poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Evangelicals threaten to 'ruin' C of E over gay canon
By Elizabeth Day
(Evangelical Anglican churches are threatening the Church of England with financial ruin in protest at the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John, a homosexual, as the Dean of St Albans Cathedral.

Several parish churches in the Diocese of St Albans are planning to cap their financial quota contributions after Dr John's elevation, accusing the Church of pursuing "a homosexual agenda".

Their move could leave the diocese several thousand pounds out of pocket. It relies on the "parish share" to provide more than £7 million annually to pay for stipends, pensions and some administrative costs.

Each parish is given a "quota" that it is expected to pay to the diocese every year, depending on the number of its parishioners. If it raises more money than its allotted quota, this too goes to the diocese - and it is this contribution that the evangelical churches are threatening to cap.


Romney Won't Let Gay Outsiders Wed in Massachusetts
BOSTON, April 24 — Same-sex couples who live outside Massachusetts will not be able to marry in Massachusetts when gay marriage becomes legal here next month, Gov. Mitt Romney said.

"Massachusetts should not become the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage," Mr. Romney said in an interview on Friday. "We do not intend to export our marriage confusion to the entire nation."

The governor's decision could mean disappointment for thousands of couples from all over the country who had planned to marry when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage.

Mr. Romney said he was basing his decision on a 48-word law, adopted in 1913, which says that the state cannot marry an out-of-state couple if their marriage would be "void" in their home state. He says he plans to enforce his interpretation of the law by rewriting the application forms necessary for a marriage license, requiring evidence, for example, of where a couple lives or plans to live.


TWO CALLS FOR CREATIVE WORK--QP:queerpoetry and biMagazine

QP:queerpoetry at

Issue Four: Queer/Woman

We invite submissions of queer poetry of any form or length by women. This
special issue of QP will include poetry by women only. Sorry guys; you are
loved and appreciated, but women have been underrepresented in QP because we
have received few submissions by women. Please note that the editors are
queer and one is a woman, and we define these categories differently on
different days. Therefore, if you believe you have a poem—or several
poems—that might be suited to this special issue, please send it—or them.
Submit work to Michelle Gibson at or Jonathan
Alexander at


We invite submissions of fiction and/or poetry for a new publication,
biMagazine, published online at
Work submitted
should deal substantively and creatively with bisexuality or bi-eroticism.
Poetry may be in any form or style (1-2 page limit per poem), and fiction
may be in the form of flash fiction or short stories no more than 20 pages
in length. Payment for fiction published is possible. For more
information, or to submit work electronically (in Word), contact the Fiction
and Poetry editor, Jonathan Alexander, at Include a brief
bio (100 words), listing recent or selected publications.


Jonathan Alexander

Hetero-Speed Bumps
By Cam Lindquist
There are little details of life that we tend to just take for granted. Little things that don’t quite fit who we are, but we accept them because “that’s the way it has always been.” And not just Gay people. Like, do you have to check the “divorced” box on medical or legal forms for your entire life if you never remarry? When are you considered single again? What exactly is the length of time you are stuck with a label which carries such societal taboos?

I promise this isn’t just another column about gay marriage, but what about Gay people? Are the majority of us destined to check “single” for eternity? Will we always have to check the “divorced” box because of one youthful effort to “de-gay” and please the family? That one error in judgment shouldn’t condemn a person to a lifetime of remembering a humiliating experience. On the other hand, it’s funny how one person’s pain can be another’s triumph; as Suzie longs to forget her married youth and just check “single” again, Chris crosses out the “married” and pencils in “partnered” in an effort to change his own label.

These little details plague our lives and chisel away at our self respect, well being, and feelings of self-worth. I have heard it called homophobia, but that is a misnomer. These types of situations are actually examples of heterosexism.

Heterosexism is defined by the American Social Workers Association as any system or program that values the aspects of a heterosexual lifestyle over a homosexual lifestyle.


Women's movement offers lessons to gays
By Danielle Grote
PGN Staff Writer
© 2004 Philadelphia Gay News
When feminists descend on Washington, D.C., April 25 for the national March for Women''s Lives, they will be flanked by gay community supporters.

Both the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are co-sponsors of the march, which is expected to attract about 1.25 million people.

As the gay-rights movement gains momentum, community activists can take lessons from the older, more advanced women''s rights movement.

With a shared constitutional protection - the right to privacy guarantees both a woman''s right to choose and the rights of lesbians and gays to have sex - the movements have much in common.
But there are also differences between the movements.

Three national leaders - National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy, NARAL Pro-Choice America president Kate Michelman, and Feminist Majority president Eleanor Smeal - recently discussed their organizations and their relationships with the gay-rights movement.


Another Texas Representative Attacks Same-Sex Marriage
By Christopher Curtis
Texas State Representative Corbin Van Arsdale, the Republican who represents district 130 in Northwest Harris County, introduced a resolution supporting a ban on same-sex marriage on April 16.

Currently being considered by the Juvenile Justice & Family Issues House Committee, the resolution asks the Congress to support the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA).

The FMA, which was introduced in May by Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., was revised late March to allow for civil unions in attempt to get additional sponsors.

The revised bill reads: “Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any state, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”


State Senator Dibble speaks on GLBT issues
Minnesota State Senator Scott Dibble, the only openly gay member of the Minnesota Senate, spoke to Macalester students on Thursday, April 1. Macalester Democrats sponsored the event.

Senator Dibble (Democratic-Farmer-Labor-Minneapolis) spoke on the issue of same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Senator Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) recently proposed a bill that would place on the November ballot an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

The bill passed the Minnesota House of Representatives but failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has ended traditional action on the bill for this session.

Dibble spoke on his views of the political movement supporting the amendment and how it has shrouded the public from the real issues of the upcoming election.


D.C. protesters rally for various causes
WASHINGTON -- Banging buckets and the most agile doing cartwheels, protesters rallied Saturday against trade deals, Third World debt and war, taking those messages and more to the streets in numbers diminished from past years.

Peaceful and festive, a crowd of about 1,000 marched past the offices of multinational corporations they hold responsible for exploiting the poor, chanting "shame, shame" along the way.

The demonstrations are a spring ritual tied to the meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and, as always, the causes were varied. Protesters came to shout against the U.S. occupation of Iraq, sweatshop labor abroad, the policies of President Bush and much else.

"It's important to send a message in opposition to the poverty and misery that institutions like the World Bank and IMF force around the world," said David Thurston, 25, of New York City, an organizer from the International Socialist Organization.

Keeping Montrose streets safe
When the moon comes up, volunteers take to the streets to keep transgender prostitutes safe
Leaning against the dusty brick wall of a Montrose area convenience store, two transgender streetwalkers warily track Paige Mahogany’s beeline toward them. The short, heavyset one looks away, but her tall, willowy companion faces the rapidly approaching newcomer.

After a short introduction, Mahogany props a hard, dark fist on one voluptuous hip and rolls out her message. She uses street slang and punctuates her boldest comments with a no-nonsense roll of her head.

“Look, I’ve been out here,” she says. “You can ask any of the older girls. But I got out because it’s no place to be. You got people out here that just wanna take advantage of you and rob you.”

The tall one, pouting her glossy lips and peering through her feathery, false eyelashes murmurs sarcastically, “Oh, that’s really bad.” She glances

'Day of Silence' questioned
Principal plans to discuss teachers' participation in gay rights event
The principal at Huron High School questions whether or not two teachers who participated Wednesday in a Day of Silence to advocate for gay rights should be allowed to do it again next year.

However, district officials have no policy against political activism in the classroom.

Principal Arthur Williams said he plans to have a group discussion with teachers and administrators about expectations regarding teachers' political activism in the classroom.

"I think you can talk about the various sides of the issue without advocating for any," said Williams, who added he would not be in favor of teacher participation in a Day of Silence against racism, sexism or any other social or political cause.


PTAs support gay unions
By Joshua L. Kwan
Mercury News
Kate Hill said she was moved when she heard a panel of Peninsula high school students talk two months ago about the discrimination they faced as gay kids.

So Hill, president of the Palo Alto Council of Parent Teacher Associations, last week presented a resolution opposing any laws or amendments to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The board passed it, becoming the first PTA board in the country to support gay marriage and urge the national organization to follow suit.

