poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Rift from Father's Sex Change Finally Heals
All Things Considered audio
July 27, 2004

Commentator Heather Dune Macadam's father became a woman 20 years ago. But only recently has Heather become used to calling her father "she."


Suffolk expands benefits
Bypassing legislators, panel offers health coverage to partners of county workers in committed gay or heterosexual relationships

Avoiding long-standing opposition from county lawmakers, a Suffolk labor-management committee has quietly approved a resolution extending health benefits to domestic partners of county employees.

The committee, made up of nine county union leaders and nine appointees of County Executive Steve Levy, agreed unanimously earlier this month to offer benefits to same-sex and unmarried heterosexual couples who can demonstrate they are in long-term relationships. Children of eligible partners would also be covered.

Providing the coverage "would make sure that someone in a 10-year committed relationship would have a way to cover the cost of cancer treatment or dealing with diabetes," Levy said yesterday.

The change will take effect Sept. 1 and the committee, which oversees the county's health insurance program, will review the financial impact after 18 months. About 19,000 people - employees and retirees - belong to the Employee Medical Health Plan. County officials said it was difficult to predict how many members would take advantage of the new benefits, but estimated the cost would add $190,000 to the $190 million program.


Jury rejects discrimination claims

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- A Superior Court jury has rejected harassment claims filed by a prison guard who claims she was targeted for discrimination because she is a lesbian.

The jury of two women and four men deliberated for a little more than two hours before reaching its verdict Tuesday.

Bonnie L. Duart, 39, of Norwich, had claimed State Department of Correction officials discriminated against Duart and retaliated against her after she filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

Duart has been with the prison system since 1988 and now is a correction officer at the Bergin Correctional Institution at Storrs.


Germany registers 6,000 gay couples

BERLIN - Local authorities in Germany have registered some 6,000 gay unions under ground-breaking legislation that went into effect three years ago recognising gay partnerships, the government announced Wednesday.

The announcement came amid moves by the country's centre-left coalition government to expand gay rights to permit gay partners to adopt each other's children.

That legislation is expected to be enacted by the end of the year without having to be ratified by the Bundesrat upper house of parliament which is controlled by conservatives who oppose the bill.

The number of registered gay unions has declined in recent months pending passage of the new legislation, a spokesman said.


Gay-rights supporters file for repeal
Charter amendment faces fall vote

By Gregory Korte
Enquirer staff writer

Saying 11 years is plenty of time for Cincinnati voters to change their minds about gay rights, opponents of the city's controversial Article XII filed petitions Tuesday with the clerk of City Council to get the charter amendment repealed in November.

With more than enough signatures already counted, the move all but assures that Cincinnati voters will get a second chance to vote on the amendment, 11 years to the day after 62 percent of them approved it.

In fact, the Equal Rights Not Special Rights Campaign - the 1993 architects of Article XII who are organizing a campaign to defeat the repeal - won't contest the signatures.

Phil Burress, the social conservative activist from Loveland who's leading his own petition drive for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, is also leading the campaign to keep Article XII.


"The City of Cincinnati and its various boards and commissions may not enact, adopt, enforce or administer any ordinance, regulation, rule or policy which provides that homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual orientation, status, conduct, or relationship constitutes, entitles, or otherwise provides a person with the basis to have any claim of minority or protected status, quota preference or other preferential treatment. This provision of the City Charter shall in all respects be self-executing.

"Any ordinance, regulation, rule or policy enacted before this amendment is adopted that violates the foregoing prohibition shall be null and void and of no force or effect."


Four sought in hate-motivated attack
By Shelton Green / KVUE News
Detectives say a man was assaulted by four men in what they are calling a hate crime.

The incident began before 2 a.m. Saturday July 17 at Oilcan Harry's. It's a popular bar near Fourth Street and Lavaca that has a mostly gay clientele.

The victim told detectives four men in their early 20's posing as gay men befriended him.

When the bar closed, the victim invited one of the four back to his place in the 2500 block of Wickersham in Southeast Austin.

The victim says the man insisted his three friends tag along.

Detectives say once the men reached the victim's apartment, they physically and sexually assaulted the him for at least two hours.


Breaking with dad, Vanessa comes out for gay nuptials

BOSTON - John Kerry's younger daughter stood her ground yesterday, supporting gay marriage even as the Democrats are trying to sidestep the lightning-rod issue on the convention floor.

"To be fair - I've been on the record about it - I personally believe in gay marriage," Vanessa Kerry volunteered at a reporters' breakfast, when asked if she has any political disagreements with her dad.

"And he believes in civil unions, which is still equal rights under the law," said Vanessa, who sat next to her sister, Alexandra. She added: "I respect his opinion enormously ... but if you want to get into the semantics of it, that's it."

And though off-message, she was quick to add: "I'm very, very proud of my father's politics.


Canada Holds First Gay Divorce Proceeding
All Things Considered audio

July 27, 2004
NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Canadian lawyers Martha McCarthy and Julie Hannaford. They represent opposing parties in a lesbian divorce case. It's the country's first homosexual divorce case. Gay marriage became legal in parts of Canada last year. Divorce law in Canada has yet to catch up with the new marriage laws. The current wording applies only to divorce between heterosexual couples.


U to offer GLBT minor
By Mehgan Lee (VT)

Starting this fall, the University will offer a minor in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender studies.
The College of Liberal Arts faculty proposed the minor during the 2002-03 academic year and administration accepted it the following year, said Arlene Carney, CLA associate dean.

The University is now one of 12 colleges and universities in the nation to offer a GLBT studies minor.


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