poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Delhi police crack gay murder case

The Delhi police on Saturday claimed to have solved the murder of two homosexuals -- United Nations Development Programme employee Pushkin Chandra and his friend Kuldeep -- with the arrest of three persons, including one of the two alleged killers.

The main accused, Rajesh, 24, was arrested from Chattarpur in Madhya Pradesh in the morning, Commissioner K K Paul said in New Delhi.

The police have identified the second killer as Moti alias Mohit of Nepalese origin, who is still absconding.

Paul said it emerged from preliminary investigation that Chandra knew the killers and he had picked them up on the day of the murder from Connaught Place

Transgender People Are Finding It's Tougher to Change a Name
Group's advocates say increased concerns of identity theft have made the legal process more cumbersome -- and sometimes unfair.
By Jean-Paul Renaud, Times Staff Writer

Luca Brenna scoured baby books for months looking for the right name. Jennifer, Sandra, Vanessa. None of them fit.

But with a few strokes of mascara and some dabs of blush, the choice of name became obvious. In the mirror, he saw a woman with flawless skin, blond hair, deep blue eyes and thin red lips.    
 Brenna knew it was time to change his name and sex on his driver's license. So on Dec. 26, 2002, at age 31, he became Sonya.

"It was hard to decide," the 33-year-old said. "How does a name match a person? It's just something about that name that's very connected to who you are.


Police remove uni protesters

Police have removed a group of student protesters from the main campus of Wollongong University on the New South Wales south coast.

Gay students at the University claim there has been an increasing number of attacks on them, including death threats over the past few weeks.

A group from the Queer Collective staged a two-day sit in, demanding protection from the university.

They were removed from the campus this afternoon.


Gay murder case open to public
By Garry Mitchell
The Associated Press

A state judge said Friday he does not plan to seal the record or bar the public from court proceedings in the capital murder case against three young defendants in the killing of a gay teenager.

Baldwin County District Judge Jody W. Bishop also delayed a decision on a defense request for a gag order that would prohibit attorneys, court and law enforcement officials from making public comments about the case.

Bishop held a hearing on the secrecy and gag order issues after the three defendants waived a preliminary hearing, sending the case to a September grand jury for possible indictments. A trial date is not expected until next year.

Robert Porter, 18, Christopher Ryan Gaines, 20, and Gaines' girlfriend, Nichole Kelsay, 18 -- all held without bond -- are charged in the July 18 killing of Scotty Joe Weaver, 18. If convicted, they could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole.


Grand jury indicts man in hate-crime beating
By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

NEWPORT - A grand jury Thursday indicted a man accused in a June beating that left another man seriously injured.

Police say Steven Ard of Newport struck Matthew Ashcraft in the back of the head with an aluminum baseball bat outside Woolly's On Monmouth, a bar with many gay patrons.

Witnesses said Ashcraft, who friends say is not a homosexual, had come to the aid of another patron verbally harassed by Ard.

Police characterized the incident as a hate crime, which removes the possibility of parole during the sentencing phase, because Ard had yelled anti-gay slurs before the attack. Ard, who remains in jail on $50,000 bond, will face one felony charge of first-degree Sept. 9 in Campbell County District Court.


Ashcroft Asks Federal Judge To Dismiss Gay Marriage Suit
by Fidel Ortega Newscenter
Miami Bureau

(Miami, Florida) The U.S. Justice Department Friday asked a Federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Defense of Marriage Act. 

Attorney General John Ashcroft is fighting a lawsuit filed by four same-sex marriages who argue the Defense of Marriage Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1996 and signed by President Clinton, is unconstitutional. 

The law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allows states to refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states.  

Friday's action is the federal government's first direct legal defense of DOMA.


US parishes defect as gay rift deepens
Stephen Bates

The leader of the United States Episcopal Church told Ugandan Anglican bishops on Friday to keep out of its affairs after three Los Angeles parishes decided to ally themselves with an African diocese in the row over homosexual clergy.

The parishes, in Newport Beach, Long Beach and North Hollywood, are the first to seek oversight from a bishop overseas. They have fallen out with the Rt Rev Jon Bruno, the Bishop of Los Angeles, because of his support for blessing services for gay couples. He has warned the parishes' ministers that they may be deposed.


Bollywood Film Tackles AIDS Discrimination In India
by Romola Talwar Badam
The Associated Press

(Mumbai, India) India's first mainstream movie with a plot centered on AIDS was released worldwide this week with leading actors portraying characters who battle stigma and discrimination after testing positive for HIV.

Phir Milenge, which in Hindi means We'll Meet Again, is a departure from Bollywood's normal fare of light romances or action packed thrillers that grip this movie-crazy country. With 5.1 million HIV-positive people, India has the world's second highest number of infections after South Africa.


Battle continues to block Louisiana vote on gay marriage
The Associated Press  

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lawyers for gay rights supporters urged an appeal court Friday to uphold a judge's order blocking a Sept. 18 vote on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions.

 Last week, state Civil District Court Judge Christopher Bruno ruled that the amendment as approved earlier this year by the Legislature was unconstitutional because it addressed more than one issue and appeared on a ballot that was not on a statewide election date.

Attorneys for the civil rights group Forum for Equality urged the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal here to uphold Bruno's decision; state lawyers sought to overturn the ruling.

Whatever the 4th Circuit panel decides, the issue is destined for the state Supreme Court, along with two other rulings in two other lawsuits filed to stop the vote.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Students protest over gay attacks

Student members of the Queer Collective at the University of Wollongong have been protesting for two days in the form of a sit-in at the main campus.

The students are asking the university to put an end to attacks on gay students, including death threats.

The group says similar attacks have occurred at other universities, including Newcastle and the Bankstown campus of the University of Western Sydney.

Student Daniel Brown says the gay community needs a safe house to protect them against attacks.


Log Cabin’s conundrum
By Jeremy Quittner

Just how much of a voice can gay Republicans expect once they step inside Madison Square Garden for the GOP convention on Monday? The Advocate will bring you daily dispatches from New York, starting with today’s Q & A with Log Cabin Republicans executive director Patrick Guerriero.


In Florida suit, Justice defends Defense of Marriage Act
The Associated Press

MIAMI -- The U.S. Justice Department asked a judge Friday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging an 8-year-old law banning gay marriage, making it the federal government's first direct legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Attorney General John Ashcroft is fighting a lawsuit filed by four same-sex marriages who argue the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. The law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allows states to refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states.

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said it was the federal government's first direct legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The issue of same-sex marriages has become a theme of the presidential race, with President Bush calling call for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, which Democratic challenger John Kerry opposes.


Michigan elections board again deadlocks on gay marriage amendment

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The state elections board again has deadlocked on a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

The Board of State Canvassers, on a 2-2 vote Friday, could not agree on ballot language. It also deadlocked earlier in the week on whether to certify petitions for the measure.


Anti-Gay Panic Sweeps Poland
Catholic nationalists attack in the streets, the press, universities, and parliament.
By Tomek Kitlinski

WARSAW. Homophobes are on the rampage in Poland, banning or attacking gay pride activities, equating gays with pedophiles in the media, quashing queer studies in universities.

A discredited American "conversion therapist" has been welcomed in the Polish Parliament, while Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," is hailed as a transcendent masterpiece, and used to advance a violent proto-Catholic nationalism, as rabidly anti-Semitic as it is homophobic.

Aggressions have mounted exponentially since Poland joined the European Union on May 1, perhaps a sign of the extreme right's anxiety over its own ability to keep at bay the "corrupting" influence of more liberal Western European countries.

radical reference: answering questions from those who question authority

Radical Reference is a service provided by library workers from all over the United States to give assistance to demonstrators at the Republican National Convention in New York City. We will answer your reference questions via blog, e-mail, chat,
and in the street.


