poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Eugenics researcher - J. Michael Bailey facts

This page is set up to inform potential research subjects about the kinds of "science" conducted by J. Michael Bailey and his research group.

Bailey’s book, The Man Who Would Be Queen, has been widely condemned as pseudoscientific and based on eugenics. Bailey researches homosexuality as if it's a disease, and looks for a cause as if it is a genetic mutation (a "gay gene") or a pathogen/environmental factor that people can catch (a "gay germ").


U.S.: Victory for HIV Prevention in California

Advocates for HIV prevention scored a major victory in California this week when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation permitting the sale of sterile syringes without a prescription. Human Rights Watch has supported these efforts since the publication of its 2003 report on syringe access in California, “Injecting Reason: Human Rights and HIV Prevention for Injection Drug Users.”




On September 17, 2004, about 100 activists joined members of the Parliamentary Front for Freedom of Sexual Expression (a coalition of MPs holding liberal views on sexual rights) for an special session of the Rio de Janeiro State Legislature to discuss all proposals related to "homosexuality" that are currently being processed there, including the one on funding for conversion therapies (717/03).

Distinguished professors and researchers from different Rio de Janeiro universities submitted a petition with 450 signatures against Proposal 717/03.

Paulo Rogério Baía, Under Secretary for Individual and Collective Rights, told the media that the Rio government has received "innumerous" letters from international organizations concerned about the proposal.

The Parliamentary Front will introduce next week a proposal to allow same-sex couples to register as "dependents" in health plans.

Activist group plans billboards featuring gay community members
Associated Press

A activist group for gays plans to put up seven billboards next month featuring gays and lesbians in the Greensboro area to help fight prejudice.

Among those featured on the billboards, paid for by the Triad Equality Alliance, are Jeff Everette and Mike Barringer, partners of five years.

"We're everyday people just like everybody else," Everette said. "People need to know we're out there trying to make a living and working alongside them."

The ad includes their photographs and the words, "We are your neighbors ... and we are gay."


GLMA ANNOUNCES PRESENTERS/PROGRAM FOR 22ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE; Hundreds Expected for October 21-23 Meeting in Palm Springs

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association's Annual Conference 10/21-23/04 presents cutting edge information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex health; topics include health aspects of marriage, HIV among Asians and Pacific Islanders, sexually transmitted diseases in lesbians, transgender health, introducing sexual minority health topics in medical school curricula, adolescent health issues, smoking, depression, and HPV. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) September 25, 2004 -- The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association announced its lineup of presenters and sessions for Moving Forward Together, GLMA’s 22nd Annual Conference, scheduled to open in Palm Springs on Thursday, October 21, 2004, four weeks from today. Kenneth Haller, MD, GLMA President, said of the upcoming three-day Continuing Medical Education conference, “We are very excited by the range topics and the diversity of speakers represented on this program. I’m positive that the hundreds of health care professionals who attend will find this program to be informative and stimulating.”


Being Turkish and Gay in Germany  
Gay pride and the Turkish community don't always mix

Germany may be considered a tolerant place for homosexuals. But continuing social stigma still makes it difficult for many of the country's gay and lesbian immigrants to be open about their sexuality.
An unusual advertising campaign is making waves in Berlin: Posters and billboards of young good-looking men aren't anything new. But these ads are funded by the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Germany with the aim of bringing homosexuality out in the open within Berlin's large Turkish population.
With over 120,000 Turkish immigrants, Berlin is home to one of the biggest Turkish communities outside of the country. Despite being an important part of the liberal German capital, sexuality is still a difficult issue for the Turks in Berlin. The new poster campaign hopes to change all that by bringing homosexuality out into the open.
Showing five good-looking young mean wearing baseball caps, sweatshirts and low slung jeans, the bright yellow poster could be a typical advertisement for casual streetwear. Except that the slogan reads: "Kai is gay. Murat too. They belong to us. Always." Kai is a typical German name, Murat a typical Turkish one.


Dist. 214 violating diversity policy, union says
By Erin Holmes Daily Herald Staff Writer

A year ago, when some parents were urging Northwest Suburban High School District 214 to halt productions of "The Laramie Project," Mike O'Shea was fiercely proud of the board.

Its members demanded the show, set in the aftermath of the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard, should, and would, go on.

O'Shea isn't so proud now. 

The teachers union president told board members this week their month-old decision to deny health benefits to same-sex partners of staff - a vote he said made him "very disappointed" - is in violation of the district's own diversity policy.


Rallies against gays planned
By Phillip Rawls
The Associated Press

A Kansas church group that proclaims "God hates fags" plans to picket next month in Alabama over two killings that police said may be due to the victims' sexual orientation.

The Rev. Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., said Friday about 18 members of his congregation will be in Alabama to picket at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, a gay community center in Mobile, and five mainline churches in Bay Minette.


S.Africa Gays, Lesbians March to Celebrate Freedom
By Dinky Mkhize

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Thousands of gays and lesbians held a noisy march on Saturday to celebrate South Africa's gay rights laws, unprecedented on a continent where many regard homosexuality as an un-African taboo.

South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to recognize the rights of gays, and same-sex couples are now allowed to adopt children and be included in their partners' wills.

Marchers in colorful costumes, many carrying yellow and green banners with pro-gay messages, walked or rode on top of trucks and four-wheel-drive vehicles in a long procession.

Dozens of police kept a close watch but the event was peaceful.


Officials say marriage ban could hurt Ohio's economy
Sandy Theis
Plain Dealer Bureau Chief

Philadelphia lures gay tourists with a travel guide titled "The City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection)."

Washington, D.C., coined its own slogan: "Where more than just the cherry blossoms come out."

But as cities across America roll out rainbow carpets, Ohio is poised to vote on what experts say is the most far-reaching anti-gay marriage measure in the nation.

The state's big-city mayors are trying to defeat the proposed amendment to the state constitution, expected to be on the Nov. 2 ballot.

"This isn't about marriage," Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman said this week. "It's about the economic future of Ohio."


Civil rights groups ask for election investigation
Voting machines were not delivered to New Orleans on time for Sept. 18 vote.
By Doug Simpson
Associated Press

New Orleans — Two civil rights groups have asked the Justice Department to investigate an election in which they claim voting machine problems prevented up to 58,000 voters, many of them black, from casting ballots.

New Orleans, where nearly 70 percent of voters are black, was the only part of the state where voting machines were not delivered on time in the Sept. 18 election. Voters cast ballots in a number of local elections, plus a statewide constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The NAACP and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now said in a letter to the Justice Department that a federal investigation is required "in light of possible violations" of the Voting Rights Act.

"Our concerns are that we have been closed out of the election process for so long and we don't want anything else to thwart it any further than it already has been," said Beulah Labostrie, president of the Louisiana chapter of ACORN. "We, particularly in the African-American community, do not want any obstruction in the ability for all to vote.


Judge pulls surprise in gay marriage lawsuit
By Dave Williams

ATLANTA — A court cannot rule on the legality of a referendum banning gay marriage in Georgia until after voters have decided the question at the ballot box, a Fulton County Superior Court judge declared Friday.

In a surprising conclusion to a hearing that lasted more than an hour, Judge Constance Russell gave attorneys in a lawsuit challenging the referendum three days to respond in writing to her interpretation of a state Supreme Court case that neither side had cited either in written briefs or during Friday’s oral arguments.

“If you think it’s off the wall, you’ve got until Monday to tell me that,’’ Russell told lawyers representing the two sides.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and Lambda Legal, an organization that advocates equal rights for homosexuals, filed the suit last week on behalf of half a dozen plaintiffs, including two Democratic state lawmakers from Atlanta.

Boston, MA- Trans activists pick up the pace
Bay Windows - Local News
By Ethan Jacobs

The Mass. Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) held its inaugural statewide meeting Sept. 18. Despite torrential rains, about 30 people turned up at Emmanuel Church, where the group outlined its current campaigns, including an effort to pass a transgender nondiscrimination ordinance in Northampton.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Transgender Center for Equality (NCTE), also addressed the gathering, telling attendees that adding trans-inclusive language to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is the "centerpiece" of that group's current agenda.

