22nd August 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
- 22nd August 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
1. SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL Anti-gay activist's Hispanic media
award irks gay rights groups in Miami-Dade
2. DENVER ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS State Rep. Jennifer Veiga came out as
a lesbian, awaits the inevitable smear attacks
3. PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE Pennsylvania Supreme Court's adoption
ruling benefits gays' children; Health coverage, inheritance, Social
Security rights widened
4. NEW ZEALAND HERALD The showpiece of Auckland's gay and lesbian
community all but died last night when the Hero Incorporated Society
was wound up
5. INDIANAPOLIS STAR Same-sex marriage heading to court: ICLU and
6 plaintiffs plan to sue to demand right to wed in Indiana, the first
such suit in state
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, August 22, 2002
200 E. Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301
(Fax: 954-356-4624 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.sun-sentinel.com )
Activist's Hispanic media award irks gay rights groups in Miami-Dade
By David Cázares, Miami Bureau
With a critical vote on whether Miami-Dade County should keep
anti-discrimination protections for gay men and lesbians a few weeks
the leader of an effort to repeal the law is the subject of a
involving Hispanic media figures and gay rights groups.
Eladio Jose Armesto, the spokesman for Take Back Miami-Dade, a
coalition of groups urging voters to repeal the law, is expected to be
recognized next month by the Hispanic Media 100 Awards, an event
a private company in Colorado to honor Spanish-language journalists
media owners. Now in its second year, the program, created in
with the public-relations unit PR Newswire, will take place in Miami
Sept. 20 - 10 days after Miami-Dade voters decide on Sept. 10 whether
keep legal protections for gays and lesbians on the books.
That Armesto, the publisher of El Nuevo Patria, a small
Miami-Dade, is being honored so soon after leading the campaign to
the law has outraged gay advocates and their supporters. They cite
as a crusader against the anti-discrimination amendment and his
statements against an alleged conspiracy of "homosexualists" who, they
charge, want to deny people the right to vote on the issue.
On Tuesday the national Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against
Discrimination urged its members and gay rights advocates to insist
Chris Day, CEO of Event Concepts Inc., the company sponsoring the
withdraw the honor from Armesto.
"He's called people homosexual extremists and pedophiles," Beth
George, the alliance's Southeast spokeswoman, said of Armesto. "This
too big of an issue for us not to continue pursuing it. We reached
the members of the Latino community in Miami and the national gay and
lesbian community and started writing letters to sponsors and letting
know they were sponsoring an event that was honoring this man.
"We felt it was very important for them to call Mr. Day and
know that they were displeased and that it would not reflect nicely
organizations to sponsor an event that nominated such an extreme
Day said Wednesday that his for-profit company would not
award, which Armesto was nominated for by his peers in the Hispanic
business and then selected by a panel of judges. Day said he
the controversy surrounding Armesto, but said the awards program
neutral stance on the battle over the amendment.
"We remain completely apolitical and recognize people's
have divergent opinions," Day said. "Of course, we don't support any
of prejudice at all."
Armesto was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
Nathaniel Wilcox, co-chairman of Take Back Miami-Dade, said those who
Armesto's receiving the award are being intolerant.
"They're the ones who are supposedly fighting against
and he can't speak his own mind because somebody disagrees with him?"
said. "That's un-American.
"If somebody feels that he's done a good job in this community
should receive an award, let him receive it."
In recent interviews, Armesto has said Take Back Miami-Dade
oppose the county's human-rights ordinance, which prohibits
based on race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or gender.
However, Armesto said, the group does oppose the 1998 amendment that
prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
That position has upset many in Miami-Dade County, where a
of business, civic and government leaders has joined forces to urge
to retain the amendment. Spanish-language talk show host Cristina
Saralegui, one of five co-chairpersons of a county anti-discrimination
committee, is set to be the master of ceremonies for the Hispanic
awards, and be honored herself.
George said the talk show host is considering withdrawing from
program unless the award to Armesto is rescinded.
Saralegui could not be reached on Wednesday. Day said
is active in gay causes, has "voiced concerns," but he said the show's
organizers hope to resolve them with her soon.
"There are 100 people getting these awards," Day said. "One
is Eladio Jose Armesto, and one of them is Cristina Saralegui. We
be more neutral than that."
Day also said the Hispanic Media 100 awards have not heard
sponsors who want to withdraw their support or from any journalists
to decline their awards because of Armesto.
He may have spoken too soon.