Ask your question by filling out a form. Your privacy will be protected.


Street:     Look for librarians wearing baseball caps (tan with a blue bill) with an "I" on it if you need legal info, subway directions, a bathroom, or have any other questions.

News:     We have a one-hour workshop prepared and available to indymedia journalists on fact check-ing and evaluating sources for accuracy, authority, coverage, currency, and objectivity. Contact to schedule a session.

Librarians:     Write to volunteer your services. Law and News librarians and those who can read & write other languages especially sought, but all will be put to work.

“…librarians are more freedom fighters than shushers.” Ms. Magazine online

We’ve got access to hundreds of expensive subscription databases …and we know how to use them!

Beyond trans ‘acceptance’
HRC’s decision to support ENDA only if trans protections are included is a step forward but took way too long.

THIS HAS BEEN a big year for large, paradigm-shifting events on transgender issues. It’s a time to celebrate these changes — and to look for the next steps.

After a decade or so of vigorous work on the part of transgender people and our allies, the Human Rights Campaign has finally taken a stance that they will only support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, if it includes language protecting transgender people.

In federal politics, we’ve seen the Democratic National Convention host its first contingent of transgender delegates, showing a growing political clout for transgender people in the realm of politics.

And the Summer Olympics in Athens are the first to allow transsexuals to openly compete in the games.


Transgendered face health crisis
By Mike Lavers

Chloe Dzubilo, 43, of Manhattan, was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. Six years later she began her transition from a man into a woman.

The Connecticut native, who has suffered a number of serious illnesses and injuries requiring hospitalization over the last several years including the debilitating bone-degeneration disease avascular necrosis, said she and many other transgender people face difficulty accessing even the most basic of medical care.

“Basically when you’re transgender there’s a lot of pathologizing,” Dzubilo said as she described the way she said many of her doctors reacted when they learned she is a transgendered woman. “People put you in a category or think you are nuts.”

Dzubilo was one of nearly 30 people who attended a town hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 19, at the Center on West 13th Street.


Young Nigerian transvestite (sic) caught out
Aminu Abubakar | Kano, Nigeria

A teenage Nigerian transvestite and seller of love potions who lived undetected for seven years among the married women of his conservative Islamic community has been caught and now faces jail.

Abubakar Hamza said this week that he disguised himself as a girl and ran away from his home in a remote farming village of Ajingi aged only 12, after his parents divorced and he came to hate his stepmother's scolding.

Now 19, he has lived ever since among married women in purdah -- the practice of screening women from men or strangers by means of a curtain or all-enveloping clothes.

He even attracted unsuspecting suitors among the young men of the city of Kano, all the while struggling to conceal the attraction he felt towards his female hosts


Victim in plea after attack by youths
By Sarah Bell

A VICTIM of a homophobic attack has spoken out about his ordeal, to urge others who are suffering from hate crime to report it to the police.

The 46-year-old, who does not want to be named, says he has received 'absolutely brilliant' support from Richmond police since the attack.

The victim was set upon by a group of youths armed with large sticks as he walked on Ham Common on July 21. He was left bleeding heavily from a wound on the head and received treatment at West Middlesex Hospital.

"It was a very frightening experience, there were a lot of them. I still sometimes think that I should have had a go back, but there were too many. It was pretty awful," he recalled


Gay Marriage Groups Seeks to Remove Justice From Amendment Case 
by The Associated Press

(New Orleans, Louisiana)  Lawyers trying to block a Sept. 18 vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages and civil unions in Louisiana want state Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Victory removed from any hearings on the matter.

Randy Evans, an attorney for Forum for Equality, said Thursday that the group filed papers with the high court to have Victory removed because the justice, who faces re-election this fall, took a strong position in favor of the amendment.


High court grants requests for quick hearing in gay marriage challenge

     The Arkansas Supreme Court will give a quick hearing to a challenge of a proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage.

     The Arkansas A-C-L-U filed the challenge yesterday, and asked the high court for an expedited hearing. 

     The high court today told both sides to submit written arguments September 15th, and that the sides will have to provide their replies to the arguments by September 20th.


ACLU Expected To Challenge Marriage Amendment
Civil Liberties Group To File Challenge With State Supreme Court

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is expected to file a challenge Friday to a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages in the state.

ACLU leaders said they will file the pre-election challenge in the state Supreme Court.

The proposed amendment authored by state Sen. James Williamson, R-Tulsa, would define marriage as only between one man and one woman. It also prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing same-sex marriages from other states.


Marriage amendment draws legal challenge
By Rob Moritz
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK - A legal challenge was filed Thursday to a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in Arkansas.

The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union complaint asks the state Supreme Court to remove the proposal from the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

The measure was certified for the ballot last month.

"This proposed constitutional amendment, supposedly concerning marriage, concerns much more than that," ACLU executive director Rita Sklar said during a news conference to announce the challenge.


Act now!

Emergency Relief for State Medicaid

Last month, two bills were introduced that would provide badly needed fiscal relief to state Medicaid programs. The Senate version, S. 2671 , was authored by Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Gordon Smith (R-Oregon). If passed, the bill would give state Medicaid programs $4.8 billion over 15 months.

Medicaid is the single largest source of federal funding for HIV/AIDS. Somewhere between 55 and 60 percent of people in the U.S. living with AIDS get their care, treatment, and medications through Medicaid. Last year, legislation passed by Congress sent $10 billion to states for temporary Medicaid relief, allowing many states to avoid drastic cuts and program changes. But that funding ended on July 1st and no further funding has been made available.

You can help secure additional funding for your state Medicaid program by asking your senators to co-sponsor S. 2671. Just click on the link below to send them a letter online. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’ll help us get $4.8 billion into Medicaid!


Indonesia "must accept gays" to halt HIV spread
Ben Townley, UK

Religious leaders and government officials in Indonesia must modernise their attitudes towards gay people if they are to halt the spread of HIV in the country, according to health workers.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, the country's National Committee on AIDS Control said that religious intolerance of homosexuality was a stumbling block in the strategy to stop the spread of HIV.

"We will also try to address the openness absent in the government and also in religious groups in this matter," committee member Suharto told the agency, adding that a meeting next month would be held to address the problem.

Indonesia is a mainly Muslim country in which lesbian and gay people are often discounted or thought not to exist.


Judge strikes down portions of Louisiana sodomy law
The Associated Press

GRETNA, La. -- A judge has ruled that portions of Louisiana law criminalizing consensual oral and anal sex between adults are unconstitutional and has permanently barred prosecutors in Jefferson Parish from enforcing it.

The Louisiana Electorate for Gays and Lesbians sued the Jefferson Parish district attorney's office in 1996, after the office was dismissed from a case in Orleans Parish that resulted in a statewide ban on enforcing the "crimes against nature" law.


Huntsman seeks to protect legal benefits for gays

OGDEN -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. supports the proposed state constitutional amendment against gay unions, but says if he is elected, he would seek to protect couples' legal benefits.

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said the amendment would prohibit Huntsman from doing that.


Anti-gay protester convicted
Woman shoved cleric before same-sex marriage ceremony
Appeal court rules that attack in church more than a trifle


Bursting into a predominantly gay church to denounce homosexuality and physically push the preacher is no trifling matter, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled yesterday, convicting a Cambridge, Ont., woman of assaulting a well-known Toronto minister.