A spokeswoman at the national PTA headquarters in Chicago said the organization, with 23,000 chapters around the country, is unaware of any similar resolutions.

Bay Area gay parents and their children reacted Friday with surprise and enthusiasm when told by the Mercury News that Palo Alto's coalition of 17 PTA groups had adopted this stance. The resolution does not alter district policy, and it's not clear what effect it might have on students' lives.

``I think it allows people to feel more comfortable to be who they are,'' said Dey Rose, a gay parent of two children in the Palo Alto school district and a drama teacher at Terman Middle School. ``It's wonderful that they take a stand and say this is the right thing to do.''


this gov. needs to be voted out of office...

Romney chides Legislature on gay marriage
By Raphael Lewis, Globe Staff
Governor Mitt Romney suggested yesterday that the Legislature's proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is merely a facade, because lawmakers refuse to allow him to go before the state's high court and seek a stay of the landmark Nov. 18 ruling that legalized same-sex matrimony.

Although lawmakers passed the amendment last month, it must be passed again in the next legislative session and win approval at the ballot box in the November 2006 general election before it can become law.

That means that gay marriage will be legal in this state for at least the next 2 1/2 years.

"I'm wondering whether the first step they took, which was to pass an amendment, was a facade or was it a real effort to limit marriage to a relationship between man and a woman," Romney said. "If it is a real effort with real intent, then the Legislature will give me the occasion to reach the Supreme Court and ask for a stay. Otherwise, we will have same-sex marriage in Massachusetts without a decision of the people."

Romney ratcheted up his rhetoric a day after the Senate, under the leadership of President Robert E. Travaglini, refused to consider an emergency bill the governor filed earlier this month seeking special power to go before the Supreme Judicial Court to seek a stay of its ruling before it goes into effect on May 17.


City panel faces cases alleging anti-gay bias
Complaints lodged against Druid Hills Golf Club, AJC, Blake’s
As officials from Druid Hills Golf Club prepare to enter into mediation with two gay members over a discrimination complaint, a former employee has alleged that his sexual orientation contributed to his dismissal from the golf club last month.

The city of Atlanta’s Human Relations Commission ruled in January that the golf club discriminated against gay members Lee Kyser and Randy New by not granting to their domestic partners the same benefits given to members’ spouses.

The commission sent its findings to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is responsible for issuing sanctions — from a written reprimand to revocation of business and liquor licenses — to companies that violate the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Franklin instead recommended the two parties enter into mediation.


Gay issue to dominate Methodist conference
100 resolutions seek to solidify or change policy on homosexuals in the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination By KEVIN ECKSTROM
Setting the stage for the 11-day meeting was the recent acquittal of a lesbian pastor, the Rev. Karen Dammann, in Washington state. She was charged with violating the church's ban on "self-avowed practicing" gay clergy.

Some 1,600 pieces of legislation on a host of issues will be considered by the 998 delegates representing the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination. Officials say at least 100 different resolutions seek to solidify or change gay policy in the 10.2 million-member church.

"If people were hoping this would be a quieter conference, the Karen Dammann decision made that impossible," said the Rev. Troy Plummer, director of the gay-friendly Reconciling Ministries Network.


Gay refugee claimants seeking haven in Canada
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Canada is seeing a surge in the number of refugee claimants who say they are homosexuals and will be persecuted if they are returned to their homelands.

In the past three years, nearly 2,500 people from 75 different countries have sought asylum on the basis of sexual orientation, according to information released under the Access to Information Act.

It is not known how many have been allowed to stay in Canada; the Immigration and Refugee Board does not track acceptance rates by case type.

The surge in applications is being driven both by bogus claims and a growing view of Canada as a haven for persecuted homosexuals, refugee experts say.

The largest number came from Mexico, with 602, and Costa Rica, with 276 — both democracies with thriving homosexual communities, annual Gay Pride Day parades and websites offering everything from gay weddings to gay tour operators.

Many claimants also come from Muslim countries, where homosexuality is outlawed, while a small number hail from Ireland, Britain, the United States and even the Netherlands, one of the few countries to legalize gay marriage.


Evangelical backlash over gay dean
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Church of England conservatives have called for an urgent meeting with Tony Blair to express their fury at the appointment of the homosexual cleric Dr Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans. 

Dr John will continue pressing for the blessing of same-sex unions

In a letter to the Prime Minister, they expressed their concern that Downing Street was deliberately attempting to steer the Church in a more liberal direction on homosexuality.

The post of dean is in the sole gift of the Prime Minister, although senior churchmen such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, are consulted.

It initially appeared that the appointment of Dr John would be far less controversial than his nomination as Bishop of Reading last summer, but a powerful backlash is now under way. Evangelicals in the diocese of St Albans are considering barring the Bishop, the Rt Rev Herbert, from their parishes because of his support for Dr John.


French mayor to conduct same-sex wedding
Ben Townley, U.K.
France is set to have its first same-sex wedding this summer because a small-town mayor took exception to the lack of access to marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

Noel Mamere, mayor of the town of Begles in southwest France, has said he will conduct the ceremony for the two men in June, after finding no laws in the country that could block it. France has offered civil unions, similar in the rights and responsibilities to England's currently debated Civil Partnerships Bill, since 2000.


Friday, April 23, 2004

War Crimes
By Traci Hukill, AlterNet
News this winter that 112 women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan reported having been sexually assaulted by fellow U.S. soldiers in the last 18 months shocked the public and shamed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld into appointing a task force to investigate the matter. The task force, headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Ellen Embrey, is due to present its findings to Rumsfeld on April 30. The team is highly regarded, and victim advocates say they have faith in members' commitment to the job. The question is: Will anyone listen to what they have to say?

The answer is a disappointing "probably not." Sex scandals have rocked the military with dismaying regularity in the last 13 years; in 1991, when dozens of women in uniform were harassed and some sexually assaulted at the Navy's Tailhook Association convention; in 1993, when reports of rape first emerged at the Air Force Academy; in 1994, when the General Accounting Office found widespread harassment of female cadets at West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy; in 1997, when drill sergeants at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland were accused of raping and assaulting dozens of female recruits; in 2003, with fresh allegations of rape and coercion at the Air Force Academy.

Each of these eruptions has provoked an outraged response, a commission, a task force, a report. Christine Hansen, executive director of the Miles Foundation, which provides services to victims of violence associated with the armed services, counts 20 in the last 17 years.

"In all of these recommendations, we have seen very few of them implemented," Hansen says. "Our concern is, at what priority level is this?"


Reproductive Freedom is a Gay Issue - Now, More than Ever
WASHINGTON - April 23 - This Sunday (April 25) the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force will join hundreds of thousands of Americans in Washington D.C. for the March for Women's Lives in support of reproductive health and reproductive freedom. The Task Force is the oldest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights and advocacy organization.

"We are proud to be a part of the 'March for Women's Lives' this Sunday. For nearly 30 years, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has considered reproductive freedom a 'gay' issue," said Matt Foreman, Task Force executive director. "Today, that reality is more evident than ever before, as is the necessity that we join together. Our right to have private, consensual sex - won in last summer's U.S. Supreme Court Lawrence v. Texas decision - will be lost if Roe v. Wade falls under the right's persistent onslaught. Likewise, the enemies of reproductive freedom are the very same people we battle every day in trying to win equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Finally, the Bush Administration's war on gay America - including his support to amend the U.S. Constitution to deny equal marriage rights to our community - is inextricably tied to the administration's assault on reproductive freedom - from 'abstinence only' programs, to the multi-million dollar 'marriage promotion' plan, to his 'every child deserves a mother and a father' mantra."


Proposed amendment would ban more than same-sex marriage
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gay-rights advocates and same-sex marriage opponents alike say a proposed Ohio constitutional amendment would have a far broader effect than banning gay marriage.

That's exactly the intent, the attorney who wrote the proposal said Friday.

The amendment seeks to bar any type of civil unions or the legal privileges of marriage to any cohabiting couple, said David R. Langdon of Cincinnati, attorney for the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage. For example, it likely would nullify a domestic-benefits registry in Cleveland Heights.

"This isn't necessarily just geared at same-sex couples," Langdon said.


