poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Complexity May Have Doomed Recall Bid
Organizers had difficulty explaining the gender issue in the Westminster district, experts say. Timing didn't help, either.
By Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer

Leaders in the effort to oust two Westminster School District trustees over their stance on a state anti-discrimination law appeared to seize the perfect moment last April when they rose before a sea of parents and teachers at a heated board meeting.

As the crowd erupted in cheers at word of a possible recall, organizers said they would succeed in gathering the necessary signatures.But Thursday, the momentum of that April evening seemed so long ago when organizers learned they fell short of the required 7,233 signatures and that the Orange County registrar's office rejected the recall bid. With the failure, the Westminster group's effort joins a long list of unsuccessful recall attempts. Their opponents say the defeat shows that the campaign lacked critical support. Political experts, however, said that while the trustees have their supporters, a host of problems — namely bad timing and the issue's complexity — doomed the effort.


When Gender Isn't a Given

T the moment after labor when a mother hears whether her new child is a boy or a girl, Lisa Greene was told she had a son. She named her baby Ryan and went home. Ms. Greene learned five days after the birth that her baby was really a girl.

Doctors who ran tests diagnosed congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a condition that, put simply, can make baby girls' genitals look male. As the young mother struggled to get over her shock, to give explanations to relatives and put away the blue baby clothes, she also had to make a decision: whether to subject her daughter to surgery to reduce the enlarged clitoris that made her look like a boy, or leave it alone.

Thus Ms. Greene, a 26-year-old cashier in East Providence, R.I., was thrown into a raging debate over a rare but increasingly controversial type of cosmetic surgery.

For decades, parents and pediatricians have sought to offer children whose anatomy does not conform to strictly male or female standards a surgical fix. But the private quest for "normal" is now being challenged in a very public way by some adults who underwent genital surgery and speak of a high physical and emotional toll.


Not about gender
Robert Haaland is a transgender person. It doesn't matter in the race for supervisor in S.F.
By Herbert A. Sample -- Bee San Francisco Bureau

SAN FRANCISCO - Robert Haaland stood near a Lower Haight intersection the other day, brochures in hand, doing what local candidates must in a tough, competitive contest - trying to snag a few precious moments with busy pedestrians.

But while some of his 21 competitors are doing the same street-corner dance with voters, there is something about Haaland that sets him apart in the race for a seat on this city's Board of Supervisors.

Haaland considers himself a man, though he once was a woman. And if he wins on Nov. 2 - he is widely considered to be among the two or three leading candidates - he would become the first openly transgender person to win elected office in the country.


Anti-Gay Expressions Must Be Allowed In Schools Lawyer Tells Court
by Newscenter Staff

(Poway, California) If school allow Gay/Straight clubs and other forms of tolerance toward gays and lesbians they must also allow students opposed to homosexuality to express those views a federal judge has been told.

The case involves a student who was suspended for a day from Poway high school after refusing to remove a T-shirt condemning homosexuality on National Day of Silence in April.

Gender related disorders
Kevan Wylie, consultant in sexual medicine
Porterbrook Clinic, Sheffield

Gender identity disorder is being given greater attention and importance by the medical profession. Although its aetiology is unclear, some evidence suggests that it has a neurobiological basis. The condition is no longer confused with sexual orientation preference and other gender related disorders. Social stigma remains, and patients need multidisciplinary assessment and care.

 The designation of sex has always been established by looking at the anatomical sex, and the term gender identity describes whether a person senses himself or herself to be masculine or feminine. Gender role describes how people publicly express themselves in their clothing, use of cosmetics, hairstyle, conversation, body language, appearance, and behaviour. Usually, gender identity and gender role are congruous, but in people with gender identity disorder, severe incongruity exists between anatomical sex and gender identity, and the person has persistent discomfort with his or her anatomical sex, usually from childhood. A sense of inappropriateness is felt in the gender role of that sex, and such people have a strong, ongoing, crossgender identification, with a desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex. Usually they have a desire for hormonal therapy and surgery to make their body as congruent as possible with the desired gender identity.


Gay candidate for Congress quits race
PlanetOut Network

Jim Stork, a gay politician who campaigned this year to unseat a 12-term Republican U.S. congressman from Florida, pulled out of the race on Friday, citing health concerns.

Stork, 37, suspended his campaign last month to undergo medical tests. He revealed Friday that he has a heart condition that will prevent him from campaigning rigorously.


GOP Mailing Warns Dems Will Allow Gay Marriage & Ban Bibles
By The Associated Press

(Washington) Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if Democrats win in November.

The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."


La. voting on gay marriage ban
Opponents fear amendment plan's scope is broad
By Rebecca Mowbray, Globe Correspondent

NEW ORLEANS -- Two weekends ago, this city welcomed thousands of gay revelers from around the country to the annual Southern Decadence festival, a gay Mardi Gras complete with a risqu and satirical parade in costume through the French Quarter.

But today, the South's most freewheeling city is likely to vote along with the rest of Louisiana to ban same-sex marriages and domestic partnerships under the state constitution. After Missouri, which approved a similar ban last month, Louisiana is the second state to hold a referendum on the issue since the decision in Massachusetts by the Supreme Judicial Court legalizing same-sex marriage.


'Queer Symposium" addresses Native identity'
Native American academics speak about sexuality, culture at 10th annual speaker series
By Jessica Begans

Three prominent Native American writers and professors spoke at 10th annual Queer October Symposium Wednesday, Sept. 15.

The event was co-sponsored by the English and Women and Gender Studies departments and organized by English professor Michael Moon.

Presenters included Deborah Miranda from Washington and Lee University, Scott Stevens from SUNY-Buffalo and Craig Womack from the University of Oklahoma.

The speakers discussed not only their professional work in the field of gay and lesbian and Native American studies, but also the personal challenges they face as gay Native Americans.

Austria: Enduring Persecution of Gay Men

Almost Exclusive Enforcement Against Gay Men

Platform Against Art. 209 calls for repeal of the substitute for the anti-homosexual Art. 209

Austrian Minister of Justice, Karin Miklautsch, in replying to a parliamentary question announced that the substitute provision for anti-homosexual Art. 209 Criminal Code, repealed in 2002, while being gender-neutral in wording, still is enforced nearly exclusively against same-sex relations.

More than three quarters (78%) of all cases brought to court in the first half of 2004 concerned homosexual relations. All of the persons carcerated under that law were homosexual men.

One man has even been convicted despite the fact that the court did not know anything about his partners; the court did not the nature (!) or the amount of the remuneration nor did it know how “immediate inducement” (see Art. 207b par. 3 below) did take place; it did not even know the identity or the age (!) of the adolescents. The Minister of Justice – despite having been specifically asked for – refused to reveal how the court, on this basis, could come to a conviction, what reasons it has given for the conviction.

Friday, September 17, 2004

'Mairil' homosexuality in boarding schools

Almost all religions forbid homosexuality as can be seen in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Bible or the people of the Prophet Luth in the Koran.

According to a recent study, however, homosexuality can be found even in religious institutions, including in pesantren (Islamic boarding schools).

Islamic expert Achmad Zainul "Inung" Hamdi said a certain type of homosexual activity, known as mairil or sempetan occurred between male students (santri) at the boarding schools.

"It happens between senior students and junior students. The Kyai (leaders of the schools) know about the practice, but they ignore it," Inung, who is a lecturer at the State Islamic Institute, in Malang East Java


Raising the awareness of gays and transvestites(sic)

More than 100 gay men and transvestites across the country attended "The National Meeting: Sexuality and Men's Sexual Health" at Novus Hotel, Puncak, West Java, between Sept. 7 and Sept 10.

Sponsors of the meeting included the Ford Foundation, Dutch non-governmental organization HIVOS, and UN bodies UNAIDS and UNFPA.

Various topics were discussed, such as the relation between homosexuality and culture, politics and religion as well as sexual health, especially for men who have sex with men (MSM). A. Junaidi from The Jakarta Post, and journalists from Indopos daily and Gatra magazine talked with the meeting's steering committee chairman, Dede Oetomo, about the gathering.


