poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, August 20, 2004

Law firm makes history again
Gay Houston law firm is among the largest and most diverse gay firms in the country

A Houston law firm that made history recently by naming a transgender partner has added two new associates, making it one of the largest and most diverse gay, lesbian and transgender law firms in the country.

The firm of Nechman, Simoneaux & Frye recently added two new associates, a lesbian and a straight woman, who bring expertise that the firm did not previously have.

Lee Jeronimo, 60, and Veena Krishnan, 30, have joined transgender attorney Phyllis Randolph Frye and gay attorneys John Nechman and Jerry Simoneaux in the firm that offices at 3400 Montrose Blvd.

John Nechman said the new additions have widened the diversity within the firm.


Commission delays vote on gay rights ordinance
Proposal would expand who is protected in city
Tribune Staff Writer

SOUTH BEND -- The South Bend Human Rights Commission has delayed making a decision on whether or not to back an ordinance that would protect rights for gays, lesbians and transgender individuals.

The ordinance -- yet to be written and proposed by Common Council Member Charlotte Pfeifer, D-2nd -- would make such individuals a protected class.

That means they could ask the commission's staff to investigate cases in which they'd felt discriminated against.


Vatican views on women annoys Indians too

A Vatican directive blaming feminism for apparently undermining the concept of family is fuelling protests in India too.

Although some Christians are justifying the papal communiqué that has triggered a storm since it came out July 31, there are many critical voices.

Ritu Menon, co-founder of the feminist publication "Kali for Women", has termed the Vatican directive as "extremely unfortunate and irresponsible".

"The protests from women are fully justified. The Vatican should not have branded feminism or women's demand for equal rights like this. Asking for equal rights cannot be termed as something bad," Menon told IANS.


Zanzibar bans gay sex
By Ally Salleh

ZANZIBAR (Reuters) - Zanzibar has banned gay sex and set prison terms of up to 25 years for those who break the law.

The law sets a penalty of life imprisonment for sodomizing a minor. The penalty for homosexual sex between men is 25 years' jail and seven years for lesbian sex. That compares to death for murder in Zanzibar and 30 years for violent robbery or rape.

"This is what we have been aspiring for. If the government takes such steps, the country will really move ahead," said Sheikh Muhammed Said, a local Islamic leader.

The office of Zanzibar's attorney general said the law took effect when the island archipelago's president, Amani Karume, signed it last week. Zanzibar's parliament, in a rare show of unity, passed the bill unanimously in April.


Amnesty Confirms:
Buju Banton Accused of Gay-Bashing
Human Rights Watch (New York) interviews victims

LONDON – 20 August 2004 (Outrage! News):  Amnesty International has confirmed reports that Jamaican reggae singer Buju Banton was allegedly involved in a homophobic attack in Kingston two moths ago.  The confirmation comes in a letter from Susan Lee, Amnesty’s  Programme Director for the Americas, to Penthouse Productions, the singer’s production company.

The letter was made public today.

“We can confirm that Amnesty International has received information from reputable national and international human rights organisations concerning reports that Buju Banton was involved in a homophobic attack,” the letter says.  “These reports take the form of statements that allege that on June 24 2004, six men were driven from their home and beaten by a group of armed men, and that the alleged assailants included Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie).

“The reports further allege that this attack was apparently motivated by hatred of gay men: the victims reported that both before and during the attack the assailants had called the men “battymen” (homosexuals).  Amnesty International is further aware that several of the alleged victims were interviewed by a Human Rights Watch researcher who was in Jamaica at the time.

“Amnesty International has also received reports that several of the alleged victims made official reports to the Constant Spring police station on 25 June 2004.”


Gay teacher questions dismissal
No contract renewal for O'Dowd staffer who married in S.F.
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Eleven years after meeting in a college poetry class, Doug Neff and Corey Rothermel donned matching tuxedos and headed across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco City Hall, where their ministers married them.

"The best thing I ever did," Neff said.

He still feels that way, even though the nearly 4,000 same-sex marriages that took place at City Hall in February and March were ruled invalid last week by the California Supreme Court.

And he feels that way even though he believes marrying cost him his job as a religion teacher at Bishop O'Dowd, a Catholic high school in Oakland


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