poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Baptist Official Leaves Over Gay Policy
The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. - The director of student life at Richmond's Baptist Theological Seminary has resigned, saying he could not enforce a policy that excludes practicing homosexuals, including those in committed relationships.

"I couldn't stay at the seminary and support a policy I didn't agree with and wouldn't comply with," the Rev. Warren Hammonds said in an interview published Saturday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I would have had to turn in homosexuals or lie about it. I couldn't do either and live with myself."


Judge orders new election for New Orleans juvenile court judge
The Associated Press  

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Civil District Court judge ordered a new election Saturday for a juvenile court judge after one unsuccessful candidate sued, saying she may have lost votes in the Sept. 18 primary because of the late delivery of voting machines to dozens of New Orleans precincts.


Gay Partners Of UN Staff To Keep Benefits
by Edith Lederer
The Associated Press

(New York City)  A new U.N. directive which took effect Friday dropped problematic language about domestic partnerships, but still allows U.N. staffers' same-sex partners to collect benefits if permitted by the laws of their home countries.

The powerful U.N. budget committee asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to re-examine a directive that took effect Feb. 1 which allowed gay and lesbian partners of U.N. staffers to receive benefits.

That directive angered many Muslim and African nations but was hailed by the gay and lesbian rights organization at the United Nations which lobbied for years for medical, pension and other benefits for same-sex partners.

The 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference said it was "seriously concerned about extending the scope of the family" eligible for benefits and opposed "the presumption" that same sex partners should qualify — a view backed by a number of African nations.


Judge upholds lesbian adoption
By Scott E. Williams
The Daily News

Published October 02, 2004
GALVESTON — A state district court judge Friday upheld a ruling granting full parental rights to a woman who adopted a child born to her lesbian partner.

Attorneys for Julie Hobbs claimed that Kathleen Van Stavern’s 2001 adoption of Hobbs’ 6-year-old daughter was void from the beginning, but family court Judge Janis Yarbrough of the 306th State District Court upheld it.

In doing so, she cited part the state Family Code that requires any challenge to an adoption be made within six months of its ratification.

Hobbs gave birth to the girl on June 6, 1998, after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination. Hobbs, a lesbian, lived with her partner, Van Stavern. In 2001, the couple filed for and received termination of parental rights of the biological father, a matter of course in artificial insemination cases.

a little shameless self promotion:

please check out my new ebook from Poetic Inhalation,
one imagines something supposedly
cover art: andrew lundwall

Richfield teen charged with attempted murder

Authorities charged a 16-year-old boy Friday with attempted murder in the shooting this week of a man (sic) in Minneapolis after a sexual encounter.

Carlos M. Harris of Richfield allegedly shot Marceil McCloud, 19, of Minneapolis, outside a home in the 2700 block of 16th Av. South. McCloud was listed in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center with four gunshot wounds.

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses to the shooting told police that McCloud is a transvestite prostitute. Police and court records show he was arrested in 2003 and 2004 for prostitution and loitering and received a stayed jail sentence in July for prostitution

Here is my letter to the editor


Brazil gay denied lover's career
By Steve Kingstone
BBC, Sao Paulo

A candidate for mayor in Brazil's local elections has been told she cannot run for office because she is in a same-sex relationship with the outgoing mayor.

The landmark decision was announced on Friday by the country's higher electoral court.

Under Brazilian law, mayors cannot be followed in office by relatives, to avoid allegations of nepotism.

The decision is part of a trend which has seen same-sex relationships become increasingly acknowledged by courts.

In a unanimous decision, the court annulled the candidacy of Eulina Rabelo, who was running for mayor in the small town of Viseu in northern Brazil.


Same-sex marriage bill stalled
Legislation held until next fall, cabinet document indicates
Timing suggests fear of divisive debate within Liberal caucus

OTTAWA—The governing Liberals expect a swift decision from the Supreme Court of Canada on the proposed same-sex marriage law but plan to delay bringing the bill to Parliament until fall 2005, a leaked cabinet document indicates.

The document is silent on the reasons for such a delay. The bill would then have to go through study by a parliamentary committee before a vote. Under that scenario, a vote could be delayed up until 2006.

The timeframe suggests Prime Minister Paul Martin, who campaigned on protecting Charter rights, is reluctant to rush in to a divisive debate within his own party while it is in a precarious minority position. Even though Martin has only 135 Liberal seats in the Commons, most in the Bloc Québécois and New Democrat caucuses could be expected to support a same-sex marriage law, as they did last year in the case of a simple motion related to the issue. However, in that same vote, more than 50 Liberals broke ranks with the government.


Court reinstates MB harassment suit
Gay ex-cop will be given the chance to prove that police department was a hostile workplace.
By Larry Altman
Daily Breeze

A state appellate court has reinstated a gay police officer's lawsuit against the Manhattan Beach Police Department based on testimony about an anti-gay atmosphere inside the organization, including allegations that its chief and high-ranking officials routinely used slurs to refer to homosexuals.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling reverses a lower court ruling decision to dismiss the suit filed by former Sgt. Shawn Shelton. The appellate court based its opinion on testimony alleging that Chief Ernest Klevesahl and officers on the force used terms such as "faggot," "queer" and other crude phrases to refer to homosexual men, and "dykes" and other coarse words to describe lesbians.

