For Kuwaitis, gender remains under wraps
In segregated society, transsexual finds self ostracized at every turn
KUWAIT CITY – Her father and brothers beat her. The government suspended her from her job. A group of Muslim fundamentalists screamed abuse at her outside a courtroom.
Her crime: She was born a boy named Ahmed, and is now a tall, 29-year-old blonde who calls herself Amal – Hope.
An overseas sex-change operation has done little to help Amal's struggle for official recognition as a woman in conservative Kuwait. One court ruled for her, another overturned it and now she is going to the Court of Cassation, her last avenue of appeal.
"People see me as a comic case," said Amal. "I wish they could look at me as a human being, someone who was born with a disease."
THE BATTLE OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
Gays say they can win, despite election losses
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer
Despite a bruising rebuke on election day, when voters in 11 states approved constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, advocates for gay rights say that the future is not as bleak as it appears and that they can still win in courts and in the arena of public opinion.
"I think in a moment like this when you feel like you've taken two steps back, the most important approach is to recommit with essentially a double dose of belief and aggressiveness," said Kate Kendell, executive director of National Center for Lesbian Rights. "I do not think this is a time to be cowed. " In the wake of the election day setbacks, Mayor Gavin Newsom has faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats for issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and inspiring a backlash at the polls. Meanwhile, opponents of same-sex marriage are saying that the public has spoken -- and spoken clearly.
It's a far cry from the euphoria gays and lesbians felt in February during San Francisco's same-sex marriage mania. But those on the front lines in the battle over gay rights say they won't let recent defeats stop their fight.
Gay Georgia Southern student targeted with hateful graffiti
The Associated Press - STATESBORO, Ga.
A gay student at Georgia Southern University was targeted by a vandal who spray-painted "fag" and "queer" on his car, the Statesboro Herald reported Saturday.
The crime happened just days after the state's Supreme Court threw out a four-year-old hate crimes law, saying it was overbroad.
Joseph Buckel, 18, told police that when he went outside to his car on Halloween morning it was painted with derogatory words. Someone tagged the gold car with black spray paint.
In addition to the epithets, someone wrote "God Save You" across his car.
Ohio has failed the world
It s ironic, that the citizens of a small insignificant state in middle America for one day had literally the greatest amount of influence on the world's future. Ohio, a state with a track history of voting Republican was in the spotlight on election night. Towards the end of the election, the likes of Tom Brokaw and CNN were predicting Ohio to be another Florida-like mess due to the uncounted provisional ballots, and with that, the assumption of another dragged out election.
In reality, the provisional ballots really weren't the issue because Kerry would have had to have won a statistically impossible 90 percent plus of those votes, which first would have had to be accepted as legitimate.
Kerry, realising the futility of pursuing the provisionals, conceded Wednesday morning in a phone call to George Bush despite John Edwards' reassurance at 2am Tuesday night that they would be counted. Ohio let down half of America and all of the world.
Now I know you must be asking: How can America be so ignorant? How can half of the most prominent nation on earth vote for an outright liar like George W Bush? How can they accept that this is the only administration that has lost jobs in recent times? How can they afford to pay the rising costs of war?
Report: Older Gay Couples At Risk
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
One out of every ten same-sex couples has at least one partner over the age of 65 and that is causing concerns about the economic well-being of gay partners.
In a report prepared by the Urban Institute, researchers found that older same-sex couples struggle with the same retirement issues as heterosexual couples, but do not have the same golden-years security because the government does not recognize them as married.
Heterosexually married senior couples earn 4.3 percent, or $1,056, more in combined household retirement income on average each year than same-sex couples, according to the analysis prepared by the institute.
Same-sex couples 65 and older earn an average of $7,354 each in Social Security income, while each spouse in a heterosexual couple earns an average $7,770, the analysis indicates.
Gay unions gaining acceptance in Vermont
MONTPELIER, Vt. Vermonters appear to be more comfortable with the idea of gay marriage and the reality of civil unions for same-sex couples.
Four years ago an Associated Press exit poll found Vermonters were split 49 percent to 49 percent on whether civil unions were a good idea.
An exit poll done during Tuesday's balloting found that 77 percent of Vermonters support gay marriage of civil unions. Twenty-one percent of those surveyed supported neither.
Two Very Different America's Emerge From Election 2004
by The Associated Press
(Washington) The nation is emerging from the 2004 presidential election with two very different portraits of itself sketched by two very different halves of its population.
George Bush's voters go to church more often than John Kerry's and are more likely to oppose gay marriage and abortion. They are more likely to own guns and to feel better-off financially than they did four years ago.
Sure, they are concerned about terrorism. But they are more concerned about moral values.
Most think things are going well for the United States in Iraq, and that the war has made America more secure.