Already, one of the nation's most prominent Spanish-language
journalists has decided to decline the award because of Armesto's
Angelo Figueroa, managing editor of People en español
he is concerned the opposition to Armesto's presence at the awards
interpreted as an effort to infringe upon Armesto's free-speech
But Figueroa, who heads a diversity committee at Time Inc.,
could not attend the awards show because of his support for gays and
"Many people on my staff are openly gay. And I have the utmost
respect for them," Figueroa said. "Anything that is harmful and
and can cause a lot of pain, you want to be sure you're not
Leaders of No To Discrimination/SAVE Dade, the gay rights group
working to persuade voters to support the amendment, said they do not
to make an issue of Armesto's award.
"Those of us who live here in Miami-Dade County know who Eladio
Armesto is, and we will be voting based on our conscience, not on his
ability to receive an award," said Heddy Peña, co-chairwoman of SAVE
. David Cázares can be reached at dcazares@... or
Denver Rocky Mountain News, August 22, 2002
400 W. ColFax Ave., Denver, CO, 80204
(Fax: 303-892-2568 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn )
Veiga braces for smear attack
Dem leader talks to media for first time about being a lesbian
By Peggy Lowe, Rocky Mountain News
State Rep. Jennifer Veiga said Wednesday she fears anti-gay
in her re-election bid.
So the Denver Democrat is talking to the press for the first
about being a lesbian. Even though she has never hidden her sexual
orientation, neither has she addressed it on such a wide stage.
"I would never make an issue of my sexual orientation unless I
the attacks were coming," Veiga said. "The truth is, it just
Two Republican Party activists say a smear campaign aimed at
in Veiga's district is taking shape.
They believe it would be ochestrated by a few ultra-
members of the GOP and resemble similar attacks that surfaced two
The sources said they can't go public for fear of political
retribution. Neither they nor Veiga herself have specifics.
Yet the prospect of a personal attack has angered GOP
work alongside Veiga.
"I think that's absolutely outrageous," said Rep. Nancy Spence,
"I can't imagine there's a Republican that has anything to do
that kind of action. That just frankly makes me mad as hell."
Rep. Lola Spradley, who stands to be speaker if the GOP keeps
majority in the House, said she hadn't heard of the attack but would
discourage anyone who tries it.
"If anybody has those kind of latent thoughts, I hope they've
disposed of them," said Spradley of Beulah.
The battle over which party wins the majority in the House
the reason she's a possible target, Veiga said.
She heads up the Democrats' effort to win the House back for
first time since 1975-76.
"I think you have to ask yourself, 'Why is this an issue now,
I've been in office six years?'" Veiga said.
"The only answer I can come up with is I'm moving up in
the House and I'm trying to elect Democrats across the state. And
Veiga said she fears the same kind of attack mailings that
during the 2000 election. Fliers sent to voters often distorted a
candidate's record on issues ranging from taxes to gay rights. The
were aimed at Republicans and Democrats.
Some campaigns were waged by anonymous groups while other
claimed credit for mailings. For example, Colorado For Family Values
targeted then-Rep. Gary McPherson, an Aurora Republican, as a "leader
radical homosexual agenda."
A number of Republicans were outraged, saying it was a blatant
Veiga has identified herself as gay at fund-raisers and many
colleagues are aware of her sexual orientation.
Veiga represents District 3, which covers West Washington Park,
University Hills, Platte Park and Englewood.
The mostly Republican Cherry Hills Village was just added
new redistricting plan.
While Veiga has supported gay-friendly legislation, her
have been public education, transportation and public safety. She's
sponsored bills on victims' rights, domestic violence prevention and
expanding DNA testing to convicted offenders.
. lowep@... or (303)892-5482
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 22, 2002
Box 947, Pittsburgh, PA, 15230
(Fax: 412-263-2014 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.post-gazette.com/ )
Ruling benefits gays' children
Health coverage, inheritance, Social Security rights widened
By Mackenzie Carpenter, Post-Gazette Staff Writer
Stacey Sobel has heard the same story over and over again: An
injured child is rushed to the hospital by her mother's lesbian
is then told by medical personnel she can't make any decisions about
child's care because she is not a legal parent or guardian.
But as a result of Tuesday's state Supreme Court decision
gay people to adopt the children of their partners, that scenario may
longer be played out in the state's emergency rooms, says Sobel,
director of the Center for Gay and Lesbian Civil Rights in
In fact, the court's 6-0 ruling confers a whole panoply of
rights on children of so-called "second-parent" adoptions, Sobel and
legal experts say.
"Children are so much more protected under this decision," said
Christine Biancheria, the Pittsburgh lawyer who argued the case
court. "They have an established, legal relationship with two
as a result their security is immeasurably enhanced."