"This evidence is sufficient to raise a triable issue whether there was an anti-gay atmosphere within the department evidenced by the repeated and regular use of crude and derogatory slurs," the court wrote in a recently released opinion. "If true, the use of such vulgar and derogatory terms by peace officers sworn to serve the public and enforce the law is severe conduct. A trier of fact could conclude that the regular, repeated and routine use of anti-gay slurs over an extended period of time was pervasive."


Baldwin against gay marriage ban
By Rebecca Zeifman
The Capital Times/Medill News Service

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, took to the House floor to voice her opposition to an amendment that would effectively ban gay marriage in the United States.

Baldwin spoke out Thursday against the Marriage Protection Amendment, a ruling that would have defined marriage in the Constitution as "solely the union of a man and a woman."

The bill died after the House failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required to send a constitutional amendment to the 50 states.

Baldwin, the only openly gay woman in Congress, has been a vocal opponent of the amendment since the resolution was introduced. On the House floor Thursday afternoon, Baldwin said that the definition of marriage should be a state-determined issue and does not belong in the Constitution.


Slashed tires lead to charges
The severity of the charges may change if it is determined the parking lot slashings are hate crimes motivated by antigay prejudice.
By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer

LARGO - Prosecutors will consider charging two men with hate crimes after their arrests Friday morning in connection with tire-slashings outside a gay pub in Largo.

Police said the two men made antigay comments inside the Sports Page Pub on Thursday night. As the men left, a bartender followed them outside and told them not to return.

But police said the men came back and slashed the tires of two cars parked outside the pub. Police later arrested the men on two charges of criminal mischief.


Gay marriage ban headed for passage
Religion and moral issues play a large role in support

Buoyed by strong support among people who attend religious services, a proposal to amend the Michigan Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman is supported by a clear majority of voters, a Free Press poll shows.

In the poll of 830 registered voters conducted Sept. 22-28, support for Proposal 2 was at 53 percent, with 40 percent opposed and 6 percent undecided. Among likely voters the margin was even greater, at 56 percent to 39 percent.

Gay cops receive support in Fiji

The director of Fiji's Human Rights Commission said the agency supports police plans to recognize and support gay cops, the Fiji Times reported Aug. 28.

Director Shaista Shameem said Fiji's Constitution guarantees all Fijians equal rights under the law.

"If the Fiji Police Force was to deny access to employment to police officers based on their sexual orientation, this would be a violation of Section 38 of the 1997 Constitution," she said.

Police Commissioner Andrew Hughes called the issue of gay cops "sensitive."

"But we have to deal with it," he told the Times. "I am preparing a paper for my board of management to endorse. Obviously, any sort of relationship cannot be brought into the workplace."


Government funds gay archive

The government of the Canadian province of Ontario has given the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives $150,000 (US$113,000).

The money came through the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which is an agency of the Ministry of Culture. The foundation is funded by state-run casinos.

An Archives spokesperson said the money will help the organization relocate to the heart of Toronto's gay neighborhood and hire its first full-time employee.


Friday, October 01, 2004

Boycott for Equality ::
This is a call for a nation-wide boycott in the traditions of Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King. We are asking all GLBT Americans and their Straight Allies to "drop out" of the United States economy for one day to demonstrate that we are vital and important members of our communities with significant economic presence. There are four elements to the boycott: withdraw from work, withdraw from your ATM, withdraw from commerce and withdraw from cell phone communication.

Friday, October 8, 2004

1) Withdraw from your ATM. We are asking GLBT citizens to withdraw $80 from their bank accounts on that Friday and hold the cash in their pockets. This is the symbolic average daily contribution of gay people to the economy. There are an estimated 17 million GLBT citizens with a daily spending power of $1.4 billion, equivalent to $500 billion annually! On Saturday, October 9, either redeposit the money into your account, OR spend it at a local GLBT friendly business.


October 11, 2004
National Rally for Marriage Equality at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Come-out for Equality on National Coming Out Day at the Marriage Equality Rally in DC near the US Capitol!

WHEN: October 11, 2004 from 11:00am to 4:00 pm

WHERE: Upper Senate Park, one block from the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC at Lousiana and Constitution streets.

WHAT: Rally for Marriage Equality with the Leaders of the Freedom to Marry Movement

WHY: To fight the proposed amendments to write discrimination into the state and U.S. Constitution, to demand a repeal of anti-gay measures like the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to demonstrate for the Freedom to Marry, and the passage of the Permanent Partners Immigration Act and the Federal Employees Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act.

October 2 San Francisco

Get down for the Marriage Equality Express at the Kick-off Circuit Activism Party, San Francisco. Go to for info.


Rally at the State Capitol 1003 L Street. Early morning activism - bring your signs to the rally in Sacramento, CA.

October 4 Reno, NV 12 - 1:30 pm

Kiss In Federal Building (South Virgina and Liberty St)

October 6 Laramie, WY 10 am - 2 pm

Mock Gay Wedding, Brown Bag Lunch Panel, and Educational Forum remembering Matthew Shepherd. University of Wyoming West Patio to Union Senate Chambers 1000E University Avenue.

