poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Rethinking Sex
Robert Dorit
Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. Joan Roughgarden. viii + 474 pp. University of California Press, 2004.

More than 2,400 years ago, Socrates was charged with using philosophy to "study things in the sky and beneath the earth"—with seeking a material understanding of the world, in effect, rather than accepting well–established theistic narratives. He defended himself in an Apologia—a passionate and intellectually rigorous speech that made clear the grounds for his opinions and actions. As recorded by Plato, it stands as one of the defining documents of Western culture.

Evolution's Rainbow is Joan Roughgarden's Apologia, an extraordinary book that entwines a radical attack on the Darwinian concept of sexual selection with a personal narrative written from her perspective as a transgendered woman (until six years ago, she was Jonathan Roughgarden). The book is thought–provoking, even at times profound, although some of its arguments are infuriatingly extraneous or superficial. Some critics will dismiss it as a book with an agenda—polemic tainted by the author's unwillingness to detach her scientific analyses from her personal experience. To take that narrow view, however, does grave injustice to Roughgarden's ambitious undertaking.

The book's scope is broad and inclusive. Part I, titled "Animal Rainbows," surveys the natural history of two thorny subjects: sex and gender. Consider, for instance, the fact that sexual reproduction is itself a fundamental evolutionary paradox. Parthenogenetic reproduction—cloning—produces offspring that are virtually genetically identical to their mother. In contrast, making offspring with a partner may seem like a good idea for a variety of reasons, but those offspring will share only half of a given parent's genes. Sex thus comes at a cost. Although a number of competing theories for the evolution of sexual reproduction have been put forth, we still have no unanimously accepted explanation.


Gays say added rights don't equal a marriage
PARTNERSHIPS: Domestic unions gain new strength as of Jan. 1, but couples want to wed instead.
By BETTYE WELLS MILLER / The Press-Enterprise

Same-sex couples will gain inheritance and property rights when significant changes to California's domestic-partnership laws take effect Jan. 1.

But until the state allows them to wed, same-sex couples and their families will continue to feel like second-class citizens, some Inland residents say.

"We were very happy when we got the (domestic partnership) certificate," said Christina Greutink, a San Jacinto homemaker and former teacher. "That one we didn't frame. Our marriage certificate is framed. That's special."

Greutink and Sue Lagman were married Feb. 16 in San Francisco, a marriage that was nullified Thursday by the state Supreme Court.


Gay rights activist to meet pastor
By Brendan McDaid

Ulster's leading gay rights activists today agreed to meet a Baptist preacher who has called for homosexuals to abandon their lifestyle.

Pastor Mark Bradfield contacted the Telegraph to express deep concerns over what he claimed was a homosexual agenda infiltrating Northern Ireland.

The Rainbow Project in Belfast today accused the pastor of stoking the flames of homophobia and spitting venom at the gay community.

Pastor Bradfield said that while he was against a recent spate of attacks on gay people, the gay community had "chosen their own path".

This is Bush's amika...

Teens accused of threatening man
Staff reporter

Three New Castle-area teens were arrested Thursday after they allegedly threatened to assault a father and his 20-year-old son with pipes and shovels because the son is gay.

New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said officers arrived in the first block of N. Kingston Road before violence erupted and arrested the teens.

Police charged the boys, one from the first block of Ryan Ave., one from the first block of Oakmont Drive and one from the 200 block of Parma Ave., with hate crimes, possessing a deadly weapon during a felony, aggravated menacing, conspiracy and two counts each of terroristic threatening.

The teens were committed to New Castle County Detention Center after failing to post $10,000 bail.


Gay workers share stories in TV ads
Four out of six say they're happier after revealing their homosexuality to boss
By Kelly Pate Dwyer
Denver Post

A widely broadcast series of TV commercials show gay people ready -- but apprehensive -- to come out to the boss. The ads intone: Where they live, they legally ``can be fired just for being gay.''

What the ads don't tell you is how things turn out.

Four of six men and women chronicled in the ads -- financed by Denver software entrepreneur Tim Gill's private foundation -- tell the Denver Post that they're happier for revealing their homosexuality at work. In the closet, they felt isolated, avoiding casual chat about family or dating.

However, their bosses' reactions to the news varied.


12 months' probation ordered in 2002 assault on homosexual
By Eric Weslander, Journal-World
Saturday, August 14, 2004

A judge Friday ordered a year's probation for the man convicted of punching Lawrence resident Jeffrey Medis in 2002 during a scuffle outside the Replay Lounge.

But the sentencing of Luke E. Wells, 24, Manhattan, won't get Medis one of his main objective: help paying his medical bills and other damages. Medis, who is openly gay and characterized the punch as a hate crime, suffered broken upper and lower jaws, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket and a gash on his chin after falling onto a concrete planter.

So far, he's rung up about $19,000 in medical and dental bills. He is seeking more than $75,000 from Wells in a civil lawsuit that's yet to be settled.

"I would just like to see something done about all his medical bills," Medis' mother, Linda, of Shawnee, said outside the courtroom after the sentencing.


Same-sex issue going to high court
New Orleans bureau

NEW ORLEANS -- A judge on Friday blocked a Sept. 18 vote on a Louisiana constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages, but he suspended his order so the state can appeal his ruling directly to Louisiana's highest court.

Assistant Attorney General Roy Mongrue said the judge's decision to suspend his order allows state officials to finalize the Sept. 18 ballot as planned Monday and send it to the printers.


Marriage Debate in a New Arena
Democrats might try to pass a bill in the Legislature legalizing same-sex unions, but would still face a possible veto.
By William Wan and Lee Romney
Times Staff Writers

With supporters of same-sex marriage losing a major round in the California Supreme Court, the debate seems likely to move to the Legislature, a shift that will pose risks for leaders of both major parties.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez said Friday that the Legislature would take up a bill next year to legalize gay marriage, and that he believed it would pass.

"I see this as a modern-day civil rights issue," Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) said in a meeting Friday with Times editors and reporters. "Sure it's controversial … [but] I suspect it will go to the governor's desk."

Both Democrats and Republicans say that whether the bill becomes law will hinge on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Democrats might be able to win passage of a same-sex marriage bill but they don't claim to have the votes to override a veto if Schwarzenegger doesn't sign it.


Ruling leaves gays unsure of benefits
By DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- With their same-sex marriages yanked away by the California Supreme Court, many gay and lesbian couples were left wondering Friday what will happen to the benefits they briefly received, such as family insurance discounts and medical coverage.

The court ruling came as many gay newlyweds were in the process of asserting legal rights to benefits only married couples enjoy. It means that the 3,995 same-sex marriages sanctioned by the city of San Francisco were never valid under the law.

"I was planning on going to court and saying 'I am married' and now I can't say 'I'm married,'" Margot McShane said. "The court's decision, it gave me a feeling like you were kicked in the stomach."

McShane worries that the court's decision will make it difficult, if not impossible, to be recognized as a legal parent of the twins that her partner gave birth to last month.


Latham 'reneged on gay marriage'

BOTH major political parties had made a mockery out of gay and lesbian people's lives by banning same-sex marriage, activists said today.
Almost 400 protesters turned out in inner Sydney today, criticising yesterday's Senate vote in which Labor sided with the coalition to pass the marriage amendment bill.

Transgender activist Grace Abrams said Labor leader Mark Latham had reneged on his promise to end gay discrimination when Labor took the vote.

"This government and opposition treats us like second class citizens," Ms Abrams told protesters.


SF Officials Working On Marriage License Fee Refund

SAN FRANCISCO -- Couples who had their marriages nullified Thursday by a state Supreme Court ruling will be getting a call from San Francisco city officials soon, according to City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office.

The city is trying to determine, with the state, the process in which to offer refunds to the 4,037 couples that got married earlier this year, said Matt Dorsey, spokesman for the City Attorney's office.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has suggested the possibility of opening a legal defense fund and allowing couples to donate the fees to the fund, said Dorsey.

Thom Lynch, executive director of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, thinks the legal defense fund is a terrific idea. He believes that many of the couples entitled to refunds would support such a fund.