Besides the right to make medical decisions, other rights and
benefits for parents and children, once the second parent legally
children, will include:
. Children who were not eligible for health insurance coverage
through the parent who had not been able to adopt them now will be.
. Children will be eligible for Social Security benefits if
. Children will have inheritance rights.
. In the event the couple separates, the custodial parent will
the right to child support and both parents will have visitation and
rights, just as any parent would.
. Both parents will have rights to make schooling decisions
In the area of health insurance, for example, a child's safety
expands dramatically, said David Cohen of the Women's Law Project in
"In the past, if the biological parent didn't have health
but his partner did, the child couldn't always count on that
they can," said Cohen.
Children's rights will also be protected if a biological
intestate, or without a will, since they are now entitled to inherit
from their adoptive parent.
"It's particularly important to recognize that this case will
a child's right as their parents' intestate heir," said Frank Cervone,
executive director of Support Center for Child Advocates and a leader
group supporting the lawsuit. He noted that, under previous law, a
would only have been guaranteed inheritance from either the biological
parent or the one who had been able to adopt.
Also, when gay partnerships dissolved, many nonadoptive
themselves shut out of a child's life because they had no legal right
maintain a relationship with that child.
"Now that adoptive parent can seek custody in court, they can
custody battles like everybody else," said Biancheria.
Up until now, county courts in Pennsylvania took a patchwork
to gay or "second-parent" adoptions. Some counties, such as Allegheny
County, not only allowed homosexual couples to jointly adopt a
child, they also allowed second parent adoptions, in which one partner
adopts the biological offspring of the other partner.
Two years ago, those adoptions were suspended pending the
the state Supreme Court of two cases, one from Erie and one from
County, where adoption petitions by two gay couples were rejected.
Still, over the years, the state's high court has, in bits and
pieces, granted nonadoptive gay parents more and more rights. In
for example, the state Supreme Court ruled that nonadoptive parents
sue for custody, and more recently, a lower court ordered a
parent to pay child support.
"This court has been disinclined to make artificial
it comes to the care of children. It's looking at the practical
what is best for this child," noted Cervone.
In the eastern part of the state, the ruling will have another
impact, added Sobel. Gay couples will no longer have to move to New
which allows second-parent adoptions by gay couples. That had been
happening more and more frequently, she said.
"We had a call from one such couple on Monday saying they had
waiting and waiting for a decision, but that the baby's due date was
near and they were just going to have to move. Well, yesterday, I
them and told them to cancel the moving truck," said Sobel.
The most important benefit, however, is the security of
"The irony of this case has long been that these families
but the law didn't recognize them. In schools, in banks, in
didn't get recognized, and that disconnect was upsetting for all the
parties. Now, they have the experience of being recognized as family
the world seeing it as such," said Cervone.
. Mackenzie Carpenter can be reached at mcarpenter@post-
New Zealand Herald, August 22, 2002
PO Box 32, Auckland, New Zealand
(Fax: +64-9-373-6421 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.nzherald.co.nz )
Hero parade in further doubt after Society wound up
The showpiece of Auckland's gay and lesbian community in
but died last night when the Hero Incorporated Society was wound up.
The society, which was debt-free, owned the intellectual
rights to the Hero Parade which would now revert to the Hero
Trust, said society chairwoman Ann Speir.
The trust debt is believed to be more than $140,000, and Ms
who is also a trust member, said the trustees were still debating its
She said she could not promise the Hero Parade in February
"But I can't promise it won't either.
"Hero has to get itself together, talk to its creditors and
where it will go from here. I think there will be some Hero events
exactly what form they take has yet to be decided."
Financial problems curtailed the summer parade earlier this
less than a quarter of its usual size. Instead the organisers ran
Hero Pride March.
About 10,000 onlookers watched the event, down from the
100,000 who lined the streets at the height of the Hero Parade
Ms Speir said the organisers had faced huge burdens. Auckland
Council had made a financial contribution but had then taken more
"It is disappointing that the incorporated society did not
that is not to say Hero is dead," she said.
Indianapolis Star, August 22, 2002
P. O. Box 145, Indianapolis, IN, 46206-0145
(Fax: 317-444-6800 ) ( http://www.indystar.com )
(Online Mailer: http://www.indystar.com/help/contact/letters.html )
Same-sex marriage heading to court
ICLU, 6 plaintiffs plan to sue to demand right to wed in Indiana, the
such suit in state.
By Matthew Tully, matthew.tully@...
Three local homosexual couples are expected to file a lawsuit
demanding the right to marry here, making Indiana the latest
the fight over same-sex marriages.
