poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 06, 2004

this is not justice; justice will be when there are no more killings and all this hate stops...

120 Years In Prison For Killing Trans Teen & Friend
by Newscenter Staff

(Indianapolis, Indiana) An Indianapolis man was sentenced to 120 years in prison Wednesday for the killings of 17 year old trans teen Nireah Johnson and her friend, Brandie Coleman, 18.

Prior to sentencing Paul Moore, 21, told judge Robert Altice that he was innocent. But in delivering his ruling Altice said that the teenagers were gunned down execution style. 

"They were shot in the front of the head, so both victims were able to observe their last fleeting moments as Mr. Paul Moore pulled the trigger," Altice said. "The fact that (Johnson) was killed because he was different was the only reason."


Gay marriage lawsuit delayed

Gay couples who want the right to marry in New York state will have to wait at least another month for the next round in court.

Ten couples, including Nyack Mayor John Shields and his partner, filed a lawsuit March 12 against the state Department of Health and Orangetown Town Clerk Charlotte Madigan.

The suit was filed after the couples, who have dubbed themselves "The Nyack 10," were turned down when they went to Orangetown Town Hall to apply for marriage licenses.

The state and Madigan were to file a response to the lawsuit by Monday. The Health Department obtained an extension and must now file by May 24, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, Paul Larrabee, said yesterday. The Attorney General's Office is representing the Health Department in the case.


Note to Senate: Gay rights bill isn't going away, so deal with it

Members of Delaware's General Assembly must have realized they wouldn't get through this year's session without more pressure to deal with House Bill 99, the measure that would include sexual orientation on the list of traits that can't be used to discriminate against individuals.


Omaha officers seek same-sex benefits

"It is heartbreaking," said Officer Anna Doyle, who is raising an 11-month-old son with her domestic partner. "I'm willing to take the risks that go with this job - that is my choice. But I am not willing to let anyone tell me that my partner and my child are not worthy of the same benefits that protect my fellow officers' families."

Tim Andersen, the police union president, told the council Tuesday that the union decided to drop the proposed funeral and family sick leave benefits recognizing same-sex domestic partners because of concerns about potential litigation. Some union members thought the benefits might also be discriminatory, Andersen said.



Homosexual Activist Berates Dems for Going 'Squishy' on Marriage Amendment
By Susan Jones Morning Editor
May 06, 2004
( - The head of a homosexual advocacy group says his fellow activists need to adopt the conservative strategy of getting something in exchange for their political support.

"The religious right knows how to play adult politics: they insist on getting something in exchange for their support. It's time we did the same," said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

In an op-ed piece dated May 5, Foreman asks, "Where are Democrats on the Federal Marriage Amendment?"

"After all," wrote Foreman, "our people consistently and overwhelmingly vote Democratic."


GLBT backers rally against proposed amendment
OutFront Minnesota — an organization that supports GLBT rights — held a rally at the State Capitol rotunda.

By Emily Ayshford
wo days after Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a pledge supporting a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, opponents had their say at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

OutFront Minnesota — one of the largest state organizations serving the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community — held a rally in the Capitol rotunda to show faith communities’ support for GLBT.

Under a banner that read, “To be lesbian/gay is a gift from God,” legislators and faith leaders in the community expressed their support to approximately 100 onlookers.


Despite Economy Companies Offering Partner Benefits Grow
by Doreen Brandt Newscenter
(Washington, D.C.)  U.S. businesses are continuing to extend domestic partner health insurance benefits to gay and lesbian workers, with an average of three employers per day adding such coverage in 2003, according to a new report.

The survey, released today by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation also shows a sharp increase in company policies prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.

"Companies across America continue to recognize that a key to success is treating employees equally," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. 

"By adding benefits and protections during a stormy economy, the private sector continues to demonstrate that treating employees fairly is good for the bottom line."


Secaucus probes anti-gay bias claim
Drunken firefighters harass us, couple says
By Jason Finkand Maria Zingaro Conte
Journal staff writers

State and local authorities are investigating members of the volunteer Secaucus Fire Department who allegedly have harassed a gay couple who live next to a firehouse on Paterson Plank Road.

In two incidents, reported in the early morning hours on April 25 and this past Saturday, members of the volunteer department are accused of throwing rocks at the home of Timothy Carter and Peter De Vries and of making sexually explicit and harassing remarks to them.

Carter, 45, and De Vries, 55, said yesterday that the harassment has been going on for months and that members of Engine Company 2 have rung their doorbell and pounded on the side of their house at all hours of the night and have thrown used condoms over the fence separating the properties.