New at Histori Queer:

Following is an extremely interesting and completely entertaining interview with a certain ‘SK’, described as the president of the now-defunct organisation, the ‘Lavndebaaz-i-Hind’ in the August 15-31, 1977 issue of the now-defunct ‘Onlooker’ magazine. Interesting, because (and we seem to be on a series of firsts in the queer movement on this blog) it was perhaps the first time in post-colonial India that an open articulation for a more positive recognition of homosexuals by the law was being made. Although, ‘SK’ was asking for legalisation and not decriminalisation, which seems to be the more legally sound term, (and since the original interview was translated by the magazine from Hindustani to English, there is a chance that this may have been lost in translation) I believe it is very significant that the linkage between harassment, the law and law-enforcement was being made and was being publicly articulated in 1977.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Olympics open without visible transgender participationEric Johnston, PlanetOut Network

Despite their recently won right to compete in the Olympics, no one seems to know of any transgender athletes who will be participating in the summer games, which kicked off this week in Athens, Greece.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) enacted new rules in May, allowing transgender athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time. But it is unclear if any are taking part in the current games.

"With so many countries and so many athletes, it could be that (a transgender athlete) just hasn't gotten any publicity, but I think we would have heard if there was," said Jim Buzinski, cofounder of OutSports. Buzinski noted to the PlanetOut Network that only five openly gay athletes are competing, out of a field of more than 10,000.

Transgender athletes who might have wanted to compete probably haven't had time to prepare and qualify for the Olympic Games. The IOC changed the rule regarding transgender athletes in May, only three months prior to the start of the games.


TransGender Michigan declares Transgender Awareness Day

In Aug. 1966, a group of transgender women fought back against a police raid at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco. The riot that ensued marks what many believe was the beginning of the transgender equality movement.

Although the specific date and many of the details surrounding the riot at Compton's Cafeteria have been essentially erased from history, TransGender Michigan is seeking to let the bravery of these transwomen live on by educating others about this momentous event and about transgender identity through the creation of Transgender Awareness Day, a day devoted to increasing understanding about transgender identity and issues.

Transgender Awareness Day will be held annually on Aug. 15 in honor of the Riot at Compton's Cafeteria. TransGender Michigan encourages organizations from all corners of the globe to celebrate Transgender Awareness Day through educational events and efforts. TransGender Michigan intends to list these events on

"Unfortunately, many say that the transgender equality movement is a relatively new one; however, our movement pre-dates Stonewall, the date most consider the beginning of the gay and lesbian civil rights movement," says Rachel Crandall, MSW, Executive Director of TransGender Michigan. "While Transgender Awareness Day may be a new event, it is definitely not a new way of thinking."


Judge Delays Custody Ruling
Virginia Case Could Set Precedent

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Winchester judge has delayed his verdict in a lesbian custody battle.

The judge must decide whether he has jurisdiction to decide a custody battle between two women who dissolved their civil union in Vermont and are fighting over their 2-year-old daughter.

The ruling has been postponed until Aug. 24, and could set a precedent for custody cases between same-sex couples who seek to end civil unions or other domestic partnerships in the future.

The judge must determine whether Lisa Miller-Jenkins has sole parental rights over her biological daughter, Isabella.


Activists to Fight Gay Marriage Nullifications
Morning Edition audio
Aug. 13, 2004

Supporters of same-sex marriage suffer a legal setback as the California Supreme Court annuls more than 4,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples in San Francisco this spring. But gay couples and rights activists say they will continue their fight for recognition of the marriages through the courts. Hear NPR's Richard Gonzales.


Town passes anti-gay marriage proclamation at Vitter's request
By The Associated Press

MADISONVILLE -- Acting on the request of Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Vitter, the town of Madisonville has proclaimed marriage as the "natural law'" union of a man and a woman.

Vitter The action was taken Wednesday over the vehement objections of a town council member who said she also is a Republican.

Near the end of a council meeting, Mayor Peter Gitz said he had received a letter and a copy of the proclamation from Vitter.

Judge rules anti-gay marriage amendment off La. ballot
Associated Press writer

A state judge has ruled that the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage will not appear before voters on the Sept. 18 ballot. NEW ORLEANS -- A proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and civil unions cannot go on the Sept. 18 ballot, a judge ruled Friday.

Acting on a suit contending that such a ban would violate the constitution, Civil District Judge Christopher Bruno stuck down the balloting, at least temporarily, on the grounds that Sept. 18 is not a true statewide election date.

Louisiana already has a law stating that marriage can only be heterosexual. Proponents want to protect that law by passing the constitutional amendment.

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below is an quick note I sent of to CHRIS CRAIN @, who wrote ENDA gets trans-jacked.

I would encourage everyone to write this hateful person and get them removed from the staff of the Houston Voice on line... we do not need people like this in the ranks and file when we are struggling for our rights...

you can also respond @

houstonvoic's SOUND OFF

Window Media (the publisher of the Washington Blade, New York Blade, Houston Voice and Eclipse and the Southern Voice Eclipse, which all ran the editorial)
Window Media
1408 U Street, NW
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 797-7000

Dear Chris,

just a note on you article Aug. 13, ENDA gets trans-jacked. Your reaction of the MAJORITY is always right falls flat in the face of the debate on Gay marriage and Gay rights. You should know by now equal right has nothing to do with THE MAJORITY...

really shame on you in a time of overt queer oppression, to write such a divisive article... have you not ever heard of united we stand divided we fall?

I can see that the GBLTIQ population will never come together when it rules by phollocentricism such as yours..

kari edwards
San Francisco


Newsom, unbowed by decision, says he is 'more resolved'
s.F. mayor reacts: Suit against state ban will continue
Ilene Lelchuk, Chronicle Staff Writer

Even in defeat, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom declared victory Thursday after the state Supreme Court ruled that he had no right to authorize the marriages of nearly 4,000 gay and lesbian couples at City Hall.

With the confidence and defiance that catapulted Newsom into national prominence only weeks into his new term when he approved same-sex marriages, the mayor said his fight for equal rights has put a human face on discrimination for the world to see.

"Now we have these 4,000 couples to tell their stories. We have their immediate family, their extended family, their grandparents, their sons, their daughters, their cousins, aunts and uncles," Newsom told a City Hall room packed with reporters from around the country. "So I'm not in any way discouraged. I'm frankly more resolved."


City's gays, lesbians disappointed but determined
ONWARD: Setback strengthens push for marriage rights
Julian Guthrie, Harriet Chiang, Chronicle Staff Writers

The 114-page ruling is laden with footnotes, dry legal terms and austere questions about the role of the rule of law in society and the Constitution's separation of powers.

The words within the California Supreme Court's decision released Thursday had the power to rock a city.

Though the ruling invalidating same-sex marriages in San Francisco was anticipated, it still stung. Throughout the day and across the city, numbness was replaced by what many described as a determination to continue to fight for the rights of gays and lesbians.

"I guess I've learned to expect these types of decisions in this race for equality," said Dave Chandler, 40, who was on the Internet when he read of the court's decision.


Gay marriage ban passes parliament
By Paul Osborne

Prime Minister John Howard has won his fight to ban gay marriage, but faces a possible High Court challenge to the laws.

Labor voted with the coalition in the Senate to pass the marriage amendment bill after an emotion-charged debate.

But Equal Rights Network spokesman Rodney Croome said the bill may be unconstitutional.

"Our lawyers are exploring the possibility that the constitutional basis for the new law is too weak to sustain it," Mr Croome said.


Councils urged to take action on new employment rules
Ben Townley, UK

Councils across England and Wales are receiving advice on adhering to the recently introduced employment legislation, which protects lesbian and gay workers for the first time.

The guidelines, from the Employers' Organisation (EO) for local government, are intended to help bosses ensure discrimination and prejudice does not take place in their council, and that their gay employees are not subjected to harassment.

Additionally, those behind the guidelines say introducing ways to monitor how minority communities are treated at work will lead to "higher productivty".

“For the first time, employers have a responsibility to actively introduce measures to prevent discrimination in their workplaces on the grounds of religion, belief and sexuality," Ellen Reynolds, Principal Diversity Advisor at the EO said today.


HRC snubs Specter in Pa. Senate race
Republican has history of support for gay rights

The Human Rights Campaign announced its endorsement of Democratic Congressman Joseph Hoeffel over Republican Sen. Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate race, despite Specter’s support for many gay rights initiatives.

The Log Cabin Republicans, a gay GOP political group, endorsed Specter, noting that the four-term senator nearly lost his primary race this spring to conservative Rep. Patrick Toomey, in part because of his support for gay rights issues.