The effort to pass a Northampton ordinance springs out of MTPC's first major campaign, a successful effort to expand the city of Boston's nondiscrimination laws to include transgender people in 2002. Cole Thaler, who founded MTPC in the summer of 2001 and who now works in the group's satellite office in Western Mass., said that MTPC hopes to pass similar ordinances in cities and towns around the state.

"It was the thought of MTPC that if we get several local ordinances passed across the state, that will form a nice base for eventually trying to get a statewide ordinance passed," said Thaler.


Social Security halts plan to remove protections for gays

The Social Security Administration has halted its attempts to strike protections based on sexual orientation from their contract with union workers. The change would have made it legal for gay and lesbian employees in the Bush administration to be discriminated against, or even fired, by their employers. The contract language at issue was added in 2000 in response to an executive order by President Clinton establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The head of the SSA abruptly halted the Administration's proposed discrimination within one day of Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe's public statement condemning the move. "This is a victory for the Democratic Party, but more important, a victory for gay and lesbian Americans against discrimination," McAuliffe said Friday. "George Bush has consistently tried to take away hard-won rights and move our country in the wrong direction."


Nova Scotia OKs same-sex marriages
 Keith Bonnell
Canadian Press

HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia became the sixth province or territory to allow same-sex marriages when the province's Supreme Court ruled Friday that banning such unions is unconstitutional.

In August, three couples asked Justice Heather Robertson to rule on the contentious subject, and whether or not same-sex couples who have married outside Nova Scotia should have their status recognized in the province.


Georgia Gays Battle To Keep Marriage Amendment Off Ballot 
by The Associated Press

(Atlanta, Georgia) A lawsuit aimed at keeping a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriages off the Nov. 2 election ballot went before a judge on Friday who postponed a ruling until next week but expressed skepticism the court could intervene.

Superior Court Judge Constance Russell ended an hour-long hearing by referring the attorneys to a case neither side had cited in their arguments, an 84-year-old ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court which held that the courts cannot intervene to block legislation or constitutional amendments until after they had passed.

She said she was troubled by the ruling and instructed the lawyers: "Tell me why I'm not bound by it or whether I am." They were given until Monday to reply.

Sen. Mike Crotts, R-Conyers, who sponsored the proposed amendment in this year's legislative session, said after the hearing he hadn't expected a ruling Friday but praised the judge's conduct of the proceeding. "I think she handled it fairly," he said.


Antigay Aryan leader arrested on federal threat charges

The self-proclaimed leader of the Aryan Nations of Reno [Nev.] has been arrested on federal charges for making violent threats to gays and others. Steven Holten, 40, a "one-man Aryan nation" who has been recruiting members for his white supremacist group in the area, is accused of e-mailing the threats to Jewish communities in Nevada and California, law officers, and members of the media, according to Reno police. Holten appeared in federal court in Reno on Thursday and was being held without bail Friday in Washoe County Jail.

Police said Holten allegedly sent a mass e-mail Monday that said the "Aryan Nations of Reno, Nevada" will carry out "terrorist actions that will be gruesome and something that has never been seen in Reno and San Francisco." He detailed violent acts that would be carried out on people and groups on its "most wanted list," including gays, Jews, members of the media, and anyone against white supremacy, police said. Holten, who has neo-Nazi SS lightning bolts tattooed on his neck, is the first suspect in Reno accused of sending violent hate threats, which authorities intercepted by tracing an e-mail, acting police chief Jim Weston told the Reno Gazette-Journal.


Friday, September 24, 2004

Ohio congressman accused of curbing health studies debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — A watchdog group has criticized an Ohio congressman for what it says is an attempt to cut off debate on health studies in a federal spending bill. Several lawmakers last year sought to block funding for sex-related studies being funded through the National Institutes of Health. Republican Congressman Ralph Regula, who heads a subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, this year asked lawmakers in a letter not to challenge specific grants on the House floor. Citizens Against Government Waste said the tactic threatens open debate in Congress. Regula said in the letter that he did not have enough notice to answer detailed questions that came up last year about the sex-related studies, some of which are multiyear projects that continue to be funded in this year’s $142 billion bill, which includes $28.5 billion for NIH. “There are 40,000 grants out there, so it’s kind of hard to be knowledgeable about each one,’’ Regula said. Last year’s effort by Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to cut $1.5 million in funding for four sex-related grants, which also included a “Study on American Indian Transgender Research,” failed 212-210.


Verdict on rape seeks to redefine gender identities
HT Correspondent

IN A recent judgement that is likely to stir up debate in medical and legal fraternities, Shivpuri District Judge Renu Sharma convicted a rape accused under Section 376 of the IPC (rape) even as the defence counsel argued that the rape victim was not a woman since she had no vagina from birth, implying that she was a eunuch. The decision has far-reaching import for the 'third gender'.

The defence line was that since there was no vagina, there was no penetration of it and thus, the offense of rape, as the prosecution had charged the accused, one Ganesh Ram of village Lukwasa in the district, with, wasn't made out.

The convict had forced entry into the house of the victim in the dead of the night and raped her last year. The 35 years old victim had been abandoned by her husband who had remarried. She had been living with her brother ever since. Aside from raping the victim, the convict had also physically assaulted her.

The judge also sent a copy of the judgement to the High Court with a request to forward it to the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, as she found that the case had raised the issue of redefining gender identities so as to include transgender and transsexual persons in its ambit, or have a gender-free definition for the offence of rape.


Gay man’s accused killer captured in Texas
Suspect charged with murder of former Fayette commissioner

The man accused in the brutal bludgeoning of a gay former Fayette County commissioner was captured in Texas and now faces charges of felony and malice murder, according to authorities.

Thomas Richey, 33, who has served time in Georgia jails for car theft and is on probation, was arrested Sept. 20 in Rockwall, Texas, a city located northeast of Dallas. He waived extradition Sept. 21 and officials are now working to transport Richey back to Georgia, said Sgt. Dwayne Prosser of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.


Dutch Gay Couples Win Right To Compete In Ballroom Dancing

THE HAGUE, Sept 24 (AFP) - The Dutch anti-discrimination board said Friday that the national competitive ballroom dancing association (NADB) should admit gay couples.

"Many dancers are homosexual," the board said in a ruling posted on its website after two dancers that the NADB had banned from competitive events had appealed to it.

"Homosexual and lesbian dancers already take part in competitions at the highest level, it said."

Refusing to allow them to dance as gay couples "is a consequence of the dominant heterosexual norm," it said, "but this is in no sense an even-handed norm."


ENDA debate overlooks Title VII trans benefits: experts
HRC, activists say that trans ENDA helps gays

In the debate over the strategy for adding protections based on gender identity and expression to the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, there is one aspect receiving less attention. Some legal experts are claiming that transgender Americans already receive some protections now that gay men and lesbians do not.

Courtney Joslin, a staff attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco and co-chair of the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities, said various court rulings suggest that transgender workers are covered at least in part under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws hiring or employment discrimination on the basis of the employee’s “sex.”

Court rulings have generally agreed that anti-gay discrimination is not covered by Title VII.

The Human Rights Campaign announced in August that it will withdraw support for ENDA, the group’s signature federal legislation, if it is amended not to cover gender identity and expression. HRC has argued that such language would benefit gay men and lesbians who face discrimination because they are either effeminate men or butch lesbians


Thousands of Royal Bank employees to display Rainbow Triangle on workdesks
by Judi McLeod,

Tens of thousands of Royal Bank Canada employees are being asked by bank management to display the Rainbow Triangle on their work desks. In early September, RBC employees arrived at the office to find the directive on their PCs. "The RBC Safe Space (program) is a visible, non-threatening way to show that your desk, cubicle or office is a "safe place" for gay men, bisexuals, transgendered and lesbians," employees were told in the first edition of the bank’s online newsletter, Rainbow Space.

The Safe Space Program, introduced within Service Delivery Central Canada, "highlights the importance of sexual preference as one of RBC’s diversity elements."

Of the Royal Bank’s 60,000 global employees, roughly half are Canadian.


Protests rage as singer takes stage
By Alison Neumer

Gay-rights activists rallied outside a downtown club Thursday to protest a concert by Jamaican reggae performer Capleton, one of several Jamaican artists whose lyrics are causing an uproar because they allegedly encourage violence against gays and lesbians.