Scottish Christians push for Church inclusion to Partnership bill
Ben Townley, UK

Gay Christians in Scotland are urging the country's politicians to amend the Civil Partnership bill and allow ceremonies to take place in religious institutions.

The amendment could take place as part of the country's decision to adopt the bill, when passed, through a Sewel motion, which will allow the devolved government to implement the same laws as Westminster.

The Metropolitan Community Church says that the amendment would allow them to celebrate same-sex relationships in a religious environment, in keeping with their beliefs.

"We seek that a minister of religion should have the right (although not the obligation) to officiate at a civil partnership on behalf of the state in a similar way that he or she may currently do for mixed-sex marriage," the group said in a letter to the Scottish Parliament's justice committee.


Some parents upset over school field trip during Gay Days in Orlando
By Jamie Malernee
Some parents are upset over the timing of a school field trip that sends Broward County students to Orlando theme parks in the middle of Gay Days.

Gay Days, which is expected to bring about 140,000 people to the Orlando area in early June, is advertised as "creating a gay and lesbian atmosphere" throughout the region by organizing "theme park visits, over-the-top dance parties, and round-the-clock good times."

"If [students] were going to New Orleans, you wouldn't pick the week of Mardi Gras," complains Joanne Williams of Deerfield Beach, the parent of a seventh-grader.

The principal of Lyons Creek Middle in Coconut Creek is offering refunds for the June 4 trip, saying she was unaware of the timing when the trip was scheduled. But she maintains that parents should not be concerned in the first place.


Same-Sex Marriage Ban Draws Protest At Statehouse
Some Onlookers Not Moved By Protesters' Message

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One of the country's strictest same-sex marriage bans takes effect in Ohio this week.

On Wednesday night, it drew a crowd of protesters to the Statehouse lawn.

The Ohio law, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, puts into law that same-sex marriages would be "against the strong public policy of the state." The bill also prohibits state employees from getting marital benefits spelled out in state law for their unmarried partners, whether homosexual or heterosexual.

Protesters called the law legalized discrimination. They laid down a wreath, which they said marked the death of civil liberties for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Ohioans.


Senators would let gay outsiders wed
Amendment seeks repeal of 1913 law
By Yvonne Abraham and Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff  |  May 6, 2004

Senate Democrats are launching an effort to repeal a 1913 law that Governor Mitt Romney is using to block out-of-state gay couples from marrying in Massachusetts, and the lawmakers hope to stage a floor debate next week, as the state prepares to legalize same-sex marriages.

Senators Jarrett T. Barrios of Cambridge and Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst are filing an amendment to the state budget that would effectively eliminate the residency requirement for same-sex couples seeking marriage licenses. It was unclear yesterday whether the bid would pass the Senate, but the effort would focus attention on the controversial law before same-sex couples can legally marry on May 17. "I believe that my colleagues in the Senate will agree that there is no place for race discrimination, or sexual-orientation discrimination, in our statutes, and the time has come to eliminate the 1913 discriminatory law," Barrios said.

The 1913 law, adopted in part to block interracial couples from other states marrying in Massachusetts, prohibits out-of-state couples from marrying if the marriages would be void in their home states. Romney has said that the law prohibits residents of all 49 other states from entering a same-sex marriage, since none of those states specifically allows gay marriage. His critics have said Romney's interpretation of the law is too broad, and that the law is archaic and unevenly applied.


Diane Linn to apologize over handling of gay marriages

Associated Press
A Multnomah County commissioner plans to apologize this morning for the way she has handled several decisions, including issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

In an interview with the Oregonian, Diane Linn said after much "soul searching," she believed she owed the community an apology.


Sherborn resident puts anti-gay message on postcard
By Michael Kunzelman / News Staff Writer
BOSTON -- A Sherborn resident who vehemently opposes gay marriage has mailed postcards to thousands of Massachusetts residents that describes homosexuality as "mutual masturbation" and accuses a lesbian couple of using their child as a "pawn" in their bid to earn the right to get married.
J. Edward Pawlick, who founded a monthly newspaper called Massachusetts News, said he is mailing the unsolicited postcards to tens of thousands of homes across the state.
   Pawlick's postcards lambaste the Supreme Judicial Court -- and the "evil" Chief Justice Margaret Marshall, in particular -- for its landmark ruling last year that same-sex couples are entitled to wed.
   "Isn't it good that (gay couples) love each other?" Pawlick's postcards ask. "Of course it is, but most other women are also very fond of special friends with no desire to practice sex games. Justice Marshall requires that happy, ordinary women must have sex with each other in order to receive state benefits."