Group Plans Push For Amendment To Ban Same-Sex Marriage
A group opposed to same-sex marriages says the state ban isn't enough, so members are trying to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Ohio's law banning same-sex marriage that goes into effect next month could be weakened by the courts, said David R. Langdon of Cincinnati, the attorney for the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage.

The group submitted 218 signatures on a sample petition to Attorney General Jim Petro's office Tuesday. If 100 are verified, the group can begin collecting the signatures of 315,000 registered Ohio voters required by Aug. 4 to put an initiative on the ballot.

Opposition Mounting Michigan Bill That Could Deny Gays Health Care
by Newscenter Staff
(Lansing, Michigan)  Some Michigan legislators are calling for amendments to a bill passed in the state House this week that could allow doctors and nurses who object to homosexuality to deny gays treatment or prescription drugs.

As reported first by, the Conscientious Objector Policy Act would allow health care providers to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.

The bill was aimed at allowing doctors opposed to abortion or stem cell research to refuse the procedures, but opponents of the legislation say it is so loosely worded it could be used to refuse treatment to gays.   

During debate in the legislature Rep. Chris Kolb (D-Ann Arbor) the first openly gay legislator in Michigan, pointed out that while the legislation prohibits racial discrimination by health care providers, it doesn't ban discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation.


Musgrave's home state ducks vote on gay marriage
Lawmakers in U.S. representative Marilyn Musgrave's home state of Colorado effectively killed a resolution Friday supporting her proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw same-sex marriages.
The measure has been awaiting a vote since it was introduced in February. Lawmakers had said it probably didn't have enough support to pass, but some wanted to begin the debate on what has become a national issue.

However, state representative Brad Young, who lives in Musgrave's district, suggested delaying action on the bill until May 6, the day after the legislative session ends, a maneuver sometimes used to avoid a vote on controversial topics. Young said he was worried the resolution wouldn't pass the 65-member house, a chamber where Musgrave, a Colorado Republican, once served. "I'm concerned if that scoreboard doesn't show 33 votes," he said, referring to the electronic board that displays members' votes.

Gay organizations join abortion rights march
Organizers expect more than 750,000 to rally on Sunday
Beyond the manuscript-length march permit, the lengthy volunteer lists and the little piles of buttons on her desk, feminist organizer Alice Cohan keeps a very telling photograph. It’s not a picture of her partner, or a close family member, but that of another Alice — Alice Paul, the chief strategist of the suffrage movement and author of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Paul has been a heroine of Cohan’s since her early days at the Feminist Majority, and she said she looks at the black-and-white photo whenever she needs a reason to continue her work advocating for reproductive rights. It was taken long before Cohan, 53, actually met and got to know the legendary feminist, but Cohan said Paul was no less feisty on matters of emancipation for women.

“I remember visiting her in the nursing home, wanting to talk about her days fighting for women’s right to vote,” Cohan said. “She would always interrupt me to talk about strategy for amending the Equal Rights Amendment and more ways to further women’s causes.”


Transgender Cop Gets $90,000 in Harassment Case
By Greg Frost
BOSTON (Reuters) - A Vermont police officer who quit his job because of harassment over a sex change he had 40 years ago will receive $90,000 from a Vermont town in a settlement announced on Friday.

Anthony Barreto-Neto, who changed sex to become a man in 1964 at age 17, filed a complaint with Vermont's attorney general last year alleging discrimination by his employer, the Hardwick Municipal Police Department.

Lawyers for Barreto-Neto said that shortly after he began his job in April 2002, town officials discovered a Web site describing him as "transsexual." The officials believed this made him unable to do his job and asked his colleagues to make life so unpleasant for him that he would leave, lawyers said.

City's lawyers answer court
State argues S.F. should refund marriage-license fees
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court should leave intact the marriages of 4,000 same-sex couples even if it rules that Mayor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority by approving their marriage licenses, the city of San Francisco has told the court.

In response to a question posed by the justices last week, city lawyers said Wednesday that declaring the City Hall weddings invalid would be premature while the state's marriage law was under legal attack; would be unfair to the couples, who aren't parties to the case; and would be "a green light for discrimination.''

But Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office and an organization opposing same-sex marriage said the court should not recognize marriages performed in violation of state law.


Gay marriage recognition block OK'd
By Anne Saunders
Associated Press
CONCORD - After two days of debate, a legislative committee on Wednesday voted 13-8 in favor of a law to block recognition of gay marriages.

The issue is expected to go before the full House next week. It comes in response to a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision giving gay couples the right to marry there starting May 17. Many lawmakers fear New Hampshire would be forced to honor those marriages.

"This is the most hateful and homophobic legislation this General Court has passed," said Mo Baxley, who works for the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition.


Foes of gay marriage seek Ohio ballot issue Vote on amendment would be Nov. 2
COLUMBUS - Supporters of a constitutional amendment to strengthen Ohio's ban on gay marriage want to put the issue on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

David R. Langdon, an attorney who represents the conservative group Citizens for Community Values, submitted a proposed initiative petition this week to the attorney general. That state office is in charge of judging whether the petition's summary is "fair and truthful."

The proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution would say: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions.

"This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, or significance or effect of marriage," according to the text.


Lawyer defends same-sex marriages
The state Supreme Court has no right to invalidate the more than 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued by San Francisco this winter, San Francisco city attorneys told justices in documents filed Wednesday.

With the court contemplating whether city officials had the right to break state law by issuing the licenses, justices asked the city last week to suggest what to do about gay and lesbian couples who were married before ceremonies were suspended last month.

Because the high court has not been asked to decide whether a ban on gay marriages violates the state constitution, justices are not allowed to invalidate the licenses, City Attorney Dennis Herrera wrote.

"This court should not reach out and decide an issue it has not been asked to decide at this juncture," Herrera wrote.


‘Marriage Summit’ called to combat anti-gay state laws
D.C. organizer faults national gay groups for lack of coordination
Representatives of gay advocacy groups from at least 31 states were scheduled to convene a “Marriage Summit” at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., this weekend, where they hoped to map a coordinated strategy for combating anti-gay marriage laws in all 50 states.

“We will draft a plan for each state,” said Christopher Neff, a D.C. gay activist and member of the executive committee for the Federation of Statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Advocacy Organizations, which is organizing the summit.

Neff said the federation, which operates on a shoestring budget, is concerned that the nation’s largest and wealthiest national gay organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, have yet to develop a coordinated plan for advancing equal marriage rights for gays in the states.

With proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage on the ballots in at least three states in November, and similar amendments likely in other states, Neff said he conducted an informal survey of national gay groups in February to determine their plans for responding to these threats.


Mayor withholds marriage opinion
Williams feeling pressure from gays on both sides on marriage
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams revealed this week that the city’s corporation counsel has sent him a draft legal opinion on whether District law allows or requires the city to recognize marriages licenses issued to gay couples in other states, but Williams declined to disclose what the opinion says.

“He’s sent me a draft opinion and we’re reviewing it,” Williams said at an April 21 news conference, in response to a question from the Blade.

“We’re going to be discussing it and deliberating on it and at the appropriate time I’ll certainly let you and everybody else know where we are on this important issue,” the mayor said.


Protesters demand meeting withMusgrave
Police escort six students from congresswoman’s office
A loose coalition of students from D.C.-area universities entered the congressional office of Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) on Wednesday and demanded a meeting with the congresswoman. The meeting never happened, and the students were finally escorted out of the office by Capitol Hill police officers.

The students, members of a newly formed coalition, the Student Equal Rights Campaign, hail from a variety of schools in the District, including American, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities. They demanded a meeting with Musgrave, who is the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would federally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


House passes gay marriage amendment
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The House on Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage -- a move supporters said would guard against activist judges but which opponents criticized as discriminatory. On a 124-19 announced vote, the House sent its version of the proposed amendment of the Missouri Constitution to the Senate. The Senate has passed a simpler version, with the same intent, and that bill is pending in the House.


Rep. files gay marriage resolution
By Cyndee-Nga Trinh
State Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, R-Cypress, has filed HCR1, a resolution that supports amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and woman.

"Once marriage is opened up for any particular group, then all other particular groups will get in, and there will no longer be an institution of marriage," Van Arsdale said Thursday.