Dozens of people marched in front of the House of Blues, holding up signs and chanting "The House of Blues is a house of hate" and calling for a boycott of the venue.

Leaders from the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network denounced the club's decision to host the show in the name of "artistic self-expression."

"Since when is advocating murder a question of self expression?" asked Bob Schwartz, a spokesman for the gay-rights organization. "No one would be given a stage today who called for the murder of Jews or African-Americans


Riverdale home to state’s first trans official
Council member fights to add gender identity to city charter

Michelle Bruce knows what it’s like to be hated. And she wants to pick bigots out of society like “weeds in a garden.”

“All my life I’ve had to listen to, ‘You’re gay, you’re a fag, you’re a man in a damned dress’ or some other snide remark,” Bruce said during a recent interview at Riverdale City Hall in Clayton County.

“Now, I’m trying to make a difference the best positive way I can. I’m trying to do what’s right for everyone, doesn’t matter if they’re transgender, gay, lesbian, straight, black, white or whatever.”

Bruce, 42, was born intersexed and identifies as transgendered. She has lived her entire life as a woman.


1,138 reasons to beat back Bush
The president claims the tax code is outdated and unfair but wants to amend the Constitution to keep it that way.

DID ANYONE IN the GOP leadership actually listen to the speech the president gave when he accepted his party’s nomination at the Republican National Convention?

Specifically, I’m wondering about the part when Mr. Bush said, “Many of our most fundamental systems — the tax code, health coverage, pension plans, worker training — were created for the world of yesterday, not tomorrow.” He added, “We will transform these systems so that all citizens are equipped, prepared and thus truly free to make your own choices and pursue your own dreams.”

Has anyone else noticed that even as the president’s words are still hanging in the air like so much convention confetti, the House Republican leadership is moving to have a vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment?


U.S. House plans to vote on marriage ban next week
Experts say tally could go either way

WASHINGTON —Gay rights groups expect that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage will come up for a vote in the U.S. House on Sept. 30, leaving lawmakers time to stake a position before November elections.

The move could finally put an end to more than a year of back-and-forth from House committee rooms to chambers regarding the contentious amendment’s future, marked by sharp protests, cancelled hearings, cancelled votes, bizarre alliances and a campaign outing Congressional staffers.

But if defeated, the amendment would certainly make an appearance in the campaign platforms of many conservatives and most likely on the House floor again next year. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave introduced H.J. Resolution 56, also known as the Federal Marriage Amendment, in May 2003.

Despite heated rhetoric on both sides of the issue, though, legislative experts predict a photo finish for the FMA.

Transsexual inmates can receive estrogen therapy

Transsexual Virginia prison inmates may receive estrogen therapy and other treatment under a recent court settlement of a prisoner's suit.

Experts say that transsexuals who have gender identity disorder, or GID, feel that they are members of the opposite sex trapped in the wrong body. It is not a voluntary condition, and transsexuals are different from homosexuals and transvestites who remain content with their birth sex.

The eight-page agreement does not specify the treatments the Virginia Department of Corrections will provide in appropriate cases. However, it does provide for referrals to an endocrinologist, or hormone specialist, when necessary.

Victor M. Glasberg, an Alexandria lawyer who handled the case for the American Civil Liberties Union and confirmed the settlement, said this week that each case of GID is different and that there is a wide spectrum of treatment, which can include surgery.


Billboard heralds gay bash campaign against Lampson
Beaumont billboard and Web site charge that congressman is ‘bought’ by the ‘homosexual lobby’

Congressman Nick Lampson’s campaign to keep his seat in the U.S. House slid into the mud this week when a billboard went up overnight in Beaumont proclaiming, “Nick Lampson supports homosexual marriage. Do you?”

The billboard directs readers to a Web site,, where the headline reads, “Why Rep. Nick Lampson is ‘bought and paid for’ by the homosexual lobby.”

Lampson, the Democratic incumbent in District 2, is opposed by Republican challenger Steve Stockman.


MP disappointed by gay ruling
Openly gay MP Tim Barnett says it is yet to be tested whether the Presbyterian Church's ban on homosexual ministers is legal

Gay Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett believes churches may not end up being a safe place for homosexuals after a controversial ruling.

A majority of the Presbyterian Church's General Assembly has voted in favour of banning gays and people in de facto relationships from its clergy.

Mr Barnett says he cannot see why churches should be able to deny people a role because of their sexuality.


Churches in USA told to stop Electioneering Network

Despite Internal Revenue Service rules separating churches from the electoral process, some religious leaders in the USA may be defying the IRS by telling churchgoers how to vote on certain candidates and issues, including same-sex marriage.

"It's a very disturbing trend," said Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, a watchdog group dedicated to keeping the government free from religious influence.

Lynn told the PlanetOut Network there is "a tremendous amount of envelope-pushing" this year.

Violators risk losing their tax-exempt status and facing fines and back taxes.


Gay Marriage Sweeps Into Canada's Maritimes
by Derwin Parsons Newscenter
Atlantic Canada Bureau Chief

(Halifax, Nova Scotia)  Nova Scotia this morning became the fifth Canadian province to legalize same-sex marriage. 

The provincial Supreme Court ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The case was brought by three Nova Scotia same-sex couples. The suit argued that because the federal government did not challenge rulings of the highest courts in three provinces and the Yukon Territory that all struck down the existing definition of marriage as between a man and a women, prohibiting gay marriage is illegal.

After the Nova Scotia case was launched, a fourth province, Manitoba, also ruled in favor of same-sex couples. 


Russian Gays See Return To Repressive Era 
by Malcolm Thornberry Newscenter
European Bureau Chief

(Moscow) Russian gays say a dark cloud is descending on the country bringing with it a return to the repressions of the Soviet era.

Homosexuality was illegal under the old Soviet regime. Gay men were sentenced up to five years in prison, while lesbians were often locked up in psychiatric hospitals - often for the remainder of their lives. In 1993 under then-president Boris Yeltsin the Duma or parliament, repealed the law. 

"It was like a cloud was lifted from over our heads," said Dmitri, a 43 year old Moscow man who is still reluctanct to give his last name.

Gay clubs that had been underground suddenly emerged and a gay political sense began to develop.  


City in Iowa to make antigay discrimination complaints public

Burlington, Iowa, will face no legal problems under a rule to make public the names of people and businesses that allegedly discriminate against gays and lesbians, the city attorney said. "I don't believe they could sue the city for slander because a third party files a complaint with the city," Scott Power said Wednesday. "I've never seen that happen.... Legally, I don't believe you could sue a city over a complaint that's filed." The city's Human Rights Commission voted unanimously to approve a new procedure to address sexual orientation discrimination.


North Dakota's proposed gay marriage ban unclear

North Dakota's proposed marriage amendment to the state constitution is unclear about whether it affects job benefits for unmarried couples, Atty. Gen. Wayne Stenehjem says. The proposed amendment, which is on North Dakota's November 2 general election ballot, limits marriage rights to opposite-sex couples. Its second sentence reads: "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage, or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect." State representative Mary Ekstrom (D-Fargo) asked Stenehjem for a legal opinion regarding whether the amendment would bar companies that give benefits to married couples from giving them to same-sex partners or unmarried heterosexual couples who are living together. Ekstrom opposes the amendment and has been raising money to challenge it. Jon Lindgren, a former Fargo mayor, said he had similar worries about the amendment's effect. "We're concerned not only that a lot of people aren't following this closely enough, but that they are not following the meaning of that second sentence," Lindgren said. "It's a wolf in sheep's clothing."


No support for gay pride

Oslo will be the host for the EuroPride festival in 2005. Event organizers expect around 50,000 homosexuals to flood the capital but city authorities have not allocated any funds at all to help. This leaves two people in charge of the entire project.

A stilt walker taking part in the 10th EuroPride parade in Manchester in 2003.

The pair are now working feverishly to prepare ticket sales and arrange package tours to Oslo from destinations around Norway and Europe.

"We are working on the program and to find hot names for the concerts," said project leader Arne Walderhaug.