Should Republicans maintain control of the Senate this year, Specter is likely to become head of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the committee’s current chair, is vacating that position.

“Specter has been one of the strongest allies for the gay community,” said Chris Barron, political director for the Log Cabin Republicans. “He’s a co-sponsor of the hate crimes legislation, opposes the [Federal Marriage Amendment], backs the [Employment Non-Discrimination Act] and has been a strong supporter of increasing HIV/AIDS funding.

International gay body asks Nepal to free homosexuals

Kathmandu, The New York-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has called for the immediate release of 39 transvestites who were arrested in a series of raids on restaurants and bars.

All 39 are members of Blue Diamond Society, a Kathmandu-based NGO that provides HIV prevention services and engages in advocacy for the rights of sexual minorities.
The detainees, who were refused bail, are to be charged with committing public offence in what is being seen as an anti-vice operation. Police also raided massage parlours, alleged to have been running sex rackets, and dance bars where girls were said to have been performing obscene acts.

"We are deeply concerned by the apparent escalation of violence against those whose sexual and gender identity and expression do not conform to social norms in Nepal," the commission said in a statement


Australian legislators ban gay marriage   
Big News     

The Australian Senate Friday passed a bill banning gay marriage, voting 38-7 after an emotionally charged debate, The Australian reported.

But Equal Rights Network spokesman Rodney Croome said the law may be unconstitutional, and his group was considering a High Court challenge to the law.

For the first time in three years, the government set a time limit on the debate for the bill to ensure it passed Friday, the paper said.

Australian Democrats spokesman Brian Greig said the bill had been driven by fundamentalist Christian members of Parliament and community leaders, who rallied in Canberra last week.


Anti-gay group plans to picket in Twin Cities
By Steve Arney

BLOOMINGTON -- An anti-gay group based in Topeka, Kan., plans to picket outside Electrolux Home Products North America and up to five churches in Bloomington.

Westboro Baptist Church spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper said her group will send 10 to 15 people, including children, to Bloomington and Peoria Electrolux sites Aug. 23 because the company is based in Sweden.

Unrelated to company activity, the government in Sweden jailed a preacher for making anti-gay statements, she said. Phelps-Roper described the protest as informational, not seeking a boycott or any other action against Electrolux.

The civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center describes church leader Fred Phelps as "America's most rabid and vicious hater of homosexuals." Westboro and the center spar over the center's designation of it as a "hate group."


Troubled teens finding this house can be a home
By Emily Sweeney, Globe Staff  

WALTHAM -- The Federal-style brick house at 409 Lexington St. does not stand out from the rest of its suburban neighborhood, but there's no other home like it in Massachusetts.

Two years ago it became Waltham House, the first group home in New England designed specifically for troubled teenagers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. With capacity for only a dozen teens, counselors expected they would have to turn kids away.

But they were wrong. Only a trickle of referrals came in from the state Department of Social Services. The reason: a failure to communicate.

"We expected that as soon as we opened the program, the floodgates would open," said Jennifer Thomas, the clinical director at Waltham House, one of only three such programs in the country. "Then we realized that a lot of adults within the DSS system have no language to, have no way to, identify kids who are queer or GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender]."

July 19, 2004
by Rex Wockner

Colombian gays protest at cathedral

Gay couples attended mass at the Catholic cathedral in Bogotá, Colombia, July 4 wearing T-shirts denouncing Vatican homophobia. Fellow worshippers responded with surprise or hostility, reports said.

"Homophobia is not Christian," the shirts said. Gayness is "a fact of nature that no human can change," said one of the
protesters, Gabriel Medina.

Same-sex marriage doesn't undermine marriage

International statistics do not support the argument of U.S. conservatives that allowing same-sex marriage will undermine traditional marriage, a study has found.

Research by University of Massachusetts economist Lee Badgett, for the Council on Contemporary Families and the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies, found that Scandinavia's marriagelike registered partnerships and the Netherlands' full same-sex marriages have had no measurable impact on opposite-sex marriage.

There have been no increases in divorce, cohabitation or out-of-wedlock childbirth, and in Denmark there has been an increase in the heterosexual marriage rate since the country instituted same-sex registered partnerships in 1989, Badgett said.

The study found that 77 percent of Norwegian couples with children and 75 percent of Dutch couples with children are married. The figure in the U.S. is 72 percent.

"The Scandinavian and Dutch experience suggests that there is little reason to worry that heterosexual people will flee marriage if gay and lesbian couples get the same rights," Badgett said July 13.


Thursday, August 12, 2004

we are living in a police state... its time to wake up .. this gov. is a joke.. it tells us who to marry, what gender we are... and what we are when we are fucking.. it time to move on... kick them out..

CIS Announces Policy on Transsexual Applicants

In an interoffice memorandum, William R. Yates, Associate Director for Operations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) announced that in its adjudication of spousal and fiancé petitions, the agency would not recognize a marriage or intended marriage where either party claims to be a transsexual.  Whether or not either party plans or actually undergoes sex reassignment surgery has no bearing on this decision.  The CIS adopted this approach to create nationwide consistency in lieu of varying state treatment of marriages involving transsexual applicants.  Some states issue a new birth certificate to a transsexual who undergoes sex reassignment surgery, which then enables that individual to obtain a marriage license.
Federal law determines the recognition of a marriage for immigration purposes.  The Defense of Marriage Act prohibits recognition of a same sex union as a “marriage” for immigration purposes, even if a state issued a marriage license to a homosexual couple.  Although neither this statute nor any other federal law discusses the legal status of a transsexual’s marriage, the CIS has followed its predecessor, the INS, by refusing to recognize a marriage where one party has undergone sexual reassignment surgery.  The agency requires exclusive recognition of an applicant’s gender as listed in his or her A-file unless the applicant presents a federal court order directing CIS to change its records.  The memo instructs CIS officers to follow objective indicators regarding name changes.  If an individual claims a different name than that in his or her A-file, which is typically used by the opposite sex, the officer should issue a request for evidence to establish an applicant’s identity.
In all other kinds of cases where gender does not play a central role in the adjudication of applications and petitions, CIS will not consider an individual’s claimed transsexuality.  Any documents will indicate the applicant’s gender at the time of issuance, so long as the individual submits the proper medical and other documentation of the new gender and legal name.  Unlike spousal and fiancé petitions, other types of adjudications no longer require an applicant to present a federal court order directing CIS to change its records when claiming a different gender than that in the A-file.  A non-citizen who requests a replacement document to indicate a name change after sex reassignment surgery must submit both the birth certificate issued at birth and the newly issued one reflecting the sex reassignment as well as the court order granting the legal name change. 


Will and Grace" not indecent"
Ben Townley, UK

Will and Grace has been cleared over indecency charges in the USA, after viewers complained that a simulated sex scene was too much.

The sitcom, which centres around a gay man and his straight best friend, was accused of indecency after it featured a supposed sex scene between two women. The episode was shown last March.

Americans For Decency complained about the scene, but the argument was dismissed by the country's Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC said the scene was not "patently offensive", and did not dwell on the sexual content.


Man left unconscious in homophobic attack
Ben Townley, UK

Police in Norwich are saying an attack which left a 45-year-old man beaten and unconscious was motivated by anti-gay feeling and are calling for witnesses to come forward.

The incident took place outside the city's The Loft gay club, on July 30 and around 3.30 am.

The unnamed victim was apparently jumped on by two men as he left the venue, and was subjected to roadworks signs being thrown at him, police say. He was then physically assaulted and abandoned.

The attack left him in hospital for two days.


War Over Words In Gay Rights Issue

A group opposed to the repeal of the Cincinnati charter amendment that prohibits the city from granting protected status to gays and lesbians filed a legal challenge Thursday to proposed wording on the November ballot, calling the language misleading and incomplete.

The proposal reads "Shall the Charter of the City of Cincinnati be amended to repeal Article Twelve, which prohibits the city from protecting people from discrimination based on sexual orientation."

It is the words protecting, discrimination, and sexual orientation that those in favor of keeping Article XII say are politically charged and should not appear on the ballot, Local 12's Dennison Keller reported.


Custody battle could be first test of new anti-gay law
Associated Press Writer
RICHMOND, Va. - A woman who had a child with her lesbian partner after entering into a civil union in Vermont is now suing for custody in Virginia, where a new law recently went into effect banning civil unions and other same-sex partnership contracts.

