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17th January, 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest

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  • grahamu_1999
    17th January, 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest 1. SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE S.F. reaction to anti-gay ads ruled OK ; Resolutions decried hate crimes, court
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 19, 2002
      17th January, 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest

      1. SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE S.F. reaction to anti-gay ads ruled OK ;
      Resolutions decried hate crimes, court says
      2. WSVN TV (Miami/Ft. Lauderdale) Teacher exposed in the gay sex
      club scandal
      3. TORONTO STAR The RCMP says a gay man who was beaten up after
      holding hands with his boyfriend was not the victim of a gay-bashing.
      4. INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN Measure banning gay emphasis in
      schools denied
      5. ORLANDO SENTINEL Legal protection for gays could spark bitter
      debate

      SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, January 17, 2002
      901 Mission St., San Francisco, CA, 94103
      (Fax: 415-896-1107 ) (E-Mail: chronletters@... )
      ( http://www.sfgate.com )
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?
      file=/chronicle/archive/2002/01/17
      /MN146638.DTL
      S.F. reaction to anti-gay ads ruled OK
      Resolutions decried hate crimes, court says
      Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer begelko@...
      San Francisco -- San Francisco supervisors did not violate
      freedom of
      religion when they denounced a conservative religious group's 1998
      advertising campaign declaring that homosexuality was sinful and that
      homosexuals could change, a federal appeals court ruled yesterday.
      In a 2-to-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals in San
      Francisco said
      the main purpose and effect of the supervisors' actions was to promote
      equality and condemn hate crimes, not to attack or inhibit religious
      beliefs.
      A full-page ad in The Chronicle, sponsored by the American
      Family
      Association, declared that Christians love homosexuals but that the
      sexual
      practice was sinful and associated with disease and destructive
      behavior.
      The organization said it offered "healing for homosexuals, not
      harassment."
      In response, the Board of Supervisors passed two resolutions
      saying
      such advertising "validates oppression of gays and lesbians" and
      creates a
      climate that may encourage violence. One resolution called on
      the "religious
      right" to take accountability for the effect of its rhetoric. Another
      urged
      local television stations not to run similar ads.
      Upholding a ruling by U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown
      Armstrong
      that dismissed the lawsuit against the city, the appeals court said
      the
      resolutions "may appear to contain attacks on (the organization's)
      religious
      views" but had a chiefly secular message: "encouraging equal rights
      for gays
      and discouraging hate crimes." The opinion by Judge Michael Hawkins
      also
      said the supervisors did not threaten any official action against the
      religious group.
      Judge John Noonan dissented and said the suit should be
      reinstated.
      By linking the ads to anti-gay violence, the supervisors "officially
      stigmatized a religious belief," as if a city council today blamed
      Islam for
      the attack on the World Trade Center, he said.
      Brian Fahling, a lawyer for the American Family Association in
      Tupelo, Miss., said the group would request a rehearing.
      "This is the clearest case of hostility by government toward
      religion
      that I've ever seen," he said.


      WSVN TV (Miami/Ft Lauderdale), January 17, 2002
      Teacher exposed in the gay sex club scandal
      http://www.wsvn.com/news/local/box2/
      Police exposing what they say is some outrageous behavior at a
      Fort
      Lauderdale bar.
      Investigators uncovering an alleged sex club inside "Chaps
      Lounge"
      along Andrews Avenue.
      Undercover detectives say they witnessed and videotaped all
      kinds of
      lewd sex acts inside.
      "There would be anything from oral sex, anal sex, mutual
      masturbation
      any conceivable combination," says the undercover detective.
      After two weeks of surveillance -- police raided the club
      Tuesday --
      arresting bar owner Steve Holt, two bartenders and eight patrons.
      Among them, a teacher from Ramblewood Middle School in Broward.
      All of the men have been released on bond.
      Mark Raskind has been a teacher for 15 years, he is also on the
      yearbook committee.
      Today, student's and parents speak out against Raskind.
      Jacqueline Estrada, one of his former students, saying, "I
      just don't
      want him to be my teacher anymore."
      Raskind has a wife-who also teaches at Ramblewood-and two
      children.
      He remains part of the school system, but has been moved away
      from
      having any contact with children pending a further investigation.
      "Chaps Lounge" could lose its liquor license.


