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    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE ... Friday, March 29, 2002 A black gay census of sorts by Rhonda Smith
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 30, 2002
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      Friday, March 29, 2002
      A black gay census of sorts
      by Rhonda Smith

      The three most important issues facing black gays in the U.S. are
      HIV/AIDS, hate crime violence, and marriage and domestic partnership
      matters, according to the largest multi-city survey of this
      population to date. <BIG SNIP>

      "In contrast to the high levels of agreement on the labels gay and
      lesbian," the report's authors said, "Black LGBT people do not
      readily, or even remotely, identify as 'queer.'" The term "queer"
      was one of the least popular options, the report stated, receiving 1
      percent of the responses. <SNIP>

      In addition, more than half of those surveyed said their church or
      religion viewed homosexuality as "wrong and sinful," while 25 percent
      said their church was accepting of homosexuality.

      INFO BOX:
      Black Pride Survey 2000
      To download after April 1:
      To obtain a copy:
      National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
      Cost: $10
      Friday, March 29, 2002
      Gays, Christian Coalition battle over education bill
      by Jennifer J. Smith

      Gays are attempting to 'use the public education system as the
      vehicle to expose and convert children to the homosexual lifestyle,'
      Georgia Christian Coalition Chair Sadie Fields wrote in a recent
      newsletter. With the 2002 legislative session slowed to a crawl and
      the number of remaining days down to a number that could be counted
      on two hands, gay activists and the Christian Coalition have squared
      off in a down-to-the-wire fight over an education bill currently
      stalled in a Senate committee. Dubbed "Parental Permission to
      Participate," SB 426 would give parents the opportunity to prevent
      their children from participating in extracurricular clubs and
      activities. Opponents say it targets gay-straight alliances and could
      be devastating to gay teens who find support in the clubs that they
      don't get at home. <MORE>

      Friday, March 29, 2002
      Lesbian teen slashed with razor blades in Denver
      The Advocate

      A 17-year-old girl in Denver is recovering from an attack by four men
      who used razor blades to carve gay slurs into her arms and abdomen.

      Wednesday, March 27, 2002
      Rome Fiddles, We Burn
      New York Times (Commentary)
      Homosexuality and pedophilia are not the same thing, and
      the Vatican makes matters worse by seeming to conflate the
      two. Moreover, child sexual abuse is not an orientation -
      it's a behavior and a crime.

      "If a 30-year-old man abuses a 7-year-old girl, you don't
      hit yourself on the head and say, `That dirty
      heterosexual!' " says Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and
      former Benedictine monk and priest who has written
      extensively about the sexuality of the clergy. <MORE>

      Tuesday, March 26, 2002
      Helms Reverses Opposition to Help on AIDS
      New York Times

      As he ends a 30-year Senate career, Jesse Helms has changed his mind
      about AIDS and has started to push for much more federal spending on
      the problem around the world. <SNIP>

      He has attributed his change of opinion to Bono, the star of the
      rock group U2 who has pushed for more federal spending to fight
      AIDS, and the Rev. Franklin Graham, who heads an organization known
      as Samaritan's Purse and is deeply involved with Africa. <SNIP>
      He has made it clear in recent weeks to reporters in his home state,
      North Carolina, that his concerns do not extend to AIDS in the
      United States. <MORE>


      Tuesday, March 26, 2002
      Hong Kong gay man and lesbian marry for benefits
      The Advocate

      A gay man and a lesbian married Monday in a public ceremony intended
      to draw attention to demands by gays in Hong Kong for changes in laws
      that deny them equal access to social benefits, such as public
      housing. At a marriage registry packed with reporters, Tommy Chen,
      28, tied the knot with female friend Yeo Wai-wai, 25. But Chen and
      Yeo also exchanged rings and kisses with their respective same-sex

      Monday, March 25, 2002
      Choosing Celibacy
      New York Times (Commentary)

      <SNIP> ... commentators have frequently twisted
      together a number of distinct strands that need to be
      pulled apart in the discussion. Conservative observers
      frequently, and wrongly, link pedophilia with homosexuality
      and imply that being a gay priest means that one is ipso
      facto sexually active. Liberals declare that so many
      incidents of pedophilia show the need for the ordination of
      married men and women. Still others claim that only a
      celibate clergy could misunderstand the problem of

      At the heart of many of these misreadings, perhaps, is a
      fundamental misunderstanding of celibacy. <MORE>

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    • CORNET
      CALLED OUT ... An Identity Gained, a Ministry Lost Pastor s Revelation Put Church in Quandary By Bill Broadway Washington Post Sunday, July 14, 2002; Page C01
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 14, 2002
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        CALLED OUT

        An Identity Gained, a Ministry Lost
        Pastor's Revelation Put Church in Quandary
        By Bill Broadway
        Washington Post
        Sunday, July 14, 2002; Page C01

        His life, as a man, was over. The Rev. Richard A. Zomastny, pastor of
        Rockville United Methodist Church and father of three, had made up
        his mind and was delivering the news to his superior: He was getting
        a divorce -- and changing physically into a woman.

        The fall 1999 meeting went as well as could be expected. Bishop
        Felton Edwin May was "very compassionate, understanding," the pastor
        recalled. The two agreed on a plan, which was to be kept secret.
        Zomastny would continue as pastor at the Rockville church for the
        remainder of the year, then take a medical leave of absence. No date
        was set for a return to active ministry.
        <LOTS MORE... including information I have not seen in print.>

        Friday, July 12, 2002
        'Sesame Street' adds HIV-positive Muppet
        Dan Kerman, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network

        The children's television show "Sesame Street," which has dealt with
        issues as basic as spelling to ones as complicated as terrorism, is
        now going to tackle HIV and AIDS.

