6th November 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
- 6th November 2002 (# 2) News Clippings Digest
1. ANN ARBOR NEWS Amendment to remove gay protection from law
defeated; Ypsilanti ordinance to stay intact as 63% vote to deny
2. ASSOCIATED PRESS Daniel O'Donnell wins seat in New York State
3. ASSOCIATED PRESS Two openly gay men are elected to the
4. LINCOLN (NE) JOURNAL STAR Brandon Teena's mother is back before
the state Nebraska Supreme Court, still looking for a repectable
5. LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR Charles Laux (the sheriff who bullied
Brandon Teena) receives less than 3% of the vote for Johnson County
6. ASSOCIATED PRESS Aside from Nevada, gay causes fare well in
7. STOCKTON (CA) RECORD Letter: Davis policies harm our kids
8. VANCOUVER (WA) COLUMBIAN Letter writer says "homosexual lobby
hijacked" the CARE Act
Ann Arbor News, November 6, 2002
340 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor, MI, 48106
(Fax: 313-994-6879 ) (E-Mail: LetterNews@... )
( http://aa.mlive.com )
Amendment to remove gay protection from law defeated
Ypsilanti ordinance to stay intact as 63% vote to deny change
By Khalil E. Hachem, News Staff Reporter
Ypsilanti residents rejected an amendment seeking to remove
protection under the city's Human Rights Ordinance. The amendment was
defeated by 63 percent of the vote Tuesday in what opponents called a
"Ypsilanti made the right decision defeating the amendment
said Lisa Zuber, spokeswoman for the Ypsilanti Campaign for Equality,
group organized to oppose amendment. "We are very happy."
Unofficial results showed 3,023 people voted against the
and 1,779 voted for it. The amendment was rejected in all 10 of the
"It means that the citizens of Ypsilanti are against
A group called Ypsilanti Citizens Voting Yes for Equal Rights
Special Rights asked voters to approve the amendment that would have
sexual orientation as one of the protected characteristics in the
Human Rights Ordinance. The City Council adopted the ordinance in
barring discrimination based on 14 characteristics, including race,
"We're disappointed," said the Rev. Levon Yuille, spokesman
amendment group. "We will continue to stand for what we believe is a
correct and proper value system that should be demonstrated in our
Yuille had said he was confident that his group was going to do
better with this second challenge. The group challenged the entire
ordinance in 1998 and was turned down by 56 percent of the votes. The
margin, however, grew this time.
He said the opposition raised more money and did a better job
explaining the issue to voters. "We didn't have the type of funding
would have liked to have," Yuille said.
Zuber said her group had ample support from more than 300
and about 800 donors. The group went door-to-door and worked with
individual voters, explaining the issue. "We stuck to our message to
to discrimination," she said.
Yuille and about 20 supporters gathered at the Bible Church on
Cross Street for prayers after learning the results. He told them to
continue marching on with their message. "It was a good fight," he
"This will not be the last time."
Garry Glenn, president of the American Family Association of
Michigan, who has supported similar efforts in other Michigan cities,
Yuille's group to continue to fight. "We're standing for what is
A mile away, the mood was more festive. About 100 people
Frenchie's in Depot Town to celebrate the amendment's defeat.
Mayor Cheryl Farmer, who was also celebrating her victory
night for a third term in office, said the vote showed people were
about having to vote on the issue for a second time.
That sentiment was expressed by some voters interviewed at the
"That was obscene, that that was even on the ballot," said
"It's discrimination plain and simple," said Mary Wingard, a
worker, who voted against the proposal.
. News staff reporter Emma Jackson contributed to this report.
E. Hachem can be reached at (734) 482-3225 or at
Associated Press, November 6, 2002
Rosie's Brother Wins Assembly Seat
NEW YORK (AP) - Daniel O'Donnell, brother of talk-show host
O'Donnell, easily won a seat in the Legislature, becoming the
first openly gay male and the state's third openly gay lawmaker.
O'Donnell, 41, said winning the Manhattan seat fulfills a 33-
goal. The tenant rights lawyer said he decided at age 8, when the
assassination of Robert F. Kennedy canceled his morning cartoons and
his mother cry, that he wanted to be a politician.
