Lavender Alert

Pentagon: Homosexuality not a disorder. Imagine our relief. Well, it's a step in the right direction, anyway. Edge NYC: 'The Pentagon is revising a document that calls homosexuality a mental disorder, officials said Wednesday. Lawmakers, medical professionals and others had pressed for the change in a document outlining procedures for dealing with disabled service members. "Homosexuality should not have been characterized as a mental disorder in an appendix of a procedural instruction,’’ Lt. Col. Jeremy Martin, a Defense Department spokesman, said Wednesday. "A clarification will be issued over the next few days.’’ "Notwithstanding its inclusion, we find no practical impact since that appendix simply listed factors that do not constitute a physical disability, and homosexuality of course does not,’’ he said in a statement.' (Article by Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press.) Gay.com: 'Pentagon officials said Wednesday that the Department of Defense no longer classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, but the change has no effect on the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy against gay personnel. In a 1996 document recertified as "current" three years ago, the Pentagon categorized homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders. The document was uncovered this month by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military, a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara.'

Eric Rofes dies. 247Gay: 'Eric Rofes, a longtime leader in the movement for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality, died unexpectedly Monday in Provincetown, Mass. He was 51-years-old and, according to family and friends, suffered from a heart attack. ... Rofes started his activism in the 1970s in Boston where he worked on the GLBT pubication Gay Community News . He was a founder of Boston's first group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teachers, two of the first LGBT youth groups in the country and the first Boston-based group focused on organizing gay and lesbian voters (Boston Lesbian and Gay Political Alliance).' Rofes was the author of Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men's Sexuality, Culture in an Ongoing Epidemic (Haworth, 1996) and Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures (Haworth, 1998). Just Out: 'The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force mourns the death of Eric Rofes, a leader, activist, visionary, former board member and dear friend to the Task Force. He died yesterday as the result of a heart attack.' Read about Eric Rofes at the link.

Arkansas supreme court backs gay foster parents. Gay.com: 'Arkansas cannot ban gay men and lesbians from becoming foster parents because there is no link between their sexual orientation and a child's well-being, the state's high court ruled Thursday. The court also said testimony in the case showed that the ban was based on one group's view of morality. The state's child welfare board instituted the ban in 1999, saying children should be in traditional two-parent homes because they would be more likely to thrive.'

Fred Phelps sets sights on Oregon funerals. Basic Rights Oregon: 'Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers will be coming to Oregon on Thursday, July 29 and Saturday, July 1st, to protest at the memorial services of Spc. Robert Jones of Milwaukie and Pfc. Thomas Tucker of Madras. Jones was in his second tour of Iraq when he was hit with mortar and died instantly in Baghdad on Friday, July 16. His memorial will be held at the New Hope Community Church in Clackamas. Tucker was one of two American soldiers kidnapped by militiamen in Iraq on June 16. His body, along with the body of fellow soldier Kristian Menchaca, was found on June 20. The soldiers had been tortured, mutilated, and booby-trapped. Private Tucker's memorial will be held at Deschutes County Fairgrounds Expo Center in Redmond.' Your humble blogger was there for Specialist Jones' service, along with the Plus + Ultra team ... and a large number of Patriot Guard Riders! The memorial service passed without incident.