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Happy Holidays from the editorial board at lbgtnews_views! I hope you're keeping warm. I know it's been pretty difficult for me.

January 1, 2006, is a very important day for this community. We'll be getting back to regular articles, both original news items and editorial items based on outside sources.

We invite any of our members to write an article. Check out our submission guidelines on our info page.

I'm excited to get this community back going and better than ever.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,
Brian Smith
Real Truth

Civil Rights (U.S.)

Mother of civil rights movement memorialized

By Brian A. Smith

The mother of the modern civil rights movement is reaching the end of her final road, memorial services in Detroit.

Thousands of people--Presidents, civil rights leaders, ordinary citizens--filled Greater Grace Temple in Detroit to honor the life of Rosa Parks. Parks died in Detroit last week of natural causes complicated by later-life dementia. She was 92.

While Parks' attention is mostly related to the work she did to integrate the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama, the influence of Parks and now her spirit carries on in the modern fight for civil rights and specifically the fight for equality for homosexuals in this country.

I have been inspired in the past nine days in hearing Ms. Parks' story, and believe that our equivalent of refusing to give up our bus seat is soon to come in the LBGT world. Soon some brave soul will be the person that says, I don't care what the laws say, I think the laws are wrong, and we as a people will rally behind that person. Do I think it will have as immediate an impact as Parks' actions did? No, considering that the United States Supreme Court is about to take a dramatic turn toward the conservative right wing with the appointment this week of Samuel Alito to the spot vacated by moderate Sandra Day O'Connor.

Our liberation is coming, I can feel it, and I for one will say a silent thank you to Mrs. Parks for the work she did nearly fifty years ago that first said that different isn't good or bad, it's just different.

How to save a life

(no subject)

Lesbian Minister Defrocked, Undoing April Appeal.
by Jace Gordon schiavona

Irene "Beth" Stroud has been in a bit of a struggle to keep her title as a minister in the United Methodist church since early this year. After an appeal in April that reinstated her as a Minister, the United Methodist church Judicial Council has reversed the decision of the Northeast Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, and the original ruling to remove Stroud as a minister. The church has declared that her practice of homosexual is 'incompatible with Christian teachings.'

Stroud, who came out in 2003, never documented her sexuality, but claims to never have denied it and never kept it a secret.

She will continue as a lay staff member in her church, and is applying to be a foster parent. She will continue to preach and to be an adult supervisor for her church.

Stroud originally came out in a sermon, but before that some of her congregation were aware of her sexuality. In the Methodist Church's law, a gay member can be a minister as long as they remain celibate.
This case is reflective of inn March 2004 when the Rev. Karen Damman, a lesbian minister in Washington, faced defrocking but was acquitted by jurors who argued the Book of Discipline did not specifically list same-sex love as a "chargeable offense" for ministers. The Judicial Council later changed the language in the Book of Discipline to make non-celibacy for gay clergy a chargeable offense. Stroud's case was the first test of that ruling.

The United Methodist Church is the nation's third largest denomination. Its communications and publicity offices are in Nashville, TN.

Jace Gordon couldn't be a minister of anything. Ironically, religion is not a huge part of his life.
Real Truth

Politics (U.S.)

Bush 'short list' critical of gay marriage

By Brian Smith
Plymouth, MI

President George W. Bush has released his "short list" of candidates to replace retiring Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the United States Supreme Court.

J. Michael Luttig, a judge on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a majority decision in a case upholding the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy that homosexuals should be removed from military service, regardless of whether they're open about their sexuality.

The other front-runner, Samuel Alito, Jr. of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, has less of an accessible record at this time, but is said to be a far more conservative candidate than the woman he would replace.

Regardless if Bush selects Luttig, Alito, or one of the other candidates mentioned, the Republican faction of the Senate sent a clear message to President Bush that for his next nominee to be confirmed, his or her beliefs must reside in the far right wing of the Republican Party.
Jace Red

Bush accepts Miers' withdrawal of her nomination to the Supreme Court.

Harriet Miers withdraws Supreme Court Nomination
By Jace Gordon, Athens GA. (Original)

As of this morning, Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to the Supreme Court as an Associate Judge and George W. Bush will be nominating another individual. Her reasons for withdrawing are in a letter, and she believes that there is an amount of privacy in which the Executive Branch should be allowed to function in and any inquiries about her service in the White House should be minimal as it apparently hinders the White House staff.

Despite the talk and questions about what the White House has to hide, there is a bottom line to what this means about the vacant seat that will soon be left by Sandra Day O'Connor.

Well, what does this mean?

First off, let me say this; when it comes to possible conservative candidates, I believe Bush could have done much worse. It goes without saying that a conservative president is going to nominate a conservative judge to fill slots, but it seems like Bush’s candidates haven’t been quite as alarming as one might expect of him.

Roberts, who was confirmed last month, doesn’t scare me that bad. I feel like he is a bit more liberal than Rehnquist and I don’t think he will be that damaging. The judge we should all focus on is Scalia and when he is going to retire/kick the bucket. If Scalia gets Roberts’ ear, then we are in trouble.

Miers is a bit shady about her political views, and she has contradicted herself a bit on gay rights, but I think that is more to impress the right, who can endorse her more than any gay or lesbian organization could.

The public makes a mistake when they think about judges as political figures. A judge, once confirmed, can vote any way that they feel because they do not have to worry about being re-elected. A judge has a lifetime commitment to the court unless they retire altogether.

Miers may not have been completely ideal to liberals and the LGBT, but I feel like we like the next candidate even less.

Jace Gordon is an Inbound Marketing/Sales representative for DialAmerica Marketing. He writes freelance political opinions and occasionally is featured in a local Athens, GA magazine/newspaper Flagpole. He can be reached at
Real Truth


Basing article: Here

Swoopes' coming out a step backwards for LBGT community

By Brian Smith

I want to start with the fact that I admire Houston Comets star Sheryl Swoopes. Coming out for anyone is difficult. For someone that is in the public eye, and whose decisions are scrutinized in the best of times, it's all the more difficult. That being said, Swoopes' coming-out may be a step backwards in the advancement of the LBGT agenda in this country.

In the above article, Swoopes says that she doesn't believe that she was born a lesbian. Her pronouncement goes against both scientific evidence presented recently, and the fundamental belief of many of the homosexual people in this country.

Ours is a difficult lifestyle. We live in fear or question of what society will think. We have to deal with the stigma of the "wrongness" of our actions that government places on us, by making gay marriage illegal in many states, and our president, the president for ALL of the people of the United States, has proposed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and woman.

So, thanks but no thanks, Sheryl. I admire your courage, and wish you all the best as you return to the court next May. I hope that your fellow players admire your courage and don't reject you for who you truly are. I hope that someone finds enough strength in your revelation that they choose to come out themselves. But, I hope someone reading this that doesn't necessarily understand our viewpoint recognizes this -- When I came out, I thought I was "choosing" homosexuality as my lifestyle as well. But I've realized as I've matured into an adult that coming out just means acknowledging for the public what we already know about ourselves, the destiny that was chosen for us at or before birth.

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