poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 18, 2004

Homeland Security worker calls for bias complaints
Federal employee upset over refusal to recognize Pride events

A gay contracting officer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is calling on fellow gay employees to file discrimination complaints against more than a dozen federal departments and agencies over their refusal to recognize Gay Pride events.

George Carlton, who works at the Arlington, Va., office of the Transportation Security Administration, an arm of the DHS, said he filed a sexual orientation discrimination complaint with his agency’s Office of Civil Rights last month after officials declined to recognize Pride events there.

“Other groups are recognized through [Equal Employment Opportunity] Office of Diversity Programs based on sex, ethnicity, age or disability,” Carlton states in his complaint. “Gays, lesbians and transgendered employees are not provided the same recognition,” he said, even though the department claims it doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation.

The Department of Homeland Security joined most of the other federal agencies this year by releasing a statement saying it would only recognize employee events or causes that are recognized by the White House. The Bush administration has refused to recognize June as Gay Pride Month, ending a practice of recognizing Pride events started by the White House under the Clinton administration.


'Third sex' students get pink lotus restroom
by AFP

(Bangkok, June 18) Transvestites and transsexuals at a private Thai college have been given their own restroom after being humiliated by classmates, a school administrator says.

Chiang Mai Technology College has designated a "pink lotus" bathroom for use by about 15 of its 1 500 students after the group encountered difficulties using male and female bathrooms.

"We are not supporting them to become transvestites or gay, we merely wanted to solve their problems and make them happy when they are at college," Thodsaporn Promprakai,
the assistant director for students' affairs, told AFP on Friday.

Several female co-eds had complained when the transgender students were found using the girls' room to escape the teasing and bullying of men in the boys' room, Thodsaporn said.


Mayor to issue marriage ruling by July 4
Spagnoletti named D.C. attorney general

D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams told gay activists at a private luncheon meeting this month that he plans to announce shortly before the July 4 weekend whether the city will legally recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts.

News of the mayor’s intention on the marriage recognition issue comes at a time when Republican members of Congress are considering introducing legislation to prohibit gays from marrying in the District.

Williams disclosed his plans to announce his marriage decision at a closed meeting with members of his Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Advisory Committee.

Tony Bullock, the mayor’s press secretary, confirmed the mayor’s comments at the meeting, saying Williams would likely issue a directive informing city agencies on how they should respond if same-sex couples who marry in Massachusetts come to D.C.


TG Community in Austin Gets One Step Closer to Equal Rights
By Steven Morris

Last week, Austin joined the ranks of Dallas and El Paso and became only the third city in Texas to add gender identity as a protected class to its human rights ordinance. Only 71 cities in the entire country have similar legislation. Transgendered residents of the Capital City will now be a protected class in employment, housing and public accommodation. Houston added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy in public employment in 2001, but has yet to adopt a citywide policy.

Austin Dullnig, Vice-chair of the Austin Human Rights Commission and pivotal advocate of the ordinance said, “This is a significant milestone in Austin’s journey towards full recognition and realization of basic civil and human rights for all citizens. I am extremely proud to have been so heavily involved in the effort, and proud that our City has passed such a decent initiative.”

Transgendered people have long been one of the most marginalized groups in the country, and they have endured years of discrimination based on their perceived gender identity. Many transgendered people lose their jobs, homes and most importantly, their dignity, simply because of their gender identity. Supporters believe this ordinance will help these people keep their jobs, homes and dignity by allowing them to continue to be productive members of Austin society.

“We’ve worked long and hard to achieve this victory. This is one small step for our community; we have a long way to go to gain equality across the board, “ said Lisa Cameron of Transgender Advocates of Central Texas (TACT). “We are absolutely thrilled with the City of Austin for taking this first step.”


Time for ENDA to be changed
Transgender rights should be included in workplace protection legislation even if it means losing a handful of sponsors.

IT IS AN unfortunate fact of life that there are those in Washington who oppose civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, and we need to educate them or advocate around them.

Regrettably, it is also true that instead of focusing on winning over those who oppose us outright, the National Center for Transgender Equality, like other transgender groups and our progressive allies, has had to spend far too much energy fighting, negotiating, cajoling and even begging our friends — some in Congress and even some in the LGBT movement —to let transgendered people into the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

As currently written, ENDA would protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation but not on gender identity or expression.

We have too often heard from our friends that they support us, and that if it were up to them, we’d be in ENDA. But they always point to someone else who doesn’t want us in: Congress, the lead sponsors, moderate Republicans, moderate Democrats, the Human Rights Campaign, the Log Cabin Republicans.


Forum on antigay crime draws criticism of police
By Frederick Cusick
Inquirer Staff Writer

Although antigay incidents are reportedly up in the city, only about 40 people turned up last night to discuss the issue with a police liaison committee set up to deal with the concerns of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Many of the complaints aired at the meeting at the William Way Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center last night dealt with accusations of police incompetence and indifference rather than with antigay hate crimes.

Theo Haines, an employee at the Spruce Street Video Store at 12th and Spruce Streets in the center of the city's gay neighborhood, told the committee he regularly watches 15 to 20 drug dealers and more than 50 prostitutes operating near the store. He said he also regularly sees underage drinkers stagger out of bars and fall on the sidewalk. Haines said that in several months he had seen no police presence.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home