Younger gays, transvestites (sic) have courage to come out

If there was one person known to talk in seminars or discussions about the gay and transvestite communities in Indonesia as recently as five years ago, only one name would probably have come up: Dede Oetomo, chairman of GAYA Nusantara and a sociolinguist from the Surabaya-based Airlangga University.

But now, the gay and transvestite movement, which was founded in the 1980s by Dede, who is now 51 years old, has new faces. Young members are more daring about coming out and demanding recognition from the state and society.

Mamoto Gultom and his partner Hendy Sahertian of the Pelangi Kasih Nusantara Foundation (YPKN) in Jakarta, Widodo of the Pelangi foundation in Yogyakarta, Lenny Sugiharto of the Srikandi Sejati foundation or Irma of the Surabaya Transvestites Association (Perwakos) are outspoken members of the younger generation of activists, advocating the rights of gays and transvestites

"State recognition for gay relations is important. It could probably reduce frequent partner changes among gays and, then, decrease the risk of HIV/AIDS," Mamoto said on the sidelines of The National Meeting: Sexuality and Men's Sexual Health, in Puncak, West Java, last week.


Voter action and resource guide

Every four years, politicians intone that the presidential election is the most important in American history. This year they might just be right, especially when it comes to the LGBT community.

From same-sex marriage to adoption, from federal court judges to anti-discrimination law, the future of gay rights hangs in the balance.

PlanetOut and do not endorse candidates or take partisan stands. But we do encourage everyone to make their choice at the polls. To do so, however, you must first register to vote. And thousands of gays and lesbians have not done so.


Ryan White AIDS Funding Freeze

(Washington) The Senate Appropriations Committee has frozen funding to the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act and other AIDS care programs.

The only program to see an increase in federal money was the Aids Drug Assistance Program which will get an additional $35 million - falling far short of the $217 million AIDS care activists had sought.

"This funding short changes the fight against HIV/AIDS," said Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques.

The only substantial increase was $1.1 billion for medical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which will benefit HIV/AIDS research.


Senator Widen Cosponsors Gay Immigration Bill

Immigration Equality and other national gay organizations are applauding Senator Widen (D-OR) for cosponsoring the Permanent Partners Immigration Act (PPIA) in the Senate. Senator Widen joins 11 other Senators and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill's lead sponsor.

Immigration Equality joins the Human Rights Campaign, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the National Immigration Forum, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and many other groups in calling for passage of the PPIA. "Our immigration laws treat gays and lesbians in committed relationships as second-class citizens, and we applaud Senator Widen for his commitment to equality under the U.S. immigration system," says Adam Francoeur, Program Coordinator for Immigration Equality.


Gay Marriage Supporters Make Final Appeal Before Saturday Vote 
by Newscenter Staff

(New Orleans, Louisiana) Louisiana voters will decide Saturday whether to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships. It is considered one of the most sweeping of the amendment proposed in about a dozen states this year.

Friday, both sides in the issue were mustering support and wooing voters, although most polls show the proposal is likely to be approved by a wide margin. 

The amendment, passed by state lawmakers earlier this year, would ban same-sex marriages in the state and prevent state officials and courts from recognizing out-of-state marriages and civil unions. It also prevents granting any legal status to domestic partnerships.

On September 2 the Louisiana Supreme Court refused to consider three appeals brought by an LGBT group seeking to block the amendment from going to voters.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: "EXPORT: Writing the Midwest"/Call for Submissions

currently i am putting together an e-anthology for january issue of michael rothenberg's fine literary journal Big Bridge

the e-anthology "Export: Writing the Midwest" aims to highlight the work of writers either currently living in or who have a very relevant and personal relation with the midwest...

i am looking for submissions of



Poetry...Submit no more than 4 poems at a time in either .doc, .txt, or in the
body of an email...

Fiction/Non-Fiction...Should not exceed 4 pages preferably sent as a .doc

Contact: Andrew Lundwall (
Deadline: December 1st

Latino rights group officially closes its doors
Former executive received large salary increase in final year

WASHINGTON — The board of directors of the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization officially announced the group’s closing this week, as a lawyer for Martín Ornelas-Quintero confirmed that the former LLEGÓ president was receiving an annual salary of $111,632 at the time of his resignation in June.


City Council passes anti-bully law

A bill that activists claimed would help protect gay and transgender students in particular from harassment has become a political football in New York City.

The New York City Council on Sept. 9, in a 44-3 vote, overrode Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s veto of the Dignity in All Schools Act (known as DASA), which sponsors say would protect public school students from continued harassment and violence based on factors including sexual orientation and gender identity.


Drag queens can march, after all
Riaan Wolmarans and Sapa | Johannesburg, South Africa

Drag queens are most welcome at Johannesburg's 15th Gay Pride march next weekend, despite media rumours to the contrary, the organisers said on Friday.

"Pride 2004 is open to all who wish to attend. Drag queens are an intrinsic part of the [gay] community and we stand by our constitutional right of freedom of expression," said Sean Lucas, promoter of the event.

Pride 2004 will take place as scheduled on September 25 with the approval of the police, said event organiser Gary Bath.


Gay Catholic group to be launched tonight
By MaltaMedia News

A new group aimed at supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning individuals in their bid to integrate their sexual identity and their Catholic beliefs, has been set up.

An introductory meeting will be launched today, September 17, at 1930CET at the Millennium Chapel in Paceville. The coordinator of the group will explain its scope and perspectives.

The 'LGBT Catholic Group', which is encouraged and supported by the Malta Gay Rights Movement (MGRM), will be meeting twice a month in the evening as from October. The group will be run by gay individuals who practice Catholics.

MGRM coordinator Sandro Mangion said, "The aim of the group will be to enable individuals to deepen their spiritual life through self acceptance and self love." He continued that, "This can be achieved through prayer and spiritual exercises."

Gay former Fayette commissioner bludgeoned to death
Victim may have had ‘relations’ with accused killer

Thomas Richey, the man suspected of killing a former Fayette County commissioner by bludgeoning him to death with a concrete block during a likely sexual encounter, remained on the lam as of Sept. 15, law enforcement officials said.

Charles Mask, 74, a Fayette County commissioner from 1986-1988, was found Sept. 19 in a Winnebago motor home parked behind his residence. Mask, who was known to be gay, had been struck in the head with a concrete block, said Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.


Cincinnati's gay rights law ban up for vote
By John Nolan

CINCINNATI - Voters in this historically conservative city will decide in November whether to toss out a one-of-a-kind ban on gay rights laws.

Gay activists backed by church leaders and the city's largest corporations are supporting a proposed repeal of the ban, which voters approved in 1993. They are lined up against a Baptist preacher who has served as a spokesman in support of the ban and activists from Citizens for Community Values, a group that has fought against pornography and stores or hotels that make sexually explicit videos available.

The city charter amendment approved by 62 percent of voters forbids Cincinnati to enact or enforce laws based on sexual orientation. Cincinnati is the only city in the nation with such a provision in its charter, which, like a constitution, is the legal framework the city works from to enact laws.

The ban stunned gay activists, some of whom have vowed since its approval to try to get it repealed. But the Nov. 2 election is the first time voters will be asked to reconsider the ban.


Law students host anti-Army protest today
By alex dubilet

At noon today, members of Lambda Law and its supporters across the University plan to gather in protest of on-campus recruiting by the U.S. military. Protesters argue that the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy is discriminatory.

In conjunction with the lawsuit against the Department of Defense filed last year, the protest organized by Lambda Law -- a Penn Law School student group that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues -- is designed to give voice to the University community's frustrations over sexual preference discrimination, which activists argue is in violation of Penn Law's non-discrimination policy.


Man Who Dumps Manure Avoids Jail Time

Conway - A Greenbrier farmer who dumped manure along a gay rights parade route in Conway will avoid jail time, but, 35-year-old Wesley Bono was ordered to pay $369 in restitution and $500 in court costs.

Bono was sentenced to 30 days in jail.  The judge suspended that sentence as long as he makes his payments on time.

The cattle farmer says he was expressing his right to protest when he dumped 6,000 pounds of manure along the gay pride parade in July.


GLBTSS vandalized
By Adrienne Hoenig

Eight letters were stolen from the sign outside Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Student Services Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

The GLBTSS office, located on the main level of the Lory Student Center, is now missing the first letter of each word, along with the first three letters of "services," transforming it into the word "vices." The student center opens at 6 a.m. and the letters were noticed missing at about 7:30 a.m.