The state's leading gay rights organization, Equality Virginia, said the lawsuit could bring the first challenge to Virginia's anti-gay law, which many legal scholars call the most restrictive in the nation.

A hearing is scheduled Friday in a Winchester court to determine whether Lisa Miller-Jenkins has sole parental rights over her biological daughter, 2-year-old Isabella. Lisa's former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins, is contesting the action, claiming Vermont has jurisdiction over the case.

Though Lisa carried the child, Janet said Thursday the women selected a sperm donor with her physical characteristics so the child would look like the two of them. After Isabella was born in April 2002, both women took care of raising her. Janet didn't adopt Isabella because she was assured she had legal rights to the child under the couple's civil union.


N.J. governor, saying he’s gay, resigns office
McGreevey’s decision comes ahead of expected sex-harassment lawsuit
NBC, MSNBC and news services

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey announced his resignation Thursday afternoon, saying he had had an extramarital affair with another man that could leave the state government vulnerable to undue outside influences.

“My truth is that I am a gay American,” McGreevey, a Democratic former prosecutor who has seen several political aides and fund-raisers accused of corruption, said at a televised news conference.


Hundreds of Same-Sex Marriage Supporters to Gather at Protest Rally in West Hollywood Tonight, August 12, 2004

Members of the West Hollywood City Council, leaders of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community and hundreds of same-sex marriage advocates will gather at a rally tonight to protest the California Supreme Court's decision today in Lockyer v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., invalidating 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom earlier this year. The protest rally will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in front of the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station at the intersection of San Vicente Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard.


N.Y. state opens up hospital visitation to domestic partners
by Mike Lavers
PlanetOut Network

The New York State Senate, in an unanimous 59-0 vote, passed a bill on Thursday which allows both same-sex and heterosexual domestic partners to visit their loved ones while they are in the hospital.

This piece of legislation, which was introduced by state Sen. Nicholas Spano (R-Yonkers), mandates every hospital in New York implement a policy that allows people who are in domestic partnerships to visit their partners regardless of what their marriage status may be.

"No domestic partner shall be denied any rights of visitation of his or her domestic partner when such rights are accorded to spouses and next of kin," the bill stated.

A nearly identical version of the state Senate's bill was approved by the New York State Assembly in early June by a nearly unanimous margin.


PFLAG Applauds N.J. Gov. McGreevey's Courage, Encourages Support for Marriage

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement released today by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, regarding N.J. Gov. McGreevey's decision to resign:

Based on Gov. McGreevey's statement today, PFLAG admires his courage as a public figure, a husband, a father and a gay man. Coming out always takes an incredible amount of bravery. As the parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays, we applaud and appreciate his stand.

Because Gov. McGreevey has opposed marriage equality in the past, we hope he will now join fair-minded citizens in New Jersey and across the country to build a just society where his gay brothers and lesbian sisters have the same rights as straight families.

California Supreme Court Rules Marriages Invalid
Statewide Rallies/Protests Planned
Task Force Communications Department
Sheri A. Lunn, Director of Communications
Today the California Supreme Court ruled that the City of San Francisco did not have the authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples earlier this year and invalidated the marriage licenses issued to more than 4,000 same-sex couples. The court specifically stated that it was not ruling on the "the substantive question of the constitutional validity of California's statutory provisions limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman."
Statement by Matt Foreman
Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"This is an extremely sad day for the more than 4,000 same sex couples who were married in San Francisco earlier this year. For a few short months, those couples experienced the euphoria and dignity of their love and commitment being recognized as equal to other married couples.

At the same time - and contrary to the claims of those opposed to marriage equality - this decision has nothing whatsoever to do with the constitutionality of California's law that prohibits same sex marriage. Instead, it is all about a municipality's authority to determine, on its own, the constitutionality of state laws. That's all.

As usual, our opponents are deliberately misstating what this decision is about to energize their constituents and to try to demoralize those committed to full equality under the law. Fortunately for us, the truth is that time is our side. We - through the extraordinary work of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, Gay and Lesbian Rights Project of the ACLU, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders and many other incredible groups and organizations -- will prevail, not only in California but in other states across the country."

‘This is not the end of the fight to make same-sex couples safer and more secure,’ said Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON — Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques made the following statement today regarding the decision by the California Supreme Court that the city of San Francisco lacked the authority to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The court also invalidated the licenses of over 4,000 couples married earlier this year in San Francisco.

“This is not the end of the fight to make same-sex couples safer and more secure. California families will still have their day in court to challenge their exclusion from marriage.

“While we are disappointed that the Supreme Court ruled the city lacked authority to issue the licenses, this case does not speak to the issue of whether California’s discriminatory marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. As those cases move forward, we are hopeful that every California family will be able to access the more than 1,000 rights and responsibilities that are only conferred by marriage.
“This fight brought out untold heroes — from the more than 4,000 couples who sought to secure the families, to Mayor Newsom for his leadership, to the organizations fighting for equal rights in California including Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Marriage Equality California, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Northern California.”

Nepal: Release Sexual Rights Defenders
For Immediate Release:
From: "Scott Long"
For more information, please contact:
In New York, Scott Long: +1-212-216-1297
In Brussels, Vanessa Saenen: +32-2-732-2009
Nepal: Release Sexual Rights Defenders

(New York, August 12, 2004) Nepalese authorities should release 39 members of a group defending sexual rights who were arbitrarily detained on Sunday, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on the Nepalese government to end harassment of sexual minorities,including men who have sex with men and transgender people, and launch full investigations into allegations of violence against them.

California Supreme Court voids gay marriages in San Francisco, saying mayor overstepped authority
DAVID KRAVETS, Associated Press Writer

The California Supreme Court voided all same-sex marriages sanctioned by San Francisco this year and ruled Thursday that the city's mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

The court said the city violated the law when it issued the certificates, since both legislation and a voter-approved measure defined marriage as a union between a man and woman.

The justices decided with a 5-2 vote to nullify the nearly 4,000 marriages peformed between Feb. 12 and March 11, when the court halted the weddings. Their legality, Justice Joyce Kennard wrote, must wait until "the constitutionality of California laws restricting marriages to opposite-sex couples has been authoritatively resolved through judicial proceedings."

The court, however, did not resolve whether the California Constitution would permit a same-sex marriage, ruling instead on the narrow issue of whether local officials could bypass California's judicial and legislative branches

BILL LOCKYER, as Attorney General, etc., )
Petitioner, )
) S122923
v. )

Accordingly, for the reasons that follow, we agree with petitioners that local officials in San Francisco exceeded their authority by taking official action in violation of applicable statutory provisions. We therefore shall issue a writ of mandate directing the officials to enforce those provisions unless and until they are judicially determined to be unconstitutional and to take all necessary remedial steps to undo the continuing effects of the officials’ past unauthorized actions, including making appropriate corrections to all relevant official records and notifying all affected same-sex couples that the same-sex marriages authorized by the officials are void and of no legal effect.

To avoid any misunderstanding, we emphasize that the substantive question of the constitutional validity of California’s statutory provisions limiting marriage to a union between a man and a woman is not before our court in this proceeding, and our decision in this case is not intended, and should not be interpreted, to reflect any view on that issue. We hold only that in the absence of a judicial determination that such statutory provisions are unconstitutional, local executive officials lacked authority to issue marriage licenses to, solemnize marriages of, or register certificates of marriage for same-sex couples, and marriages conducted between same-sex couples in violation of the applicable statutes are void and of no legal effect. Should the applicable statutes be judicially determined to be unconstitutional in the future, same-sex couples then would be free to obtain valid marriage licenses and enter into valid marriages.

Grants for Gay-Positive Arts Projects Based on, or Inspired by, History
Short Fiction in all Disciplines 2004

The Board of Directors of The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation is pleased to announce a Writing Competition for the Foundation’s 2004 writing grants.  Submissions may include Short Stories, One-act Plays or short film or video projects.  All works must present the gay and lesbian lifestyle in a positive manner and be based on, or directly inspired by, a historic person or event.  (You may think your affair with the dancer from the Russian ballet was historic, but it doesn’t count.) One work per author, please.

Transgender Candidate Running For Arizona House
By Dan Marries, KOLD News 13

A Tucson woman is running for the Arizona House of Representatives and making history.