October 6 Cheyenne, WY 3:30 - 5 pm

Saint Christopher Episcopal Church

October 6 Denver, CO 8:30 pm

Designing Tolerance Variety Show. Dream dance club 3500 Walnut Street 303-TO-DREAM phone

October 7 Denver, CO

7 am Breakfast Gill Foundation / 9 - 10 am Rally at the Capital - 136 State Capitol Street

October 8 St. Louis, MO 12 - 2 pm

Show Me Equality Rally - Tower Grove Park, Sons of Rest Pavillion. Meet at the Grand Entrance.

October 8 Indianapolis, IN 7:30 pm

Get Engaged! A Same-Sex Marriage Town Hall Meeting to Educate, Activate & Engage Indianapolis & screening of the documentary "I Will, I Do, We Did" -Jesus Metropolitan Community Church 2950 East 55th Place

October 9 Columbus, OH 11 am - 12:30 pm

First UU Church 93 West Weisheimer Road

October 9 Akron, OH 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Speakers, Discussion, & Celebration - Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron 3300 Morewood Road

October 9 Pittsburgh, PA 8 - 10 pm

Forum on Same-Sex Marriage & Kick Off National Coming Out Week - William Pitt Union University of Pittsburgh 3959 Fifth Avenue

October 11 WASHINGTON D.C.


Queer eye for 'Alexander'
Bennifer Part Two meets the folks; Madonna goes back to school.
By Bill Picture | Staff Writer

A source told MSNBC's Jeannette Walls that the release date for "Alexander" has been pushed back because execs at Warner Bros. thought the Oliver Stone film was too gay and ordered the director to cut some of Colin Farrell's guy-on-guy sex scenes. "Some of the suits at [the studio] think that the movie-going public just isn't ready to see that," said the source.


Gay Rights Advocates Fight La. Amendment
Associated Press Writer

Gay rights activists on Friday brought a court challenge to a recently passed Louisiana constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriages and civil unions.

Attorney Randy Evans said the lawsuit revives several issues rejected by state courts as premature before the Sept. 18 election.

They include the contention that the amendment was illegally adopted by the Legislature because it included more than one purpose - banning civil unions as well as marriages - and that it was illegally placed on the ballot for a day when there was not a statewide election already scheduled.

It also mentions problems with the election in New Orleans, where voting machines were delivered late at many precincts.


Gay unions okay (just don't call it marriage)

More than half of New Zealanders support the Government's proposal to recognise same-sex relationships in law as a civil union.

But we are still not comfortable with giving gay couples the right to marry.

A Herald-DigiPoll survey found that although 56.4 per cent of people supported the idea of same-sex civil unions, only 39.8 per cent favoured allowing same-sex couples to marry under the Marriage Act.

FInal update: Discrimination against trans person on Folsom weekend

Dear Reverend Michel St. Germain,
& To Whom It May Concern,

This letter is sent to you as a formal apology for the inappropriate treatment I mistakenly caused you to experience while attending the Revels of Venus fundraiser this previous Sunday, September 26, 2004 at the Cherry Bar, 917 Folsom, San Francisco, CA. I clearly understand that it was wrong to make you feel unwelcome and to have caused you to leave said event.

Governor vetoes bill for gay veteran memorial
POLITICS: Gov. Schwarzenegger said the legislation was not necessary.
By WES WOODS II / Staff Writer

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill Thursday that would have created a state memorial to honor gay military veterans.

In a written statement to California State Assembly members, Schwarzenegger said: "this bill is unnecessary. California has already established the California Veterans Memorial-a memorial to all California Veterans-in Capital Park."

"I'm disappointed," said Tom Swann, 46, the founder and commander of AMVETS Post 66 in Palm Springs and president of the California Gay Veterans Memorial Association.


Conservatives want high court to send same-sex legislation back to MPs
 Canadian Press

OTTAWA (CP) - The Conservative party justice critic is urging the highest court to turn back proposed same-sex marriage legislation to Parliament.

The Supreme Court of Canada is scheduled to begin looking at the proposed law next week. Just before leaving office last year, former prime minister Jean Chretien referred the question of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage to the court for its opinion.


US Supreme Court Asked To Reject Florida Gay Adoption Ban
by Doreen Brandt Newscenter
Washington Bureau

(Washington)  The American Civil Liberties Union Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to to declare Florida's blanket ban on gay adoption unconstitutional.

The ACLU is asking the court hear an appeal in a case challenging the only law in the country that bars all gay people from adopting.

"Florida excluded gay people - and only gay people -- from its system for evaluating adoptive parents for one reason: to punish gay people," said Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.

"For the sake of the many children in Florida who are without families and for the many lesbian and gay people willing to give them homes, we hope the Court will take the case and declare once and for all that this law is unconstitutional."


Pataki Signs Gay Partner Rights Measure 
by Doug Windsor Newscenter
New York Bureau 

(New York City) New York Gov. George Pataki Friday signed into law legislation that will further protect the rights of gay and lesbian hospital and nursing home patients by ensuring that their domestic partners are granted visitation rights.

"This new law will ensure that no patient in a hospital or nursing home is denied the comfort of being with their loved ones when they need them the most," Pataki said. 

Winning the same access rights as spouses in emergency rooms, intensive care settings, and after visiting hours in hospitals had been a goal of the state's gay community for almost a quarter of a century, since the time HIV/AIDS made its first appearance in the United States and same-sex partners were routinely denied access to each other in health-care facilities, even during the last moments of life.


