poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, October 25, 2004

MPs hear call for police support

Representatives of gay and ethnic minority groups in Northern Ireland have urged greater support from the police to deal with attacks on members.

The call was made to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, which is meeting in Belfast to probe hate crime legislation.

MPs heard the police could benefit from training, while Anna Lo of the Chinese Welfare Association said officers can be dismissive of attacks.

The number of racist attacks has doubled in the past year and the gay community has also been targeted.


Religious right wing target Scottish hate crime laws
Ben Townley, UK

New laws that would give lesbian and gay people in Scotland more protection from verbal and physical abuse are being opposed by religious fundamentalist groups, who are calling for the proposed legislation to be dropped.

The legislation, proposed by a working group set up by the Scottish Executive and currently being considered by the country's Justice Minister, will give harsher sentences to those who commit prejudiced crimes based on sexual orientation.

Supported by a wide range of legal and community groups, it is hoped the laws will help crack down on violent attacks on members of Scotland's LGBT community and help make lesbian and gay people feel safer.


Voters should repudiate anti-gay bias
By Deb Price / The Detroit News

The gay-rights genie is out of her bottle. And like those of us who can't imagine returning to the closet after enjoying the freedom of openly gay lives, she's not going back in - regardless of who wins the White House or other contests on Nov. 2.

We can count on the genie to keep performing her magic: Every day, more and more heterosexual Americans come to know openly gay people, come to like us and come to see there's no reason to keep stumbling blocks in our paths as we attempt to lead happy, productive lives. That tidal wave of acceptance will continue to spread no matter how many politicians refuse to play magician's assistant.

Yet the stakes of Election 2004 are huge: The outcome will affect how quickly America ends yet another shameful chapter of discrimination against a group of citizens.
We need more elected officials with the courage to surf that gay-friendly wave. And we need to keep anti-gay bias out of state constitutions, which are far harder to change later than mere laws to keep up with evolving public attitudes.


Denazification in socialist Germany opened door to gay rights
By Leslie Feinberg

Three major English-language sources written over the course of a decade and a half offered rich examples of the advances for gays and lesbians that took place in the German Democratic Republic--"East Germany"--after it was established in 1949.

Canadian historian Jim Steakley wrote the earliest of these accounts, "Gays under Socialism: Male Homosexuality in the German Democratic Republic." The article, containing material from his seven months of research in the GDR during the 1970s, appeared in the December 1976-January 1977 issue of The Body Politic.

A noteworthy contribution of Steakley's extensive research was his initial admonition that each socialist country has local features that it inherits from its past and its material realities.

He was followed by John Parsons, who made four research trips to the GDR over a six-year period. Parsons elaborated on the arduous political task the young workers' state had inherited. In his published findings--a 10-page article entitled "East Germany Faces Its Past: A New Start for Socialist Sexual Politics" (OUT/LOOK, Summer 1989)--he wrote: "The work of both the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee and the Communist Party was put to an end with the Nazi rise to power. Homosexuals, Communists, Social Democrats, and especially Jews were all ruthlessly persecuted and murdered.


Homophobic Jamaica

Earlier this month one of the world's biggest chains of resort hotels in the Caribbean overturned its anti-gay policy and announced that it would now welcome same-sex couples. However, leading figures in Jamaica’s tourism industry are being less than welcoming.
Aloun Assamba, Jamaican tourism minister, told the Guardian: "This is something we are going to have to have discussions about. It has been happening with our entertainers, now it is clear that the lobbyists are going after the tourism sector. It is beginning to close in on us.”

The island's former director of tourism, Desmond Hen, was even more specific in his views, which, surprisingly for a man more used to encouraging tourism, were far from welcoming.


Going Door To Door Against Marriage Amendment
Carla Wade
WTVQ Channel 36

Charity Quillen has a personal and political message she's delivering door to door. Her political message encourages people to vote against amending Kentucky's constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Her person message discourages intolerance.

"It just makes people in the gay community real. People will see these aren't people on the fringes of society."


Gay bishop attacks 'unfair' Church report
By Elizabeth Day

The homosexual bishop whose ordination was criticised by the Windsor Report into the future of the Anglican Communion has condemned it for its "deficiencies and unfairness".

In his first British newspaper interview since the report was published last week, Bishop Gene Robinson, 57, censured the Lambeth Commission for not allowing him to contribute and for not containing a homosexual representative. Bishop Robinson, whose consecration in the American diocese of New Hampshire last November triggered a crisis in the global Anglican Church, told The Telegraph: "Not only was I not called in front of the commission, but my requests to appear were also denied, as were those of other diocesan representatives. There wouldn't have been a commission without my ordination."


Heinz Kerry Grants Exclusive Interview to Gay Media Company After Flap over Comments About Cheney's Openly Lesbian Daughter
As the Vice President Cheney and his wife, Lynne, criticized John Kerry for bringing up their lesbian daughter in the last Presidential debate, Teresa Heinz Kerry granted an exclusive interview to gay media company PlanetOut. In the Oct. 15 interview, Heinz Kerry spoke with PlanetOut senior political correspondent Chris Bull about the Mary Cheney flap, the motives of anti-gay activists, same-sex marriage and how her idea of tolerance differs from President Bush's.

     Teresa Heinz Kerry tells PlanetOut that: "A lot of people, particularly those of the more fundamentalist view, think of homosexuality as a sex thing rather than a sexuality thing. They are really very different. A person doesn't choose their sexuality. For the other side, there's a tinge of the suggestion of sin, of the choice of misbehavior, quote-unquote, which is not the case at all."

     The complete interview is now available online at:

      In his introduction to the interview Bull says of Heinz Kerry: "It is easy to see why she connects with gays and lesbians. Even though she does not have gay children and opposes same-sex marriage, she comes across as the picture of a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) mom, the kind of middle-aged straight woman who gets the warmest reception at Pride parades. If her husband is elected president, she pledges to make gay tolerance a centerpiece of her First Lady duties."


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