poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, June 14, 2004

Festival draws an estimated 50,000
By The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An estimated 50,000 people gathered at Washington Square for the final day of Utah Pride 2004, organizers of the gay-pride celebration said.

Most of those attending Sunday's gathering wore a blue sticker saying "Don't Amend," a reference to the proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"Now is the time. We need our families, our friends, our parents to help fight this discriminatory amendment. Help register everyone you know to vote," said Bruce Bastian, grand marshal of the parade.

A group of protesters demonstrated outside a chain-link fence.


Call for Ruslan's Sharipov's immediate release

Reporters Without Borders today urged Uzbekistan's authorities to take advantage of legal provisions to amnesty and immediately release journalist Ruslan Sharipov now that he has served a third of the prison sentence he received last year.

The call was issued after the government commission responsible for applying sentences met on 12 June to consider the possibility of commuting his sentence under article 164 of the criminal code.

"Known for his criticism of the government and his human rights work, Ruslan Sharipov is a symbol of the oppression of journalists in Uzbekistan today, and the aim of the charges against him was just to silence a dissident voice," Reporters Without Borders said.

"Releasing him would help restore the country's image, which has been tarnished by so many press freedom violations," the organisation added.


Rhea County Drafts New Gay Marriage Resolution

Rhea County commissioners are taking their time with a second attempt at a resolution supporting Tennessee's ban on homosexual marriage.

 A fumbled attempt earlier this year led to a vote banning gays altogether.  That measure was quickly withdrawn, but not before national attention brought protests from the gay community.
The commissioners are now working on a resolution that would specify support for the state's ban on homosexual marriage.
The measure could come up for vote next month.


Pride & struggle a century ago
Lesbians on the front lines of fight for rights, liberation
By Leslie Feinberg

A proposed German penal code was drafted in late 1910 that would criminalize sexual acts between women.

Any law that threatened same-sex love between women was also inherently anti-trans gender, since the oppressed populations overlapped. In 1721, for example, a German individual who was named Catha rina Mar garetha Linck at birth was burned at the stake for the crime of being a female-bodied person who lived as a male and married another woman.

Until 1794 a Prussian code executed people of all sexes for what the law characterized as "unnatural acts." That edict was amended in 1837 to a sentence of "imprisonment followed by life-long punishment."

In their book "Lesbians in Germany: 1890s-1920s," authors Lillian Faderman and Brigitte Eriksson wrote, "In 1851 punishment for 'unnatural acts' was restricted by a new code to males only. 'Victorian' mentality had spread to Ger many. The law preferred to ignore the possibility that women were capable of sexual expression."

The menace of including same-sex love between women in Paragraph 175 posed a new challenge for the women's movement in Ger many, which had been "advancing unimpeded" since the early 1900s.


Cutbacks at health centers a bitter pill to swallow
Poor patients could lose urgent care clinic, other services
Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's budget for the new fiscal year includes more than $3 million in cuts to the city's neighborhood public health centers, an amount he and his health director contend will have limited impact on patient care.

But ask the doctors and nurses who provide the care, and some of the patients who rely on the safety-net system for their medical needs, and they offer a different view.

"In my darkest moments, I fear that we're abandoning our mission of public health, abandoning care for those who need it most,'' said Dr. Paul Quick, a public health physician working out of the Tom Waddell Health Center. The center is about a block from City Hall and serves homeless patients. It has become one of the focal points in this year's budget battles in San Francisco.

The Tom Waddell center is not being eyed for closure, but it could lose its urgent care clinic -- one of only two in the city; the other is at San Francisco General Hospital -- or have to cut its clinics for people with HIV, women and the transgender community.


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