11th July 2003 (# 5) News Clippings Digest
- 11th July 2003 (# 5) News Clippings Digest
1. NEWSDAY A New Partnership: Nassau County puts benefits for
unmarried partners in union pact
2. ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS (Denver) Calling Colorado's ban on gay
marriage "discrimination at its worst," a newly formed coalition of
clergy announces it will fight for equal marriage rights for same-
sex couples in religion and law
3. DENVER POST Church coalition pushes for gay marriage
4. PLAYBILL Transfer to the Q: Musical Avenue Q, with Puppets and
People, Moves to Broadway
5. 365GAY.COM Charlotte, North Carolina: Gay Community Warned Of
Extremist Group's Plans
6. 365GAY.COM Britain's House of Lords finally repealed anti-gay
Section 28, the law that banned the "promotion" of homosexuality in
7. 365GAY.COM Japan's transgendered will be allowed to put their
corrected sex and use their new names on official documents under a
Newsday, July 11, 2003
235 Pinelawn, Melville, NY, 11747-4250
(Fax: 516-843-2986 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.newsday.com/ )
A New Partnership
Nassau puts benefits for unmarried partners in union pact
By Michael Rothfeld, Staff Writer
Nassau County has agreed to extend benefits to the domestic
of its employees, including those in gay and lesbian relationships,
the tentative contract deal reached with its municipal workers union
The agreement between Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi
Civil Service Employees Association would give heterosexual and
domestic partners health insurance and other benefits enjoyed by
A copy of the agreement obtained this week by Newsday shows
qualify, the partners must be in a "committed relationship ... of
duration" and live together. They cannot have had a different
partner within six months or be married to anyone else. An employee
or her partner would have to file a Domestic Partner Affidavit the
The contract, which would run through 2007, has not yet been
by the union's 5,800 members or approved by county lawmakers. But it
cheered advocates for gay and lesbian rights.
"It's past time, actually, that the county recognized their
who can't get married and can't obtain these benefits through the
ceremony," said Bill Borman, chairman of the Nassau County Lesbian &
Democrats and a member of Nassau's Human Rights Commission.
But Roger Bogsted, Nassau's Conservative Party chairman and
affairs commissioner, objected to providing benefits to homosexual
on fiscal and moral grounds.
"I think we're whittling away at the moral fabric of the
Bogsted said. "I think the next step is going to be legalizing
marriages and beyond that, it would be legalizing all types of
[such as] sexual activity between children and adults. Where are
to draw the line?"
Nassau's move comes at a time of surging momentum for gay
following last month's Supreme Court ruling protecting the rights of
and lesbians to sexual privacy, and Canada's legalization of gay
Jane D'Amico, the CSEA president, said the partnership benefits and
anti-discrimination training also in the deal reflect a desire by
to recognize a diversified work force.
Kenneth R. Dash Sr., a Nassau Board of Elections employee from
Freeport, said he has lived for 30 years with his gay partner, whom
to add to Nassau's health insurance soon.
"It isn't so much gays - it's anybody that made a commitment
lived with someone for a period of years," said Dash, 67.
The overall deal is under review by the Nassau Interim Finance
Authority, Nassau Comptroller Howard Weitzman and the Legislative
Budget Review. According to Weitzman's office, 1,700 full-time CSEA
employees have individual coverage. For each worker upgrading to
coverage to insure a domestic partner, it would cost an extra $5,200
the comptroller's office said.
But Suozzi's aides said they expected few employees to
opportunity, based on the potential stigma of identifying themselves
and the experiences of other municipalities. Aides said Suozzi was
D'Amico said the ratification vote is scheduled for July 24.
said some members expressed concerns the new clause had reduced other
potential gains, but that it had not because the cost would be small.
County lawmakers will likely call a special session to vote
contract this summer, once the various reviews are finished.
Minority Leader Peter Schmitt (R-Massapequa) said he could not
the proposed new benefits without knowing the definition of domestic
Presiding Officer Judith Jacobs (D-Woodbury) said she
idea, but that terms such as "lasting duration" are too vague and
allow roommates to apply. Jacobs said the Democrats have discussed
a registry, as East Hampton and Southampton have, to "substantiate
that there is a legitimate domestic partnership in place."
