poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, June 26, 2004

San Francisco Chronicle
fails Transgender community (again)

I am sorry to say... the San Francisco Chronicle again has failed the trans community.... not only in the past has it gotten gender pronouns wrong for trans murder victims, allowed transphobic, gendercentric, thoughtless and hateful speech to come out of its editorial staff (Debra J. Saunders
), and most recently it chose not to say a word about the largest U.S. gathering of trans and gender queer folks.... there was over two thousand.. maybe 5-8 city blocks long... all gathered to mourn Gwen Araujo murder, to celebrate the *FIRST* trans march.. and so show unity... Gwen's mother was there, Mark Leno, and many others... it was a queer sight.. it was beautiful...2000 genders or more.. and the only daily in San Francisco choose not to cover it.... shame on the Chronicle...

please send commnets to:
San Francisco Chronicle

Cop faces reprimand for conduct
Oakland Police Review Board recommends penalty after finding sergeant made advances toward arrested woman
By Heather MacDonald, STAFF WRITER

OAKLAND -- A police officer who was promoted to sergeant despite twice making anti-gay slurs, made inappropriate sexual advances toward a woman he arrested in 2003 on drug and weapon charges, the Citizens' Police Review Board determined Thursday night.

The board voted 5-2 to recommend that Sgt. Chris Del Rosario be reprimanded in writing for his conduct, and undergo additional training and counseling. Del Rosario, who is married with three daughters, denied the charges during the four-hour hearing.

The board sustained allegations that Del Rosario made unwanted sexual advances toward West Oakland resident Jovan Johnson after arresting her in February 2003. Del Rosario had found an AK-47 assault weapon and four ounces of rock cocaine underneath her bed. No charges were ever filed against Johnson -- her brother was later arrested in connection with the weapon and drugs.


El Paso County showdown
By Bob Ewegen

In Colorado, legend has it, whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting. But now a landmark water agreement in Southern Colorado may help decide a rip-roaring Republican primary fight for El Paso County commissioner.

The GOP District 2 duel pits anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce against social conservative Margaret Radford.

Bruce is the classic anti-government activist. Since passing the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights in 1992, Bruce has failed at a series of other measures designed to dismantle government. This is his third try at winning a job in the government he purports to despise. Bruce lost a primary for the state Senate District 10 seat against Ray Powers in 1996 and lost again to Ron May for the same Senate seat in 2000.

Now, Bruce faces Radford, a member of the Colorado Springs City Council, in his first run for a local office. The clash has statewide interest because it will go a long way toward determining what the term "conservative" means in Colorado, at least in starboard-leaning El Paso County.

Lynx center says she's homosexual
Van Gorp has never had orientation issues
Pioneer Press

At 6 feet 6, Michelle Van Gorp stood out among women, even female basketball players. On Friday, she stood out again, but for reasons having more to do with her heart than her height.

Van Gorp, a reserve center on the Minnesota Lynx basketball team, said she's a lesbian, and representatives of Twin Cities gay and lesbian groups cheered.

She didn't call a news conference, send out press releases or intend a big to-do in any way. She simply answered questions about her sexuality from a reporter for Lavender magazine, a voice of the gay and lesbian community. The article appeared Friday.

"It's just who I am,'' the 27-year-old Duke University graduate said to the Pioneer Press later in the day. "It's been publicly known by many, many, many people in the Twin Cities. I've never really had that much of an issue with it. There are gay people everywhere.''


Lesbians Want Country Club To Treat Them As Married

SAN DIEGO -- B. Birgit Koebke golfs alone because no one at her country club will play with her. She hits the links late in the day to avoid running into hostile club members.

If a group of golfers happens to be ahead of her, they don't let her play through.

"I just sit there and wait," she says. "They've made it impossible for me to enjoy the club."

Koebke, a 47-year-old television sales executive, is a longtime member of the Bernardo Heights Country Club. She is also lesbian, and her extended drive to win club golfing privileges for her partner of 12 years, Kendall French, has turned other members against her.


Arguments Heard In Gay Marriage Case Against Ministers

(New Paltz-AP) -- A prosecutor in the Hudson Valley says the case of two ministers charged for conducting same-sex weddings is not about the constitutional rights of the gay couples.

Instead, Assistant District Attorney John Rusk told a town court judge Friday that it's simply about whether the ministers violated state law by marrying couples without licenses.

Unitarian Universalist ministers Kay Greenleaf and Dawn Sangrey were charged in March with solemnizing 13 gay marriages in the village of New Paltz. Advocates say the two women appear to be the first clergy nationwide to be prosecuted for marrying gay couples.

The ministers' lawyer, attorney Stephanie Carvlin, argued that the charges be dismissed, saying the pair should not be prosecuted for laws that violate the constitutional rights of gay couples.


Miami OKs gay benefits
Same-sex partner policy covers faculty and staff
By Ari Bloomekatz
Enquirer staff writer

Nearly five months after publicly opposing Gov. Bob Taft's approval of the Ohio Defense of Marriage Act, Miami University President James Garland announced the university will offer benefits for faculty and staff in same-sex partnerships as early as next week.

The resolution extends benefits such as tuition discounts, health and dental insurance, recreational membership and sick leave.

Garland announced the decision during the university's last trustees' meeting of the year in Oxford. The board did not discuss the president's decision before unanimously endorsing it, and the item was not on the agenda.

Trustees are not required to approve changes in benefits, but Garland said he wanted to give board members an opportunity to voice their decision in public.


Gays in the mainstream
East Bay city ranks third in nation for gay and lesbian households
Jim Herron Zamora, Chronicle Staff Writer

A.J. Alfieri-Crispin and his partner had no idea when they bought their home in the Oakland hills four years ago that three of their immediate neighbors were gay or lesbian couples.

"It was totally random -- a big surprise for us,'' said Alfieri-Crispin, 40, whose block now has five same-sex households. "We moved to Oakland because it's a diverse, interesting city. We had no idea we were moving into this little lavender neighborhood."

Oakland, which is already one of the nation's most integrated cities, has quietly become home to more lesbian couples per capita than any other big city in the nation, and ranks third for gay and lesbian households combined, behind San Francisco and Seattle, according to census data.

"I know there are a lot of us here, but I had no idea we were No. 1," said Annie Dorn, who moved to Oakland's Temescal district in the early 1970s. "There's a huge network here. We're open, but we're low-key."


GOP seeks to build support for same-sex marriage ban
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Washington -- House Republican leaders who fear they don't have the votes to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage -- are considering a test vote in July to gauge support for the measure.

Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas said this week he did not want to bring up the proposed amendment unless it can pass, and he doesn't think the Senate should do so, either. That was a jab at Senate GOP leaders who have scheduled debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment for the week of July 12, even though the measure's most ardent supporters think it will fall far short of the required two-thirds majority there and may not even get the 60 votes needed to overcome a likely filibuster.

"I personally think that the Senate really should vote on this when they have the votes to pass it," DeLay said. "That's what we are trying to do. We are looking at other alternatives, other kinds of votes that we might have on this to generate debate and generate support out in the nation." DeLay said Republicans have not yet decided what the test measure will be, but that it would provide "some sort of vote in July in anticipation of growing the vote so that we can actually pass a constitutional amendment."

He added that if the Senate votes on the amendment and it fails, "it is incumbent on the House to pass an amendment to put pressure back on the Senate to have a vote again."


Newsom named civil rights hero
Rachel Gordon

Mayor Gavin Newsom was honored Thursday night in New York by that state's Democratic lawmakers as their "civil rights hero of the year'' for his work on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Newsom directed San Francisco officials in February to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. More than 4,000 couples tied the knot before the California Supreme Court in March ordered a halt to the weddings pending further court review of Newsom's action.


By Ryan Blessing - The Sun Staff

CHARLESTOWN - A town councilor has found no support from his fellow members for a resolution that would defend "traditional marriage between a man and a woman."

Councilor Richard "Rippy" Serra tried to get the resolution on the agenda for the Jun. 21 council meeting.

But other members said Wednesday the resolution is not appropriate for Town Council business and that Serra's remarks at Monday's meeting went over the line.

Serra said he asked Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero to draft the "Defense of Traditional Marriage" resolution following a petition the council received in February from the Shannock Baptist Church. The church stated its "steadfast opposition" to governmental recognition or establishment of homosexual marriage or civil unions.


Tory Secret Agenda To Roll Back Gay Rights Uncovered
by Newscenter Staff

(Toronto, Ontario)  As Canadians prepare to go to the polls Monday in the tightest race in modern history new details are emerging about Conservative Party plans to roll back hard fought gay rights.