In 2003 city council leader Erling Lae led Oslo's gay parade through the streets and the 2005 version will be of record size as the city host's the European edition of the festival. The city budget for 2005 showed no sign of the project's petition for NOK 600,000 (USD 88,500) in support.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

Texas Case Challenges Second Parent Adoptions
by Wires

(Galveston, Texas)  A lesbian couple whose eight-year relationship ended in March is in a legal battle over whether the woman who adopted the child born to her partner should be recognized as the girl's parent. 

A Galveston County associate judge earlier upheld the adoption approved in 2001, but a district judge is considering an appeal. The judge heard oral arguments earlier this week.

The 6-year-old's biological mother, Julie Anne Hobbs, claims the adoption by her former partner, Janet Kathleen Van Stavern, is void. She says among the requirements for a child to be adopted under the Texas Family Code is for the child's relationship with biological parents to be terminated or for the parent whose rights were not terminated to be married to the person seeking custody. Same-sex marriages are not recognized in Texas.


Louisiana gay marriage ban may wipe out DP benefits

The constitutional amendment approved Saturday in Louisiana to ban same-sex marriage will wipe out New Orleans's benefits for partners of city workers who sign onto a domestic-partner registry, say attorneys challenging the amendment. "The only immediate direct effect of this amendment is to abolish the New Orleans domestic-partner registry ordinance. That is exactly what the people behind this amendment wanted," attorney John Rawls said. "They sued to abolish it and lost in court. So they stuck it in a craftily worded amendment." City attorneys have said they don't think the amendment will affect the city ordinance.
Mayoral spokeswoman Tanzie Jones reiterated that Wednesday but said she did not know the legal basis for the contention and that city attorneys were busy with another matter.


Oklahoma's gay marriage ballot measure upheld

The Oklahoma supreme court on Thursday let stand a referendum to ban same-sex marriage that is scheduled for the November 2 general election ballot. In a one-sentence order signed by Chief Justice Joseph M. Watt, the court refused to assume jurisdiction in the case.
That means State Question 711, which would amend the Oklahoma constitution to ban same-sex marriage, will remain on the ballot.


Christian network denies its founder had gay affair

The world's largest Christian broadcasting network responded on Wednesday to recent news articles about its operations and once again denied a claim by a former employee that he had a gay affair with its founder. The Trinity Broadcasting Network issued a press release claiming that articles published by the Los Angeles Times over the past week failed to accurately depict the Costa Mesa-based organization in a fair light. "The newspaper's publisher has its own agenda," said TBN spokesperson Colby May. "Its reporting has been selective and subjective."

Schwarzeneger 2 For 2 On Gay Bills  
by Mark Worrall Newscenter
San Francisco Bureau

(Sacramento, California) For the second time in just over a week California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a major gay rights bill.

Wednesday evening Schwarzenegger signed into law the Omnibus Hate Crimes Act which creates a uniform definition of a hate crime that includes crimes against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The new law also includes crimes against individuals based on their association with people who are gay or transgender, as well as association based on other protected categories, and provide tools designed to reduce such crimes.


Michigan Senate Panel Considers Bills to Deny Medical Treatment for Moral Reasons News

Gay men and lesbians could be hurt by legislation to protect health care providers and insurers from liability for refusing to perform a procedure for moral, ethical or religious reasons, say opponents to a Michigan bill.

Hospitals and medical groups told a Michigan Senate panel that health workers' beliefs and needs are important, but patients' health is the top priority, saying the bill’s “refusal cause” will hurt patients.

"The patient is the center of all we do," said Ron Lilek, human resources vice president for Beaumont Hospitals in Royal Oak and Troy.

While some in the medical community opposed the legislation and its effect on patients, supporters said health care providers have a constitutional right to religious freedom, particularly when it comes to abortion and stem cell issues.


Gender bender: will and way to cross over

While youngsters his age were going to college and checking out career options, Sushanto Das was fielding a volley of questions from Rabindra Bharati University, where he had been denied admission, because of his sexuality. While his earlier para friends where enjoying gully cricket, he was dealing with insults from neighbours who took it upon themselves to make his and his family’s life miserable. He was scared, upset and totally at a loss.

Now 29-year-old Sushanto is Tista — confident with a new name, sexuality and identity. Decked in all prettiness in a saree with a hint of lipstick, bangles, bindi and bead jewellery, she is through with her days of apprehension and misery, as she takes up a career in acting.

A transexual woman, Tista, already has two films in her booty. “I had been working as research assistant in Calcutta for a University of Berkeley fellow on gender identity disorder. I had amassed a whole lot of material on the subject and had written a script for a film to deal with the topic.”

When Tista had taken her idea to film-maker Buddhadeb Dasgupta, he made her act in a 25-minute documentary I could not be your son, mom, which was eventually shot partly in her Agarpara home and Calcutta.


by: Kellye Pinkleton, OIA Newswire

Transgender Days of Rememberance and Action is to be held in Columbus in November.
The transgender Day of Rememberance is an international event held every November 20 to commemorate the lives of individuals who have been murdered in the past year because of their gender identity or expression. In Columbus, the Day of Rememberance will be observed on November 17 with a candlelight vigil at the shelter house in Goodale Park at 7 p.m.

In addition to honoring the lives of transgender people who have been killed, the Columbus Day of Rememberance planning committee will be holding a series of events to educate people about transgender issues and to get them involved.

The largest event of the month is the Days of Rememberance and Action conference, Ohio's annual transgender and trans allies conference, which will be held from 8:30-4:30 on November 6 at King Avenue United Methodist Church (299 King Ave.). The keynote speakers are Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Paisley Currah, executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS). They have written Transgender Equality: A Handbook for Activists and Policymakers and edited Transgender Rights: History, Politics, and Law. The conference is free, but people are asked to pre-register, so we know the number of people to expect for breakfast and lunch (both of which are provided for free!).


French lesbian parents granted family status

PARIS, Sept 22 (AFP) - France has for the first time extended official recognition to a family headed by a homosexual couple, giving legal rights to two lesbians raising three daughters one of them bore through artificial insemination, Le Monde newspaper reported.  

The authorisation, given by a Paris judge on July 2, sets a precedent in a country which is still grappling with a marriage of two gay men in June that the government has declared annulled.  

According to Thursday's edition of Le Monde, the lesbian couple, identified only as Carla and Marie-Laure, and their three children, aged 5, 7 and 10, received permission to establish "a legal link between each of the parents and the children as well as joint exercise of parental authority".


Book Talk: Steven G. Fullwood - On Working Toward A Revolution
Steven G. Fullwood

How does Black LGBT/SGL culture relate to hip hop?

Well, consider the literature.

Black LGBT/SGL literature is underground hip hop. We are telling our truths and we have an audience. We are not anomalies. We have been writing for over a century and the mainstream is beginning to notice. We are more than E. Lynn Harris. We are women and men who are on a mission to see our lives, triumphs and defeats, reflected in art and ourselves. We are not afraid. We will ultimately succeed.

Why is homophobia so rampant in hip hop culture?

Hip hop is no different from the cultures it mixes and distills. Frankly the rabid fraternity amongst black men reeks of homoeroti


Tombstone's defacing rankles mom
Reformer Staff

GUILFORD -- Next week, when Shirley Squires visits the grave of her son Ron, who died of AIDS in 1993, she will not bring flowers to lay down or spring bulbs to plant. Instead the 74-year-old will arrive with sandpaper and a wet cloth and attempt to erase the words "AIDS" and "Fag" that were carved into her son's tombstone.

"I just couldn't believe it," said Squires. "I would really like to know who would do this kind of thing."

When Squires reported the incident to the police, they asked if Ron had had enemies. She could think of no one.

Ron Squires was loved and respected by many, said his mother. He was the first openly gay Vermont state legislator and succumbed to the disease while still in office. Over 400 people braved a snowstorm to attended his funeral, including two busloads of mourners from Montpelier. To this day, donations to the AIDS Project of Southern Vermont are given in his name. Passers-by still stop his mother on the streets to tell her how much he was admired.