        At this week's international AIDS conference in Barcelona, Spain,
        show producers announced they would introduce an HIV-positive Muppet
        on the South African version of the program. <MORE>

        Tuesday, July 9, 2002
        Gay Challenge: Coming Out Amid Balkan Machismo
        By Zoran Radosavljevic

        ZAGREB, Croatia (Reuters) - Daniel is madly in love with his new gay
        partner but carefully keeps his sex life secret from his family. In
        Croatia's conservative Roman Catholic society, it is probably for the

        "I shudder to think of the moment when my mother finds out. It's
        bound to break her heart, not only because she wants grandchildren,
        but because of what neighbors will say," the 23-year-old said. <MORE>


        Tuesday, July 9, 2002
        District Registers Domestic Partners
        By Alia Ibrahim
        Washington Post Staff Writer
        Page B01

        The District government launched a domestic partnership registration
        program yesterday, ending a 10-year wait for some couples who had
        hoped the city's 1992 law would help protect their rights.

        Several couples showed up yesterday at the D.C. Department of
        Health's Vital Records Division to register as domestic partners, as
        city officials celebrated the end of their decade-long battle to
        implement the Health Care Benefits Expansion Act of 1992. <MORE>

        Sunday, July 7, 2002
        Peruvians march with caution in first gay pride parade
        By DREW BENSON, Associated Press Writer

        LIMA, Peru - In conservative and predominantly Catholic Peru, Robby
        Bernaola decided to dress as a butterfly to march in the country's
        first gay pride parade.

        "They usually brand us 'goats' or 'butterflies,'" said Bernaola,
        six-foot-two (188 centimeters) in white mesh sequined wings and a
        skirt and top made of light blue stuffed animal fur with matching
        headband and pipe cleaner antennae.

        Friday, Julyu 5, 2002
        Zimbabwe leader may isolate gay officials
        Jon ben Asher, 365Gay.com

        Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has reportedly ordered his spy
        agency to compile a list of possible gay cabinet ministers and
        government officials.

        Mugabe, who runs one of the most repressive regimes in Africa, is
        well-known for his hatred of gays and lesbians. He has repeatedly
        referred to them as being worse than "pigs and dogs." <MORE>

        Wednesday, July 3, 2002
        Ruling sought on Seattle clergyman's silence
        United Methodist Reporter

        Some members of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference have asked
        Bishop Elias Galvan to rule whether a self-acknowledged gay Seattle
        pastor violated a covenant trust when he refused to answer questions
        about his sexual behavior during a disciplinary hearing.

        In a statement signed by several conference members, Connie Gent, lay

        member from Avon United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon, Wash.,
        Bishop Galvan (Seattle Area) to rule on a point of law regarding
        statements made by the Rev. Mark E. Williams, pastor at Seattle's
        Woodland Hills United Methodist Church. The request stemmed from a
        claim that Mr. Williams "refused to indicate if he was a self-avowed
        practicing homosexual" during an investigative hearing in May called
        to determine if enough evidence existed to initiate a church


        Wednesday, July 3, 2002
        Archive of black gay literature launched
        By Brent Dorian Carpenter

        Steven G. Fullwood is an accredited librarian and writer who
        currently works at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black
        Culture, New York Public Library in New York City. He founded the
        Black Gay and Lesbian Archive Project in 2000, also based in New
        York, to aid in the preservation of black gay and lesbian history.

        Tuesday, July 2, 2002
        GAY RIGHTS: Balance is sought on a sensitive topic
        Candidates' priority is finding the middle
        Detroit Free Press

        In August 1992, failed Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan
        gave a fiery speech at his party's national convention on the erosion
        of moral values in America, including the peril posed by the gay
        rights agenda.

        It was, in hindsight, a political disaster.

        Less than six months later, Democratic President Bill Clinton --
        having benefited in significant part by public revulsion to
        Buchanan's brand of Republicanism -- proposed an end to the ban on
        gays in the U.S. military.

        It was, in hindsight, a political disaster. <MORE>

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      • CORNET
        Monday, December 2, 2002 Advocate for women Canterbury archbishop By Jeremy Lovell Boston Globe
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 2, 2002
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          Monday, December 2, 2002
          Advocate for women Canterbury archbishop
          By Jeremy Lovell
          Boston Globe

          LONDON - Archbishop Rowan Williams, a defender of gays and promoter
          of woman bishops, officially becomes archbishop of Canterbury and
          head of the world's 70 million Anglicans today.