Polls show that the opposition Conservatives are in a virtual dead heat with the governing Liberals, and whichever party triumphs it will likely have to contend with a minority government.

For weeks Liberals and LGBT civil rights advocates have been driving home the message that the Conservatives would use a clause in the Canadian Constitution that allows governments to override decisions by the courts with which they do not agree.

Tory leader Stephen Harper has consistently denied the nothwithstanding clause would be used to override gay laws or court decisions, but now a tape has emerged showing the man Harper is expected to appoint Attorney General if his party wins Monday saying the Conservatives would use the clause to block gay marriage.


Matthew Shepard Killer Loses Bid For Shorter Term 
by Newscenter Staff

(Cheyenne, Wyoming) One of the two men convicted of murdering gay college student Matthew Shepard Friday lost an appeal for a shorter sentence.

Russell Henderson contended that he was denied effective legal assistance during his trial. Henderson claimed that his court-appointed lawyers were ineffective because they did not discuss potential appeals.

Prior to the trial Henderson made a deal with prosecutors to void the death sentence and pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping in Shepard's slaying of the gay college student in 1998. He is currently serving two life sentences.

District Judge Jeffrey A. Donnell Friday rejected Henderson's argument.



The city's controversial Harvey Milk HS serving gay and lesbian students yesterday celebrated its first graduating class since becoming a fully-fledged high school following a tumultuous year.

Department of Education officials said 19 of the 21 seniors graduated at the public high school, and many are going on to college.

Proud students, parents and staffers were all smiles following a 90-minute ceremony at the Lucile Lortel Theatre on Christopher Street in the West Village — the focal point of tomorrow's Gay Pride Parade.

"These kids are pioneers," said William Salzman, the founding principal of the alternative transfer school, and one of the speakers who addressed the students.

"I told the kids that they're role models. They need to be mentors not only for gays and lesbians, but for all young people."


Rally against gay marriage ban

HUNDREDS of Sydneysiders today rallied against the Howard Government's ban on same-sex marriages, calling on Canberra to stop using gays and lesbians as political pawns.

About 400 people gathered at Sydney Town Hall Square to hear speakers demanding the Government overturn recent Marriage Act amendments which prevent gays and lesbians from marrying.

The rally was organised by the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, AIDS Council of NSW (ACON), New Mardi Gras and Sydney Pride Centre.

Rights Lobby co-convenor Somali Cerise told the crowd same-sex couples simply wanted the same rights as everyone else in the community.


President of Catholic bishops endorses Federal Marriage Amendment

Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Friday endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He urged all Roman Catholics to lobby for its passage. In a letter this week to his fellow bishops, Gregory wrote that the Senate leadership had asked them to "formally register support" for the legislation. Introduced by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.), the Federal Marriage Amendment defines marriage as "the union of a man and a woman" and is expected to come before the Senate around July 12.

Gregory asked bishops to urge their senators to get behind the amendment and to encourage priests and parishioners to do the same. "This situation challenges Catholics--and all who seek the truth--to think deeply about the meaning of marriage, its purposes, and its value to individuals, families, and society," Gregory wrote. Catholics are the largest denomination in the country, with 63.7 million members. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's second-largest denomination with 16.3 million members, has also backed an amendment against gay marriage, as have several other conservative religious groups. Conservative Protestants are organizing Marriage Protection Sunday on July 11, encouraging pastors and religious educators to address the topic and then mobilize their congregants to lobby their senators the next day.


Houston gay couple faces adoption challenges

An out lesbian who serves as Houston's city controller says that on the day she was set to adopt two foster children, the juvenile court judge refused to allow anyone in his court to preside over the adoptions. "[The judge] didn't think gays should adopt and that I ought to find another judge," Annise Parker said. She did

Thirteen-year-old Daniela and 9-year-old Marquitta had been in and out of foster care for years. Children's Protective Services had already approved placing the girls with Parker and her partner, Kathy Hubbard. Whether other openly gay Harris County residents have gone through a similar experience is difficult to gauge. Adoption records are sealed. But while Texas law neither prohibits nor protects adoption by gays--leaving the matter to local courts--gay rights activists say juvenile court judges in Texas have interpreted the law conservatively, giving the perception they discriminate against gays and lesbians. "Gays and lesbians have to jump through more hoops than heterosexuals, despite no proven scientific study that says [they] have any negative consequence on children," Randall Ellis, executive director of the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, told the Houston Chronicle for its Friday editions.


California governor not opposed to same-sex marriage

California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a crowd on Thursday that if gay and lesbian couples want to get married, he has no moral problem with it, according to the Los Angeles Times. His position is in striking contrast to that of many members of the Republican Party, including President Bush, who endorses the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, which would use the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

Schwarzenegger's remarks came during a question-and-answer session at a Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurant in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom as the governor urged lawmakers to pass his $103 billion state budget. The Times reported that gay attendee Peter Renfro of Sacramento, who has a partner, asked Schwarzenegger about his opinion on same-sex marriage. "My opinion is that I don't care one way or the other," the governor said. Renfro continued, "Oh. Without avoiding the question..." Schwarzenegger replied, "No, no, I don't care one


Friday, June 25, 2004

see you there~~~~!!!!!

Trans March and rally

When: Today, 7 - 9:30 p.m.

Where: Dolores Park (begin march) to Asian Art Museum (rally and inauguration of first annual Trans Altar)

Speakers: Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco; San Francisco Police Commissioner Theresa Sparks; UCSF TRANS Program Director Joanne Keatley; Harvey Milk Democratic Club Co-Chair Robert Haaland

Information: www.sfteam.or


Advocate for transgender tolerance
Mother of slain teen to address pride gathering
Kelly St. John, Janine DeFao, Chronicle Staff Writers

When she learned earlier this week that a jury had deadlocked on whether to convict the men accused of murdering her transgender child, Sylvia Guerrero fled the courtroom in tears, too overcome by emotion to speak.

"I felt like I'd faint," she said of that moment. "I just wanted to crawl away and go to sleep."

But she will speak tonight before hundreds of members of the transgender community marching for the first time as part of San Francisco's pride weekend. And she will tell them what she told relatives angered by Tuesday's mistrial of the three men prosecutors say killed Gwen Araujo: Everything happens for a reason, so have faith that the issue is now in God's hands.

That doesn't mean Guerrero wasn't upset that jurors failed to reach a verdict of first-degree murder, which required a showing that the crime was premeditated.


Education is key in transgender cases
Carolyn Laub, Julie Dorf

This week, the Gwen Araujo murder trial was declared a mistrial because the jury could not decide whether the three defendants were guilty of first- or second-degree murder. According to the Alameda County district attorney's office, none of the jurors was willing to settle for the lesser offense of manslaughter -- despite efforts by defense attorneys in the case to argue that Gwen Araujo's killers were somehow justified because she did not disclose her transgender identity to them.

In rejecting manslaughter, the jury effectively rejected defense attorneys' outdated arguments that were akin to blaming Gwen Araujo for her own murder. But because of the hung jury in this case, we all must wait for justice to be served.

Over the many weeks of testimony that we both attended during the lengthy trial in Hayward, we got to know the faces of regulars in the courtroom. Because of our work with the Gwen Araujo Memorial Fund, we know her mother, Sylvia Guerrero, and her large and supportive family and friends. We also began to recognize the family and friends of the three defendants, Jason Cazares, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel. Not surprisingly, the pain and anxiety so clear in the faces of Gwen Araujo's loved ones were reflected in the faces of the defendants' family and friends as well throughout the trial.

This shared and prolonged devastation reminds us that preventing hate crimes such as this from occurring is important not just for the potential victims, but also for the potential perpetrators. Everyone in that courtroom wished that this crime hadn't happened, and no one's life will be the same now that it has.

Now it's the Presbyterians' turn to wrangle over gays and the church
RICHARD N. OSTLING, AP Religion Writer Friday, June 25, 2004

Deep rifts over homosexuality have worsened among Episcopalians and United Methodists over the past year, and now the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is getting ready to continue its divisive debate over gay clergy.

The 2.4 million-member church's weeklong national legislative assembly begins Saturday in Richmond, Va., where liberals will take up new attacks against the church's strict law barring actively gay clergy and lay officers.

Conservatives will defend that law and, frustrated because some ignore it, seek a clampdown and new church leadership.

Gay activists and their allies have three proposals regarding the ban:


HRC Joins African-American Church Leaders In Opposition To Federal Marriage Amendment

The Human Rights Campaign joined prominent African-American church leaders at a press conference opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment - a measure that would amend the U.S. Constitution to deny marriage to same-sex couples. Tampering with the Constitution to restrict rights for some Americans- for the first time ever - is a threat to all Americans, says HRC.