Rocky Mountain News, July 11, 2003
400 W. ColFax Ave., Denver, CO, 80204
(Fax: 303-892-2568 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn )
Clergy back gay marriage
By Peggy Lowe, Rocky Mountain News
Calling Colorado's ban on gay marriage "discrimination at its
a newly formed coalition of clergy announced Thursday it will fight
equal marriage rights for same-sex couples in religion and law.
Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage also will battle
federal effort, led by U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., to place
marriage ban in the Constitution.
The Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, a retired Methodist minister and
the 45 Christian and Jewish clergy members in the new group, likened
marriage-rights effort to the struggle for civil rights. Quoting
Scott King, Caldwell said it is part of the "continuing justice
which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his life."
"History, I believe, will view legislation against same-sex
as being insensitive, invalid and illogical, as was the legislation
prohibited interracial marriage," Caldwell said.
Colorado's gay marriage ban was signed into law in 2000 by
Musgrave, elected to Congress last year, has introduced a
constitutional amendment that seeks to define marriage as solely
man and a woman.
In a statement, Musgrave said she felt she had to introduce
amendment "because homosexual activists are turning to unelected,
unaccountable judges to create new laws."
"It has been a tradition for over 200 years in the U.S., and
tenet of every major religion in the world, not just Judaism and
Christianity," Musgrave said. "Today's meeting by the very liberal
only strengthens my resolve to protect marriage."
The clergy coalition will meet in the next few weeks to
organize its priorities, said the Rev. Phil Campbell, the group's
and pastor at Park Hill Congregational Church.
Campbell said he's been married for 27 years and believes in
institution of marriage. Giving gays and lesbians the same rights as
heterosexuals is a matter of faith, he said.
"I believe that God has created all people in the divine
this means that the love between two people of the same sex is as
the love shared by two heterosexuals," he said.
State Rep. Shawn Mitchell, a Broomfield Republican who has
against gay civil union legislation, said the clergy group is wrong
equate interracial marriage with gay marriage.
Gender differences are "much more profound and consequential
skin color," he said, and "it is cheap, facile and illegitimate to
"I think that it's unfortunate they think they have to
basic definition of marriage to support the basic dignity and worth
individuals," Mitchell said. "I can respect a person regardless of
sexual orientation without wanting to rewrite what marriage is."
. lowep@... or (303)892-5482
Denver Post, July 11, 2003
1560 Broadway, Denver, CO, 80202
(Fax: 303-820-1369 ) (E-Mail: Letters@... )
( http://www.denverpost.com )
Church coalition pushes for gay marriage
By Eric Gorski, Denver Post Religion Writer
With a renewed national debate about gay marriage as a
new coalition of liberal Protestant and Jewish leaders from Colorado
announced plans Thursday to press for legalizing gay marriage and to
Colorado congresswoman's bill that would define marriage as strictly
a man and a woman.
Colorado Clergy for Equality in Marriage, which includes 45
was formed "to highlight the ongoing and unjust discrimination
and lesbian persons in state marriage laws."
In 2000, the legislature passed and Gov. Bill Owens signed
into law a
measure barring gay marriage in Colorado. Same-sex unions could not
be performed before then, but sponsors said they worried gays would
to places where it's allowed and demand legal recognition as married
The Rev. Phil Campbell, the clergy group's founder and senior
minister at Park Hill United Church of Christ in Denver, said the
an important voice, considering its traditional role in presiding
The group consists of clergy members who have long pressed
full participation of gays and lesbians in church life and society.
is one Catholic nun, but no formal tie to the Archdiocese of
Jewish Reform and Reconstructionist branches are represented.
A convergence of events helped bring the coalition together,
including the Supreme Court's recent overturning of a Texas sodomy
Canada's pending legalization of gay marriage and the "Defense of
act championed by U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo. The bill would
the Constitution to bar gay marriage.
