poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, April 23, 2004

Anti-Gay Referendum In Trouble
by Newscenter Staff
(Portland, Oregon)  A ballot initiative that would amend the Oregon constitution to ban same-sex marriage is being challenged in court as misleading.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the conservative group trying to put the question to voters this November has framed the question in such a way that its wording doesn't fully convey the scope and effect of the measure.  

The ACLU wants the Oregon Supreme Court to disallow the initiative or order it to be rewritten. It's motion notes that the ballot question does not inform voters that the measure would "short-circuit" the legal proceedings already under way.

"The ballot title should tell voters that the measure would eliminate the ability of same-sex couples to at least make that argument in court," said Dave Fidanque, the Oregon director of ACLU.


Pair Stage Protest In Central Park
by Newscenter Staff
(New York City) Two people reportedly demonstrating for transgendered rights climbed a tree in New York's Central Park late Thursday afternoon, keeping police at bay for more than four hours.

Hundreds of people crowded around the 55-foot larch tree next to the Chess and Checkers House at 53rd Street to watch the pair, a 32 year old in a black skirt, and a 17 year old in a tong.

As police tried to coax them down the two climbed higher and then out onto a  branch about 40 feet up where they had oral sex before the cheering throng. 

Police set up inflatable mats on the ground and sent hostage negotiators up the tree to talk to the pair. 


Details speaks to "Gay or Asian" outrage
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York, and a representative from Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights met Thursday with an editorial group from Details magazine to discuss the publication of the magazine's controversial article "Gay or Asian." The article, which ran in the magazine's April issue, outraged activists by playing into racial and sexual stereotypes of both Asian gays and lesbians and the larger gay community.

"We made very clear the damaging effects the 'Gay or Asian' feature had on the LGBT API community, explaining how the piece made gay APIs feel like they had to choose between the two communities, how it made them feel invisible, and how it exacerbated homophobia in the API community while playing on racial stereotypes in the LGBT community and mainstream society at large," said John Won, cochair of Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York, after the meeting.

According to editor in chief Dan Peres, Details will run a full-page apology in an upcoming issue and move forward in a more sensitive manner in featuring stories on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people as well as Asians and Pacific Islanders. Peres also encouraged API and LGBT people to "call him out" if the magazine does not follow through on his stated commitment to more inclusive coverage. Both parties plan to meet in six to eight months to discuss the magazine's progress.

Crossing the Lines
Riki Wilchins and GenderPAC take up the cause of gender rights in both politics and culture
by Sean Bugg
If you work hard enough and long enough at something, then it's not a surprise when you find your efforts succeeding. For Riki Wilchins and GenderPAC, the time seems to be right.

"There's a general social awareness around gender issues that's reached critical mass," she says. "This is an issue whose time has come."

Wilchins, 52, is the founding executive director of GenderPAC -- short for Gender Public Advocacy Coalition -- which next week convenes its fourth annual National Conference on Gender and ninth annual Gender Lobby Day. About 1,500 people will arrive from across the country to share their stories and experiences with each other and their elected representatives.

Although many may assume at first glance that GenderPAC is a GLBT organization, that's not a fully accurate description of the group's work.

"We work to end discrimination and violence caused by gender stereotypes," says Wilchins. "It's an uber-issue that crosses groups."


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