      TORONTO STAR, January 17, 2002
      Toronto, Ontario Canada
      (E-Mail: lettertoed@... ) ( http://www.thestar.com/ )
      RCMP refuses to press N.B. gay bashing charge
      MONCTON, N.B. (CP) - The RCMP says a gay man who was beaten up
      after
      holding hands with his boyfriend was not the victim of a gay-bashing.
      The Mounties, acting on a recommendation from the Crown, said
      today
      that no charges will be laid against a 21-year-old man.
      Lindsay Parent, 42, was taken to hospital after a scuffle with
      the
      man outside a Moncton shopping mall last September.
      Parent said the incident started because he was holding hands
      with
      his partner while they waited for a bus.
      In an interview shortly after the incident, Parent said a
      young woman
      urged her boyfriend to beat them up.
      "They said to us, `That's disgusting, there are children
      around,'" he
      said.
      "She told him to go ahead and make trouble. They started
      calling us
      names. They called me a fat faggot."
      Parent said the man punched him three times before he fell
      heavily
      and struck his head on the sidewalk.
      Parent has epilepsy and had two seizures. An ambulance rushed
      him to
      hospital, where he received stitches.
      The Crown, after reviewing the case for months, has decided
      there
      isn't enough evidence to warrant a charge.
      Parent wasn't immediately available for comment today.


      INLAND VALLEY DAILY BULLETIN, January 17, 2001
      2041 East 4th St., Ontario, CA, 91764
      (Fax: 909-948-9038 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
      ( http://www.dailybulletin.com/ )
      http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/articles/Measurebanninggayemphasisin
      .asp
      Measure banning gay emphasis in schools denied
      By CHRIS RIZO, CORRESPONDENT csrizo@...
      SACRAMENTO -- Legislation that would have banned public school
      teachers from ''promoting homosexuality'' was killed Wednesday by the
      Assembly Education Committee.
      Assembly Bill 1326, authored by Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy,
      R-Arcadia, came under intense fire from civil rights organizations who
      vilified the proposal.
      The California Alliance for Pride and Equality, a statewide gay
      rights lobby, called the bill ''cruel and unnecessary.''
      The group's lobbyist, Eric Astacaan, said he anticipated the
      Democrat-led committee would reject Mountjoy's bid to ''fan the
      flames of
      hatred against gay and lesbian people.''
      Among the bill's other opponents were the American Civil
      Liberties
      Union, California Teachers Association and the Pasadena Chapter of
      Parents,
      Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
      Mountjoy told lawmakers that he was not trying to alienate gay
      students, just restore academic primacy.
      AB 1326 would have added one sentence to the state Education
      Code:
      ''The promotion of homosexuality in public education is prohibited.''
      Assemblywoman Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, voted against
      the
      bill.
      ''The bill tries to solve a problem that doesn't even exist,''
      she
      said.
      Supporters say without the law, schools will continue to use
      the
      guise of diversity education as a means to promote a ''dangerous
      lifestyle.''
      Andrea Franklin, spokeswoman for Campaign for California
      Families,
      said classrooms are no place for discussions about sexual orientation.
      ''We oppose discrimination against any person,'' she
      said. ''But,
      teachers don't need to promote homosexuality in order to protect gay
      students.''
      Van-Martin Rowe, 53, of Pasadena said teachers have a duty to
      educate
      students about gays and lesbians.
      ''Gay and lesbians are seen as this monster in the closet,''
      he said.
      ''Teachers can take that shame away.''


