poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Taiwan's 1st gay minister
Taipei - A Presbyterian priest became Taiwan's first openly gay Christian minister at a ceremony on Sunday, news reports said.

Tseng Shu-min was ordained a minister in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church.

"We should give him blessings and encouragement," ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentarian Hsiao Bi-khim told reporters before she participated in the ceremony.

"Hopefully basic human rights would be respected here in Taiwan."


Worker files harassment claim
By Timothy Cwiek
PGN Contributing Writer
© 2004 Timothy Cwiek

A transgender employee at the Free Library of Philadelphia says her complaints of alleged workplace harassment resulted in two job transfers for her but no discipline for her alleged abusers.

Bobbie Burnett, 48, says she''s been subjected to demeaning and demoralizing behavior by some colleagues after coming out as a trans woman almost three years ago.

"I''ve been scapegoated and treated abominably," Burnett told PGN this week. "Anti-transgender bias is endemic within the library system."

Burnett has filed two complaints with the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, alleging discrimination by library officials on the basis of her gender identity, and retaliation.

A third complaint is in the planning stages, she added.


Support split on civil union bill
New Zealand
Support is split for a bill giving registered civil union couples,including same-sex couples, the same legal rights as married couples, a poll shows.

The One News-Colmar Brunton poll of 1000 people showed 46 per cent supported the Civil Union Bill, 34 per cent opposed it and 16 per cent supported it only for heterosexual couples.

That meant 50 per cent of those surveyed did not support the bill for gay couples.

United Future leader Peter Dunne said the poll showed the Government had no mandate to proceed with the bill, which will create a new relationship status for same-sex and heterosexual couples by legalising and registering civil unions.

His party has taken out nationwide advertisements depicting two women being driven away in a wedding car with a "just civil unioned" sign on the back and cans attached to the bumper.


Gov't Can't Censor Gay Videos Canadian Court Rules
by Jan Prout Newscenter
(Toronto, Ontario) A gay bookstore in Toronto has won a landmark legal decision that sweeps away the last vestige of Ontario's Victorian era censorship laws. 

Though most censorship had long disappeared a little section in the Theaters Act required that all films be rated before they could be viewed in theatres or purchased as videos for the home.  While Canadian films are rated without charge, the Ontario Film Review Board imposes a fee of $4.20 per minute.

Because of the classification law and the large amount it costs to have a film rated some distributors of LGBT films do not sell their products in Ontario.  

In 2000, police charged Glad Day Bookstore with selling a video of the gay adult film Descent that had not gone through the classification process. Glad Day, Canada's first gay bookstore, and the second oldest in the world faced a fine of up to $100,000 and it's owner could received an additional $25,000 fine. 


Mentally Ill Man Jailed For Homophobic Crimes
by Newscenter Staff
(Des Moines, Iowa)  A Des Moines man who pleaded guilty to threatening and harassing three members of the city's gay community last summer will be jailed for 60 days.

Matthew Connolly, 29, assaulted a man in front of a Des Moines gay bar last May. He ordered the man to seek "God's forgiveness for being gay", then broke his leg. Several days later, he threatened to kill hot dog vendor for displaying a gay pride sticker. And, he followed a woman and her children home from a gay-rights rally.

The Des Moines Register reports that his sentencing a psychiatrist testified that Connolly, the son of a Polk County supervisor, suffers from schizophrenia and has been delusional for much of the past eight years. She called on the court to save him from jail time arguing it could endanger his health.

BGLSTA Bathroom Study Released
Crimson Staff Writer
Harvard’s lack of gender non-specific bathrooms has caused transgender and gender-variant students to alter eating and drinking habits and suffer severe cases of dehydration, according to a report released yesterday by the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA).

The study, which encompassed first-year dormitories, upperclass houses, major classroom buildings and libraries, identified 38 gender non-specific bathrooms and 24 single-occupancy bathrooms assigned to either men or women.

Members of BGLTSA issued four major requests in connection with the study: the neutralization of all gender-specific, single occupancy bathrooms; proper labeling and designation of all bathrooms; inclusion of at least one acceptable gender non-specific bathroom in any future buildings; and immunity from disciplinary action for using a bathroom that a student deems appropriate for his or her gender.


Blacksburg church votes to welcome homosexuals
By Tonia Moxley
    BLACKSBURG - The Unitarian Universalist Congregation recently voted to become the second church in the New River Valley to officially welcome homosexuals into the fold.

    The congregation's pastor, the Rev. Chris Brownlie, said two events galvanized the congregation's resolve to pass the measure: the arrest of United Universalist clergy in New York state who performed same-sex weddings, and a vote to welcome homosexuals by a Lutheran church more than a year ago.

    Brownlie has for some time been an activist for gays and lesbians and recently took part in a protest on the Virginia Tech campus where she performed symbolic same-sex marriages.

    "I'm so proud of our congregation," Brownlie said. "We're beginning to understand that it's not enough to just be nice or to be passively accepting. We have to be active."


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