"The public conversation is alive now," Campbell said. "Our
commitment has remained steadfast. Right now there may be a cultural
interest in hearing our message."
The clergy's three goals:
. To build support within their respective religious
equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Many of the
represented - including the United Methodist Church, Evangelical
Church in America and Episcopal Church - are divided over whether to
same-sex marriage or holy unions and whether to ordain gays and
ministers and lay leaders.
. To support and work for legislation that would establish
rights for gays and extend legal and civil protections to homosexual
Campbell allowed that prospects are dim now - the legislature
governor's mansion are controlled by Republicans, who take an
He said the group is committed no matter how long it takes.
. To work against "all legislation that would codify
in marriage," particularly the Musgrave bill, which Campbell
said "is rooted
in discrimination and fear."
Musgrave, in a statement, said: "A large majority of American
non-religious and religious, supports the idea of marriage being
between a woman and a man. It has been a tradition for over 200
the U.S., and a basic tenet of every major religion in the world,
Judaism and Christianity. (Thursday's) meeting by the very liberal
only strengthens my resolve to protect marriage."
The coalition drew criticism from evangelical Christians, who
uniformly view homosexuality as a sin and gay marriage as a threat.
"Essentially, what these religious leaders are proposing
the very core and tenets of their own faith traditions - that God
males and females as the two parts of humanity that are
serve as the foundation of marriage and family life," said Glenn
senior analyst of marriage and sexuality issues at Focus on the
Colorado Springs evangelical media ministry.
The Rev. Michael Leite of First Congregational Church in
disputed that allowing gay marriage undermines heterosexual ones.
"The damage is in what it does to those individuals, children
who are in good, healthy relationships, and our culture damages
Playbill, July 11, 2003
37-15 61st St., Woodside, NY 11377
(E-Mail: rsimonson@... ) ( http://www.playbill.com )
Transfer to the Q: Musical Avenue Q, with Puppets and People, Moves
By Ernio Hernandez
Avenue Q, where New York City diversity branches out to
people, computer-savvy monsters, nefarious but cute bears and even
harmonious boxes, begins at Broadway's Golden Theatre, July 11.
The first new musical of the season comes straight from
Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre - where it was lauded by audiences
critics alike, selling out its run and garnering the 2003 Lucille
Award for Outstanding Musical.
Avenue Q, which opens July 31, is set on a fictitious New
street where characters like Princeton, Brian, Kate Monster,
and others attempt to find their way in the real world - while
dancing and being "a little bit racist."
The comic show sends up popular children's television shows
"Sesame Street" and "The Electric Company," while serving up a
bounty of pop
culture references and solving the whereabouts of former "Diff'rent
child star Gary Coleman. The show bears the warning: "Full puppet
not suitable for children."
Creators Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, 2000 Ed Kleban Award
provide the original concept as well as music and lyrics for the
while Jeff Whitty (The Plank Project) handles the book. The Crumple
director Jason Moore directs the Broadway run, which features the
of puppeteer Rick Lyon (whose work has been seen in "Men in Black"
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.")
The musical employs three actors who portray human characters
four puppeteers who play more than a dozen puppet characters - in
of the audience. The Avenue Q cast includes Ann Harada (as
Jennifer Barnhart (Mrs. Thistletwat, Bad Idea Bear #2 and others),
Venetia Belcon (as Gary Coleman), Jordan Gelber (as Brian), Stephanie
D'Abruzzo (Kate Monster, Lucy T. Slut and others), John Tartaglia
and Rod) and Lyon (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bad Idea Bear #1 and
Ken Roberson carves out choreography. Stephen Oremus serves
supervisor. The design team features Anna Louizos (sets), Mirena
(costumes), Frances Aronson (lights) and Acme Sound Partners (sound).
