
The survey showed that gay, lesbian and bisexual youths who were frequently victimized at school were more likely to use alcohol and drugs, to attempt suicide and to have risky sex. Health risks varied somewhat among gay and lesbian youths, however. For example, boys were significantly more likely to use marijuana or cocaine or to attempt suicide than girls.
But not all gay teens were more likely to put their health at risk, the report indicates. The rates of risky behavior were similar in all students, gay or straight, who reported low levels of victimization at school. "Further research should explore why some lesbian, gay and bisexual youths are victimized but others are not," the researchers conclude.
The findings come as "no surprise" to Christopher Rodriguez, assistant executive director of the New York-based Hetrick Martin Institute, which has been providing counseling and education to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and 'questioning' youth for over 20 years.
"This kind of victimization is well known to school-based professionals working with adolescents everywhere in the US," Rodriguez told Reuters Health. But, he said, "Most school-based personnel do not have sufficient education and training to address the problem successfully." Educating teachers and parents about issues surrounding sexual orientation is key to helping kids struggling through an often hostile school environment.
Teens themselves have more resources than ever to turn to, he added. Many cities have community centers designed to help counsel youth with sexual identity issues, he noted, and "even if they live in the middle of nowhere they can go to the library or look up resources in another area and call hotlines or write a letter to connect with someone that can offer guidance. They are not alone."
SOURCE: Journal of Adolescent Health 2002;30:364-374.
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Plot Uncovered To Bomb MCC Church

by Rich Peters
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 25, Vancouver, Washington) A 44-year-old man has been arrested after threatening to bomb the Metropolitan Community Church of the Gentle Shepherd in Vancouver, Washington, and kill the pastor.
Police say a man called the church seven times over the past year.
Minister Dianne Shaw, 52, said a man called himself Casey.
After the latest threat this week, Shaw called police.
Shaw said she saved three messages, including one in which the man said: "I'm going to burn your fucking church to the ground because you're gay and lesbian homosexuals."
Police have charged Casey Gene Peirsol with malicious harassment and making a bomb threat. Police say they believe Peirsol was plotting to blow up the church to kill Shaw. It is not known if he intended to carry out his plan during a service when the church would be filled with parishioners.
Peirsol is being held in the Clark County Jail and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court on June 11.
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It Was Like The Shower Scene From Psycho Victim Says

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 25, London) A British millionaire publisher has testified he was attacked in the shower by a man wielding a foot-long carving knife.
Bernard Schubert told a London court that Bradley Gill, 24, held the knife to his throat and demanded $1000 (Cdn).
Schubert testified that Gill said: "I'm here to kill you."
The prosecution said Gill is a "demonic" robber who preyed on wealthy gay men.
Schubert had met Gill in a bar several months earlier and had invited him home on several occasions. The last was almost fatal.
"It was like the shower scene in Psycho. I was terrified," Schubert told the court.
"He forced me to lie in the bath while he urinated. All the time he held this knife in front of my face. I can still recall it perfectly."
Schubert said he only had about $900 in cash at his home. "But, that wasn't good enough for him."
As Schubert searched for more money, Gill "came into the bedroom and wiped the blood from my neck, bent over, kissed me and said 'I'm sorry it had to be this way'."
Gill removed a Rolex watch and ripped the telephone from its socket as he made his escape.
Gill is also charged in an attack on a 31-year-old Lawyer last August. The lawyer, who was forced to leap from the balcony of his $2million apartment needed plastic surgery.
Gill has pleaded not guilty. The trial continues.
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Pioneering Gay Sex Researcher Dies

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(May 25, Chicago) The man who led a groundbreaking Kinsey Institute study on gay sexuality has died.
Dr. Alan P. Bell was 50. He died of a stroke at his home in Bloomington, Indiana.
In 1968, Bell and a colleague, Martin S. Weinberg, began surveying nearly 1,000 gays in San Francisco to assess their mental health and to try to determine what, if anything, in their lives had influenced their sexual orientation.
The survey proved, for the first time, that gays were as well adjusted and as satisfied in their relationships as heterosexuals.
It also showed that parental personalities or traumatic experiences did not play a role in determining sexuality.
Bell and Weinberg, neither of whom were gay, argued that there must be a biological basis for homosexual orientation
That conclusion was greatly debated, with critics raising questions about the methods they had used in coming to their conclusions.
"I expect the study to be condemned from both sides, by the radical gays for even looking into the subject and by the analysts who may say we're trying to paint a glowing picture of homosexuality," Bell said in 1981.
"But we reported what people say, and it's all very consistent."
Bell had degrees in philosophy, counselling, and theology. He was an Episcopal minister but in 1967 joined Alfred C. Kinsey Institute as a researcher. He lectured at Indiana University in the early 1980's and founded the university's Centre for Human Growth.
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Canadian Lesbian, Bisexual, Bi-curious and Transgender E-Magazine to Launch

May 24, 2002, PrideVision TV
An e-magazine catering to the lesbian, bisexual, bi-curious and transgender community, Desire Magazine aims to become the source of information relevant to all Canadian women who love women. It is for all women who enjoy reading about others and their triumphs over adversity, humorous engagements, and thought provoking views on life.
Desire Magazine also aims to provide Canadian women the means and opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and have some fun.
www.desiremag.com will go live in June 2002 and will be a space that is fun, accepting and interactive. It will be a monthly e-magazine, but selected time-sensitive sections will be updated as necessary.
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Canadian Rates of HIV Continue to Rise While Funding Remains Stagnant

May 24, 2002, Canada NewsWire
The HIV/AIDS community reacted with alarm to statistics made available last week by Health Canada. The numbers show that for the first time since 1995, there was an increase in the number of positive HIV test reports last year.
This increase demonstrates what AIDS activists have long asserted; that the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada is far from over.
The new statistics also show that HIV is spreading unchecked into new populations. For example, the proportion of positive test reports among Canadians who cited heterosexual contact as their exposure category has continually increased from eight percent before 1996 to 33 percent in 2001. The proportion of women among positive HIV tests has also increased, from 11 percent before 1996 to 25 percent last year. The numbers of new infections among gay men and injection drug users also remain alarmingly high. What this demonstrates is that more diverse populations are vulnerable to HIV infection, requiring diverse prevention strategies, services and support.
Nevertheless, funding for the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS has remained stagnant since 1994 while the estimated annual number of new infections has doubled. "These statistics are not surprising because the resources to fight HIV/AIDS in Canada are lagging far behind the spread of the epidemic," said Paul Lapierre, Executive Director of the Canadian AIDS Society. "The AIDS community knows this, and Health Canada knows it as well." Over a year ago, a report commissioned by Health Canada entitled Taking Stock: Assessing the Adequacy of the Government of Canada Investment in the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS, came to that conclusion that funding for HIV/AIDS in Canada is neither adequate nor appropriate, but there has been no reaction from the government to the report's recommendations.
The Canadian AIDS Society's upcoming Annual General Meeting and Forum will provide an opportunity for activists across the country to determine action in light of the new statistics. It will be held from June 21 - 23 in Ottawa. The Canadian AIDS Society is a coalition of 120 community-based AIDS organizations across the country.
Copyright (C) 2002 CNW, All Rights Reserved
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Startled marines find Afghan men all made up to see them

Chris Stephen In Bagram
BRITISH marines returning from an operation deep in the Afghan mountains spoke last night of an alarming new threat - being propositioned by swarms of gay local farmers.
An Arbroath marine, James Fletcher, said: "They were more terrifying than the al-Qaeda. One bloke who had painted toenails was offering to paint ours. They go about hand in hand, mincing around the village."
While the marines failed to find any al-Qaeda during the seven-day Operation Condor, they were propositioned by dozens of men in villages the troops were ordered to search.
"We were pretty shocked," Marine Fletcher said. "We discovered from the Afghan soldiers we had with us that a lot of men in this country have the same philosophy as ancient Greeks: 'a woman for babies, a man for pleasure'."
Originally, the marines had sent patrols into several villages in the mountains near the town of Khost, hoping to catch up with al-Qaeda suspects who last week fought a four-hour gun battle with soldiers of the Australian SAS. The hardened troops, their faces covered in camouflage cream and weight down with weapons, radios and ammunition, were confronted with Afghans wanting to stroke their hair.
"It was hell," said Corporal Paul Richard, 20. "Every village we went into we got a group of men wearing make-up coming up, stroking our hair and cheeks and making kissing noises."
At one stage, troops were invited into a house and asked to dance. Citing the need to keep momentum in their search and destroy mission, the marines made their excuses and left. "They put some music on and ask us to dance. I told them where to go," said Cpl Richard. "Some of the guys turned tail and fled. It was hideous."
The Afghan hill tribes live in some of the most isolated communities in the country. "I think a lot of the problem is that they don't have the women around a lot," said another marine, Vaz Pickles. "We only saw about two women in the whole six days. It was all very disconcerting."
A second problem the British found came minutes after the first helicopter touched down at one of the hilltop firebases, when local farmers appeared demanding compensation for goats they claimed had been blown off the mountains by the rotor blades. "Every time we landed a Chinook near a village, we got some irate bloke running up to us saying his goat has just got blown off the mountain ridge by the helicopter - and then he demanded a hundred dollars compensation," said Major Phil Joyce, commander of Whisky Company, one of four companies deployed.
As patrols moved away from the landing zones, the locals began pestering Afghan troops attached to the marines with ever more outrageous compensation demands - topping off at a demand from one village elder for $500 (£300) for damage to a tree by the downdraft from helicopters.
But the marines were under orders to win the "hearts and minds" of local farmers in what is one of the few remaining Taleban bastions. "I managed to barter him down to two marine pens, a pencil and a eraser," Major Joyce said. "He went away quite happy ."
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e-mail: cyberqueer@hotmail.com
archives: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
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Friday, May 24, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 05/24/02 Information is power!