"Most Americans are united against discrimination," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "This amendment would not only put discrimination into the Constitution, but it would undermine the very intent of the Constitution -- and that is to provide freedom."

"Trying to change the Constitution to deny rights is wrong," said HRC Senior Constituent Organizer Donna Payne, who is also the vice president of the National Black Justice Coalition. "No one knows the cost of restricting rights better than African-Americans. As a community, we may disagree about marriage for same-sex couples but we know the Constitution and discrimination should never mix."

"We believe the high-profile posture of some African-American clergy in support of the FMA is misleading and we're here to counter that message," added Alexander Robinson, strategic director of the National Black Justice Coalition. "Our community has historically held strong family values and those values continue, regardless of sexual orientation. We must come together to tackle the real problems that confront our communities, like the need for good jobs, education for our children and health care for all, not to change the Constitution to deny human rights."


Borough OKs resolution giving benefits to domestic partners
By: Jennifer Potash
Princeton is one of the first municipalities in the state to offer health and pension benefits to same-sex partners.

   Princeton Borough has become one of the first New Jersey municipalities to offer health and pension benefits to employees in domestic partnerships.

   The Borough Council voted unanimously on two resolutions Tuesday that recognize domestic partners of municipal employees as eligible for state pensions and authorize participation in the
state health plan.

   The state's domestic partnership law, available only to New Jersey same-sex couples over the age of 16 and opposite-sex couples above the age of 62, takes effect on July 10. The law makes registered, same-sex partners of state employees eligible for health insurance and pension coverage.


Counter demonstration called for gay vicar installation
Ben Townley, UK

A demonstration intended to counter a march by far right extremists will be held at Canon Jeffrey John's installation next week.

The march has been called after the Nazi National Front announced it would be protesting the ceremony, which will make Canon John the Dean of St Albans.

They are angry that John, who is gay, will be given the high profile position, and claim the decision to appoint him was a "subversion" of the Church.

However, the counter demonstration's organisers say they hope a large turnout could reduce the effect of the extremist group.


Annual Gay Pride Parade under way in Tel Aviv
Tens of thousands turn out for seventh annual parade
Tzach Shpitzen and Gil Horev

Tens of thousands of homosexual, lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuals and their straight supporters turned out for Tel Aviv’s seventh annual Gay Pride Parade today.

Many of the marchers are carrying signs supporting the right of single-sex couples to marry. MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) told marchers at Tel Aviv's Gay Pride Parade that he would work toward legislation allowing single sex marriages. He also said that work to stregthen the Israeli AIDS Task Force.


'Gay hate' website sparks fury
25/06/2004 16:46  - (SA)  

Cape Town - South Africa's oldest lesbian and gay service organisation, the Triangle Project, on Friday reacted with outrage at a website that called for the "reclaiming of Cape Town from the homosexual plague".

In a statement, the Triangle Project said the website - contained several irrational and "deeply insulting" statements steeped in homophobia.

"For example, it purports a link between Satanism and homosexuality," said the gay activists.

The website hosted a survey that posed the question: "What should be done with South Africas (sic) moffies?"

Bush boosts HIV/AIDS funding but still backs abstinence-only education
by Andrew Noyes
PlanetOut Network

The Bush Administration will immediately commit more money to a program that delivers life-saving medications to Americans with HIV and AIDS and has greased the skids for a second round of funding for the Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

On a fund-raising trip to Philadelphia on Wednesday, the president announced that $20 million will be poured into state-run AIDS drug assistance programs (ADAPs) and $500 million will soon be on its way to organizations working to provide antiretroviral therapy, promote prevention, care for orphans and build the health system capacity in Africa and the Caribbean.

Bush unveiled the emergency plan, a five-year, $15 billion initiative to turn the tide in the global effort to combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic, in his 2003 State of the Union address.

"We hope that this is just the beginning of increased financial support for state ADAPs," Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques said. "Experts estimate that more than double that sum is needed to eliminate the emergency conditions faced by thousands nationwide who are on wait lists for life-saving drug therapies."


Kolkata Lone Indian City to Host Gloriously Gay Gala
Ranjita Biswas
OneWorld South Asia

KOLKATA, June 25 (OneWorld) - The streets of the eastern Indian city of Kolkata will reverberate to the sounds of sexual freedom Sunday when homosexuals and rights activists from across the world take out a parade to commemorate a pioneering gay revolt in the US in 1969.

Activists from India, the US, Britain, Canada, Sri Lanka and Thailand will participate.

In a country where people frown upon homosexuality though it was depicted in ancient texts and statues thousands of years ago, Kolkata is the only Indian city to be included in international functions marking the StoneWall Riots of 1969.

On June 27 in 1969, homosexuals frequenting a pub meant especially for them in New York city decided to fight back during a routine police raid. The landmark protests marked the launch of concerted gay rights movements across the world.


Judge says no more gay weddings in New Paltz

Ulster County State Supreme Court Justice E. Michael Kavanagh yesterday issued a temporary restraining order against all officials of the Village of New Paltz stopping them from “marrying” same-sex couples. On June 7, 2004, Kavanagh signed a permanent order against Village Mayor Jason West directing him to stop solemnizing same-sex “marriages.” After the June 7 order was entered against West, Rebecca Rotzler and Julia Walsh – two other Village Board trustees -- began solemnizing same-sex “marriages.”

Yesterday’s order puts a halt to these “marriages.” The order also set a hearing on the case for July 19.

The TRO issued yesterday was in a lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel on behalf of Robert Hebel, a member of the New Paltz Board of Trustees. Hebel is represented by Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of Liberty Counsel, and Rena Lindevaldsen, senior litigation counsel for Liberty Counsel.

Row breaks out over "homophobic" Tory's promotion
Ben Townley, UK

Conservative Kent County Council leader Sandy Bruce Lockhart has been promoted to chief of the country's local governments, despite him being at the centre of a row over the "son of Section 28" legislation.

Bruce Lockhart will now become the chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), and will have the power to oversee local governments across the country.

The news shocked gay rights groups who had accused the council leader of homophobia after he maintained similar legislation to Section 28, despite it being repealed in parliament.

He was given the promotion after the results from this month's local elections were counted, and it emerged that the Tories were the largest single party. This allowed the party to elect a new chair and replace Labour's Sir Jeremy Beecham, who had held his place for the past 9 years.


Concert cancelled in lyrics row
Beenie Man is one of the world's biggest dancehall stars

A concert by a Jamaican dancehall star was cancelled after complaints it might provoke violence towards gay men.

Police spoke to Beenie Man after a complaint that some of his songs contain "lyrics that are an incitement to homophobic murder and violence".

The performer, real name Anthony Davis, was due to appear at the Ocean club in Hackney, east London on Thursday night.

The club said it was cancelled due to "concerns for public safety" and after talks with Scotland Yard officers.

The performer was not arrested or spoken to under caution and Scotland Yard said it did not ask for the concert to be cancelled.


"Gay Folks Live Where Black Folks Live"
By Carla Thompson

When Jasmyne Cannick hears the comment, "go to back to West Hollywood where you belong," it makes her blood boil. Cannick, a board member for the National Black Justice Coalition, an ad hoc social justice organization formed around the issue of gay marriage, says she's not going anywhere — especially to the white gay enclave some fellow black activists suggest she check out.

Cannick says her goal, first and foremost, is to empower the black community, gay and straight. "That's not my culture and those aren't my people," says Cannick. "Before anything, I am black, everything else comes after that. First you see black. They don't know if I am gay if I don't disclose this info.

"Gay folks live where black folks live," Cannick continues. "We're black and we have all the same issues as African Americans. Many are struggling to survive and make it like every other African-American out there."

Her partner Azaan Kamau agrees. Editor of Gay Black Female magazine, Kamau lives in Ingelwood, where she says she wakes up to old people jogging and blue-haired ladies walking their poodles. She thrives on this part of Los Angeles County, where she describes a kind of neighborliness that anybody would thrive on. She says she thinks most of her neighbors know she's a lesbian, but it's not something they discuss.


Gays plan protest march to Delegate Marshall's house
News & Messenger

Cindy Allan grew up in Dale City, her lesbian identity not accepted by her church and community.

She left the county, away from its conservative culture, to live in Alexandria.

She's returning Saturday to march with her mom and others on Delegate Robert G. Marshall's house to protest a law he sponsored they say could make Virginia the most restrictive state in the country for gays.

"I remember growing up there. It's very difficult to get people to come out," Allan said of Prince William. "But now, this bill has set off people. This is too much to risk, to let this go by. It's time to speak."