50 diverse couples take part in Weddings for Marriage Equality
By Cyndee-Nga Trinh
Emily Scheer, a human relations senior, and Sarah Tilton held hands under an orange-and-white balloon archway and pledged their commitment to one another on the steps in front of the George Washington statue on the Main Mall on Thursday afternoon. Their "marriage" was blessed by the Rev. Jim Rigby, pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

About 50 "marriage certificates" were issued by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Affairs Agency at the Weddings for Marriage Equality demonstration. The demonstration was also sponsored by the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas and the Austin Coalition for Marriage Equality.

These certificates affirmed the couples' "conviction that no couple should should be denied the right to marry and, by participating in these Weddings for Marriage Equality, demonstrate their commitment to equality."

Ellen takes Sandals cash
Resort that bans gay couples advertises on lesbian’s talk show
Sandals Resorts, the Caribbean vacation company that bars gays from its couples-only resorts, purchased advertisements in some local markets during “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” a syndicated talk show hosted by lesbian entertainer Ellen DeGeneres.

It seems an odd choice, since DeGeneres and partner Alexandra Hedison would be banned from most Sandals resorts.

Officials with Sandals Resorts did not respond to interview requests. In the past, company officials have said gay couples are excluded from many of its properties to meet the mission from the company’s founder, who “had a vision of a boy and girl together.”


Store settles gay bias charges
Blockbluster Inc. has agreed to pay $78,750 to settle the case of a former employee who says he was harassed by managers at two St. Paul video stores because he is gay.

The settlement is believed to be the largest the Minnesota Human Rights Department has ever obtained in a case involving discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Jeffrey Davis of St. Paul filed two charges of discrimination in November 2002 with the department of human rights, alleging that he was subjected to ongoing harassment while working at a Blockbuster video store in the Midway area and at one on Grand Avenue.

In his charges, he details how he was called "the fag with the rainbow on his car," subjected to numerous other derogatory references to his sexuality, physically assaulted by a Blockbuster co-worker and faced with retaliation when he complained to Blockbuster's management.

Protections for transgendered close to approval
By Heather Keels
The push to add "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the list of discrimination protections in the university's Human Relations Code overcame a major obstacle last week when the state attorney general's office approved a revised draft of the changes.

The efforts had been stalled since February, when University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan decided not to approve the addition because of a warning from the attorney general's office that the language was too vague, and there was no legal precedent for that type of protection.

After university officials revised the proposed addition to include more specific language, the attorney general's office returned a positive recommendation April 15. To take effect, the revised proposal must be approved by the University Senate, university President Dan Mote and Kirwan.

The final approval must come from the state Board of Regents because of a 30-year-old policy that no protections be added that do not already exist under federal, state or local law.

Anti-Gay Referendum In Trouble
by Newscenter Staff
(Portland, Oregon)  A ballot initiative that would amend the Oregon constitution to ban same-sex marriage is being challenged in court as misleading.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the conservative group trying to put the question to voters this November has framed the question in such a way that its wording doesn't fully convey the scope and effect of the measure.  

The ACLU wants the Oregon Supreme Court to disallow the initiative or order it to be rewritten. It's motion notes that the ballot question does not inform voters that the measure would "short-circuit" the legal proceedings already under way.

"The ballot title should tell voters that the measure would eliminate the ability of same-sex couples to at least make that argument in court," said Dave Fidanque, the Oregon director of ACLU.


Pair Stage Protest In Central Park
by Newscenter Staff
(New York City) Two people reportedly demonstrating for transgendered rights climbed a tree in New York's Central Park late Thursday afternoon, keeping police at bay for more than four hours.

Hundreds of people crowded around the 55-foot larch tree next to the Chess and Checkers House at 53rd Street to watch the pair, a 32 year old in a black skirt, and a 17 year old in a tong.

As police tried to coax them down the two climbed higher and then out onto a  branch about 40 feet up where they had oral sex before the cheering throng. 

Police set up inflatable mats on the ground and sent hostage negotiators up the tree to talk to the pair. 


Details speaks to "Gay or Asian" outrage
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York, and a representative from Asian Pacific Islanders for Human Rights met Thursday with an editorial group from Details magazine to discuss the publication of the magazine's controversial article "Gay or Asian." The article, which ran in the magazine's April issue, outraged activists by playing into racial and sexual stereotypes of both Asian gays and lesbians and the larger gay community.

"We made very clear the damaging effects the 'Gay or Asian' feature had on the LGBT API community, explaining how the piece made gay APIs feel like they had to choose between the two communities, how it made them feel invisible, and how it exacerbated homophobia in the API community while playing on racial stereotypes in the LGBT community and mainstream society at large," said John Won, cochair of Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York, after the meeting.

According to editor in chief Dan Peres, Details will run a full-page apology in an upcoming issue and move forward in a more sensitive manner in featuring stories on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people as well as Asians and Pacific Islanders. Peres also encouraged API and LGBT people to "call him out" if the magazine does not follow through on his stated commitment to more inclusive coverage. Both parties plan to meet in six to eight months to discuss the magazine's progress.

Crossing the Lines
Riki Wilchins and GenderPAC take up the cause of gender rights in both politics and culture
by Sean Bugg
If you work hard enough and long enough at something, then it's not a surprise when you find your efforts succeeding. For Riki Wilchins and GenderPAC, the time seems to be right.

"There's a general social awareness around gender issues that's reached critical mass," she says. "This is an issue whose time has come."

Wilchins, 52, is the founding executive director of GenderPAC -- short for Gender Public Advocacy Coalition -- which next week convenes its fourth annual National Conference on Gender and ninth annual Gender Lobby Day. About 1,500 people will arrive from across the country to share their stories and experiences with each other and their elected representatives.

Although many may assume at first glance that GenderPAC is a GLBT organization, that's not a fully accurate description of the group's work.

"We work to end discrimination and violence caused by gender stereotypes," says Wilchins. "It's an uber-issue that crosses groups."


Thursday, April 22, 2004

Latino show support for same-sex marriage
(Hartford-WTNH,) _ Leaders and members of the Latino community are calling for the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Same sex marriage is an issue that stirs a lot of emotions on both sides. Today the push for the right to marry is coming from the Latino community. We talked to one couple who've been waiting for that right for years.

Bessy Reyna and Susan Holmes have been a couple for 30-years. They're hoping some day Connecticut will allow them to be married.

"It's a validation that we're not able to have that heterosexual people have," Holmes said.

They say a marriage certificate is more important than people realize. Because they don't have the same rights they worry what would happen if one or both of them are ever hurt or in an accident.

"We are at the mercy of people in the hospital to let us see each other," Reyna said. "It's the little things people don't think about that are daily concerns for gay people."

Transsexual Unions Volatile Testing Ground For Gay Marriage
Michael Christopher Bryan

As the issue of gay marriage continues to divide heterosexual Americans, a new twist is appearing on the horizon: transsexual couples who remain married or wish to become married after changing genders.

"If the Orwellian religious right has their way, they could pull the plug on all of us,'' said Fran Bennett, a once-popular Bay Area disc jockey known as "Weird Old Uncle Frank." Bennett made national headlines in 2002 when she announced her transition from male to female, reported the Mercury Newspaper in a special report Tuesday.

Bennett, and her partner, Erika Taylor, say they are feeling a general sense of unease as President Bush continues to push for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"Middle America is having a hard enough time with just plain old vanilla gay marriage,'' said Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, noting the difficulty many have in discussing transsexual marriage along side same-sex marriage. But transsexual unions are not likely to go away.

In the state of California alone, recent polls show between 35,000 to 60,000 recognized transsexuals have applied for gender reassignment via state identification and renewed birth certificates.


First French Gay Wedding Set for June

PARIS (Reuters) - A leading Green politician said on Thursday he would conduct the first same-sex wedding in France this June, a move likely to be opposed by religious leaders in the traditionally Catholic country.

Noel Mamere said he would unite two gay men living in a district of Begles, a suburb of the southwestern city of Bordeaux, of which he is mayor.

In France, couples must undergo a civil wedding conducted by their local mayor for their union to be legal.

"There's nothing extraordinary about marrying two people of the same sex in the European Union, because Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands have done it already and the new Spanish prime minister...has put it in his political program," Mamere said.


Nothing much worse then being in the land o-bigots…. And being queer…..I still think all queer flokz need to leave those hate fill communities and more to more humane communities… fuck kansas….