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

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Gay gossip flap costs a reporter his job

Tom Musbach, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Thursday, May 23, 2002 / 04:46 PM
SUMMARY: The media frenzy over Mike Piazza's sexual orientation culminated on Wednesday with a sports columnist losing his job.
The media frenzy of gossip and denials over a major league baseball player's sexual orientation culminated on Wednesday with a sports columnist becoming unemployed.
After New York Post sports columnist Wally Matthews posted a story on the Internet that criticized the Post and its gossip columnist Neal Travis, the Post said it fired Matthews on Wednesday for "derogatory comments and insubordination."
Matthews, however, claimed that he resigned from the daily tabloid.
In a statement posted on SportsJournalists.com, where Matthews' original criticism of the Post appeared, he said, "I told the Post, in no uncertain terms, that I would never write another column for them. . I'm sorry I didn't walk away sooner."
Matthews' column, which the Post reportedly would not publish unless it was heavily edited, said it was "abhorrent" that the paper ran Travis' gossip item about a New York Mets player being gay. Travis' speculation, printed Monday, prompted Mets star Mike Piazza to tell reporters on Tuesday that he is not gay.
Matthews wrote that it was irresponsible of Travis to speculate about a player's sexuality based on Mets manager Bobby Valentine's quotes in a forthcoming Details article about major league baseball being ready for an openly gay player.
Matthews also disagreed that professional baseball was ready for an openly gay player. He theorized that the first one "will face the kind of abuse no athlete has faced since Jackie Robinson wiped out the color line in 1947."
Cathy Renna, news media director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said she would hope "that the current environment would allow sports professionals to be open about their sexual orientation. However, the absence of openly gay athletes in team sports tells us pretty clearly that this is not the case."
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Missouri toughens HIV infector penalties

Jen Christensen, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Thursday, May 23, 2002 / 04:49 PM
SUMMARY: AIDS activists in Missouri are outraged by a state bill that lengthens the prison time for anyone who is HIV-positive and does not disclose it to sex partners.
AIDS activists in Missouri are outraged by a state bill, which is close to becoming law, because it lengthens the prison time for anyone who is HIV-positive and does not disclose it to his or her sex partners.
The bill, already approved by the House, passed the state Senate 28-1. It now goes to Gov. Bob Holden for his signature. His office said he's likely to sign it.
"This sounds so extreme," said James Green, the outreach director with Blacks Assisting Blacks Against AIDS (BABAA) in St. Louis. "It's not like a law is going to motivate people to be honest about their status. Sex is so personal; people don't think about the law when they're about to engage in something so intimate."
Green said no one's ever been prosecuted under the existing law, which puts people behind bars for up to five years for not disclosing their serostatus.
This law increases the maximum prison time to between five and 15 years. The sentence for those who infect unknowing sex partners would be increased to a maximum of life in prison. The bill also allows courts to administer HIV tests to accused sex offenders.
"There is no rhyme or reason for this kind of law, particularly if no one's ever been prosecuted before," said Ronald Johnson, who has worked against such legislation with the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) in New York. "We are extremely opposed to such laws because it criminalizes being HIV-positive."
There are other states like Texas and California that make infecting someone with HIV intentionally a felony. Just this past March, a San Francisco civil court awarded $5 million in damages to a man who claims he was infected with HIV from his ex-lover who had lied about his status.
GMHC's Johnson said this addition to Missouri law is "particularly draconian."
"It gives legislators false publicity telling the public that they're doing something about the epidemic when really they're doing nothing," said Johnson. "And since the law is based on people having to know their HIV status, this actually works as a deterrent to getting tested. It's a bad idea."
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Lesbian teacher settles harassment case

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Thursday, May 23, 2002 / 04:51 PM
SUMMARY: A lesbian high school teacher in Southern California settled her seven-year legal battle against the school district over discrimination and harassment.
A lesbian high school teacher in Southern California settled her seven-year legal battle against the school district over discrimination and harassment, Lambda Legal said on Thursday.
Under terms of the settlement, the Oceanside Unified School District in San Diego must pay $140,000 to biology teacher Dawn Murray and provide annual sensitivity training to employees about issues of sexual orientation discrimination.
Hired in 1983, Murray has received several state and national teaching honors. After co-workers learned she was a lesbian, Murray was denied a promotion, and she became the target of anti-gay remarks and graffiti that was painted outside her classroom. When she complained of the abuse, school officials threatened disciplinary action against her.
After learning of the settlement, Murray said, "Young people will learn from adult behavior, and it was important to wage this fight to show students all people have to be treated fairly."
Lambda Legal, the nation's largest legal organization dedicated to GLBT civil rights, helped Murray win an appeal in April 2000, arguing that California's anti-discrimination laws also prohibit harassment based on sexual orientation.
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Martinez murder suspect stands by his guilty plea

A Farmington, N.M., teenager who sought to withdraw his guilty plea in the beating death of a Cortez, Colo., transgendered teen last year told the court Wednesday he will stand by the plea after all.
Shaun Murphy, 19, had pleaded guilty February 7 to second-degree murder in the death of Fred Martinez Jr., 16. Martinez's bludgeoned body was found June 21 near Cortez. Defense attorneys had argued that Murphy acted in self-defense when he hit Martinez with a rock. Murphy entered his plea in a deal in which the state agreed to a second-degree murder charge instead of first-degree. Earlier this month, however, Murphy wrote district judge Sharon Hansen asking that he be allowed to withdraw his plea "because I feel that I would have a chance to get a lesser charge if I would take this all the way."
Public defender Pamela Brown subsequently filed a motion to withdraw the plea. She declined comment on the latest action, but prosecutor Joe Olt said Wednesday, "They had no grounds, no fair and just reasons to withdraw the plea."
Sentencing is set for June 3. Olt said he expects the proceedings to last all day. "I have pictures I plan to present and statements to be heard," he said. "I want the judge to understand exactly how terrible this crime was. [Murphy] needs to be put away for as long as possible. He's a danger to society."
Gay rights advocates have raised the question of whether Martinez was killed because of his sexual orientation and gender identity. He considered himself gay and often dressed in girls' clothes.
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Phoenix gay-bar owner murdered

Stephen A. Johnson, who owned three gay bars in Phoenix, was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon as he was restocking the automatic teller machine inside one of his bars, The Arizona Republic reports. According to a bartender who witnessed the shooting, the two robbers left a trail of cash as they escaped out the back of Harley's Club 155. Police say the men then tried to force a woman out of her car. When she refused and drove away, they hopped on a city bus, forcing police officers to stop every city bus in the area for the next two hours. The men were not found. Johnson, who was married and had three children, also owned Harley's Too and Cruisin' Central. He also once owned Millennium 2001, a gay dance club in nearby Tempe. Those who gathered at the murder scene to mourn Johnson called him "a socially conscious person" and an "all-around great guy."
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ACLU challenges Alaska's DP law

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal Wednesday with the Alaska supreme court in a case challenging what the group calls the "catch-22" of the state's banning gay marriage and then saying marriage is the only way state employees can get benefits for their partners.
Also on Wednesday, an uninsured stay-at-home mother filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, saying she cannot get health benefits through her same-sex partner's job as a public employee--but was denied Medicaid benefits because the government assessed her need as though the women were married. "I need health insurance--which I can't get from my partner's taxpayer-funded employer because we aren't married and I can't get from the Medicaid 'safety net' because we're treated like we are married," Mari Billington said. "I want our state supreme court to hear exactly how this affects real families--how it affects my family."
The ACLU initially filed the lawsuit in state court in 1999, shortly after Alaska's voters passed a constitutional amendment barring state recognition of gay marriage. While the lawsuit does not seek to invalidate that initiative, the ACLU says that in light of the state prohibition, using marriage as the litmus test for benefits constitutes discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender, thus violating the state constitution. The Alaska constitution guarantees "that all persons are entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protections under the law."
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Boy Scouts accuse N.J. town of discrimination

Boy Scout leaders in Lawrence, N.J., have accused a township foundation of discrimination, claiming the group unfairly rejected their funding request. Boy Scout Troop 27 asked the Lawrence Township Community Foundation for $2,700 to buy a trailer for camping trips. However, foundation president Pam Mount said the request was turned down because the Boy Scouts of America excludes gays from serving as troop leaders. "You are just as guilty as the press," Scout leader Michael Fredericks told township council members Tuesday night. "First they picked on the Scouts and now the [Roman] Catholic Church. Are you also going to start taking money out of the collection basket now because of the church scandal?"
Foundation members defended their decision but said they would be willing to discuss the issue. The council recently created the foundation to disburse donations made to the township.
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Presybterian Church dismisses antigay cases

A Presbyterian Church (USA) court in California has dismissed two cases protesting the clergy ordination of an openly lesbian candidate, Presbyterian News Service reported. Conservatives in the church complained that Redwoods Presbytery, which covers churches from Marin County to the Oregon state line, failed to examine the Rev. Kathleen Morrison properly to see if her views of chastity fit denominational policy against same-sex activity. The court of a regional synod dismissed the cases, saying there were no specific allegations of sinful behavior.
In a separate but similar Fort Lauderdale, Fla., case involving a lay elder, the Presbyterians' national court ruled in April that complaints of same-sex activity "must assert factual allegations of how, when, where, and under what circumstances" any wrongful behavior occurred.
Morrison, who now lives with a partner in Cambridge, Mass., is a full-time field organizer for More Light Presbyterians, which advocates full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Presbyterians in church life.
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Maine police officer charges sexual discrimination

A former Lewiston, Maine, police officer has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city, alleging he was sexually harassed on the job. John Parkin claims that supervisors and fellow officers constantly harassed and taunted him because they thought he was gay. Parkin, who quit the Lewiston department two years ago, is seeking unspecified damages to compensate him for the time he has been out of work, to cover attorney fees, and to penalize the department for the alleged misconduct. Parkin now works as a deputy for the York County Sheriff's Department. He said the lawsuit is about accountability--not money. "It is about principle," he said. "It's about not letting the bully win."
Lewiston police chief William Welch said Wednesday that he hasn't seen Parkin's lawsuit but that he is confident the city will present facts that will hold up in court.
Parkin worked for the Lewiston police department for only seven months before resigning in 2000, claiming he could no longer tolerate being taunted for not being "macho" enough. The Lewiston native said he was teased about everything from his tan and highlighted hair to not going out drinking with his fellow officers. He says he was repeatedly called "fag," "pretty boy," and other names, and that officers warned him he would never be one of the guys. Parkin's 16-page lawsuit includes numerous allegations involving more than 20 officers and supervisors. Parkin says Welch knew about the harassment but didn't do anything to stop it. An internal investigation by the department that was made after Parkin resigned cleared the entire force of violating any laws. The Maine Human Rights Commission, however, voted unanimously in December to back his claim that he was sexually harassed by coworkers, including Welch.
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AOL message board dedicated to O'Donnell's farewell flooded with antigay comments