Roman Catholic Church furious over Spain's gay marriage plan

Spain's cabinet proposed legislation Friday that would allow same-sex couples to marry and gays to adopt children, pressing ahead with its liberal agenda despite vociferous opposition from the influential Roman Catholic Church. Parliament was expected to debate the issue and adopt the measure in the next few months.

The Socialist government's proposed legislation "removes a centuries-old barrier" to equal treatment under the law, Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said.

Texas sodomy law still on the books
Bar association members argued at meeting whether legislature should be prompted to erase sodomy law

The U.S. Supreme Court may have ruled the Texas sodomy law unconstitutional in 2003, but more than a year later, the law is still on the books in Texas.

An attorney who is trying to get the law removed fears police could still use it to make arrests.

At its biannual meeting this month, the State Bar of Texas’ board of directors was asked to consider a proposal that would request that the Texas legislature remove the Homosexual Conduct Statute from the law books.


Reggae act draws fire from Santa Cruz gay group

Santa Cruz’s gay community vows to protest Sunday night’s scheduled performance at the Catalyst by a popular reggae singer whose songs include homophobic lyrics.

At issue is what the word "burn" means, and whether words by dancehall favorite Capleton, from Jamaica, are directing gays to cleanse themselves or ordering others to kill homosexuals. Capleton insists he doesn’t advocate violence against homosexuals, and that his lyrics have been misinterpreted.

The Catalyst has no plans to cancel the performance, Eddy Dees, house manager for the club, said Thursday.

"Let them protest. I wouldn’t want to censor them, and I wouldn’t want to sensor Capleton," Dees said. "We’re The Catalyst. We don’t necessarily share his views, but we give him a forum to express his views."

Birth Of A Queer Nation

Imagine if a group of angry queer Australians decided to takeover and colonize a string of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean and delare them the first all-gay country in the world.

Determined to build a better world for future generations, the founding fathers and mothers set sail on 14 June 2004 in the Gayflower until they were washed ashore on the uninhabited Coral Islands. With the strains of Gloria Gaynor filling the tropical air, they hoisted the rainbow flag above the palm trees and white, sandy beaches. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was born.

Sounds like the plot of some futuristic queer novel, or a big joke - but believe it or not, it isn't. Even though the kingdom's official web site ( reads like some crazy queer fantasy - all indications are that the creation of the world's first gay nation is very much for real. (However, we, unlike CBS, are willing to admit we could very well be the victim of an elaborate, and hysterical, activist plot.)


Gay New Yorkers trek to Ohio

As local and national gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, including the Empire State Pride Agenda here, continue to campaign against proposed Constitutional amendments that would ban marriage for same-sex couples in nearly a dozen states, a number of New Yorkers have decided to become more proactive. They plan to travel to the battleground state of Ohio to help defeat a state amendment — and President George W. Bush.

Carlie Steen, a native of Newark, Ohio, who currently lives in Brooklyn, is one person planning to go back to her native state and talk with potential gay voters about why she believes it is important to register to vote. She also added that, as a lesbian, it is important to talk about the issues many in the state are dealing with.


N.Y., Conn. marriage debate heats up

Less than a week after the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear its lawsuit on behalf of seven gay and lesbian couples challenging the constitutionality of the state’s marriage laws, the battle to extend marriage to gays and lesbian couples has once again heated up in New York. The legal organization filed court briefs on Sept. 24 refuting New York City’s arguments against issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Lawyers representing five local gay and lesbian couples had filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan in March after the New York City Clerk’s office denied them marriage licenses.

Their attorneys dispute the clerk’s position that only the state Legislature can decide whether the state’s marriage laws should be changed. Instead, they argued the courts have a “responsibility” to uphold the constitutional rights of all New Yorkers regardless of “whether the Legislature decides to or not.”

Lambda Legal also took the city to task over statements its lawyers made in briefs it filed earlier this month which implied marriage for same-sex couples is not a fundamental right in New York. It said the plaintiffs named in this case only want the benefits that are guaranteed to heterosexual couples that are allowed to marry in New York.y


Gay studies courses thrive amidst change
Tension builds between gay studies and queer theorist

The course titles range from gay 101 to the abstruse, and the subjects, from the one-dimensional to the multi, multi-faceted: “Sex & Gender,” to “Sex Gender & the Bible,” to “Milton & the Reinvention of Gender, Psyche & Society.”

The required reading covers Walt Whitman to William Burroughs, “Stone Butch Blues” to the “Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” And the class participants hail from all walks of life — many are gay, but some have a gay sibling or friend, and still others “belong to the soccer team where everyone else is gay and they want to fit in,” according to veteran gay academic, Michael Bronski.

Spain approves gay marriage bill

The Spanish government has approved a draft law on Friday which will legalise gay marriages.

The bill gives same-sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, including the right to adopt children.

The Roman Catholic Church and conservative opposition have fiercely opposed the move, which opinion polls suggest has the public's support.

If the bill is approved by parliament, it will make Spain the third EU country to authorise gay marriages.

The government says it expects homosexuals to be able to marry as early as next year


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.


Comedic uproar
Drink thrown, taunts lobbed in performance at Alabama school

SOME STUDENTS DIDN’T find it very funny when a comedian performing at a University of Alabama event began screaming epithets at a gay man at a performance.