Cardinal McCarrick Reverses His Decision to Meet with Gay Catholics in Conjunction with the National Council of Catholic Bishops Meeting in November

WASHINGTON, -- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was scheduled to meet with members of the Rainbow Sash Movement in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC for a Listening Session." This meeting was to be in conjunction with the National Council of Catholic Bishops meeting in November. The Cardinal notified Joe Murray, the US Convener of the Rainbow Sash Movement that he had changed his mind, saying he thought now was not a good time to meet, and he felt this was in the best interest of the Church and the Rainbow Sash Movement. The Rainbow Sash Movement is a national Catholic Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Organization.


The Rev. Rigby Welcomes Same-Sex Showdown

When the Rev. Jim Rigby learned that a formal complaint had been filed against him that could ultimately cost him his standing in the Presbyterian Church, the minister's initial reaction was something along the lines of "Yahoo!"

The response might have left a pew of by-the-book Presbyterians reaching for their smelling salts, but Rigby, who is accused of conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies in violation of his denomination's rules, believes the church needs a wake-up call like this one to force an open discussion on homosexuality. The pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in North Austin is a longtime ally of gay rights causes, and he says he's willing to put his frock on the line in this particular fight.

CABN: House of Blues Protest

Gay activists will rally in front of the House of Blues (HOB) nightclub, 329 N. Dearborn, at 7 pm, Thursday, September 23 to protest the Club's sponsorship of a performance by reggae singer Capleton. Jamaican-born Capleton openly calls for killing Lesbian and Gay people in a number of his most prominent songs, and hails from a country widely seen as particularly vicious towards gay people.

As part of the protest, activists with the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN) will call for a the beginning of a full-scale boycott of the club by all who oppose hate violence against any group.


Court to hear arguments in marriage amendment today
By Rob Moritz
Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK - The state Supreme Court is to hear arguments today on whether to keep the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

Oral arguments are set for 9 a.m.

The drive to get the measure on the ballot was in response to a ruling earlier this year by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which said there is nothing in that state's constitution that prohibits civil unions between same-sex couples.

The Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee gathered more than 200,000 signatures by the July 2 deadline to get the proposal on the ballot. Just 80,570 were needed.

Russian lesbians fight to retain freedom

AFP Moscow Sept 23: Since emerging from the shadow of the prudish Soviet Union a decade ago, sexual minorities have fought to gain a foothold in Russian society. But Russian lesbians now say they are facing growing pressure from authorities to return to the closet. “In the past year, I have felt increasing pressure in my work. My website is controlled, I am asked all sorts of questions when I travel to a conference,” says Ms Olga Suvorova, who runs the Moscow-based lesbian group Pinkstar.“Under (former president Boris) Yeltsin, it was much easier to organise lesbian events and to meet politicians,” laments Ms Suvorova, who, like many Russian homosexuals, brands the President Mr Vladimir Putin a “total homophobe”.

But Ms Suvorova says not only the government but also the Orthodox Church, which underwent a spectacular revival after Russia cast off its Soviet secularism, has launched a campaign to crack down on homosexuality.

“Lately I have been receiving threatening letters from the Orthodox Church. At first they just asked us to close our centre, but now they are threatening to resort to other means if we don’t cease our activities,” she says.

Male homosexuality in Russia was punishable by up to five years in prison while lesbians could be locked up in psychiatric institutions until May 1993, when then-president Mr Boris Yeltsin repealed Article 121 of the Criminal Code.


Derry mayor: "We will stamp out culture of homophobia"
Ben Townley, UK

The mayor of Northern Ireland city Derry has committed himself to stamping out homophobic attacks, after widespread reporting of the continued attacks on the local gay community.

Mayor Councillor Gearoid O'hEara held a meeting with the region's Rainbow Project last week in a bid to learn more about the attacks, as well as begin to devise solutions to the problem.

In the past 12 months, attacks on gay people have included verbal abuse, violent physical incidents and in one case excrement smeared on a gay man's home. One couple were also issued with a death threat because of their sexuality.


Anti-gay attacks soar; police encourage more reporting
Ben Townley, UK

Police in Swindon are calling for gay victims of a spate of anti-gay attacks to report the crimes, in a bid to stamp out homophobic violence in the area.

Local police say that some gay men are being targeted by attackers in cruising areas, with some even being subjected to blackmail and the threat of being outed.

PC Robin Stannard told local paper the Evening Advertiser that some men were being invited into toilet cubicles under the pretence of having sex, but were then threatened or attacked.

One victim was apparently found on the toilet floor covered in blood, but had disappeared before the officers got to the scene.


France Hands Gays 'A Piece Of Cake'
by Malcolm Thornberry Newscenter
European Bureau Chief

(Paris)  French gay rights groups are describing proposed new rights for same-sex couples as a modern day version of Marie Antoinette's famous "let them eat cake" line.

A day after the openly gay mayor of Paris's new autobiography was released in which he assails the government of President Jacques Chirac of reneging on campaign promises to the gay community, the government announced it would amend the tax laws for couples registered as domestic partners.

The government's 2005 budget, tabled Wednesday, will place the fiscal status of gay couples on a par with that of married people and make it easier for gays to give their partners money.

But, in making the announcement the government said it would continue its campaign against same-sex marriage.


Rights board backlash
By Tim Benzie
Sydney Star Observer


The Anti-Discrimination Board is no longer operating as an effective lobby group for gay, lesbian and transgender rights, activists said this week.

Sydney’s Gender Centre has boycotted the ADB’s community consultation meetings for failing to consult with transgender people.

And former ADB president Chris Puplick told the Star the board has “ceased to be a major contributor to the processes of progressive law reform in NSW”.

The Gender Centre boycott reflects discontent with the Anti-Discrimination Board since the board’s budget was cut by 23 percent last year, prompting strikes and protests.


Judge won't let lawmakers enter gay marriage ban suit
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Several Georgia lawmakers who support a proposed ban on gay marriage will have to watch the legal showdown over the Nov. 2 referendum from the sidelines.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell denied a motion Tuesday by state Sen. Mike Crotts (R-Conyers) and five other lawmakers to step in as defendants in a lawsuit filed last week by the Georgia ACLU, Lambda Legal and the law firm of Alston and Bird. The suit seeks to remove from the ballot the question defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

The lawsuit contends the proposed constitutional amendment violates the state's single-subject rule because it pertains to multiple issues, including marriage and civil unions. The suit also argues that the question voters will see — a short summary of the amendment — is misleading. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

"The court finds that [their] interests in this matter are more than adequately represented by the named defendant," Russell wrote in the order.


For nearly 2,000 years, mahu were accommodated as part of the ‘ohana Hawai‘i, but today they feel the need to band together. Mahu means “queer.”
by: Joseph W. Bean

.If you were in Kalama Park on the first Sunday of June, you probably saw hundreds of men and women playing volleyball, eating like their lives depended on it and talking story in clumps all over the place. A very large family reunion? Maybe you also saw some of the men running a foot race with relay-type stops where they put on wigs, heels and dresses. Not something you’d see in your ordinary family reunion, really.

The family in the park was the Both Sides Now (BSN) ‘ohana, Maui’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered citizens and their friends. They were celebrating Gay Pride Day as they do every year on that Sunday.


HRC Reconsiders Stance on Gay Rights
Crimson Staff Writer

The Harvard Republican Club (HRC) considered but did not vote on a proposal that called for the group to withhold support for the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) at its first meeting of the year last night.

Two general board members, Joshua A. Barro ’05 and Annie M. Lewis ’07, said they drafted the proposal—tabled until next week’s meeting—to prevent a major division between members who generally agree on other issues.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Beyer changes her mind about quitting politics

Labour MP Georgina Beyer has had a change of heart about retiring from politics, saying she is seeking a slot on the party list.

Wairarapa MP Ms Beyer announced in March she was quitting national politics at the end of this term, as she felt constrained by parliamentary life and wanted a break.

In 2001 she also said she would retire, citing Parliament's unpleasant working environment and personal attacks as the reason.


Movie depicting gay love during the Bosnian war ignites a debate in Sarajevo

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - A movie depicting gay love during the Bosnian war is sparking fierce debate in Sarajevo - and it's not even finished.

Go West by Sarajevo director Ahmed Imamovic tells the story of two gay men - a Serb and a Muslim transvestite - who attempt to flee the besieged Bosnian capital and are captured at a checkpoint by Bosnian Serbs. The Serb saves his lover by saying that he is his Muslim fiancee and that they are to be married in his hometown in southern Bosnia.

