poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, October 10, 2004

India's gays awaken to bad dream
Homosexuals have to fight centuries of social stigma
Mike McPhate

New Delhi -- When Raju Sharma's father discovered his son was gay three months ago, he got a rope.

He hanged Sharma, 23, by the ankles from the first floor balcony of their New Delhi flat and threatened to kill any neighbor who tried to rescue him.

Sharma says he dangled for an hour before his dad pulled him up, stripped him naked and tossed him into the street. He stood there sobbing, covering his genitals with his hands, as onlookers mocked him for lacking the courage to fight.

"My father is quiet now," says Sharma, a slight man with a lisp and plucked eyebrows. "But the shame is still there."


Student organizes pro-gay march

A group of 30 people carrying rainbow banners and handmade signs proclaiming gay rights marched Saturday along State Street in Saginaw Township.

Led by a 16-year-old Heritage High School student with spiky hair and her parents, most were teens dressed in black.


Veteran urges support of same-sex marriage
Revere High grad says couple benefits would have kept her in Army
By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Dressed in her U.S. Army staff sergeant's uniform, Revere High School graduate Jacqueline Frank told a Fairlawn audience Saturday that she still would be serving her country today if she had the protections of civil marriage for her lesbian fiancee.

``I stand before you today as a proud soldier and a gay veteran of Desert Storm, where I served in Iraq and Kuwait,'' said Frank, one of several gay women and men touring the country to promote same-sex marriage rights. About 40 supporters greeted the bus Saturday afternoon at the Unitarian Universalist Church.


Marriage rights caravan gets lots of 'no thanks' from gays along road
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Akron, Ohio -- The gay and lesbian community in Cincinnati didn't exactly respond with enthusiasm when activists fighting for same-sex marriage rights called to say they were swinging by on a cross-country crusade.

Thanks, Cincinnati told them, but we don't want your help. In Kentucky, so many unreturned phone calls later, the activists got the picture: No go. Utah? Gay organizers politely explained that 44 gay outsiders -- Californians no less -- piling out of a bus wearing tuxedos and wedding dresses weren't going to help the cause.

The riders on the National Marriage Equality Express, a busload of activists who say they want to "inspire justice" on an eight-day journey to Washington, D.C., have taken an odd route East -- 10-hour stretches without stops, followed by days overloaded with events -- because fellow gay leaders unequivocally have told them it is the wrong time and the wrong place to talk about same-sex marriage.


American Muslims Call For Acceptance Of Gays
by Rachel Zoll

(New York City) The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks emboldened many outside the Muslim community to demand Islamic leaders re-examine religious teachings on matters from war to women's rights. 

But in the United States, the latest call for reform is coming from within.

On Nov. 15, as the holy month of Ramadan is expected to end, a group of mostly young Muslims plans to launch the Progressive Muslim Union of North America in New York.

As their name suggests, the organization will take positions that conservatives consider objectionable, even heretical: Progressives believe women should have a broader role in mosques; they back gay rights; and they believe Muslims should borrow from traditions as varied as Buddhism and the U.S. civil-rights movement to reshape Islam for modern times.


At Home in Two Worlds
These kids live with gay parents in a straight society. Now they're beginning to find their voices—and each other
By Dirk Johnson and Adam Piore

Oct. 18 issue - The other kids in grade school talked about family life. Camping trips with Dad, hanging out with Mom at the mall. Kyle Michaels kept quiet. Nobody would understand. Not in her Texas suburb of Cedar Park. You talked about cool clothes, hip bands and cute boys. You cheered for the football team on Friday nights and you went to church on Sunday. "If you go around our neighborhood," she says, "everybody has a sign that says, 'We support God and our troops." If you didn't hew to traditional values, it seemed to her, you kept quiet. Cedar Park was certainly not a place, she felt certain, where you talked about your mom's being a lesbian.

Now a high-school freshman, Kyle no longer keeps secrets about life inside her two-story red-brick home. "I'm a lot more confident," says the 14-year-old. "I don't really care what people think about my family anymore." The turning point came three summers ago, when Kyle went to a camp for children of gays and lesbians in Provincetown, Mass. There kids played and joked, learned and commiserated. And Kyle discovered, at last, that she was not alone.

Same-sex marriage and gay parents, topics once verboten in mainstream America, have become hot-buttons in this election year. The issue comes up over and over on the stump and was the subject of a question in last week's vice presidential debate; on Nov. 2, voters in 11 states will face gay-marriage referendums. Rhetoric and politicking aside, though, one thing is perfectly clear: the number of kids who grow up with gay parents is on the rise. The 2000 Census found that more than 150,000 same-sex couples have at least one child under 18 in the home. Kids are being raised by gay parents in 96 percent of the counties in the United States. A study released last week found that black gay couples are more than twice as likely to be raising kids as whites.


How gay GOP group lost its faith in Bush
High hopes in 2000 dissolve in dispute over marriage ban
Carolyn Lochhead, Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Washington -- The small band of 11 gay men and one lesbian, Republicans all, who set out more than four years ago on a highly personal crusade to reconcile homosexuals and the Republican Party, today concedes utter failure.

One is leaving the party. Another resigned his Bush administration post. Their leader refuses to talk to the media. Few will even vote for President Bush. Most feel profoundly betrayed.

For the Austin 12, as they call themselves, Bush squandered a precious chance to broaden the GOP and deliberately harmed the gay civil rights movement at a historic turning point.

Bush may win re-election because of his stance, the members of the Austin 12 say, but they are certain the damage to gays and their party will take years, if not decades, to reverse.


WordPerfect co-founder now champions gay rights
"Don't Amend": Bastian's personal life and his political sensibilities seemingly have changed 180 degrees
By Rebecca Walsh
The Salt Lake Tribune

The conversation was brief when Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson first met Bruce Bastian.

    Eight years ago, Anderson was running for Congress and advocating gay-marriage rights. Bastian told the political hopeful he was too liberal. "There weren't a whole lot of people who discussed gay marriage at the time," Anderson says. "It was a very short conversation."

    The two didn't talk again until Anderson was running for mayor in 1999 and the candidate became one of Bastian's causes, collecting $15,000 that year and another $22,500 last year in campaign funds.


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