Campus gay rights advocates lobbied successfully for administrators to ban the performer from campus and ensure future acts do not include hate speech


Gay Republican castigates party over marriage vote
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Washington -- The House's only openly gay Republican denounced his party Thursday for voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in an emotional and often personal debate that sent the measure to its legislative grave.

"I wish that I could seek time from my side of the aisle to speak for basic human rights," said Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz. "Unfortunately, the misguided effort to enshrine family law into the Constitution of the United States comes from this side, so I am grateful to the minority for offering this time."


Moeller's sexuality cited by challenger
By DON JENKINS, Columbian staff writer

Republican state House candidate Mike W. Smith of Vancouver posted on his gun-rights Web site that he put himself on the "front lines" by challenging a lawmaker who was both a liberal Democrat and "activist homosexual."

    "That's right," he wrote to his audience out there in cyberspace. "It doesn't get any better than this."

    Smith's opponent, Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, smiles.


Same-sex couple seeks right to wed
Saskatoon couple taking provincial, federal gov'ts to court
Betty Ann Adam
The StarPhoenix

A lesbian couple from Saskatoon is taking the governments of Saskatchewan and Canada to court for the right to marry.

Nicole White and Julie Richards, who recently were denied a marriage licence because they are not opposite sex, say they expect to win their challenge to the definition of marriage, just as same-sex couples in six other provinces have already done.


Thursday, September 30, 2004

check out Dear Abby:

Transsexual fears coming out to family


Pelosi: 'With Gay Marriage Amendment, GOP Attempts to Distract Americans From Record of Failure'

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today spoke late this afternoon in strong opposition to a Republican proposal to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage. The House voted 227 to 186, far short of the two-thirds vote needed to pass the amendment. Below are Pelosi's remarks on the House floor:

ADVERTISEMENT"Mr. Speaker, I have been married for over 41 years. I want to hear some applause for that. [Applause.] I am glad to see my Republican colleagues appreciate that wonderful accomplishment. I certainly respect the institution of marriage. As the mother of five and the grandmother of five, I appreciate the value of family. My husband and I value family in our community as a source of strength, and a source of comfort to the people.

"What constitutes that family is an individual and personal decision, but for all, it is a place where people find love and support. As for me, I agree with Vice President Cheney, when he said last month: 'With respect to relationships my general view is that freedom means freedom for everyone. People ought to be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to.'

"Mr. Speaker, in the closing days of this Congress, we should be addressing the urgent needs of the American people -- to be secure against the clear and present danger of terrorism, to protect our men and women in uniform whose lives are in the balance in Iraq, and to bring economic prosperity with health care coverage and jobs


West Hollywood Concert By Anti-Gay Singer Cancelled
by Matt Johns Newscenter
Los Angeles Bureau

(Los Angeles, California)  The House of Blues in West Hollywood Thursday announced that it has canceled a concert featuring dancehall reggae star Capleton.

The announcement was made after Lorri Jean, head of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, sent a letter to the company, saying the center was "shocked and disgusted" about next Monday's scheduled appearance by the Jamaican native, whose lyrics called for gays to be hanged, drowned, burned or shot.

Antigay constitutional amendment fails to get two-thirds majority

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives failed to pass a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage Thursday, the latest in a string of conservative pet causes pushed to a vote in the run-up to Election Day. The final vote was 227 in favor of the amendment, and 186 opposed, which fell 63 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment.

"God created Adam and Eve; he didn't create Adam and Steve," said Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) on behalf of a measure that supporters said was designed to protect an institution as old as civilization itself.

But even among majority Republicans, the issue generated dissent.

Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was the principal speaker on behalf of the measure, taking a role that is almost always reserved for the chairman of the committee with jurisdiction. In this case, though, the leadership bypassed the Judiciary Committee, and GOP officials said the panel's chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) made clear he wanted no part of the debate. His spokesman did not immediately return a call on why he took that position

School removes gay marriage from debate

FORT MILL, South Carolina (AP) -- Administrators at Fort Mill High School decided to remove gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research from the agenda of a planned student debate out of concern that they might clash with a state law on sex education.

Two of the three topics originally were on a list of eight approved by Principal David Damm for use in a student-run debate scheduled for October 19. The debate is intended to mirror the debates between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

A debate announcement said issues such as education, taxes, jobs, the war in Iraq and faith-based initiatives would be discussed, but "because of South Carolina laws, we cannot discuss such controversial issues as stem cell research, abortion or homosexual marriages."

Both Damm and Superintendent Thomas Dowling said the restriction referred to the state's health education act, which prohibits health class discussion on abortion and homosexual sex.

Iran's transsexuals get Islamic approval, but!
Transsexuals face tough times from their families, discrimination in medical circles, are branded homosexual.
By Aresu Eqbali - TEHRAN

Javad says he never felt quite right in his body, and for the past two years he has risked having his "arms and legs broken" by a family that refuses to accept his efforts to sort the problem out.

"I'd rather die than stay like this," said Javad, a fresh-faced young man who would rather be called "Hasti", a feminine name meaning "existence".

The idea of a man wanting to become a woman, or vice-versa, is something of a taboo the world over. And Islamic Iran - with its conservative values and male-dominated make-up - is no exception.