The movie is in the editing stage, and it is not yet clear when it will have its premiere.

Bosnian Federation television, a co-producer of the film, on Monday aired several clips in a program meant to defend the film and its contents after it became a target of criticism

Gay rights groups hail changes to tax rights
Reuters Reuters

PARIS - French gay rights groups on Wednesday welcomed government plans to improve the tax rights of homosexuals living in civil unions, but vowed to continue their campaign for the recognition of same-sex marriages. In its 2005 budget, the conservative government said it would place the fiscal status of gay couples on a par with that of married people and make it easier for gays to give their partners money.


MIDDAY UPDATE: MEA opposes marriage amendment
The State News

The Michigan Education Association announced its opposition to Michigan's gay marriage constitutional amendment Wednesday because of negative effects it would have on the bargaining rights of public employees.

The state constitutional amendment, known as Proposal 2, would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The proposal could ban domestic partner benefits offered by public employers, including Michigan State University and other public schools.

"We have a very strong state statute that says a union can only be between a man and a women," said Al Short, the association's director of governmental affairs. "They went one step further and affected the collective bargaining process between an employer and an employer group.

"We're requesting that (members) vote no on this."


Evangelist Swaggart Apologizes for Remark

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart apologized Wednesday for saying in a televised worship service that he would kill any gay man who looked at him romantically.

A complaint was filed with a Canadian broadcasting group, and Swaggart said his Baton Rouge-based Jimmy Swaggart Ministries has received complaints from gay groups over the remarks made on the Sept. 12 telecast.

In the broadcast, Swaggart was discussing his opposition to gay marriage when he said ``I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry.''

``And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died,'' Swaggart said to laughter and applause from the congregation.

Bisexuals Overlooked in the Debate on Equal Marriage Rights

September 21, 2004, Washington, DC - In the hundreds of stories written about 'gay marriage' in recent months, one group of people deeply affected by the issue has been left out: bisexuals. According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, this omission has not only made the record factually incomplete, but has helped contribute to an oversimplification of an emotional-laden and complex issue.

For example, when the Washington Post wrote about the first same-sex couple to marry in Massachusetts on May 17, 2004, its front-page headline read, "A Carefully Considered Rush to the Altar; Lesbian Pair Wed After 7 Years Together," referring to Robyn Ochs and Peg Preble, but the headline was wrong. One of the two, Robyn Ochs, is not only bisexual but a co-founder of the Bisexuality Resource Center and one of the nation's most prominent bisexual leaders for more than 20 years. Even though Ms. Ochs emphasized her orientation as a bisexual in speaking with the reporter, this was never mentioned, other than the article noting that she teaches about bisexuality at Tufts University.

The same thing happened to Toby and Jean Adams of Auburn, CA, who were married in February 2004 when San Francisco started issuing licenses to same-sex couples. Their wedding story was covered by several media outlets, including The Auburn Journal and ("Same Sex Family Values," October 20, 2003). While the couple explicitly said that they were both bisexual women, only one of the articles labeled them as such

Homosexual victim exposes the Delhi press
Homosexual victim exposes the Delhi press

In the case of a double murder in Delhi, it is the "dark underbelly" of print journalism rather than homosexuality that needs to be examined
Aniruddha Dutta

"Double Murder Outs Delhi's Gay Culture": On 14 August, Pushkin Chandra, the 38-year old son of a retired IAS officer and himself an USAID employee, was found dead along with his friend Kuldip, at the former's residence in Anand Lok, Delhi. They had returned from a party given by Pushkin's friend, Uffe Gartner, along two other men. Pornographic tapes of men engaged in same-sex activity were recovered from the site. Pushkin's car and several other belongings were missing. From then till the suspects were eventually arrested about two weeks later, the spotlight of the media rarely wavered from the case. If this seems astonishing in a city where murders are a dime a dozen - there were several other murders and at least one suicide reported around this period - the reasons are soon evident. The victims of the crime were homosexual. The murders opened up one whole tabooed area to the media, and it was clear that coverage would sell. From that very first day, when few fa! cts were available and the police was still very much in the dark, the media focus was relentlessly on a 'gay culture' which it portrayed as a source of endless sleaze. There was endless speculation regarding not only the sexual lives of the victims but also those of homosexual people in general. So the area of concern seemed not to be the fact that two young men had tragically died - but rather, as the Hindustan Times proclaimed in the headline announcing the crime - that the "double murder" outed "Delhi's gay culture."

What this article seeks to show is that it was not the murders which outed gay culture, but the media which did so - using the pretence of investigative journalism to paint a sordid picture around homosexuality which revealed not the truth but prejudice. The TOI stated, "Investigations into the Pushkin Chandra murder are throwing considerable light on the capital's dark underbelly."

GLBT activities posted on-line due to flier vandalism
By Katie Backman / Daily Nebraskan

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Month is approaching, but the University of Nebraska-Lincoln GLBT community won’t be hanging up fliers to post announcements this semester.

D. Moritz, assistant director for GLBT, Ally Programs and Services, said the group isn’t printing fliers because they might get torn down.


'Sexual identity' could be added to NU policy
Stewart Rainbow Alliance co-president
By Amy Hamblin

As the gay rights movement gains momentum, some Northwestern students are concerned that recognition of the transgendered community is lagging behind both at the university and in the state of Illinois.

Without hate crime protection from the state, some students are starting to lobby NU to add "sexual identity and expression" to its nondiscrimination policy. The policy states NU will not discriminate "on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or veteran status."

Adding "sexual identity and expression" would cover transgendered students as well as those who may not identify themselves as transgendered but defy the stereotypes of their sex.


Psychiatric group opposes gay-marriage ban
The Courier-Journal

The executive council of the Kentucky Psychiatric Medical Association voted yesterday to oppose a constitutional amendment that would limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman.

"Our view is that homosexuality is not a illness, nor is it a choice, and it is a civil-rights issue," said Dr. Mary Helen Davis, a Louisville psychiatrist and member of the executive council.

The association represents about 350 psychiatrists in Kentucky. Its executive council has 10 members.

Earlier this summer, the Kentucky Psychological Association and the Kentucky Mental Health Coalition also went on record against the proposed amendment, which would bar civil unions or gay marriage. The amendment will go before voters on Nov. 2.


New group targets gay marriage
Allies for Marriage and Children want to amend state's constitution

Hoping to end the possibility of legalizing same-sex marriages in Washington, Jeff Kemp joined conservative social and religious leaders Tuesday to announce formation of a group dedicated to amending the state constitution.

"We're going to be campaigning and letting people know the long-term implications of changing marriage," Kemp said.

Same-sex marriage would be damaging to children, who should grow up with their biological parents, said Kemp, a former Seattle Seahawks player, and other members of the newly formed Allies for Marriage and Children.


Gays to Withdraw Cash from Banks October 8 - Could Total Billions

ATLANTA, Sept. 22, 2004 -- Organizers of the Boycott For Equality are expanding their nationwide walkout to include a coordinated cash withdrawal from the economy on October 8.

To demonstrate the need for equality in marriage and the workplace, straight and gay supporters will each take out $80 from their local ATM.

Boycott For Equality expects the action will exhaust the cash in many ATMs, leaving a reminder of gay economic power to all who try to use them throughout the long bank weekend.

To further drive home the lessons taught during the Boycott, participants should refer to the Boycott when communicating with their elected representatives, particularly when candidates ask for money to fund their campaigns.


Boswell criticized over gift from gay backers

Washington, D.C. - Republicans on Tuesday criticized U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell, D-Ia., for accepting campaign contributions from the nation's leading gay rights organization.

Boswell at the same time had declined to take a position on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, on which the U.S. House may vote as soon as next week.

Gay Service Members Ponder Military Policy
Associated Press Writer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Brian Hughes served four years with an Army Ranger unit, including assignments in Afghanistan and Iraq, while keeping his homosexuality - a potentially career-ending sexual orientation - secret.

Hughes, 26, left the Army last month in part because of his frustration with the military's ``don't ask, don't tell'' policy, which allows homosexuals to serve so long as they do not disclose their sexual orientation and do not engage in homosexual acts.