Gast case to get non-jury trial
By CONNIE PARISH, Times Staff Writer
Sandy Clarissa Gast will have a trial in Leavenworth County District Court, but a jury won't decide whether she was guilty of false swearing when she applied in February for a license to marry Georgi Somers.

Instead, the trial -- expected in late July or August -- will be to the court, Judge Frederick Stewart ruled Wednesday.

Gast's lawyer, Topeka attorney Pedro Irigonegaray, filed a motion for a jury trial on March 31, when he first appeared in court with his client. He is acting on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union in representing the Leavenworth transsexual, who was accused of lying about gender on the marriage application.

Noted Children's Dr. Speaks Out On Anti-Gay Amendment
by Doreen Brandt Newscenter
Washington Bureau
(Washington, D.C.) A prominent pediatrician Thursday told the House Judiciary Committee that a proposed amendment to the US Constitution to ban same-sex marriage would endanger children.

"Will the proposed amendment support the welfare of all families and all American children, including those hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are gay or lesbian," asked Dr. Jill Joseph, a pediatrician at Children's National Medical Center.

"With all due respect, for me as a pediatrician, the answer is clear. The Federal Marriage Amendment will only hurt the well-being of children in this country."

Jurors hear more about night teen was killed
Associated Press
HAYWARD, Calif. - A man who was at the house where transgender teen Eddie "Gwen" Araujo was killed, testified Thursday he tried to push her out the door to safety in the chaos that followed the discovery that she was biologically male.
But Emmanuel Merel said he was blocked by two other men, Michael Magidson and Jaron Nabors.
"I'm not necessarily sure how they stopped both of us at that time. I know that their force was what stopped us from getting her out the door," he said.
Prosecutors say Araujo was beaten, kicked, choked and strangled after the acquaintances who knew her as "Lida" discovered she was biologically male. Merel and Magidson had sexual encounters with Araujo, according to earlier testimony, and the denouement came in an angry confrontation the night of Oct. 3, 2002.

Goguen files bill to oust judges

By Jennifer Fenn, Sentinel & Enterprise Statehouse Bureau
BOSTON -- State Rep. Emile Goguen filed a resolution Wednesday asking the governor to remove the four Supreme Judicial Court justices who ruled in favor of gay marriage, but the Fitchburg Democrat's proposal has a difficult road ahead.
Meanwhile, a Worcester lawmaker plans to file a bill this afternoon that would repeal a 1913 state law that puts restrictions on out-of-state residents seeking to marry in Massachusetts. The law is expected to play a role in who will be allowed to marry when same-sex couples start applying for marriage licenses next month.

Tennessee AG rules state has no law against civil unions
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - There is not a law against the civil union of gays and lesbians in Tennessee but the unions are not legally recognized, the state's attorney general said.

The opinion Wednesday by Tennessee Attorney General Paul Summers will not prevent efforts next year to pass a law prohibiting same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships, said state Sen. Jeff Miller, R-Cleveland.

Civil union opponents say they are worried homosexuals will attempt to sue for rights and have a Tennessee court recognize them.

"It will be a cruel joke to most Tennesseans if civil unions slide in through the back door without us doing something about it," said Miller, who sponsored an anti-civil union measure that failed in the House this year.


Missouri House passes amendment barring gay marriage
By Kelly Wiese
Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The House on Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage -- a move supporters said would guard against activist judges but which opponents criticized as discriminatory.

On a 124-19 announced vote, the House sent its version of the proposed amendment of the Missouri Constitution to the Senate. The Senate has passed a simpler version, with the same intent, and that bill is pending in the House.

If the House and Senate eventually agree on the same language, the proposed amendment would go on the November ballot unless Gov. Bob Holden sets the matter for a special election.

Missouri already has a state law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.


ACLU Criticizes Anti-Gay Comments by New York Governor George Pataki...
Statement of Matt Coles, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.
"Governor George Pataki was way out of line in his disparaging comments about same-sex marriage, as reported today by Associated Press. The governor may think it's funny that he can't marry Senator Bruno, but after he stops laughing he can go home to his wife. The joke isn't so funny for people who get turned away when their partners are in emergency rooms, like Sylvia Samuels and Diane Gallagher, or people who pay for "family" insurance but can't include the love of their lives, like Kathy Tuggle and Tonja Alvis or for all the same-sex couples whose relationships are disrespected every day. The Governor should let everybody in on the joke by taking a stand for marriage for same-sex couples."

By Sheri A. Lunn  
On May 16, 2004, the night before the historic Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples is scheduled to go into effect, numerous households across the country will host parties in support of the marriage equality work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.


Oregon Eyes New Marriage Delay
by Newscenter Staff
(Salem, Oregon)  Lawyers in the Oregon Attorney General's office are examining ways to delay a judge's ruling that the state must register the weddings of those same-sex couples already married in the state and get the case moved to the Oregon Supreme Court. 

High on the list of possibilities is an appeal for a stay in the execution of the ruling.

Earlier this week, a judge ruled that the state was acting illegally in refusing to register the marriages of more than 3,000 gay and lesbian couples who have married in the Portland area. But, Judge Frank Bearden ordered that no more marriage licenses be issued to gay couples until the courts and the legislature determine how to proceed.

A spokesperson for Attorney General Hardy Myers said that the ruling could cause confusion if the marriages are registered and then the state or the courts reject marriage for civil unions.

now this is Apartheid.... this shows just how racist, bigoted, and hateful this country is ... trans folkz, and queers are routinely denied medical assistance... now it could be a law... .. this is a out rage.. ..... shame on amerika....

Doctors Could Refuse To Treat Gays
(Lansing, Michigan)  Doctors or other health care providers could not be disciplined or sued if they refuse to treat gay patients under legislation passed Wednesday by the Michigan House.

The bill allows health care workers to refuse service to anyone on moral, ethical or religious grounds.

The Republican dominated House passed the measure as dozens of Catholics looked on from the gallery. The Michigan Catholic Conference, which pushed for the bills, hosted a legislative day for Catholics on Wednesday at the state Capitol.

The bills now go the Senate, which also is controlled by Republicans.

The Conscientious Objector Policy Act would allow health care providers to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.


Survey at this site... Do you support legalization of same sex marriage?

Britain moves toward endorsing civil unions

By Ashley Moore
NBC News
LONDON - With the issue of gay marriage still roiling the American political landscape, close ally Britain is quietly setting course for formal recognition for civil unions, following a path carved out by several other European Union countries.

A civil partnership bill was introduced in the House of Parliament earlier this month and the House of Lords was set to consider the legislation on Thursday. According to a government spokeswoman, the bill could become law by November, allowing same-sex couples to legalize their partnership a year later.

“(The bill is) important in terms of respect and dignity and justice because it says we as a country and a government value committed relationships,” Jacqui Smith, the Deputy Minister for Women and Equality, said after the legislation was drafted.


Pol: Nix law impeding non-Mass. gay weds
By Elisabeth J. Beardsley
A pro-gay marriage lawmaker is moving to repeal an arcane 1913 law that Gov. Mitt Romney has vowed to use to prevent same-sex couples from other states from coming to Massachusetts to get married.

     Rep. Robert Spellane said he will file legislation today to strike the 1913 law that requires out-of-state couples to sign an affidavit swearing their union would be legal in their home state.

     Romney and Attorney General Thomas Reilly have vowed to use that law to ward off an influx of out-of-state gay couples on May 17, when same-sex marriages are legalized in Massachusetts.


Students quietly take stand against harassment of gays
Tim Evans
Mark Come heard the taunts and saw how his high school classmates in Shelbyville reacted to a fellow student who came out about his sexual orientation.

"He got death threats, and his tires were slashed," said Come, 23, now a junior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The actions of those other students -- including many Come considered friends -- hit too close to home for the young man struggling with his own secret.

"I'm gay," he said, "but I didn't come out until I went to college because I knew what would happen. I was afraid to say anything."

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Why gay marriage is a civil rights issue
By Sherry Wolf

WHEN THE California Supreme Court struck down that state’s ban on interracial marriage in 1947, 48 states prohibited Blacks and whites from marrying, and nine out of 10 Americans opposed interracial marriage.

