Girding the gay vote
Collaborative effort under way to elect friendly candidates
By Javier Erik Olvera, Rocky Mountain News
One of the most intense campaigns ever to entice gay rights supporters to vote in the November election is under way in Colorado.
The goal: to galvanize enough voters to defeat candidates who don't support gay issues such as anti-discrimination laws and same-sex marriage.
If such candidates are elected, campaign organizers fear they will stand in the way of the gay rights movement as it gains momentum and mainstream support.
"We can't afford to lose," said Ted Trimpa, a local attorney and gay rights lobbyist.
'Fight for socialism & LGBT liberation'
By Minnie Bruce Pratt
John Parker, Teresa Gutierrez and LeiLani Dowell led a dynamic Workers World Party contingent in New York City's annual Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans Pride March on June 27. Parker and Gutierrez are WWP's candidates for president and vice president of the United States. Dowell is a Workers World Party member running on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket for Congress in the 8th District of California, which includes San Francisco.
Organizers estimate that 1.5 million people marched the long route from the Upper East Side into Greenwich Village and down Christopher Street, past the site of the Stonewall Rebellion that ignited the modern U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender liberation movements in 1969. This year's celebration marked the 35th anniversary of the night that gay and lesbian combatants, including transgender African American, Latina and white homeless youths, fought back against police brutality during a raid on the Stonewall Bar.
Behind a Workers World banner with their names and the call to "Fight for Socialism and LGBT Liberation," the candidates advanced through streets lined with tens of thousands of spectators. They were met with enthusiastic applause, cheers, and whistles of approval along the early route, and with huge roars of excitement as they entered the Village.
Parker was the only presidential candidate to march in the parade. In a statement of solidarity to the march, the candidates said: "We are longtime fighters in the struggle for LGBT liberation--two of us as lesbians, and the other as an ally who has fought together, shoulder to shoulder with LGBT people for his entire political life. We are also workers, people of color, supporters of the labor movement, anti-war and anti-imperialist activists."
Capitol rally calls for support of traditional marriage
By: News 8 Austin Staff
The south steps of the State Capitol served as the backdrop for what organizers called a "marriage rally."
As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment, those supporting this rally say they're standing up for traditional marriage.
"I think it gives us hope for the nation. That we're here to pray and reclaim this nation from the direction it's heading," Kristin Ohlson of Grace Covenant Church said.
The Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas held a counter-rally. The group believes marriage should be an option for gay couples in our state.
Burlington considers protection for gays
BURLINGTON (AP) -- City officials in Burlington say they might ask residents to vote on whether gay and lesbian citizens should be protected under the city's anti-discrimination code.
The city attorney says residents would not decide the issue for good -- but would register their opinions in a straw vote that would guide the city council in its ultimate decision.
The city's Human Rights Commission first recommended adding sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination code back in 2002. It's ignited controversy in the community ever since.
Mayor Mike Edwards says he thinks a vote would help city officials consider all the options and find consensus.
NZ CIVIL UNIONS ON WAY
By Tim Benzie
New Zealanders are one step closer to legalising same-sex civil unions this week after parliament approved two landmark bills for further discussion, The New Zealand Herald reported.
The Civil Union Bill will allow same-sex unions to be registered under the law and passed its first reading last Thursday by a vote of 66 to 50. It is estimated that 10,000 same-sex couples will be able to take advantage of the proposed law.
The Relationships (Statutory References) Bill will allow for neutral laws on relationships – whether civil unions, de facto or marriages. The bill will amend over 100 separate statutes and passed its first reading by 77 votes to 42 yesterday.
Both bills have now been referred to the country’s justice and electoral committee for public submissions.
Indian media got it wrong, says lesbian couple
Washington: The Indian-American lesbian couple, which created ripples in the national media here and India after they got married in a Hindu ceremony, has blamed most of the Indian media for getting it 'all wrong' about their marriage and their status.
Mala Nagarajan and Vega Subramaniam are the only Indian-American couple, which is party to a law suit challenging denial of marriage licenses to gay couples by King County in Washington state. ''I was ready for the national (US) publicity. But it was freaky to have our names in the 'Times of India', 'Hindustan Times', many of which got it all wrong,'' said Vega in an interview to the New California Media.
She said the Indian media had described them as NRIs, 'which we are not'. Both of them are Indian-Americans, she added. Also, one of the newspapers had said the two had 'claimed to have had' a Hindu wedding ceremony, Vega said. Their friends were surprised by these reports, Vega said, because they were present at the wedding and 'we have the pictures'.
With homosexuality illegal, gays suffer AIDS silently
Thirty-seven days after his wedding in 1999, Shashi Shetye found out he was HIV-positive.
It took another nine months before he could bring himself to tell his wife, who had no inkling that Shetye was infected, or that he was gay.
"It was an arranged marriage, but it was a mistake to go through with it. I still feel guilty about it,'' said Shetye.
Arranged marriages are the norm in India, and many of Shetye's gay friends were involved in double lives, married, with wives and children. Shetye and his wife divorced, and he has since found a boyfriend. His former wife is not infected with HIV, but five years later, she remains single
Call To Halt Rally Of Islamic Homophobes
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) is calling on London’s mayor Ken Livingstone to ban a rally by the extremist and ultra-homophobic Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun.
In a letter to Mr Livingstone, GALHA says the publicity for the rally, due to take place in Trafalgar Square on 25 July, refers to “Islam’s unique social system that eliminates sexual deviancy.”
The group has proposed that homosexuality should carry the death penalty. This, GALHA asserts, is “clearly promoting the killing of gay people.”
It is understood that in 2002 the Greater London Authority refused permission for the Al-Muhajiroun to stage a similar rally, but it went ahead anyway.
A spokesman for GALHA said: “This rally is obviously intended to stir up hatred against gay people and other groups and should be stopped. This will be an opportunity for the GLA and the police to demonstrate that they are serious about protecting gay people from this kind of hate-mongering and incitement.”
Gay Persecution Rising Around the World -Book
Mon Jul 5, 2004 08:18 AM ET
By Kate Kelland
LONDON (Reuters) - Gay Pride marches are mainstream in some countries and gay politicians, actors and pop stars are out and proud -- but homophobia is growing across the world with increasing numbers of countries making it punishable by death.
A new book published by human rights group Amnesty International says despite widespread acceptance of gays and lesbians in some countries, violent persecution of homosexuals is on the rise and has reached "epidemic" levels in others.
"Lesbian and gay people who form or join organizations, be they political or social, are being violently persecuted in many parts of the world where before they might have been unnoticed," writes the book's British author Vanessa Baird.
She singles out Uganda, Zimbabwe, Jamaica, El Salvador and Latin America in particular, where she says "the targeting and killing of transgender people has become an epidemic on streets."
Gays focus of effort to cut crime
By Nancy L. Othón
Asked to provide the gay community with ways to stay safe, police in Lake Worth and West Palm Beach have offered to conduct seminars and do safety surveys at gay bars in an effort to ensure people aren't targeted as they leave entertainment establishments.
Police said they also will try to get the word out that they are willing to investigate anonymous complaints. Members of Palm Beach County's gay community and police met recently to discuss safety issues and violence against gays at the request of Compass, the county's gay and lesbian community and social service center, and the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council.
Several incidents earlier this year, including one April 24 in which a gay man was robbed by someone he met at a bar in Lake Worth, prompted leaders in the gay community to request the meeting.