"We're calling it a theft right now," said Capt. Bob Chaffee of the CSU Police Department. "We'll obviously look at it as a hate crime."

Fourth Canadian Province Legalizes Gay Marriage

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Manitoba has became the fourth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage after a judge declared the province's current definition of marriage unconstitutional.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed last month by three couples against the provincial and federal governments.

The couples asked the judge to declare that the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is contrary to the equality provision in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


Gay couples hope for help from Massachusetts court
Associated Press

BOSTON — Out-of-state gay couples barred from getting married in Massachusetts are hoping the state's highest court will take up their appeal and reverse a lower court ruling that denied their request to stop enforcement of a 1913 law being used to block their unions. The law, which some say was written to be used against interracial couples, denies out-of-state couples the right to marry if it would be illegal in their home state.

Since same-sex weddings became legal in Massachusetts in May, state officials have used the law to stop nonresident couples from coming here to get married.

Superior Court Judge Carol Ball ruled in August that the law was not discriminatory, despite a concern that it violates the spirit of the state's landmark same-sex marriage decision.


Baptists taught Cherokee bigotry
Marriage was not defined by gender in Cherokee tradition, but the influence of Christian missionaries changed that.

THE CHEROKEE NATION is in a quandary right now over the issue of same-sex marriage.

Under a compact with the state of Oklahoma, marriages recorded by the Cherokee Nation will be recognized by the state. Cherokee law is very vague on gender issues in its marriage laws. The Cherokee terms used in the marriage ceremony translate as “provider” and “cooker,” not “husband” and “wife.”

Last May, a lesbian couple used these definitions in applying for and receiving a marriage license from the Cherokee Nation. After their marriage ceremony, the couple asked the Cherokee Nation to file their certificate of marriage with the state.

The Cherokee Nation court refused to accept the marriage certificate, claiming tribal authorities did not know when they granted the license that it was for a same-sex couple.


Anti-amendment fight fueled by grassroots efforts
National gay groups offer limited help to local coalition

As Florence Tang looked for a place to park on Avery Street in Decatur last Saturday, Bruce Nelson scanned outside the passenger window and remarked, “Boy, this is going to be a friendly neighborhood.”

Sept. 11 marked the fourth time Nelson volunteered to go door-to-door to persuade people to vote against Amendment 1, a proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. He said he figured the anti-Bush yard signs and bumper stickers signaled an audience receptive to his message.


Texas judge rules partner has no spousal rights
Gay man’s partner died without will

HOUSTON — A gay man who has asked a district court to consider him the surviving partner of a long-time relationship was dealt a setback last week when a judge ruled that he does not have spousal privileges.

Associate Judge Ruth Ann Stiles, who presided over the hearing, ruled that Billy Ross, 33, could not rely on the Marriage-Like Relationship Doctrine to make him the surviving partner of his eight-year relationship with John Green, who died last year without leaving a will.

The doctrine, which is currently used in New York and Washington states, would have recognized Green and Ross’ relationship and established rules for the court to follow to distribute the property.

Gay rights groups gear up for "murder music" protest
Ben Townley, UK

The campaign against music that contains homophobic lyrics will continue this weekend, with a protest aimed to coincide with the start of Jamaican star Buju Banton's UK tour.

Banton, who has recorded songs in the past calling for gay men to be shot, killed or have acid poured on them, is set to start his tour in London on Sunday, at the Coronet in Elephant and Castle.

Despite having recent high profile successes in the campaign, including the retraction of MOBO nominations for Elephant Man and Vybz Kartel, the group behind the protest is urging gay people to join the protests outside the venue.


Gays On TV Are Disappearing

(Hollywood, California) Gay characters on American television have become an endangered species the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have said.

GLAAD said that the number of LGBT characters on network TV has dropped to its lowest level since the organization began tracking in 1996.

Nevertheless, GLAAD said that cable dramas and the reality genre have improved their inclusion of gays and lesbians. NEWS

"When you turn to cable and reality TV, you see us - our lives, our relationships, our diversity," said GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry.  "But when you turn to network comedies and dramas, you're seeing portraits of an America where gay people and families are nearly invisible.  That's not the America we live in."


a “clandestine purges” of gays on a HIV panel, denial of rights of queers, limiting marriage by trans folks and enforcing arbitrary gender codes, denying adoption..

is this not the creation of second class citizenry, fascism in the making... will we next not be allowed to walk on the sidewalk...

when you standup again an illegal war and this bush regime, will you also stand up for the rights of queers...

when you send your petitions around and they mention nothing of the hate, discrimination and arbitrary targeting of queer by the bush monsters as a straw"man"(sic) for the illegal plans... you are letting queer hang out to die... when there are queer rallies do you show up... do you write you congress people to stop this hate... ?... do you send money to those trying to stop this in the courts?

what are you doing today to stop the rise of fascism again queers and and the creation of a white hegemony of upper-class straight white christian floks...

its time to stop this government.. do not at all cost let bush get reelected...

Gay Republican criticizes Bush on appointees
Driscoll alleges ‘purges’ of gays

A gay former member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS has accused the Bush administration of conducting “clandestine purges” of gays on the AIDS panel, saying the action is symbolic of the president’s record on gay appointments.

Gay Republican activist James Driscoll, who Bush appointed in 2002 to the AIDS advisory panel, said the administration dropped him from the panel, known as PACHA, earlier this year and replaced him with a “safe straight, white male.”

“Gays represent at least 4 percent of the electorate, according to exit polls,” Driscoll said. “We are more numerous than Jews, as numerous as Asians, and in 2000 we gave Bush more votes than did African Americans,” he said, referring to exit poll data on various ethnic groups that voted for Bush.

“Yet our representation [among Bush administration appointees] is a tiny fraction of those groups’ and includes no important appointments,” Driscoll said


Massachusetts "out of state" gay marriage law challenged
Christopher Curtis, Network

The LGBT rights organisation that argued successfully for same-sex marriage in the US state of Massachusetts is trying to ensure that same-sex couples from out of state will be able to enjoy the same rights as Massachusetts residents as soon as possible.

On Thursday the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) appealed a judge's August 18 decision that effectively kept out-of-state same-sex couples from getting married in Massachusetts.

While GLAD is taking the case to the appeals court, it is also asking the Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court, to get involved.

"This matters, because we don't want to wait two years to get people the rights they deserve now," GLAD staff attorney Michele Granda told the PlanetOut Network.


Suit Challenges Georgia Gay Marriage Amendment
by Mark Niesse
The Associated Press

(Atlanta, Georgia)  A lawsuit filed Thursday asks Georgia courts to remove a proposal to ban gay marriage from the ballot because it's misleading to voters.

The lawsuit says the ballot question is deceptive because voters will only see the part of the amendment that would prohibit gay marriage. The amendment also bars civil unions and limits the jurisdiction of state courts.

"The legislation will try to trick the voters," said Rep. Karla Drenner, a Democrat from Avondale Estates and the Legislature's only openly gay member. "This vote is not just about gay marriage. ... It cuts much broader and much deeper than just defining marriage."

The lawsuit was filed in Fulton County superior court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and Lamda Legal, a civil rights organization that supports homosexuals. It seeks a quick hearing so there would be time to remove the measure before the Nov. 2 election.


NY Judge Refuses To Void Gay Marriages
by Michael Virtanen
The Associated Press

(Albany, New York) A state judge Thursday refused to invalidate gay marriages performed in New Paltz, while still preventing village officials from performing more same-sex unions without marriage licenses.

State Supreme Court Justice Michael Kavanagh ruled the couples would have to be named parties to the case with the right to be heard in court, and the lawsuit has failed to do that.

Matthew Staver, head of the conservative legal group Liberty Counsel, said they plan to name the couples and try to have the marriages invalidated. "We will proceed to do that," he said.

More than 200 same-sex marriages have been performed in the Hudson Valley village this year, with clergy presiding now at about a dozen every other week, said E. Joshua Rosenkranz, attorney for Mayor Jason West.