O'Donnell, a Democrat, said he prefers to separate himself
famous younger sister, who also has acknowledged her homosexuality.
"To have a famous member of the family both helps and hurts,"
said. "There are a lot of things I do that tend to get lost in her
celebrity status. The media finds it a lot more interesting than I
Associated Press, November 6, 2002
First openly gay men elected to California Legislature
Margie Mason, Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two Assembly candidates made history by
the first openly gay men elected to the California Legislature, and
hope their victories will help advance gay rights.
Democrats Mark Leno, a San Francisco supervisor, and John
former Santa Cruz mayor, won their seats by large margins Tuesday.
They join lesbians Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, and
Kehoe, D-San Diego, both re-elected, and Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa
Leno replaces Democrat Assemblywoman Carole Migden, also a lesbian,
pushed out by term limits. She will now serve on the Board of
a state tax panel.
"It's been a topic of much joking in our community in
in the nation that the lesbians got elected and no gay men were in
said Lorri L. Jean, executive director of the National Gay and
Force. "We have an opportunity to have the lid blown off the
gay men. It will change the debate and result in a different level of
consciousness that is only good news for our community."
Laird will serve the 27th District, which covers Santa Cruz and
Monterey counties and a portion of southern Santa Clara County. Leno
represent the 13th District, stretching across most of the eastern
of San Francisco.
"Nineteen years ago, I was in the first class of openly gay
the country and so I had a moment of making history once before, and
very exhilarating," Laird said. "My experience is always that if
from the gay and lesbian community has a seat at the table, more
Kuehl was the first openly gay person elected to the
1994. Leno and Laird said men were slow to follow because lesbians
often viewed as less threatening than gay men, and many aspiring male
politicians were wiped out by the AIDS epidemic.
The women say they're thrilled to welcome the men, and they're
optimistic the new assemblymen will help promote more awareness and a
"We've talked about lesbian culture and what kind of
gay men face. We always have to say 'they,"' Goldberg said. "They
able to say 'I' and 'we."'
Both new assemblymen said they plan to fight for gay rights and
domestic partner protections. Same-sex marriage and adoptions are on
list, as well as more laws to crack down on discrimination against
"The point needs to be made that we are still second-class
in this country," Leno said. "There's no compromising when it comes
. On the Net:
Lincoln Journal Star, November 6, 2002
P. O. Box 81609, Lincoln, NE, 68501
(Fax: 402-473-7291 ) (E-Mail: oped@... )
Brandon's mother seeks more money
By Joe Duggan, Lincoln Journal Star
An attorney for the mother of murder victim Teena Brandon made
"off-the-wall" request of the Nebraska Supreme Court on Tuesday:
respectable financial payment and end the appeals.
Lincoln attorney Herbert Friedman appeared before the high
appeal JoAnn Brandon's lawsuit against Richardson County and its
sheriff, Charles Laux, who badly mishandled the investigation. The
wanted to know what relief Friedman was seeking.
"This is off the wall," he responded. "It seems to me this
could easily pick a figure and be done with this."
After the roughly 20-minute hearing, Friedman said there was
precedent for the state Supreme Court to award damages in a civil
"But they do have the power to do what they think is inherently
just," he said.
At trial, JoAnn Brandon sought $500,000 in damages against the
county. A year ago, District Court Judge Orville Coady ordered
County to pay a total of $98,223.
Tuesday's appeal centered on two portions of the award:
emotional distress Teena Brandon suffered at the hands of the
$5,000 for her "intrinsic value" to her mother.
Lincoln attorney Richard Boucher argued the high court should
the judge's decision to stand because it was made after a thoughtful
of the evidence. "The evidence in this case is that the reward is
reasonable," Boucher said.
The case involves the Dec. 31, 1993, stabbing and shooting of
Brandon, 21, in a rented farmhouse south of Humboldt. Her killers
and killed Lisa Lambert, 23, of Humboldt, and Phillip DeVine, 22, of
Fairfield, Iowa, because they were in the house at the time.
The case attracted national attention when it was learned that
Brandon had been living as a man and dating women in Falls City,
and Lincoln. It later inspired the film "Boys Don't Cry," in which
Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her portrayal of a character based on
On Christmas Eve 1993, John Lotter and Marvin Thomas Nissen
raped Brandon because they were angry she had fooled them into
was a man.
