poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ben Townley, UK

A controversial film about drag queens in India is set to debut in its home country.

The Pink Mirror had been featured across the world at film festivals, and received its UK premiere at the Commonwealth Film Festival in Manchester earlier this year.

However, it has been banned at home in India because of its gay content.

It will now be shown by the British Council in Mumbai at an anniversary event coinciding with its 100th screening on August 6th.


Gay group laments "unequivocal rejection" of equality proposals
Ben Townley, UK

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) has "unequivocally rejected" the government's proposals for a single Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), to the disappointment of the country's leading gay rights group.

The CRE ruled late last week that the proposals could hinder the work it has already done to stamp out discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities across the UK.

It also raised questions over how much power the umbrella group would have to enforce anti-discrimination measures, and as to whether the government was rushing the proposals through at a time when "demands on the CRE are at an all time high".

The government had hoped to get backing for the proposed CEHR, which some gay rights groups see as a valid tool for tackling anti-LGBT discrimination.


Gay man has trouble getting passport under new married name
The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Getting married to his partner of 23 years is proving easier for a Springfield man than obtaining a passport.

Donald Henneberger recently received a letter from the National Passport Center in Portsmouth, N.H., denying his request for a name change on his passport. The center said it would not recognize a marriage license for a same-sex couple as proof of a name change.

Ironically, the center addressed the letter to "Mr. Henneberger."

Henneberger, formerly Donald Smith, married his partner Arthur Henneberger in May, when same-sex marriages became legal in the Bay State. On the marriage license the couple checked a box that automatically changes the last names of the partners to whatever they request.


France's 1st Homosexual Marriage Nullified
Associated Press

BORDEAUX, France - A French court nullified the country's first homosexual marriage on Tuesday, a ceremony that led the government to try to suspend the high-profile Green Party mayor who conducted it.

The couple, Stephane Chapin and Bertrand Charpentier, exchanged vows last month in the Bordeaux suburb of Begles. Their lawyer said the ruling would not take effect pending an appeal.

The court in Bordeaux said in a statement it had "declared the marriage conducted null."

The couple expressed optimism that the move would be overturned, promising to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary.

"We are sure that we will win because we'll take this as far as possible," Charpentier told reporters after the decision.


Transsexual's claims of sexual battery don't prevail in court
Oscar Stephen Jarrell was accused of grabbing his manager's buttocks and making improper comments.
By Lindsey Nair

    A transsexual ex-convict was about the only prosecution witness who stuck to her original story Friday during a sexual battery case in Salem General District Court.

    Everyone else who was called to the stand by the prosecution ended up helping the defense instead, which frustrated Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Aaron Lavinder and led Judge George Harris to dismiss the charge against Oscar Stephen Jarrell.

    Jarrell, 61, was accused of grabbing his manager's buttocks and making inappropriate comments while on the job at the Goodwill store near Lakeside Plaza in Salem.

    His manager, Jasmyn McCulley, formerly James McCulley, swore out a citizen complaint this spring after the alleged April 29 incident. On Friday, she testified that she was in the store office with another employee, Kristin Bevil, when Jarrell told her he "needed a kiss" and grabbed her buttocks.


Campaign to repeal Cincinnati amendment takes another step

Activists trying to repeal a 1993 charter amendment that made Cincinnati the only U.S. city to ban enactment or enforcement of laws based on sexual orientation said on Monday that they are ready to go to City Hall to put the issue on the ballot.

Citizens to Restore Fairness wants to give voters the opportunity on November 2 to repeal the amendment. Religious and business leaders backing the group say the amendment is unfair to some Cincinnati citizens and makes it harder for corporations to recruit new employees because it bears a stigma of discrimination.

Activists successful in getting the amendment passed by telling voters there was no need to give gays and lesbians "special rights" are ready to defend it, spokesman Phil Burress said Monday. Sixty-two percent of the voters approved the amendment. The nation already has civil rights laws designed to fight discrimination, Burress said. "There are certain classifications with immutable characteristics which are afforded those protections, like skin color," said Burress, chairman of a coalition called Equal Rights, Not Special Rights. "A person's choice of a sex partner is not a basis for redress of discrimination claims."

Members of Citizens to Restore Fairness plan to take thousands of petition signatures to the city council clerk's office on Tuesday, said Justin Turner, the organization's campaign manager. The Hamilton County board of elections has made a preliminary determination that the group has enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, said Pamela Swafford, the board's deputy director. The clerk will verify that with the elections board before asking council to approve a resolution putting the issue on the November ballot, Turner said.


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