Erika Kubassek was charged with assaulting Rev. Brent Hawkes during a Sunday morning service at the Metropolitan Community Church on Jan. 14, 2001, just hours before a historic same-sex marriage ceremony for two couples.

Hawkes fell backwards and almost tripped over a pew when Kubassek shoved him with her right hand.


N.M. clerk loses bid to resume issuing marriage licenses

A judge has rejected an effort by Sandoval County, N.M., clerk Victoria Dunlap to resume issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. State district judge Louis McDonald refused Wednesday to toss out state attorney general Patricia Madrid's request for a permanent injunction to prevent Dunlap from issuing the licenses.

Dunlap issued 66 same-sex licenses to gay and lesbian couples on February 20 but stopped late in the day after an advisory letter from Madrid declared such licenses illegal. Paul Livingston, Dunlap's attorney, had filed two motions on July 28 to dismiss the case.


GOP platform to oppose legal recognition of all same-sex unions

Republicans endorsed an uncompromising position against gay unions Wednesday in a manifesto that contrasts with Vice President Dick Cheney's supportive comments about gay rights and the moderate face the party will show at next week's national convention.


Calif. Leg. Passes 3 Gay Bills & 2 Resolutions In One Week
by Newscenter Staff

(Sacramento, California)  The California legislature approved five pieces of LGBT pro LGBT measures this week, believed to be a record for any state body in the country.

The legislation approved ranges in subject from insurance equality to hate crimes and support for same-sex relationships

Equality California, the state's largest gay rights group, said it is optimistic that Governor Schwarzenegger will sign the three bills. The two resolutions do not need the governor's signature.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Suit Filed To Block Arkansas Anti-Gay Amendment
by Newscenter Staff

(Little Rock, Arkansas) The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas today filed a legal challenge on behalf of three concerned citizens to the so-called "Amendment Concerning Marriage."

The ballot initiative was certified last month for the November ballot by the Arkansas Secretary of State.

The challenge, which is based on the Arkansas state constitution, maintains that the ballot initiative is misleading to voters and, if passed, could potentially make significant changes to the legal landscape for single Arkansans.

"As a lifelong Arkansan and someone with close family members who are gay, I find this proposed amendment scary and misleading," said Susan May, who, along with her husband Ron, is challenging the initiative.

Arizona State University: Following a rash of antigay harassment on campus, the LGBTQ Coalition convinced the administration in March to expand its nondiscrimination policy to include gender identity, making ASU the only state institution with protections for transgender people.
This followed the Greek council's February decision to approve the school's first lesbian sorority, Gamma Rho Lambda (a.k.a. GRL)—making ASU the only university in the country with both gay and lesbian frats.


Oklahoma rally promotes heterosexual marriage

A "Pro-Marriage Rally" in Tulsa, Okla., drew about 4,000 people, including the city's mayor and a state legislator. Mayor Bill LaFortune and state senator James Williamson were among those speaking at the event Tuesday at the Union High School Performing Arts Center.
"If you believe in Christ, if you believe in this country, and if you believe in this city, you believe that marriage is a covenant between God, a man, and a woman," LaFortune said.


Rights outcry at gay arrests
By Ian Gerard

GAY and civil rights groups have called for an end to plainclothes Queensland police operations that target gay people, after the arrest of two men in Townsville.

A 73-year-old man has been charged with indecently assaulting a policeman and a 43-year-old man charged with indecent behaviour after they were arrested at a well-known nudist beach and gay beat north of the city.

Australian Council of Civil Liberties president Terry O'Gorman denounced the use of plainclothes police in such operations, describing it as "utterly reprehensible" and a throwback to the 60s.

Spanish Catholic leader hits out at gay marriage plans
Ben Townley, UK

One of the leaders of the Catholic Church in Spain has caused anger by attacking the government's plans to legalise same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Fernando Sebastian of Pamplona, seen by many as the second in command of the country's Church, did however suggest the Church was supportive to "certain civil rights", despite the Pope attacking lesbian and gay people for going against the "moral law" last year.

The comments came during a press conference earlier this month, according to the Zenit Catholic news agency.
In it the Archbishop attacked government plans to allow lesbian and gay couples to marry should they wish. These proposals were announced when the government swept to power in March this year.


Rock Island, IA -- Karetha Dodd reports
Local gay couples to apply for marriage licenses
By Karetha Dodd

ROCK ISLAND - Local same sex couples plan to go to the Rock Island County Courthouse this morning to apply for marriage licenses. The couples say they know they'll be turned down, but want to make a statement.

Among the couples seeking licenses are Clayton Peterson and Steve Johnson. The two have been partners for the last 26 years. Both say it's about time the law recognizes their commitment. "They can call our union something other than marriage, as long as we get the same rights," says Peterson.


Activists: Black pastors hinder AIDS fight
Bay Area church leaders' stance against gay marriage bolsters stigma, doctor says
By Rebecca Vesely, STAFF WRITER

Leaders in the fight against AIDS in Alameda County on Wednesday criticized local African-American pastors who have said they will vote to re-elect President Bush because of his stance against gay marriage.

"I'm ashamed to say these pastors have made the situation worse," said Dr. Robert Scott, an Oakland physician who has been treating HIV/AIDS patients for nearly 22 years and is chairman of the AIDS ministry of Allen Temple Baptist Church.

Speaking at a forum on funding, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, Scott angrily held up a copy of Wednesday's Oakland Tribune story on the announcement by 20 Bay Area black religious leaders that they would vote for Bush. The pastors said they are backing Bush because they believe gay marriage erodes community values and sends a poor message to children.


Singapore gays inch closer to acceptance
Jaya Prakash

In wishing no quarrels with how nature ordains people, Singapore’s gay community may soon outlive the ignorance that has tormented them so far. In a sign of changing times, the ridicule and ostracising disapproval of yesteryears may soon give way to a new orientation to accepting homosexuals as ‘different’, yet same.

For one daringly tweaking the nose of conventional wisdom over the hitherto taboo topic of homosexuals; 37-year-old Derrick must be something of a lightning rod for Singapore’s gay fraternity.

For not only does he openly admit to his ‘frailties’, he is downright forthright about what some have benignly classified as a personality disorder.

"I am open about my being gay. I say it to my friends, my clients and even my family is aware of what I am. It does not matter to me the least what people or society feel about", says the puny, bespectacled, planner visibly angry at how he sees is the deep felt disapproval to homosexuals in Singapore.


Gay marriage poll a surprise
56% would vote for ban; both sides thought support was higher
By Jim Siegel
Enquirer Columbus Bureau

COLUMBUS - Backers and opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage both found things to like about a new poll showing a majority of Ohioans support the issue.

The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll found 56 percent of 763 likely voters would approve the proposed language on the November ballot if it withstands legal challenges. Forty percent said they would vote against it, and 4 percent were undecided.


Move Is Made in Connecticut Courts to Legalize Gay Marriage

HARTFORD, Aug. 25 - A gay rights group that won a Massachusetts case legalizing gay marriage announced a similar suit in Connecticut on Wednesday, expanding its mission into a state its lead lawyer declared ripe to confront the issue.

"It's about treating people fairly," said Mary L. Bonauto, a lawyer and the civil rights director for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a New England group that was the lead agency in the Massachusetts suit and in an earlier suit in Vermont that led to the nation's first civil unions between gay couples. "And from everything we see, Connecticut's getting ready for that."

Ms. Bonauto, standing in a Hartford hotel among six of the seven Connecticut couples who are plaintiffs in the suit, cited a string of legislative moves in Connecticut that have expanded rights and protections for same-sex couples, including, in 2000, a law making it easier for them to adopt children.