More firms adopt gay-friendly policies

As Sunday's Gay Pride Parade approaches, coming out is becoming very in -- especially in executive offices.

While President Bush adds fuel to the political firestorm that is same-sex marriage, the most successful members of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered community -- LGBT for short -- are stepping up and out, taking a stand for their equal rights.

Standing alongside the LGBT execs are an unprecedented number of corporations embracing "inclusion" in their human resources departments through nondiscrimination policies covering sexual orientation and gender identity, domestic partner health insurance benefits, and other policies relevant to gays and lesbians.

During June, Gay Pride month, eight companies with large employment in Chicago -- Accenture, Bank One, CNA, Deloitte, Exelon, Harris Bank, LaSalle Bank and Quaker Oats -- are co-sponsoring a series of events promoting inclusive work environments. Their partner in the venture is the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, an LGBT activist group.


Fulton County issues first-ever Pride proclamation
Atlanta City Council misses proclamation deadline, but extends bar hours

Nearly 30 years after former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson issued the city’s first “Gay Pride Day” proclamation, the Fulton County Commission caught up, drafting its first-ever proclamation this year.

“It seems appropriate for us to blend our support for the issues and the people,” said Commis-sioner Nancy Boxill, who presented the proclamation on June 16 to members of the Fulton County Alliance of County Employees for Equality.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta City Council, which has consistently issued proclamations at Pride for the past several years, contacted the Atlanta Pride Committee too late this year to present its proclamation on stage during Pride festivities.

“It’s like that old adage, ‘It’s the thought that counts,’” said Donna Narducci, executive director of the Atlanta Pride Committee. “We appreciate the thought and had we been contacted earlier, we could have made accommodations.”


Castro bar discrimination charges expand
By Jo Stanley | Staff Writer

A Castro District bar owner, who faced charges earlier this month that he mistreated some black customers, has also been accused of gender discrimination, leading some city leaders to question his proposal to purchase a local business that serves the black community.

Don Romesberg and John Newsome began a public campaign in June against alleged discrimination at Badlands and Detour bars, which are both owned by Les Natali.

The two men filed complaints with The City's Human Rights Commission and the state Alcoholic
Beverage Control Department based on reports that black men were being discouraged from entering the bars or ignored if they did get inside. Romesberg and Newsome have since heard complaints from other non-white men as well as many women who claim they were also not welcome at the clubs.


Judge Petitioned To End New Paltz Gay Weddings
by The Associated Press

(Kingston, New York) A judge was asked Thursday to invalidate roughly 180 gay marriages performed in New Paltz this year and bar any village official from performing more same-sex unions.

The lawsuit from the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel is the broadest legal challenge yet to same-sex weddings that have been performed in New Paltz since Village Mayor Jason West first officiated over marriages on Feb. 27.

The group has successfully argued for an injunction keeping West from performing more weddings, inspiring other officials and ministers to take his place. Last weekend, village board member Julia Walsh joined a group of ministers in marrying 19 same-sex couples. Another board member, Rebecca Rotzler, married gay couples a week ago.

Besides West and the village, the Liberty Counsel suit asks the judge to bar Walsh, Rotzler and their fellow board member, Michael Zierler, from performing gay weddings. The suit also asks Supreme Court Judge Michael Kavanagh to declare invalid the appointment of Rotzler and Walsh as marriage officers.


FG call for gay couples' rights stops short of marriage
  From:The Irish Independent

FINE Gael has published proposals which would allow same-sex cohabiting couples to formally register their relationship, but the party has stopped short of calling for gay marriages.

The party's Civil Partnership policy would also extend the same rights to heterosexual couples who have decided to remain unmarried. The proposals would allow these couples to avail of a number of rights, including succession, social welfare, pensions, tax and property.

Senator Sheila Terry, the party's equality spokeswoman, said the policy was not gay marriage and did not represent an attack on the traditional family model.

"Our policy document clearly states marriage will remain the choice of the majority and we have no wish to alter that."


Rape new weapon against South African lesbians

Keba Sebetoane's distress is evident as she describes her rape by a man she had considered a friend simply because, as a lesbian, she challenged traditional sexual roles.

"(If) I said 'no', I get beaten. (If) I say 'yes', I get raped...defenceless, I kept quiet and then it happened," said the 17-year-old at her home in Kagiso, a poor Johannesburg township.

South Africa's pro-gay laws are unprecedented on a continent where many regard homosexuality as an un-African taboo. But activists say legislation is not protecting those like Sebetoane, who pay for their freedom at the hands of male rapists.

While hate crimes, or "gay bashing", are common in all societies, researchers say rape seems more prevalent in South Africa.


12 Hispanic members of Congress go on record against FMA

Twelve Hispanic members of Congress members have signed a letter to President Bush expressing their strong opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment as well as "any other proposed amendments which attempt to achieve the same discriminatory objective." The letter also urges the president to reconsider his support of the discriminatory amendment initiative. "The Constitution and its subsequent amendments were designed to protect and expand individual liberties," the statement reads.

"Throughout our history and under the guiding principle of equal protection, the Constitution has been used to protect and expand individual liberties," said Rep. Charlie Gonzalez of Texas. "Establishing a federal standard defining marriage is unnecessary and restrictive to states, but more important, it would incorporate into the Constitution the restriction of rights for an entire class of people. If that were to happen, it would establish a constitutional precedent upon which to justify discrimination and exclusion of others."

Those who signed on to the letter so far are Charlie A. Gonzalez of Texas; Xavier Becerra, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Grace Napolitano, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, and Hilda Solis of California; Nydia M. Velazquez and José E. Serrano of New York; Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva of Arizona; and Luis Gutierrez of Illinois.

LLEGO, the National Latina/o LGBT Organization, has urged prominent Latinos to take a stand against the Federal Marriage Amendment. Last month representatives from the National Council of La Raza, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement announced their opposition at a LLEGO organized press conference.


Thursday, June 24, 2004

Legal Case Questions Right of Out-of-State Civil Union
by Amanda Luker (bio)

A New York appeals court is considering whether to recognize the gay civil union of a Long Island man who wishes to sue a Manhattan hospital for malpractice in the death of his partner. A Long Island judge's previous ruling stated that John Langan could sue St. Vincent's Hospital in the death of Neal Conrad Spicehandler who was hit by a car in Manhattan. The hospital appealed, questioning whether the couple's 2000 civil union in Vermont gave Langan the legal right to sue for malpractice in New York.

Some gay rights advocates say this ruling could set a precedent for legal recognition of same-sex marriages preformed in certain states and other countries like Canada or Belgium.

UK Civil Unions Bill Defeated In Lords
by Peter Moore Newscenter
London Bureau

(London) The House of Lords Thursday rejected a bill that would recognize same-sex couples, a crushing defeat for the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The legislation, which has already passed the House of Commons, would have allowed same-sex couples to make a legal commitment to each other at a formal ceremony and have similar rights on pensions and property to heterosexual partners.

It would have given full recognition for the purposes of life assurance, the right to take over tenancy rights and pension benefits from a partner and an ability to gain parental responsibility for their civil partner's children.

Conservative Party lords who have consistently thwarted government attempts to pass gay positive legislation gutted the civil union bill by tacking on an amendment that would have extended the law to include relationships such as long term caregivers.

Gay Discrimination Law Illegal University Says
by Newscenter Staff

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) In an attempt to avoid paying benefits to the partners of its gay and lesbian employees the University of Pittsburgh is calling for a court to strike down the city's non discrimination ordinance that protects gays.

In its brief, the University of Pittsburgh argues that the City of Pittsburgh did not have the authority to include sexual orientation protection in its civil right ordinance since sexual orientation was not covered by state civil rights protections.

If the court accepts the argument it would invalidate civil rights ordinances in other Pennsylvania cities including Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York and Erie that also protect against sexual orientation.

Gay workers at the university have been fighting for eight years to get the partner benefits.

Bend's new law banning gay discrimination meets opposition
Associated Press

BEND, Ore. -- Opponents of a new law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians in the workplace, housing and public places are seeking to have the ordinance overturned.

Bend residents Bill Brackett and Dave Eaton filed Tuesday to begin circulating a petition to refer the law to voters in November, the Bend Bulletin newspaper reported.

The repeal effort comes a week after the Bend City Council unanimously passed the anti-discimination ordinance, making it the first the first Oregon city east of the Cascades to adopt such a measure.

To refer the issue to voters, Brackett and Eaton must collect 3,352 valid signatures by July 16, or, 10 percent of the electorate. A majority of voters would need to vote to repeal the law in November.

