Dem VP choice Sen. Lieberman has mixed record on gay issues
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, soon to be the vice presidential running mate for Al Gore's presidential ticket, has voted to end employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and hate violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.
But Lieberman also has a mixed record overall on issues important to the progressive community, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said Monday.
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"Sen. Lieberman's record is one that bears studying and watching," said NGLTF Executive Director Elizabeth Toledo. "He has a generally good record on issues important to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. At the same time, Lieberman, like Clinton and like Gore, has not always proven to be a friend of the progressive community when we needed him."
Lieberman, who is the first member of the Jewish faith to be selected for the national ticket of a major U.S. political party, has taken several stands that demonstrate support for issues important to GLBT people:
* He co-sponsored the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and this year voted for the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act, whose passage in the Senate has put the hate-crimes ball in the U.S. House's court.
* He co-sponsored and voted for civil-rights legislation that would prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.
* He sponsored and voted in favor of the Ryan White Care Act, has implemented a nondiscrimination policy covering sexual orientation for his office staff and supported ending the ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual people serving openly in the military.
At least two votes prevent Lieberman's record from remaining completely supportive of issues important to GLBT people, however:
* He voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act.
*He voted to prevent people with AIDS from immigrating into the U.S.
On other issues, Lieberman offers voters a decidedly mixed bag. For instance, he supported the "welfare reform" overhaul ( also supported and signed into law by the Clinton Administration ) that resulted in many recipients losing aid while not having access to adequate job training or childcare programs. Lieberman also is a staunch supporter of taxpayer-funded vouchers for private and religious schools, a move that poses a threat to both teachers and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students who rely on public schools for non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. On the other hand, Lieberman is a strong proponent of access to reproductive heathcare.
NGLTF recently released of Elections Center 2000, a comprehensive online tool for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender voters and their allies. Elections Center 2000, at www.ngltf.org/elections , provides information on public statements and voting records of the four leading presidential candidates; highlights of the Democratic, Green, Reform and Republican parties' platforms; state-by-state projections of the size of the 2000 GLB vote in key states; overviews of crucial state and local ballot measures and much more.
The six candidates listed on Al Gore's short-list for VP were: Sen. Evan Bayh; Sen. John Edwards ; House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt; Sen. John Kerry; Sen. Lieberman; and New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.
See more details from NGLTF at www.ngltf.org/elections/demvp.htm or www.ngltf.org/elections .
threaten GLBT families
The Republican platform unveiled several planks that harm families with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members, according to the Family Pride Coalition. Planks on marriage, Boy Scouts and family structure are especially harmful to children with GLBT parents, the group said.
On the subject of marriage, the Republicans said: "We support the traditional definition of 'marriage' as the legal union of one man and one woman, and we believe that federal judges and bureaucrats should not force states to recognize other living arrangements as marriages. We rely on the home, as did the founders of the American Republic, to instill the virtues that sustain democracy itself. That belief led Congress to enact the Defense of Marriage Act, which a Republican Department of Justice will energetically defend in the courts. For the same reason, we do not believe sexual preference should be given special legal protection or standing in law."
Dr. Laura loses
two more advertisers
On Aug. 1, EchoStar, owner of the DISH Network, pulled all its advertising from the "Dr. Laura" radio show, reports StopDrLaura.com.
EchoStar had been cited by Schlessinger's radio syndication company, Premiere, as one of three loyal holdouts supporting the show in the face of a growing hemorrhage of advertisers leaving the show. In just the last week, two of those three advertisers ( Sears and EchoStar ) have dropped her.
On July 24, Kraig Kitchin, president and chief operating officer of Premiere Radio Networks, syndicator of the "Dr. Laura" show, told Reuters that Sears, Roebuck and Co., EchoStar Communications Corp., and online discounter Priceline.com were all "standing by" Schlessinger.
Also, in response to protests from Cincinnati Stop Dr. Laura, a representative of the Ohio State Lottery told the city's StopDrLaura.com chapter last week that the lottery would no longer air commercials on Schlessinger's radio program.