MSNBC.com's Jeannette Walls reports that antigay messages bombarded a message board set up by America Online for users who wanted to post farewell comments to Rosie O'Donnell, whose talk show ended its six-year run Wednesday. "I cannot believe our society would allow gay couples to adopt little children," read one of the less obscene postings. "This is how you people perpetuate your gay lifestyles by bringing up children under your misguidance." Another poster wrote, "I find you to be a hypocrite. What sticks out in my mind the most is one of the times that Britney Spears was on your show and you were all over her for showing her belly button and what kind of message she was sending out to young girls all over the world? What kind of message are you sending out?"
An AOL spokesman says the board was taken down and replaced with a chat-room discussion on the same topic, but not because of the hate-filled, obscenity-laden postings. "The discussion was so robust and so popular that we changed the venue from a message board experience to a chat-room experience for a better member experience," he said. Walls quotes an insider who noted, "And people want to know why more celebrities don't come out of the closet."
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9/11 HEROES DISSED

By VINCENT MORRIS
May 23, 2002 --
EXCLUSIVE
WASHINGTON - House Republicans yesterday yanked a bill providing death benefits to survivors of firefighter chaplain Mychal Judge and nine other Sept. 11 heroes after critics raised objections, The Post has learned.
The 10 terror victims cited in the legislation are the only public-safety officers killed in the attacks who have no immediate family.
Sources said the measure was shelved because of some lawmakers' concerns over the potential cost due to its precedent-setting nature, while others objected to the bill's recognition of the victims' "domestic partners."
Under current law, only parents, spouses or children of public-safety officers who died in the Sept. 11 attacks are eligible to receive the standard $250,000 in federal death benefits.
If the bill had passed, any beneficiaries named by the 10 victims in their wills or life insurance policies, including siblings and gay or straight domestic partners, would have been eligible to collect the federal money.
The measure was named after Judge, who was gay. The other nine Sept. 11 workers who would be affected were not identified.
The bill had been passed unanimously by the Senate and was endorsed by a variety of organized labor and public-safety groups.
It cleared the House Judiciary Committee, but just hours before it was slated for a floor vote, House Majority Leader Dick Armey pulled it.
"Armey said we had to do this so the issue could be studied," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), a sponsor of the legislation.
Armey instead asked the House to vote on a resolution praising Ground Zero workers.
Armey's staff promised to look into the issue but did not return calls seeking comment.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said the department opposed the bill because of its cost.
George Burke, of the International Association of Firefighters, said it was an outrage to deny "recognition for fallen heroes."
"It's a shame that politics are injecting themselves into something that was meant to be benevolent," Burke said.
"We're very disappointed that they did not move this legislation," added Burke.
"We're very frustrated here. We're very angry," said William Johnson, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations.
Judge died when the debris from the Twin Towers came crashing down on him as he was administering last rites to a firefighter.
The 68-year-old Brooklyn-born Franciscan priest was affectionately known to many as "Father Mike."
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Cyberspace-Scouring Cops Accused of Suppressing Online Expression

The Associated Press
Egypt's gays, an ongoing police target, aren't the only Web surfers who should beware.
In recent months, Egyptian police also arrested a Web designer who posted a poem deemed politically suspect and a student who used the Internet to spread what officials said were false rumors.
"The new millennium came with unexpected changes in the use of technology in committing crimes. We had to respond," said Gen. Abdel-Wahab el-Adly, the Egyptian police official in charge of vice.
"We are dealing with a different type of criminal and the spread of new crimes," added Gen. Ahmed Shehab, who handles information technology for the police ministry. "This requires security and technical expertise to be able to patrol the Internet the same way we patrol Egyptian streets."
As part of the effort, police have gone online masquerading as gay men seeking partners, placing ads on sites that cater to gay Egyptians. Police arrested men in recent months who responded to the ads.
"We got 19 cases this way," el-Adly bragged. "It was great arresting them."
New Tech for Old Campaign
Human rights advocates say Egypt is simply using new technology in an old campaign against freedoms.
"We think it is really scandalous that Egyptian authorities are using the Internet to muzzle freedom of expression," said Virginie Locoussol, head of the Middle East Desk of Reporters Sans Frontiers. "If the state controls everything, then it is a police state."
RSF's upcoming report Enemies of the Internet, expected in September, will cite Egypt for the first time, Locoussol said.
Last year's report, the first compiled by the independent journalist group that campaigns for freedom of expression, didn't mention Egypt, but criticized such countries as Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and China.
Saudi Arabia monitors all Internet use and blocks access to as many as 1 million sites at any given time. China trains brigades of police officers to fight a war "against anti-governmental and anti-communist articles published on the Web" and violators can face the death penalty, RSF said.
The U.S. State Department's latest report on human rights in Egypt estimates that only about 1 million of Egypt's 68 million citizens are Internet subscribers. And while Egypt doesn't restrict Internet use and doesn't monitor citizen's online behavior on a broad scale, its law officers do keep watch on cyberspace, the State Department said.
The Internet was first introduced in Egypt in 1993, but the Interior Ministry, the ministry in charge of police, didn't get wired until 1995. Police say they began monitoring Egyptians' Internet use five years later.
Each police and security department has been provided with Internet access and computers, said Shehab. His department offers technical assistance to anyone on the police force who needs it.
True or False?
The Internet police recently caught Andy Ibrahim Shoukri, a 19-year-old student, spreading warnings via e-mail about a serial killer in Cairo. Police say the rumors were false.
Shoukri was sentenced to a month in prison by an Emergency State Security court in April for spreading false information. He could not be reached for comment.
In March, a trial for Web designer Shohdi Surur, 40, opened on charges stemming from his posting on his personal Web site a poem written by his late father almost three decades ago that reflects bitterly on the state of Egyptian society and culture.
If convicted, Surur could face up to two years in prison or a fine of $2,000.
"I'm not scared of the case as such, I'm scared of living under a horrendous violent and unjust regime. All of us are being watched all the time. Where is this leading to?" Surur told The Associated Press.
International human rights groups have also accused the police of entrapping and persecuting gays. Homosexuality is taboo in this conservative society and although not explicitly referred to in the Egyptian penal code, a wide range of laws covering obscenity, prostitution and debauchery have been applied to homosexuals.
Homosexuality is frowned at in all Arab countries and is explicitly illegal in some, but Internet-surfing Egyptian police seem to be the most aggressive in chasing gays right now.
"We are for personal freedom as long as it doesn't cross the red line of public morals," said el-Adly. Statements violating Egypt's "religious and ethical values" won't be tolerated, he said.
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Elton & Pals Raise $2M For AIDS

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 24, Cannes) Elton John led a parade of stars at this year's Cinema Against AIDS gala in Cannes.
The annual event draws on celebrities attending the Cannes Film Festival.
With actress Sharon Stone urging them on, the stars and Hollywood shakers shelled out more than $2 million (Cdn) Thursday night.
Most of the money came from a celebrity auction.
With Elton on stage, Stone went into the audience, cajoling the celebrities to "bid higher, you can afford it."
A bidding war erupted between U.S. fashion designer Calvin Klein and Prince Albert of Monaco for a private lesson with tennis ace Pete Sampras.
Prince Albert, won the lesson, after Stone in a skin tight red pant suit, jumped into his lap and coaxed him into upping his offer to just over $120,000.
Elizabeth Taylor was literally dripping diamonds. Taylor has one of the world's largest collections. But, other celebrities depended on gems on loan from De Beers jewellers.
The biggest rock was around the neck of Somali-born supermodel Iman. Even Taylor was envious of the priceless 203-carat Millennium Star. The diamond is the size of an egg.
De Beers sent its own security guards to accompany Iman.
The money raised will go to the American Foundation for Aids Research, amFAR.
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25 Million Dollar Lawsuit Filed for Transgender Discrimination

May 23, 2002, PR Newswire
A man, who is Transgender Female to Male, JEREMY BURKE, has slapped a 25 million dollar lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco's Police Department and others for discrimination and excessive use of force.
The lawsuit filed in the San Francisco Superior Court against the City and County of San Francisco's Police Department, Officer Anton Collins (#142), Officer Lee (#1057), Deputy Sheriff Veloro (#1702), Dorthy Lipkin, 350 Ellis Street Apartments, San Francisco Housing Services -- may be one of the largest discrimination cases by a transgender individual in U.S. history.
"This sends a message to governmental Police Agencies that discrimination in any form won't be tolerated," said attorney Waukeen Q. McCoy, who represents JEREMY BURKE, plaintiff in the case. "This lawsuit will send a wake up call to law enforcement across the country that the use of excessive force will be challenged."
The lawsuit, filed on May 21, 2002, alleges that Jeremy Burke, who was visiting his domestic partner at 350 Ellis Street in San Francisco, CA on August 13, 2001, was severely beaten by the Defendants. The suit contends that Police Officers barged into Burke's domestic partner's apartment, took the partner into the hallway where Burke's partner could not see, but could hear the beating. The suit says that Defendant Officer Collins grabbed Burke under both arms and dragged him out of a chair he was sitting in and began to punch Burke in the face and chest, several times in the eye, and in the stomach and kidney area repeatedly. The lawsuit claims that during the exchange with Burke, Collins told Burke to turn over on his stomach and Collins proceeded to slam Plaintiff's head into the floor several times. Collins handcuffed Burke and stood him up to slam his head into the wall several times. The suit further alleges that after Burke was handcuffed by Collins, Collins handed Plaintiff over to Defendant Officer Lee who bent Plaintiff's fingers as far back as they would go and said, "what are you doing to my partner?" The suit contends that Officer Lee bent Burke's fingers back to make Burke get on his knees on the floor.
On one occasion, the lawsuit alleges that a Police Officer told Plaintiff Burke, "its no big deal, you are not dead are you?" At the station, Burke was stripped searched by females. The suit contends that Burke was not allowed to take off his own clothing. His feet and hands were cuffed and he was made to lay face down on the floor. The female officers stripped Burke naked and then threw him into an isolation room. Burke told the officers that he was Transgender and one of the officers said, "oh s**t we f****d up." One officer then threw a blue dress into the room where Burke sat naked. Burke told the officer that he did not wear dresses. The suit contends that the Officers knew all along that Burke was transgender.
The lawsuit alleges that one of the female officers came and told Burke that Burke had to come with her. This officer told Burke that her "superior was having trouble knowing where to put him." The officer told Burke that, "we have to see what you have." The suit contends that Burke was made to take his pants off, made to pull his legs apart and told to keep himself spread totally apart so the female officer could "look at everything" for an exorbitant amount of time. After some time had elapsed, the officer began to walk out of the room and said laughing, "that is the biggest c**t I have ever seen." Burke was placed in a cell and made fun of. The suit contends that due to the beating by the Police, plaintiff received an infection and began to discharge blood. Burke was taken to General Hospital for treatment and could not be arraigned for at least eight days because he was vomiting bile and blood. Burke filed a complaint with the Office of Citizen's Complaints but nothing was done.
Burke is seeking damages for discrimination, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent hiring, training and supervision. Burke is seeking 25 million dollars in damages.
Copyright (C) 2002 PR Newswire. All Rights Reserved.
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e-mail: cyberqueer@hotmail.com
archives: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
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Thursday, May 23, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 05/23/02 Information is power!