Assembly opposes constitutional ban on gay marriage
Associated Press

SACRAMENTO - California's state Assembly voted Thursday to oppose a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which is backed by President Bush, that would ban gay marriage.

Through a 42-27 vote, the Assembly also said it also opposed other federal moves to restrict rights of same sex-couples.

The close vote comes in the wake of thousands of gay weddings in several states in recent months, including California, and followed fierce debates Thursday between Democrats and Republicans over the institution of marriage and the role of the U.S. Constitution.

Noting that previous constitutional amendments ended slavery and allowed women to vote, Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, said the Constitution "should not be used in a different way to single out one segment of the population for discrimination."

Lawmakers, Clergy & Civil Rights Groups Urge Washington Court to Rule For Gay Marriage
by Newscenter Staff

(Seattle, Washington) Six state legislators and a wide variety of religious organizations, civil rights groups and bar associations filed friend-of-the-court briefs Thursday in support of marriage for same-sex couples in Washington State.

Lambda Legal and the Northwest Women's Law Center filed a lawsuit in state court in March seeking the right to marry for same-sex couples. The briefs filed today urge the court to rule in favor of treating all couples equally.

"Today's filings show that we are not alone. Legislators, communities of faith and so many others see that as long as gay couples cannot marry, they are not being treated equally. It's powerful for the court to hear from such a diverse array of supporters," said Jennifer C. Pizer, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Western Regional Office.

Arguing that the state law excluding same-sex couples from marriage should be struck down, six state legislators -- including one Republican -- filed a brief saying that the "heterosexuals only" rule violates the protections guaranteed by the Washington State Constitution. State Representatives Fred Jarrett (R), Jim Moeller (D), Ed Murray (D) and Sandra Romero (D), as well as State Senators Debbie Regala (D) and Pat Thibaudeau (D) all signed onto the friend-of-the-court brief.

Trans March invites Araujo family
Organizers want to support kin of transgender slaying victim
By Melissa Evans, STAFF WRITER

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tuesday's mistrial in the case against three men accused of killing a Newark transgender teenager comes at an emotional time as thousands prepare to celebrate gay pride this weekend in San Francisco.

Organizers of the upcoming march and rally already had planned a kickoff event Friday night at Dolores Park. The "Trans March" now will include the family of the slaying victim, who was born Eddie Araujo but had been living as a young woman named Gwen.

"I think all of us were hoping there would be a resolution (in the trial)," said Chris Daley of the Transgender Law Center, which is helping organize the event. "No one will be celebrating the end of a murder trial ... but we'd hoped there had been strong convictions."

An Alameda County judge declared a mistrial Tuesday after jurors could not agree on the charges against Michael Magidson of Fremont and Newark residents Jason Cazares and Jose Merel.


Transgender community talks about effects
By Katherine Corcoran
Mercury News

Marcus Arana was so angry, he cried.

Tina D'Elio, a director in Communities United Against Violence, was encouraged.

There was no simple way Wednesday to sum up the reaction to the mistrial declared in the nationally followed murder case of Newark transgender teen Gwen Araujo.

While many couldn't believe that the jury was deadlocked on what they saw as clear-cut evidence, many also read the details as encouraging.

``It's hard to understand how a jury could hear that information and not come to a conclusion of first-degree murder,'' said Arana, a San Francisco Human Rights Commission investigator who is transgender. ``Having said all that, I'm optimistic about the fact that acquittal or manslaughter wasn't an option with those jurors.''


City to open parades to all
By David Waite
Advertiser Courts Writer

Parades and other events sponsored or co-sponsored by the city would be open to virtually anyone who wants to participate under a new set of rules being drafted by the city.

The new rules are part of a settlement between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai'i, which sued the city last year on behalf of six Honolulu residents and three gay rights organizations.

The proposed settlement terms were placed on the record in federal court yesterday.


Cape Coral woman banned from teaching after marrying partner
Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A 62-year-old Cape Coral woman who married her lesbian partner in Massachusetts was banned from teaching in the Church of Christ, Scientist, after she refused to "repent" for her actions.

Kathleen Clementson returned her teaching credentials and left the church. Her former students are now considered by the Christian Science board of directors to have had no primary instruction.

Clementson married Suzanne Nightingale, 49, also of Cape Coral, on a public beach on May 20, before Massachusetts started banning out-of-state same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses. The women have since bought a townhouse in that state, and said they plan to move there.

An Associated Press photo taken at the service was sent to newspapers around the world, and many people recognized Clementson's name in connection with the church, she said.


UK MEP backs suspended mayor
Ben Townley, UK

A MEP for London has slammed the French authorities for suspending the mayor at the centre of the country's same-sex marriage row.

Jean Lambert says she is "demanding an explanation" from French embassy officials for the suspension of mayor Noel Mamere after he married a gay couple earlier this month.

The Green MEP and a member of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee added that Mamere, who is also a member of the Green party, should be reinstated immediately since his actions were a "brave step" towards fighting homophobia.

"M Mamere's actions should be praised as progressive step towards stamping out homophobic discrimination - not condemned," Lambert says.


Gays turn out at Parliament
Big showing of gay people at Parliament today to hear first reading of Civil Union Bill- will go to a conscience vote

Gays have turned out in force at Parliament today to listen to the historic first reading of a bill which will allow them to walk up the aisle.

The Civil Union Bill is being debated and MPs are being given a conscience vote on it.

The Bill's sponsor, Associate Justice Minister David Benson-Pope, says the Bill is about human rights by giving equality to any couples.

Mr Benson-Pope says the Civil Union Bill's time has come.


Church hosts same-sex marriage

St. Paul's Church in Valley Cottage last night hosted a discussion of same-sex marriage to clarify the Roman Catholic Church's position on the issue.

More than 50 people attended the 90-minute meeting, which at times became heated.

"There is such a thing as true marriage, and it includes a union between one man and one woman," the Rev. Joseph Giandurco said of the church's beliefs. "That is what marriage is and has been understood to be for thousands of years by every culture and every society."

Giandurco, a professor of canon law at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, was one of the invited speakers. He mentioned President Bush's views on same-sex marriage and recited excerpts from a speech he made earlier this year.


FG Civil Partnership policy sets out rights for cohabiting couples - Terry
Discuss Justice on the Forum

Fine Gael's Civil Partnership proposals will allow cohabiting couples - of either the same sex or of opposite sex - to formally register their relationship with the State, Fine Gael Equality Spokesperson, Senator Sheila Terry said today (Thursday) at the policy launch.

"Fine Gael has set out a number of fundamental rights that couples will be awarded upon registration, including:

· Succession
Should a partner die intestate, the surviving partner will be entitled to his/her entire estate, and will not be liable to inheritance tax. If the deceased partner has children (perhaps from a previous relationship) this automatic entitlement is reduced to one third. (and more)


PTA's progress toward inclusion

Sometimes, progress happens in fits and starts.

The on-again, off-again, on-again invitation from the National PTA to a national gay advocacy group is one of those times.

The group, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), initially tried to participate in the PTA's national conference several years ago to raise awareness about anti-gay bullying. At first its leaders were met with silence. Last year, they were invited to submit a proposal. Then their proposal was rejected.

But this story has a happy ending. The PTA finally agreed to let PFLAG put on a workshop at its conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Saturday.


it looks like those in SA is still up to segragation... and trans folks again get excluded... thats funny.. it sounds like HRC

Gay group kicks transvestites out

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance's national executive has barred transvestites and cross-dressers from membership and has expelled two members of its board who are from those groups.

"To cross dress or change one's sex is not a qualifying factor to be part of the lesbigay orientation. Men dressing as women or women dressing as men harm the image of the lesbigay community," it said.

The party said Lesbigays were "average people" with only a single identifying aspect, namely same-sex orientation and it believed "most South Africans will welcome our decision".

But Marcus Pillay of Siyazenzela, a body that fights racism, homophobia and other prejudice against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed people, said this was discriminatory.


N.C. voters back gay union ban

As some lawmakers push for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a new poll suggests that most North Carolina voters would back such a proposal.

A survey this month of likely voters found that 56 percent favored prohibiting gay marriage through an amendment, 38 percent disagreed and the remaining 6 percent were not sure.

The poll, of 600 likely voters, was conducted for a partnership of The News & Observer, WRAL-TV and WUNC Radio by Research 2000 of Rockville, Md.

"I have no doubt that there's a majority of support for a state amendment," said Del Ali, president of Research 2000.