Transsexuals face rejection and mockery in whatever state of gender they are in, and more often than not are simply branded homosexual - a criminal offence in Iran where th


This Man's Army
Retired gay general takes aim at 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
by Will O'Bryan

By 71, a thoughtful person should reach a point where he has learned a thing or two. One thing Keith Kerr has learned is that the Pentagon's policy for lesbian and gay military personnel, infamously known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," (DADT) is seriously flawed. As a retired, gay brigadier general of the California State Military Reserves, Kerr should know what he's talking about.

"It's not working," Kerr says, speaking by phone from his home in Santa Rosa, Calif. "It's still harming people. Careers are ruined. The military loses a lot of good people."

Kerr will be bringing his message to Washington on Oct. 2, when he addresses the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network "End the Witch Hunts" national dinner. SLDN is a national group whose mission is to end discrimination and harassment of military personnel affected by "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

During his military career, from his enlistment in 1953 to his retirement from the Reserves in 1995, Kerr says he never came out to another member of the armed forces. Kerr seems a very private person, though. It's not difficult to imagine him going through life with his cards very close to his chest. It's more difficult to imagine the courage it took for him to come out publicly in the pages of the New York Times in December 2003.


Military Recruits at HLS
Dean Kagan expresses strong objection to recruiting on campus
Crimson Staff Writer

Pentagon representatives visited Harvard Tuesday seeking to hire law students, despite recent efforts to keep military officials from using the school’s recruiting resources.

Dean Elena Kagan sent an e-mail to all Law School students and faculty Tuesday registering her vehement objection to the military’s presence on campus.

She wrote that the Armed Forces’ practice of discharging openly gay and lesbian service members—the so-called “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy—is a “fundamental wrong” that “tears at the fabric of our own community, because some of us cannot, while others can, devote their professional careers to the defense of their country.”

Students placed pink toy soldiers in classrooms Tuesday to protest Pentagon recruitment. And Samuel P. Tepperman-Gelfant ’00, president of the student gay rights group Lambda, said larger protests were slated to coincide with the military’s planned follow-up visits to the school next month.


Hate crime trial begins
By Jessica Portner
Mercury News

The three men who allegedly kicked and pummeled Angel Santuario near a Mountain View gay bar last year didn't know he was a married father of two small children who had just finished sweeping up at the nightclub, according to prosecutors.

But prosecutors say the trio shouted anti-gay epithets as they beat the 23-year-old man outside the King of Clubs bar on Leong Drive.

On Wednesday, the last of the three defendants, Jerrod Ian Cohn of Spokane, Wash., watched Santuario describe the beating as Cohn's felony assault and hate-crime trial began in Santa Clara County Superior Court.


Judge won't block gay marriage vote
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Fulton County judge on Wednesday declined to halt a Nov. 2 referendum on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, a major victory for supporters of the measure.

Opponents of the amendment said they will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Superior Court Judge Constance Russell ruled in a four-page order that the court has no authority to intervene before the legislative process is concluded. Until a constitutional amendment has been voted on by the electorate, she said, it is the equivalent of a bill that has not yet passed the General Assembly.

Society’s not in a gay mood
Homosexuality is an unnatural tendency which must be dealt with through compassion and counselling. They must move ahead with the hope of liberating themselves

The Naaz Foundation which had challenged the Constitutional validity of IPC 377 in the Delhi High Court in 2001, received a setback when the High Court rejected its plea two weeks ago. With the way the homosexual community has launched its recent campaign, notwithstanding what the larger society thinks of the issue, the Naaz Foundation is certain to knock the doors of the Supreme Court to redress, what according to them, is a denial of the fundamental right of an individual to choose one’s sexual behaviour.

The IPC Section 377 holds, ‘‘Whosoever has carnal intercourse voluntarily against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall be liable to fine’’. The petition claimed that these unnatural acts were not so unnatural going by the socio-scientific evidence. In a rather hushed tone the PIL adds, ‘‘due to fear of police action, consenting adult males having sexual relations were not coming forward to disclose their problems, even though they were more prone to HIV infection’’.

There is no evidence to suggest that the HC acted under any societal pressure as the issue of homosexual and lesbian relationships was under the spotlight for weeks following the murder of Pushkin and Kuldeep last month in one of Delhi’s elite colonies. The HC judgment has poured cold water on all the superficial arguments offered in favour of homosexuality and it is surprising to note that very little, if anything was written or discussed in the media on the HC judgement. Society at large has no doubt welcomed the stand of the HC as the government too had argued against the PIL saying, ‘‘the society disapproves of such behaviour’’.

One of the institutions under attack for opposing homosexuality is the Catholic Church which itself has been facing an embarrassing situation with new revelations of a small number of its priests caught in the mess. Several dioceses in the US have gone bankrupt by paying huge compensations to the victims of child or homosexual abuse. If the Church were ‘‘worldly wise’’, it would have promoted legalisation of gay marriages or at least closed its eyes to it. But the Church is never for ‘‘quick fix’’ and always weighs its stand in relation to the natural law as ordained by God. As Archbishop Vincent M Concessao of Delhi says, ‘‘Just because some people have no problem in killing others or in being corrupt to the core or wishing to legalise sati, should these things be allowed in society and should the Church be criticised for opposing them?’

READ: Ashok Row Kavi's
Humsafar Trust , India
RESPONSE TO ARTICLE "Society's not in a gay mood"
From: lgbt-india


It is distressing to read Dominic Emmanuel's ridiculous homophobic article dripping with self-righteous superciliousness laced with camoflaged Christian compassion for his homosexual fellow creatures.