Police did discriminate against transsexual worker, judges rule
Ben Townley, UK

West Yorkshire Police were wrong to reject a male to female transsexual job applicant, judges have ruled.
The decision is the outcome of a final appeal the force launched in the case, which involved a male to female transsexual that was rejected form being a police officer because she was legally considered a man.

The force had admitted to discriminating against the unnamed woman, but said it did so because she was unable to complete all the duties expected of her. This included conducting body searches of women in custody, which the force said she would be unable to do.

However, the five judges in the House of Lords ruled unanimously that West Yorkshire Police acted unlawfully by rejecting the applicant for the job. The ruling is expected to have knock on effects for other transsexuals rejected from jobs on the basis of duties involving physical contact.


Transsexual recruit a first for Victoria
By Sasha Shtargot
May 7, 2004

A transsexual recruit will begin training at the Victoria Police Academy later this month.

The recruit, who was born a man and is in the process of becoming a woman, is believed to be the first transsexual trainee accepted by Victoria Police.

Yesterday police would not comment on her personal details, saying she did not want to speak publicly and deserved privacy.

However, it is believed the recruit will speak at the academy and answer questions on sensitive issues such as the use of women's showers and toilets.

Assistant Commissioner (Education) Paul Evans said the force did not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or religion.

"A person's gender or sexuality is a matter for the individual," he said. "Each and every recruit deserves privacy and consideration to focus on the challenges of training."


Groton Church Members Ready To Vote On Issue Of Gay Marriage
Groton — Last week they heard the cons, Wednesday night they heard the pros, and on May 12 they'll vote on whether or not to support the legalization of gay marriage.

Two sets of panelists have made impassioned pitches before members of Groton's First Church of Christ Congregational, a congregation belonging to the United Church of Christ. Next comes the vote, which will guide delegates to this fall's UCC national convention on an issue likened Wednesday to the historic fights for racial equality and women's rights.

The overriding message of Wednesday's pro same-sex marriage panelists was that time is on their side. Younger people tend to be for equal marriage rights, and the elderly tend to be against, West Hartford attorney John Currie told the mostly middle-aged and older audience.

“It's going to happen,” said Currie, whose wife concluded she was a lesbian after they had been married 15 years. “It's just a matter of how soon we deal with it.”


Politicians call for "true" hate crime report
Ben Townley, UK

The former Home Office minister Barbara Roche has called on the government to implement a strategy that could help reveal the true extent of hate crimes in the UK.

Speaking at the launch of policy seminars at the House of Commons earlier this week, Roche said that a broader view needed to be taken so as to assess the impact of homophobic, racist and religious crimes on minorities.
She argued that although some progress had been made since initial suggestions about hate crimes were made in 1994, more needed to be implemented to ensure people were protected better.

"Some things have been done but we now need to widen the whole thing out to include hate crimes generally. I don't want to be alarmist but we do need to know the full picture," The Guardian reports her as saying.


Anti-gay group to picket City graduation

Church protests Matthew Shepard Scholarship
By Mike McWilliams
Iowa City Press-Citizen
A Kansas-based church group plans to picket City High's commencement because one of its students is a recipient of a scholarship that memorializes a man beaten to death because he was gay.

The Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kan., plans to picket May 29 outside Carver-Hawkeye Arena during City High's graduation. Ilse Bendorf, 16, a City High senior, is a 2004 recipient of the Matthew Shepard Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to gay students in honor of Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was killed in 1998.

City High Principal Mark Hanson shook his head and sighed as he read the church's news release Wednesday. In 2002, City High student Scott Spilger received a Matthew Shepard Scholarship. Hanson said the church did not picket commencement then. Besides, the scholarship is awarded in a separate ceremony prior to graduation day, he said.

"There's no excuse for this type of thing, and even though there's certainly freedom of speech in this country, people have to be responsible for what they do," Hanson said of the protest. "It just saddens me that this has happened."


Focus asks lawmakers for records

DENVER - Focus on the Family is demanding that lawmakers who opposed impeaching a judge involved in a same-sex child custody case turn over all of their notes, e-mails, memos and phone records on the matter.

The Colorado Springsbased ministry delivered an open-records request Wednesday to all members of the House Judiciary Committee who in April voted against impeaching Denver District Judge John Coughlin.

“I’m happy to comply, but they are harassing and threatening,” said Rep. Anne McGihon, D-Denver. “I don’t have any problem showing anyone my files, but to be threatened because I voted to uphold the law is really ugly.”


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