Record 5 Gay Bills Simultaneously Move Forward In Cal Leg While Anti-Gay Bill Dies 
by Mark Worrall Newscenter

(Sacramento, California)  Six pieces of legislation affecting California's gay community were heard yesterday in legislative committees. Five beneficial bills dealing with workplace harassment and discrimination, health care, domestic partnership rights and recognition of LGBT veterans were approved in their respective committees, and a discriminatory resolution in favor of the so-called “Federal Marriage Amendment” died. 

It is believed to be the largest number of gay bills to be dealt with in a single day in the legislature.

The Omnibus Labor and Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2004 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 4-1 on a party-line vote with broad support from labor, legal, and civil rights organizations. The bill, authored by  Assemblyman John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) will standardize about 30 labor and employment non-discrimination provisions to make them consistent with the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). 

The bill now moves to the State Senate Appropriations Committee. A companion bill authored by Assemblyman Laird that would extend third-party harassment protections to the FEHA provisions, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 4-1 vote.


Police sack homophobic recruits

Senior police officers condemned the pair and vowed that the Metropolitan Police "will not tolerate homophobia".

The unnamed trainees admitted pushing a number of "offensive notes" under the door of another recruit.

They were dismissed for misconduct over the incident at the Hendon police training centre last July.

They were confronted during an internal investigation launched after the recruit complained to training staff.

Detective Chief Superintendent Phil Flower, head of the Met's internal misconduct process, said the comments represented "entirely unacceptable conduct from anyone who would aspire to become a police officer".


British Gay Partners Win Landmark Ruling
By Peter Moore

(London) In a stunning victory for same-sex couples in Britain the highest judicial body in the country has ruled that gay partners have the same rights as heterosexual couples.

In settling a long-running legal battle, the House of Lords rejected an appeal by a landlord who claimed a gay man could not inherit the tenancy rights of his partner after he died.

Citing the Human Rights Act, four of the five Law Lords ruled that a gay couple had the same legal rights as a married couple.

"Homosexual relationships can have exactly the same qualities of intimacy, stability and inter-dependence that heterosexual relationships do," said Baroness Hale writing for the majority.


Test vote likely on gay 'marriage'
By Amy Fagan

House leaders are likely to hold a test vote on issues related to homosexual "marriage" to show where House members stand before they push ahead with an actual constitutional amendment.

    Options under discussion for a House vote, Republican aides said, include legislation that would strip federal courts of their jurisdiction to hear cases regarding the definition of marriage, and a measure that would define marriage in the District of Columbia as being between a man and a woman.

    A House Republican leadership aide explained that voting first on legislation like this is a way to "flesh out where the votes are" and let leaders and outside groups target members who vote no, in order to persuade them to support the constitutional amendment later on.
  Rep. Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, said he and other backers of the constitutional amendment "don't have a complete read" on where members stand on it, and an initial vote on related legislation would help them identify who to target.


French lawmakers pass antihomophobia bill

A bill to outlaw homophobia in France was approved by the French government on Wednesday, Agence France-Presse reports. The bill, which will go before parliament next month, will make "incitement to discrimination, hatred, or violence against a person on the basis of gender or sexual orientation" punishable by a year in prison and a $54,000 fine. The proposed law was conceived in the wake of a vicious attack on a gay man who was badly burned earlier this year. It puts sexist and homophobic remarks on the same criminal level as words encouraging racism or anti-Semitism.

At the weekly cabinet meeting President Jacques Chirac said he hopes the law would "bring to an abrupt end these very serious acts," his spokesman told Agence France-Presse. Justice minister Dominique Perben said the proposed law owes much to the story of Sebastian Nouchet, who was attacked at his home in northern France in January and sprayed with petrol. "This law is in some way the Nouchet law," he said. The bill enters the process of ratification just after the center-right government took steps to punish a mayor--Green Party politician Noël Mamère--who earlier this month performed France's first-ever same-sex marriage ceremony.


Anti-gay pride resolution fails in Arkansas

An alderman in Conway, Ark., had about 200 loud supporters behind him for a resolution to denounce a gay pride parade scheduled for this weekend, but not one of his colleagues on the city council would second his call for a vote on Tuesday. Alderman Sandy Brewer's proposal was to dissociate the city from the parade planned for Sunday, the 35th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York's Greenwich Village. The resolution would not have carried any legal weight but would have called the parade "a potentially divisive and disruptive activity" that the city would "neither encourage nor condone." The crowd complained vociferously when the other aldermen met Brewer's proposal with silence, never seconding the motion and therefore not opening the floor to debate.
Parade organizers John Schenck and Robert Loyd welcomed the public response, saying it was good to begin discussing the issue. Schenck and Loyd live in a bright pink house in Conway and held a public commitment ceremony on the steps of the state capitol in Little Rock earlier this year.


New Mexico's highest court to hear same-sex marriage case

The New Mexico supreme court has requested written legal arguments from the attorney general's office in a dispute over a county clerk's issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Sandoval County clerk Victoria Dunlap asked the court earlier this month to dismiss a temporary restraining order preventing her from handing out more marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The court, in a one-page order on Monday, directed the state to file written arguments by July 6 responding to Dunlap's petition before the justices. Asst. Atty. Gen. Chris Coppin said Wednesday that he had not seen the court's order but that the attorney general's office would file its response by the deadline. He would not discuss how that response would read. The court typically seeks responses from parties in a case before determining how to proceed. No hearing has been scheduled in the case.

Dunlap issued 66 marriage licenses to same-sex couples on February 20. She contends that New Mexico laws support same-sex marriages and that she should be allowed to resume issuing licenses to same-sex couples. The attorney general's office contends that state law limits marriage in New Mexico to a man and a woman.


Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Dear . . . .,

any ways... I am writing you because there is really no one else at this point, and also, just so you know, its not like an elimination process, but I look at the list in my mind and your it....

first, I am sure you heard or read about the Qwen Araujo mistrial.... I was in shock, literally; and after living through the repulsion of an entire hearing as the defense repeated its strategy of sexual fraud as a justification for killing . . . sexual fraud? . .. I can not tell you the number of times I felt sexual fraud from some straight person . . . I wonder what would have happen if I murdered one of Them.. .. but, I guess in some minds sexual fraud is a good enough reason to kill a beautiful 17 year old trans-female, doing what teens do. and as a historical reference, which I am sure you all ready know.. it makes sense in the fact that it's ok to murder someone just because you do not get enough fiber, and eat too many twinkies.. we have heard it before . . . .

and at this point I must say shock and repulsion are only words that drift away after a time, they do not settle on the body or in the body. words that have no meaning, as I would sit and read the trial transcripts of the beating of Qwen, pleadng for hir life, begging for them let hir go.. how they smashed hir head into the wall enough to put a hole in the wall, how they kicked hir and strangled hir, and then to make sure Qwen was dead, bashed hir head in with a shovel... words even now have no meaning for my body to bear the weight of that.. after that words mean nothing . . .

and I on top of that . . . or should I say as a base, we are living in times of low or maybe high fascism, where instead of using the Jews to draw one's attention away from the troubles at hand; this fascist unelected president has pointed to queers, and in a sense is using the queer defense (sexual fraud) like they did at the Qwen trial.. creating fear and hysteria . . . around the sacred production of marriage . . . so, I guess in this day and age in amika, the land of the holy dollar you can no longer get away with slaughtering millions in the home land, but make them second class citizen, and strip of their dignity - esspecially queers, rights? .. and in the mean time carry on egregious acts of empiricism and war; all the while, splitting the television image, thus splitting the activism, thus spitting the holy dollar and the straights against the queers, the haves against the have nots...

and so, I do not mean to go on and on.. but that is not why I write you.. it is just a base, and introduction per say..

so when the mistrial was announced, after I had listen to the horrendous beating this poor child received, repeated day after day... I attended a rally last night and heard Sylvia Guerrero, Qwen's mother call Qwen her daughter, and promised to do what ever she could do so this would not happen to another trans person, and promised to be at the trans march here in SF friday; I knew there was someone who got it, got the pain and suffering trans folks go through. . .

and that is why I write you now.... as I trembled in fear listening to the hearings; those horrible acts done to this child, my body was assaulted; when I heard there had been a mistrial, I was aware as a trans person my life had little or no meaning in this world.. and when I heard one more time of another murder; the 30th time in my (transitioned) life (going back to the first trans murder I remember - not how many have actually been murdered, but the ones I knew of). when I saw that beautiful face and imagined what Qwen went through.. it beat my soul into darkness, it tore at my flesh, it assaulted my will to live...

and that is not why I write to you for you hear my pain; and I do not write you to let you know few if any gays and lesbians where at the the gathering last night, or the fact that trans folks where not included in the hate crime bill in congress sponsored by HRC, or.... at least 38 trans folks where murdered last year.. horrible, horrible deaths . . .

but, I write you to let you know . . . not one person from this community called poets, not one from this group checked in to see how I was.. not one cared enough to imagine the weight this might have on one who is also a transperson... not one person.... and I can not come to but one simple conclusion... this is a hopeless battle, because no one . . . no one, has a clue... and thus the battle is lost...humanity is lost poetry is lost

and you know its not about ME, as in, poor suffering me... its that, I do not get anyone gets it, not really . . .. I mean, that's what its truly about . . . is knowing someone else shares in the fear, pain and suffering of a people... and I / we are not alone in this assault and battery . . . but that did not happen

I write you because I know you where not here.. and so somehow I can say in my mind... if you would have been here you would have gotten it... or I only hope.. since you are the only one who might.



