poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, May 07, 2004

U.S. used gay sex to humiliate Iraqis, reports say
Prisoner says he preferred Saddam’s torture to America’s

WASHINGTON — Muslim and gay rights leaders this week blasted U.S. military and government officials after photos emerged showing coalition forces torturing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners of war by ordering them to strip naked and, in some instances, simulate gay sex.

The photos, which were broadcast during CBS’s “60 Minutes II” program last week, show American and British troops, smiling, laughing and giving thumbs up signs as they stand next to naked prisoners stacked into a human pyramid and other positions.

One photo showed two hooded, naked prisoners, one standing and the other kneeling in front of him, simulating oral sex. Another photo showed an American solider pointing to a hooded Iraqi man masturbating.

And according to New Yorker reporter Seymour M. Hersh, who obtained a copy of a confidential, 53-page report written by Major General Antonio M. Taguba detailing the alleged abuses, Taguba notes that male prisoners were threatened with rape and one was sodomized “with a chemical light and perhaps a broomstick.” One was also reportedly forced to wear women’s underwear.


Police face £100,000 bill over transsexual job blunder
William Green

WEST Yorkshire Police is facing a six-figure bill following a five-year battle over whether a transsexual could join up as a police constable.

The force yesterday failed to persuade the House of Lords to overturn a court ruling that it sexually discriminated against the woman – known only as Ms A – by rejecting her application because she was born a man.

It claimed Ms A would have been unable to fully carry out duties as regulations required a police officer conducting body searches to be of the same sex as the person being searched.

Ms A applied to the force in January 1997 and completed an assessment course – after gender reassignment surgery in May 1996 – but was ultimately rejected in 1998


Judge denies child custody to jailed lesbian’s girlfriend
Children’s grandmother wants permanent custody
A Cobb County judge settled a custody dispute last week by granting temporary guardianship of two children whose mother is in jail to the maternal grandmother instead of the mother’s female partner.

The custody fight between the lesbian couple and the grandmother is partially due to the grandmother’s anti-gay beliefs, said Joe Habachy, attorney for Kissa Roberson, the incarcerated mother, and her girlfriend, Latrecia Davis.

“There’s no doubt from day one that she wants to take those kids away from her daughter partly because she has a problem with her daughter’s homosexuality,” Habachy said.

Davis said Cobb Juvenile Court Judge Stephen Schuster’s decision was fair and she was relieved he did not grant permanent custody to Rosa Simon-Lydick, the grandmother.


Gov: Out-of-state gay couples out of luck
By Steve Marantz
Gov. Mitt Romney [related, bio] ripped two Democratic lawmakers yesterday for attempting to ``export'' their support of gay marriage to the other 49 states where it is not legal.

     The two lawmakers - Sen. Jarrett T. Barrios of Cambridge and Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst - are sponsoring a bill to repeal a 1913 law prohibiting out-of-state couples from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriage is not legal in their own state.

     ``Now some senators want to impose our court's unique definition of marriage on other states and citizens,'' Romney said. ``Those are the very states that have taken action to make sure our definition is not imposed on them - that's wrong.''

     But Barrios said he opposes the 1913 statute because it is discriminatory, and accused Romney of using the issue to enhance his national political profile.

     ``The governor is trying to run for president, and he wants to galvanize Republicans in other states,'' said Barrios.


House gives gay marriage ban approval
By Skip Cauthorn,
The state House of Representatives Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Tennessee.

The resolution, which will now travel to the Senate, would amend the constitution to say that marriage would be defined as between "one man and one woman."


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