Now enrolled at Yale University, Hughes said the policy forced him to lie to other members of his unit, who frequently bragged about their sexual exploits. Hughes said he found himself substituting ``she'' for ``he'' in stories so he could join in conversations.

``It hurt. I was lying to those people,'' he said. ``I eventually withdrew and became quite anti-social because I didn't want to deal with it anymore.'


Gay row singer silenced
Martin Dillon

CONTROVERSIAL reggae star Buju Banton has had the plug pulled on his appearance in Manchester after two venues refused to allow him to perform.

The Jamaican dancehall icon was due to play at the Bierkeller in Manchester city centre but club owners cancelled the gig after equal rights campaigners threatened to protest outside the venue.
They say that one of Banton's songs called "Boom Bye Bye" speaks of shooting and setting fire to gays.

His promoter Joe Splain tried to switch tomorrow's gig to the Big Western in Moss Side but its owners had a change of heart.


Administration Moves To Remove Gay Protections From Federal Labor Contracts
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) The Bush administration has begun working to remove hard won protections for gay and lesbian workers from civil service labor contracts.

In several contracts negotiated over the past few months the list of categories that are protected has been replaced with the more nebulous phrase "any class protected by law." While the change will mean little to African Americans or other minorities, it effectively removes LGBT workers from being protected from being fired or harassed on the job.

"One of the reasons from my perspective is they're doing this because there is no federal law protecting gays," Rob Sadler, a spokesperson for Federal Globe an organization of LGBT federal workers, told

The most recent instance is at the Social Security Administration where negotiations are underway for a new contract.  SSA is  is trying to remove specific language protecting its employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.


Idaho Supreme Court Rules Against Gay Father
By Hailie Brook

BOISE - The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Tuesday against a gay father trying to get custody of his children.

Theron McGriff of Idaho Falls appealed a lower court ruling denying him visitation of his two children as long as he lived with his gay partner.

McGriff argued he was being held to a higher standard because of his sexuality. Tuesday the high court ruled the children's mother, Shawn Weingartner, is best suited for custody.

The director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho said the decision included both good and bad news. "Idaho's court is now one of the first supreme courts in the nation to acknowledge that sexual orientation by itself can't be a factor in modifying custody," said Jack Van Valkenburgh of the ACLU. "Unfortunately, Theron McGriff was not well served.  It mystifies me how the court could let stand the magistrate's decision, while properly stating the applicable law."



A male aide to Brooklyn City Councilman Vincent Gentile has accused his boss of sexual harassment, rocking a legislative body that is currently grappling with a separate workplace complaint against a Queens councilman.

"Oh, no, we've got our own McGreevey," declared one council member, referring to the gay sex scandal that took down New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey.

In a bombshell revelation, council officials reported yesterday they had received a written sexual-harassment complaint on Monday.

"I can confirm that there is a sexual-harassment complaint filed, but I can't give you any names," said council spokesman David Chai.


GOP lawmakers join defense of gay marriage vote
By Dave Williams

ATLANTA — Six Republican state legislators Monday formally asked to join in defending a lawsuit challenging an upcoming referendum banning gay marriage in Georgia.

The lawmakers, led by Sen. Mike Crotts of Conyers, filed a motion in Fulton County Superior Court to intervene as defendants in a suit filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and Lambda Legal, an advocacy group that works on behalf of equal rights for homosexuals.


Confused about sexuality, they make choice

Soumik Dey

Vadodara, September 20 2004

A month after undergoing voluntary castration, five youths between 17-20 years of age, were initiated to the ranks of vyandhad (eunuch) samaj on Monday. The youths say they made the choice after facing confusion about their sexuality. The need to be financially stable was another factor.

Veena masi, president of vyandhad samaj, says the parents of the youths had signed on a Rs 50 stamp paper to legally transfer the custody of their wards to her.

Ajay, 17, and Sanjay, 20, hailing from Adhas in Anand are cousins. They say they always wanted to join the hijra samaj as they were "not destined to be proper males". "At home, I was criticised for being the way I am and for not being able to look after myself. Only my mother was sympathetic to our plight. She would come to feed us secretively after my father fell asleep," said Ajay. "A relative convinced our parents to let us join the samaj. Somebody at home got in touch with Veena masi and she came down with other elders of the samaj. Our parents signed on the stamp paper and we left with her the same day," said Sanjay. Bissuben, Ajay and Sanjay¹s paternal aunt, was present during the initiation ceremony. "They will be happier here. I live in Vadodara so we will keep in touch," she said.

Twenty-year-old Sanjay from Godhra is an only child. Now, rechristened Sapna, he explains his decision to join the samaj. "My father was a farmer. After he passed away a year ago, I had to till the land. With no brother or sister to lend a helping hand, farming became a tedious task. God has made me a man, but he has not given me the same physical capabilities. I convinced my mother to hand me over to the samaj. I told her to sell off the land and promised to send her a portion of my earnings," said Sanjay.

For Rijwan Pathan from Bharuch, now re-christened Shilpa, the situation was just the opposite. Rijwan¹s mother Mariambibi said, "Rijwan has four brothers and a sister. Ours is a poor family where everyone fends for themselves. What place would he have in the family. Do you think I would have left him here if he was capable of producing children and fending for himself? Nobody wants to employ him, instead people tease him. At least here he would be secure and find peace among others like him."

The youths were castrated in front of Bahuchara Mataji's idol, said Veena masi. "Then, we kept them indoors for a month to cope up with the operation and stabilise themselves. Today, we prayed to jad devi (water goddess) to ensure that life for them flows easily," she added.

"With these five initiations, the samaj has a strength of 30 members. Their earnings will contribute to strengthening our community."

Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Arkansas attorneys spar over gay marriage

Attorneys in a lawsuit over a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Arkansas disputed the term marital status in briefs filed with the Arkansas supreme court Monday. The Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union brought the lawsuit, which argues that the Arkansas Marriage Amendment is vague and nonsensical and should be removed from the November 2 ballot.

Supporters of the amendment say it is clearly written and that the ACLU seeks to deny voters a chance to vote on the amendment, which would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The amendment further states, "Legal status for unmarried person which is identical or substantially similar to marital status shall not be valid or recognized in Arkansas."


Gay group to ask Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriages

TRENTON -- The gay rights group pushing to make same-sex marriages legal in New Jersey will ask the state Supreme Court to consider the issue.

Lambda Legal officials said today they would file papers that seek a ruling from the state's highest court on a lawsuit brought on behalf of seven same-sex couples. A Superior Court judge ruled last fall against legalizing gay marriage.

The appeal papers filed by Lambda include comments on New Jersey's new domestic partnership law, which took effect this summer. That law grants some legal rights to same-sex partners, such as the ability to make medical decisions for each other.

"The domestic partnership law is an important start, but it falls far short of marriage," said David Buckel, director of Lambda's Marriage Project. "Lesbian and gay couples in New Jersey won't have equal protections and security until they can get married, and that's what we're seeking."


by: Don Romesburg, OIA Newswire

In a major move following two months of bad faith by a Castro bar owner facing nearly 20 sworn complaints alleging racial discrimination in his bars, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission has announced that it will begin a rare, full-scale investigation. This neutral City government agency investigation could include subpoenas and sworn interviews with complainants, witnesses, bar staff, and others, resulting in a finding of fact regarding concerns raised by and those who have come forward.

In a September 15 letter to bar owner Les Natali's lawyer, the HRC gave two reasons for moving from mediation to a full investigation. First, after nearly two months of attempting to bring Mr. Natali to the table, the bar owner had repeatedly failed to even propose mediation dates, despite many attempts to find acceptable dates by both the HRC and Second, Mr. Natali further attempted to circumvent the HRC's usual format for mediation, offering irregular proposals for HRC negotiation.

Couple say theirs  are family values
By Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Barb Scherrer and Sue Strong picked a home in suburban Lexington 17 years ago because they wanted a good neighborhood where they could raise Strong's two children. They have lived there ever since and now dote over a 5-year-old grandson.

They view themselves as living very much like a married, heterosexual couple, yet Kentucky law forbids them to marry, and they are fighting a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban civil unions and strengthen an existing state law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.