          Monday, December 2, 2002
          'Faithful' gay relationships OK: new church head

          The new spiritual head of the Church of England says "faithful"
          homosexual relationships do not conflict with the teachings of the

          "It seems to me rather sad, and rather revealing, that when it comes
          to sex we suddenly become much less intelligent about our reading of
          the Bible," Rowan Williams told BBC television the day before
          officially taking office as Archbishop of Canterbury. <MORE>


          Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002
          A Hate-Crime Drama Becomes a Stage for Discussion
          By DON SHEWEY
          New York Times

          THE LARAMIE PROJECT," the play that the director Mois�s Kaufman and
          his Tectonic Theater Project created about the 1998 murder of Matthew

          Shepard, a gay college student in Wyoming, had its world premiere in
          2000 at the Denver Center Theater Company. <SNIP>

          Clearly, "The Laramie Project" has entered the mainstream of American

          culture in a way few plays do. More than a docu-drama fleshing out a
          news story, it has become a catalyst for communities to discuss
          something of urgent importance: in this case, hate crimes, homophobia

          and the treatment of difference in American society. <MUCH MORE>


          Sunday, December 1, 2002
          What, and Who, Makes a Marriage? (Commentary)
          Salt Lake City Tribune

          Thirty-five years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States
          ruled that laws forbidding interracial marriages were
          unconstitutional. Today, our 3rd District congressman, Chris Cannon,
          is sponsoring a similar law in the form of a constitutional amendment
          defining a "marriage" as existing only between a man and a woman.

          How long before his bill will be found to be in violation of the

          Constitution? And how much taxpayer money will be wasted in the
          attempt? <MORE>

          Michael Picardi lives in Salt Lake City and is the chairman of
          Stonewall Democrats, The Utah Democratic Gay and Lesbian Caucus.


          Sunday, December 1, 2002
          Gay pride priest sacked
          Sunday Herald Sun (Australia)

          A PRIEST who marched in a gay pride parade which was opposed by the
          Vatican has been removed as pastor of a small parish in southern

          The Reverend Vitaliano Della Sala said today he planned to appeal to
          the Vatican his removal by the local bishop.

          "It seems unfair," he said by telephone from the town of Sant'Angelo
          a Scala. "A priest must defend the rights of those who are trampled

          See also: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_719140.html


          Sunday, Dec. 01, 2002
          Pa. cities brace for antigay crusaders
          A Kansas church group will protest in the Lehigh Valley in support of
          a local preacher.
          By Oliver Prichard
          Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

          <SNIP> The Topeka-based group is targeting 10 churches and colleges
          in the Lehigh Valley with an antigay crusade next weekend. They were
          provoked by local criticism of a Bethlehem preacher who suggested
          that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were a result of America's growing
          tolerance of same-sex unions.

          That preacher's remarks, delivered to 800 people at a 9/11
          anniversary ceremony, particularly offended members of a gay-oriented
          church in Bethlehem, who walked out of the service in protest.

          "I was basically in shock," said the Rev. Elizabeth Goudy, a lesbian
          and pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley.
          "It was a time when people were looking for comfort, not for blame
          directed at one particular group."

          Organizers of the ceremony and the Presbyterian church that hosted it
          apologized, and nerves appeared to be settling - until Westboro
          Baptist Church decided the "hellbound perverts" of the Lehigh Valley
          required its services. <MUCH MORE>


          Saturday, November 30, 2002
          Education: In Harvard Papers, a Dark Corner of the College's Past

          About six months ago Amit R. Paley, a writer for The Harvard Crimson,

          was researching an article he thought fairly mundane when, combing a
          list of the university archives' holdings, he was stunned to see an
          entry for "Secret Court Files, 1920."

          That short reference eventually led Mr. Paley to 500 pages of
          documents describing an episode more than 80 years ago in which the
          Harvard administration methodically harassed a number of young men
          for being gay, on suspicion of being gay or simply for associating
          with gays. Nine of those victimized � one teacher and eight students
          � were ousted from the college and essentially run out of town.


          Wednesday, November 27, 2002
          Campus newspaper exposes Harvard's antigay past
          The Advocate

          What began as an inquiry into a student's suicide in 1920 ended in
          Harvard University convening a secret tribunal that labeled 14 men
          "guilty" of being gay and forcing the students among them to leave
          not only the school but the city of Cambridge, Mass.

          The hidden history of the tribunal, known as "the court," first
          reported by the Harvard Crimson newspaper on Thursday, describes
          Harvard's desperate efforts, which were kept secret for more than
          eight decades, to hide from public view a secret gay subculture on
          campus. <MORE>

          Tuesday, November 26, 2002
          Superintendent upholds decision to permit gay-straight group to meet
          at high school

          CANNONSBURG, Ky.- Boyd County school Superintendent Bill Capehart
          upheld a decision by a local high school to allow the Gay-Straight
          Alliance to meet on campus. <SNIP>

          Two ministers are pressing an appeal of the Oct. 28 decision by the
          school's teacher-parent council, which recognized the group and let
          it meet at school.

          The Rev. Tim York, pastor of Heritage Temple Free Will Baptist Church
          in Cannonsburg and president of the Boyd County Ministerial
          Association, and the Rev. Bill Bentley, pastor of First United
          Methodist Church in Catlettsburg, have asked for a meeting with King
          and principal Jerry Johnson.


          Tuesday, November 26, 2002
          Boyd ruling expected on gay-rights group
          Superintendent will decide on appeal
          By Mark Pitsch
          The Courier-Journal (Louisville)

          CANNONSBURG, Ky. -- The Boyd County school superintendent said he
          will rule today on an appeal challenging a decision that allows a
          gay-rights group to meet at Boyd County High School.

          Superintendent Bill Capehart also said he will recommend that
          supporters and opponents of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance meet
          face-toface to discuss their differences and ''to dispel myths in the
          community'' about the group.