Twenty years later--in the wake of the civil rights movement for integration and voting rights--the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down all interracial marriage bans across the U.S. Twenty years after that, only the most hardened bigots thought that laws barring Blacks and whites from marrying were legitimate.
The California and U.S. Supreme Court rulings were blows against racism. Similarly, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court made its two decisions last year in favor of legalizing gay marriage, it was a blow against homophobia.
Socialists are critical of the institution of marriage under capitalism, for many reasons. But we support the fight for same-sex marriage--as a struggle for elementary civil rights.


Gay Rights Advocates Working Against Amendments
Organizations Mobilizing Against State, Federal Marriage Amendment Proposals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas' gay-rights advocates said Wednesday that they are playing catch-up in their fight against amendments to the state and federal constitutions that would ban gay marriage.
A group of three organizations is holding a series of town meetings to mobilize a response to the proposals. The groups are the Arkansas Equality Network, the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union.

A meeting was held in Little Rock Wednesday night, and the final one is planned for Thursday night in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee is well into the process of collecting signatures to place a proposed amendment on the November election ballot. If passed, the measure would make gay marriage or civil unions between partners of the same sex unconstitutional.


Showing their support for making gay and lesbian marriage legislation a reality in New Jersey, nearly 600 people attended a recent town meeting at Temple Emanu-El in Westfield.

Dubbed "Equal People, Equal Marriage: Continuing All Roads to Justice," the April 15 meeting marked the 14th in a series of related meetings across the state sponsored by Lambda Legal, the New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition and 106 other New Jersey organizations.

Although Congressman Barney Frank was among the guest speakers slated to appear, he had to cancel to due the sudden death of his niece. Instead, Jason West, mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., addressed the audience and shared some of his thoughts on a controversial topic that has drawn national attention.

West was sued shortly after performing 25 gay and lesbian weddings in New Paltz, but said the weddings have continued.

You are invited to join

Leslie Feinberg
transgender activist and author of Stone Butch Blues

LeiLani Dowell
Peace & Freedom Party candidate for Congress and lesbian anti-war activist

in an afternoon forum

Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT Liberation
What Are We Fighting For?

As the struggle for marriage equality heats up in San Francisco,
Massachusetts, and around the country, how will we fight to win this basic
civil right and LGBT liberation?

Sunday, May 2, 2:00 pm
Centro del Pueblo
474 Valencia St. (near 16th St.)
San Francisco

Donation requested, nobody turned away for lack of funds. Copies of Leslie
Feinberg's books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments
available. Childcare available, call (415) 826-4828 in advance to reserve.

Sponsored by LeiLani Dowell for Congress Campaign and Workers World Party.
For information call (415) 826-4828.

Asbury Park to join pending suit on same-sex unions
Associated Press Writer
ASBURY PARK, N.J. -- Intent on challenging a gay marriage ban, the City of Asbury Park decided Wednesday to join a suit filed two years ago and put its own court challenge on hold.

In a 3-0 vote, the City Council passed a resolution to have the city join _ as an intervenor _ in a civil suit that calls the state's ban unconstitutional. Two council members were absent.

The suit, brought by seven same-sex couples and supported by the advocacy group Lambda Legal, was rejected by a Superior Court judge in Mercer County last November. In that ruling, Judge Linda Feinberg said there was nothing in the New Jersey Constitution guaranteeing same-sex couples the same privilege to marry as heterosexual ones.


Oregon NOW Celebrates Ruling by Multnomah County Judge Bearden. Courts find Oregon Legislative Law Banning Gay Marriage Unconstitutional

WASHINGTON - April 21 - The Oregon branch of the National Organization for Women celebrates the ruling released today by the Multnomah County Court. According to Tina Empol, Action VP for Oregon NOW, "This is a historic moment for Oregon and for the advancement of Civil Rights in America. Oregon is the first state where marriages between gay couples are legally recognized."

Judge Bearden , Multnomah County Court Judge, has ruled that there is no justifiable basis for discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender and requests that the Oregon State Legislature remedy the unconstitutional marriage statute it previously passed. The legislature needs to do so within 90 days. During the 90 days Multnomah County has been ordered to stop issuing licenses to same-sex couples. After 90 days, if a remedy has not been agreed upon, Multnomah County will be required to resume the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Benton County is currently refusing to issue any marriage licenses so as to prevent discrimination. Linda L. Klinge, President of Oregon NOW says, " It took great courage from the Multnomah County Commissioners and the Benton County Commissioners to uphold the Constitution of the State of Oregon and they have been vindicated by this ruling." "We hope that Multnomah County will follow Benton County's lead and refuse to issue marriage licenses until the State Legislature corrects the unconstitutionality of current marriage statutes."

Oregon NOW is pleased that discrimination in marriage laws will not be allowed to stand in Oregon. Opposing all forms of discrimination is a focus agenda item for Oregon NOW members. "Now that Oregon will recognize the thousands of gay marriages that have taken place here in Oregon, we will lead the way for the rest of the Country to follow. It's about the blossoming of love and that is a good thing, says Tina Empol.


Gay Kids Book Causes Storm In Second Community
by Newscenter Staff

(Shelby County, Indiana) An Indiana man is organizing a petition to have a popular children's book about a gay prince removed from the county library system.
Prince & Prince is a fairy tale about a prince whose true love turns out to be another prince. The book, which is aimed at students from 6 years of age, ends with the couple sharing a kiss.

Dustin McCollough said he was shocked when his eight-year-old son stumbled across the book at the Shelby County Library. McCollough said his son said "Yuck" when he looked through it. The father, who describes himself as a "practicing Christian" was more emphatic.

McCollough said he immediately complained to the librarian about the book's content and the fact that it was located in the children's section.


Day of Silence observed at Riverland Community college

(KAAL) -- A nationwide effort to protest the oppression of sexual minorities silences students in our area.

Through stickers and speaking cards students at Riverland Community College urged acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
The day of silence, a project of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), draws hundreds of high school and college student participants.
"There's not a real strong support for the gay people in southern Minnesota. So I think it's good to have and bring awareness to the area and get people talking about it at least and make them more accepting," says Jeff Isenor, Student, RCGSA.
The RCGSA (Riverland Community College Gay-Straight Alliance) is a civil rights advocate for everyone.

Judge to decide rules in transsexual trial
By CONNIE PARISH, Times Staff Writer
A pre-trial hearing was scheduled this morning at press time on motions filed by a Topeka attorney representing a Leavenworth transsexual charged with false swearing in a marriage application.

Pedro Irigonegaray, acting on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union, is representing Sandy Gast, who was arrested March 18 on the charge. Gast had applied for the marriage license in February and had planned to marry Georgi Somers on March 20.

Somers' daughter, Crystal Call, had contacted the county attorney's office with information that indicated Gast and Somers were men living as women. She referred to them as "pre-operative transsexuals."

Call's e-mail resulted in an investigation, and the county attorney's office filed a complaint with Leavenworth County District Court, alleging Gast was swearing falsely in an application for marriage. That is an unclassified misdemeanor, and according to Kansas statute, the punishment is a fine not to exceed $500.

NY Landlord Battles Trans Discrimination Suit
by Newscenter Staff

(New York City) A New York City landlord is trying to block the city's largest Hispanic HIV/AIDS group from suing it for refusing to allow trans patients to use gender appropriate washrooms.

Hispanic AIDS Forum was forced out of its home of 10 years in Jackson Heights, Queens – an epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in U.S. Latino communities – in 2001 because the landlord yielded to complaints from another tenant about the agency’s transgender clients.

HAF repeatedly tried to negotiate with the landlord to reach an agreement over the use of the restrooms that would be acceptable to all parties, but the landlord refused to renew the lease, saying it didn’t even want the transgender clients in any of the common areas of the building.

The ACLU brought the lawsuit on behalf of HAF in June 2001. Last fall a New York judge gave approval for the case to proceed but the landlord appealed claiming that trans people are not protected by the state’s civil rights laws.

(Lansing, MI) – The Michigan Civil Service Commission has amended its rules to prohibit workplace discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation. The decision expands an Executive Directive by Governor Jennifer Granholm from December 23, 2003 that covered 95% of executive branch employees. Civil Service Rules apply to all executive branch employees in the classified civil service.