Gay Hate Singers Nominated For Hip-Hop Awards
by Newscenter Staff

(New York City) Five singers who advocate the murder of gays and lesbians have been nominated for the prestigious Source Hip-Hop Music Awards 2004, to be held in Miami on October 10.

Elephant Man, Sizzla, Vybz Kartel, T.O.K., Beenie Man (pictured) have been nominated in the category ‘Dancehall-reggae artist of the Year’.

All have released records variously inciting the shooting, burning, drowning and hanging of lesbians and gay men.


Gays "betrayed" by Democratic candidate in Georgia

By coming out in support of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, congressional candidate John Barrow has outraged gay rights activists who say the Democrat has flip-flopped after courting gay votes during the primary. Before and immediately after the July 20 Democratic primary, Barrow said in debates and interviews that, as a Baptist, he personally opposed same-sex marriage but opposed amending the U.S. Constitution to ban it. But the Athens attorney's campaign manager, Roman Levit, now says Barrow supports a Senate version of the amendment. Levit says Barrow opposed an earlier version in the House that also would prohibit domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples.


Judge says ruling ahead in anti-gay T-shirt case
  Student's message offensive, says lawyer for school district
By Onell R. Soto

If Poway High School officials can let students promote tolerance of homosexuality, they should allow a religious student with an opposing viewpoint to wear it on his shirt, a lawyer proposed to a federal judge yesterday.

A lawyer for the school district said it wasn't that simple.

The message on the shirt – "Homosexuality is shameful" – is offensive and could have disrupted classes, even though it's biblical, said district lawyer Jack Sleeth.

He asked U.S. District Judge John A. Houston to throw out the case.


Gay man cheers arrest in case
By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

NEWPORT - Carl Fox said the death threat he received last year was not the first time he's been victimized because he's an openly gay man who speaks his mind, but he said the arrest of a suspect in the case is an encouraging sign.

Fox, 46, said he has been threatened and assaulted and had his property damaged many times because of his sexual orientation.

But he said police and prosecutors haven't always vigorously pursued the perpetrators.


Custody battle may affect gay rights
By Toby Coleman
Staff Writer

ina Burch says she never wanted to tell this story.

It starts in 1999, when she helped her lesbian lover, Christina D. Smarr, find a man to impregnate her. It moves through pregnancy, the birth of a healthy boy and the establishment of an untraditional two-mom household in Clay County.

“If anybody asks,” Burch recalls telling her teenage daughter after the boy’s birth on Christmas Day 1999, “keep this within the family.”

That ended in a snap two years ago, when Burch fell asleep at the wheel and got into a wreck that killed Smarr. Burch and Smarr’s parents fell into a pitched custody battle for the boy. Soon, the world began learning about Burch’s unusual story.

International Dialogue on Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights: Strategies for Change
Dear all,

We are excited to announce a conference entitled "International Dialogue on Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights:  Strategies for Change". ARC International is working in collaboration with with the Liu Institute for Global Issues to present this conference that will take place from December 9th to the 13th, 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland. (A brief description of both sponsoring organizations is below.)

We hope to be able to accommodate approximately 50 participants comprised of stakeholders in the international arena from all geographic regions, particularly those with experience at the CHR or similar UN fora. We invite you to apply by September 30th, 2004 using the form below.


Thursday, September 16, 2004

Custody Battle Involves Gender Of Child

In Jefferson County, common please judge Joseph Bruzzese has a custody ruling to make.

The ruling, whether a 10 year old boy of a divorced couple should live with his mother or father.

What makes this case unique, the boy wants to live his life as a girl. Sources close to the custody case say the mother is in support of the child's request, but the father is not.

The center of this custody battle is a condition called Gender Identity Disorder, the young child involved is an example of G-I-D.


It isn't easy to change name, sex
Transgender people face extra security hassles
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - Looking for the right name, Luca Brenna scoured baby books for months. 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.


Police to rain on drag queens' parade
Riaan Wolmarans | Johannesburg, South Africa

The gay community is up in arms after a newspaper reported on Wednesday that drag queens will not be allowed to participate in this year's Gay and Lesbian Pride parade in Johannesburg. Furthermore, several businesspeople claim they are still owed money from last year's Pride festival, and a top advertising agency dropped the Pride publicity campaign for this year due to non-payment.

The parade, due to take place on September 25, forms part of a yearly week of celebrations -- the biggest of its kind in South Africa.

According to The Citizen, authorities are citing the Regulation of Gatherings Act, which prohibits any person participating in a gathering, march or protest from wearing a disguise or mask that obscures facial features and therefore prevents identification.

The report quotes Johannesburg Metro Police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar as saying the decision was taken to ensure consistency and that no one in disguise or wearing a mask will be allowed to take part in the march.


Gay students still angry
By Myles Wearring

The University Of Wollongong has responded to the queer collective’s recent sit-in protest by establishing a committee to tackle prejudice on campus.

Vice-Chancellor Gerard Sutton also met with a group of queer students and released a statement urging “tolerance and mutual respect”.

However queer collective AllSorts believes Sutton’s response is inadequate and says their demand for a safe meeting space is still being ignored.


Spanish Government drops appeal filed against Basque Autonomous Community law
The PP Government opposed the article that recognises adoption rights of homosexual couples; the promoters have welcomed this measure
Editorial Staff – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)

When the PP enjoyed an absolute majority in the Spanish Government, it lodged an appeal against Article 8 of the law on Common Law Couples that had just been passed by the BAC-Basque Autonomous Community Parliament. This article acknowledges the right of homosexual couples to adopt children. The PP decided that the law violated the Spanish Constitution and lodged an appeal.

Jordi Sevilla, the Spanish Minister for Public Administrations, yesterday announced on behalf of the PSOE, which succeeded the PP in the Madrid Government, that the appeal was being dropped. He made the announcement in the Senate (upper chamber of parliament) in Madrid in reply to a question put by Isabel Lopez Aulestia of the EB-Berdeak. The Minister said: “The Government is preparing a law on common law couples in order to reach consensus for improving any law previously passed. That is why we have dropped the appeal.” In July the PSE-EE had called on the Spanish Government to drop the appeal.


Gay couples challenge adoption law

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Three homosexual couples filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to overturn a law that prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries.

The lawsuit alleges the measure, which is an amendment to the Oklahoma Adoption Code, "appears to sever legal ties between parents and their children whenever families led by same-gender couples enter the state of Oklahoma."

Gov. Brad Henry signed the law in May. It was drafted by 17 state lawmakers after Attorney General Drew Edmondson issued an opinion in April requiring the state to recognize all adoptions, regardless of the gender of parents.

A gay couple from Washington state, Ed Swaya and Greg Hampel, sought the opinion when they asked for a birth certificate listing both of them as their daughter's parents. The state Health Department had initially refused to list Swaya because he was not the birth mother.


An Office of One's Own
Mayor creates Office or LGBT Affairs, with Wanda Alston at the helm
By Will O'Bryan

Wednesday, Sept. 8, was a gray day in Washington. Among Mayor Anthony Williams's announcements at that day's routine press briefing were what flood preparations the city was making as expiring Hurricane Florence chugged northward. Through the windows, the slate skies offered an appropriate Day After Tomorrow backdrop, as Williams opined that this year's volatile hurricane season was a forewarned byproduct of global warming.


City Council opposes gay marriage ban

Law, history and emotion played into the unanimous vote by Portland's City Council on Wednesday against a state ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriages.

"The issue for me is one of equality," said Commissioner Randy Leonard, who introduced the resolution opposing Measure 36. "Equality is not the privilege of the majority. We must send the message today that civil rights are not negotiable."


Partnership bill nears vote
KDU-CSL calls same-sex unions step toward population decline
By Margot Buff
For The Prague Post

If Parliament approves a bill allowing civil unions for same-sex couples, Honza Bretl and Ladislav Zikmund may be among the first to file for one. The couple has been together for more than a year and they want to see their relationship formalized by law. "It's practical," said Bretl, a 24-year-old from Prague, pointing out that if one partner has legal or financial problems or winds up in a hospital, the other wants to have full authority to help.

But beyond the practicalities, Bretl said, "It's a symbol of change in society. We want to be not only tolerated but accepted. When we are accepted by the law, it will be very important."