Firstly, the Naz Petition was dismissed on technical grounds and the allegedly learned judges did not even hear out the arguments asked for from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and the Union Health Ministry as requested for by the previous bench hearing the petition.


Have the police overcome gay prejudice?
By Tom Geoghegan
BBC News Online Magazine

All new applicants to police forces in England and Wales are now given the option to declare their sexuality, in a move welcomed by gay campaign groups. Does this mean the police has finally overcome prejudice?

The profile of gay police officers has been raised in recent years. Dozens dressed in uniform to take part in Gay Pride parades around the UK.

And the most senior openly gay officer, Brian Paddick, has risen through the ranks of the Met Police to Deputy Assistant Commissioner, despite the perception he was at times treated unfairly.

Now the force is getting plaudits from gay campaign groups for introducing a change to the anonymous equal opportunities section of the police application form.


Gay couples to be given right to adopt

MADRID - Gay couples will be given the right to adopt children in a new draft bill to be presented Friday by Spain's Socialist government, it was reported.

The Spanish daily El Pais reported Thursday the new law would guarantee married gay couples the same rights as heterosexual couples as far as divorce, alimony or child support payments, inheritance, citizenship and adoption.

The left-leaning daily, which said it had obtained a copy of the draft law, added same-sex couples would only be allowed to adopt Spanish children to avoid any legal wrangles with other countries.

The new law is to go into effect next year and will make Spain the third country in Europe to authorize gay marriages after The Netherlands and Belgium.


Mexico May OK Conjugal Visits for Gays
A new anti-discrimination rule could permit conjugal visits for gay inmates in Mexico City prisons, a city official said.

The city's secretary of government, Alejandro Encinas, told the newspaper Reforma for its Wednesday edition that under the regulation published Tuesday, requests by gay inmates for "intimate visits" would have to be considered, although no such requests have yet been made.
"We would be obliged to analyze it (a request) and we would have to find sufficient, necessary legal support to accept it," Encinas said. A representative of Encinas' office confirmed Encinas' comments.
As in many Latin American nations, Mexico permits conjugal visits for some inmates. Encinas noted that the rules require "a permanent, stable relationship" _ though not necessarily marriage _ between those granted the privilege.


For mainland gays, Waikiki attacks are lead news

The lead story on the gay Web site Wednesday night was an account of tourists beaten in Waikiki, apparently over their sexual orientation.

The attention being paid to these episodes, which appeared fairly high on a daily Google search for the word "Hawaii" in news stories around the world, shows how crime in Hawaii, which is actually lower than on the mainland, can nonetheless have a chilling effect on tourism because it can change the way people think of the islands.

Pamela Disel of Oklahoma City was punched in the face -- put a thumbnail photo right next to its headline. Earlier in the month, Tim Noreuil of Missouri, who owns a condo here, suffered dozens of facial fractures when he was attacked from behind. Both attacks took place near Hula's Bar and Lei Stand, which described as "one of Honolulu's most famous gay clubs."

While Hawaii tourism executives have not focused much on targeting homosexual consumers in vacation marketing, it is known that such consumers, who are statistically more likely to be affluent enough to make frequent visits and invest in condos, have long felt comfortable with the spirit of tolerance inherent in Hawaii's collective culture.


Guilty In Gay Rabbi Murder
by Peter Moore Newscenter 
London Bureau

(London) A man described as a "psychopath" who strangled and then dismembered and dumped the body of a gay rabbi in London has been found guilty of murder.

Andreas Hinz, who was nearing the completion of his studies to be a rabbi was murdered in July 2002. Hinz, who was brought up in Germany and never knew he was Jewish until he was an adult embraced Judaism and had moved to England to become a Liberal rabbi.

He was open about his sexuality and often frequented gay clubs in London.

The murder was discovered when workmen complained of a foul smell coming from a garbage bin.  Inside the bin they found Hinz's head and limbs.


Sprint To Offer Domestic Partner Benefits
by The Associated Press

(Kansas City, Missouri)  Sprint Corp. will extend health insurance and other employee benefits to domestic partners beginning in 2005.

The Overland Park, Kan.-based telecommunications company, with 61,000 employees nationwide, disclosed the program to employees this week as part of a regular review of changes to benefits for next year. The expanded coverage would take effect Jan. 1.


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Honduras: Sexual Minorities living "in prison"

Thousands of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) in Honduras face discrimination and attacks on a daily basis. Most of them are too afraid to talk. Erica (originally Eric) David Yañez was murdered in the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, by two police officers on 15 July 2003.

Elkyn Suárez, a transsexual activist, had some valuable information about the killing that she passed on to the authorities. In September 2003, she was forced to flee the country after receiving death threats.

Elkyn now lives in a European country where she has been granted asylum. As part of a process of asserting her sexual identity, she has started legal proceedings to get a new officially-recognized name.

The San Pedro Gay Community was formed in 1993 when it started HIV/AIDS prevention work in the city of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. However, the members of the community often had to conceal their work of promoting and defending the human rights of sexual minorities. They were very limited in what they could do because the government would not grant them the legal recognition that would have allowed their organization to work openly. The government has recently granted the organization this legal recognition.