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

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U.K.: Tory Defeat on Gay Vote; Adoption Ban Bid on Same Sex Rejected

Evening Mail
5/22/2002
ADOPTION groups today welcomed the defeat of a Tory bid to block gay couples from being able to adopt.
MPs voted last week by a majority of 155 to allow unmarried couples, both straight and gay, to adopt children.
The Conservatives forced a vote on a further amendment specifically excluding samesex couples.
That move was rejected last night by 301 votes to 174, giving a Commons majority of 127, but the Adoption and Children Bill, which contains the changes to adoption law, is expected to face fierce opposition in the Lords.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Dr Evan Harris said: 'This is a convincing majority which should be a clear signal to the House of Lords that the elected House wants to put the welfare of children before old-fashioned attitudes and prejudice.
'It is disappointing that the Government did not support the progressive view and that, therefore, there were tens of Labour MPs voting to continue to discriminate against stable gay relationships.' Under current law, only married couples or single people, including gay singles, are allowed to adopt, a situation which the gay rights group Stonewall said was 'nonsensical'.
Tories had accused Labour of using the Bill to promote a politically-correct 'gay rights agenda' but Health Minister Jacqui Smith argued the measures were about increasing the potential pool of adopters. 'In the end this is not a debate about a right to adopt, it is not about political correctness, it is not about gay rights, it is not even about parents, it is about a child's chance of a family,' she said. Felicity Collier, chief executive of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), said: ' BAAF believes it is important for children who are being parented by two adults to have the same legal relationship with both of them'
Should gay couples be able to adopt? Write to 28 Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AX or email EveningMail@mrn.co.uk
(C) 2002 Evening Mail. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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San Francisco Agency Pursues Community Housing for Gay Seniors

San Jose Mercury News, Calif.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
5/22/2002
by Renee Koury
Gay men and women flock to San Francisco for its progressive lifestyle, tolerant people and flourishing gay community.
But when it comes time to retire, many gay seniors say San Francisco lets them loose from its warm embrace. The Bay Area is so expensive that many gay seniors have to move elsewhere and suddenly find themselves snubbed and even hated outside the city's unique sphere of tolerance.
Retirement homes can be even more hostile, according to gay seniors and their advocates. Many nursing home residents who grew up when homosexuality was considered a crime and a mental illness still look down on gay and lesbian peers. Some staff members reject and mistreat them, gay seniors say.
"I would be very uncomfortable at a home with mostly heterosexuals," said Stephen Kellogg, 84, who lives in a small room in the home of sympathetic gay friends. "There are stigmas and hostilities and prejudice, and I would not want to live with that."
Now an emerging non-profit organization in San Francisco is proposing to build the city's first community housing especially geared to welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender senior citizens. Though some private developments for gay people exist already in Florida and New Mexico, most are expensive and profit-making. The San Francisco group would be the first non-profit organization in the nation to build subsidized housing geared for gay and lesbian seniors of low and moderate incomes.
"It's well past time that we do this," said Marcy Adelman, one of the founders of the non-profit Rainbow Adult Community Housing, which is working toward opening the gay senior housing complex by 2007. "Gay people don't feel welcome in traditional mainstream services. There are some who live in retirement housing now, but the perception is, if they come out and identify themselves as gay and lesbian, they will be threatened in a way that's too risky, so they have to return to the closet. Even in San Francisco. This is a terrible price to pay." The Rainbow group recently received a $250,000 grant from the state to plan the project, a proposed $50 million, 225-unit development.
Organizers hope to build it on a city redevelopment site on Octavia Street in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, the former Central Freeway site.
The state grant, combined with $45,000 from the San Francisco Mayor's Office, is apparently the first time government agencies have contributed to a senior housing program geared for gays.
The Rainbow organization also has received $50,000 from the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund and $25,000 from Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights.
Rainbow organizers estimate there are at least 35,000 gay men and women in San Francisco who are over 60. And as baby boomers age, that number is expected to swell. The new project would serve a tiny fraction of those, but Adelman said she hopes the project can serve as a model for other communities across the nation.
Kellogg said he and his life partner, Malcolm McCay, might have benefited from the Rainbow senior housing, if only it had been open when they retired.
McCay suffered a paralyzing stroke eight years ago, and the couple had to separate. Now McCay lives in a ward at Laguna Honda Hospital, and Kellogg lives in his small room.
"All we wanted to do was to grow old together like other couples," Kellogg said.
Many gay seniors have reported to Rainbow members how they have tried to hide their sexual identities to get along in mainstream retirement homes. Some said they hid pictures of their lovers for fear someone would figure out their secret. Others would not let their "flamboyant" friends visit them there because others would realize they were gay, said Jeff Golden, a Rainbow spokesman.
"We want to create an environment that says to gay and lesbian seniors that you don't need to go back into the closet," said Rainbow executive director Jim Mitulski. "Your lovers and ex-lovers form a network of friendships that are just as strong and life-giving and sacred as biological families. And we will be a whole community for the first time, taking care of our seniors."
(c) 2002, San Jose Mercury News, Calif. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.
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Gays and Lesbians Identify Marital Rights as Top Priority

5/21/2002
by Zogby International/ GL Census Partners Poll
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) Americans identify the legal recognition of same sex marriage as the top goal of the gay rights movement. This is the key result of the latest Zogby International/ GL Census Partners Poll, drawing on questions solicited from the media.
Nearly half (47%) of gays and lesbians identify marriage rights as the top priority of the gay right movement. Younger respondents (18-24, 51%), those who identified as lesbian (57%) and those who are partnered (56%) are more likely to select marriage rights as the top priority. Other issues identified as top priorities are equal opportunity employment (16%), hate crimes legislation specifically punishing "gay bashing" (9%) and increased gay representation in government (7%).
The May 2002 Zogby International/ GL Census Partners Poll, conducted April 26-29, 2002, asked a panel of 1456 respondents identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered (GLBT) specific questions posed by members of the media about their involvement with gay rights organizations, what effectiveness they felt these organizations have, and what issues should be at the forefront of their mission.
In addition to identifying the top goal of the gay rights cause, the poll also finds:
·Over a third (37%) of panelists say they are members of either national or state gay rights groups, while nearly half (49%) say they have donated money to those organizations.
·An overwhelming majority of respondents considered Rosie O'Donnell's coming out on-air to be positive in terms of advancing social acceptance of the GLBT community (86%) and advancing the parental rights of this community (90%).
·When asked what designation they would like the media to use when referring to their community, 28% say "gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered" (28%). A quarter prefers "gay and lesbian" (25%), while a fifth chooses "gay" (20%). "Homosexual" ranks last at 4%.
"What is striking is the importance the GLBT community placed on the goal of legal recognition of same-sex marriage," said Amy Falkner, lead researcher on the 2001 Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census.
"While this is clearly the hot-button issue, their top five choices all point toward a desire for equal rights and protections guaranteed by law. They want a level playing field. The fact that Rosie O'Donnell's appearance also polled so highly indicates they are seeking to legitimize their relationships and their family structure, and see Rosie as a stepping stone in that process."
"Sometimes our legislators work best when they understand what the top priority of a sector of their constituency is," observes Jeff Garber, President of OpusComm Group, a GLBT marketing/advertising agency. "With today's poll, the GLBT community provides legislators a clear mandate identifying marital rights as the top priority."
The Zogby International / GL Census Poll is conducted by Zogby International and GL Census Partners (a Syracuse University, OpusComm Group and GSociety Partnership), to focus and present the varied political, social and cultural views of the nation's Gay/Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender population.
Partners in the Zogby International /GLCensus Partners Poll include:
Zogby International ( www.zogby.com ) - A leader for over 16 years in the field of public opinion research and world-renowned for offering superior polling, market research and information services based on accuracy and detailed strategic information.
GLCensus Partners ( www.glcensus.org ) - The world leader in GLBT consumer research, GL Census Partners includes:
·The S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University ( www.syracuse.edu ) - One of the world's leading academic and research institutions in the field of communications.
·OpusComm Group ( www.opuscommgroup.com ) - Innovative Advertising, Marketing, Communication and Public Relations experts on the Gay/Lesbian market.
·GSociety, Inc. ( www.gsociety.com ) - A media/entertainment company whose reach and distribution channels target the millions of gay and lesbian consumers
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Mubarak orders retrial for suspected gays

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Wednesday, May 22, 2002 / 04:22 PM
SUMMARY: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the retrial of 50 men who were arrested one year ago for alleged gay sexual activity, officials said Wednesday.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ordered the retrial of 50 men who were arrested one year ago for alleged gay sexual activity, officials said Wednesday.
As reported by the Associated Press, the officials, speaking anonymously, said the president demanded that the men be tried in a misdemeanor court because they were accused of debauchery, not contempt of religion.
The president's action follows months of international outcry from human rights advocates and political leaders about recent arrests and harsh prison sentences for Egyptian men accused of homosexuality.
Last May, 52 men were arrested on a floating nightclub in the Nile River and charged with sexual immorality, a blanket offense that includes homosexual activity. After months of court hearings that nearly generated riots in Cairo, 23 of the detainees were sentenced to prison with hard labor, and 29 men were acquitted.
Mubarak endorsed the sentences of the two main defendants, however. Sherif Farahat, who was accused of being the leader of the group, received a five-year prison term for debauchery, contempt of religion, falsely interpreting the Quran and promoting deviant ideas. Mahmoud Ahmed Allam received three years for the religious charges but was acquitted of debauchery.
As Egypt's military ruler, Mubarak must approve all rulings from the emergency court in order for them to become final.
Details about when the retrial of the 50 men might take place were not available at press time.
Based on details of the A.P.'s report, a spokesman from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) expressed disappointment with the news.
"We're shocked that two of the sentences were confirmed and that he's ordering a retrial, not a pardon," IGLHRC's Sydney Levy told the Gay.com/PlanetOut.com Network. "We don't see the sense of the first trial, let alone a retrial."
Levy also questioned the purpose of retrying the 29 men who have already been acquitted.
Homosexuality, while regarded as taboo, is not expressly prohibited by law in Egypt.
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Second Idaho student jailed in flag burning