Amanda Simpson is head of advanced and special programs at Raytheon.  KOLD News 13 introduced you to her three years ago, when she went public with her sex change.  Now, Simpson is set to be the first transsexual in the nation to win a primary.

Simpson doesn't want her gender to take away from her plans for the future of Arizona.  Her political platform includes improving education, dealing with Arizona's explosive population growth, and affordable healthcare.

But politics can get dirty. And Simpson says she plans to stay away from the mud slinging by sticking to the issues.


Transgender show aims to teach
Event organizers hope to broaden community awareness in wake of Araujo murder mistrial
By Michelle Meyers, STAFF WRITER

HAYWARD -- A 50-year-old Hayward carpenter and father. A 23-year-old San Leandro restaurant manager and nursing student. A 21-year-old Hayward makeup artist.

Seems like an unrelated sort of group. But what the three have in common is that they are all part of both the local transgender community and the community at-large.

They're also all performers in a show Saturday night meant to convey just that slain transgender youth Gwen Araujo was no anomaly.

"From Berkeley to Fremont there are probably thousands" of transgender residents, said Tiffany Woods, whose Fremont-based Transvision is southern Alameda County's only transgender support program.


Schools ban sex, drugs & booze

No bashing transvestites(sic). No chugging beer or smoking pot in class. And definitely no sex in the stairwells.

These are some of the no-nos that are being proposed in this fall's updated student discipline code.

The obvious - but apparently broken - new rules are "a sad commentary on our school system and society," said Mike Long, chairman of the New York Conservative Party.

The 26-page code would ban students from using slurs based on "gender identity," a suggestion made by lawmakers and advocates at City Council hearings.

"Transgender students face bullying and harassment on a daily basis. It's important that they be protected," said Riley Snorton, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan-based Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.


Star journalist wins award for article
By Lachlan Hastings

STAR journalist Jane Gillard has received an award for telling a local community activist’s story with honesty, integrity and respect. Ms Gillard received an award from the Genetic Support Network of Victoria (GSNV) for her front-page story "Tony Briffa speaks out" (Star Williamstown, 25 May).

In the award-winning piece, local community activist Tony Briffa told Ms Gillard he was sick of defending himself over attacks on his genetic condition.

"Mr Briffa was born with an intersex condition that meant he was not exclusively female," Ms Gillard wrote.

"He was raised as a girl and attended an all-girls school, despite the fact that he is genetically male.

"This mistake – and the fact he refuses to hide it – has made him the target of a political smear campaign."
Mr Briffa – who is also president of the GSNV and nominated Ms Gillard for the award – said she had reported his story with honesty, integrity and respect.

Human Rights Watch Nepal gay plea
A New York-based human rights group has urged the Nepalese authorities immediately to release a group of gays and transsexuals arrested recently.

They were arrested for creating disturbances in public places in the capital, Kathmandu.

Human Rights Watch say that they have been held without charge.

It has accused the authorities of intimidating sexual minorities and has called for an investigation into allegations of violence against them.

Mistreated in custody

"Nepal's government must decide whether it wants to enforce homophobia or protect basic human rights," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Project at Human Rights Watch.

Chinese HIV/AIDS activists detained as epidemic worsens
by Andrew Noyes
PlanetOut Network

Local law-enforcement authorities in a rural, rugged area southwest of Zhengzhou reportedly attacked and detained two prominent Chinese HIV/AIDS activists earlier this week while the pair were on their way to Henan Province to plan a protest of the government's AIDS policy.

Before reaching their remote village destination, both men were taken to an undisclosed location on Sunday night, the American Association for the Advancement of Science reported on August 10.

One of the men was released without incident. His colleague, Li Dan, was also released, but attacked and beaten a few hours after he was let go, according to Audrey Chapman, director of AAAS' Science and Human Rights Program.

Li runs a charity helping AIDS orphans in Henan. He operated a school for AIDS orphans before it was shut down, reportedly after he publicized plans to attend last month's World AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Voice of America reports. Four other AIDS activists from Henan were released from police custody a day before Li's detainment.


Police action on gays worries health workers

THRISSUR: By 7 p.m. when the din of commuters around Thekkinkad Maidan dies down and card players call it a day, Krishna Kumar starts cruising in the halogen-lit night around the maidan in a rare display of his sexuality. He is not alone. Over 8,000 homosexual men cruise across public places in the State regularly, according to statistics of NGOs working among gays.

The Indian Youth Association, an NGO based in Kozhikode, has identified 1,500 gays there during the last four years. Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam have 1,500 gays each, say NGOs.

The Thekkinkad Maidan remains the single largest cruising point of the gay community with 540 documented regular visitors, according to ESAF (Evangelical Social Action Forum), an NGO based in Thrissur.

‘‘The lack of gay liberation in our society and private meeting places has resulted in this situation. Gay life is being forced to express itself in terms of sexual contact outside home. Many are pushed into unsafe encounters in parks and public toilets,’’ says Joy T.A., project manager of the ESAF. The NGOs maintain that the number of sex workers among the gays is only a fraction.


Alleged hate crime suspect faces additional charge
By: News 8 Austin Staff

A man accused of sexual assault in what police have labeled a hate crime now faces an added felony charge of tampering with evidence.

Austin police said Donald Bockman, 24, asked a teenager to dispose of knives and swords stolen from the scene of the alleged crime.

The teenager, 17-year-old Jacob Wright, is also accused of tampering with evidence, lying about the weapons and trying to sell them.

The Austin Police Department said Wright has been arrested in Dallas


An early test for same-sex 'marriage'
By Amy Fagan

One activist lawyer in Florida is pushing ahead on his own to force states to recognize same-sex "marriages" in Massachusetts and elsewhere by challenging federal law, contrary to the wishes of the nation's largest groups supporting homosexual rights.

    Florida lawyer Ellis Rubin yesterday filed the first federal lawsuit on behalf of a lesbian couple who want Florida to recognize their Canadian "marriage."

    In a separate lawsuit, Mr. Rubin also is seeking to force Florida to recognize a same-sex "marriage" issued in Massachusetts, by challenging both Florida state marriage law and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which stipulatesstates don't have to recognize one another's same-sex unions.


Couple invoke UN and trade agreement in marriage fight
Christopher Curtis, Network

A US attorney filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday against the country's 1996 Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA) in Florida, invoking both the United Nations Human Rights Charter and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Attorney Ellis Rubin filed the suit on behalf of Rev Phyllis E Hunt and her spouse, Vilia Corvision. The Rev Hunt of the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa married her spouse in Toronto, Canada in July. They have been together 11 years.

"We're using something new," Rubin told the PlanetOut Network. "We're invoking the UN charter as a reason for legalising this marriage because the UN charter says all people should be treated equally, thus all marriages should be treated equally."

Rubin continued, "We're using the North American Free Trade Agreement, which says there should be free travel from Canada, Mexico and the United States. Gay couples should have that right, but they don't."

Two More Concerts Axed
Clubs in Pittsburgh and Indianapolis are the latest to cancel appearances by Jamaican singer Beenie Man following complaints that his music incites violence against gays.

An October 14 concert featuring Beenie Man at the Boardwalk in Pittsburgh was cancelled by cigarette maker R. J. Reynolds.  The concert was to have part of the Salem Stir Your Senses tour.

"Salem brand made a business decision to not feature him as a performer. It came to our attention that some of his songs contained lyrics that are inappropriate and unacceptable," said Reynolds' spokesperson David Howard in a media release.

A concert slated for October 28 at the Vogue in Indianapolis has also been axed, according to gay activists in that city.

"The Vogue has been a melting pot for people of all backgrounds," the venue said in a statement distributed to the gay community. "We were shocked to hear these statements and began to immediately look into ways for us to cancel this show."



CARBONDALE --Rep. Mike Bost said he's been fielding a number of calls, both in the office and at home, from taxpayers angry their money might soon be going to fund same-sex benefits at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Bost, R-Murphysboro, isn't the only lawmaker to hear from constituents on the issue. Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, and Sens. Gary Forby, D-Benton, and David Luechtefeld, R-Okawville, say the public seems up in arms when it comes to preserving traditional marriages and even more so when it comes to paying for benefits for non-traditional couples.

Word that SIU officials plan to discuss extending medical benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian employees on campus has sparked a firestorm of opinion from all facets of the region.