Juries later convicted the men of rape and three counts of
first-degree murder. Lotter is on death row, while Nissen earned
life sentence by testifying against his former friend.
In the wake of the criminal trials, JoAnn Brandon has won court
decisions that held the sheriff and county failed to protect her
after she reported the rape.
Authorities allowed Nissen and Lotter to remain free even
Brandon told the sheriff they had threatened her life if she reported
In addition, Laux pursued a crude and demeaning line of questioning of
Brandon in the hours after she was raped.
In late 1999, Judge Coady ruled in JoAnn Brandon's favor but
her only $17,000.
On appeal, the Supreme Court found Laux's behavior toward
"beyond all possible bounds of decency, and is to be regarded as
and utterly intolerable in a civilized community." The court ordered
to increase the base award to $86,000 and review the additional claims
against the county.
In October 2001, Coady found little evidence to support JoAnn
Brandon's claim of loss of companionship. In part, he based his
the fact that JoAnn Brandon did not pick up her daughter after she
to bring her to the safety of Lincoln.
As a result, he set the "intrinsic value" of Teena Brandon's
In addition, the judge found the sheriff intentionally
extreme emotional distress upon Teena Brandon. But he said there was
medical evidence to award more than $7,000 - $1,000 for each day
rape and murder.
On Tuesday, Friedman said that while the Brandon family wasn't
Brady Bunch, JoAnn and Teena had a close relationship. In the several
months she lived in Richardson County, Teena called her mother
and visited once or twice a week.
After the rape, they decided it was not safe for her to return
Lincoln because the rapists knew JoAnn Brandon's address. So the
made arrangements for the daughter to stay with Lisa Lambert in
Regarding a lack of medical evidence that Teena Brandon
distress from the sheriff's questions, Friedman said the judge set an
impossible standard under the circumstances.
"She didn't live long enough for a psychiatrist to look at her
say there was post-traumatic stress disorder," he said.
Short of setting their own award in the case, the Supreme Court
justices should send the matter to a district judge for a new verdict,
Friedman argued. And the judge should be anyone but Coady, he added.
In defense of the judge's ruling, Boucher argued there was a
the county's responsibility for the inappropriate actions of its
sheriff. He also said it was reasonable for the judge to conclude
mother and daughter had, at best, a tenuous relationship.
When Brandon told her mother that she had been sexually
"no one came to Richardson County to retrieve her. No effort was
get to Richardson County to help and comfort her in her time of need,"
The high court's ruling in the appeal could take as long as
. Reach Joe Duggan at 473-7239 or
Lincoln Journal Star, November 6, 2002
P. O. Box 81609, Lincoln, NE, 68501
(Fax: 402-473-7291 ) (E-Mail: oped@... )
Southeast Nebraska issues, candidates poised for wins (excerpt)
By Larry Peirce
The contest between two-term Johnson County Sheriff Stan
and petition write-in candidate James Wenzl of Sterling was too close
call late Tuesday night with six of the county's eight precincts
Wenzl had 643 votes, Osterhoudt 640 and Democrat Charles Laux
The uncounted precincts were in Sterling and Tecumseh.
"I don't know how to figure it," Wenzl said earlier in the
"It's hard to tell."
Osterhoudt was not available for comment. Nor was Laux, the
Richardson County sheriff criticized for his handling of rape
made by Teena Brandon, a woman who lived in Falls City as a man.
was killed in 1993 by the men she had claimed raped her.
Associated Press, November 6, 2002
Aside from Nevada, gay causes fare well in election
By David Crary
Aside from an expected rebuff of gay marriage in Nevada, the
was a coast-to-coast success for gay activists and candidates.
The three openly gay members of Congress won re-election by
margins; Providence, R.I., became the largest city with an openly gay
and activists prevailed in three referendums on municipal
Gay-rights activists were particularly heartened by the
success of an
anti-discrimination amendment in Sarasota, Fla., extending
gays and lesbians. It was backed by 73 percent of the voters.