          Capehart said the alliance is not recruiting students or discussing
          sexual practices at its meetings. Critics say the group is
          inappropriate for a school and will foster homosexuality among
          students. <MORE>


          Tuesday, November 26, 2002
          Soulforce grapples with Phelps visit

          FERNDALE, MI - Should Ferndale residents respond to the promised
          visit of the Kansas Pastor Fred Phelps or should they ignore his
          presence in their city? That was the question Soulforce board members
          discussed at their most recent meeting.

          Soulforce, a national interfaith organization committed to ending
          what it describes as "spiritual violence" created by negative
          religious policies and teachings aimed at lgbt people, is best known
          for its recent efforts to bring the comments of Ferndale Police
          Chaplain Tom Hansen to light. At a city council meeting this summer,
          Hansen made statements condemning the "the practice of the
          homosexual, lesbian and cross-gender lifestyle" as "immoral and
          contrary to the express word of God and the well-being of our city."

          Monday, November 25, 2002
          Critics Say Government Deleted Web Site Material to Push Abstinence
          By ADAM CLYMER
          New York Times

          Information on condom use, the relation between abortion and breast
          cancer and ways to reduce sex among teenagers has been removed from
          government Web sites, prompting critics to accuse the Department of
          Health and Human Services of censoring medical information in order
          to promote a philosophy of sexual abstinence.

          Over the last year, the department has quietly expunged information
          on how using condoms protects against AIDS, how abortion does not
          increase the risk of breast cancer and how to run programs proven to
          reduce teenage sexual activity. The posting that found no link
          between abortion and breast cancer was removed from the department's
          Web site last June, after Representative Christopher H. Smith, a New
          Jersey Republican who is co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus,
          wrote a letter of protest to Secretary Tommy Thompson calling the
          research cited by the National Cancer Institute "scientifically
          inaccurate and misleading to the public." <MORE>

          November 15, 2002
          Hate crime at Morehouse College?
          Gay students say homophobia to blame for attack in dorm shower
          by JENNIFER J. SMITH

          An attack that began with a glance in a dorm shower at Morehouse
          College sent one student to the hospital, another to jail, and
          prompted charges of widespread homophobia at the historically black
          all-male private school in southwest Atlanta.

          Gregory Love, a junior at Morehouse, was beaten "approximately six to
          seven times, about the face, head, shoulders, back and arms" with a
          baseball bat on Nov. 3 in the bathroom of the Brazeal Hall dormitory,
          according to an incident report filed by the Morehouse College Police
          Department. <LOTS MORE>


          November 10, 2002
          A Sampler of Hell, as One Church Pictures It, Anyhow
          By LEWIS BEALE
          New York Times

          WHEN the Trinity Church of Cedar Hill, Tex., wants to scare
          the pants off you around Halloween, it doesn't do it with a
          typical haunted house featuring ghosts, goblins and ghouls.
          Instead, it erects a Hell House in which congregants act
          out Grand Guignolesque scenes warning of the dangers of
          sinful behavior.

          At Hell House - actually a series of house trailers - the
          church stages one scene in which a gay man dying of AIDS is
          mocked by a grinning demon who welcomes him into Hell.
          Another vignette warns you to watch out what drugs you
          consume, because you might overdose, and then that friend
          of the Evil One will drag you into purgatory. Abortions?
          Spousal abuse? Suicide? At Hotel Lucifer you can check in,
          but you can never leave. <MORE>

          Lewis Beale is a senior writer at Us Weekly.

          November 08, 2002 edition
          Tammy Faye's Thriving Gay Ministry
          Ex-PTL co-host doesn't call homosexuality sin while talking to groups
          Charisma News Service

          Former co-host of the controversial PTL Television Network, Tammy
          Bakker (now Messner) has been enjoying a burgeoning ministry to
          homosexuals. Once adored by viewers of the electronic church, Messner

          now appears at gay-pride events nationwide, such as a Tammy Faye
          look-alike contest held in Washington, D.C., recently where,
          according to National Public Radio, she was "surrounded by men in
          falsies and
          pancake makeup and...impossible to upstage." <SNIP>

          How can you not love people who have treated you so kindly at the
          lowest part in your life?" Messner says of her ministry, explaining
          how it was born out of the collapse of PTL, which saw her begin a
          church in Orlando, Fla., after her then-husband Jim Bakker was sent
          to prison.

          During this time, a self-confessed homosexual wrote to Messner and
          sent her $10,000 to use as she wished. Years earlier, the gay
          community had realized Messner's concern for homosexuals when she had
          interviewed a man who had AIDS. "I told the church that they were
          created to love people with AIDS, not shun them," she said. <MORE>

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        • CORNET
          CALLED OUT May you have a blessed Christmas and happy New Year. ... A New Dimension in Snapshot of Gay Teenagers December 24, 2002 By DAVID TULLER New York
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 24, 2002
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            CALLED OUT

            May you have a blessed Christmas and happy New Year.


