NATIONAL BRIEFS

Posted on 18 May 2006 at 11:36pm

SLDN to appeal ruling dismissing
“‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ challenge

Officials with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Fund on May 13 announced plans to appeal a recent court decision dismissing the organization’s legal challenge to the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
The suit was filed in December of 2004 on behalf of lesbian and gay veterans who were discharged under “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” In April, the District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted a motion to dismiss, brought by the federal government.
C. Dixon Osburn, SLDN’s executive director, said, “The men and women in SLDN’s lawsuit are among the best and brightest America has to offer. They have diligently fought for the right to serve our country and defend our ideals. All of us at SLDN are enormously proud of their determination and we work to honor them every day.”
Osburn said that together, the plaintiffs have served more than 65 years in the armed forces, and two have served in direct support of operations in the Middle East. Between them, the plaintiffs have earned more than five dozen awards, medals and commendations.

Rainbow Sash Movement calls for
intra-faith prayer service during Gay Games

The Rainbow Sash Movement, an organization of GLBT Catholics, has called for a day of prayer to be highlighted by an intra-faith prayer service to be held during the Gay Games this summer in Chicago. The service would “give the GLBT community and our straight allies the opportunity to come together as people of faith to be thankful for how far we have come as an international community, and to commit to the journey ahead for universal human rights,” Rainbow Sash Movement officials said.
The Chicago Rainbow Sash Movement will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday to discuss plans for such a prayer service. For information or to RSVP for the meeting, call 312-266-0182 or e-mail Sashmovement@aol.com.

Efforts to amend California constitution through ballot measures fail again

Anti-gay-marriage activists in California have failed for the second time in a year to qualify any constitutional amendments banning gay marriage for the state ballot in November, a spokesman for Equality For All announced this week.
Dale Kelly Bankhead, campaign manager for Equality for All, said, “This is a moment for fair-minded Californians to be proud, but not to let up.”
Anti-gay-marriage activists have filed 14 nearly-identical initiatives, according to Lorri L. Jean, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. But Jean who is also an executive committee member for Equality for All warned that more such amendments are probably on the horizon.
“It is a matter of not if we face such a ballot measure in California, but when,” Jean said. “Those who oppose equality are already circulating petitions for the next statewide election in June of 2008.”
Those backing such amendments have said they expect litigation making its way through the court systems in several states, including California, to prompt more people to back such amendments in the future.

GLBT publications in North Carolina, South Carolina announce merger

Officials with two GLBT publications serving both North and South Carolina have announced that the newspapers are merging.
Q-Notes is based in Charlotte, and The Front Page is based in Raleigh. The Front Page began publishing in 1979 under the direction of Jim Baxter. Q-Notes debuted as a monthly newsletter in 1983 and was produced by an all-volunteer staff for the first two years. Q-Notes ceased publication due to lack of volunteers, but was reborn as a monthly tabloid-style newspaper in 1986.
Q-Notes moved to a every-other-week publication schedule in 1996 and added an Internet site in 1998.
Jim Yarbrough, Q-Notes publisher, said the merger “has been years in the making.”
“We’ve talked about doing it for years, and it finally seemed like the time was right. This is great for readers across the Carolinas because of the new content we’ll be carrying and for the advertisers because of an expanded distribution base and our subscription service.”

Wilson”‘outraged’ over plan to put
National Guard on U.S.-Mexico border

The Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, said this week she is outraged by President George W. Bush’s plan to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Wilson called the proposal “wrongheaded,” and said it “sends a message to all who seek entry into the U.S. that only those who have power and wealth can gain legal access to this nation.”
Wilson, a longtime social justice activist, said the president’s plan “sends exactly the wrong message” and is at odds with U.S. history and ideals. She said the Metropolitan Community Church is calling on communities of faith to protest the plan through letters to elected officials and by holding prayer vigils and rallies, and to call on the government to “seek compassionate solutions.”

GLBT archives receive $327,500
grant for cultural history project

The California Cultural and Historical Endowment has announced that the Los Angeles-based ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives will receive a $327,500 grant as part of the endowment’s mission to fund historical and cultural preservation projects telling the parts of the state’s history that have been under-represented in existing historical parks, monuments, museums and other facilities.
The ONE Archives will use the grant to fund its Preserving Our Cultural History project.
The archives must raise $150,000 in matching funds from public supporters, and Carol Grosvenor, board treasurer, said the archives are asking “both our longtime loyal supporters and new donors to help us preserve our history and secure our future.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, May 19, 2006.

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