"Either they don't agree with it from a moral standpoint, or they ask why some are getting the benefits a heterosexual couple couldn't get unless they were married," Bost said.


Gay and Proud youth group honored by council

"I hated, with a passion, people who were gay, so when the triangle speakers came to my health class, I was angry. As I heard their stories, my eyes began to swell and they began to water. I didn't want anyone to notice, but that day I admitted to myself that I was in fact attracted to the same sex," writes April Shimabukuro in Queerzine!, Watsonville's first queer youth magazine.

Gay and Proud, a group of high school activists presented with the Queer Organization Award at the Watsonville City Council meeting Tuesday, is defiantly telling everyone who will listen, "Yes, there are gay people in Watsonville."


Victory for homophobia

I’m angry. I’m angry because of the stupid political posing of the past few weeks. I’m angry because of the way that the central issue has been lost in family values rhetoric and misguided individualism. I’m angry because our community is without leadership and passion. I’m angry because this is all so unnecessary.

Whether we like it or not, marriage will always be the standard by which the seriousness and value of a union is measured. Marriage represents the recognition by society, by government, and by the law that the union of two people has meaning and demands respect. The Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill excludes us from participating in marriage, relegating our relationships to second-class status, enshrining in legislation the belief that the relationships that we form are frivolous, trivial, and less important than those formed by heterosexual couples.

I’m angry because we have been beaten.

The Marriage Legislation Amendment Bill represents an extraordinary victory for the conservative, homophobic, religious fringe. It should not be about numbers, but much emphasis has been placed on the fact that the Senate Committee received 12,000 submissions in favour of the amendment and only a couple of hundred against. Apparently it only takes 12,000 emails to ensure that a homophobic, discriminatory and utterly offensive amendment is made to a Commonwealth Act. Twelve thousand. I have been to dance parties where there were more than 12,000 people. It seems that we can mobilise en masse to express our right to party, but we cannot mobilise en masse to defend our right to be treated equally before the law.


Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Supreme Court To Rule On Gay Marriage Spree

LOS ANGELES -- The California Supreme Court is scheduled to issue a nervously awaited ruling Thursday on whether Mayor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority by allowing gay couples to get married in the city earlier this year.

Legal experts -- and even the Democratic mayor -- assume the court will say that Newsom's actions violated state laws defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. What's less clear is how the seven justices will treat the thousands of same-sex marriages that were sanctioned before the court intervened in March.

"It appears quite obvious the court is going to rule against the mayor," said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "We think that's unfortunate and it's wrong, but of course the more human question is what to do with 4,037 marriage licenses that belong to couples in relationships and with families."


Two Utah groups form to fight same-sex marriage

Two groups have formed to support a Utah state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The Constitution Defense of Marriage Alliance registered Monday with the state Elections Commission, and Yes for Marriage formed late last month. The two campaigns have the same goal but slightly different philosophies.

"We'll complement each other," Gayle Ruzicka, director of Constitution Defense, said. "Their group is concentrating more on scientific issues, scientifically why same-sex couples are not good for families. We'll touch on that; we're also working on moral issues."

The director of an opposition group, the Don't Amend Alliance, said studies that suggest gays and lesbians are not good parents are "out of context, not scientific, or the vast majority of people in these professions simply disagree with the conclusions of these studies."


NFL pro likens gay men to rats, implies Garcia is gay
Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network

Football player Terrell Owens, the receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, is being quoted as comparing gay men to rats in an excerpt from a Playboy article published Tuesday in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The comparison came up when the interviewer asked Owens if he believed Jeff Garcia, the former San Francisco quarterback, when Garcia denied rumors he's gay.

The article quoted Owens: "Like my boy tells me: 'If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat.'"


Guilty of gay taunts at pub

A FORMER Wodonga publican, who told people that one of his workers “likes boys”, has been found guilty of sexual harassment.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found Rodney Keogh, the former manager of City Hall, had discriminated against the male worker, 19, and encouraged another man to do so.

The tribunal heard after an all night drinking session in November, 2002, Keoghs friend, Mr Gavin Levy, unbuttoned his pants and asked the worker if he wanted to “play a game”.


New York Lockdown
While anti-Bush activists in New York are adopting new techniques to try and disrupt the Republican party convention later this month, the police have got some new strategies of their own
by Michelle Goldberg

If you're a delegate attending the Republican national convention at Madison Square Garden later this month, Jamie Moran knows where you're staying. He knows where you're eating and what Broadway musical you plan on seeing. For the past nine months, Moran has been living off savings earned as an office manager at a nonprofit and working full-time to disrupt the RNC.

His small anarchist collective,, runs a snitch line and an email account where disgruntled employees of New York hotels, the Garden and the Republican party itself can pass on information about conventioneers. So far, the collective has received dozens of phone calls and hundreds of emails with inside dirt on GOP activities.

Recently, a woman with a polished, middle-aged sounding voice left a message saying, "For some God-unknown reason I'm on the Republican mailing list, and they sent me what they call a list of their inner-circle events." The events hadn't been publicized elsewhere, she said, and she wanted to fax the list to Moran.

Moran feeds information like this to a cadre of activists desperate to unleash four years' worth of anger at the Bush administration. By dogging the delegates wherever they go, RNC Not Welcome hopes to make the Republicans' lives hell for as long as they're in New York.

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) mourns the deaths of two prominent transgender activists from the Latin American region.

Nadia Echazu died on July 18, 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Born in Salta, Argentina, Nadia was one of the most prominent leaders of the national transvestite (*) movement. In 1995, together with other activists like Lohana Berkins and Maria Belen Correa, they founded ATA (Asociacion de Travestis Argentinas) the first trans organization in the country to achieve visibility and political effectiveness. ATA was one of the main forces behind the repeal of the Police Edicts, local ordinances that allowed Buenos Aires police to arrest people without charging them with any offense and keep them locked for up to a month in 1997. Nadia was particularly courageous in her struggle against police brutality, to the extent that her life was threatened many times; she was repeatedly subjected to physical and psychological abuse by local police. She always denounced those incidents, in spite of reprisals.

Marcela Prado died on July 23, 2004, in Curibita, Parana, Brazil. Mercela joined the LGBT movement in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil in 1987, when she started attending consciousness-raising groups. In 1992, she was among the founders of today's most important LGBT organization in that Brazilian state, Grupo Dignidade. In 1995, she was among the founders of ABGLT, the national coalition of LGBT groups in Brazil. At the moment of her death, she was Vice-President of Grupo Dignidade. ;Marcela was also very involved with the National STD and AIDS Program implemented by the Brazilian Minister of Health. She worked professionally for the Health Department in Curitiba designing and supervising the implementation of STD/AIDS Prevention Programmes for transgender people, gay men and sex workers.


by: Paisley Currah, Transgender Law & Policy Institute

The Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign voted to adopt a policy to support ENDA only if it is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. The Board voted to take this historic position after hearing from transgender activists, Congressional staffers, and HRC staff.

"We are extremely pleased that the HRC board has taken this historic step that will strengthen and unify the LGBT community," said Kylar Broadus, a Transgender Law and Policy Institute board member and one of the activists at Saturday's meeting. "We're looking forward to working closely with HRC and our allies in Congress to build support for and to pass a unified non-discrimination bill."

"This is a natural evolution for HRC," said Shannon Minter, TLPI board member and Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights who was also at the meeting. "Especially since changing its mission statement to include transgender people in 2001, HRC has made advocating on behalf of transgender and gender non-conforming people an integral part of its work. Today's vote has taken that commitment to a new level."

Transgender activists have been pushing for the inclusion of gender identity and expression since ENDA was first introduced in 1994.


Global AIDS and the 'theology of a few'
Donald E. Messer

When a former U.S. president's son, Ron Reagan, contended at the Democratic National Convention in Boston last month that "the theology of a few is harming the health of the many," he could have been speaking about global AIDS rather than stem-cell research.

At the 15th International AIDS Congress in Bangkok, it was evident that theological taboos have contributed to the escalating HIV/AIDS crisis. At a time when more than 40 million worldwide are infected, nearly 50 percent of them women, the religious roots of this disease must be examined to determine how the theological thinking of some has caused widespread harm to many.

These theological taboos include not talking openly about sex, preventing people from understanding how to prevent the disease. Second, moralistic judgments toward infected persons and their families have added to society's stigmatization. Third, religious prejudice toward sex workers, injection-drug users, gay men and others has contributed to discrimination. Silence, stigma and discrimination keep people from getting tested and treated.

