poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, July 29, 2004

City officials vote for DA action on alleged hate crimes
By EVE HIGHTOWER, Democrat staff writer

The Davis City Council wants the Yolo County District Attorney to take action.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of sending a letter to David Henderson requesting he take action on alleged hate crimes that occurred last October in Davis.

Henderson will be receiving a letter from the council this week, according to Davis Mayor Ruth Asmundson.

The letter asks that the alleged offender's restitution include a confession that his crime was motivated by hate toward gays and people of color. It also urges Henderson to demand that the 16-year-old reveal the identities of his accomplices. Finally, the council's letter requests the alleged offender be made to attend diversity training and counseling, speak with the victims and do community service.


German party leader comes out; pledges more gay rights
Ben Townley, UK

A German political party leader came out earlier this week, and has already pledged to fight on behalf of same-sex couples for more equality.

Guido Westerwelle, the leader of the Liberal Free Democrats, came out last weekend in an interview with the country's Der Spiegel (The Mirror) news magazine, after he began making more public appearances with his boyfriend.

Since then he has already called for more rights and responsibilities for lesbian and gay couples, including adoption rights and the same tax breaks offered to married couples.

Despite an attempt to downplay his sexuality, Westerwelle's coming out could have a major impact on the country's politics, since press reports suggest he is being lined up for a senior role in a potential coalition in Germany's future government.


BBC upholds "gay rugby slap" complaint
Ben Townley, UK

The BBC has upheld a compliant over a comment made by a rugby commentator, admitting it "reinforced stereotypical views" of gay people.

The comment was made by former rugby international player Brian Moore during the Six Nations Grandstand programme in February.

In it, Moore described a small fight between players as a "gay slap".

Ten viewers complained that the comment was offensive to gay men and should not have been included, a complaint the BBC agreed with today in its quarterly look at viewer responses.


Second Group Files Complaint Against Falwell For Politicking
by Justin Bergman
The Associated Press Writer

(Richmond, Virginia) The Rev. Jerry Falwell violated campaign finance laws by endorsing President Bush and soliciting funds for a conservative political action committee on his ministries' Web site, a watchdog group alleges in a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The Campaign Legal Center said in the complaint filed Monday that Jerry Falwell Ministries and a lobbying organization affiliated with Falwell engaged in politicking earlier this month by endorsing Bush, which they are barred from doing as nonprofit corporations.

The complaint follows a separate letter sent by a religious watchdog group to the Internal Revenue Service that accuses Falwell of violating his ministries' tax-exempt status by publicly endorsing a political candidate.

In an e-mail newsletter sent to followers on July 1, Falwell urged conservatives to vote for Bush and "flood Campaign for Working Families with financial help." The Campaign for Working Families is run by Gary Bauer, a conservative activist who opposes abortion and gay marriage.


L.A. Times gets heat for running antigay ad

About 200 readers have complained to the Los Angeles Times for running a full-page ad on July 23 from Exodus, an antigay group that claims to "cure" its members of being gay or lesbian, as reported by Times columnist Steve Lopez on Wednesday.

The ad featured an "ex-gay" man named Randy, who said he became gay because he had been abandoned by his father and "felt desperate for the physical touch only a father can give." When another male approached him for sex, he said, he was "putty in his hands." Randy now says, "Today I am an ex-gay. No, wait... I don't define myself anymore with a sexual identity. I'm just...Randy."

"Shame on you," wrote one reader to the Times. Another reader wondered how the newspaper could accept money to spread hatred, according to Lopez.

The Times advertising department responded to Lopez that "advocacy ads must meet our advertising standards and communicate their points of view legally and responsibly. This particular ad met those requirements." It provided no further explanation of those standards


Banned film to be screened by British Council in Mumbai
Nabanita Sircar

It has been revealed here that a controversial film about drag queens in India, which was premiered in the UK, but had been banned in India will now be screened in Mumbai.

