poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 20, 2004

RE classes can still "target" LGB pupils, gay groups say
Ben Townley, UK

Gay rights campaigners have hit out against proposals that could change how schools teach religious education, claiming they fail to outlaw anti-gay discrimination from teachers.

The framework proposals, issued by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority for consultation earlier this week, will see a shake up to how religion classes are dealt with in schools.

However, campaigners are angry that the framework fails to call for teachers to be aware of the issues surrounding sexuality when planning their lessons. This is despite it specifically calling for sensitivity towards the issues surrounding gender, race, disability and religious diversity when planning lessons for children.

The chair of Schools Out, a national group that pushes for LGBT equality in the classroom, told UK today that the group is angry about the absence of sexual diversity from the framework.


Tax rebellion over gay dean
By Aaron Bateman

THE row over the appointment of gay priest Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans escalated this week with one church openly rebelling by refusing to pay its diocesan tax.

Holy Trinity Lyonsdown, an evangelical church in New Barnet, is withholding its yearly parish quota of around £33,600 in protest at the appointment of Dr John.

Each church pays a stipend to the diocese which then redistributes some of the money to enable churches to pay their clergy and costs. Anything above that is kept by the diocese.

Lyonsdown's decision means it will pay its own clergy and donate the extra funds believed to be around £5,500 to a charity that helps gay Christians live a celibate life.


Gay Jordanian now 'gloriously free' in Canada
Sent to Canada to 'straighten out,' he founded support group for Muslims
Thursday, May 20, 2004 - Page A3

When the family of Al-Hussein, son of a wealthy Jordanian politician, found out he was gay, they threw him down the stairs.

While he was recovering in hospital from a broken leg and smashed jaw, his younger brother shot him in the ankle.

A bureaucrat in the Jordanian government, his brother was never prosecuted for this act of public violence because it was considered a "family matter."

Mr. Hussein knew that under Islamic law, he had got off lightly: He could be stoned to death for committing homosexual acts, or murdered by his family in an honour killing.


State lawmakers promise to oppose same-sex marriage
Lundberg asks Coloradans to save 'core institution'
By Ryan Morgan, Camera Staff Writer
May 20, 2004

DENVER — Rep. Kevin Lundberg doesn't want Colorado to follow Massachusetts.

Lundberg, a Republican lawmaker from Berthoud, called a press conference Wednesday at the state Capitol to denounce the same-sex marriages that Massachusetts started recognizing this week.

"We will defend this core institution of civilization," he said. "I call on all Coloradans to join us in rising up in defending the true meaning of marriage."

The federal Defense of Marriage Act already allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, and Colorado is one of 38 states that has its own law that specifically refuses to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.


Family, community search for answers after man's slaying

Though once split by divorce, the Clewer family united in their support for youngest son Kevin when he confided 15 years ago that he was gay. Now Kevin's parents and brother are pulling together again to help Chicago police find a killer who stabbed the 31-year-old cost analyst 42 times.

Kevin, a 1990 graduate of Rochelle Township High School, lived and worked in Rockford most of his adult life. Three years ago, he moved to Chicago. Two months ago, he was killed in the bedroom of his apartment in Boys Town, a North Side neighborhood known for its large gay population.

This week, Kevin's family held a news conference on the street in front of his Boys Town walk-up and offered a $20,000 reward. They're also making a plea for assistance in tracking down the last person believed to have seen Kevin alive, a man he met at a nearby bar.

Chicago's gay press and activists in the Lakeview area that includes Boys Town speculate that Kevin's slaying might be related to the homicide last year of a gay theater director, found dead in his home after going out on North Halsted Street, the heart of Chicago's gay scene.


Anglicans seek gay bishop removal
By Julia Duin

Eighteen Anglican archbishops, most of them from Africa and Asia and representing more than 55 million Anglicans, have called on the Episcopal Church to "repent" its pro-homosexual policies within three months or face expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion.

    Specifically, the 2.3-million-member Episcopal Church was asked to revoke the Nov. 2 consecration of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the world's first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop.


Trial judge wrong: Anwar lawyers
From correspondents in Putrajaya, Malaysia

LAWYERS for Anwar Ibrahim today stepped up attacks against the trial judge who jailed him on sodomy charges and urged Malaysia's highest court to free the former deputy prime minister.
In a final appeal hearing, attorney Christopher Fernando told Malaysia's Federal Court that High

Court Judge Affrin Jaka, who presided over Anwar's 1999-2000 trial, had been "patently and unmistakably wrong" to convict and sentence the politician to nine years in prison.

Anwar alleges he is the victim of a political and judicial conspiracy that resulted in his 1998 arrest.

He says the charges of sodomy were fabricated and used to crush anti-government protests and a leadership challenge he had mounted against then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.


Marching Forward
How the war affects gays in the military and a review of current policy by SLDN Director C. Dixon Osburn
Interview by Sean Bugg
Photography by Todd Franson

"I think SLDN has achieved more in ten years than anyone would have dared hope for," says C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network. "We've been able to obtain 35 changes to federal policy and practice, which is extraordinary when you think this is an issue we lost big ten years ago."

Given the magnitude of the loss in 1993, the change in public and political attitudes towards gays and lesbians in the military is a major accomplishment. When the newly elected President Bill Clinton pledged to end discrimination against gay servicemembers, it set off a firestorm of opposition among both Democrats and Republicans and ended with the implementation of the notorious "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a compromise that actually increased the number of gays and lesbians kicked our of the military and gave rise to a wave of anti-gay harassment.

It was in those days of political battle that Osburn, fresh from Georgetown law and business school, began working with the Campaign for Military Service (CMS), a coalition group formed to advocate for gay military service. And it was at CMS that he met Michelle Beneke, who with him would form SLDN to help gay and lesbian servicemembers who were "left out on a limb" by the federal policy, and prepare the community for an eventual victory on military service.


Ada Smith accused of firing aide for sexual orientation
By Courtney Dentch

A former top staffer for state Sen. Ada Smith (D-Jamaica) filed a human rights complaint with the state charging that the lawmaker called him a fat, gay bastard and fired him for his sexual orientation, officials said. Wayne Mahlke, 42, of Elmhurst, filed the complaint with the state Division of Human Rights, saying Smith, 59, often called him gay and racist names and put him on probation after he told her he was fed up with the alleged abuse, Mahlke said.

"The complaint details a series of incidents when the senator degraded me based on my sexual orientation and my being a white male," said Mahlke, who serves as the vice president for the Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens. "She called me a 'fat, gay bastard,' and told me I was 'white trash.'"

Sith vehemently denied the allegations levied by Mahlke, who worked as Smith's chief of staff from April 2003 to December 2003.

"I can't even think of a word for it," she said. "I hired him knowing his sexual orientation. And in looking at me you can tell that I have family members that are Caucasian."

Smith contends that she had problems with Mahlke as a chief of staff because he was unproductive and disorganized. He also preferred to work in the Queens district office rather than in the Albany office, even though Smith told him that would be a requirement when he took the job, the lawmaker said.


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