Legislators have put forward four unsuccessful proposals for laws on same-sex unions since 1995. Earlier this year, the Czech Gay and Lesbian League worked with several deputies to draft a new bill that was approved on its first reading in June.

Deputies are now scheduled to debate the bill during the session starting later this month. Although the legislation will face a third reading before being sent on to the more conservative Senate and the president, the second reading is considered an important test.


Federal judge refuses to order a Nov. 2 election for governor
Star-Ledger Staff

A federal judge ruled yesterday there will be no special election for governor this fall, dismissing claims that Gov. James E. McGreevey's drawn-out departure is robbing voters of their right to pick his replacement.

U.S. District Court Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. said McGreevey's Aug. 12 announcement that he will resign Nov. 15 did not trigger rules to hold a special election.


Briefs filed in marriage amendment legal challenge
By Rob Moritz
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK - Arkansans should be given the opportunity on Nov. 2 to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, supporters of the measure said Wednesday in a brief filed with the state Supreme Court.

The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee in its brief described the proposal as "an important issue of public policy" and said opponents don't want the public to vote on the measure.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging the measure before the Supreme Court, argued in its 17 page brief that the measure's ballot title and popular name are "misleading, tinged with partisan coloring, and fail to adequately inform the voter as to the nature and consequence of his vote."


Ga. groups working to block ban on same-sex marriage
By Andy Peters
Telegraph Staff Writer

ATLANTA - Several advocacy groups are working to convince Georgia voters that a proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage goes too far and would strip basic rights from gays and lesbians, including hospital-visitation rights and Social Security benefits.

The proposed ban, which was hotly debated during this year's legislative session, will be listed on the Nov. 2 ballots for the general election.

"It's just a very deceptive move," said Lizella resident Jane Darby, a retired AT&T employee. "They're trying to sneak this by and write discrimination into the constitution."

The groups, working under the banner of Georgians Against Discrimination, have set a goal of raising $350,000 by Oct. 1 to fund a statewide drive for voter-education sessions and advertising.

Gay teacher sacked for being HIV positive
Ben Townley, UK

A gay schoolteacher is taking his former employers to court, claiming he was sacked after revealing his HIV status.

Anthony Neary, 41, says he was fired from Hertfordshire's Egerton-Rothsay School after telling the headmistress
he was HIV positive. He says the decision to sack him came despite previous talk of pay rise and promotions.

Additionally, he says the move came after a bitter feud with other members of staff, with the teaching staff splitting into two warring camps.

He told an industrial tribune this week that this led to rumours being circulated about his relationship with headmistress Nicci Boddam-Whetham, despite him being gay.


Same-sex ruling today
Couple awaits decision

Two ministers in the United Church could go down in the history books as the first same-sex couple to legally tie the knot in Manitoba. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Douglas Yard is expected to rule this morning that the province's definition of marriage is unconstitutional.


Former Archbishop backs anti-gay faction
Ben Townley, UK

Former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey has led a service for conservative American Anglicans who are against the appointment of gay clergy.

Lord Carey, who retired as the head of the Anglican Church in 2002, was presiding over a ceremony in Virginia.


Michigan AG: Gay Couples Cannot Adopt
by The Associated Press

(Lansing, Michigan) The Michigan attorney general's legal opinion that same-sex couples married in Massachusetts cannot adopt a child together in Michigan has angered gay-rights advocates and others who said Wednesday it disregards children's best interests.

The opinion, written by Attorney General Mike Cox, said a same-sex marriage performed in another state is invalid in Michigan and therefore precludes that couple from obtaining a joint adoption here.

"It's an anti-family opinion," said Beverly Davidson, president of the Coalition for Adoption Rights Equality, which supports same-sex adoptions. "There are a number of children in our state who need permanent homes. Limiting who can adopt them is a disservice."

While the Republican attorney general's opinion specifically addressed whether the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts and whether those couples can adopt children in Michigan, critics worry that it further cripples gays' rights and their ability to adopt.


Anti-Gay Groups Call For Boycott Of Proctor & Gamble
by Newscenter Staff

(Cincinnati, Ohio) Conservative Christian political groups are calling for a boycott of Proctor and Gamble after the consumer products company urged its workers to support the repeal of an anti-gay charter amendment in Cincinnati.

In an open letter to all employees, the Cincinnati-based multi-national said "P&G joins a number of other major businesses, in the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, civic, religious and community leaders in supporting repeal."


India Surpasses S. Africa In AIDS Cases 
by Rajesh Mahapatra
The Associated Press

(New Delhi) India has the world's largest number of HIV-infected people, the head of a top international AIDS-fighting fund said Wednesday, dismissing official figures.

"I don't believe in the official statistics. India is already in first place," said Richard G.A. Feachem, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Latest U.N. data show the HIV virus has infected 5.6 million people in South Africa and 5.1 million in India. But Feachem said he and many other experts believe India's actual figure is much higher, surpassing South Africa's.

The official estimate leaves out many people in this vast country of 1.03 billion who could be carrying the virus without knowing or reporting it, he said.


Uruguay soccer coach under fire for homophobia

URUGUAY football coach Jorge Fossati came under fire Wednesday after stating that he would never call up a homosexual player to the national side.

Fossati, 53, said in an interview in the Uruaguayan daily El Pais: "Sincerely I believe that a homosexual player should not be in a professional group.

"There are certain norms that have to be safeguarded. A gay player would be a disrupting influence among men.

"He has very different habits from the other 25," he added.

His comments have led to a storm of protest from Uruguayan associations favourable to sexual diversity.


Activists Continue Fight to Decriminalise Homosexuality
Ranjit Devraj

NEW DELHI, Sep 16 (IPS) - While the Delhi High Court dismissed this month public interest litigation seeking to quash laws dating back to colonial times that make homosexuality a punishable offence, human rights activists have sworn to continue seek legal avenues to decriminalise gay sex between consenting adults.

''We plan to ask for a review of the Sep. 1 dismissal by the High Court or even approach the Supreme Court,'' Tripti Tandon of the Lawyers Collective, a well-known voluntary agency told IPS.

Tandon said on Wednesday the dismissal was largely technical with the court holding that there is ''no cause for action'' and that the petition seemed to have been filed ''just for the sake of testing the legislation.''

The Lawyers Collective had in December 2001 filed the original petition in the Delhi High Court along with Naz Foundation that works with HIV/AIDS victims and runs one of two hospitals for those affected by the disease in New Delhi.


Councilors debate allowing Scout event
By Brian Lockhart
Staff Writer

NORWALK -- When Cub Scoutmaster Greta DeAngelis asked city officials last night for a permit to hold a recruitment drive at Shady Beach, she had no idea it would land her in the middle of the debate over the Boy Scouts of America's policy barring gay members

Source: Vijay Times (Daily Newspaper, Bangalore), 15th September 2004


Jalpaiguri (WB): Two lesbian partners tied the knot here and then allegedly committed suicide for fear of being ostracised., police said on Tuesday. Kalapna Chhetri, 22, and Rupmati Tirkey, 16, were missing since Friday and their bodies were found by a labourer at Bhandupur tea garden area here on Monday, police said. A suicide note found on Rupamati said that she married Kalpana by exchanging a 'rudraksha mala' (beads) and became her wife.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Civil Partnership reading postponed
Ben Townley, UK

The second reading of the Civil Partnership bill, which could give equality rights to millions of lesbian and gay couples, has been postponed.

The reading, due to take place in the House of Commons tomorrow, was the first time the bill could be fully debated by MPs.

It will now receive its second reading next month.

The Civil Partnership bill has already been through the House of Lords, where amendments that have since been criticised by gay advocacy groups were voted in.


Homophobia Tackled In Welsh Media

Stonewall Cymru have launched a new project that aims to tackle homophobia by improving and increasing the representation of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the Welsh media, including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and current affairs and drama.

“Improving the representation of LGB people in the media is central to the fight against homophobia in Wales,” Stonewall Cymru’s Assistant Policy and Public Affairs Officer Matthew Batten said.


Bangkok AIDS Conference: the blame game starts
Gus Cairns

Two totally conflicting fault-finding assessments of the recent World AIDS Conference in Bangkok point to stormy times ahead for the convenors of the next conference in Toronto in 2006, and for the state of HIV medicine and politics in general.