In two other communities - Westbrook, Maine, and Ypsilanti,
voters rejected proposals to strip gay-rights provisions from local
anti-discrimination ordinances. Partial returns suggested a similar
in Tacoma, Wash., but absentee ballots remained to be counted.
In Westbrook, gay-rights supporters prevailed by only 2
points, but in Ypsilanti a similar provision survived by a margin of
"That's something beyond a victory, that's a definite
Beth Bashert, co-chair of the Ypsilanti Campaign for Equality.
Seth Kilbourne, national field director for the Human Rights
in Washington, D.C., hoped the results would deter foes of gay rights
pushing ballot measures in the future.
"We're getting smarter and better at winning these things,"
Kilbourne. "My hope is that our opposition will realize they're
The only major setback for gay-rights activists was scarcely a
surprise. By a margin of 337,183 to 164,555, Nevadans gave final
to a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage that received
approval two years ago.
State law already limits marriage to heterosexual couples, but
conservative groups sought the amendment to ensure that same-sex
from other states could not gain legal recognition in Nevada.
Openly gay candidates fared well in races for federal and state
offices, led by the three incumbent members of Congress. Rep. Barney
D-Mass., was unopposed, while Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., and Tammy Baldwin,
each won more than 60 percent of the votes.
An even bigger landslide occurred in Providence, where
Cicilline won 84 percent of the votes. The Rhode Island capital,
population of 174,000, will surpass Tempe, Ariz., as the largest city
an openly gay mayor, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.
"Obviously, there will be some interest nationally because I'm
Cicilline said. "But I'll continue to talk about the things that
Providence a better place to live for all kinds of people."
Precedents were set in several legislative elections,
the Victory Fund. Among them:
. Democrat Jack Jackson Jr., a Navajo, became the nation's
openly gay American Indian to win a legislative seat. He was elected
without opposition to Arizona's House of Representatives.
. Democrat Daniel O'Donnell, brother of talk-show host Rosie
O'Donnell, became the New York's first openly gay male assemblyman.
. Democrat Rich Madaleno became the first openly gay man
Maryland's General Assembly.
. Massachusetts Democrat Jarrett Barrios became the first
Latino elected to any state Senate.
. Democrats Mark Leno and John Laird became California's first
gay male legislators. One of the state's four lesbian lawmakers,
Assemblywoman Carole Migden of San Francisco, won a seat on the state
of Equalization representing 8 million constituents - more than any
gay or lesbian official in the country, according to the Victory Fund.
Stockton Record, November 6, 2002
530 E. Market St., Stockton, CA, 95202
(Fax: 209-546-8288 ) (E-Mail: editor@... )
( http://www.recordnet.com/ )
Letter: Davis policies harm our kids
Two years ago, Gov. Gray Davis signed AB1785, a law that makes
possible to teach the sexual practices of homosexual lifestyle to
in our public schools. Statistics show that homosexual sex and drug
cause the highest percentage of the deadly disease AIDS. Davis'
encouragement of this teaching will cause some children to try these
alternatives. Is there anything more important in our lives than the
of our little ones?
- Elena Romero, Stockton
The Columbian, November 6, 2002
P. O. Box 180, Vancouver, WA, 98666
(Fax: 360-699-6033 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.columbian.com )
Letter: Lobbying hijacks bill
The Family Research Council reports that in February, U.S.
Daschle, D-S.D., praised the CARE Act, President Bush's faith-based
initiative, as "what we can accomplish in Washington when we put
partisanship and politics aside and focus on what matters."
Eight Democrats co-sponsored the bill, which passed the House
with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. Swift Senate passage appeared
certain. Then, as The Wall Street Journal noted, the homosexual lobby
hijacked the bill.
The lobby demanded provisions that would have forced churches
other faith-based organizations to hire homosexuals even if that
deeply held moral principles.
Suddenly the Democrat co-sponsors, some of whom faced tough
campaigns, had to choose between popular bipartisan legislation and
demands of the politically powerful homosexual lobby. Despite his
support, Daschle capitulated to the homosexual lobby and blocked the
from coming to a vote.
As The Wall Street Journal quipped, it's plain to see what
Tom Daschle and the Democrats.
- Lee Hemen, Vancouver
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