Other companies who have pulled the advertising from the Dr. Laura Show are: Geico, SkyTel, Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Amica Insurance, Box.com, American Express, United Airlines, ToysRUs.com, Xerox, AT&T and TCF Bank.
Meanwhile, the Stop Dr. Laura protests continue around the country, the latest in Golden Valley, Minn., when close to 400 people picketed at KARE-11's Golden Valley studios July 30 to protest the station's decision to buy Schlessinger's television show.
W. Va. teen to be
tried as adult
David Allen Parker, a 17-year-old accused of running over a gay Black man he and another teen allegedly had beaten will be tried as an adult, reports AP.
According to a witness, Arthur "J.R." Warren was still alive when Parker ran over him four times with a car July 4. Parker and Jared Wilson, 17, beat him and then drove him to a gravel pullout and ran over him.
An anonymous source told Associated Press that Warren was beaten because he wanted to reveal a sexual relationship he claimed to have had with Parker and Wilson.
Texas man guilty
On July 26 in Texas, a Travis County jury convicted Nolan Harrell Webb, 61, of murdering Gary Goins, concluding a trial at which a defense lawyer argued that the March killing was self-defense, reports The Austin-American Statesman.
The murder took place after a drinking session at Goins' apartment, where Webb spent the night. Webb testified that the killing was accidental, and that he had stabbed Goins during an altercation, after Goins had threatened to rape and kill him.
Because of a prior conviction, Webb faces up to life in prison.
Lukenbill at Gay.com,
best/worst companies out
The Gay.com Network announced Aug. 1 an exclusive agreement with consumer activist and workplace author Grant Lukenbill to report on finance, business news and gay workplace issues. Making his debut official, Lukenbill also released his annual update of the Gay and Lesbian Values ( GLV ) Index of leading companies for gay and lesbian consumers, employees and investors.
The 2000 glvIndex is based on a proprietary ten-point scale that focuses on workplace policies, corporate philanthropy and enlightened policies towards HIV/AIDS.
According to Lukenbill, only five U.S. companies, and only four publicly held ones including American Airlines, Lucent Technologies, Apple Computer, Xerox Corporation and Trillium Asset Management ( Boston-based and privately held company ) scored a perfect "10," by his ranking.
The full list is available at http://content.gay.com/channels/finance/glmoney/index.html.
Baltimore man gets 2
life sentences for slaying
MSNBC reports that a man who told police he attacked gay men because he thought gays were evil was given two life sentences for the slaying of a hotel guest last June.
Gary William Mick, 25, pleaded guilty to the murder of Christopher Williams Jones, and to an unrelated attack on another gay man last September; the latter victim managed to fight him off.
Jones, 37, of Metuchen, N.J., was attending a pharmaceutical conference in Baltimore when he met Mick, who accompanied him to his hotel room. Mick then struck Jones nine times in the head with a claw hammer, and stole the victims truck and credit cards, MSNBC said.
Rights lawyer appointed to Hawaii court
Hawaii's most prominent civil-rights attorney, Dan Foley, co-counsel in the landmark case, Baehr v. Anderson, which sparked the ongoing dialogue about the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, has been made a judge to the state's Intermediate Court of Appeals, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said.
Gov. Ben Cayetano, who made the nomination, cited Foley's intelligence and integrity, adding that he was one of Hawaii's top constitutional lawyers.
Killer to get 'death'
Alan Eugene Miller, 35, a truck driver convicted of shooting three colleagues to death in a rampage at two Pelham, Ala., businesses was sentenced to death last week, according to AP.
Miller worked as a driver at Ferguson Enterprises, a machinery company where Lee Holdbrooks, 32, and Scott Yancy, 28, were repeatedly shot as they prepared for the workday last August. Terry Jarvis, 39, was killed a few miles away at Post Airgas, where Miller had previously worked.
According to Miller's testimony, he thought the three victims were spreading rumors that he was gay.