The two assessments – one an editorial in the respected Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, and the other a ‘call to action’ by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the largest provider of HIV clinics in the USA, agree on one thing: Bangkok was marred by disunity and protest.

But they come to opposite conclusions about who is to blame and what must be done.

The Lancet asks: “Where has all the science gone?”.


Suit Seeks To Strike Down Oklahoma Anti-Gay Adoption Law
by Newscenter Staff

(Norman, Oklahoma) In a federal lawsuit filed today, Lambda Legal seeks to overturn a law described as so extreme that it may leave children adopted by same-sex couples in other states orphans in the eyes of the law when the families are in the state of Oklahoma.

Lambda Legal represents same-sex couples who adopted children while living in other states and later moved to Oklahoma with their children or want to visit the state with their family.

"This drastic law could be interpreted to nullify legal adoptions of children by same-sex couples in other states when they are in Oklahoma," said Brian Chase, Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's South Central Regional Office.

"What we are talking about here are Oklahoma legislators who disapprove of gay people and lashed out by passing a law that punishes children for having gay or lesbian parents."


Out Military Gays Serve With Distinction In Iraq
by Newscenter Staff

(Santa Barbara, California) A study of gays in the military released Wednesday concludes that gays and lesbians are serving openly in the Middle East without undermining unit cohesion or the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

When gays are out, they report says "greater success in bonding, morale, professional advancement, levels of commitment & retention and access to essential support services."

The study, prepared for the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara, also found  that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has a negative effect not just on gays, but on those around them, by creating an atmosphere of dishonesty and distrust as well as disrespect for the law and the principles of integrity that are essential to military service.


UN warns of population explosion

The population of developing countries will soar unless donors give more funds to reproductive health programmes, a UN Population Fund report says.

The world's 50 poorest countries will triple in size by 2050, surging to 1.7 billion people, it predicts.

Donors have been giving only half the funds pledged at a conference in Cairo in 1994, UNFPA told BBC News Online.

Police launch survey to target homophobic crime
Ben Townley, UK

Police in Kent are to launch a survey of homophobic crime and its victims, in a bid to make the area's LGBT community safer.

The survey will focus on the LGBT community in Canterbury and is being conducted by Kent Police's Public Safety Unit, who believe it may also help with the management of future funds.

In a statement today, they added that local services for LGBT people will also be improved as a consequence.
The idea for such a survey was initiated by the Safer Community Partnership, a group that includes the city and country's council, local health and volunteer groups, and the police force.


Bisexuality widely misunderstood
By Stephen Moles
Sex columnist

The bisexual is an elusive creature spied at drunken parties, group orgies and dark corners. These musings are a way of making sense out of the chaos surrounding the idea of bisexuals.

The term bisexual is misleading. Society at large believes this term means someone who likes both sexes equally. This assumption, which I also held for a long time, is not true. Most bisexuals lean one way or the other (most often towards members of the opposite sex).

Bisexual is also a term that covers a large range of sexual attitudes and postures.


will we have a court system left after the bush regime ????

Bill would bar courts from Pledge of Allegiance cases
By Philip Dine
Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Two Missouri Republicans are leading a charge to strip the courts of the right to hear cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance, citing concerns that the phrase "under God" could be removed in the future unless Congress acts.


GOP Gay Group Has a Word for Bush: No
 By Patrick Guerriero, Patrick Guerriero is executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.

Log Cabin Republicans have worked for almost three decades to build a stronger GOP that welcomes gay and lesbian Americans. Since 1993, when we opened our national office, we've endorsed both GOP candidates for president. But this year, despite our loyalty to the party of Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln, we have decided, after significant discussion, to withhold our endorsement of President Bush. It was a difficult choice, but our integrity requires it, and the Republican Party's future will be stronger because of it.

We continue to stand for fundamental Republican positions: low taxes, limited government and winning the war on terrorism. That's why we're Republicans. But we cannot stand idly by while some in the GOP use fear and intolerance to divide the United States in a culture war. Though such tactics may provide short-term political gain, they will put the Republican Party on the wrong side of history.


amika.. it brings out some of the best hate money can buy...

Debate over marriage initiative veers toward hate speech
By Rebecca Walsh
The Salt Lake Tribune

Cleaning up the "Defense of Marriage" leaflets scattered throughout her yard Tuesday morning irritated Lisa Petersen.

   But having to explain to her distraught 7-year-old daughter Zoe why a night vandal took the "No on 3" lawn sign and left the mess - scrawling "Save an Ass" on one flier - really irked the Salt Lake City attorney.

   "It wasn't just a political statement. It was something really mean and hurtful that I then had to explain to my little daughter," Petersen said. "It was pretty awful."

   With the proposed amendment to define traditional marriage on the Nov. 2 ballot, the perennial petty intrigue of stolen political signs has become something apparently more sinister: harassment and vandalism bordering on hate crimes, according to amendment foes.


Commissioners ponder HR group's request

City Commissioner John Cosgriff says the Fargo Human Relations Commission should not take taxpayer money to work for or against election issues.

The Human Relations Commission requested $5,000 from next year's city budget to pay for programs and educational activities aimed at supporting diversity, said Dan Mahli, an assistant city planner.

Unions push anti-discrimination rights for gay workers
From:The Irish Independent

UNION chiefs have begun a campaign on behalf of thousands of gay workers who are discriminated against by supervisors or employers.

According to the unions, there is little protection against discrimination in the workplace for workers. Gay people, in particular, often suffer at the hands of colleagues and fellow workers, with managers failing to protect their rights.

Equality Authority chief Niall Crowley yesterday told the ICTU Conference on Gay and Lesbian Rights that his agency handled 14 cases of alleged employment discrimination and 23 potential breaches of the Equal Status Act under sexual orientation grounds.


Growing up gay in Jamaica
The homophobic lyrics of Jamaican reggae stars have hit the headlines, but what is the reality of being gay in a society where it is illegal to practise your sexuality?

Michael is verbally abused, threatened and spat at every time he leaves his home in Kingston, Jamaica, but the 20-year-old student considers himself lucky.

He has friends who have been beaten and stabbed because they are gay but, as yet, he has not been attacked. He knows it could happen anytime.

"My friends have been chopped up and all of that, you'd think they were a piece of meat in the slaughter house. It is terrible," he says.

Every time he goes out he is called a "battyman" - an abusive term for a gay man - and says the general attitude in Kingston is if you are homosexual you may as well be dead.


Vandals break windows, steal items from UCLA center for gays
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Vandals have broken windows and stolen items from a resource center for gay students at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the two incidents are being investigated as hate crimes, authorities said.

A large chunk of concrete was hurled through a library window at the UCLA Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center on Sunday night, said Nancy Greenstein, a spokeswoman for the campus police department.

The following night, vandals broke windows in several rooms of the center and stole two rainbow flags - symbols of the gay community - that had decorated windows. The group occupies several rooms in the student activities center.


Gay lobby's clout seen in incumbent's primary loss
By Dave Wedge

Voters struck back at Democratic lawmakers who backed a ban on gay marriage yesterday, handing Somerville Rep. Vincent Ciampa a defeat and nearly unseating some key incumbents, according to early results.

     Carl Sciortino, a 26-year-old openly gay political newcomer, edged out Ciampa by 107 votes in the primary, according to unofficial results. It was a victory for the gay lobby, which embarked on a campaign to unseat several Democratic lawmakers, including Ciampa, who voted for a failed bid to ban gay marriage.


Same-sex divorce rules still hazy
Does decision bind judges elsewhere? Couples outside Ontario face obstacles

Now that an Ontario couple has been given Canada's first same-sex divorce, experts are divided over just how easy it will be for gays and lesbians in other provinces to end their marriages.

The women, known only as M.M. and J.H., were divorced on Monday by a Superior Court judge, who declared the definition of spouse in the federal Divorce Act unconstitutional. The law had defined spouse as a man or woman married to each other and prevented same-sex couples from divorcing.


