poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, April 23, 2004

Ellen takes Sandals cash
Resort that bans gay couples advertises on lesbian’s talk show
Sandals Resorts, the Caribbean vacation company that bars gays from its couples-only resorts, purchased advertisements in some local markets during “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” a syndicated talk show hosted by lesbian entertainer Ellen DeGeneres.

It seems an odd choice, since DeGeneres and partner Alexandra Hedison would be banned from most Sandals resorts.

Officials with Sandals Resorts did not respond to interview requests. In the past, company officials have said gay couples are excluded from many of its properties to meet the mission from the company’s founder, who “had a vision of a boy and girl together.”


Store settles gay bias charges
Blockbluster Inc. has agreed to pay $78,750 to settle the case of a former employee who says he was harassed by managers at two St. Paul video stores because he is gay.

The settlement is believed to be the largest the Minnesota Human Rights Department has ever obtained in a case involving discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Jeffrey Davis of St. Paul filed two charges of discrimination in November 2002 with the department of human rights, alleging that he was subjected to ongoing harassment while working at a Blockbuster video store in the Midway area and at one on Grand Avenue.

In his charges, he details how he was called "the fag with the rainbow on his car," subjected to numerous other derogatory references to his sexuality, physically assaulted by a Blockbuster co-worker and faced with retaliation when he complained to Blockbuster's management.

Protections for transgendered close to approval
By Heather Keels
The push to add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the list of discrimination protections in the university's Human Relations Code overcame a major obstacle last week when the state attorney general's office approved a revised draft of the changes.

The efforts had been stalled since February, when University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan decided not to approve the addition because of a warning from the attorney general's office that the language was too vague, and there was no legal precedent for that type of protection.

After university officials revised the proposed addition to include more specific language, the attorney general's office returned a positive recommendation April 15. To take effect, the revised proposal must be approved by the University Senate, university President Dan Mote and Kirwan.

The final approval must come from the state Board of Regents because of a 30-year-old policy that no protections be added that do not already exist under federal, state or local law.


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