poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 30, 2004

Araujo retrial set for May 9
By Yomi S. Wronge
Mercury News

Three men charged with killing a Newark transgender teenager will be retried beginning on May 9, but one of them will be released on bail until then.

Judge Harry R. Sheppard during a Friday court hearing set a $1 million bail for Newark resident Jason Cazares. His two co-defendants, Michael Magidson of Fremont and Jose Merel of Newark will remain incarcerated without bail at Santa Rita jail in Dublin.

The three friends are charged with the October 2002 bludgeoning and strangling of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo, who was born male but lived as a female. Prosecutors say the defendants attacked Gwen after discovering she was anatomically male. The men were also charged with a hate crime.

After a three-month trial, an Alameda County jury in June deadlocked on whether the three were guilty of first-degree murder. Because they could not reach consensus, the presiding judge declared a mistrial.


Bishop Requires Affirmation of Beliefs
Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - As a lay liturgical minister and a cantor, Wilma Hens was a leader at for years at her Roman Catholic parish in the central Oregon city of Bend.

But then Bishop Robert F. Vasa issued a two-page ``affirmation of faith.'' It tells lay ministers and cantors that, if they want to continue in their roles on the altar, they must accept the church's teachings opposing abortion, contraception, gay relationships and other issues.

Hens couldn't agree, so she quit - publicly. She stood at a microphone at St. Francis of Assisi Church last month and told the congregation she was stepping down because she could not accept the bishop's requirement.

``I could no longer pretend that I could ascend to some of those articles of faith any more than others can,'' she said Thursday in a telephone interview.


Agency finds probable racial hostility at South Dallas office
EEOC sides with 5 black employees; Sneed says he’s target of whites who don’t want AIDS grants going to agencies operated by blacks
By David Webb

A black gay AIDS official who coordinated several recent racial-oriented protests against Dallas’ GLBT community has himself been accused of discriminating against five black employees, according to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report.

A determination report by the federal agency, issued on July 1, shows that five black men and women have accused Don Sneed, the executive director and owner of Renaissance III, of discriminating against them due to their race.

Sneed is also a Bush appointee to the Presiden-tial Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. The five complained that on several occasions Sneed made a “barrage of unwelcome remarks of a racial nature” at Renaissance III. They also claimed Sneed sexually harassed some employees.

The report said there is reasonable cause to believe a racially hostile work environment existed at the organization. But the agency issued a “no determination” finding on the sexual harassment complaints.


LGTB Challenge May Keep Amendment Off Ohio Ballot

COLUMBUS, OH—A legal strategy initiated by LGTB-rights advocates in Ohio may succeed in stalling a proposed state constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in legal limbo, thereby preventing voters from seeing the measure on November ballots, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Tuesday.

The LGTB group, a statewide consortium known as Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, could potentially file a separate legal challenge in each Ohio county in which petitions to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot were submitted. The result could be a legal snare tying the issue up in dozens of courts statewide until ballot deadlines have passed.

While critics assail the legal challenges as mere political machinations, marriage-amendment opponents contend the petitioners are the ones playing politics, referring to claims that signature gatherers may be misrepresenting the nature of the amendment to potential signers. “We are not opposed to them putting it on the ballot,” Alan Melamed, campaign managers for Ohioans Protecting the Constitution, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We just want them to follow the same rules as everybody else.”


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