(more news below this acticle)

Nepal's gays caught between rapes and raids
Sudeshna Sarkar (Indo-Asian News Service)
Kathmandu, August 11

As Kathmandu Police raided eight so-called massage parlours in the capital and arrested six couples caught in compromising positions, another branch of the force was rounding up homosexuals.

While 31 people were arrested in the massage parlour raids Monday, 39 gays were picked up from streets, discos and restaurants and put behind bars. By Tuesday evening, at least one person arrested in the parlour raids was released but none of the gays. Not even a detainee who had a finger reportedly broken in a baton blow by the police.

Sunil Pant, founder and president of Blue Diamond Society, a Kathmandu-based gay rights organisation, fears this is part of a concerted effort by militant anti-gay groups and individuals to stamp out the recently started gay movement in Nepal.

"In the patriarchal Nepalese society, any male person not conforming to accepted norms of masculine behaviour is deemed unworthy and available for exploitation," says Pant.

"Though Nepal has a significant homosexual population, the community has been in the closet for a long time due to social stigma and oppression.

"Their invisibility lifted to some degree since 2000 when Blue Diamond Society started working with male homosexuals on HIV and AIDS as part of the AIDS control policy of the government.

"But now there is a backlash from a section of society still holding on to a mediaeval mindset."

Pant cites a string of incidents where 'metis', or men with feminine characteristics, have been subjected to abuse and violence. Many of these incidents, he adds, show active participation by government agencies, like police and security forces.

One of the most serious attacks occurred last week when a gay was abducted from the streets in the early hours of the morning, raped, slashed in the throat and left bleeding on the road. He is still in hospital. No one has been arrested.

In June, three men were picked up and taken to a guesthouse where they were raped at knifepoint and assaulted. Though police arrested two people, the case is still pending.

For Pant, as worrisome as the attacks is a writ petition filed by a lawyer last month. The petition is against the government, alleging it is allowing people's morals to be corrupted by not closing down Blue Diamond Society. The Supreme Court, where the writ petition as been filed, has asked the government to show cause why the society should not be closed down.

Pant says the attacks against the gay community are being monitored by several foreign diplomats whose governments are concerned at the anti-gay, anti-liberal sentiments and government complicity.

Currently, he is trying to mobilise a signature campaign and is asking people to send letters to various ministerial and police departments.

"The government needs to stand up to its commitment to human rights," Pant says. "They (needs to) treat all Nepalese, including métis, with dignity."

--Indo-Asian News Service


California to rule on authority to marry gay couples
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - (KRT) - The California Supreme Court will rule Thursday on whether San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had the right to issue marriage licenses to thousands of gay couples earlier this year.

The ruling is not expected to decide the constitutionality of gay marriage in the Golden State, but whether Newsom had the right to ignore the state's gay marriage ban, which he said violates both the California and U.S. constitutions. If the court rules against the city, both the state attorney general and three city residents are asking the justices to invalidate the marriages.

The decision will be posted at 10 a.m. on the court's Web site,, according to a spokeswoman for the court.

"This isn't so much whether the marriage license are valid (but) if the mayor had the power to order the clerks to perform the ceremonies," Stanford University Law Professor Pam Karlan said Tuesday.


Man stabbed in shoulder on subway
Rocco Parascandola

A man was stabbed in the shoulder aboard a Brooklyn subway by a man shouting anti-gay epithets, police said yesterday.

The suspect, Melvin Ashford, 37, of Inwood, was charged with misdemeanor assault, criminal possession of a weapon and aggravated harassment, police said.

The 40-year-old victim was treated at the scene by an EMS crew and did not require hospitalization.

The incident happened at 12:57 p.m. Monday aboard the northbound "J" train at the Gates Avenue stop.

A police source said Ashford walked up to the man, whom he does not know, used an epithet and stabbed him in the shoulder.


Lawyer challenges MVUSD's proposed harassment policy

By: KELLY BRUSCH - MURRIETA ---- A local attorney is challenging a sweeping anti-discrimination policy the Murrieta school board will consider this week, on the grounds that it would violate students' and employees' First Amendment rights.

The policy is an outgrowth of several incidents involving fights between students last year, at least one of which Murrieta Valley Unified School District officials say was racially motivated.

The proposal defines and prohibits racial, sexual and religious harassment and bullying of any sort. It also describes how students and staff may be disciplined for such conduct and how they may file a complaint if they believe they have been victimized, according to the proposal.

Attorney Richard Ackerman, a partner in Lively and Ackerman of Temecula, wrote a letter to the Murrieta school board outlining his objections to the proposed policy.


Korean Court Rules Gay Marriage Illegal
by Newscenter Staff

(Seoul) For the first time a Korean court has ruled on the subject of same-sex marriage.

The case involved a lesbian in city of Incheon west of Seoul who sought alimony and a share of her former partner's assets.

The woman is identified only as Kim and the former partner as Lee.

When the couple's relationship soured three years ago after 21 years of living together, 45-year-old Kim asked for her fair share of assets based on restitution and marriage.


I would like to see a bill board that proclaims hetrosexuals can change or republicans can change... but I know they never can...

Billboard in New Paltz will proclaim gays can change
By Jesse J. Smith , Freeman staff 08/11/2004

NEW PALTZ - A group opposed to same-sex marriage is raising money for a roadside billboard that will proclaim homosexuality is not an innate characteristic but a lifestyle that can be left behind.

The billboard, to be placed on the south side of state Route 299 in New Paltz, will feature a black-and-white photograph of Stephen Bennett, who says he was a homosexual before a religious conversion enabled him to become straight. His wife and two children also are in the photo, which carries the caption, "Wonderful husband. Loving father. Former homosexual. Jesus Christ changes lives."

The billboard is part of the New York Christian Coalition's "Truthful Witness Campaign," which has, since April, picketed the ongoing same-sex weddings at the LeFevre House Bed and Breakfast on Southside Avenue in New Paltz.


Victory Fund Endorses 50 Candidates in 22 States, More Expected

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (U.S. Newswire)  —  The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund today announced that its recent endorsement of five more candidates puts its number of endorsed gay, lesbian, and transgender candidates for public office at 50 for 2004.  Endorsements are made at every level of government and more will be announced in the 2004 election cycle.

“Gay and lesbian lawmakers should be involved in decisions about marriage equality and any other public policy issue that impacts our rights,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of Victory Fund.  “We need members of our community, at every level of government, in the middle of this debate as voting equals, rather than trying to exert influence from outside the process,” he added.

With strategic consideration to the possible path of the anti- gay Federal Marriage Amendment, and the state-level battles over state amendments and referendums, the Victory Fund is also targeting 26 states that lack any openly gay or lesbian members in their legislatures.

Some early wins in 2004 indicate that Victory Fund endorsees are likely to fare well, including: 


Second suit filed to keep anti-gay marriage amendment off Louisiana ballot

One challenge to a proposed amendment that would lock a same-sex marriage ban into Louisiana's constitution was quickly dismissed Tuesday. A second challenge will be heard Friday. "We filed a backup lawsuit," said John Rawls, attorney for the Forum for Equality and three individual plaintiffs who want to keep the measure off the September 18 ballot.

Both suits against the proposal were filed last Friday in New Orleans. Both contend that the proposed amendment should not be on the ballot on the grounds that it was illegally approved by the legislature and would invalidate gay and lesbian partners' contracts with each other


Judge Dismisses Challenge To Anti-Gay Louisiana Amendment
(New Orleans, Louisiana)  A lawsuit challenging a proposed amendment to Louisiana's Constitution banning same-sex marriage was immediately dismissed in court on Tuesday morning.

The suit was filed last Friday by a group of people trying to keep the issue off the September 18th ballot.

The proposed amendment includes language that would ban civil unions and still other language that could be interpreted as outlawing the extension of domestic partnership benefits to unmarried couples.

The lawsuit involved a gay man who said the amendment could outlaw existing legal contracts governing his relationship with his partner, a lesbian woman who is afraid the amendment could affect her legal, contractual relationship with her lesbian partner and their children, and by a man who opposes government recognition of same-sex marriage but strongly favours government recognition of same-sex civil unions.

