poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 03, 2004

Key Witness In Araujo Case Expresses Regret

Nabors, Prosecutors Agreed To 11-Year Sentence
HAYWARD, Calif. -- A key prosecution witness wrapped up six days of testimony Monday by saying that he feels "regret" for not stopping the beating and strangulation death of Newark transgender teenager "Gwen" Araujo.

Testifying in the trial of three men accused of murdering Araujo, 17, on Oct. 4, 2002, Jaron Nabors said, "I was the most calm person there and I had a responsibility to stop it (the killing). I'm guilty of that."

Under questioning by prosecutor Chris Lamiero, Nabors, a 21-year-old Newark man, said he feels remorse for what happened, rejecting defense lawyer Tony Serra's assertion that he does not.

Nabors originally was charged with murder in the case, but during the preliminary examination last year prosecutors agreed to an 11-year sentence and the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter in exchange for his truthful testimony against defendants Michael Magidson, 23, of Fremont, and Newark residents Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, both 24. The three face sentences of 29 years to life if they are convicted.

Araujo was a biological male who presented himself as a woman and was known as "Lida" and "Gwen."

Lamiero said in his opening statement that the three defendants killed Araujo after they discovered she had male genitalia because they felt they had been deceived.

Serra, who represents Cazares, and the lawyers for Merel and Magidson have suggested that Nabors is trying to frame their clients in order to save his own skin and ingratiate himself with prosecutors.


Hard to Find Women's March on Television News

 WASHINGTON - May 3 - On Sunday, April 25, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for women's reproductive rights. Crowd estimates ranged from 500,000 to 1.15 million, but it was clear that the March for Women's Lives was one of the largest demonstrations in the capital's history-- and perhaps the largest ever. One might have expected, then, to see extensive coverage on national television-- but a look at both network and cable news during the days surrounding the march turned up remarkably few reports.

A Nexis search of the week surrounding the women's march found a total of six stories from the broadcast networks (not counting incidental mentions of the march): CBS ran one story the day of the march and two the next morning; NBC ran two stories and ABC only one, all on April 25. CNN, as a 24-hour cable news outlet, gave more extensive coverage to the event, running several reports on Sunday. But even CNN failed to treat the march as the historic occasion that it was, running just a small handful of brief march-related stories on Saturday and Monday.

Other cable news outlets focused not on the march itself but on abortion opponents, a few hundred of whom held a counter-protest at the march. Of three Fox News stories found on Nexis related to the march, two focused on anti-abortion activists (Special Report with Brit Hume, Hannity & Colmes, 4/22/04). Special Report examined anti-abortion opposition to the National Education Association's endorsement of the march-- a story that MSNBC also covered in that network's only march report found in the Nexis database. (Fox and MSNBC do not transcribe their news coverage as thoroughly as CNN does, so the amount of coverage on the three cable channels cannot be compared.)

To put the women's march coverage in perspective, FAIR conducted a similar Nexis search of the week surrounding the Promise Keepers march in 1997. The Promise Keepers, an evangelical men's organization that has been widely accused of promoting misogyny and homophobia, drew an estimated 480,000-750,000 demonstrators to Washington-- roughly three-quarters the size of the women's march. Despite its somewhat smaller size, the Promise Keepers received much more media attention: Stories began appearing on network news three days before the march and continued for two days afterward, with a total of 19 stories between the three networks-- more than three times the coverage the networks devoted to the women's march. Was the Promise Keepers march three times more newsworthy than the March for Women's Lives?"


Bill fate uncertain: Senate head won't promise action
By Joe Rogalsky, Delaware State News

DOVER - Supporters of legislation to ban discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation will gather today to urge the bill's release from a Senate committee, but their efforts may have no effect.
House Bill 99, which cleared the House last year, sits in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Panel chairman Sen. James T. Vaughn, D-Clayton, has not announced when or if a vote will take place. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

The bill must receive approval in committee before moving to the full Senate. If the chamber OKs the bill, it will go to Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, who supports the measure and will sign it into law.


Lesbian Kiss Lands Canadian Bar In Trouble
by Newscenter Staff
(Red Deer, Alberta) Same-sex couples may be marrying by the hundreds in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, but in Red Deer, Alberta gay kiss could get you thrown out of a bar.

A lesbian couple say they were told to cool it or get out when they exchanged a kiss in a local bar.  Amanda Cournoyer, 19, and  here girlfriend Heather have filed a complaint with the province's human rights commission.


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