poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Honduras: Sexual Minorities living "in prison"

Thousands of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) in Honduras face discrimination and attacks on a daily basis. Most of them are too afraid to talk. Erica (originally Eric) David Yañez was murdered in the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, by two police officers on 15 July 2003.

Elkyn Suárez, a transsexual activist, had some valuable information about the killing that she passed on to the authorities. In September 2003, she was forced to flee the country after receiving death threats.

Elkyn now lives in a European country where she has been granted asylum. As part of a process of asserting her sexual identity, she has started legal proceedings to get a new officially-recognized name.

The San Pedro Gay Community was formed in 1993 when it started HIV/AIDS prevention work in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. However, the members of the community often had to conceal their work of promoting and defending the human rights of sexual minorities. They were very limited in what they could do because the government would not grant them the legal recognition that would have allowed their organization to work openly. The government has recently granted the organization this legal recognition.


New campaign focuses on depression among gays

A new initiative aimed at generating awareness of the impact of depression on gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people has been launched by a coalition of health groups to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11. Backed by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, the initiative, called "Talk About It: Coming Out About Depression," aims to educate the gay community about depression and break some of the stigmas still associated with the condition. To help highlight the fact that depression is a common problem among gay men and lesbians, openly gay actor Chad Allen and former Olympic diver Greg Louganis will speak about their personal battles with depression at public forums in New York City and San Francisco.


Victim says attack was hate driven
A lesbian visitor is the second person to be assaulted
in Waikiki in five days
By Leila Fujimori

A 25-year-old Oklahoma woman said she was the victim of an apparent anti-gay attack in Waikiki on Thursday, five days after the beating of a 39-year-old man who had just left a gay bar.

An advocate for homosexuals said he is concerned for the safety of gay visitors and others in Waikiki.
"Do we have to wait for someone to get killed before police do anything?" said Ken Miller, executive director of the Center, also known as the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

The Oklahoma woman, Pam Disel, also criticized Honolulu police for not aggressively investigating her attack.


U.S. House Could Vote Thursday On Same-Sex Amendment

U.S. House majority leader Tom DeLay says he doesn't expect the House to pass a constitutional amendment Thursday defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

But the Texas Republican said the vote will put House members on record before the November elections.


Gay, Lesbian Group Wants Venue To Cancel Reggae Concert
Singer's Lyrics Have Called For Burning, Shooting Gays

LOS ANGELES -- A gay and lesbian group wants the House of Blues to cancel Monday's scheduled concert at its West Hollywood location by a reggae star who has recorded songs calling for violence against gays.

A letter from the head of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to Los Angeles-based House of Blues' chief executive Greg Trojan states the group is "shocked and disgusted" about the upcoming appearance of singer Capleton, whose Jamaican-dialect lyrics have called for burning and shooting gays.

Capleton -- whose appearance at a House of Blues venue in Chicago on Thursday sparked similar protest -- has told news outlets he no longer performs the songs in question.

Those songs include "Bun Out Di Chi Chi," which translates to "burn out the gay man." His hit "Whoa" includes the line, "Sadomite and batty man mi shot up," which translates to "Sodomite and queer man, I shot up."


Catania Quits GOP Over Anti-Gay Amendment
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) Washington, D.C. Councilman David Catania, once the GOP's top fundraiser in the District, officially quit the Republican party Wednesday over its continuing attacks on gays.

"Today marks the end of my journey as a Republican," Catania said in a statement. He is now registered as an independent.

"On a personal note, this decision is extremely painful and difficult. It will almost certainly lead to a loss of cherished friends within the Republican Party for whom I have an enormous amount of respect and gratitude. In spite of this fact, I will no longer rationalize my association with a political party that has so badly betrayed my values and principles."

The openly gay Catania has publicly voiced his opposition for months to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.


Cal. National Guard Not Protected By New Law Gay Servicemembers' Group Says
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington) The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is warning members of the California National Guard that they are not protected under a sweeping new California law that extends legal protections for gays and lesbians.

Tuesday, LGBT civil rights groups in California hailed the new law which was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying that it would extend to some members of the Guard.

Equality California pointed out that the law incorporates language in a recent court decision which refers to the federal government's power over the state's rules with regards to the military as being limited to those positions that require federal recognition.

However, Steve Ralls, a spokesperson for the SLDN says the law will apply only to members of the militia.


Judges Have Too Much Power In Social Issues Scalia Says
by Michael J. Meade Newscenter
Boston Bureau

(Boston, Massachusetts) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says social issues such as gay marriage and abortion should not be decided by the courts.

Speaking to students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Scalia said that the American judicial system has bee turned into a quagmire as a result of "abstract moralizing'' from the bench.

"What I am questioning is the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having value-laden decisions such as these made for the entire society ... by judges,'' Scalia said.

In his speech Scalia did not mention specifically gay marriage but left little doubt to the intent of his remarks.


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