Boycott for Equality: Good move
If gays and lesbians show unity by dropping out of the economy for 24 hours on October 8, we can make such a powerful impact that the entire country will take notice of our demand for equality.
By Dale Duncan 
An exclusive

Boycott for Equality, scheduled for Friday, October 8, has created an opportunity for gays and lesbians and our allies to show a united front and drop out of the economy for the day. By participating together, we have the chance to feel that sense of empowerment that occurs when people join forces to stand for something. 

The year was 1994. I was competing at the Sportaerobics Competition at the Gay Games in New York City. The room was filled with hundreds of members of my gay and lesbian family. I was an experienced competitive athlete who had dealt with all kinds of crazy emotions before, during, and after competitions. This time, however, I found myself overcome with uncharted feelings as I approached the stage. 

“Why is this happening?” I asked myself. After my two-minute routine was over, the incredible warmth of the audience was overwhelming. Their positive response wasn’t contingent on my being the best athlete; I noticed that they reacted that way for everyone who competed that day. The cohesive energy in the room was tangible and unforgettable. I can still recall the moment vividly. 


4000 Married Gay Couples Tapped As Grand Marshals
By Erik Sandoval
Palm Springs Pride Parade, scheduled for November 7th, may have more than 4000 gay and lesbian married couples marching down Palm Canyon.

    "In naming these same sex couples from across California as Grand Marshals,  Greater Palm Springs Pride, Inc. is honoring these pioneering members of our community," says Parade President Jack Schloeder.  "(They) acted on the courage of their convictions to engage in an open demonstration of their love and commitment.  They stand as a powerful symbol of the determination of our community to achieve equal rights for ALL Americans, regardless of sexual orientation."


Bush, Kerry compared on gay health care Network

The US presidential candidates' views on health care - and particularly HIV/AIDS issues - got some political attention Monday with the release of a rigorous comparison of the two major hopefuls.

The 35-page report from the New York-based Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) details the health care proposals of both President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry and analyses their potential impacts on people living with HIV/AIDS.

The report notes, for example, that Senator Kerry supports Medicaid coverage for non-disabled people with HIV in the country; President Bush's position on the matter is unclear. On the issue of capped allotments and federal funding for Medicaid, Bush supports caps; Kerry does not.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

GenderPac condemns Immigration Treatment of Transgenders

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) condemned a memorandum issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) announcing that the Department would not recognize any marriage in which either party has changed or plans to change their sex.

The policy would prevent foreign spouses from obtaining immigration rights in marriages — or engagements to be married — where one spouse is transgender and either one is an American citizen.

Said GenderPAC Executive Director Riki Wilchins, “This policy not only singles out one group of Americans for discrimination, but it carves out a special exception to the states’ prerogatives to do so. The CIS should join the almost one-half of U.S. states that already recognize such marriages, and reverse a bad decision apparently taken simply to avoid political controversy.”


SF appeals court: Transgender man can apply again for asylum
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court says a transgender man who fled El Salvador at age 17 after being kidnapped and raped should have another chance to avoid deportation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Luis Reyes-Reyes, now 42, can remain in the Los Angeles area if he can prove to immigration officials he would be subjected to anti-gay bullying if deported.

A unanimous three-judge panel said a deportation panel erroneously demanded Reyes to show he would be tortured by the Salvadoran government. The San Francisco-based appeals court said federal laws prohibit deportation if a foreign government tacitly approves of privately inflicted torture.

The appeals court said El Salvador's national police had been involved in hitting, threatening and insulting gay men with female sexual identities. Reyes, of San Salvador, is a cross dresser and has not had a sex-change operation.


After approval of gay marriage, benefits change

Since gay marriage became legal in Massachusetts, some companies that had offered health benefits for domestic partners are now offering them only to married couples.

The move marks a reversal of sorts, at least on the part of larger employers.

Over the past five years, a large number of major employers in Massachusetts those with 1,000 workers or more began offering health coverage to employees' domestic partners, said Cameron Congdon, principal at Towers Perrin, a Boston human resources consulting firm.

Studies show that giving domestic partners benefits usually costs employers up to an additional 3 percent. Once many companies discovered the relative low cost, they offered benefits for philosophical reasons, Congdon said.


Turkish government abandons plans to criminalise adultery

Before the back down, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the parliament to denounce the proposal.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was withdrawn a proposal to make adultery a criminal offence, according to the leader of the country’s main opposition party.


McKeithen: Saturday's Election Will Go On As Planned

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Secretary of State Fox McKeithen said Tuesday that Saturday's primary vote would go ahead as scheduled, hurricane or not, barring a "catastrophic turn" by the storm.

McKeithen said voters going to the polls to decide the gay marriage ban amendment and Public Service Commissioner races may, if their precincts are in flooded areas, find themselves voting elsewhere -- in particular, those who normally vote in the vulnerable Grand Isle precinct.


Are Heterosexuals Worthy of Marriage?
by Michael Parenti

Over the past year, a furious opposition to gay marriage has been voiced by many who claim to know how God feels about this issue. President Bush even went so far as to propose an amendment to the Constitution to make same-sex marriage a federal offense. According to recent polls, a majority of Americans believe that marriage should remain a union that is strictly between a man and a woman. We hear that same-sex unions would threaten and undermine holy matrimony, although not a single concrete example of how that would happen has been offered. Gay marriage is legal in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ontario, Canada, and thus far it has neither impaired traditional marriage nor subverted civil society in those places.

Putting gay marriage aside, what do we have to say about heterosexual marriage. In all the recent controversy, no one seems to have noticed how heterosexuals have devalued and defiled the sanctity of this purportedly God-given institution. Consider the following:

For millennia, straight-sex marriage consisted of a bond not between a man and a woman but between a man and any number of women. Polygamy is a recognized practice in the Holy Bible itself. King Solomon had 700 wives (not to mention 300 concubines) yet suffered not the mildest rebuke from either God or man. Other estimable figures in Scripture and throughout history have had large retinues of wives. Women in these kinds of overpopulated unions have been treated as little better than concubines, usually facing a dismal existence of enforced confinement.


Enough is Enough, We Will Stand Tough

Destiny Church lead by there Hog-riding leader, Brian Tamaki got a shock today when they found that not all of those who live in aotearoa are oppsed to gay rights. A good 1500 civil rights marchers turned up and screamed, hollered and chanted there way through a very tiresome meeting lead by the Destiny Church. The content of the Destiny Church meeting was full of the usual bile and bigotry with claims of increased child abuse, suicide rates etc all to be blamed on decriminlising prostitution, the civil rights bill and of course, that evil above all evil, abortion.

This was a very empowering march with people joining from off the streets and surrounding buildings and the colorful nature too made a nice contrast to the grim black of destiny and there minions. In a nice moment at the end of the march an NF turned up waving a banner that tried to claim Gays undermine NZ society but the cops soon made him dissappear as the protestors started to surround him; destiny's true face was revealed. The police presence was low though they ensured the opposing camps were kept seperate, especially when the protestors, upon forming a human chain starting edging across the grounds in an attempt to clean the landscape of homophobes and bigots all the sooner. On another note the number of children on the destiny side was sad. All these children being bred to hate is scary, especially considering it is a school day!!

GLAAD protests antigay reggae singers

A gay rights group has complained that three singers whose lyrics suggest that gays be hanged, drowned, burned, or shot will be among those performing at a reggae festival Sunday in Newark, N.J. The performers--Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, and Capleton--headline the fourth annual New Jersey Reggae Fest at the Terrace. "When an artist like Capleton sings 'Burn out a queer, blood out a queer,' that's an extremely violent statement that needs to be challenged," Glennda Testone, spokeswoman for the national Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, told The Record of Hackensack. "These dance-hall artists can't hide behind the word culture to mask the violent homophobia in their music." Dance-hall music is reggae with a rock bass beat. Some of the songs use derogatory terms for gays such as "chi-chi man" and "batty man."


Gay Protests To Target WNBA
by Doug Windsor Newscenter
New York Bureau

(New York City) GLTB civil rights group Lambda Legal announced Tuesday that it will stage protests against Foot Locker stores outside WNBA games in several cities -- including a game in New York on Thursday night -- because the company allegedly discriminated against a gay employee.

The WNBA was chosen because the women's basketball league has recently begun strengthening its ties with Foot Locker.

