poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Proposal 2: anti-gay, anti-straight, and anti-trans
by Dawn Wolfe / Between the Lines

DETROIT - Members of the trans community gathered at the American Civil Liberties Union office in Detroit on Oct. 18 to hear about the possible effects of Proposal 2 at an event sponsored by TransGender Michigan.

The news was not good.

According to Jay Kaplan of the ACLU'S LGBT Project, "Any time you have laws limiting marriage, that can complicate things for trans people because it will then be up to judges to define 'gender.'"

Kaplan was joined at the forum by Coalition for a Fair Michigan spokesperson Michelle Brown and Sean Kosofsky, director of policy for the Triangle Foundation.

Kaplan added, "It's possible that if Michigan had to define gender for this purpose that [the state judicial system] could take a very narrow view." Kaplan told the audience that the Michigan Supreme Court has already handed down a decision allowing landlords to discriminate against unmarried tenants.


Blackwell accused of breaking law by pushing same-sex marriage ban
Sandy Theis
Plain Dealer Bureau Chief

Columbus - A complaint filed Thursday accuses Secretary of State Ken Blackwell of breaking the election laws his office is responsible for enforcing.

The dispute, before the Ohio Elections Commission, centers on comments Blackwell made in a recorded telephone message that urges the passage of a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which appears on Tuesday's ballot as Issue 1.

In the message, Blackwell points to studies that show children fare better in households with a mother and father. "That's why government has always recognized marriage between one man and one woman," he says. "Why change that?"

Legal experts agree that Issue 1's passage or defeat would not change Ohio's existing same-sex marriage ban


Don't Know, Don't Care
HIV/AIDS offers one more example of how the health care system is failing Americans.
By Abby Christopher

In these last, heated, days before the election, health care has come to the fore as a major political issue, with George W. Bush raising the specter of health care rationing to put voters off John Kerry, and Kerry pointing to the de facto rationing of flu vaccine as proof of Bush's incompetence. Very little has been said, though, about the continuing problem of HIV/AIDS in this country. This is surprising, because AIDS stands as one more example of how the health care system -- thanks to shortages, budget cuts, government neglect and mismanagement -- is failing Americans.

The topic attracted notice, briefly, during the vice-presidential debate on October 5, when moderator Gwen Ifill, pointing out that black women aged 25-44 are 13 more times more likely than other U.S. women to die of the disease, asked what the government should do to counter the spread of the epidemic. To judge by their halting responses, neither candidate had a clue about the problem. ("I have to say that I was surprised that neither the vice president nor the senator had an answer on this. As a black woman, I also found it depressing," Ifill wrote in an email to shortly after the debate.)


Warning as burglar targets gays
Police are hunting a man who befriends gay men and then burgles their homes.

Several incidents have happened in Brighton, Sussex, where the offender has made friends with men on the gay scene and gets to know where they live.

After becoming familiar with the layout and means to get into the properties he goes on to burgle them at a later date.

The offender is described as white with a tanned complexion, about 6ft, and in his mid to late 30s. He is of a muscular build and has tattoos.


Gay people part of the inner circle now

I was walking around Mount Maunganui at Labour Weekend, on the lovely track at the base of the mountain, writes Denise Irvine, and two middle-aged men out for a similar stroll nodded and said hello as they passed by.

One was Maori and one Asian, and they were unremarkable apart from the fact that they were casually holding hands. Like another older couple, a man and woman, I'd overtaken a few minutes earlier. The thought popped into my head that the two men were rather brave, announcing their relationship to the scores of other weekend walkers.


New Poll Shows Shift in Military Attitudes Toward Gays

Fifty percent of junior enlisted service members say that gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey. The number is a significant increase since 1992, when two similar surveys found 16 percent of male service members held the same view.

The Annenberg poll follows a report last week from the Urban Institute which estimates 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans serve in the armed forces. “Despite the military’s gay ban, service members have seen first hand the contributions of lesbian and gay Americans,” said Sharra E. Greer, Director of Law and Policy for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN). “Heterosexual service members serve alongside lesbian and gay colleagues every day and they are increasingly comfortable doing so.”


Gays ‘viable’ in races nationwide
Idaho, Carolinas eyed as ‘breakthroughs’

Most gay political activists, like their straight counterparts, will likely be riveted to television sets on election night watching the returns in a presidential race expected to have a major impact on gay rights issues.


The Soldiers Who Said No
by Tom Robbins

No matter how the military ultimately decides to deal with Staff Sergeant Michael Butler for disobeying orders, once the war in Iraq is through with him, he'll be welcomed home by an adoring family and the big yellow ribbon that is pinned to the tall long-leaf pine tree outside his one-story brick house in Jackson, Mississippi.



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