Show brings protest
Staff Reporter

(Friday, April 2, 2004) Over 50 people, led by members of the Yale Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Alliance, gathered outside Toad's Place on Monday to protest the performance of reggae artist Capleton whose songs, they alleged, advocate the persecution and murder of homosexuals.

The concert, originally billed to begin at 8 p.m., did not start until an hour and 45 minutes later, with fewer patrons inside the club at 9:45 p.m. than protesters at the door.

Poll: Majority back same-sex marriage

Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Tove Fergo has urged the Church of Denmark to heed the will of the people - a new PLS Rambøll survey finds a majority in favour of the right of gay couples to marry
55 percent of the Danish population supports the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state-sponsored Lutheran church. 37 percent are opposed, and eight percent are undecided: this according to a new poll by Rambøll Management for daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Ecclesiastical Affairs Minister Tove Fergo responded to news of the poll figures, encouraging the nation's bishops to consider public opinion in sanctioning same-sex marriages.


Comics Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi Accused Of Supporting Gay-Hate Singers
by Steph Smith Newscenter
Chicago Bureau

(Chicago, Illinois) Comedians Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd Monday were accused of supporting reggae music that calls for the murder of gays.

Jamaican singer Capleton is scheduled to perform at Chicago's House of Blues on Thursday. The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, at a news conference outside the R&B club said that if the concert is not cancelled it will stage a demonstration on Thursday.


Film Promoting Gay-Straight Conversion Targets National Coming Out Day
by Ed Welch Newscenter
Los Angeles Bureau

(Los Angeles, California) A conservative Christian group is pushing to have a film promoting "gay conversion" shown in schools during National Coming Out Day next month.

The one-hour film profiles people who claim to have been transformed by faith into giving up homosexuality for a straight lifestyle.

“I Do Exist” was directed by James Kragel and is produced by Warren Throckmorton, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Grove City College in Pennsylvania and its Director of Counseling at the Christian college.


Anwar release burnishes Badawi's image

HONG KONG -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has unexpectedly taken a meaningful stride away from the authoritarian rule of former Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohammad. As a result, the charismatic former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will now be free to influence the course of Malaysian politics, though he will not be free to hold formal political office until April 2008.

Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison in April 1999 for corruption, and to nine years in prison in August 2000 for sodomy. Many regarded these as trumped-up charges, indicating, more than anything else, that Mahathir could not tolerate a powerful rival and kept the Malaysian judiciary under his thumb. Consequently, until now, Anwar's numerous appeals against his convictions were all rejected. He had already completed his sentence for corruption, six years with time off for good behavior in April 2003, and was now serving his 9-year sentence for sodomy. On Sept. 2, his final appeal against the sodomy charge was due to be heard by Malaysia's Federal Court. Anwar feared that this appeal would also be rejected.

Rival gay group out to get drag queens
    Ndivhuwo Khangale

A rival gay group is behind the metro police's threat to arrest masked participants in the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade.

"We are the ones who brought the Regulation of Gatherings Act to the attention of the police - it is like they didn't study it well," David Baxter, spokesperson for the conservative Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GLA), on Monday.

After an outcry over the threat to arrest drag queens and other disguised revellers in Saturday's parade in Johannesburg, metro police on Monday backtracked and gave the organisers the green light to strut their stuff.

But the GLA has vowed to make sure drag queens in particular are arrested for contravening the apartheid-era act.

"We are totally against such events - they harm our image"This stipulates that the faces of participants in marches, protests, demonstration or gatherings may not obscure their faces with masks or paint.


Social Security, union clash over sexual orientation contract provisions
By Amelia Gruber

Social Security Administration officials are trying to remove language protecting employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation from the agency's labor contract, union leaders claim.

During negotiations on renewing the contract, SSA officials proposed eliminating a clause that allows gay, lesbian and bisexual workers to file discrimination grievances, said Witold Skwierczynski, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 220.

AFGE officials convinced SSA to add the language to the contract during 2000 negotiations, after President Clinton issued an executive order establishing a uniform policy protecting federal employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation


Connecticut town considers denying permit for Boy Scouts

City officials in Norwalk, Conn., are considering denying a permit for the Boy Scouts to use a beach for a recruitment drive because of the Scouts' discriminatory policies regarding gay members.

Mayor Alex Knopp has asked the law department to determine whether there is legal precedent to deny a Boy Scouts troop use of Shady Beach. Knopp's request came after members of the city common council's parks committee told Scoutmaster Greta DeAngelis last week that they would vote against issuing her a permit for a three-hour campfire and recruitment program October 24. The mayor said he would decline to comment until he is better informed


Ford Calls For Diversity In Automotive Industry  
by Newscenter Staff

(Dearborn, Michigan) Ford Motor Company Monday held the first automotive conference aimed at bringing diversity to the car industry.

Billed as the Diversity Forum, it attracted than 100 multinational companies for an industry-wide dialogue including broadening the number of LGBT workers in the field.

CEO Bill Ford and other senior corporate executives led a series symposiums that focused on growing diverse suppliers, building a diverse organization and multicultural marketing. 


Georgia lawmakers want gay marriage ban on ballot

State lawmakers backing Georgia's proposed gay marriage ban are asking a court for permission to intervene in a lawsuit challenging whether it can appear on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment. A superior court judge in Fulton County will hear arguments Friday in the suit, which was filed last week by the American Civil Liberties Union, Lambda Legal, and the Atlanta law firm of Alston and Bird.

The suit claims the proposed amendment violates the state constitution because the summary that voters will see asks only whether marriage should be limited to a man and a woman, while the actual amendment deals with additional issues like civil unions and the jurisdiction of state courts.


Ohio court denies request to throw out petitions that advocate gay marriage ban

An Ohio state appeals court on Monday rejected a request to throw out petitions seeking to put a proposed constitutional ban of same-sex marriage on the state ballot. The two-sentence judgment from a three-judge panel in Franklin County said opponents of the proposal did not "demonstrate their right" to get a court order rejecting the petitions. Alan Melamed, head of the campaign to stop the amendment, said the group had not yet decided whether to appeal.

Amendment opponents sued on Wednesday, saying Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell should never have submitted petition signatures to the 88 county elections boards for validation because the forms violate Ohio law by failing to include a summary of the amendment's intent. Instead, the petitions include only the 55-word proposed amendment as it would appear on the ballot. "Even though this initiative is short, it is filled in its second sentence with incredible ambiguities," said John P. Gilligan, lead attorney for the amendment opponents.


Drag kings have no illusions about playing dress-up
Knight Ridder Newspapers

COLUMBIA, S.C. - (KRT) - With her cropped hair, John Deere T-shirt and worn overalls, Bo Gray looks and sounds like a laid-back farm boy.

She's not. Gray, 22, is a fledgling drag king, part of a thriving subculture in which women dress up - often very convincingly - as men, and perform dance and lip-synch routines for an enthusiastic audience.

Gender illusionists aren't new: Joan of Arc was executed partly for wearing men's clothes. Women performing as men were popular in Victorian England, and Marlene Dietrich donned a suit long before kd lang did. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker dressed in male attire while working as a surgeon for the Union Army (and came away with the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865)


Gay Paris mayor strikes out at French homophobia

PARIS, Sept 19 (AFP) - In a new autobiography France's best-known gay politician Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe has delivered a broadside against the country's prevailing homophobia and attacked President Jacques Chirac for failing to fulfil campaign promises to defend gay rights.  

The 54 year-old Socialist, who in 2001 was elected the capital's first ever left-wing mayor, says that French attitudes have certainly developed in the last 20 years - largely as a result of AIDS - and "in some quarters to be homophobic is seen as a sign of poor taste." 


Gays focus on politics at event
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry was represented by three booths at Pride in the Park, but gay Republicans were there, too.
By Annie Thompson

Organizers of the 15th annual Pride in the Park, which was held Sunday in Elmwood Park, called it the biggest, best and most diverse they've had.

A political emphasis could not be ignored by attendees, many of whom acknowledged an increase in political participation and activism among gays.

"Nothing will stir a movement like opposition," said Molly McClintock, a lesbian who is on the committee of Pride in the Park. "We have had a terrible time with the Bush administration and almost as bad on the state level."