poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Mother wants to change slain teen's name
By Yomi S. Wronge

The mother of a transgender 17-year-old who was slain after acquaintances discovered she was anatomically male says she will petition a Fremont court today to have the deceased girl's name legally changed.

If she is successful, the child born to her as Eddie Araujo Jr. will officially, albeit posthumously, become Gwen Amber Rose Araujo.

"I always promised Gwen that I would petition the courts to have her name changed, and I want to fulfill my promise," said Sylvia Guerrero of Newark.

Her court petition comes as three men are on trial for allegedly killing Gwen in the early morning of Oct. 4, 2002, after learning she had male genitalia. At least two of the men had a sexual relationship with the girl, whom they knew as a 19-year-old named Lida.


Worcester bishop shocks gays with `evil' statement
By Thomas Caywood

The new leader of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester stunned gay rights supporters by writing in a church newsletter that Catholics, especially public officials, pushing to legalize same-sex marriage are ``in cooperation with evil.''

     ``Oh, my God. Wow,'' gasped Marianne Duddy-Burke of Boston Dignity, a group of gay Catholics. ``It's an appalling statement on so many levels. It disregards a civil servant's duty to the entire community.''

     Responding to Worcester City Clerk David Rushford's public statements that allowing gays and lesbians to marry is in line with church teachings on inclusivity, Worcester Bishop Robert McManus penned a ``pastoral note of clarification'' published Friday.

     After recognizing gays and lesbians as ``brothers and sisters in the human family,'' the note ends with a bombshell: ``Moreover, it must be pointed out that Catholics, especially public officials, who willingly and with approval facilitate the legal sanctioning of same-sex unions are involving themselves in cooperation with evil.'


U.S. charges Chicago man with Internet sex blackmail

Federal investigators say a Chicago man surfed Internet chat rooms pretending to be gay, then threatened to expose a man's sexual orientation to his wife and family unless he was paid $5,000.

Brett T. Wohl of Chicago was charged with extortion in a federal criminal complaint filed Thursday, and federal authorities say it isn't his first brush with the law.

In October 2002, Wohl pleaded guilty to one felony count of extortion. In that case, Wohl similarly surfed a chat room and had sexual conversations with someone he met. He later threatened to expose the person to his co-workers if Wohl wasn't paid $3,700.


Citywide Pride out to make a better workplace for gays
By T. Shawn Taylor

Television shows like "Will and Grace" make being gay appear mainstream. But in the workplace, because anti-gay sentiment lives on, some gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered workers may decide it's wiser to stay in the closet.

During June, eight Fortune 500 companies with offices in Chicago will mark Gay Pride Month with a celebration they call Citywide Pride.

Accenture, Bank One, CNA, Exelon, Deloitte & Touche, Harris Bank, LaSalle Bank and Quaker/PepsiCo, in cooperation with the HRC Foundation, a gay civil rights organization, will hold a series of panel discussions on gay-related topics for their employees.

Organizers hope to educate, dispel myths and advise people on how to navigate the minefield the workplace can sometimes be for gay workers.


3 plead guilty to Maricle slaying

The Salinas Californian

A trio accused in the bizarre 2002 slaying of Robert Alan Maricle of Salinas pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping and several other charges.

Jeanne Soja, Dominique Daniel England, and Daymon Douglas Schrock face 16 years in prison when formally sentenced Aug. 20 in Monterey County Superior Court.

By pleading guilty, the three avoid a jury trial that, if it had ended in convictions, could have sent them to prison for life, said Schrock's attorney Allan Kleinkopf.

"It was a tough decision," Kleinkopf said. "There was a lot of prejudice and there has been a lot of publicity."


Programme's approach to homosexuality criticised
Gay group hits out at sex lessons
By Mary Fitzgerald

AN abstinence-based sex education programme used in more than 150 Ulster schools came under fire from gay rights groups today over its approach to homosexuality.

The Love for Life organisation, which describes its work as being "founded on a Christian model of values," was recently refused a £1.1m grant after it applied for funding from the Department of Education.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said it was decided it would not be "appropriate" for the Department to fund the programme.