Lawmakers bypass Warner, approve civil union ban
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. -- The House and Senate on Wednesday rejected a gubernatorial amendment to a bill banning civil unions and other same-sex partnerships in Virginia, then passed the original measure by veto-proof margins.

Following fiery debate on the House floor that caused House Speaker William J. Howell to rebuke Del. Robert Marshall, the House passed Marshall's bill by a vote of 69-30, easily reaching the two-thirds margin necessary to override a potential veto. The Senate then passed the bill 27-12.

Gay-Marriage Supporters Protest At Chabot's Office
CINCINNATI -- Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage gathered Wednesday morning outside the Cincinnati office of Republican Congressman Steve Chabot to protest his decision to hold five hearings on the issue and demand that he focus on other priorities.


Walters Urges Rejection Of Gay Marriage Amendment
Former Governor Tells Voters to Call House Speaker
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Former Oklahoma Gov. David Walters is urging voters to help stop a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriages in Oklahoma.

The Senate last week approved a GOP-sponsored bill to send the proposed constitutional amendment to a vote of the people in November. The measure is now headed to the House for consideration.

In a recorded phone message to voters, Walters said placing the "anti-civil rights" initiative on the November ballot could guarantee a large Republican turnout and result in the loss of the Oklahoma House and U.S. Senate seat to the GOP. He said the proposed state lottery to fund education could also be in jeopardy.

Walters' message asks voters to call House Speaker Larry Adair and urge him to kill the bill.

Oklahoma Democratic Party Chairman Jay Parmley said he believes putting the issue on the November ballot was a purely political move designed to help the GOP.

"There's no reason to wait until November," Parmley said. "If they really believe that gay marriage is such an important issue, let's put it on the ballot in July. This is all political."


Minister wants City Council to call for gay-
Members don't appear eager to sponsor proposal being offered across state

A Birmingham minister says he will ask the Huntsville City Council Thursday night to weigh in on the gay marriage issue. At least two council members said Tuesday the matter isn't a question the council needs to discuss.

The Rev. Frank Matthews of Intercession Ministries wants the council to pass a resolution calling for a ban on gay marriages. Matthews made the same pitch recently to the Birmingham City Council, and he plans identical proposals to city councils in Montgomery, Mobile and Selma. The Birmingham council has not taken any action on his request.

The resolution needs a council sponsor; Matthews can't submit it directly for a vote. None of Huntsville's five council members expressed an interest Tuesday in sponsoring such a resolution.


Committee Votes To Ban Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriages
State Would Study Laws Regarding Civil Unions
CONCORD, N.H. -- After two days of debate, a group of lawmakers in New Hampshire voted Wednesday in favor of blocking recognition for gay marriages performed out of state. The issue is expected to go before the full House next week. A consultant for the Freedom to Marry Coalition called it hateful and homophobic legislation.

Supporters said the law is necessary to give the Legislature time to consider civil unions for gay and lesbian couples before lawsuits push the issue into the courts.

The bill establishes a study committee to look at what laws would need to be changed to make civil unions legal in the state.

This bill differs from the version approved by the Senate. That bill banned recognition of same-sex unions and defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.


N.M. GOP punishes clerk for issuing marriage licenses

The Sandoval County, N.M., Republican Party's central committee, saying that county clerk Victoria Dunlap "has brought disgrace to the party," voted to censure her for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February. "Other than assassination, all we can do is censure her," said committee chairman Richard Gibbs. About 20 Republicans attended Tuesday night's meeting, and all but one voted to censure Dunlap.


Virginia House Votes On Gay Marriage Ban

Efforts To Ease Restrictions Rejected
Virginia's House of Delegates passed a bill that would ban same sex marriage.
The bill would ban civil unions and other same-sex partnerships from being recognized in Virginia.

After fiery debate, the House rejected the governor's efforts to make the bill less restrictive. Gov. Mark Warner's amendment would have removed language from the bill prohibiting a "partnership contract or other arrangement" between people of the same sex. Democrats said the amendment could invite constitutional challenges.

The state already bans same-sex marriages performed in other states from being recognized in Virginia.


Some Businesses See Utah As Not Welcoming

Transfeminism: Let Her Rip
By Hanne Blank
It’s been in the New York Times, so it must be official: Transpeople are here in number and they’re here to stay. Transsexuals (those who medically change the hormonal and/or anatomical aspects of their biological sex) and transgendered people (those who change or redefine their gender that may not include any medical change) are, as illuminated in the March 7 Times article “On Campus, Rethinking Biology 101,” increasingly visible and vocal, and they’re out there doing shocking, subversive things—like going to college and working for appropriate living conditions on their campuses. These efforts bring up any number of issues about equal access, but also about the nature and meaning of personal attributes we’re taught to think of as fixed and immutable, like sex and gender.

Trans may only now be gracing the pages of the Times, but it’s been an issue among feminists for years. From the long-running controversy over admitting only “womyn-born-womyn” to the nearly 30-year-old Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, to whether the lesbian community is losing its butch women to transsexuality, transfolk are forcing feminism to face difficult, sometimes uncomfortable, questions.

Such questions are not only about trans people, although they’re often framed that way. They’re questions about the nature of feminism, about essentialism and binarism and how we should challenge oppressive ideologies of gender. The question is raised, in some quarters, of whether trans issues belong in feminism at all. Isn’t it hard enough for feminists to create change without being asked to take on the cause of people who are something other than biological women?

Here’s an attempt at an answer: Feminism has been fighting for generations against the notion that biology equals destiny. Do we really believe it? Or are we still clinging to a mythos that insists there’s some numinous ontological essence called “man-ness” or “woman-ness”? Transfolk, increasingly numerous, loud and proud, are calling our bluff.


Police Commission gets 6 new members
Suzanne Herel Wednesday, April 21, 2004
The Board of Supervisors filled six of the seven positions Tuesday on the reconstituted Police Commission, which voters approved in November to give the panel more authority over charges of police misconduct.

The new commissioners include three chosen by Mayor Gavin Newsom: Omega Boys Club Director Joe Marshall and attorneys Douglas Chan and Joseph Veronese, son of former Supervisor Angela Alioto. The mayor's fourth pick, former City Attorney Louise Renne, will be considered by a board committee this week.

The supervisors appointed Theresa Sparks, a transsexual who has been a critic of police treatment of transgendered people; former police officer and commissioner Gayle Orr-Smith; and Peter Keane, a professor at Golden Gate University School of Law.


Silence aims to build LGBT awareness
By Brooke Carey
Sometimes silence can produce a deafening cry.
Members of the university community and local high school students will participate in several on-campus events today that coincide with the National Day of Silence, in which participants vow to remain silent all day.

The silence symbolizes the silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the United States on issues such as violence against gay men and lesbian women, and gay rights, said Patty Hayes, a graduate assistant at the LGBT Center, which is coordinating the event.
"I think it's very valuable to use silence paradoxically to speak loudly," Hayes said. "It's a really active resistance."


Different is normal for a special family

YOUNG Eleanor Whittle’s family could be described as being a little bit different.

Her father used to be a radical lesbian, her mother has given birth to four children by sperm donor and they all live under the same roof with two of her parents’ friends from university.

The Stockport schoolgirl, 11, yesterday addressed a conference in the Swiss city of Geneva to discuss her experiences of living in a “non-traditional family”.

Her 10-minute speech to a panel arranged by the International Service on Human Rights and the International Research Centre on Social Minorities discussed the unusual living arrangements back home in Heaton Mersey.

Her father, Dr Stephen Whittle, is a female-to-male-transsexual who started living as a man in the 1970s and is now raising four children with his long-term partner, Sarah Rutherford.

House committee debates gay marriage bill
By Anne Saunders
CONCORD - The issue of same-sex marriage is not going away and the Legislature must act, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Mock said Tuesday.

"I don’t want Hazen Drive determining what the public policy of the state is when it comes to gay marriage," Mock said, referring to the address of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Mock supported blocking recognition of gay marriages performed in other states, but only for two years to give a commission time to develop laws allowing for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples in New Hampshire.

The bill was prompted by a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision giving gay couples the right to marry starting May 17.


Draft of domestic-partner ordinance circulated
Copy is available to public at City Clerk's office in City Hall
By Jack Mazurak
ONEONTA — A draft of a proposed domestic-partner ordinance was circulated at Tuesday's Oneonta Common Council meeting, but there was no discussion on it.