Lambda said it would be joined by other lesbian and gay New Yorkers, to distribute leaflets about Foot Locker's alleged discrimination and talk to passers-by and people attending a WNBA game at 6:45 p.m. outside Radio City Music Hall on September 16. The Liberty, New York's WNBA team, is playing at Radio City Music Hall because Madison Square Garden has not been available.


Lawyer Becomes First Gay Member Of Columbus City Council
by Newscenter Staff

(Columbus, Ohio) A 49 year old lawyer active in LGBT civil rights organizations has become the first lesbian to sit on the city council in Columbus Ohio.

Mary Jo Hudson was sworn in Monday night amid cheers and applause. She was appointed to finish the term of Rick Sensebrenner who announced earlier this year he would leave council early for personal reasons.

"Gender identity" divides King County Council
By Keith Ervin
Seattle Times staff reporter

Metropolitan King County Council members yesterday delayed for two weeks a vote on County Executive Ron Sims' proposal to protect transsexuals and transvestites from discrimination.

In a proposed revamping of some 200 pages of existing ordinances, Sims also would apply existing equal-protection laws to the smallest of businesses in unincorporated King County.

Current laws apply only to businesses with eight or more employees.

The proposed amendments would prohibit government and businesses from discriminating on the basis of "gender identity" in housing, employment and public accommodations. Existing county laws prohibit discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, marital status and sexual orientation


Palestinian Tolerance
by Bret Stephens

A couple of months ago, the Associated Press published a series of pictures taken in the village of Kabatiya, near Jenin. They showed a Palestinian man being marched down a street by armed guards, then shot like a dog in the village square. Were the executioners Israeli? No. They were members of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the military wing of Fatah, Yasser Arafat's political movement.

The victim was 45-year-old Muhammed Daraghmeh, accused of molesting his two daughters and collaborating with Israel. Was the accusation true? Who knows. Had the charge been proved by some kind of normal judicial procedure? It had not. Instead, the crowd chanted "death, death," the gunmen obliged, and the crowd cheered. More astonishing was that the gunmen invited the foreign press to record the scene. They were pleased with themselves, not ashamed.

Now consider the plight of Palestinian homosexuals. In August 2002, Yossi Klein Halevi wrote a piece in The New Republic which told the story of "Tayseer," a 21-year-old Gazan homosexual, who was lured to a tryst in an orange grove near his refugee camp. The next day he was summoned to the Palestinian police and told his partner of the day before was an informant. If Tayseer wanted to avoid prison, he had to become an informant. Tayseer refused.


Protesters Against Adultery Clause March On Parliament

ANKARA, (AFP) - Waving banners and chanting slogans, about 400 demonstrators marched peacefully on the Turkish Parliament Tuesday to protest against proposed legislation to make adultery a criminal offense.

The demonstrators, mostly women, but also members of human and and gay rights groups, gathered on a warm, sunny day on a pedestrian street near the capital's ministries area before beginning their march on the nearby parliament, where deputies were to debate the bill from 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT).


Davis teen pleads guilty in vandalism of vehicles
Case sparked community outcry, but a hate-crime enhancement was dropped.
By Pamela Martineau -- Bee Staff Writer

A 17-year-old Davis youth has pleaded guilty to vandalizing six cars last October - one belonging to an African American family and another to an openly gay man - in an egging spree that sparked community outcry and was initially charged as a hate crime, according to one of the attorneys in the case.


Scotty's last moments
The murder of a gay teen—allegedly at the hands of his best friends—has rattled a small Alabama town
By Jen Christensen
From The Advocate,

Talk to the people in rural Pine Grove, Ala., who knew Scotty Joe Weaver and they’ll tell you one thing: The 18-year-old seemed to survive anything life threw at him.

At age 10 he fought off cancer through two grueling years of chemotherapy. At 15 he lost his father. Throughout his high school years in the nearby town of Bay Minette, he weathered the taunts and teases of classmates for being gay. “He always knew how to get through,” remembers his friend Justin Toth, who is also gay. “He had fun even at the worst times in his life.”

This time, however, Weaver did not survive.


Gay Students Offered Special Scholarships
Associated Press Writer

Alyn Libman won a $15,000-a-year scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley with a resume that showed more than just Libman's athletic achievement and academic potential.

It also showed years of ridicule, beatings and threats, along with Libman's decision to become a boy in 11th grade.


Massachusetts Schools Weigh Gay Topics
All Things Considered audio
Sept. 13, 2004

As school begins in Massachusetts, teachers and parents are debating what to teach about homosexuality now that gay marriage is legal. Some say teachers must talk more openly about gay relationships, while others say they'd rather quit than assign books such as Heather Has Two Mommies. NPR's Tovia Smith reports.


LGBT-trained resident advisers nearly double
Initiative to put LGBT resource person in every dorm began three years ago.
By Brendan Hedges

The number of resident advisers volunteering for the Office for Residential Education's program to place RAs sensitive to gay and lesbian issues in USC housing has nearly doubled.

In their first meeting this semester, almost 35 RAs participated in awareness-raising exercises, said Vincent Vigil, coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, which conducted the training workshop in mid-August.

Bush Fails AIDS Test Gay Health Group Says 
by Doug Windsor Newscenter
New York Bureau 

(New York City) New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis gave President Bush a failing grade today on his platform for AIDS issues, while giving Democratic candidate John Kerry a near perfect score.

In a report entitled Prescriptions for Reform: A Comparison of the Bush and Kerry Health Care Access Proposals and their Impact on People with HIV/AIDS," the group examined the two candidates positions on funding, treatment, and other issues.


Barred From Library For Reading Gay News
by B. J. Reyes
The Associated Press

(Honolulu, Hawaii)  A man who was kicked out of the Hawaii State Library for using its computers to access a gay and lesbian Web site has filed a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that allows authorities to ban people from public property.

The law prohibits people from entering a public place for up to one year after a written warning or request to leave the premises has been issued. It was aimed at removing squatters from public campgrounds, parks and beaches.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, filing on behalf of Carlos Hernandez, said people or groups could be thrown off public property for no reason and said the law could be used to keep voters out of polling places or to bar groups such as native Hawaiians from the grounds of the state Capitol.

Attorney General Mark Bennett, who along with Gov. Linda Lingle was named as a defendant, said the ACLU's lawsuit is based on the flawed premise that authorities would abuse the law.


On the campaign trail Bush takes swipes at Kerry, gays

Traveling by bus through the southwest corner of Michigan, President Bush tried to improve voters' perceptions of his domestic policies by condemning Democrats for going negative--even as he held Kerry's plans up to the harshest possible light. "I'm running against a fellow who has got a massive, complicated blueprint to have our government take over the decision making in health care," the president said.
"Not only is his plan going to increase the power of bureaucrats in your life, but he can't pay for it unless he raises your taxes."


Family court approves sex change in registry records for transsexual

TOKYO — The Tokyo Family Court approved Friday a bid by Masae Torai, a campaigner for transsexual rights, to alter his officially registered sex to male from female.

"It has become possible for me to lead a life as other people do. It was our desire," Torai, a 40-year-old freelance writer, said after receiving the court's decision. (Kyodo News)


Canada grants world's first same-sex divorce

TORONTO : A court in Canada has granted what is believed to be the world's first same sex divorce to a lesbian couple, barely a year after the country gave the green light for gays and lesbians to wed.

A landmark ruling Monday by Judge Ruth Mesbur of the Ontario Supreme Court found that the definition of a spouse in the country's marital laws was unconstitutional.

Canadian law currently specifies that only a couple, defined as a man and a woman may seek divorce.

The two women, who were not identified in court documents other than as "M.M." and "J.H." tied the knot on June 18, 2003, a week after Ontario's court of Appeal cleared the way for gay marriage in Canada's most populous province.


Governor signs first major gay rights bill
By Bill Ainsworth

SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the first major gay rights legislation to reach his desk yesterday when he approved a bill that would require insurance companies to offer coverage to registered domestic partners.

The governor's office announced his approval late yesterday without any fanfare or even a signing message explaining his decision.

AB 2208, sponsored by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, would require companies that offer health, life, homeowners and auto insurance to offer policies that cover domestic partners in the same way they cover spouses.

Current law requires insurers to offer domestic partners coverage equivalent to a dependent, rather than a spouse.