Matthew Henman has become the second former University of Idaho student leader to be confined in the Latah County jail over the theft of the campus Gay Straight Alliance's flag. Henman, 18, pleaded guilty Tuesday in second district court to petty theft and received a five-day stay behind bars and a year's probation for his role in the theft and attempted burning of a flag belonging to the group. Henman changed his plea following a pretrial conference with prosecutor Bill Thompson. He told Magistrate William Hamlett that he felt the flag's 13 stripes' being rainbow-colored was a desecration of the American flag.
Also participating in the theft were fellow student senators Joel Sturgill and Kevin Smith and student body president Kasey Swisher. All four have resigned their posts. Henman told Hamlett that he, Sturgill, and Smith had been drinking at an apartment the night of the theft. They then went to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house, where they met up with Swisher. He said the three senators got the flag in the alliance's campus office and tried unsuccessfully to burn it at the frat house.
Last week Swisher pleaded guilty to malicious injury to property and was sentenced to a year's probation. Smith also pleaded guilty to petty theft and received the same sentence as Henman. Smith remained in jail Wednesday. Sturgill is scheduled to appear before Hamlett for sentencing this week.
Hamlett said he was concerned that the students had time to think about their actions as they walked to the alliance office. "Surely, I mean, you guys weren't born yesterday, and you're not the dumbest kids on that campus," he said. "Surely somebody during that journey had a second thought about it." Henman said he'd had second thoughts but decided to go ahead with the plan anyway. Swisher has dropped out of school and enrolled at the University of Utah.
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Rosie O'Donnell wraps it up

Newly out comic Rosie O'Donnell wrapped up her talk show Wednesday after six successful years on the air, closing the show with a taped montage of her professional and "real" lives that included shots of her partner, Kelli Carpenter, and their children. Spoofing her famous comment about her "crush" on Tom Cruise--O'Donnell told interviewer Diane Sawyer, "I never once said I want [Cruise] naked in a bed doing the nasty. I want him to mow my lawn and get me a lemonade"--the show's very last image was a tape of Cruise pushing a mower back and forth, turning it off, walking to the camera, picking up a cold drink, and saying, "Rosie, I cut your lawn. Here's your lemonade."
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Ellen DeGeneres hosts Thursday's "VH1 Divas Las Vegas"

Ellen DeGeneres will host "VH1 Divas Las Vegas," airing live on Thursday, May 23, at 9 p.m Eastern/Pacific. The music special will feature Mary J. Blige, Cher, the Dixie Chicks, Celine Dion, Shakira, and special guests Steve Nicks and Anastacia. Check local listings or visit www.VH1.com for more information.
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2002 Outmusic Awards nominees announced

Nominees have been announced for the 2002 Outmusic Awards, which celebrate excellence in GLBT recording, songwriting, and cultural activism. The awards show, held in New York's Knitting Factory on June 9, will be hosted by Randy Jones of the Village People and his partner, Will Grega. Music pioneer Alix Dobkin will accept the first annual Outmusic Heritage Award. For more information, visit www.outmusic.com.
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StopDrLaura.com honored

StopDrLaura.com, the Web site that spearheaded a successful campaign to pressure television stations to drop a syndicated talk show hosted by advice-dispensing physiologist Dr. Laura Schlessinger, has received two Golden Dot awards from George Washington University's Democracy Online Project. The stated aim of the project is "to promote the development of U.S. online politics in a manner which upholds democratic values." StopDrLaura.com said in a news release Tuesday that it had been recognized in the category of Public Support and for mounting "the best online political campaign of the previous two years." (No award in that category was issued in 2001.) Although Schlessinger steered clear of issues related to gay rights on her TV show, StopDrLaura.com campaigned against it based on the views she expressed on the subject on her syndicated national radio talk show.
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Human Rights Report Calls For Partnership Unions & Adoption Rights In Ireland

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(May 23, Dublin) A landmark report on the status of gays and lesbians in Ireland has called on the government to recognize same-sex couples and grant GL couples adoption rights.
The report by the Equality Authority says gay and lesbian partnerships should be on the same legal basis as those of married heterosexuals.
Under Irish law, only married or single people can adopt.
The report also calls for a new Hate Crimes Act covering harassment and violence against specific categories of people, including gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and urges equality of treatment in health, education and the workplace.
"This report acknowledges the hostility, prejudice and systemic exclusions that are all too often the experience of lesbian, gay and bisexual people," it says.
The report took two years to prepare.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in Ireland a decade ago.
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Tobacco Suit Aids Gay Groups

Doreen Brandt
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 23, Washington) GLBT anti-smoking groups have been given more than $2 million (US). The money was distributed by the American Legacy Foundation, a national public health foundation created by the Master Settlement Agreement between state attorneys general and the tobacco industry.
"Data suggest that LGBT people are especially vulnerable to tobacco use and addiction," said Legacy President and CEO Cheryl Healton. "These grants help fight the seduction of big tobacco by committing resources to organizations that are well-positioned to meet the needs of the community."
Groups receiving grants will launch counter-tobacco awareness campaigns aimed at LGBT adults and youth.
The groups include the Billy DeFrank Lesbian & Gay Community Centre in San Jose, California, the Bronx Lesbian & Gay Health Resource Consortium, the Howard Brown Health Centre, in Chicago, and the Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer in Washington, DC. Other grants went to groups across the US.
"Legacy's grants are a significant step toward helping LGBTs stop smoking, while engaging the community to get involved in tobacco prevention," said Barry Dunayer, who manages tobacco control programs aimed at LGBT and other underserved populations for the Minnesota Department of Health.
"A couple of these grants particularly benefit LGBTs who are doubly underserved, such as women, youth, people of colour and those with lower incomes. It's critical that we offer appropriate services to LGBTs who want to quit, along with LGBT-sensitive media campaigns and tobacco prevention programs."
Grantees must address tobacco-related health disparities among their target population, support tobacco prevention or cessation efforts, or work to reduce secondhand smoke exposure. The grants are part of Legacy's commitment to identifying promising practices, culturally appropriate approaches and addressing resource gaps among priority populations.
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Record Crowds Expected For Disney World Gay Days

by Fidel Ortega
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 23, Orlando) More than 125,000 people are expected to take part in Gay Days at Walt Disney World this year.
The weeklong celebration, to begin May 28, will be expanded this year to include events throughout the Orlando area.
This is the 12th annual Gay Days. It began with one person posting a notice on a website calling on gays and lesbians to wear on a red T shirt. Only a handful of people showed up. Since then it has steadily grown to become one of the biggest gay festivals in Florida.
People are still called on to wear red T shirts. This year organizers are predicting "a sea of red".
Saturday, June 1, is the day planned for Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Gay Days has drawn the ire of Christian conservatives who several years ago began a boycott of the theme park.
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No taunts at proms for gays, lesbians

Maria Ferrer won't be going to her high school prom in June. Instead, she'll be joining hundreds of other gay youths at soirees intended just for them. It's safer, Ferrer said.
``I've had friends who've had chairs thrown at them at their proms.''
''It's so sad,'' Ferrer said. ``You get all dressed up, you go, and someone chucks a chair at you because they don't like who you are with.''
Ferrer, 17, is a committee member planning the seventh annual Pridelines Youth Services prom for Miami-area gays and lesbians ages 13 to 22. Last year, more than 500 attended. This year, 600 are expected, including some from Sarasota -- and a new Broward youth group, GLOaRY, is planning its own prom for several hundred more.
''I'm looking forward to going to a prom with my girlfriend in which I can totally breathe easy,'' said Ferrer of Coral Gables, a vocal-music major at New World School of the Arts. ``No harassment and no dirty looks.''
Ferrer said the New World School is a ''safe area'' for young gays and lesbians, but recalls attending South Miami Middle School.
''I got beaten up all the time. I had photocopied Scriptures slapped in my face,'' said Ferrer, who told peers at age 14 that she is a lesbian. 'My teachers didn't do anything to help. Sometimes, they participated in the harassment. The teacher said, `Oh, she can be gay if she wants to.' She was being negative and rolled her eyes.''
Pridelines prom chairman Joshua Santiago, 20, who attended William H. Turner Technical Arts High in Northwest Miami-Dade, said most classmates snickered when a gay couple attended their graduation prom in 1999.
'I was looking at them and said, `Oh, wow, they're here together. That must take a lot of guts,' '' said Santiago, who was still closeted at the time.
Pridelines budgeted $15,000 for the prom, which will be June 8 at Wolfson Hall at Temple Israel of Greater Miami.
''We have a large prom committee in charge of making decorations. We have fundraising events. It's really an event that is steered and put on by the youth,'' said Denise Hueso, Pridelines' executive director. ``Most of the fundraising falls on the agency and the board of directors.''
Each week, 100 gay youths show up at the Pridelines office, 180 NE 19th St. near downtown Miami, across the street from Temple Israel.
Half the youths are Hispanic, 48 percent black and 2 percent white non-Hispanic.
''We've seen a large shift in our demographics. A lot of the increase has been word of mouth,'' Hueso, 35, said. ``The black youth community has begun attending events and telling their friends. . . . They feel safe and welcome here and that is why they keep coming back.''
Hueso, a 1984 graduate of St. Brendan High School in Southwest Miami-Dade, recalls what it was like when she was a young lesbian in high school.
''It wasn't even talked about,'' she said. ``And when it was talked about, it was to mock the youth that was thought to be gay or lesbian.''
Lorrie Maurino, a longtime Broward County educator, said that although much has improved for gay students today, they still are taunted by many classmates.
''They're harassed, they're abused and nothing is done about it,'' said Maurino, 58, who produces a children's science show for the Broward Schools district.
Maurino, who came out in her mid-20s, recently helped start Gay Lesbian Other At-Risk Youth (GLOaRY), a Broward youth group similar to Pridelines. About 15 GLOaRY members meet weekly at a Barnes & Noble in Plantation.
Saturday night, the group will host its first prom at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida.
''I've really empowered the kids by letting them make decisions,'' Maurino said. ``It's their prom, their music. The adults who are going to be there, we want them to stay in the background.''
Adult volunteers will act as chaperones and security guards.
''I wish they had a gay prom when I was in high school,'' said Carlos Mota, 27, of South Beach. ``I wouldn't have had to go with a girl. I could have gone with my boyfriend. He was upset that he couldn't be with me at my prom.''
Mota is a manager at Joey Rolón, a Washington Avenue clothing store where several Pridelines youths shopped last week for prom outfits.
''I want something fabulous, something grand,'' said James Paul, 22, of North Miami Beach, a physical therapy major at Florida International University.
``Something that will get everyone's attention.''
Paul eventually settled on black pants, a see-through red shirt (``very Moulin Rouge''), black coat and black-and-red hat with feathers.
Prom wear will be as diverse as the youths themselves.
''I'm really conservative,'' said Paul's shopping pal, Jerry Perez, 22, of Hollywood. ``I'm probably going to wear a tux. Something old-fashioned.''
Outlooks runs the second and fourth Thursday of the month. To contact Steve Rothaus, call 305-376-3770, or send him faxes at 305-376-5287. Notices can be mailed to: Steve Rothaus, 1 Herald Plaza, Fifth Floor, Miami, FL 33132. The column is online at www.miami.com Click on the 'Gay South Florida' link.
srothaus@herald.com
GAY PROMS
. GLOaRY hosts its first prom, 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida, 1717 N. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $15 per person and $25 per couple and can be purchased online at www.gaylauderdale.com . For more information, call Lorrie Maurino at 561-499-6190.
. Pridelines Youth Services will hold its seventh annual prom, 7 p.m. June 8, at Wolfson Hall, 137 NE 19th St., Miami (Temple Israel of Greater Miami). Suggested donation $10. For more information, or to volunteer, call Denise Hueso, 305-571-9601.
© 2001 miamiherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
www.miami.com
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e-mail: cyberqueer@hotmail.com
archives: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/glbtnewz
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Wednesday, May 22, 2002