            A New Dimension in Snapshot of Gay Teenagers
            December 24, 2002
            By DAVID TULLER
            New York Times
            <SNIP> Dr. Ritch C. Savin-Williams, a professor of developmental
            and clinical psychology at Cornell, says many of the
            studies are "horribly flawed" and significantly overstate
            the degree of self-destructive behavior. Moreover, he says,
            by focusing so much attention on those who are at risk
            rather than on the large majority of gay and lesbian
            teenagers who appear to be doing well, the research is
            "pathologizing" gay youth and handing conservative groups
            ammunition to argue that being gay is inherently unhealthy. <MORE>


            Thursday, December 19, 2002
            A peaceful community
            Ferndale prepares for the arrival a hate-monger
            By Kelly Peters
            Between the Lines

            FERNDALE - Led and organized by Dr. Dennis Paulson, pastor of First
            United Methodist Church, more than 150 friends and community members
            of Ferndale attended a rally that proclaimed Ferndale as a "hate-free

            Tuesday night, Dr. John Corvino held the audience with his lecture
            titled, "What' Morally Wrong with Homosexuality." He outlined the
            arguments used by the anti-gay community to explain why homosexuality
            is wrong. Corvino is also an assistant professor of philosophy at
            Wayne State University in Detroit. <MORE>


            Thursday, December 19, 2002
            Roseville man attacked at Denny's
            By Kelly Peters
            Between the Lines

            ROSEVILLE - A gay employee of Denny's restaurant chain, endured more
            than a year of harassment from a fellow co-worker and pleaded with
            managers to help him out. The situation came to a head on Nov. 9 when
            Harold Shank was stabbed by a coworker with a fork.

            "I'm okay, it was just a scratch but in order to defend myself, I hit
            him on the head with a cup," said Shank. The co-worker had to get
            three stitches in his head because of the injury and the Roseville
            police were called in to write up a police report. <MORE>


            Wednesday, December 18, 2002
            Pataki Signs Law Protecting Rights of Gays
            By SHAILA K. DEWAN

            ALBANY, Dec. 17 - Thirty-one years after the first gay
            rights bill was introduced in Albany, Gov. George E. Pataki
            today signed into law a bill extending civil rights
            protections to gays and lesbians in the state - hours after
            the Republican-led State Senate mustered the votes to
            approve it. <MORE>


            December 14, 2002
            World Briefing: Americas

            Aires granted legal status to gay and lesbian couples, allowing
            benefits like pensions and hospital visits, a move hailed as a first
            for the country. The law will cover insurance policies and health
            benefits covered by the municipal local government only. But it will
            not permit same-sex couples to adopt children nor marry. (Reuters)

            Two Features:

            December 4, 2002
            Long Road Home
            The Gully

            One Face of Gay Africa: Part 1. Cheikh Traor� is a 35 year-old AIDS
            educator working with African communities in London. He talks about
            his work, and what it was like growing up gay in West Africa.

            December 12, 2002
            Creating Community in Exile
            The Gully

            One Face of Gay Africa: Part 2. Cheikh Traor� talks about his life in
            London and his struggle to "invent this notion of being gay and


            D.C. Church Authorizes Same-Sex Unions
            By Caryle Murphy and Bill Broadway
            Washington Post Staff Writers
            Tuesday, December 10, 2002; Page B01

            National City Christian Church, a prominent mainline congregation in
            Northwest Washington, has decided to allow same-sex weddings in its

            The unanimous decision on Saturday by its board of elders places the
            159-year-old congregation, where U.S. presidents James A. Garfield
            and Lyndon B. Johnson once worshiped, among a small number of D.C.
            area churches that permit such services, often called "covenant
            ceremonies." <MORE>


            December 7, 2002
            International: Britain Announces Proposal for Same-Sex Partnerships
            By WARREN HOGE

            The partnerships would give homosexual couples property and
            inheritance rights and grant each person the status of next-of-kin to
            the other.


            Friday, 6 December, 2002, 16:21 GMT
            Gay couples 'to get equal rights'

            Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals would be granted many of the same
            rights as married couples under UK Government plans for
            legally-recognised civil partnerships. Barbara Roche, the Minister
            for Social Exclusion and Equalities, says there is a strong case for
            allowing same-sex couples to register their relationships. <MORE>


            Thursday, December 5, 2002
            Portland facing lawsuit over partner rule
            By MARK SHANAHAN, Portland Press Herald Writer

            Calling provisions of Portland's domestic-partner ordinance coercive
            and illegal, Catholic Charities Maine announced Wednesday it will
            challenge the law in court.

            John Kerry, chief executive officer, said the social-service agency
            will sue the city for withholding public funds because Catholic
            Charities does not, as required by the ordinance, offer
            domestic-partner benefits to its employees. <MORE>

            December 10, 2002

            BTL-Digest Breaking Community Press Release
            From: Arcus Foundation; 303 N. Rose St., Suite 300; Kalamazoo,
            MI 49007
            Contact: Linda May, Executive Director; 269/373-4373

            Arcus Foundation will donate $10 to gay advocacy group
            for every minute anti-gay hate group demonstrates in Ferndale

            Kalamazoo, Mich.-The Arcus Foundation has pledged to donate to a gay
            rights organization for every minute Fred Phelps and his hate group
            demonstrate during an anti-gay protest planned for Dec. 21-22 in

            Arcus will donate $10 per minute (up to $2,000) to the Detroit
            chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
            (PFLAG). The chapter plans to devote all donations toward its
            efforts to fight bigotry, violence and hate through education,
            support and advocacy programs on behalf of the gay, lesbian, bisexual
            and transgender (GLBT) community.

            "We're pleased to join this creative and positive response to Fred
            Phelps' hateful message," says Arcus Foundation president and founder
            Jon Stryker. "Every minute of his group's offensive rhetoric will be
            translated into a financial vote for love, compassion and support
            toward the people they seek to condemn."