The group's lawyer, attorney Randy Evans, told Civil District Judge Nadine Ramsey that the amendment was illegally approved by the Legislature and that if allowed to go to voters it would deny some Louisiana residents rights that the state constitution now defines as "inalienable" and "inviolate," including the right to equal protection under the law and the right to control one's own property.


Same-sex parent wins right to adopt

FREDERICTON  —  A New Brunswick human rights board of inquiry has ruled a partner in a same-sex relationship can adopt the other partner's child, and be named as one of the parents on the birth registration document.

"I am very pleased with this decision," said Alanna Palmer, Chair of the Human Rights Commission. "It is consistent with decisions elsewhere in Canada and it shows that New Brunswick is making progress in advancing equality for same-sex families."

The decision arose out of a human rights complaint filed by a same-sex partner who claimed that the government had discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status when it refused to allow her to adopt her partner's child and to register the child with her surname and with her being named as a parent.

The Human Rights Commission investigated and recommended that the case be referred to the board of inquiry.



Australia to forbid gay marriage for third time
Andrew Noyes, PlanetOut Network

Australia's Labour Party caucus voted for the third time on August 10 to forbid gay marriage, but a backlash by Democrats spurred a promise by lawmakers to review the status of gay relationships.

Labour Leader Mark Latham introduced an amendment to the country's Marriage Act that indicates the party will consider "options to achieve more consistent national treatment of all de facto relationships," according to the newspaper The Australian.

Liberal lawmakers said the amendment opens the door for gay unions to be registered officially.

The amendment states, "Labor will not be redefining marriage and will be voting for the Marriage Amendment Bill 2004, but will work to eliminate discrimination against Australians in same-sex relationships across a range of federal laws, including taxation, superannuation, immigration, family law, industrial relations and government benefits."


Man charged after Brighton gay attack
Ben Townley, UK

A man who caused facial injuries in a homophobic attack at Brighton this weekend has been charged by police.

Jamie Pearce, 23, was charged with grievous bodily harm after the attack, which took place at 4am Monday morning, hours after the city's Pride celebrations ended.

Local officers have said they believe the attack, which took place on the Lower Esplanade, was motivated by anti-gay feeling.


MP backs LGBT History Month
Ben Townley, UK

The UK's first LGBT History Month has received official backing from the government minister in charge of equality, who has spoken of the positive messages such an event could send about sexual diversity.

In a message released earlier this week, Jacqui Smith MP said she is "delighted" to support the idea of an annual LGBT History Month and that events held across the country could push mainstream society forward towards more tolerance.

"I believe the month will be important in helping to drive the culture change to create a more inclusive society," Smith said, adding that the event could "be a great opportunity to uncover some hidden LGBT histories".

The brainchild of the Schools Out group, the national event could result in a never before seen focus on LGBT education, entertainment and celebrations.



Transsexuals headed for Athens
by Stephen Hui

“It's about time,” Michelle Dumaresq says of the Olympic committee's recent decision to allow transsexual athletes to compete in their self-identified gender.

Dumaresq, 33, broke new ground for transsexual athletes in 2001 by asserting her right to race as a woman. Now the post-operative male-to-female transsexual from Vancouver is the Canadian national champion in the women's downhill discipline.

While the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) new rules won't apply to her — since downhill mountain biking is not yet an Olympic sport — Dumaresq says she's pleased that trans athletes hoping to participate in the Games will no longer face the barriers that have dogged her.

Until recently, transsexual athletes were barred from competing in the Olympics. Then in May, the IOC's executive board approved a policy establishing the conditions under which athletes who have changed sex could participate in the games. The new rules kick in this Friday in Athens. “I think this clearly shows that we will always address issues on human rights. That's something that we find very important,” says Charmaine Crooks, an Olympic silver medallist and Canadian IOC member living in Vancouver. “It also shows that when there is an issue, we will study it and if it fits with our fundamental values and philosophies, then we will act on it and act quickly, but also act in the best interest of all athletes.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

From: Aditya

The Director General of Police
Royal Nepali Government

Dear Sir,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Asia Director of ILGLaw, anInternational body of lawyers and Jurists who work on issues concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender persons, and other sexual minority. I am also a Core Group Member of the Asia Pacific Rainbow, a coalition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender persons, and other sexual minority individuals and Organisations in the Asia-Pacific Region. I am a Board member of the Indian Network of NGOs. I am a practicing Lawyer in New Delhi, India. I have also assisted Blue Diamond Society in some matters relating to Human Rights in the past, and continue to do so at present.


there is a crisis in Nepal, Members of The Blue Society
have been arrested.

Please contact local and national paper, let the press know, contact Human Rights organization, and GBLYQI organizations..

In the past few days assaults on queers, trans, and gays have happened and there has been no media coverage.

Bring transparency to this violence that is happening now!!..

the members of the Blue Diamond Society are in jail without food or water.. act now, contact:

Human rights watch


Blue Diamond Society

(Shiv Bhakta Marg-344, 
Khursani Tar, Lazimpat, 
Postal Address: GPO Box: 8975, EPC NO: 5119
Ph: +977 1 4443350, 4445147
Fax: +977 1 4438600

for more information Blue Diamond Society:
Nepalese Sexual Rights Groups to be banned

Global Gayz


Meti assaulted for refusing to have sex

below are numbers and contacts for officials in the Nepal Government ... ACT NOW!!!


Press Note
Date: 10.08.04

Last night around 22:30 PM 39 members of Blue Diamond Society were haphazardly arrested and taken to Hanuman Dhoka Police Station, center of investigation in the heart of Kathmandu. They have been detained till now without food and have been treated inhumanly without having any faults and we, Blue Diamond Society are very concerned. They were arrested along with other people from different occupation and this is against the Human Rights and rights of sexual minorities of any national or international laws. This also shows carelessness and discrimination done by the police. In addition the inhuman behavior done by the police is not only arresting but also brutally beating up the arrested MSMs, which is against any principles.

The Royal Nepalese Embassy
2131 Leroy Place, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202 667 4550, Fax: 202 667 5534

  King of Nepal:
  Office of H.M. the King
  Narayanhity Royal Palace
  Durbar Marg
  Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977-1-413577 ; 227577
  Fax : 977-1-227395 ; 411955

Prime Minister:
  The Office of Prime Minister
  Singh-Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 227955
  Fax : 977 1 227286 or 428570

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  Shital Niwas,
  Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel: 009771-416011-15 / 416002
  Fax: 009771-416016
  E mail: ,

Ministry of Law and Justice
  Mr. Mahanta Thakur
  Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel: 220386/ 220621
  Fax: 220684/ 224633

Home Minister:
  Govinda Raj Joshi,

Minister of Home Affairs (As of July, 2000)
  The Office of the Home Minister
  Singh Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 224737
  Fax : 977 1 227187 or 977 1 241942

Foreign Minister:
Chakra Prasad Banstola

Royal Minister of Foreign Affairs
  Kathmandu, Nepal
  tel : 011 977 1 416011
  Fax : 011 977 1 416016

Minister of Law and Justice:
  Mahanta Thakur (7/00)
  Prem Badhur Singh (97)
  Singh Darbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 011 977 1 220987

Attorney General of Nepal:
  Kumar Chudal (99)
  Office of the Attorney General of Nepal
  Singh Darbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 227197
  Fax : 977 1 227282

Inspector of General Police:
  Mr. Ram Kaji Bantawa?
  Mr. Achyut
  Krishna Kharel (2/00)

The Inspector General of Police
  Police Head Quarters
  GPO box 407
  Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 411210
  Fax : 977 1 415594 or 415593

Dept of Jail Administration:
  Krishna Prasa Sharma (99)
  Baneshwor, Kathmandu,Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 471307

Narcotic Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit:
  Keshav Prasad Baral (99)
  New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 482 187
  Fax : 977 1 496 578

Dept of National Investigation of Crime:
  Chief Govind Karma Thapa (99)
  Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 224 559, 242592

Special Police Dept:
  Chief Officer Madan Bahadur Pandey (99)
  Singha Durbar, Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 227096, 417486

Secy. of Communist Party:
  Madhav Kumar Nepal
  His Excellency (HE) Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal
  General Secretary Nepal Communist Party
  Kathmandu, Nepal

US Ambassador to Nepal:
  HE Mr. Ralph Frank
  US Embassy
  PO Box 295
  Panipokhari,Kathmandu, Nepal
  Tel : 977 1 411613, 411179, 412718, 413661
  Fax :  977 1