Friday, January 14, 2005

Daily News Round Up (1/14/05)

Lawyer argues for gay-marriage licenses
By WILLIAM KATES

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- An attorney for 25 same-sex couples who were denied marriage licenses told a judge Friday that New York's opposition to gay marriage is similar to discrimination against women or minorities.

Mariette Geldenhuys, an attorney for the couples who sued the city of Ithaca in June, told state Judge Robert Mulvey that the state's position contradicts a 2002 New York law outlawing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"The basis of the opposition (to gay marriage) is that it goes against tradition," Geldenhuys argued. "If tradition carried on, we would still have slavery."


MTV's Gay Channel Held Back to Summer

By Cynthia Littleton

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - MTV Networks has pushed back the launch date of Logo, its nascent gay and lesbian-themed cable/satellite channel, to June from February, in order to secure additional carriage commitments and develop more original programing, executives said Thursday.

The Viacom-owned cable giant initially had projected a launch date of Feb. 17, but the new target is June 30. By then, the channel should launch with an initial subscriber base of at least 10 million cable households. MTV Networks confirmed it has struck carriage agreements for Logo with Time Warner Cable in Manhattan, RCN and Atlantic Broadband, and it is in final negotiations for an agreement with Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable-system operator.

"Until I got deeper into the planning for Logo, I hadn't realized the degree of pent-up demand there is for this channel," said Brian Graden, who was named president of the channel in July. "I want it to come out with a complete and diverse (program) slate, so that every gay and lesbian person can look at it and say, 'Oh, there I am."'


Gay-marriage headed for initiative
by Elvia Díaz

Supporters of a same-sex marriage amendment for Arizona said Thursday that they will skip the Legislature and launch a drive to put the measure on the November 2006 ballot.

The initiative also would prohibit domestic partners from receiving public benefits. Backers will need 183,917 valid signatures to place the amendment on the ballot.

The measure would define marriage as being between one man and one woman. The goal would be to prevent any judge from making same-sex marriages legal. They are banned under current state law.


Evangelists Cite 1st Amendment In Anti-Gay Protest

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Four Christian evangelists each facing up to 47 years in prison for inciting a riot at a gay event in Philadelphia last year will be back in court next week.

Their attorney, Brian Fahling, says they are not guilty and that the city is violating their First Amendment rights in prosecuting them.

Fahling says that Philadelphia "views the Biblical message of sin and repentance as hate speech."


More Gay Men Injecting Meth

by DUNCAN OSBORNE

Some New York City needle exchange programs that swap used syringes for clean ones have reported that they are seeing more gay and bisexual male clients who are injecting crystal meth.

Rafael Ponce, director of health promotion services at the Positive Health Project (PHP), said his group began seeing more gay meth injectors among its new clients in 2004.

“For the past four or five months, it’s been about 15 percent,” Ponce said.


Iowa Supreme Court Hears Lesbian 'Divorce' Case

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Des Moines, Iowa) The Iowa Supreme Court Friday heard a challenge to the granting of a dissolution of a civil union to two lesbians by a lower court judge more than a year ago.

The ruling was appealed to the high court by a group of conservative lawmakers who said the decision violated the state's ban on gay marriage. The group argued that in granting a "divorce", Woodbury County District Judge Jeffrey Neary was acknowledging same-sex marriage.

The dissolution had been granted to Kimberly Brown and Jennifer Perez. The Sioux City women had a civil union in Vermont in 2002 in Bolton, Vt. and then returned to Sioux City to live.


NY Suit Seeks Gay Partner Benefits
by Doug Windsor 365Gay.com New York Bureau

(Rochester, New York) The New York Civil Liberties Union Friday filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Court on behalf of a Rochester woman seeking health care benefits for her female partner whom she married in Canada.

"Gay and lesbian couples make the same long-term commitments to each other as heterosexual couples," said Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU. "This case highlights the fact that same-sex couples are entitled to the same protection under state law."

The NYCLU filed its lawsuit on behalf of Patricia Martinez against her employer, Monroe Community College, as well as Monroe County. According to the lawsuit, the college and the county are violating the state constitutional rights of Martinez and her spouse because they are a lesbian couple.


Dems Tell Bush To Lay Off Gays

by Doreen Brandt 365Gay.com Washington Bureau

(Washington) The Democratic Party launched a petition Friday telling the White House not to push for a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The DNC in its Pride at the Polls newsletter to more than 100,000 party supporters calls on President Bush to abandon his call for the amendment and to tell House Majority Leader Tom Delay to " stop discriminating against Americans."

DeLay (R-Texas) has made it clear that it's at the top of the Republican legislative agenda, warning, "We will come back and come back until this is passed."


Evangelists Cite 1st Amendment In Anti-Gay Protest

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Four Christian evangelists each facing up to 47 years in prison for inciting a riot at a gay event in Philadelphia last year will be back in court next week.

Their attorney, Brian Fahling, says they are not guilty and that the city is violating their First Amendment rights in prosecuting them.

Fahling says that Philadelphia "views the Biblical message of sin and repentance as hate speech."


Pentagon Sought 'Gay' Bomb
by Paul Johnson 365Gay.com Washington Bureau Chief


Washington) The Pentagon tried to develop a bomb that would turn an opposing army "gay" according to newly declassified documents.

The papers, obtained by the New Scientist and the Sunshine Project - an organization that exposes research into chemical and biological weapons - show that during the Clinton presidency the military attempted to create a series of non-lethal chemical weapons that would disrupt discipline and morale among enemy troops.

One weapon that the Pentagon worked on is described as an "aphrodisiac" that would make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other.


Episcopal Church Dithers On Gays

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Salt Lake City, Utah) Two days of meetings by the bishops of the Episcopal Church aimed at resolving a bitter battle over the role of gays in the church has produced few results.

In a statement released at the end of the House of Bishops conference, held in Salt Lake City, the bishops said that they expressed regret for pain caused by their decision to ordain Gene Robinson, an openly gay man as Bishop of New Hampshire. (story)

The wording was far from that demanded by Church conservatives who called for an all out apology for putting a gay man at the head of a diocese, and did not even mention Robinson, referring to his ordination as "certain actions of our church.".


Study Identifies Predictors Of HIV Drug Resistance

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(New York City) The best method for preventing HIV patients from developing drug resistance is a careful, dedicated adherence to their prescribed drug regimen, according to a long-term, large-scale study presented today in New York City.

Other key predictors of resistance include measures of how much virus was present in a person's bloodstream at the start of therapy and how much their immune status was compromised.

"We have a lot of studies showing that triple therapy works, as well as a lot of good information on the problem of resistance developing in triple antiretroviral therapy," said Richard Harrigan, Ph.D., director of the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV Research Labs at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver and lead author of the paper. It was released at the American Medical Association Media Briefing, HIV/AIDS, The Drug Resistance Epidemic.


Opposing Gay Marriage Bans Had Little Effect On Incumbents Study Shows

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

(Washington) A new examination of how incumbents fared at the polls last November shows that lawmakers who opposed amendments to state constitutions banning gay marriage met with little opposition.

The study, prepared by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, shows that voters failed to heed a call from conservative groups to vote against lawmakers who did not support the amendments.

The study examined election results in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, where state legislatures had voted in 2004 on constitutional amendments seeking to ban marriage between same-sex couples, and in some cases, any form of partner recognition such as civil unions or domestic partnerships.

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