            A group of gay, religious and city leaders in Ferndale has promoted
            the per-minute pledges as a peaceful protest to Phelps'

            Phelps, 73, is the Kansas preacher who travels the nation with his
            family to proclaim hate for homosexuals. According to the Detroit
            Free Press, his group will target Ferndale churches, city council
            members and others he says are "befriending Satan" by tolerating gays
            and lesbians.

            The Arcus Foundation of Kalamazoo, Mich., seeks to contribute to a
            pluralistic society that celebrates diversity and dignity, invests in
            youth and justice and promotes tolerance and compassion. Arcus has
            awarded grants to several state and national organizations that work
            to improve the quality of life of the GLBT community.

            For more information:



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            CALLED OUT ... Thursday, March 27, 2003 Presbyterian minister takes stand on gay issue John Nolan Associated Press
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 27, 2003
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              CALLED OUT

              Thursday, March 27, 2003
              Presbyterian minister takes stand on gay issue
              John Nolan
              Associated Press

              Cincinnati- A Presbyterian minister awaiting the denomination's first
              trial for marrying homosexual couples says he hopes his defiant stand
              will help bring about change and greater acceptance.

              The Rev. Stephen Van Kuiken readily acknowledges that policies he and
              his Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church congregation have endorsed
              violate the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He says,
              however, the issues are fairness to gays and whether the church will
              welcome them along with heterosexuals. <MORE>

              Thursday, March 27, 2003
              Presbyterian leader understands conflict
              By Mark Pinsky
              ORLANDO SENTINEL

              The Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel knows quite a bit about intractable

              As a Palestinian Christian, raised in Israel and fluent in Hebrew, he
              is impassioned about the plight of Arabs living under Jewish
              occupation in Gaza and the West Bank, and the need for peace in the
              Middle East.

              As the elected head of the 2.5 million-member Presbyterian Church,
              USA, he leads a denomination that is internally divided over
              sexuality and steadily losing members. <MORE>


              Thursday, March 27, 2003
              Excerpts From Arguments Before the Supreme Court
              New York Times

              WASHINGTON, March 26 � Following are excerpts from arguments before
              the Supreme Court today in Lawrence v. Texas, as recorded by the
              Alderson Reporting Company. Arguing against the law was Paul M.
              Smith; defending it was Charles A. Rosenthal Jr., the district
              attorney for Harris County, Tex. The Times has supplied the
              identities of the justices. <MORE>

              Thursday, March 27, 2003
              Supreme Court Seems Set to Reverse a Sodomy Law
              By LINDA GREENHOUSE
              New York Times

              WASHINGTON, March 26 � A majority of the Supreme Court appeared ready
              today to overturn a Texas "homosexual conduct" law that criminalizes
              sexual practices between same-sex couples that are lawful in the
              state when performed by a man and a woman.

              Texas is one of four states to make such a distinction, and one of 13
              with criminal sodomy laws still on their books. It appeared from the
              argument today, on behalf of two Houston men who were prosecuted
              after the police found them having sex in a private apartment, that
              the court would follow a path of least resistance and invoke the
              constitutional guarantee of equal protection to strike down the Texas
              law. <MORE>

              Thursday, March 27, 2003
              The Rights of Gay Americans
              New York Times Editorial

              Thomas McLaughlin, who is 14, says he has been harassed because he is
              gay � by his own school. He and his family report that when officials
              at Jacksonville Junior High School in Arkansas learned that he was a
              homosexual, a counselor called his mother to inform her. And a
              teacher wrote a letter telling him he would go to hell. The Supreme
              Court should think of Mr. McLaughlin as it considers the gay rights
              case that it heard arguments in yesterday. More than 84 percent of
              gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, primarily in high
              school, are exposed to antigay comments from students or faculty over
              the course of a year, according to a national survey. More than
              one-third reported being physically harassed. <MORE>

              Wednesday, March 26, 2003
              Court should rule for personal privacy in sex case
              Detroit Free Press Editorial

              The sexual activity of consenting, responsible adults in the privacy
              of their homes is none of the government's business. The U.S. Supreme
              Court has an opportunity to say so in a landmark case being argued
              today over a Texas law against homosexual sodomy.

              Most states have repealed their laws against sodomy, which is
              variously defined as copulation that cannot or is not intended to
              result in procreation. Texas is among four states that expressly
              outlaw sodomy between people of the same gender. Michigan still has a
              more general anti-sodomy law, but it has not been enforced since a
              1990 Wayne County Circuit Court ruling that it was unconstitutional.


              Wednesday, March 26, 2003
              High Court Hears Arguments in Test of Texas Sodomy Law
              By Allie Martin and Jody Brown
              American Family Association (anti-gay)

              (AgapePress) - The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments in a
              case which many believe could legalize homosexual sex in America.

              Attorneys with the American Family Association Center for Law &
              Policy were at the Supreme Court building on Wednesday as justices
              reviewed the Texas law which criminalizes sodomy. The case (Lawrence
              v. Texas) arises from the 1998 arrest of two homosexual Houston men
              arrested by police for committing sodomy. Law enforcement had been
              summoned to the apartment of one of the men by what was later
              discovered to be a false claim that there was an armed intruder in
              the apartment. <MORE>

              Wednesday, March 26, 2003
              Waging politically correct war: the inoffensive offensive?
              Brendan O'Neill

              (LONDON)US commanders say the war in Iraq is "historic," because
              never before has a military bombardment been so fierce yet so
              precise. But could the war be historic in another sense - by being
              the first politically correct invasion?