The production features the songs "Avenue Q
Theme," "Opening," "If
You Were Gay," "Purpose," "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "The
for Porn," "A Mix Tape," "I'm Not Wearing Underwear
Today," "Special," "You
Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Making
Come True," "My Girlfriend, Who Lives in Canada," "There's a Fine,
Line," "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment," "The More You Ruv
"Schadenfreude," "I Wish I Could Go Back to College," "The Money
"For Now." A cast album is in the works but no label or release
Broadway performances will play at 8 PM Monday-Saturday and
at 2 PM
Wednesday and Saturday. For tickets to Avenue Q, call (212) 239-
365Gay.com, July 11, 2003
Gay Community Warned Of Extremist Group's Plans
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Charlotte, North Carolina - Police in Charlotte, North
issued warnings to the gay community, abortion clinics and Islamic
about a religious extremist group that is planning eight days of
The group, called Operation Save America says it expects
its members at the demonstrations. OSA has made block bookings for
a local Days Inn, and even though the leader of the group says it is
violent, police say minority groups should be on the lookout for
packages and should stay clear of the demonstrators.
The protests are slated to begin on Saturday.
Operation Save America began in Dallas, Texas but moved to
North Carolina over the past year. Its leader, Philip "Flip" Benham
the protestors will demonstrate in front of abortion clinics on
Metropolitan Community Church on Tuesday and at area mosques later
Benham says the July 18 protest at the MCC will feature nine
one for each of the nine Supreme Court justices who ruled in favor of
overturning Texas sodomy law.
Although Benham says he denounces violence his confrontational
rhetoric has raised concerns he could incite a riot.
In May, Benham attended Charlotte's Pride festival and
throughout a mass commitment ceremony for about a dozen gay couples.
He was arrested Saturday for trespassing in front of a
Charlotte abortion clinic, when he stepped over a line that marked
protesters were allowed to stand. He had the option of posting $500
but decided to stay in jail until his court date. He is expected to
of jail in time for the protests.
365Gay.com, July 11, 2003
Section 28 Finally Dies
by Peter Moore, 365Gay.com Newscenter, London Bureau
London - Britain's House of Lords Thursday repealed the
anti-gay Section 28, the Thatcher era law that banned
the "promotion" of
homosexuality in schools.
The Labor government of Tony Blair tried to scrap the law
first term in office. It failed because the Lords would not accept
A fresh attempt was made when the Local Government Bill was
through the Commons earlier this year and the Bill, which originally
nothing to do with sex education, was amended to include the repeal
But the new attempt to repeal the law again met emotional
the Tory dominated Lords. In what Tory Baroness Blatch called
an amendment to replace Section 28 with a new law that would allow
vetting of sex education was proposed.
Lady Blatch said it would remove the term homosexuality while
allowing for controls on what was taught in schools. Gay rights
termed the measure "Section 28 wrapped in a new coat". The plan was
defeated by 180 to 130.
Repeal of Section 28 was hailed Thursday night by LGBT
"We're delighted that the House of Lords has demonstrated a
willingness to listen to reason at last," said Ben Summerskill, the
executive of gay rights group Stonewall.
Summerskill said the Section was "deliberately framed in
stigmatize a minority group".
365Gay.com, July 11, 2003
Japan Recognizes Rights Of Transgendered
by Peter Hacker, 365Gay.com Newscenter, Asia Bureau Chief
Tokyo - Japan's transgendered will be allowed to put their
sex and use their new names on official documents under a new law
with unanimous consent Thursday by the House of Representatives.
Births in Japan are listed in official family registries.
law allows for the first time those entries to be altered.
The legislation was authored by a committee of the ruling
and approved by the Judicial Affairs Committee before heading to the
for a vote. The law is scheduled to take effect next year. But,
official documents still will not be easy.
In Japan the transgendered are referred to as people with "
identity disorder". To change their documentation TGs will have to be
diagnosed by at least two doctors as " having a different
makeup from their biological sex" and a desire to live as the
gender both physically and socially.
Applicants must be at least 20 years old, unmarried, have no
children, and no longer have functioning reproductive organs as a
undergoing gender reassignment surgery.
They must then go to family court for final approval.
There is still a stigma attached to being transgendered in
many TGs encounter trouble gaining employment and voting because
to be one sex but their official papers indicate they are another.
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