The Love for Life website includes a section on homosexuality, in which the organisation argues that it is possible to "change" sexual orientation.


Proposal urges exodus from public schools
The Virginian-Pilot

Choosing between public education or private Christian-based instruction could get more complicated for Southern Baptist parents if their denomination’s annual meeting in June endorses a proposed wholesale exodus from “godless” public schools.

The Southern Baptist Convention is the nation’s second-largest denomination, with 16.3 million members, including about 86,000 in more than 100 congregations in South Hampton Roads.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolutions Committee will decide whether the potentially controversial proposal should be formally presented to delegates at the gathering set for June 15-16 in Indianapolis.


Expert backs 'panic' defense
Sex with transgender teen might prompt partners to 'flip out'
Kelly St. John, Chronicle Staff Writer

An immature, heterosexual young man who learns that a woman he was sexually intimate with is biologically male is likely to "panic" and overreact with violence, a psychologist told a Hayward jury Monday in the trial of three men accused of killing transgender teen Gwen Araujo.

"It would flip them out," said Andrew Pojman, a Walnut Creek psychologist who teaches at the Wright Institute in Berkeley. "They'd have a strong sense of panic and uproar and wanting to fix it. It would be very upsetting."

Monday's testimony was the most direct yet to address what transgender advocates have decried as a biased "trans-panic" defense in the case -- that Araujo's slaying was not murder but manslaughter, a crime of passion fueled by the young men's shock and anger at having been "duped" into having sex with a transgender youth.

Pojman, an expert in adolescent group psychotherapy, said that such a violent reaction -- fueled by anger, shame and alcohol -- would be intensified if such a discovery were made by an "unhealthy" group of young male friends.


Dad and Dad: We're `always there' for the kids

The Dallas Morning News

As gay men parenting children, they know that others see their family differently. They cannot go into a restaurant without receiving curious stares. A new friend almost always asks one of their sons why they have two dads. The men would like to be married, but they can't be under law. They have agreed to talk publicly now only in the hope of educating others.

"We don't let who we are stand in our way, and we don't let other people stand in our way either," says Parrish.

In recent months, the debate over gay marriages has escalated. Some say that gay marriages destroy the institution of marriage. Others say it's against their religious beliefs. Others believe that same-sex marriages ought to be civil unions, affording gay couples some, but not all, the legal benefits of marriages. Some see it as a matter of civil rights and think gay and lesbian couples ought to have the same rights as married couples.

Parrish, a banker, and Drazner, a physician, say that they aren't trying to make a political statement by planning a ceremony at their Dallas synagogue in November.


LGBTRC to host Queer Prom
Annual event to help fund conference next year

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center will be holding its first annual Under the Rainbow Queer Prom next Wednesday in Freeborn Hall.

For almost 10 years, the LGBTRC has hosted Under the Rainbow, an end-of-the-year award ceremony for UC Davis and the city of Davis' queer community.

However, in an effort to raise money through ticket sales, this year's award ceremony will be held together with Queer Prom - a bash headlined by San
Francisco queer-punk band Pansy Division and various KDVS 90.3 FM DJs.

The event will also feature Mark Leno, an openly gay California state representative, as the keynote speaker.


Personal finance: Gay couples can get benefits from states
Jeff Brown

So you want to get married? Congratulations!

But there's a snag - you're both the same sex. Unless you live in Massachusetts, where gay marriage became legal last week, you cannot get a marriage your state will recognize.

Even so, many practical benefits of marriage can be achieved even without a license, such as getting health care through a working partner or making sure your partner will inherit your estate.

In California, same-sex partners can register as domestic partners to get many of the legal rights enjoyed by spouses, such as the right to inherit a partner's property, adopt a partner's child or take sick leave to care for a partner.

Vermont provides for civil unions that are virtually indistinguishable from marriage. Hawaii offers more limited rights under its "reciprocal beneficiaries" law, and New Jersey will offer limited domestic partnership benefits under a law taking effect in July. (Pennsylvania has no domestic partnership law.)


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