              Behind the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad and the bloody clashes
              in the south, some in the American and British camps seem keen to
              ensure that the Iraqi offensive doesn't cause offense. They talk of
              their deep respect for the Iraqi people and encourage troops to honor
              Iraq's "cultural heritage." <SNIP>

              And in keeping with the PC war, the US Navy is apparently keeping a
              close eye on the messages written on bombs before they are launched.
              During the Afghan campaign, sailors on the USS Enterprise wrote a
              homophobic message on a bomb destined for Afghanistan, leading to
              complaints from gay rights groups. Rear Adm. Stephen Pietropaoli
              warned his men to more closely edit such "spontaneous acts of
              penmanship," and suggested that the Navy should "keep the messages

              But already, someone in the US Air Force has caused offense by
              writing a vulgar slur about the French on a bomb (aimed at Iraq, that
              is, not France).<MORE>

              Tuesday, March 25, 2003
              Arkansas School Is Accused of Harassing a Gay Student
              By TAMAR LEWIN
              New York Times

              As Thomas McLaughlin tells it, the trouble began when his
              eighth-grade science teacher overheard him refusing to deny
              to another boy that he was gay. It got worse that afternoon, when his
              guidance counselor called his mother at work to tell her he was

              "The assistant principal called me out of seventh period,
              asked if my parents knew I was gay, and when I said no, she
              said I had till 3:40 to tell them or the school would,"
              said Thomas, a 14-year old student at Jacksonville Junior
              High School in Arkansas.<SNIP>

              "I remember she said he was having feelings for other
              males," Ms. McLaughlin said. "Those were the words she
              used. I was upset in the first place that I'm finding out
              my son's gay, but that it was a school administrator who
              told me, that was beyond my reasoning. Thomas didn't tell
              me about the Bible preaching until recently. That's what
              made me call the A.C.L.U. We're Christians, but this isn't
              the school's business. It's something for us, the parents,
              to talk about." <MORE>
              Tuesday, March 25, 2003
              2 Affluent Areas of Queens Adjust to a New Ethnic Mix
              By JOSEPH BERGER
              New York Times

              In the prosperous Queens neighborhoods of Douglaston and Little Neck,
              where the number of Asian immigrants has more than doubled in 12
              years, there are many tales of how the American mill of assimilation
              works its special grace.

              A champion ballroom dancer from Seoul is giving tango and rumba
              lessons to the neighborhood's longtime residents. A Fujianese
              immigrant has opened a Chinese restaurant that is not only vegetarian
              but also kosher, availing himself of the help of Jewish neighbors in
              getting a rabbinical certificate. And on Sunday afternoons, the
              area's leading Episcopal church rents its sanctuary to a small Korean
              congregation. <SNIP>

              Two years ago, Yihung Li, 45, an immigrant from China's Fujian
              province, decided to open a vegetarian Chinese restaurant near his
              Little Neck home, and because northeastern Queens has many Jewish
              residents, he decided to make it kosher. The Jewish neighbors he had
              befriended helped him find a rabbi to certify the restaurant. So
              entangled has he become in the American ethnic blender that last
              summer he was host of a naming party for a Chinese baby girl adopted
              by two gay Jewish men.<MORE>


              Monday, March 24, 2003
              Episcopals Decline Gay Marriage Statement

              LOS ANGELES, Ca. -- A panel of Episcopal bishops has advised the
              church against the blessing of same-sex unions because the church
              members are so deeply divided on gay issues, the Los Angeles Times

              After 18 months of deliberation, debate and study a group of six
              bishops and seven theologians urged "the greatest caution" as the
              church considers whether to sanction gay unions and gay ordination.


              Sunday, March 23, 2003
              Bush sends taxpayer dollars to restrictive religious groups
              By ROBYN E. BLUMNER
              St. Petersburg Times (Florida)

              To get a job as a residential counselor/houseparent at the United
              Methodist Children's Home in Decatur, Ga., you have to be at least 21
              years old, a high school graduate and "a professing Christian." The
              job announcement goes on to explain that while non-Christians "have
              done much good in our world," (Gee, thanks) the Children's Home is
              "an agency of a Christian Church" and in order to preserve that
              identity, only Christians will be hired. <SNIP>

              The Children's Home wants to be free to hire Christians only and it
              wants taxpayers to pay for its programs -- a formula that has so
              enamored President Bush that he is trying to repeat it across the
              country. <SNIP>

              [Alan Yorker who is Jewish] filed suit in July 2002 in state court
              alleging job discrimination. He was joined by another former employee
              of the Children's Home who was fired for being a lesbian, and a group
              of Georgia taxpayers who say their money shouldn't be going to
              support religious discrimination or the religious indoctrination of
              children in the foster care system. No trial date has been scheduled
              but the discovery portion of the trial -- when each side may request
              information from the other -- is set to end in September. <MORE>


              Wednesday, March 19, 2003
              Libertarians Join Liberals in Opposing Sodomy Law
              By LINDA GREENHOUSE
              New York Times

              WASHINGTON, March 17 - The constitutional challenge to the
              Texas "homosexual conduct" law that the Supreme Court will
              take up next week has galvanized not only traditional gay
              rights and civil rights organizations, but also libertarian
              groups that see the case as a chance to deliver their own
              message to the justices.