Oregon judge orders Benton County to again issue marriage licenses

CORVALLIS, Ore. A state judge has ordered an Oregon county to begin issuing marriage licenses again.
Benton County had stopped in April after the state threatened to sue if the county allowed gay couples to marry.

County commissioners -- trying not discriminate -- decided then that no one should get a license.

Even though the judge's order doesn't specifically mention same-sex couples, officials are expecting licenses will only be given to marriages between a man and a woman.

Benton County had been poised to be the second county in Oregon, after Multnomah (muhlt-


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

‘Vice President Cheney must explain how he can stand behind a platform that discriminates against families like his,’ said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign condemned the Republican platform’s inclusion of support for a discriminatory amendment in the U.S. Constitution banning marriage between same-sex couples and opposing civil unions. The platform hurts real families like Vice President Cheney’s, said HRC.

“Vice President Cheney must explain how he can stand behind a platform that discriminates against families like his,” said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. “There are millions of Republican families who don’t want to see their sons and daughters discriminated against. It must be hard for these families, including the Vice President’s, to reconcile their own support for inclusion and this divisive platform.”

In response to the convention’s theme of hope and safety, Jacques added, “There’s nothing about discrimination that provides Americans with hope and safety.


Manitoba government won't fight three same-sex marriage bids

WINNIPEG (CP) - The Manitoba government won't oppose a court bid by three same-sex couples who want to get married, saying it's a matter for Ottawa, not Winnipeg.

"We will not oppose what they are seeking," Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh said in an interview Wednesday. "We see it as an issue between applicants and the federal government and we will not be defending the federal (marriage) law. We don't have an interest in opposing legally recognized rights of Canadians."


Just Being Anti-Bush Is Not Enough To Win
Author: Sam Webb, National Chair

It was no surprise to me that virtually everyone I met during a recent three-week trip across the Midwest was quick to remind me that this election is the most important in their lifetime. While agreeing that the overriding political task is to defeat Bush and his counterparts in Congress and elect Kerry and a more people-friendly Congress, no one reduced this to simply a contest between the Democratic and Republican parties.

This election, they told me, will continue the nearly 24-year struggle against the forces of extreme political reaction who are now entrenched in the White House, Congress and Supreme Court - but with this difference: Nov. 2 could well mark a turning point for better or worse.

D.C. Man Pleads Guilty in Transgender Killing

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a 23-year-old District man faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in last August's slaying of a transgender man in Southeast.

Derrick Antwan Lewis of 18th Street, NE, pleaded guilty in D.C. Superior Court Wednesday to manslaughter while armed. He's expected to be sentenced in November and faces a mandatory five years behind bars.

Authorities have said Lewis shot 26-year-old Aaryn Marshall of Newcomb Street, SE, two times in the chest before dumping the body in a grassy area on Aug. 20, 2003.


GOP Platform Draft Seeks Gay Marriage Ban
The Associated Press

NEW YORK - Republican leaders are pushing for a constitutional ban on gay marriage in the GOP platform, opening a new point of contention between social conservatives and outnumbered but vocal factions fighting to give the party's statement of principles a more moderate tone.

A draft of the platform, shown to delegates on the eve of hearings Wednesday, set up a noisy debate just days before the Republican National Convention, highlighting divisions over gay rights, abortion rights and President Bush's restrictions on stem cell research.

Republican platform committee rejects gay-inclusive plank

A day after Vice President Dick Cheney made it clear that he does not favor the constitutional marriage ban supported by his boss, the platform committee for the Republican Party on Wednesday rejected a proposed plank put forth by the gay political group Log Cabin Republicans and two other groups that sought to add moderate language to the platform. "Today's decision--refusing to unite our party and refusing to recognize that people of good faith can disagree over contentious social issues--sends the wrong message to fair-minded voters," said Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero. "What is the message that today's platform language sends to Republicans like Vice President Cheney, Governor Schwarzenegger, Mayor Giuliani, and Senator McCain? How can you have a platform that fails to recognize that people of good faith, like Vice President Cheney, can disagree over complex social issues. The far right's agenda is dividing our families, our party, our nation, and even our president and vice president."


Massachusetts high court says no to lesbian child support

A woman who agreed to have a child with her lesbian partner but split up with the mother before the baby's birth cannot be forced to pay child support, Massachusetts's highest court ruled Wednesday. The split ruling by the supreme judicial court--the same court that legalized gay marriage in a landmark ruling last year--comes in the case of a Hampshire County lesbian couple, identified in court documents as "T.F." and "B.L.," who lived together from 1996 to 2000. B.L. at first resisted T.F.'s wishes to have a child but later changed her mind. The couple broke up after T.F. got pregnant by artificial insemination. After the baby was born, T.F. sued her former partner for child support. A probate and family court judge turned to the state appeals court, which in turn passed the case up to the supreme judicial court


Gay couples denied marriage licenses blocks away from Cheney speech

Four gay and lesbian couples were denied marriage licenses Tuesday at the Scott County, Iowa, courthouse, while Vice President Dick Cheney was just blocks away commenting on the issue of same-sex marriage. At a Republican campaign rally in Davenport, in response to a question posed by a woman concerning the vice president's thoughts on same-sex marriage, Cheney said it is an issue for his family because of his daughter Mary, who is gay. "With the respect to the question of relationships, my general view is, freedom means freedom for everyone," he said. "People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to." Cheney added that, historically, states have determined how marriage is defined.

Gays and Lesbians to Withhold $1.4 Billion From US Economy During October 8 Economic Boycott

ATLANTA, Aug. 25, 2004 -- The U.S. lesbian and gay population spends an average of $1.4 billion each day, totaling $500 billion a year, and Boycott For Equality is organizing a one-day nation-wide economic 'walkout' on October 8, 2004 to make that point clear.

The one-day event is designed to highlight the contribution that lesbians and gays make to the domestic economy and tax base, at the same time they are denied the full legal protections and civil liberties afforded heterosexual Americans.

"We want to remind those in our nation who don't always see the impact of our community in terms of dollars and cents that we do have real market power," said Boycott for Equality Co-Founder Dale Duncan. "We were inspired by Don't Amend Founder Robin Tyler's famous quip, 'If being gay is a disease, let's all call in sick to work' and decided to put those words into action."

Up to twenty-seven million Americans identify as being primarily lesbian or gay, yet no Federal law provides protection from discrimination in the workplace and many State and Federal laws prohibit access to the rights and responsibilities of marriage.


Anarchist vows Bronx cheers for delegates
By Stephen McKinley

Jamie Moran, an Irish-American anarchist, says the Republican delegates coming to New York City for the 2004 Republican National Convention shouldn't expect a New York Irish welcome.

"They are going to see protestors everywhere," said Moran, who believes that New Yorkers, overwhelmingly left-leaning, will give the Republicans' Manhattan project a clear Bronx cheer.

"A lot of people who don't identify as activists or protestors will come out," Moran continued. "[The Republicans] should not be scared -- they should just be told that their agenda is crap.


PFLAG Applauds Vice President Cheney's Honesty and Support for Daughter and Fairness For All

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), our nations premier Family voice for equality, applauds Vice President Cheney's honesty yesterday as a welcome and refreshing break from the harsh discriminatory posturing of the Bush administration that is trying to win an election on the backs of families across our nation.

