poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, September 24, 2004

Transsexual inmates can receive estrogen therapy

Transsexual Virginia prison inmates may receive estrogen therapy and other treatment under a recent court settlement of a prisoner's suit.

Experts say that transsexuals who have gender identity disorder, or GID, feel that they are members of the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body. It is not a voluntary condition, and transsexuals are different from homosexuals and transvestites who remain content with their birth sex.

The eight-page agreement does not specify the treatments the Virginia Department of Corrections will provide in appropriate cases. However, it does provide for referrals to an endocrinologist, or hormone specialist, when necessary.

Victor M. Glasberg, an Alexandria lawyer who handled the case for the American Civil Liberties Union and confirmed the settlement, said this week that each case of GID is different and that there is a wide spectrum of treatment, which can include surgery.


Billboard heralds gay bash campaign against Lampson
Beaumont billboard and Web site charge that congressman is ‘bought’ by the ‘homosexual lobby’

Congressman Nick Lampson’s campaign to keep his seat in the U.S. House slid into the mud this week when a billboard went up overnight in Beaumont proclaiming, “Nick Lampson supports homosexual marriage. Do you?”

The billboard directs readers to a Web site,, where the headline reads, “Why Rep. Nick Lampson is ‘bought and paid for’ by the homosexual lobby.”

Lampson, the Democratic incumbent in District 2, is opposed by Republican challenger Steve Stockman.


MP disappointed by gay ruling
Openly gay MP Tim Barnett says it is yet to be tested whether the Presbyterian Church's ban on homosexual ministers is legal

Gay Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett believes churches may not end up being a safe place for homosexuals after a controversial ruling.

A majority of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly has voted in favour of banning gays and people in de facto relationships from its clergy.

Mr Barnett says he cannot see why churches should be able to deny people a role because of their sexuality.


Churches in USA told to stop Electioneering Network

Despite Internal Revenue Service rules separating churches from the electoral process, some religious leaders in the USA may be defying the IRS by telling churchgoers how to vote on certain candidates and issues, including same-sex marriage.

"It's a very disturbing trend," said Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a watchdog group dedicated to keeping the government free from religious influence.

Lynn told the PlanetOut Network there is "a tremendous amount of envelope-pushing" this year.

Violators risk losing their tax-exempt status and facing fines and back taxes.


Gay Marriage Sweeps Into Canada's Maritimes
by Derwin Parsons Newscenter
Atlantic Canada Bureau Chief

(Halifax, Nova Scotia)  Nova Scotia this morning became the fifth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage. 

The provincial Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case was brought by three Nova Scotia same-sex couples. The suit argued that because the federal government did not challenge rulings of the highest courts in three provinces and the Yukon Territory that all struck down the existing definition of marriage as between a man and a women, prohibiting gay marriage is illegal.

After the Nova Scotia case was launched, a fourth province, Manitoba, also ruled in favor of same-sex couples. 


Russian Gays See Return To Repressive Era 
by Malcolm Thornberry Newscenter
European Bureau Chief

(Moscow) Russian gays say a dark cloud is descending on the country bringing with it a return to the repressions of the Soviet era.

Homosexuality was illegal under the old Soviet regime. Gay men were sentenced up to five years in prison, while lesbians were often locked up in psychiatric hospitals - often for the remainder of their lives. In 1993 under then-president Boris Yeltsin the Duma or parliament, repealed the law. 

"It was like a cloud was lifted from over our heads," said Dmitri, a 43 year old Moscow man who is still reluctanct to give his last name.

Gay clubs that had been underground suddenly emerged and a gay political sense began to develop.  


City in Iowa to make antigay discrimination complaints public

Burlington, Iowa, will face no legal problems under a rule to make public the names of people and businesses that allegedly discriminate against gays and lesbians, the city attorney said. "I don't believe they could sue the city for slander because a third party files a complaint with the city," Scott Power said Wednesday. "I've never seen that happen.... Legally, I don't believe you could sue a city over a complaint that's filed." The city's Human Rights Commission voted unanimously to approve a new procedure to address sexual orientation discrimination.


North Dakota's proposed gay marriage ban unclear

North Dakota's proposed marriage amendment to the state constitution is unclear about whether it affects job benefits for unmarried couples, Atty. Gen. Wayne Stenehjem says. The proposed amendment, which is on North Dakota's November 2 general election ballot, limits marriage rights to opposite-sex couples. Its second sentence reads: "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage, or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect." State representative Mary Ekstrom (D-Fargo) asked Stenehjem for a legal opinion regarding whether the amendment would bar companies that give benefits to married couples from giving them to same-sex partners or unmarried heterosexual couples who are living together. Ekstrom opposes the amendment and has been raising money to challenge it. Jon Lindgren, a former Fargo mayor, said he had similar worries about the amendment's effect. "We're concerned not only that a lot of people aren't following this closely enough, but that they are not following the meaning of that second sentence," Lindgren said. "It's a wolf in sheep's clothing."


No support for gay pride

Oslo will be the host for the EuroPride festival in 2005. Event organizers expect around 50,000 homosexuals to flood the capital but city authorities have not allocated any funds at all to help. This leaves two people in charge of the entire project.

A stilt walker taking part in the 10th EuroPride parade in Manchester in 2003.

The pair are now working feverishly to prepare ticket sales and arrange package tours to Oslo from destinations around Norway and Europe.

"We are working on the program and to find hot names for the concerts," said project leader Arne Walderhaug.

In 2003 city council leader Erling Lae led Oslo's gay parade through the streets and the 2005 version will be of record size as the city host's the European edition of the festival. The city budget for 2005 showed no sign of the project's petition for NOK 600,000 (USD 88,500) in support.


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