 
GLBT NEWZ 05/22/02 Information is power!

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

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Air Force strangler gets life in prison

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
Tuesday, May 21, 2002 / 03:32 PM
SUMMARY: A U.S. serviceman was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in the strangling death of a fellow airman out of fear of being exposed as gay.
An Air Force serviceman was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday for strangling a fellow airman because he feared being exposed as gay, reports the Associated Press.
A U.S. military court in Japan sentenced Damien G. Kawai, 19, after he was convicted of premeditated murder, larceny and obstruction of justice by a panel of officers last Friday.
During court martial proceedings last week, Kawai testified that he strangled Airman 1st Class Charles F. Eskew Jr. after witnessing sexual intimacy between Eskew and another man. According to the A.P., Kawai said he had also been sexually intimate with the third man and feared that Eskew might expose Kawai's homosexuality.
The crime occurred last Nov. 17 in Eskew's dorm room at Kadena Air Force Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa. Eskew died of strangulation, but his wrists were slit to make it look like a suicide, reported the Pacific Stars and Stripes.
Kawai will be eligible for parole in 20 years. In addition to the prison sentence, Kawai was stripped of his airman 1st class rank and dishonorably discharged without pay. A Kadena spokesman told the A.P. Kawai has the right to appeal the sentence but has not yet done so.
Kawai was an F-15 jet engine mechanic from Pahoa, Hawaii. Eskew was a jet propulsion specialist from Great Falls, Mont.
Okinawa is home to more than half of the 47,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan.
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Egypt denies it is persecuting gays

Gay.com U.K.
Tuesday, May 21, 2002 / 03:43 PM
SUMMARY: The Egyptian government has denied claims by a group of U.S. Congress members that it is persecuting gays.
The Egyptian government has denied claims by a group of U.S. Congress members that it is persecuting gays.
In March, 40 U.S. lawmakers sent a second letter to the Egyptian embassy calling on the government to stop persecuting homosexuals.
Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy has replied to the letter, maintaining that his country does not persecute gay men and stating that there is no law explicitly forbidding homosexuality in Egypt.
Fahmy explained that a group of gay men arrested at a boat party on the Nile "were convicted essentially under a law which penalizes promiscuity/prostitution" and "that there is no distinction or discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation."
In past months Egypt has tried a large number of gay men, charging them with "habitual practice of debauchery." Many have been sentenced to prison and hard labor.
Many of the men went through the public humiliation of being examined to see if they had engaged in anal intercourse. The results of these examinations were presented at hearings before the Supreme State Security Prosecution.
The group of U.S. Congress members replied to Fahmy, saying, "Your selective invocation of certain human rights conventions when it suits your purposes, and your ignoring of others when they don't, is unpersuasive."
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Puerto Rico asked to enforce antigay law

A conservative Christian group on Monday urged Puerto Rico's government to enforce a law against consensual gay sex on the Caribbean island. Though seldom enforced, Article 103 of the U.S. territory's penal code outlaws sex between adults of the same gender. If it were followed, violators technically could face imprisonment of six to 12 years.
The Pentecostal Brotherhood of Puerto Rico made its plea during a news conference in support of the position of house president Carlos Vizcarrondo, who said recently that there isn't enough support in the legislature to amend the law, which was first adopted in 1902. "We completely agree that the law against this type of people should be fully exercised," said the Rev. Miguel Alverio, a Pentecostal minister and lawyer. He said the group's position is based on "ethical principles" and "moral values." He said the Pentecostal Brotherhood would protest if necessary to oppose homosexuality and any attempt to amend the law.
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Taiwan star's drag stirs controversy

Taiwanese actor Chen Chun-sheng has played some tough roles--but none as difficult as the real-life role he has now as a man explaining why police found him in a wig, miniskirt, and high heels at a shopping center. The incident last weekend has been a hot topic in the Taiwanese media, and Taipei city council members weighed in Tuesday, criticizing the way police handled the case. The soap opera star told reporters he dressed up as a woman and went for a midnight stroll near an upscale Taipei shopping center because he was researching a cross-dressing role. When asked if he is bisexual or a transvestite, he told reporters, "Absolutely not."
Police stopped Chen after residents reported that there was a strange person in the area. After giving police a fake name, Chen tried to run away but was apprehended by a passerby, police said. He was released later without being charged.
At a news conference Tuesday, two members of Taipei's city council, Chen Hsiu-hwei and Hsu Fu-nan, held up the pair of black fake Gucci pumps that Chen left behind and criticized police for letting him go so easily. The politicians acknowledged that cross-dressing is legal in Taipei but pointed out that it's illegal to give police a false name and try to flee during questioning. The police said they didn't bother pursuing the case because the actor had no criminal record and was not breaking any laws when they stopped him.
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Pepperdine student barred from church mission

A gay student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., north of Los Angeles, has been barred from participating in a Christian missionary trip to Japan because of his membership in a gay-straight alliance on campus, the Los Angeles Times reports. Justin Emerick, 20, said he was barred from the summer trip by Let's Start Talking, a ministry group that sends college students overseas to teach English and preach Christianity, because he is secretary of Pepperdine's Gay Lesbian Straight Alliance.
"I joined the [alliance] because I think people struggling with homosexuality should have a place to deal with it, so I feel like it's a disservice not to talk about this," Emerick said. "To censor a discussion on gays and lesbians--or anything that doesn't mesh with traditional Christian values--denies their existence and denies people's struggles."
Although Pepperdine is not affiliated with Let's Start Talking, both the university and the ministry are closely associated with the conservative Churches of Christ. Emerick said he discussed the ministry's decision with school officials and was told that they agree with the decision to bar him from the trip to Japan.
"Being gay and being Christian are both parts of my identity," said Emerick, who lives with his parents in the northern San Diego County city of Vista during school breaks. "It never crossed my mind that being at Pepperdine would make me feel guilty for who I am."
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Rupert Everett to shoot mid-season pilot for NBC

NBC announced five new fall shows and three mid-season replacements last week, and now the network's West Coast president, Scott Sassa, has announced that out actor-author Rupert Everett will shoot a pilot for a possible mid-season replacement, reports Zap2It.com. Everett's series, Mr. Ambassador, went to NBC after a bidding war with CBS and ABC--the Peacock snagged the sitcom about an uptight British ambassador learning to loosen up after being assigned to Washington, D.C., by guaranteeing Everett that he would be paid for 13 episodes.
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Showtime to explore Winchell murder in Soldier's Girl

Showtime has announced production of a new original picture Soldier's Girl, about the murder of soldier Barry Winchell, who was involved with Calpernia Addams, a transgendered woman. The film details their relationship pitted against the growing animosity of Winchell's roommate, Justin Fisher, who ultimately ignited antigay sentiment in the barracks, leading to Winchell's 1999 beating death. Frank Pierson (Conspiracy, Citizen Cohn) will direct, and the cast includes Troy Garity (Bandits), Lee Pace, and Shawn Hatosy (In & Out, Borstal Boy). Out writer Ron Nyswaner (Philadelphia) wrote the script and will coproduce.
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10% Productions to merchandise Queer as Folk