"Dick Cheney, as father of a lesbian daughter demonstrated what we at PFLAG have known for a long time -- our family and friends are solid citizens and are worthy of full equal legal standing and respect in all aspects of life," emphasized PFLAG's Executive Director Ron Schlittler, "For that moment, the vice president shared his personal understanding that gay and lesbian Americans are real people with real families, and who have as valid a claim to the freedoms and promises of our great country


Gay Movement Emerges in India
Morning Edition audio
Aug. 25, 2004

Gay men in India are using the Internet to organize social events in safe places and keep each other informed. But the country's young gay movement faces many barriers: homosexuality remains illegal, and people with AIDS are stigmatized. NPR's Brenda Wilson reports


Anti-Obscenity Group Swears At Gay Leader

The nation’s most visible anti-obscenity organization uses internal foul language to describe Michigan’s most visible gay activist. The American Family Association (AFA) is most known for its anti-gay activism and opposition to “indecency”. AFA has called for boycotts on nearly every popular television program over the past twenty years, sometimes for no other reason than the fact that lead characters live together without being married.

AFA also opposes obscenity, indecency and other forms of foul language. Which is why it was surprising for Jeffrey Montgomery, the Executive Director of Triangle Foundation, a gay rights group, to get an email addressing him as “Dear F*ckhead.”


Gay group protests over Mobo list

Gay rights group Outrage! has condemned the Music of Black Origin (Mobo) Awards for nominating two artists whose songs include homophobic lyrics.

Elephant Man and Vybz Cartel are both up for best reggae single. The awards take place in London on 30 September.

A Mobo spokeswoman said homophobic songs like Elephant Man's We Nuh Like Gay were from "years ago" and they have "changed their music since then".

But Outrage! said they will try to stop the awards being screened on the BBC.


Gay Rights Groups To Announce Suit
By DANIELA ALTIMARI, The Hartford Courant

The gay rights group whose landmark victory in Massachusetts led that state's legislature to legalize same-sex marriage has turned its sights on Connecticut.

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a New England-based civil rights group, and the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union plan to file a lawsuit in Connecticut challenging the constitutionality of the state's marriage laws, which exclude same-sex couples. The two groups will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hartford.

The move marks a dramatic shift in strategy for Connecticut gay rights activists. In the past, activists have pushed for changes in the General Assembly, not the courts.

Gay rights activists in Connecticut, led by the coalition Love Makes a Family, won a measure of legal recognition two years ago, when same-sex couples were granted a limited bundle of rights. Just last February, state Rep. Michael Lawlor, an East Haven Democrat and co-chairman of the legislature's Judiciary Committee, predicted that Connecticut will become the first state legislature to approve gay marriage without a court order.

RAF to take part in Pride parade for first time
Ben Townley, UK

Manchester's Pride parade is set to feature members of the Royal Air Force for the first time, when it snakes it ways through the city's centre this weekend.

It will be the first time the RAF has attended a LGBT celebration in the UK, and is being used to represent the diversity of the organisation, a spokesperson said today.

"It doesn’t matter what religion, colour, gender or sexual orientation you are, we are looking for the 'Best Person For The Job'," he added.

Additionally, LGB members of the city's NHS organisations will make up the largest walking entry ever seen at the festival.


Judge Hears Bid To Overturn California Domestic Partner Law 
by Lisa Leff
The Associated Press

(Sacramento, California) A law granting same-sex couples nearly identical legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses hangs in the balance after a Superior Court judge heard arguments Tuesday on whether the measure should be upheld or overturned.

Lawyers for two sets of plaintiffs opposed to marriage rights for gay couples want the law thrown out, claiming it violates the spirit and intent of a 2000 ballot initiative approved by voters that holds California will only recognize unions between a man and a woman as valid.

But supporters of the new measure, passed by the Legislature and signed into law by then-Gov. Gray Davis last year, said there was nothing in the language of the voter-approved mandate to prevent the state from conferring spousal benefits on the 26,000 gay couples who have registered as domestic partners.

The law is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, but neither side in the debate left court with a clear indication of how Judge Loren McMasters would rule after he took the matter under consideration.


Third SoCal parish breaks off affiliation from Episcopal church
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - A third conservative Southern California parish broke its affiliation from the national Episcopal Church and linked itself with an Anglican diocese in Uganda.

Tuesday's decision by St. David's Episcopal Church in North Hollywood to leave the 2.3-million-member national church came just a week after two other parishes - All Saints' in Long Beach and St. James in Newport Beach - took similar steps.


Berlin boosts aid to Nazi victims

BERLIN - Compensation for victims of the Nazi Third Reich is to be increased and the number of groups eligible for payment expanded, Germany's ruling Social Democratic and Green Party coalition said Wednesday.

"Germany has a moral responsibility to ensure the dignity of (victims) as they grow older," said a statement, adding that the finance ministry had approved the move.

Monthly payments for people who were forcibly sterilized by the Nazis will be almost doubled to EUR 100.

"Those who were forcibly sterilized have suffered a barbarous life-long injustice. They could not set up families and are often alone in old age," said the statement.


Gay couples denied marriage licenses in Scott County
By David Heitz

Four gay and lesbian couples walked into the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport and applied for  marriage licenses Tuesday, but were denied, while Vice President Dick Cheney was blocks away making a statement on the issue of gay marriage.
Cheney’s statement in Davenport that he believes gay marriage is an issue that should be left to the states contrasts with President Bush’s support of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Scott VanDeWoestyne, executive director of Quad-Citians Affirming Diversity, a gay advocacy group, called the developments “a wonderful day in the Quad-Cities.”
“To have the vice president of the United States in town, talking about his own personal family and the fact that he has a lesbian daughter and coming out against amending the federal constitution, and at the same time having our own loving couples going to the courthouse to get marriage licenses, it’s just wonderful.”



A THUG who battered Pogues legend Shane MacGowan in a pub toilet claimed the star offered to pay him for gay sex.

But scaffolder Liam McInerney was jailed for three years yesterday for the attack on the singer - and for punching a woman in the face while high on drugs.

Prosecutors said the assault on MacGowan was 'totally unprovoked'.The star told earlier this year how McInerney lashed out at him for no reason.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Statement by Matt Foreman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director:

"We are heartened that by taking a stand for his daughter, at long last Vice President Cheney is standing up for real family values. His words, however, mean very little unless the Bush/Cheney administration withdraws its aggressive support of the Federal Marriage Amendment, the so-called Marriage Protection Act and numerous other attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender families that have been put forward over the last three and a half years. We look forward to the Vice President using his extraordinary influence with the President to make this happen."

Destiny members 'took down school posters'

Anti-homophobia posters hanging at Wellington High School have been ripped off the walls by Destiny Church members, students claim.

Drama students Phylli JasonSmith, 16, and Sonny Thomas, 17, say they were horrified to see church members taking down posters on Sunday which advertised a march against the church.

The march was organised to counter a Destiny Church demonstration which saw more than 7000 people converge on Parliament on Monday to protest against the Civil Union Bill and prostitution.

Phylli said students had hung about 15 posters around the school foyer and drama department, and were distraught when they saw them being pulled down.

Police Tight Lipped Over Transgender Murder Staff

San Francisco police were keeping tight-lipped Monday about their investigation into the murder of a transgendered woman.

The body of Tony Green, 46, was discovered a week and a half ago at the Franciscan Motel. Green was born male, but relatives say she lived peacefully as a woman.

"I'm very frustrated because I have no idea what the motive was," said Green's sister Linda Porter.

Some activists were calling Green's murder a hate crime, but police would not comment on a motive.

Coalition outlines top health priorities for the transgendered

The National Coalition for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health, a group focused on improving the health and well-being of the LGBT community through federal advocacy, on Monday released a list of the top health disparities affecting the transgender population. The list was created to help educate health care providers--and members of the larger gay community--about the specific health needs of transgendered men and women.