Murder of Gwen Araujo Spurs Philanthropic Fund

Contact: Julie Dorf
Director of Philanthropic Services
415-398-2333 ext. 103 Date: March 8, 2004
For Immediate Release

SAN FRANCISCO - With the Gwen Araujo murder trial set to begin on March 15, Gwen's family, community activists, and Horizons Foundation have joined forces to create the Gwen Araujo Memorial Fund for Transgender Education. This fund will make small grants to school programs that promote understanding of transgender people and issues among youth.

Gwen's mother, Sylvia Guerrero, said, "I am so committed to ensuring that what happened to my daughter does not happen to anyone else. The hatred of others because they are different must stop, and this fund will help break the cycle of ignorance and violence - with kids in their schools and with their parents."

Horizons Foundation is a philanthropic social justice organization that has been serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community throughout the Bay Area for more than 20 years. "As a community foundation, Horizons has a special responsibility to pull together all LGBT people in the Bay Area, through a vehicle such as this fund, to help end the kind of violence and hatred that led to Gwen's death," said Roger Doughty, Executive Director of Horizons Foundation. "We are proud to be the home of the fund and to work closely with Gwen's family and other members of our community to have a real impact on youth."

The Gwen Araujo Memorial Fund for Transgender Education will be advised by a group of transgender and education experts, and will accept donations from the community on-line via the Horizons Foundation website and through the mail. Horizons encourages other community organizations, youth advocates, and communities of faith to consider supporting this fund.

For more information and press photos, see

Horizons Foundation; 870 Market, Suite 728; San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone 415.398.2333; Fax 415.398.4783;


Family frustrated by judge's ruling
By Ben Aguirre Jr., STAFF WRITER

When the family of the transgender Newark teenager slain some 20 months ago entered a Hayward courtroom in March for the trial against the three men charged with the crime, they knew it would be a traumatizing experience.

Tuesday morning, family members learned they would have to relive the horrific details of the case again.

Judge Harry Sheppard declared a mistrial --

meaning the case will have to be retried -- after the jury told him that it was unable to reach a verdict against 24-year-olds Michael Magidson of Fremont and Newark residents Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, each charged with first-degree murder with a hate crime enhancement.

"If it takes us 20 times to get justice, we'll do it 20 times," said David Guerrero, the uncle of the 17-year-old victim who was born Eddie Araujo but was living as a woman named Gwen at the time of the October 2002 slaying.

"I would like to say that we're getting stronger," he said. "But


Decision sparks outrage
By Alison Soltau | Staff Writer

Shocked and disappointed transgender activists rallied in the Castro District Tuesday, describing the mistrial case of slain transgender teen Eddie "Gwen" Araujo as justice gone awry and a setback for civil rights.

But others took a different view, saying the fact that the jury did not exonerate the alleged murderers and accept their "heat of passion" defense was encouraging.

After the announcement that the deadlocked jury forced an Alameda judge to abort the trial, scores of activists gathered at Harvey Milk Plaza.

The deadlock was a "travesty of justice," said longtime transgender activist and Police Commissioner Theresa Sparks.


Decision isn't a win for defense strategy
By Josh Richman, STAFF WRITER

The trial of three men accused of killing transgendered teenager Gwen Araujo ended in a mistrial Tuesday, but apparently not because the defendants' controversial trial strategy worked, legal experts said.

The defense had basically pleaded a kind of "gay panic," asking the jury to mitigate the crime in which the three men took part by arguing they had been pushed into a rage by Gwen Araujo's concealment of her physical gender. Gwen was born Eddie Araujo.

But prosecutors polling the jury Tuesday reported the panel had rejected acquitting the defendants or convicting them of manslaughter; it simply couldn't reach unanimity on whether to convict the three men of first-degree murder or of second-degree murder.

The state penal code defines first-degree murder as premeditated and deliberate, while second-degree murder requires no premeditation.


Araujo Prosecutors Will Seek Murder Conviction Again
(ABC7)June 23 (BCN)

Speaking to reporters after a mistrial was declared when jurors deadlocked following deliberations that spanned parts of 10 days, Lamiero said, "We asked for a first-degree murder verdict this time based on what the evidence supports and we will ask for first-degree the next time as well."

Lamiero said he based his decision on brief discussions with jurors after Alameda County Superior Court Judge Harry Sheppard declared the mistrial, but he didn't disclose any details of those discussions.

Jurors sneaked out a back door at the courthouse to avoid talking to reporters who were waiting to interview them about the deliberation process that led to them deadlocking.

The jury foreman told Sheppard that in their latest balloting, jurors were 7-5 in favor of convicting Michael Magidson of first-degree murder but were 10-2 in favor of acquitting Jose Merel and Jason Cazares of first-degree murder


Anger, frustration at rally for Araujo in the Castro
Supporters find some solace in jury calling transgender's slaying a murder
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Advocates for transgender people, frustrated that the trial of three men accused of killing Gwen Araujo ended Tuesday in a mistrial, found comfort in the jury's apparent rejection of defense arguments that the young woman, who was biologically male, shared some responsibility for her death.

Jurors agreed that Michael Magidson, 24, of Fremont, Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, both 24 of Newark, were guilty of murder but deadlocked over whether it was first- or second-degree murder, said Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero. That, advocates for transgender people said, shows the panel didn't buy defense claims that Araujo's slaying was not murder but manslaughter, a crime of passion fueled by the defendants' shock and anger at having been "duped" into having sex with a youth who was born a boy but lived as a girl.

"This jury wasn't willing to acquit and rejected manslaughter," said Carolyn Laub, director of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. "They agree that it's murder. That's important for everyone to hear. It's not justice yet, but it means the jury understands the value of one life and that the actions of these men was intentional. ... We've moved on as a society. We've rejected the idea that this young woman is responsible for her own death."

Still, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Harry Sheppard's declaration of a mistrial angered many people. It drew gasps within the courtroom, and some supporters of the Araujo family dropped their heads into their hands.

"I am just angry they weren't convicted of first-degree murder. I'm frustrated that this has to go on for another year," said Theresa Sparks, a San Francisco police commissioner and longtime transgender rights advocate. She said she finds it infuriating that the defendants' attorneys believe the "trans panic" defense is valid.


Transgender History On The March

In a groundbreaking event, the transgender community of San Francisco
will proudly step forward by taking the first marching steps of San
Francisco Pride Weekend. An unprecedented Trans March is scheduled to
be held Friday evening, June 25. The broad and diverse spectrum of
transgendered people will be assembling at Dolores Park at 7:00 PM and
will begin their march to Civic Center at 8:00 PM. Upon their arrival, there

will be a ceremony inaugurating the 1st annual Transr Altar to honor,
chronicle, and celebrate the struggles, the sacrifices and the
accomplishments of our community.

The gathering at Civic Center will be addressed by State Assemblyman
Mark Leno, San Francisco Police Commissioner Theresa Sparks, and other
notable community members and friends. Marchers are being encouraged to

bring significant and meaningful objects, pictures and writings to be
placed on the altar to be displayed for the duration of Pride weekend.

?What started off as a grass roots rally is turning into two historical

events?, says community activist Cecilia Chung, ?We have no idea who
the original organizers were for the march but we are committed to
creating a safe event for our community. It?s exciting to know that
there are others with the same vision and we are expecting a great turnout. We
also want to thank San Francisco Pride for giving the financial support

as well as an opportunity to create our own venue for the transgender
community. All we need now is to spread the words, recruit volunteers,
and ask community members and allies to bring something personal to
help build the altar.?

The Trans Altar is a project sponsored by San Francisco LGBT Pride
Celebration and will become a permanent art exhibit for future Pride
Celebrations here in San Francisco.

"The Pride Committee is excited to present the Trans Altar at our event

this year as a way to honor and celebrate the Transgender community in
all it's beauty and humanity. It provides Pride with a new, creative
way to fulfill our mission of mirroring the diversity and inclusivity
of the Celebration. The Altar, along with the Trans March, signals a new
level of visibility for the Transgender community and a new level of
growth for the LGBT community as a whole." says Joey Cain, current
President of San Francisco Pride.