Showtime and 10% Productions have teamed up on a line of products to promote the cable network's popular series Queer as Folk. The first product line, which will be sold on Showtime's Web site as well as at such mainstream retailers as Barnes & Noble and Borders, will include calendars, T-shirts, magnets, and martini glasses. A DVD box set of the show's first season has sold more than 100,000 copies in stores.
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Gay Tightrope Atop Niagara

by Jack Siu
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 22, Niagara Falls, Ont.) Gay tightrope walker Jay Cochrane called it "just another day at the office". But, for thousands of onlookers his 40 storey tightrope walk between two Niagara Falls towers was anything but.
With the world famous falls behind him, Cochrane, Tuesday, without a net beneath him, took only 12 minutes to make it across a 96-metre-long steel cable less than two centimetres (about 3/4 of an inch) thick.
As the crowd gasped, he paused half way, posing for photographers.
"There are the doers and the like-to-bes,'' Cochrane says. "I go after what I'm after and I find a way to do it,'' the man who bills himself as "The Prince of the Air" said.
The 58 year Cochrane has been walking the tightrope most of his life.
In 1995, he walked a wire above the Yangtze River in China's Qutang Gorge. Several years before that he walked between two 35 storey towers at the corner of Yonge and Bloor Streets in Toronto.
Cochrane will repeat the Falls walk throughout the summer, raising money for children's charities.
In his blue sequined jumpsuit and using an 18-kilogram pole for balance, he insists he is not a daredevil but an athlete, and he hopes his feat will convince Niagara Parks Police to give him a permit to walk over the Falls.
Tightrope walkers crossing the Niagara gorge were popular at the turn of the century but have been banned for several decades after a number of people attempting to go over the Falls in barrels needed to be rescued.
"Eleven different tightrope walkers performed (over the Falls) on numerous times and not once was there a fatality. We're professionals; we don't do stunts,'' he says. "They've lumped us all together -- it's not true.''
In the 1970s Cochrane owned two popular gay clubs in Toronto. Club David an after hours dance club was located near Yonge and St Joseph Street. He later opened a club on Carlton Street near Church where club Zipperz is located today.
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Cal Assembly Passes Partner Inheritance Rights

Mary Ellen Peterson
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 22, Sacramento) The California State Assembly has passed legislation to give surviving registered domestic partners the right to inherit a specified share of a partner's estate if that partner dies without a will.
It must now be approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor.
The vote was hailed by the California Alliance for Pride and Equality.
"This bill, when it becomes law, will provide our families with financial stability if a partner dies without a will," said Geoffrey Kors, CAPE Board Member and Chair of CAPE's Public Policy Committee.
"Allowing a surviving registered partner to inherit a portion of his or her partner's estate encourages responsibility and mutual support between two committed adults, protects the economic interests of the surviving partner and their children, and clarifies the distribution of the estate," added Kors.
Last week, the legislature also passed a bill that would allow the counties of Santa Barbara and Marin to offer death benefits and survivors? allowances to the surviving domestic partners of their employees.
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Baseball's Piazza Insists He's Straight

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(May 22, New York) New York Mets All-Star catcher Mike Piazza says the rumours aren't true. Tuesday night before the Mets played the Phillies, reporters asked Piazza about stories circulating in the sports world about his sexuality.
Piazza said he doesn't know how the stories started.
"I can't control what people think. I date women," he said.
Piazza told reporters that if he were gay he would have not trouble saying so.
He also agrees with Mets manager Bobby Valentine that players can accept an openly gay teammate.
"In this day and age, it's irrelevant," he said. "I don't think it would be a problem at all."
In the June issue of Details magazine, Valentine says baseball is "probably ready for an openly gay player."
"The players are a diverse enough group now that I think they could handle it," he said.
Valentine reiterated his belief Tuesday night. "We are all big boys. We can handle it," he said.
On Monday, the New York Post suggested Valentine was preparing fans for Piazza's coming out.
Meanwhile, John Rocker, who as an Atlanta Brave trashed gays and AIDS victims along with Jews and immigrants in an article with Sports Illustrated, is heading back to the minors for the second time this season.
Rocker is now with the Texas Rangers. Team management, unhappy with Rocker's performance against left-handed batters, optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma and recalled left-hander Randy Flores.
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Gay Bank Officially Dead Founder Says

by Fidel Ortega
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 22, Miami) Plans to open a new gay bank in the United States are now dead according to the man behind the project.
Steven Dunlap, the founder of the now defunct G&L Bank, was working on a new financial institution, but his continuing lawsuit against G&L partners and his arrest on wiretap charges have killed the new venture.
Dunlap and directors of the proposed bank, at his suggestion, have decided to halt the application process and return seed money to investors, he said.
The new bank was to be called G Bank, with its principal office in Fort Lauderdale and a branch in Pensacola.
Dunlap was arrested earlier this month when police said he had taped telephone conversations with several of the G&L directors he is suing.
Taping telephone conversations without the other party's knowledge is a crime in Florida.
Dunlap said if he is convicted, he would be barred from any bank operations. Even the accusation slows the approval process, he said.
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1700 Year Old Transgendered Woman Found

by Peter Moore
365Gay.com Newscenter
(May 22, London) Archaeologists have put together a puzzle that took 20 years to complete and dates back to the fourth century.
Dr. Pete Wilson, senior archaeologist at English Heritage said it shows a previously unknown side of Britain's ancient history.
Wilson was referring to the remains of a young Roman found about 20 years ago near Catterick in northern England.
The body had been carefully buried wearing a jet necklace and bracelet, a shale armlet and a bronze anklet.
"He is the only man wearing this array of jewellery who has ever been found from a late Roman cemetery in Britain," Wilson said, Tuesday.
Forensic tests showed that the skeleton had been born male, but it was adorned with female jewellery.
The tests also showed that the male had been castrated.
Wilson said that it appears the youth, who appears to have dressed as a woman, probably castrated himself"
"In life he would have been regarded as a transvestite and was probably a gallus -- one of the followers of the goddess Cybele who castrated themselves in her honour."
The mother-Earth goddess Cybele was worshipped in noisy public festivals and would-be priests castrated themselves using special ornamented clamps.
Post-castration, Cybele's priests wore jewellery, highly coloured female robes and turbans or tiaras complemented by female hair styles.
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Lesbians' Sentence For Stabbing Child Increased

for Gay.com UK
22 May 2002
A lesbian couple found guilty of stabbing a 13-year-old boy over twenty times have had their sentences increased by the Court of Appeal.
22-year-old Lorraine Large was originally jailed for nine years by Lewes Crown Court in January. Co-defendant Gemma McGarvie, 18, was sentenced to seven years' detention at a young offenders' institution.
Following a challenge by the Attorney General to their sentences for attempted murder, three appeal judges in London increased Large's sentence to eleven years and McGarvie's to eight-and-a-half years.
The judges, led by Lord Justice Rose, agreed that the original sentences were "unduly lenient".
The original trial judge had told the pair they had committed a "cowardly and vicious attack" on a defenceless child as he had cried for his mother.
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Gay Teens, Seniors Face Extra Challenges

May 21, 2002, ABCNews.com
When Charlotte Haas was a young woman in the 1950s, there were no activists in the streets to encourage her or support her if she decided to disclose that she was a lesbian. So, Haas did what a lot of gay people did a generation ago.
She kept it quiet, fought it, and found herself living a heterosexual life that never felt quite right.
If Haas were a young lesbian today, she would find a world that's far more open and tolerant of homosexuality. But she might still encounter hostility -- from classmates who are encountering gay people for the first time, from parents unable to adjust to a child's sexual difference, and from clergy who interpret God's word as opposing homosexuality.
Looking at people, young and old, who identify themselves as homosexual raises familiar questions. Is being gay a lifestyle choice, a genetic predisposition, a sin? Is it a matter of choice?
There's very little agreement about homosexuality in straight America. Men, women and teens who are living openly gay lives have wrestled with these questions themselves. And they've had just as much difficulty arriving at a satisfying answer.
The only agreement is that the presence of openly gay people has grown in the United States. In 1983, 24 percent of Americans said they had a gay friend or acquaintance, according to a Gallup poll. That percentage soared to 62 percent in 2000, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Once Upon a Time
Haas describes her past life as the epitome of what many Americans want.
"I had everything that was the American Dream," she says. "I had a lovely home, a cottage in the woods, two children, a good husband who provided well. But I wasn't really happy and I thought, 'Well, I can make the choice. I'll just forget about this feeling I have, and it'll go away.' But it didn't."
Haas' story reflects just how much people struggle to accept their sexuality when their society tells them it's unacceptable. Like many lesbians and gays of her generation, Haas gradually came to believe that she had no choice about her sexuality. Her choice was whether she could live with it or not.
About 88 percent of the lesbian, gay and bisexual community believes that sexual orientation cannot be changed. But only about 38 percent of the general public believes that to be true, according to the Kaiser survey.
But life is different now for Haas. A retired high school teacher, Haas is living with her lesbian partner of nine years, Pam Wilson, in the nation's first all-gay retirement community, the Palms of Manasota, near Bradenton, Fla.
Haas and Wilson moved to the Palms from a "straight" retirement community, where they still felt pressure to keep their relationship hidden. Haas says she and Wilson were always asked, "'Where's your husband?' or 'Why aren't you married?' "
Like Haas, Wilson also had been married and raised children. Admitting her homosexuality was no easy task.
"I felt very guilty for hurting my family, my husband. I felt like I should have never married, and I felt like I hurt my children," Wilson says.
Now, Haas and Wilson are grateful to be able to display simple affection for each other without meeting awkward stares or unkind comments.
"We walk around holding hands, and no one is going to look cross-eyed at us," Haas says.
Wilson adds, "We can hug each other in public."
The Consequences of Coming Out
The retirees at the Palms are among the estimated 1 million to 3 million elderly Americans who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Studies project this population will rise to between 4 million and 6 million in 2030. And Randy Rudder, a teenager in Roanoke, Va., may be among that population.
It took the residents of the Palms literally a lifetime to "come out," but Rudder and many of his peers are confronting their homosexuality in their adolescence. And the decision to do so comes at a price.
Rudder dropped out of high school in his senior year. "I was faced with harassment by different students at school and I just got tired of it basically and I had to stop going," he says.
Rhonda Chattin, now 28, also dropped out of school. When she came out, her mother offered to give her all the help she needed. But by help her mother meant help to get rid of her interest in homosexuality.
Chattin's mother saw homosexuality as a matter of choice. Chattin didn't, and her mother eventually rejected her.
When Chattin came home from a date when she was 19, her mother told her to pack her bags. Two police officers escorted her out of the house.
Chattin says she and her mother have since patched up their relationship.
"Parents go through the same coming-out process as their child does. And sometimes they get the same result of acceptance as a homosexual does. They go through the denial and anger," says Chattin.
Parents and Religion
Chattin now works with kids dealing with their own homosexuality, and says the toughest issues kids face stem from their parents and religion.
Christianity calls it an "abomination." Abdulmubdee Shakir, a Muslim cleric in Roanoke, says homosexuality "is an evil and we cannot tolerate it."
The most tolerant response among Christian leaders appears to be the "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach. This would grant acceptance to homosexuals in their community -- as long as they remain celibate.
Stephen Brown, another Roanoke teen who came out, says his parents' strong Christian beliefs made it impossible for them to accept him.
"My parents now are like, 'Maybe you're just mentally ill. You're going to get over it.' ... 'Well, maybe you have a demon. We'll cast it out of you.' I don't think that's going to happen," Brown says.
A Public Face of Gay America
When Americans describe homosexuals as "outrageous," "deviant," or "confrontational," they may get their impression from gay pride parades, where flamboyant costumes and groups with names like "Dykes on Bikes" are cheered. Events like this may give Middle America the impression that homosexuality is a lifestyle of excess.
But the retirees at the Palms and the teens in Roanoke don't bear that out. Charles Showard, 80, bristles when speaking of these in-your-face activists.
"It gives the gay community a bad name," he says. "And for gays to go out in public and make a public display of that sort, to me, is rather vulgar and demeaning against the gay community."
Billy Bruce Wagener, a retired college professor who lives at the Palms, had a different reaction when he went to a gay pride event.
"Here are people who are saying, 'I am.' I was, I was in tears," Wagener says. "I stood on the sidewalk and cried, because I kept saying I couldn't have done that when I was growing up, and I wanted so much to get out there and walk, yeah, with the first three rows. Even though I wasn't dressed for it."
To see more on this story, go to http://www.ABCNews.go.com
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Debbie Harry Flashes G-A-Y Crowd