      ORLANDO SENTINEL, January 17, 2001
      633 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL, 32801
      (Fax: 407-420-5286 ) (E-Mail: insight@... )
      ( http://www.orlandosentinel.com )
      http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orl-
      locgay17011702jan17.story?coll
      =orl%2Dnews%2Dheadlines
      Legal protection for gays could spark bitter debate
      By Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer mschlueb@...
      One of the most controversial and bitter issues to grip
      American
      communities in recent years is coming to Orlando: the debate over
      whether to
      ban discrimination against gays.
      A group of gay-rights activists known as the Orlando
      Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee has pushed the proposal,
      which would
      add "sexual orientation" to the list of classes protected under city
      ordinance. Those now include race, color, age, disability, religion
      and
      national origin.
      City leaders have agreed to call public hearings on the
      proposal.
      If ultimately approved, the legislation would prohibit private
      employers within city limits from turning away gay job applicants or
      denying
      promotions or raises because of sexual orientation.
      It would also prevent property owners from refusing to rent or
      sell
      to gay tenants, and keep restaurants and other businesses that are
      open to
      the public from denying service to gays.
      "Being gay is a difference that can be hidden, but that
      doesn't mean
      it should be hidden," said City Council member Patty Sheehan,
      Orlando's
      first openly gay politician. "If you feel like you have to hide your
      personal life at work, you're not going to be a good employee."
      Neither federal nor state law extend protection from
      discrimination
      to gays. Across the country, many cities and counties have adopted
      similar
      ordinances, but some states have countered with laws prohibiting gay-
      rights
      protections.
      Cities adopt protection
      In Florida, Gainesville, Key West, Miami Beach and several
      other
      cities have adopted at least some form of protection based on sexual
      orientation; no communities in the Orlando area have such an
      ordinance.
      Martha Chapman, a Central Florida employment-discrimination
      attorney,
      said Orlando needs to follow suit.
      "I get calls all the time, but there is no protection for
      gays, and
      not only gays but straight people who are mistaken for gay," said
      Chapman, a
      member of the group lobbying to change Orlando's ordinance.
      The city's Human Relations Commission, a volunteer advisory
      board,
      will meet today to set a schedule for public hearings. The final
      decision
      rests with the City Council.
      Members of the Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee
      have
      been hesitant to speak publicly about the proposal, fearing the
      divisive
      battles that have struck other communities over the same issue.
      Supporters
      worry it will spawn an ugly fight reminiscent of the one over gay-
      pride
      flags four years ago.
      In 1998, employees of Watermark magazine, which is targeted to
      gays
      and lesbians, paid $15,000 to fly rainbow-colored flags downtown to
      celebrate National Gay Pride Month. At the time, city policy allowed
      any
      organization to fly flags from city light poles, as long as they paid
      for
      the banners and for city workers to hang them.
      The seemingly innocuous display -- the flags bore no written
      message -- put Orlando at the center of national debate over gay
      rights.
      Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson told viewers of his 700 Club
      broadcast that Orlando leaders were putting the city in the cross
      hairs of
      God's wrath by allowing the flags to fly.
      "I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some
      serious
      hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face
      if I
      were you," Robertson said at the time. "This is not a message of
      hate; this
      is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring
      about the
      destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll
      bring
      earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."
      One resident was arrested for ripping down dozens of the flags
      and
      tossing them in Lake Lucerne.
      By contrast, another gay-rights initiative passed without a
      whimper
      in 2000.
      A few months after she took office, Sheehan pushed to
      add "sexual
      orientation" to the anti-discrimination policy that affects city
      employees.
      That proposal was suggested by some of the same people lobbying for
      the
      current proposal.
      The council made the change without comment or public hearing;
      some
      residents complained later that city officials sneaked the item
      through
      without adequate public notice.
      But the new proposal to change Orlando's human-rights law
      would be
      much more far-reaching.
      Instead of affecting only city employees, the law would cover
      every
      business in the city. Religious organizations and private clubs would
      be
      exempted.City leaders are probably right to expect opposition.
      Throughout
      the country, legal protections for gays have typically been earned
      only
      after long fights.
      Miami enacted gay-rights legislation in the mid-1970s but
      repealed it
      under a charge led by former beauty queen and Florida orange juice TV
      pitchwoman Anita Bryant and televangelist Jerry Falwell. The
      controversy
      drew national attention.
      Miami-Dade to repeat fight
      Miami-Dade officials put those protections back in place in
      1998, but
      South Florida voters are now poised for a repeat of the battle a
      generation
      ago: Religious groups, with help from the Christian Coalition, have
      gathered
      enough signatures to force a vote on whether to repeal the measure
      this
      fall.
      Two weeks ago, city leaders in St. Petersburg approved their
      own
      sexual-orientation law. Many in the gay community, however, aren't
      satisfied
      because protection was not extended to the transgendered -- those who
      wish
      to appear as the opposite sex or have undergone surgery to do so.
      Perhaps nowhere has the debate been longer or angrier than in
      Louisville, Ky., said Eric Ferrero of the ACLU's Lesbian and Gay
      Rights
      Project in New York. Gay-rights activists in Louisville tried to
      persuade
      city leaders to adopt anti-discrimination protections for gays for
      seven
      years before it won approval in 1999.
      "People are struggling with this right now," Ferrero
      said, "town by
      town, county by county, state by state."
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