The document, called "An Overview of U.S. Trans Health Priorities," outlines 13 specific health concerns for the transgendered:

Violence and murder prevention;

HIV and other STD prevention and treatment;
substance abuse prevention and treatment;

depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide prevention;
lack of health insurance and underinsurance;

lack of health insurance coverage for trans health services;

Gender Identity Disorder as the principal diagnostic means determining access to trans health services;

lack of Food and Drug Administration approval for transgender hormonal therapy;
widespread injection silicone use, especially among male-to-female transgendered people of color;

the continuing misclassification of sex reassignment surgery as "experimental" by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid;

lack of training in U.S. medical schools for trans health service delivery and working with transgendered patients;

medical, mental health, and substance abuse treatment provider insensitivity and hostility to transgendered people;

and tobacco use.


Children At Rally Defended

The head of Destiny Church is labelling as trivial the controversy over the use of children in their protest against the Civil Union Bill. There is concern the children, who were dressed in black shirts and tee-shirts, took part in the "Enough is Enough" march on Parliament.

tsPastor Brian Tamaki says the media is focusing on one tiny aspect of yesterday's large demonstration. He claims the children are not angry or unbalanced, but were with their parents and are good kids with good values and standards. Pastor Tamaki says the church will continue to express its displeasure about the bill.

But trans-sexual(sic) MP Georgina Beyer says she was subject to abuse from the young members of the demonstration who called her "George," "queer" and said she was not normal. Ms Beyer says the scene reminded her of a Nuremburg rally


A Chillicothe man says he was discriminated against by a Chillicothe employer and he wants the City to do something about it.

Homer Hill says when he applied for a job, he was denied the position because the employer thought he was a homosexual. Hill says it's not right that anyone should be denied employment because of sexual orientation.


Big Apple Walk for Gay Rights
By Dan Webber, Community Newswire

A charity dedicated to supporting homosexual and bisexual people in the UK is today urging supporters to raise funds and join this year’s New York Equality Walk.

The ten-mile event will start at the iconic Empire State Building before following a route down 5th Avenue, Central Park and along Broadway before finishing in Greenwich Village at the world-famous Stonewall Bar, the birthplace of gay liberation.


Dissent Must Come Alive in New York
Protesters need not Fear that they will be Playing into the Hands of Bush's Campaign Strategy
by Tom Hayden
Protest, even more than property, is a sacred resource of American society. It begins with radical minorities at the margins, eventually marching into the mainstream, where their views become the majority sentiment. Prophetic minorities instigated the American Revolution, ended slavery, achieved the vote for women, made trade unions possible, and saved our rivers from becoming sewers.

Protest by its nature challenges authority. It cannot be managed or commodified without losing its essence.

The first American revolutionaries were "rude and insolent rabble" to John Adams, who nevertheless became president in their wake. Abigail Adams warned her husband in 1776 to remember that "if particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion." The former slave Frederick Douglass advised the timid liberals of his time that "those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground."


Man Charged In Gay Couple Beating
24-Year-Old To Face Charges In New Hampshire

NASHUA, N.H. -- A Methuen, Mass., man was charged with beating up a Hudson, N.H., man and robbing him and his companion because they are gay.

John Guimond, 23, is accused of attacking a 24-year-old Hudson man in May. Police said that Guimond grabbed the man in a headlock, punched him and made derogatory comments toward him and his companion, a 17-year-old Nashua boy.


ACLU Plans Lawsuit To Keep Same-sex Marriage Question Off Ballot

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Attorneys working with the ACLU are preparing a lawsuit to challenge a state question to put a ban on same-sex marriage in the Oklahoma Constitution.

American Civil Liberties Union officials in Oklahoma say they are planning to file the lawsuit by Friday.

Gay rights organizations want the question removed from the November 2nd general election ballot.
If approved, State Question 711 would define marriage in the state Constitution as only the union of one man and one woman.


Appeals court rules against suit seeking to prevent gay marriage vote
The Associated Press  

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — One state appeals court ruled that voters will cast ballots next month on an amendment that would ban gay marriage in Louisiana. Another court is still weighing the issue.

Monday's ruling from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge said a lawsuit seeking to strip the amendment off the Sept. 18 ballot was "premature" because state law only allows an election challenge after the election occurs. The ruling came the same day the appellate court judges heard arguments in the case.

Another appeals court, in New Orleans, heard arguments in a similar lawsuit. That court, the 4th Circuit, did not immediately rule.

Lawyers on both sides said the appellate court rulings will be appealed to the state Supreme Court, which would then decide whether the vote can take place. The process of printing the ballots was underway on Monday, a state lawyer said.


Gay marriage rights appeal argued in the Supreme Court

Bloemfontein: Homosexuals should be given their full rights in terms of marriage, the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein heard yesterday.

"Marriage is a mechanism through which heterosexuals automatically get certain rights and privileges," senior council Pieter Oosthuizen said.

He was appearing on behalf of Marie Fourie and Cecelia Bonthuys who were challenging a decision by the Pretoria High Court which dismissed their application to have their marriage legally recognised.

Oosthuizen said the essence of any marriage was that it was a contract between two people that would change their status and "give them access to certain rights and privileges which they would normally not have".

Police quiz lawyer about gay murders :
 India News > New Delhi:

Police Monday questioned a lawyer who claimed to have met one of the two men suspected of murdering a USAID employee and his gay partner in the capital a week ago.

Senior police officers said the lawyer has called up the police to say that he knew one the suspected killers of USAID official Pushkin Chandra and his partner Kuldeep.  

"The man claimed he had seen the one of the killers," said a police officer.


Gay marriage blocked from state ballot
Board of Canvassers also bars Nader, approves vote to control gambling expansion
By Mark Hornbeck / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

LANSING — Backers of a ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan will have to go to court to get their proposal on the November ballot, following the unexpected and stunning rejection of the group’s petitions by the Board of State Canvassers on Monday.

The Citizens for the Protection of Marriage could find themselves waiting in line for a court date with those who want to see third-party presidential candidate Ralph Nader on the ballot in Michigan. The board also denied Nader a spot on the ballot as an independent. Both issues failed on a 2-2 partisan vote with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed. A majority vote was needed.

In a third major action, an initiative calling for state and local voters to approve any expansion of gambling in the state won the unanimous approval of the board. It will be Proposal 1 on the November ballot. But horse racing interests that want to place video slot machines at their tracks vowed to take legal action to block the proposal.

The setback for advocates of the gay marriage prohibition was easily the most surprising development of the contentious four-hour meeting. Opponents of the ban did not even challenge the petitions, and the vote not to certify came despite staff recommendations to approve the issue.


Court hearing about gay marriage could be moot
Justices will hear arguments about same-sex marriage two weeks after state vote
Statesman Journal

Two weeks after voters might decide the issue, the Oregon Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether state law allows same-sex marriages.

The court has scheduled a hearing for Nov. 17 about the legal challenge by nine same-sex couples, who are represented by a Portland lawyer cooperating with the American Civil Liberties Union.

State law, dating to 1862, defines marriage as a civil contract involving males and females 17 or older. The couples argue that the law denies them equal protection under the Oregon Constitution.

Similar challenges are pending in nine other states, including California and Washington


Gay Festival, Yes, Proclamation, No
Mayor's Office Withdraws Designation Of Gay Pride Day

BAKERSFIELD-- -- There wasn't a lot of pride in Mayor Harvey Hall's statement Monday, withdrawing a proclamation that would designate Gay Pride Day in Bakersfield next month.

The Gay Pride festival is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4, and was suppose to feature a presentation by Hall.

But the mayor has changed his position, following what he calls "numerous e-mails, letters and telephone calls from many people objecting a proclamation designating Gay Pride Day in our city."