              The message is one of freedom from government control over
              private choices, economic as well as sexual. "Libertarians
              argue that the government has no business in the bedroom or
              in the boardroom," Roger Pilon, vice president for legal
              affairs at the Cato Institute, said today, describing the
              motivation for the institute, a leading libertarian
              research organization here, to file a brief on behalf of
              two gay men who are challenging the Texas law. <MORE>


              Tuesday, March 18, 2003
              Gay rights landmark
              Andr�s Gaudin
              New laws endorse same-sex relationships.

              Gay couples in the Buenos Aires city area and R�o Negro province will
              make history at the beginning of April when civil unions between
              people of the same sex are legally recognized in both regions,
              marking a first for Latin America. The new laws grant gay couples
              rights that were previously exclusive to married couples.

              The laws whipped up a storm in this predominantly Catholic country
              when they were approved last December, inciting intense public debate
              amongst conservative sectors, the gay community and progressive
              groups. <MORE>


              Tuesday, March 18, 2003
              Court told of church row over gays

              A Tongan congregation has gone to court seeking ownership of a south
              Auckland church following an acrimonious row with the Methodist
              hierarchy over a decision to appoint practising homosexuals as

              At the High Court in Auckland yesterday, Justice O'Regan was told the
              Otahuhu Tongan Methodist Church flock was strongly opposed to a
              gay-friendly policy introduced by the Methodists in 1997. <MORE>


              Tuesday March 18, 2003
              New Zealand churchgoers seek takeover in gay ordination protest
              Gay.com UK

              A congregation in New Zealand are attempting to take back ownership
              of the church they raised money to build, in protest at the Methodist
              Church's policy of permitting homosexual ministers.

              Now the congregation of Otahuhu Tongan Methodist Church are taking
              the Methodist Church of New Zealand (MCNZ) to claim ownership of the
              church they raised NZ$900,000 (c. �320,000) to build.<MORE>


              Monday, March 17, 2003
              Rally fights proposed House bills
              Legislators look at bills that would ban gay marriage, adoption
              By Elliott Blackburn (Daily Texan Staff)

              <SNIP> Organizers estimate 2,000 activists turned out to hear from
              speakers and demonstrate against House Bill 38, the Defense of
              Marriage Act and House Bill 194, the Defense of Family Act before the
              Texas Legislature this session. The Texas Department of Public Safety
              could not offer a crowd estimate. <SNIP>

              Sid Hall, senior minister of Trinity United Methodist of Hyde Park,
              said he and 25 other members of the church attended the rally.

              "From a personal standpoint, I'm here to support families,
              particularly gay and lesbian parents or potential parents who want
              children," Hall said. "We already have a crisis of not having enough
              places for children, and to me it's just ludicrous to block
              legislatively the possibility of providing good homes." <MORE>

              Sunday, March 16, 2003
              Rev. Howard B. Warren Jr.: 1934-2003
              Minister who fought for gays in clergy dies
              By John Tuohy, Indianapolis Star

              The Rev. Howard B. Warren Jr., a tireless and colorful advocate for
              homosexuals in the clergy, died Friday after a long bout with the
              AIDS virus. He was 68. An ordained Presbyterian minister since 1965,
              Warren served in churches in Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan
              before moving to Indianapolis.

              It was his discovery that he was carrying the virus in 1987 that
              prompted Warren to reveal to church officials he was a homosexual.
              He then devoted himself to fighting a rule in the Presbyterian
              Church that prohibited homosexuals from being ordained ministers,
              delivering sermons across the country and ministering to patients
              with HIV and AIDS. <MORE>

              Thursday, March 13, 2003
              'God's will' v. humanity
              National transsexual legal expert compares past with present
              By Kelly Peters

              ANN ARBOR - The trans element in the lgbt struggle for marriage
              rights may be remembered as one of the most complex civil rights
              issues of our time, a national legal expert told U-M law students

              Speaking to a group of about 50, Shannon Minter from the National
              Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco said, "The struggle to win
              full and equal marriage rights is one of the most fascinating and
              highly contested civil rights issue of our time."

              He also said that, in his opinion, "the tide has turned" in court
              decisions regarding lgbt marriage rights, and that legal victory on
              this front is only "a matter of time."<MORE>

              Thursday, March 13, 2003
              U.S. Census likely missed 100,000 same-sex couples

              AMHERST, Mass.- The U.S. Census Bureau will release a report this
              week describing 594,691 same-sex couples in the 50 states and the
              District of Columbia.

              Unfortunately, according to a national research institute, that
              official count likely missed at least 200,000 gay and lesbian

              "Left Out of the Count: Missing Same-sex Couples in Census 2000" was
              released Sunday by the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic
              Studies (IGLSS). It included two surveys of gay, lesbian, bisexual,
              and transgender people, and shows an undercount of 16-19 percent
              among same-sex couples.<MORE>


              Wednesday, March 12, 2003
              Equal-protection bill returns to debate
              More than 70 faith leaders send letter supporting gays
              By PATRICK JACKSON
              Dover Bureau reporter
              The News Journal (Delaware)

              More than 70 religious leaders from across the state are asking
              lawmakers to pass a bill that would extend Delaware's
              anti-discrimination protection to include gays, lesbians and
              bisexuals. <SNIP>

              The Rev. Jack Abel of Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth
              Beach said his congregation talked about H.B. 99 and opted to support
              the bill, though not unanimously.

              "This is not about special treatment for gays, lesbians and
              bisexuals," Abel said. "This is about affirming that they have the
              same protection as anyone else under the law." <MORE>

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