Endorsers of the march include:

San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
Remembering Our Dead Project
Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Youth Gender Project (YGP)
Transgender Law Center (TLC)
UCSF Transgender Resource and Neighborhood Space (TRANS)
San Francisco Transgender Empowerment, Advocacy & Mentorship (SF TEAM)

For more information contact:
phone: (415) 585-0545

Cecilia Chung


Gender hate crimes act passes Senate; no mention of transgender people
by NewStandard Staff

Jun 23 - The US Senate voted yesterday in favor of a "Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act" that would define crimes that target individuals because of sexual orientation as hate crimes. "Hate crimes tear at the very fabric of our nation," Senator Gordon Smith (D-OR) said. "These kinds of crimes do more than harm the victims. They terrorize our entire society and send a message of hate and intolerance to millions of Americans."

While advocates for gay and lesbian rights applauded the 65-33 vote, spokespeople for transgender activists criticized the measure because its language does not include special punishment for crimes against people targeted because they do not conform to traditional gender expression. "In light of the amount of crimes that are committed each year against trans people that result in death, the fact [that] the language 'gender identity or inclusion' is not in the bill continues to send the message that it's OK to hate us and to kill us," said Ethan St. Pierre, a member of the National Transgender Activist Coalition.


Transgenders get okay for name change on ID card
By Relly Sa'ar

Haaretz Correspondent Interior Minister Avraham Poraz has made a gesture toward the transgender community in honor of Gay Pride Day tomorrow, instructing the outgoing head of the Population Registry, Herzl Gadj, to process requests by transgenders to change their first names before they undergo a sex-change operation.

Until now, residents who had a sex-change operation were entitled to a name change in their identity cards - for example, from traditionally male to traditionally female names - if a physician confirmed the procedure had taken place.

The ministry noted that transgenders who have not yet changed their sex sometimes want to change their names on their identity cards to correspond with their sexual identity. Poraz decided that a transgender's desire for a name change is sufficient, regardless of whether or not a sex-change operation has taken place.

Poraz was acting on complaints that Population Registry clerks are refusing to change a male resident's name to a female name, and vice versa



Tuesday, June 22, 2004

I called this and it works... follow the directions... it takes one minute...and please forward to everyone...

Governor Schwarzenegger is conducting a phone poll on
same-sex marriage.

Predictably, right-wingers are flooding the office
with calls.

Since we are trying to pass a slew of marriage and
domestic partner bills here in California, it's a good
time to show support on the issue.

This will only take a few seconds. Please make the
call and forward this email to all your lists.

Call 916.445.2841

Press in order...

Press 5 for Hot Issues
Press 1 for Same Sex Marriage
Press 1 to support marriage for same sex couples in

this is truly pitiful ... and shameful... we all need to hold this persons death and the failure of this system in our collective hands...!!

Mistrial in Transgender Teen Murder Case
Bay City News

An Alameda County Superior Court judge declared a mistrial Tuesday in the trial of three East Bay men accused of murdering Newark transgender teen Gwen Araujo.

Judge Harry Sheppard said that "it appears to the court that this jury is hopelessly deadlocked" and noted that the jury has deliberated over parts of 10 days.

Michael Magidson, 23, of Fremont, and Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, both 24-year-old Newark men, were being prosecuted on murder and hate crime enhancement charges for Araujo's death.

Prosecutors allege that the three men killed Araujo after discovering that the beautiful girl with whom at least two of them had sex actually was biologically male. The case has drawn attention from the transgender community around the nation.


Judge in Gwen Araujo Murder Case Declares Mistrial Tuesday, Citing Deadlocked Jury

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Calls “Gay Panic” Defense
A Disgrace to Our Judicial System

On October 14, 2002, seventeen year-old Gwen Araujo was brutally killed by four men because she was transgender. She had been intimate with two of the men previously, and they had suspected that she was biologically male. All four men met to talk about their suspicions. They created what one killer testified was a “Tony Soprano-like plan to kill him and get rid of the body." One week later they accosted her, beat her for six hours, drove her body to a remote national park, and buried her in a shallow grave. The investigating detective described the overwhelming display of violence as “overkill.”

Three of the four defendants were charged with first-degree murder with a hate crimes enhancement. Two of the defendants asserted the “gay panic” defense. The “gay panic” defense alleges that following an encounter with a person whom a straight-identified individual believes to be gay, that straight-identified individual becomes so terrified by implications for his own sexuality that he kills that person in an unthinking rage. When successful, this defense reduces a charge from murder to manslaughter, which can significantly lessen the sentence imposed. This reduction may occur despite the fact that these crimes are frequently characterized, as here, by gratuitous violence.

In Araujo’s case, the defense argued that senseless brutality committed against Araujo was manslaughter, which carries a substantially shorter sentence that the charge of murder, because the men had been "pushed beyond reason by their discovery” that “Araujo had deceitfully lured the men into having homosexual sex."

The following statement is attributable to Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

“We are sickened that that the jury in the Gwen Araujo murder case deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Ms. Araujo’s family and friends.

“The perpetrators committed an unprovoked, pre-meditated, and horrifyingly violent murder, followed by a calculated attempt to hide their crime. Clearly, the only ‘reason’ for this atrocity was that two of the perpetrators felt shamed that they had sex with Ms. Araujo and then learned she was a transgender person. That this ‘defense’ is even allowed is a disgrace to our judicial system; that even one juror bought this pathetic line reconfirms the virulent hatred and loathing of transgender people that lives in our society.

“Sadly, today’s result is not out of the ordinary. Perpetrators of similar, hate-motivated murders of transgender people have long escaped any punishment for their acts by relying on prejudice and ignorance. This must stop. We commend the district attorney for committing to a retrial of these violent thugs and ensuring that justice is served.”


Emergency Rally for Gwen Araujo at Harvey Milk Plaza Today (Tuesday) at 5:30
PM today

Come and show the world that we care about and value Gwen’s life.

This morning a judge declared a mistrial in the trial of three men accused
of killing Gwen Araujo after jurors said they could not agree whether to
convict the men of first-degree murder.

Judge Harry Sheppard said he believed that the jury was hopelessly
deadlocked after the jury foreman told him the panel of eight men and four
women have been unable to pass over the point of reasonable doubt.

The panel had been deliberating for the better part of 10 days.

The defense for the accused had argued that the defendants had “gay panic”
when they murdered Gwen and that she had “deceived” them about her gender.


Prosecutors say they will retry transgender killing case
By Michelle Locke

HAYWARD – Gasps of dismay sounded in a courtroom as the trial of three men charged with killing a transgender teenager ended Tuesday with the jury declaring they were deadlocked.

Prosecutor Chris Lamiero said he would seek to retry the case, although that is not expected to happen for some months.

Jurors, who had been deliberating for about nine days, said according to their latest ballot they were stuck 10-2 in favor of acquitting Jose Merel and Jason Cazares on first-degree murder charges and 7-5 in favor of convicting Michael Magidson.

The three, all 24, were charged with killing a teenager known to most of her friends as Gwen but born Edward Araujo. Merel and Magidson had sexual encounters with Araujo in the months before her death and, according to prosecutors, the killing occurred after a showdown in which Araujo's biological gender was revealed.

Had they decided to convict, the panel of eight men and four women also had the option of returning verdicts of second-degree murder or manslaughter, but only if they agreed on the first-degree charge. First-degree murder is punishable by 25 years to life, second-degree by 15-to-life and manslaughter by up to 11 years.


Judge declares mistrial in Araujo case
by Eric Johnston
PlanetOut Network

A judge in Hayward, Calif. declared a mistrial Tuesday in the murder trial of three men accused of killing transgender teen Gwen Araujo, after jurors indicated they were deadlocked over what charges the men should face.

Superior Court Judge Harry Sheppard announced his decision after speaking with members if the jury, who had deliberated for 10 days.

Michael Magidson, 23, and Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, both 24, were charged with first-degree murder, with a hate crime enhancement, for allegedly killing Araujo on Oct. 4, 2002.

The case has drawn national media attention and has mobilized the transgender community.
Christopher Daley, co-director of the Transgender Law Center, called it "justice delayed but not denied." He said while he had hoped to see the jury return with a verdict, he feels confident the defendants will eventually be found guilty of murder charges.

"It's our understanding from the prosecutor that each and every juror rejected the charge of manslaughter," Daley told the PlanetOut Network, "and that the only sticking point that led to this mistrial was whether or not these three men were guilty of first-degree or second-degree murder."