The statement expressed what Hall termed as disappointment, but said "he understands the feelings of the majority of our community."


Gast trial postponed to Nov. 15
By CONNIE PARISH, Times Staff Writer

Sandy Clarissa Gast, who was scheduled to have her day in court today, will now have to wait until November.

Her trial before District Judge Frederick Stewart was delayed until Nov. 15 at the request of prosecutors.

But it won't be a jury that will decide whether she was guilty of false swearing when she applied in February for a license to marry Georgi Somers.
Instead, the decision will be made by a judge. Stewart in April denied the motion for a jury trial and determined it would instead be a trial to the court.

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


In Limited Ruling, Court Upholds Military Ban on Sodomy

ASHINGTON, Aug. 23 - In the first test case involving the military since the Supreme Court struck down state anti-sodomy laws last year, the nation's highest military court ruled unanimously on Monday that under certain circumstances, the military's ban on sodomy was constitutional.

But the court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, steered clear of a larger question: whether protections offered by the Supreme Court's sweeping decision in Lawrence v. Texas last year apply universally to the military. That left open the possibility that civil rights groups might find another case to test the military's laws against consensual sodomy.

"The court ducked the issues in this case," said C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which had filed papers in support of striking down the military prohibitions in the case decided Monday. "This leaves open for another day a case with a different set of facts to decide whether or not Lawrence applies to military personnel."

At least nine other cases involving acts of sodomy in the military are under appeal. Mr. Osburn said.


Log Cabin urges GOP platform changes
PlanetOut Network

The largest U.S. group of gay Republicans has appealed to the platform committee for the upcoming GOP national convention to make the agenda more gay-inclusive.

Patrick Guerriero, the executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), made the request -- on behalf of the "1,000,000 gays and lesbians who voted for George W. Bush in 2000" -- in a letter that was circulated on Friday.

The letter endorses current "Republican values of limited government, lower taxes, individual responsibility and a strong national defense," and urges the committee to strengthen language from the 2000 platform to recognize diversity as a "source of strength."


US state's marriage ban goes to appeals court
Ann Rostow, Network

With less than a month to go before the US state's primary vote, civil rights activists in Louisiana are continuing to challenge the legal credentials of a proposed constitutional amendment that will outlaw same-sex marriage and "substantially similar" institutions.

According to complaints filed by the Forum for Equality, a political action committee (PAC) opposing the measure, the amendment failed to meet legislative deadlines, and it illegally forces Louisiana citizens to take an up-or-down vote on three separate issues contained in one proposal.

Further, the ban on same-sex unions is a violation of individual human rights, and placing the amendment on the primary ballot violates state law.

Constitutional amendments must be presented to the voters during a statewide election, but since the Sept. 18 primary affects only certain parishes, it is arguably not a "statewide" election.


Monday, August 23, 2004

Legal battle continues over Cincinnati gay rights initiative

An effort to repeal a 1993 charter amendment that made Cincinnati the only U.S. city to ban enactment or enforcement of laws based on sexual orientation continues to be the subject of a legal dispute as the election nears. A judge last week rejected a request for a temporary restraining order to keep the repeal off the November 2 ballot, but he did set an August 30 hearing to consider issues in the case. Opponents of the repeal said Friday that they do not view Hamilton County common pleas judge Mark Schweikert's rejection of the restraining order as a setback in their effort to keep the city from passing gay rights laws.
"He said it was not needed at this time, but he will take up the issues at the end of the month," said Phil Burress, president of Equal Rights, No Special Rights.y


Legal arguments continue over Louisiana gay marriage ban

Louisiana already has a law banning gay marriage, but two appeals courts were set to hear arguments over a proposed constitutional amendment that would reaffirm that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Lawyers on both sides of lawsuits over the amendment agree that the matter will move through appeals courts in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to the state supreme court, which will decide whether the proposed amendment will appear on the September 18 ballot. The two suits were filed on behalf of Louisiana residents and argue that the proposed ban would invalidate custody rights and contracts of couples who are not married, whether they're gay or not. The state has argued that the amendment would not endanger such contracts.

Judges' rulings on the suits thus far have dealt with more procedural matters. The New Orleans civil district judge ruled Friday that the amendment should not go to voters next month because it deals with more than one issue and because September 18 is not actually a statewide election date. The first circuit court of appeal in Baton Rouge had arguments scheduled in one lawsuit for Monday morning. The fourth circuit in New Orleans had arguments set in a similar suit Monday afternoon.


Children Of Lesbian Must Be Adopted By Lesbian Family Court Told

(London) Social workers have told a British court that two children must only be adopted by a lesbian couple because their birth mother was in a same-sex relationship.

Social services workers at Greenwich Council in South-East London told the court that the children should immediately be returned to the same "environment" that they experienced as infants.

For the past year the young boy and girl have been living with heterosexual foster parents. The reason the children came into the care of the council has not been revealed.

Social workers told a Family Proceedings Court judge that the situation is similar to that of a child of black or Jewish parents who should be adopted into a family of the child's racial or cultural background.

Gay couple mulls going to court over EU rights

VIENNA - A homosexual couple may go to the European Court over being prevented from living in Austria, said the homosexual lobbying group Hosi on Monday.

General Secretary Kurt Krickler said the couple, with one German and a US partner, had been married in the Netherlands. However, the marriage was not recognized by the Austrian state.

When the German man decided to move to Austria, his non-EU American partner was refused Austrian residence and working permits. "That's a clear violation of EU law", said Krickler.

He said that any EU citizen settling in another EU country had the right to bring along his or her married partner, even if the partner was a citizen of an outside country.


Five thousand marchers take to streets

About 5000 protesters left Wellington's Civic Square this morning on a Destiny Church-organised march against proposed legislation giving gay relationships legal recognition.

The number was well below the estimated 10,000 protesters signalled by the church last week.

Two counter-protests organised by Victoria University's UniQ gay group and the Against Conservative Fundamentalism group planned to reach Parliament around the same time as the church group.

Nepalese gay prisoners released; police accused of brutality
Ben Townley, UK

Thirty-nine members of a gay rights group who were arrested in Nepal to the shock of international human rights groups have been released on bail, but have already spoken of the violence directed at them during police custody.

The mostly gay or transgendered (known as Metis) group were arrested on the 9th August while at a club in Kathmandu.

The arrests follow ongoing accusations of anti-gay attacks from the government and police force in Nepal, as well as a threat to close the Blue Diamond Society - a gay rights group that offers information on HIV/AIDS - for promoting homosexuality.

Since the release, the chief of the BDS has released a statement recounting some of the attacks that took place during the incarceration.

also read: Brief report of experience of Metis of their last 13 days : A personal account.


Same-sex marriage to be challenged in court - (SA)

The definition of marriage in South African common law will be challenged in the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Roman Dutch law defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This makes it impossible for same-sex couples to be married to each other.

On Monday a lesbian couple who want to marry will challenge a decision in the Pretoria High Court, in which Judge Pierre Roux dismissed Marie Fourie and Cecilia Bonthuys' application to have their marriage legally recognised in October 2002, saying the matter was constitutional and that he was not prepared to exercise his own discretion.


Ohio Gay Marriage Amendment Faces Court Challenge

(Columbus, Ohio) Plans to ask voters to approve amending the Ohio state constitution to ban same-sex marriage are being challenged in court.

A lawyer for a coalition of mainly gay civil rights groups said that after reviewing petitions from four rural counties he has found "numerous errors."

Donald McTigue examined petitions certified in Marion, Morrow, Fulton and Sandusky counties and found paperwork showing how much petitioners were paid was improperly filed in addition to improper changes in the number of signatures witnessed by each petitioner.