Third Ward Alderman Julie Carney, Intergovernmental Affairs Committee chairwoman, said there would not be a vote soon but it was important for people to see it.

"It's in line with the seven or eight other New York state municipalities that have ordinances in effect," she said.

In January, the IGA began work on a proposal that the city issue domestic partnership certificates to couples, heterosexual or homosexual, who cannot or choose not to marry.


Silent protest to call attention to issue of gay/lesbian rights
By Phyllis Sides
SOMERS - Several students at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside will join their counterparts at colleges and universities around the country today in a day of silence to protest the discrimination and harassment faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network of South Central Wisconsin about 7,800 students at more than 81 high schools and colleges in Wisconsin are expected to take part in the protest.

"We're having an `out and about week' with activities every day. And on Wednesday, 10 to 12 members of Rainbow Alliance won't be talking and we will be wearing T-shirts explaining what's going on," said Abraham Santiago, the group's secretary.

New Paltz considers 'marriage officers'
Town seeking to cut down police OT pay
By Larry Fisher-Hertz
Poughkeepsie Journal
NEW PALTZ -- Town officials say they have an idea to cut down on police costs triggered by public same-sex marriage ceremonies: ap-point people to perform the weddings in private.

''Under New York's Domestic Relations Law,'' Supervisor Donald Wilen said Tuesday, ''municipalities may appoint any number of marriage officers whose sole responsibility is to marry those who seek wedded bliss.''

Wilen said the town board would discuss the proposal at its meeting Thursday night.

He noted the town had been saddled with increasing police overtime costs since village Mayor Jason West and two Unitarian ministers began performing same-sex marriages in public parks earlier this year. The ceremonies have drawn supporters of same-sex couples, as well as an occasional handful of protesters.

Gay homeowner's death center of assessment fight
SAN ANDREAS -- The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors recently nixed a property tax increase imposed on a gay man after the death of his partner and joint tenant in homeownership.

In effect, the supervisors, acting as the county Board of Equalization, gave the man the same break a surviving spouse would get.

So the county's tax assessor plans to sue the supervisors.

"When they're the Board of Supervisors they can help people out," Assessor Randy Metzger said Monday. "But when they're the Board of Equalization they have to follow the law, and in this case they didn't do that."


Police probe gay raid on Christians
Police are reviewing several videotapes of a Christian meeting that was stormed by gay protesters. "An investigation is ongoing," confirmed Calgary police Const. Doug Jones, the hate-bias crime co-ordinator for the police cultural resource unit.

"What we are looking at, if we can identify (the protesters) is mischief charges, disturbing a peaceful assembly kind of stuff."

The Concerned Christian Coalition Inc. held its national convention at Calgary's Coast Plaza Hotel in the city's northeast on Saturday when about seven females and a male wearing bandannas over their faces came into the room.

On a videotape viewed by the Sun, the protesters were heard chanting: "Right wing bigots go away, Gay Militia is here to stay."


More Messages of Hate Found at SUNY Geneseo

More messages of hate found on the SUNY Geneseo campus. This time the graffiti was targeted at gay and lesbian students.

Last week, these students performed the play "The Laramie Project."  It's about the Wyoming community's reaction to the beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard in 1998. After Saturday night's performance, their display boards and posters for the play were destroyed and defaced.

Throughout the day today, cast members sang in circles and wrote messages of tolerance on sidewalks in chalk.

"We put this together in a matter of a day," said Geneseo student Beth Pinkerton. "Just basically trying to let Geneseo know that this stuff does happen here. It still happens, it happens here. It's not something you hear about in a different town, it's here, it's everywhere and something has to be done about it. People have to know what goes on."

In January, swastikas were found painted on a dorm and a campus dining hall. Officials don't know who was behind either incident.


Students protest treatment of gays with Day of Silence
By Beth Sneller Daily Herald Staff Writer
The halls of Naperville's schools may seem a little quieter today.

Dozens of students at Neuqua Valley, Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools have taken a vow of silence to protest the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies.

They're observing the Day of Silence, an annual national movement in colleges and high schools.

"It's to make a point, really," said Naperville North junior Ron Chernobrov, president of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. "People get bored of hearing about discrimination. They don't listen after a while. We need to do something to remind them."


Sheri A. Lunn – Director of Communications - 323-857-8751 or 202.641.5592


-Gay Family Donates $100,000 Challenge Grant to Fund the Marriage Equality Work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

-Nationwide Night of Marriage Equality Parties Growing Quickly; 'A Night to Create Change' Supporters Host House Parties Across the Country

On May 16, 2004, the night before the historic Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples is scheduled to go into effect, numerous households across the country will host parties in support of the marriage equality work of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Tom Bombardier and John Fowler have been together eight years and are the parents of two children, ages 22 and 24 months. They have donated a $100,000 matching grant in support of the marriage equality work of the Task Force and are not only challenging people across the country to make a donation as part of this matching grant, but they are also challenging people of means to match that grant in full. All gifts received from the "A Night to Create Change" events will be matched dollar for dollar.

"We hope that people will not only step up to the plate and host or participate in these marriage equality parties across the country, but will make large donations to support the good work of the Task Force for a long time to come - their track record in creating positive change across the country is unparalleled," Bombardier said. "We've dug deeply into our pockets - you know they say if you don't have a lump in your throat when you write that donation check you're not giving enough - well we have big lumps in our throats and now, more than ever, is the time for others to do the same."

"Tom and John's belief in the work of the Task Force means so much to us at this critical time in our community's battle for equal civil rights," said Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director. "In these times, when the top anti-gay political and religious organizations have staff and budget sizes more than three times larger than our top LGBT organizations, donations like the Bombardier/Fowler grant mean a lot to the work the Task Force is trying to accomplish on behalf of our community."

"The generosity of our supporters across the country never fails to amaze me," says Charles Robbins, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force director of development. "The 'Night to Create Change' events will prove to be truly empowering events not only for the hosts, but for the people who attend the parties. Already there are dozens of public and private parties happening in big cities and small towns across the country - we challenge Task Force supporters in places where we've assisted in defeating discriminatory legislation and passing pro-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legislation to add their jurisdictions to the 'Night to Create Change' list and support the continued good work of the Task Force."

Robbins is referring to supporters in states like Michigan, Maine, Washington, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, Kansas, California, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Connecticut and Texas - just some of the places where the Task Force has invested thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of staff time promoting and protecting equality.

"It is vital to support the extraordinary work of the Task Force in any way I can," says one of the party hosts, Charles V. Chesson, 42, of Chevy Chase, Maryland. "My reason for doing this is because the Task Force believes in grassroots, community-based solutions - the battle we are facing for marriage equality is in the townships, cities and states across the country - the same places where the Task Force concentrates so much of its work. Those people standing in line for marriage licenses are average citizens simply looking to be part of the "we the people" that we all learn about when we are younger. The Task Force helps us say, 'we ARE the people.'"

The parties will be linked to each other via a national conference call to listen to a "State of the Unions" address from Task Force executive director Matt Foreman and other special guests.

Robbins explains the Night to Create Change concept: "The Task Force asks that hosts do their best to raise $1,000 from friends, family and neighbors. Events can take their own shape and theme - folks could decide to have a large party for 50 guests seeking a suggested donation of $20 or more, or instead they might decide to have a formal dinner with ten of their closest friends and ask them to each donate $100. Hosts are responsible for the cost of refreshments and local promotion and will need to provide their own speaker phone for the conference call. The Task Force will make educational materials available to party hosts.

Lourdes Duarte, of the Miami Beach Night to Create Change organizing committee said, "The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community must unite around the national issue of marriage equality, while raising awareness with family and friends to end discrimination based on sexual orientation. We must educate the community at large about equal rights for all Americans and the Task Force is helping to do just that."

Raul Concepcion, also of Miami Beach, added, "During this time of global instability, President Bush should be supportive of peace and unity in America, and not in waging a war of discrimination based on sexual orientation across this country."

Event hosts still needed. For information on participating in the night of marriage equality parties across the country, log on to the "A Night to Create Change" section of the Task Force Web site (
or contact Charles Robbins at or 323.857.8746.

For information on the struggle for marriage equality, log in to the Task Force Marriage Information Resource Center at