News Briefs

Out for Ireland

Andrea Lafferty of the right wing Traditional Values Coalition led an Internet petition against Ireland’s hiring. “I believe their contributors forced them to fire her,” she told The Times.

World Pride 2005 in Jerusalem

Interpride, meeting in Montreal, has voted to hold the second World Pride celebration in Jerusalem two years from now. The first such event in Rome in 2000 attracted 250,000 LGBT folks and supporters, causing much papal consternation during the millennial Roman Catholic celebration. The 2005 march will be the biggest gay event ever in Israel. Due to the objections of orthodox Jewish groups, Jerusalem has only had a gay pride parade for the last two years.

Mary Loftsrom, who won the 2003 OUTMUSIC Award for Outstanding New Recording (Female), has died of scleroderma and ovarian cancer at her Seattle home. The award was for her second CD, “Ginger Comes to Stay.” The jazz vocalist recorded her first CD album, “My Secret Joy,” in 1997. She is survived by her parents and her spouse, Coralie Janssen Sween, whom she met in 1988.

The DNA of Sexual Identity

Researchers at UCLA’s School of Medicine think that they’ve discovered why we “feel” male or female by looking at 54 genes in mice that are produced in differing quantities in male and female brains. Dr. Eric Villain told Reuters, “These discoveries lend credence to the idea that being transgender—feeling that one has been born into the body of the wrong sex—is a state of mind.” That sounds like a murky enough conclusion, but the researchers are also touting the study as the way to guide physicians when dealing with newborns with what the story calls “malformed genitalia” where sex cannot readily be determined. The modern tendency is to mutilate these babies to try to make them one sex or the other, when in fact they are intersexed.

While we may have qualms about the research, the religious right is also disturbed. Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, a quack who wrote “Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth” told the Christian News Service, “The implications with respect to the debate over homosexuality are approximately zero.” The story says, “Predetermination of sexuality could give homosexual advocacy groups more ammunition in calls for special legislation.”

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DNA May Clear Suspect in 1996 Lesbian Murders

Lollie Winans and Julianne Williams were brutally killed while hiking in Shenandoah National Park seven years ago. Darrell Rice, who had a history of committing violence against women and was seen going in and out of the park in 1996 on surveillance cameras, was about to go on trial in the murders when DNA analysis found that the hairs the perpetrator left on the victims did not match Rice’s. They did belong to Richard Evonitz, a serial killer linked to the murders of girls in Spotsylvania, who committed suicide last year.

Prosecutors say that they have “substantial” circumstantial evidence linking Rice to the murders of the lesbians, but his defense attorneys have moved for dismissal in light of the DNA developments.

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Gay Teen Wins Brit Big Brother

Paul, an out gay Belfast hairdresser, was the winner of a trip around the world for prevailing in the UK Teen Big Brother show. An edited version of the show appeared on Channel 4. The longer version was filmed for showing in schools, the Guardian reported.

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Corporate Eye for the Queer Guys

The gay men on Bravo’s hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” are supposed to dispense style advice in the best of taste. Now they are being eyed by companies such as Pepsi, Revlon, and Pier 1 for product placement and advertising deals, the Daily News reported. There is also talk of a spin off called “Queer Eye for the Straight Girl.”

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Was Oscar a Fall Guy?

A new book on Oscar Wilde says that he was prosecuted for buggery to get the Marquess of Queensbury from going after the Earl of Roseberry, then Prime Minister, who was having an affair with the Marquess’ other gay son, Viscount Drumlanrig, brother of Lord Alfred Douglas. Neil McKenna, author of “The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde” writes that the Marquess later called Roseberry “a Jew nancy boy” and “that bloody bugger.” Merlin Holland, Wilde’s grandson, said, “Queensbury had lost one son to this ‘unmentionable vice’ and didn’t want another lost.”

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Gay Meningitis Outbreak in Chicago

Three gay men have died and another three hospitalized due to an outbreak of meningitis traced to North Side gay clubs in Chicago, 365Gay.com reported. The health department has responded by conducting a mass immunization of gay men who may have come into contact with the victims. The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but can kill quickly if it is not treated.

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S&M Gatherings Cancelled in Maryland and Louisiana

Pressure from local police departments and community groups has forced the cancellation of two sadomasochism conferences, one sponsored by the D.C.-based Black Rose at the Princess Royale Hotel in Ocean City, Maryland and the other in Kenner, Louisiana.

In the Louisiana case, the police chief wrote to the Kenner Hotel, “If you permit the event… you could be held equally responsible should any accidents occur. The Kenner Police Department will aggressively investigate any violations of the law or suspicious incidents.” Bob Hannaford, chair of the “Fetish in the Fall” event did cancel it, but complained to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that his group was targeted by the chief because “he doesn’t believe in the sexual orientation of the attendees.”

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First Subsidized Housing for Gay Older People

With government support, Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing is teaming with a company specializing in affordable housing to build 103 units for LGBT older people in Hollywood, 365gay.com reported. It is the first such program of its kind in the nation and will include housing for older people with various income levels, as well as a certain percentage of homeless people, those at risk for homelessness, and people with HIV/AIDS.

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Research: Gay Couples Show the Way for Straight Couples

A new study says that “in 200 years, heterosexual relationships will be where gay relationships are today.” Writing in the Journal of Homosexuality, John Gottman of the University of Washington says, “Gay and lesbian couples are a lot more mature, more considerate in trying to improve a relationship, and have a greater awareness of equality in a relationship than straight couples.” He also said that gay and lesbian relationships are marked by “the triumph of positive emotions over negative emotions.”

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Gay Husbands, Evicted from Catholic Choir, to Speak at Center

Robert Voorheis and Michael Sabatino, active in Marriage Equality/N.Y., made headlines this past week when their Bronx pastor threw them out of the choir after they got married in Canada. The men will be featured speakers on Saturday, November 8 at 10 a.m. during a discussion on the fight for same-sex marriage at the PFLAG New York State Council meeting at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St. Also on the panel are the Albany sponsors of the Equal Marriage Bill, Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (D-Manhattan) and out state Senator Tom Duane (D-Manhattan). Clips from “Tying the Knot,” a new documentary on gay nuptials, will also be shown.

The Journal News in Yonkers, where Voorheis and Sabatino live, reported that the Zion Episcopal Church in Dobbs Ferry and Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Yonkers are among five Protestant churches to offer the men membership. Parishioners at St. Benedict’s in the Bronx were split over their expulsion from the choir, the New York Times reported.

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No Mas(s) for Andrew Sullivan

Out conservative scribe Andrew Sullivan has finally decided not to go to Catholic Mass anymore. “I realize I cannot participate in it any longer,” he wrote on the op-ed page of The New York Times. The pope, he continued, “will send emissaries to terrorists, he will meet with a man who tried to assassinate him. But he has not and will not meet with openly gay Catholics. They are, to him, beneath dialogue. His message is unmistakable. Gay people are the last of the untouchables.”

Mr. Liza Minelli Alleges Wife Hit Him

David Gest, the most recent gay husband of Liza Minelli, is suing her for $10 million for spousal abuse, including throwing a lamp at him and beating his face with her fists, Reuters reported. The couple separated three months ago. Her lawyers had no comment on the suit.

Andy Humm is co-host, with Ann Northrop, of “Gay USA” on MNN-TV. It is seen Thursdays at 11 PM on Time-Warner 34 and RCN 109 in Manhattan, as well as on Free Speech TV for those who have DirecTV. It is simulcast at www.mnn.org.

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