"We have only seen four counties, but if those four are indicative of the rest, this petition has problems in terms of making it to the ballot," McTigue told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I don't see how all the errors can be addressed before the November election."


Carey tour adds to US fears of gay schism
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, will provoke a fresh storm over homosexuality in the Church next month by blessing hundreds of American traditionalists who are boycotting their own pro-gay bishop.

This high-profile intervention by Lord Carey will highlight the growing polarisation in the worldwide Anglican community over the issue and will be criticised as "back-seat driving" by supporters of his successor at Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams. 
It will also raise the temperature of the debate weeks before the publication of the final report by the Lambeth Commission, the body set up last year by Dr Williams to try to avert schism.


Pledge tries to ban gay unions
By Jannell McGrew
Montgomery Advertiser

Three months after the Legislature failed to send a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages to voters, the Alabama Christian Coalition wants state lawmakers to try it again.

This time, the group wants legislators to sign a coalition-drafted pledge that is being circulated to members of the House and Senate. By signing the pledge, legislators agree to vote for the proposed amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The names of those who sign, as well as those who don't, will be placed on the Web for the public to see, said John Giles, Christian Coalition president. Sept. 3 is the deadline to sign the pledge.


Lesbian divorce ruling may bench judge
By Associated Press

DES MOINES (AP) — The first judge in Iowa to be voted out of his job blamed his demise on a divorce. This election year, another judge could in trouble and the reason, once again, is divorce.
In the 42 years since Iowans approved a system of retaining judges, only four have been knocked off the bench by voters.
Northwest Iowa Judge Jeffrey Neary granted a divorce last year to a Sioux City lesbian couple who were joined in a Vermont civil union. Some Iowans believe Neary opened the way for civil unions or gay marriages not recognized by the state. Residents of his judicial district are raising money for a campaign to deny him another term.
Retention votes have been routine since the system was changed so that judges no longer have to campaign like politicians to keep their jobs. Legal experts say in most cases where a judge is turned out, voters find them guilty of being unorthodox.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Gay power hits Aglipay
PNP chief scored for spurning homosexuals applying as cops

A gay rights group on Sunday scored the Philipúpine National Police chief, Deputy Director General Edgardo Aglipay, for disúcouúraging homosexual men from applying as police officers, saying gay cops can do anything that their straight counterparts can.

Michael Urbano, secretary-general of Pro-Gay, or the Progressive Organization of Gays in the Philippines, also said there are already gays in the force who do not want to reveal their homosexuality.

At a news conference Friday, Aglipay said gays were better off if they did not sign up with the PNP, because they might not pass the rigorous training for police recruits.

Aglipay’s statement contradicts what he said two days earlier, when he told reporters he welcomed gays in the PNP. That was before he was named the PNP chief.


Anti-gay protest draws notice
Message sparks a few conflicts
By Laura Rineer

BLOOMINGTON -- A Kansas-based anti-gay group was met with catcalls and some tomatoes as they picketed outside two locations Saturday afternoon.

Although the hourlong protest by Westboro Baptist Church was largely nonviolent, one man spit on a protester, someone else threw tomatoes, and another woman left her car to confront the group and grab a sign.

At one point, a priest from Holy Trinity Catholic Church stopped traffic on Main Street and encouraged a van full of people to stop arguing with the group and drive on.

Twenty Westboro members, including children and teens, held signs outside Electrolux Home Care Products, 807 N. Main St., and Holy Trinity, 704 N. Main S


India News > Gay murders halt weekend gay parties:

New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) : A police probe into the murders of a USAID employee and his gay partner has forced the gay community to call off weekend parties in the national capital.

Dozens of gays, especially those under the police scanner, have stopped meeting with one another and decided not to organise any weekend parties.

Amit, a call centre employee who is a regular at such parties, said: "There is no option but to go underground to avoid harassment by the police which now believe that every gay is a murderer and a criminal."

According to Amit, all gay groups have been informed through e-mails and SMS that the parties have been cancelled for the time being and dating gay couples have been asked to take precautions while out late at night.


Gay marriage issue might make ballot
Detroit News staff and wire reports

LANSING — A proposal to outlaw gay marriage in Michigan appears headed for the November ballot.

The Board of State Canvassers will decide whether to approve the Citizens for Protection of Marriage petitions at its Monday meeting at 1 p.m. in Room 426 of the Capitol.

The group collected 500,000 signatures and needs 317,757 valid ones to earn a spot on the ballot for the proposal. A group opposing the initiative said it will not challenge the petitions at Monday’s meeting.

From afar, fund boosts supporters of gay marriage
By and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff  

For generations, Massachusetts legislative campaigns have been parochial affairs won with local money, as candidates wore holes in their shoes at backyard barbecues and cocktail parties to snare a handful of $50 checks.

But now that Massachusetts has become the country's battleground over gay marriage, local candidates are getting a boost from national money, thanks to the brave new world of the Internet.

With the click of a mouse and the tap of a few keys, supporters of gay marriage from Maine to Florida and California to the Carolinas are contributing to the campaigns of two-dozen Massachusetts legislative candidates who have pledged to uphold last year's high court ruling legalizing gay marriage., a new website, is funneling donations to the campaign coffers of hand-picked lawmakers in tight


Activists discuss how to win same-sex couples' rights
Rachel Evans

On August 13, the federal government and the Labor opposition voted in the Senate to ban same-sex marriage by passing the Marriage Amendment Act, which defines marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman.

The legislation was passed just days after the closing of submissions to a Senate inquiry into the issue. The Greens and the Australian Democrats opposed the bill. The major parties rushed the legislation through in the knowledge that there are three same-sex couples preparing court cases to have their marriages, which were performed overseas, recognised.

Prominent gay rights activist Rodney Croome, from the Equal Rights Network, is investigating a High Court challenge to the legality of the legislation. He told Green Left Weekly that a campaign for its repeal is needed. “The legislation is not going to be repealed in a hurry, but this shouldn't stop us calling for that, as well as highlighting the way both major parties have fallen prey to anti-gay campaigners and fundamentalist churches. We need to channel the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community's anger into effective action, right up until the federal election and beyond, if we are to have any hope of achieving law reform in the near future.”


Activists hold vigil for slain transgender woman

SAN FRANCISCO Transgender rights activists are planning community vigil tomorrow night to remember Tony Green, a transgender woman found dead in a San Francisco motel last week. The 46-year old Green was born male but identified as a woman. She also went by the name Delicious.

Police would not release details about the killing, but activists are calling it a case of anti-transgender bias. Green was last seen alive at her home the morning of August 12. Friends said Green knew she was transgender from the age of seven.

Activists said the 200 killing of Newark transgender teenager Gwen Araujo has helped raise awareness about anti-transgender violence.


Officials had feared violence at high school
   Gay, straight teens polarized; suit filed
By Onell R. Soto

The animosity between gay and straight students at Poway High School was so volatile last spring that school officials said they had to prevent a teenager from wearing an anti-gay slogan on a T-shirt in class.

AdvertisementAdministrators feared that violence might erupt over the shirt, according to legal papers that for the first time detail the school district's side of a controversy that has spilled into the courts.

The campus was so polarized that the district was slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit by gay and lesbian students on one side and fielded at least one threatening phone call from a parent opposed to homosexuality.

On April 22, sophomore Tyler Chase Harper, 16, wore a shirt with hand-written anti-gay phrases, including "Homosexuality is shameful." He wore it the day after a campus observance of tolerance of gay and lesbian people called "A Day of Silence."