"We just want to be treated like any other couple," said Teresa
Stephens, 45, of Indianapolis. "We expect to spend the rest of our
Stephens and Ruth Morrison, 42, are among the six plaintiffs
the suit - which names Gov. Frank O'Bannon and the clerks of Marion
Hendricks counties as defendants. County clerks issue marriage
The couples already have traveled to Vermont to enter into
unions, which provide the same rights, benefits and responsibilities
to heterosexual couples there but don't carry any legal standing in
or other states.
Legal standing is exactly what is being sought with the
It's about things like hospital visitation rights, legal standing
partner dies and health care benefits for domestic partners.
The legal fight, the first of its kind in Indiana, will be the
recent in a battle that has played out over the past decade. Leading
Indiana conservatives criticized the lawsuit, and gay rights advocates
acknowledge the effort is a long shot.
"A family is a man and a woman, and that is a bedrock of
of our culture. It should remain that way," said Eric Miller,
Advance America and a likely Republican gubernatorial candidate in
On Wednesday, after she and other plaintiffs involved in the
with their lawyers at the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, Stephens
the chances of winning the court case are slim.
But, she said, it's worth the fight.
It's an issue that doesn't draw nearly as many headlines as it
two years ago, after Vermont passed a same-sex civil unions law, or
1990s, when Indiana joined more than 30 other states and Congress in
"defense of marriage" laws.
Indiana's 1997 law prohibits the state from recognizing same-
marriages "solemnized" in other states. State law already had banned
But the emotion connected to the issue has not died down.
"Once you define marriage as something beyond a man and woman,
there's no logical stopping point," said Micah Clark, executive
the American Family Association. "What about three men? What about
and a woman?"
State Rep. Woody Burton, R-Greenwood, who authored Indiana's
said he will seek further legislation if the lawsuit succeeds.
"The relationship between a man and a woman as a man and wife
been the standard since this country was founded," he said.
Gay rights advocates, pointing to a large number of domestic
ordinances passed around the country, say the national mood is
their way. Recent polls, however, disagree. A 2001 poll sponsored
Pew Center for People and the Press found that only 35 percent of
support the legalization of same-sex marriages.
Brian Vargus, director of Indiana University's Public Opinion
Laboratory, said the public is more evenly split when the question is
whether same-sex couples should receive the same benefits as married
couples. The word marriage, he said, inspires strong emotions.
"When you're dealing with values, and in this case religious
they are among the deepest and strongest commitments that people
Stephens and Morrison, who have been together more than four
say they already have lives similar to many married couples. They
home together and share the same bills. They have a joint bank
They love each other.
They want to be married.
So lawyers will walk into Marion County Superior Court this
and file the lawsuit on behalf of Stephens and Morrison and two other
couples. With the filing, Indiana will join New Jersey and
states heading to court for refusing to bend from the age-old
marriage be limited to couples of the opposite sex.
Sean Lemieux, an attorney at the ICLU, which is paying for the
said the case will take a long time to play out because one side or
other undoubtedly will appeal lower court decisions.
"We're in it for the long haul," he said.
The other couples filing the lawsuit are:
. David Wene, 46, and David Squire, 36. The two Indianapolis
who entered into a civil union in Vermont on Dec. 13, 2000, have been
together for more than four years. They met at Jesus Metropolitan
Church in Indianapolis, where both are active members.
. Charlotte Egler, 30, and Dawn Egler, 27, of Hendricks
had a civil union ceremony July 5, 2000, in Vermont and have been
for more than five years. This May, their son, Drew, was born from
egg, fertilized with donated sperm that was then implanted in
The young boy is one of the main reasons the two women joined
case. Dawn has so far been unable to get her name on the birth
and the couple had to go to court to make sure Dawn would have
their son if something happened to Charlotte.
"What we would like to see is legal recognition of us, and
like us as being family and having the same protections and rights as
else," said Charlotte Egler.
. Staff writer Celeste Williams contributed to this report.
Matthew Tully at 1-317-327-4484.
* Questions / Feedback / Archive / Links / Pictures / Files / Calendar
List owner: email@example.com
Newsclippings Home Page
Bookmarks / Links
Selected Archive Files (by subject).
Newsclippings Calendar (member access).
Would you like to help promote the Newsclippings service?
HTML Code for Newsclippings - Just copy and paste this link into your
<img src="http://groups.yahoo.com/img/ui/join.gif" border=0><br>
Click to subscribe to newsclippings</a>
TO SUBSCRIBE NEWS CLIPPINGS LIST E-mail to:
Australian Business Number (ABN): 51 226 695 391
Any donations to help cover the costs involved in providing you with
this service would be appreciated. Either a bank draft in Australian
dollars, or an Australian bank cheque. Please mail to:
P O Box 2214