The Pink Mirror, which has been shown at various world festivals and had been premiered at the Commonwealth Film Festival in Manchester earlier this year, is banned in India because of the film's gay content. Now, it is said here that British Council in Mumbai will screen the film in August. It will be the film's 100th screening.

Sridhar Rangayan, the director of the film had earlier said: "My film reflects reality of contemporary India, where homosexuals are accepted to a degree as long as there is a 'contract of silence'."

"Portrayal of drag is not new to Bollywood, but drag queens have always been caricatured and ridiculed. I want the audience to laugh


Local Court Says It Cannot Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

A local court has ruled for the first time in the country, that it does not recognize marriages between same sex couples.

The district court in the city of Incheon west of Seoul said a woman identified, as Lee has no obligation to pay her partner of some 20 years named Kim, who filed a suit demanding her share of assets and alimony.

When the couple's relationship soured three years ago after 21 years of living together, 45-year-old Kim asked for her fair share of assets based on restitution and marriage.

But the court said although they maintained a cohabitation relationship similar to a common law marriage, it cannot recognize the relationship since the Korean Constitution stipulates that marriage is the union of a man and a woman and that the term 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex.


Gay marriage amendment discouraged
Simpson advises lawmakers to drop idea of putting ban in state constitution
Associated Press

IDAHO FALLS – The political leader responsible for Idaho's law prohibiting gay marriage is advising state lawmakers to drop their attempt to put the ban in the state constitution.

"Passing a constitutional amendment in Idaho would do absolutely nothing," U.S. Rep. Michael Simpson said.

The Blackfoot Republican made his comments during a meeting Tuesday with the editorial board of the Post Register in Idaho Falls.

As the speaker of the Republican-dominated Idaho House in 1996, Simpson guided the state Defense of Marriage Act to overwhelming majorities in both houses of the Legislature


Miami Beach OKs partnership registry; law gives gay, heterosexual couples rights
By Eppie Vega
Miami Bureau

MIAMI BEACH · The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday created a domestic partnership registry and gave gays the legal right to participate in their partner's health care, child care and other decisions.

In a unanimous vote, city commissioners passed a law that allows Miami Beach residents and visitors to register as domestic partners with the city clerk's office; heterosexual couples also can register. Couples will be able to register in about 10 days.

The law gives domestic partners the same hospital visitation rights as a spouse, and allows them to make health care decisions for their partner and participate in the education of their partner's child.

That makes the city's legislation the most expansive of its kind in Florida, said Stratton Pollitzer, the South Florida director of Equality Florida.


Gays say "hate crimes" nothing new in Baldwin County
Posted By: Ron Reams

(BAY MINETTE, Ala.) July 28 - The gay community in Baldwin County is speaking out, saying hate crimes are nothing new for gays living in this area. Scottie Weaver, found murdered this past week, was sometimes seen hanging out at a gay friendly R-V park in Lillian. As NBC 15's Bruce Mildwurf reports, Weaver may not be the only person who has been victimized because of his sexual orientation.

David Librace and his partner run what they call a gay friendly R-V park in Lillian. “You get mothers and fathers, and you get… most of our clientele now, of course, is gays.”

The two gay men face more than just the daily challenges of running an R-V park. “We fear for our life.  We barricade our doors at night,” he says.

Dave insists his fear is well founded. He says he and his partner have been targeted. “We've been shot at not once, but three times.”


Gay, lesbian support quiet at convention
Party has concerns about how support could affect votes

BOSTON - Sweeping into a meeting of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus at the Democratic Convention yesterday, Teresa Heinz Kerry praised the activists for "pushing the envelope" to secure their rights.

"If nothing else, you will have a mom in the White House," the wife of Democratic nominee John Kerry said. "You can call your Mama T anytime."

The hundreds of delegates and supporters in the room leapt to their feet and chanted, "Mama T, Mama T, Mama T," as they waved their arms.

Democrats have embraced the gay community and made it part of their core constituency. But the party still is nervous about how far it can go toward endorsing such reforms as gay marriage without losing broad popular support.


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