poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, August 09, 2004

Asking Blood Doners About Homosexual Contact a Violation of Rights

The National Human Rights Commission of Korea has called the practice of asking a person before he or she gives blood whether he or she has had sexual contact with a person of the same sex in order to figure out the possibility of AIDS infection is a violation of equal rights.

The commission made the decision based on the petition appealed by LGBT Human Rights Solidarity in Korea last December and advised the Ministry of Health and Welfare to revise the Blood Control Law responsible for the inquiry system.

The commission also mentioned, The most frequent way in which AIDS is transmitted is through sexual contact with an infected person, regardless of whether that person is of the same sex or not. It noted that indiscriminately asking questions about homosexual behavior excludes healthy homosexuals from giving blood and worsens stereotypes against homosexuals.

The commission added that in the case of women, homosexual sex was unlikely to pass on the virus even if one of the partners was infected, so at the very least, women shouldn't be asked about whether they've engaged in homosexual sex.


Gay couples maintain hope
Say legal marriage is necessary for equality

A Springfield couple who have been together for nearly 38 years would like to legally say "I do."

Not because it would strengthen their commitment to one another. Nor do they care about the fanfare of a wedding ceremony. It's because they want the security that comes with marriage and feel they should have that legal right.

Arthur Clark and Terry Michael describe themselves as a pretty average couple. The biggest difference, Clark said, is that they're both men.

"We don't want special rights or extra rights - we just want equal rights," he said.


Belfast gay parade gets triple the support after protest threat
Ben Townley, UK

More than 3000 people are thought to have taken part in Belfast Pride's parade through the city centre on Saturday, despite the threat of disruption from a coalition of anti-gay people.

Organisers say the level of support makes the parade the biggest and best the city has seen, tripling the numbers of attendees from the previous year.

They say this could well be down to the publicity received via the anti-gay protestors, called Stop The Parade (STP), who launched a campaign outlining their intentions to block the parade last week.

As well as pledging to show "sodomites they have had their day", the group created a bogus website that offered a "cure" for young LGBT people, and accused the parade of being a recruitment experience.


Labor pass same-sex marriage ban
Rachel Evans
At a National Marriage Coalition forum held in Canberra on August 4, federal Labor shadow attorney-general Nicola Roxon said the ALP would pass the Howard government's gay marriage ban during the current sitting of parliament.

The August 4 Sydney Morning Herald reported that Roxon, speaking at the forum immediately after Prime Minister John Howard, said it was “cheeky” to suggest Labor's views differed to the government's. “The major parties do not support gay marriage”, Roxon said to thunderous applause.

Labor had previously sent the bill to a Senate inquiry, the findings of which were due to be released on October 7. However, Roxon said Labor had “no intention now, after the inquiry finishes or after the election, of advocating for gay marriage”.

Rodney Croome, Equal Rights Network spokesperson, responded by saying: “The Labor Party promised that all the legal, constitutional and social impacts of this legislation would be thoroughly investigated by a Senate inquiry. By breaking that promise, they have shown themselves to be completely untrustworthy on gay and lesbian rights. They have also abdicated any claim they may have had to being a party of social justice and inclusion.”


Local YMCAs don't count gay couples as families

MUNCIE - Muncie Family YMCA facilities offer a family retreat for swimming, playing basketball and exercising together.

Anginette Dearing and Betty Hancock missed out on that opportunity.

Dearing, 33, and Hancock, 47 - a lesbian couple who have been in a relationship for three years and live together - applied for a family membership in January at the Northwest YMCA for themselves and Dearing's three children from a previous marriage.

After a tour of the facility, the issuance of membership cards and an orientation was scheduled, Dearing received a phone call from a YMCA employee who said that their request for a family membership had been denied because she and Hancock were same-sex partners.


Haka launches protest against 'gay marriage'

A protest against the civil union bill was launched by up to a thousand demonstrators today.

The campaign against 'gay marriage', led by followers of the Destiny Church, began with a haka involving hundreds of men in Auckland's Aotea Square.

It culminates in a demonstration outside Parliament in Wellington on 23 August.

A march down Queen Street was due to follow the haka and speeches today


Gay rights group tightens screw on dancehall artistes
Buju Banton ... might be contemplating legal action against Outrage! following the circulation of an email that he was wanted in Jamaica for beating gay men.
Andrew Clunis, Head of News

VOICE, London:

THINGS COULD turn ugly for dancehall star Buju Banton when he turns up in Amsterdam next week for two concerts. Gay rights campaigners are seeking to have him arrested under Dutch law for inciting violence against gays and lesbians.

Buju Banton leaves Jamaica this week for a world tour that will take him to Europe, Africa, Japan and Israel. This will also include one London show. Lobby group Outrage! has mobilised support in Amsterdam, one of the most gay-friendly cities in Europe, to have the concerts cancelled and the deejay locked up.


Outrage! has been waging a campaign against Jamaican dancehall artistes who allegedly incite violence against homosexuals in their music. Only last week, Virgin Records was forced to issue an apology on behalf of Beenie Man.

The statement was rejected by Outrage! as being 'too vague' as it did not make specific reference to the gay community. Beenie Man's management team said the artiste renounced violence against all individuals and groups and they would stick by that principle. Peter Tatchell said he wanted Beenie Man to personally apologise to gays and to give proceeds of his record sales to a charity to be set up for the victims of anti-gay abuse.


Race Remains the Focus of Journalism Groups

The Unity: Journalists of Color convention, a gathering of minority journalists held in Washington last week, had its share of political controversy, including one man being booted from the convention center after heckling President Bush. But one knotty issue - whether gay and lesbian journalists should be members of Unity - never made the agenda.

At the previous Unity event in Seattle in 1999, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association requested a formal alliance with Unity. "We're all going toward the same cause and that's to change the hearts and minds of the decision makers of this industry,'' Roy Aarons, a founder of the group told The Associated Press at the time. The board of Unity declined.

This time around, no request to be considered for full membership was made. "We are working with them on diversity issues that we have in common and improving fairness in the newsroom," said Pamela Strother, executive director of the lesbian and gay group.

So while the lesbian and gay journalist group was the host of a recruitment booth, a reception and some social events, the Unity organization continues to keep its membership based solely on ethnicity


Richland Co. Sheriff's Dept. seeing success with outreach to gay, lesbian victims

(Columbia-AP) Aug. 9, 2004 - Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott knows his department's extra efforts to help gay and lesbian crime victims are progressive for the state.

Lott appointed Deputy Dottie Cronise in April to serve as a liaison between the department and gay and lesbian crime victims. Since then, she has started a work group of sheriff's deputies and leaders in the gay and lesbian communities.

The sheriff says gays and lesbians sometimes are hesitant to report crimes against them because they fear they won't be treated with respect.

All sheriff's deputies are trained to identify when they are dealing with an incident that involves gays or lesbians so they can better help the victim. Lott says his department may be the first in the state to launch such efforts.


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