in the news/2
Volume 18/Issue 22

Depressed Gays
More Apt to Have Unsafe Sex

A study conducted at Adelaide University in Australia has found that Gay men with long-term depression are almost twice as likely to have unsafe casual sex as other Gay men, the Australian Associated Press reports. Researchers studied more than 400 Gay men and concluded that 40% of those with long-term, low-grade depression had had unsafe sex during the previous six months. The figure for men without depression was 22%. "It may be that low self-esteem that is part of long-term depression leads to men not caring enough about themselves to stay safe," said Gary Rogers, MD, program director of a prevention program at Adelaide University.

New Hate Crime Web Site
Seeks To "Get Out The Gay Vote", a new comprehensive Web site about hate crimes against Gays and Lesbians, was launched Oct. 12 on the second anniversary of the murder of Gay University of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard.

The site seeks to help "get out the Gay vote" around the issue of hate crimes, and provides news and updates about a number of recent hate crimes, statistics and data about such crimes, and information about proposed legislation to address the problem.

On its inaugural day, tackled the issue of the presidential candidates and their positions on hate crime legislation. "Bush and Gore got into a contentious argument about hate crimes during last night's debate," said John Aravosis, founder of, referring to the Presidential Debate of Oct. 11. "While Bush tried to pretend he supports hate crime legislation, the truth is he opposed such legislation in Texas specifically because it included sexual orientation." has published a special report detailing Bush's real position on hate crimes, including video of Bush's and Gore's statements about Gays during the debates. also includes an "action center" that not only has links to Gay-oriented voting records of US Senators and House members up for re-election, but the site directs visitors to resources to register to vote, obtain an absentee ballot, and assist with pro-Gay campaigns.

"It's been two years since Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, and the Republicans in Congress have again killed the hate crime bill," said Aravosis. "It's time to hold our politicians accountable, and come out and vote on behalf of those who no longer can. I hope will be a resource to anger and energize the community so that no one has to suffer ever again." was built and is being maintained pro bono, and is part of a larger collection of pro bono Gay civil rights sites including "Matthew Shepard Online Resources".

Mississippi Gay Lobby:
"Trent Not!" on Nov. 7

Mississippi Gay Lobby (MGL) is calling for the Mississippi Gay and Gay friendly community to get out on Nov. 7 and remove Trent Lott from office.

"Our number one priority is getting Trent Lott, (R) Pascagoula, MS, out of the U.S. Senate. He has done nothing but bring embarassment and shame to our great state with his rants and raves about the homosexual community. He is definately not a friend of ours nor does he care one way or the other how we are treated. We at MGL think he is worse than Dr. Laura Schlessinger. At least she isn't a congresswoman making our country's laws," said MGL Chairman Jody Renaldo. "As for official endorsement by Mississippi Gay Lobby, we put all of our support behind Libertarian Lewis Napper, Madison, MS, to replace Trent Lott in the U.S. Senate. After having personally spoken to him by e-mail, we believe him to be a more favorable person to our equality. He believes that ALL people of the United States of America, should be free and have the SAME rights, to live free from discrimination regardless of what sex you go to bed with or are, or your skin color, or your nationality. That has been the whole misconception by right wing and hardline Christian groups such as the American Family Association. They think we want SPECIAL rights and that is simply not the case. All we want is the SAME, EQUAL rights afforded to our heterosexual counterparts. The right to raise children, the right to share in our partner's assets and have a say in them, the right to make decisions for a sick partner in the hospital, the right to all domestic benefits, these are rights, not privileges, and everyone should be allowed to participate in them."

In regards to the 5 U.S. House of Representatives seats, 3 of the current 5 are Democrat incumbents. MGL hopes to keep them in office. They are District 2 Bennie G. Thompson (Bolton, MS), District 4 Ronnie Shows (Bassfield, MS), and District 5 Gene Taylor (Bay St. Louis, MS). The other 2 U.S. House of Representatives seats are currently served by 2 Republicans who are seeking re-election. MGL would like to see District 1 Roger Wicker ousted by Democrat Joe T. Grist (Bruce, MS) as well as District 3 Charles Pickering ousted by Democrat William Clay Thrash (Morton, MS).

With exception to backing Libertarian Lewis Napper, Mississippi Gay Lobby's official endorsements run consistent with the Democratic party. Renaldo says however that the Democratic party is not necessarily favorable to the Mississippi Gay community. "A Democratic led government is simply more friendly and accessable by the Gay community. Our endorsements aren't a sign that the people we endorse support any legislation protecting us or giving us the same rights as heterosexuals. The fact is, this is Mississippi. The Mississippi Gay community isn't likely to get any support from our candidates, Democrat or not. Afterall, we just elected a Democrat Governor (Ronnie Musgrove) who signed into law a bill banning same-sex couples from adopting children in Mississippi. The same bill also voids any adoptions by same-sex couples outside of Mississippi. Basically that tells same-sex couples that adopt a child in their homestate and then decide to move to Mississippi, not to move to Mississippi or if you do, we will not recognize the child as yours nor you as the child's parent or legal guardian."

Mississippi Gay Lobby was formed in March of 2000 as the very first state chapter of MGL exists to educate Gay Mississippians about their community, its history, and about issues of relevance to them.

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