May 20, 2002, World Entertainment News Network
Former BLONDIE singer DEBORAH HARRY chose an outrageously revealing outfit for her performance at London's G-A-Y club on Sunday (19MAY02).
The blonde star, now 55, wore a tiny black corset with a see-through net top, revealing her ample bosoms, and the rest of the curves her body has acquired since her late seventies hey-day.
Harry, a gay icon, still delighted the crowd with a selection of her Blondie favourites.
Copyright 2002 PlanetOut. All Rights Reserved.
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Homosexuality May Be a Risk Factor in Eating Disorders

May 20, 2002, U-WIRE
Homosexuality may be a risk factor for eating disorders among men, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
Even controlling for issues of psychological distress, homosexual men in the study were more likely than heterosexual men to exhibit signs of disordered eating.
Study co-authors Pamela Keel and Christopher J. Russell, of Harvard University's Department of Psychology, recruited 122 men to complete 30-minute standardized tests examining their sexual orientation and eating habits.
"Sexual orientation accounted for a significant portion of variance in depression, self-esteem, comfort with sexual orientation, bulimic symptoms, anorexic symptoms, and body dissatisfaction," the April study stated.
Although eating disorders -- such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and bingeing -- are primarily known to affect women, 10 to 15 percent of eating disorders occur in males.
"As we seek whom to target for prevention, we shouldn't automatically exclude men," Keel said.
Studies have shown that, whether male or female, those with eating disorders exhibit similar dissatisfaction with current body shape and weight control methods.
Despite these findings, researchers remain puzzled over prevention methods for eating disorders.
"We don't really know how to prevent eating disorders in anybody," making it difficult to discern what specific aspects of homosexuality contribute to a greater risk of disordered eating among males, Keel said.
While studies have shown that eating pathology is associated with increased femininity among females, the current study did not report higher levels of femininity among homosexual men, thus ruling out the speculation of gender role identification as an explanation.
"The ideals of beauty for homosexual men are different than for heterosexual men," Keel said.
An IJED study published in 1996, co-authored by E.S. Epel, found that homosexual men placed a good deal of emphasis on body shape and weight in personal ads. According to Keel, like women, gay men are under pressure to be physically fit and thin.
College nutritionist Marcia Herrin said she recognizes that characteristics of the gay community may contribute to increased risk for disordered eating.
Herrin, however, said the study's emphasis excludes heterosexual men who might have eating disorders.
"At Dartmouth, I've worked with straight men and gay men with eating disorders," Herrin said. "If we start categorizing disordered eating as a 'gay disease,' it might make it harder for heterosexual men to confront it."
"Whoever you are, whether you fit a stereotype or not, you should seek help," Herrin said. She added that as long as students keep their eating habits separate from psychological and physical issues, then they are less at risk of developing an eating disorder.
Keel and Harvard graduate student Fiona Moore are currently finishing a study on sexual orientation and eating pathology in women.
"Homosexual women might have a slight protective edge" over heterosexual women against eating disorders, yet in general, lesbians face the same disordered eating habits as straight women do, Keel said.
(C) 2002 The Dartmouth via U-WIRE
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Harvard Gay Recruits

Harvard College in the US has amended their 'Frequently Asked Questions' booklet to include a gay angle.
The new insert reads
``What is the climate at Harvard for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students?``
Over the past few years the process of attracting new students has become more niche orientated, as institutions target potential new students.
Director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center at Tufts, Judith Brown said
``Schools are inviting these students because they question the norms, they make people question their own assumptions, and that`s a key to learning and growing as people.``
Although gay students are not receiving the same intensive level of recruiting and incentives as black and Hispanic candidates, a number of colleges are making the first steps towards inclusive admission policies.
Harvard's admissions director took the unusual step of consulting both gay and straight students before publishing the college's admissions promotion.
``We`re responding to an expressed interest of our students and alumni to show we`re a welcoming place to students of different sexual orientations``
The lucrative business of attracting new students has even seen the University of New Hampshire targeting a high school in Dallas that specialises in educating gay students.
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Broward's first gay prom is drawing oohs and Oz

By Toni Marshall
Sun-Sentinel
May 22, 2002
Terrence James just wants to feel comfortable. So instead of attending South Plantation High School's prom with friends, he is planning to party at the first openly gay prom in Broward County history.
"It's very important to go to the prom with someone you want to go with, even if it's not a girl," said Terrence, 17, of Plantation.
He was tired of being threatened. Even his friends said they'd beat him up if he took a guy to the South Plantation prom.
On Saturday, from 8 p.m. until midnight, he will be partying in the "Emerald City" with gay, lesbian and straight students from across Broward County. The Gay & Lesbian Community Center in Fort Lauderdale will be transformed into Oz for "Come Over the Rainbow," a high school prom geared to gay students, but open to everyone.
Students raised $1,000 for the party and the GLCC is giving them the space for free. They are expecting about 100 students, but with a pay-at-the-door option, the numbers could grow. They've invited Rosie O'Donnell to step in if she's in town.
On Tuesday, Terrence and Emily Vasile had some last-minute items to pick up at the Broward Mall. They went from store to store checking out jewelry and shoes. Terrence wanted to wear a boa, but it won't go with his beige outfit, he said. Emily needed his opinion on a pair of shoes, just the right ones to show off her beige dress.
She was also trying to persuade Terrence to wear a tie. She didn't succeed.
"This prom is more laid-back. It's for open-minded kids who want to meet other open-minded kids. We don't really have that in school," said Emily, 17, a junior at South Plantation High and president of her school's Gay-Straight Alliance club. She's straight, but this prom gives her a chance to party with her friends.
Just under half of Broward's 24 high schools have a Gay-Straight Alliance organization. When it was first introduced at her school, students tore down the posters, she said. When they found out the club was inclusive, things eased up a bit.
"It's about being open and tolerant," she said.
Lorrie Maurino wants to try to eliminate the kinds of hateful incidents that Terrence and Emily have faced.
The prom was Maurino's idea and it has been in the making for a few years. Maurino is the executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Other at Risk Youth group, known as GLOaRY.
"When I started GLOaRY, one of my major goals was for children to come and feel safe to be who they are," said Maurino, who is writing her dissertation at Nova Southeastern University on gay student life.
"I was amazed and startled. I have been an educator most of my life - almost 30 years - I didn't realize what gay and lesbian students go through," said Maurino, who is gay.
"When you hear comments, you ignore it because you are afraid. I spent most of my life in the closet. I was afraid. When I heard those types of comments, I thought they were harmless. I just ignored them," she said.
The school district does not have a policy prohibiting same-sex couples. But as tolerant as the district's rules may be, that doesn't change attitudes. Many gay students simply aren't comfortable at proms.
School Board member Stephanie Kraft likes the idea of a gay prom.
"If they [students] feel more comfortable doing it, then I think it's a good thing they have that alternative," she said. "Just as they might not feel comfortable going to the regular prom, there might be kids at the regular prom not comfortable with them. It sounds like a good idea for all," she said.
But she doesn't see the school district sponsoring proms solely for gay students. She does understand that attitudes may not be very flexible, but you can't make people change their viewpoints, she said. The district forbids bullying of any type, however, in its code of conduct.
Until about five years ago, there were no openly gay proms for students to attend in South Florida, but then Miami-Dade County launched the first and it has been successfully holding one since.
Maurino said organizers in Miami are expecting 400 to 500 students at their prom next month.
In New York and San Francisco, the proms have been held for years. Orlando and West Palm Beach have had them recently.
For Gail Marks, it's been a long time coming.
Marks, 60, has been helping her granddaughter Nicole and the other students plan for Saturday's prom since January.
She's been giving advice on the menu and help with party designs, just as she did 40 years ago when she was a teenager in New York working on her prom committee.
Students fussed over the same things then as they do now - what to wear and whom to go with as their date.
It was not uncommon to see the most popular boy accompany the most popular girl, or to see athletes with cheerleaders or even a few singles going stag. But there were never same-sex couples. It was just not done.
It will be Saturday night. The rainbow theme is no coincidence. Sexual preference will not matter.
"I'm getting such a thrill. This could never have happened when I was young," Marks said.
In a way, this is also Marks' prom. She attended a typical prom when she was young, but she wasn't what was considered a typical teen at the time. She was gay - most people didn't admit it then, especially a middle-class Jewish girl. So she took the traditional path, stayed in the closet and went with a boy.
Her granddaughter, Nicole LoBello, who lives with Marks and her partner in Coconut Creek, reaps the benefit of a slightly more tolerant generation. Nicole, 17, who is straight, is a junior at South Broward High and the secretary of GLOaRY.
Marks sees the prom as a hopeful sign for acceptance of diversity.
"Some day it'll be OK and nobody will care - we hope," Marks said. "It's gotten so much better than when I was in school."
Tickets are $25 a couple or $15 for a single. For more information, call 954-309-9875.
Toni Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sun-sentinel.com or 954-356-4550.
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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