New campaign focuses on depression among gays

A new initiative aimed at generating awareness of the impact of depression on gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people has been launched by a coalition of health groups to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11. Backed by the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, the Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, the initiative, called "Talk About It: Coming Out About Depression," aims to educate the gay community about depression and break some of the stigmas still associated with the condition. To help highlight the fact that depression is a common problem among gay men and lesbians, openly gay actor Chad Allen and former Olympic diver Greg Louganis will speak about their personal battles with depression at public forums in New York City and San Francisco.


Victim says attack was hate driven
A lesbian visitor is the second person to be assaulted
in Waikiki in five days
By Leila Fujimori

A 25-year-old Oklahoma woman said she was the victim of an apparent anti-gay attack in Waikiki on Thursday, five days after the beating of a 39-year-old man who had just left a gay bar.

An advocate for homosexuals said he is concerned for the safety of gay visitors and others in Waikiki.
"Do we have to wait for someone to get killed before police do anything?" said Ken Miller, executive director of the Center, also known as the Gay & Lesbian Community Center, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons.

The Oklahoma woman, Pam Disel, also criticized Honolulu police for not aggressively investigating her attack.


U.S. House Could Vote Thursday On Same-Sex Amendment

U.S. House majority leader Tom DeLay says he doesn't expect the House to pass a constitutional amendment Thursday defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

But the Texas Republican said the vote will put House members on record before the November elections.


Gay, Lesbian Group Wants Venue To Cancel Reggae Concert
Singer's Lyrics Have Called For Burning, Shooting Gays

LOS ANGELES -- A gay and lesbian group wants the House of Blues to cancel Monday's scheduled concert at its West Hollywood location by a reggae star who has recorded songs calling for violence against gays.

A letter from the head of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center to Los Angeles-based House of Blues' chief executive Greg Trojan states the group is "shocked and disgusted" about the upcoming appearance of singer Capleton, whose Jamaican-dialect lyrics have called for burning and shooting gays.

Capleton -- whose appearance at a House of Blues venue in Chicago on Thursday sparked similar protest -- has told news outlets he no longer performs the songs in question.

Those songs include "Bun Out Di Chi Chi," which translates to "burn out the gay man." His hit "Whoa" includes the line, "Sadomite and batty man mi shot up," which translates to "Sodomite and queer man, I shot up."


Catania Quits GOP Over Anti-Gay Amendment
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) Washington, D.C. Councilman David Catania, once the GOP's top fundraiser in the District, officially quit the Republican party Wednesday over its continuing attacks on gays.

"Today marks the end of my journey as a Republican," Catania said in a statement. He is now registered as an independent.

"On a personal note, this decision is extremely painful and difficult. It will almost certainly lead to a loss of cherished friends within the Republican Party for whom I have an enormous amount of respect and gratitude. In spite of this fact, I will no longer rationalize my association with a political party that has so badly betrayed my values and principles."

The openly gay Catania has publicly voiced his opposition for months to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.


Cal. National Guard Not Protected By New Law Gay Servicemembers' Group Says
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington) The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is warning members of the California National Guard that they are not protected under a sweeping new California law that extends legal protections for gays and lesbians.

Tuesday, LGBT civil rights groups in California hailed the new law which was signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying that it would extend to some members of the Guard.

Equality California pointed out that the law incorporates language in a recent court decision which refers to the federal government's power over the state's rules with regards to the military as being limited to those positions that require federal recognition.

However, Steve Ralls, a spokesperson for the SLDN says the law will apply only to members of the militia.


Judges Have Too Much Power In Social Issues Scalia Says
by Michael J. Meade Newscenter
Boston Bureau

(Boston, Massachusetts) Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says social issues such as gay marriage and abortion should not be decided by the courts.

Speaking to students at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, Scalia said that the American judicial system has bee turned into a quagmire as a result of "abstract moralizing'' from the bench.

"What I am questioning is the propriety, indeed the sanity, of having value-laden decisions such as these made for the entire society ... by judges,'' Scalia said.

In his speech Scalia did not mention specifically gay marriage but left little doubt to the intent of his remarks.

This is the last call for SCRIPTS. The deadline for submissions has
been extended to 7th Oct 2004. Looking forward to your contributions.
Call for contributions to SCRIPTS,
the queer zine by Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action
Issue No. 6 "Body, Appearance and Identity"

Discrimination against trans person on Folsom weekend
Location SF Bay Area

A genderqueer person was asked to leave at the Revels of Venus event (Sunday) at the Cherry Bar on Folsom weekend for not being "trans enough" according to event promoter Ren Davis Phoenix.

The event was billed as dyke and trans inclusive. Rev. Michael, who identifies as genderqueer and is male bodied, was there with the person who calls him her wife. They both identify as genderqueer in some way - in fact, the night before (Saturday) they hosted an art show all about their relationship and their identities as trans.

Event promoter Ren Davis Phoenix asked Michael to leave the event after saying that he is not genderqueer since he is not presenting as female. Ren also pointed to several other people including myself, my wife Turtle, my friend Joli(e) and declared us all to be trans but not him since he is male bodied.


by: J Smith, OIA Newswire

Human Rights Campaign lauded yesterday's 213-186 procedural House vote - with 31 Republicans - in favor of passing the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The vote was on a motion to instruct - informing conference committee members that a bipartisan majority of the House wants it to pass, even as Majority Tom Delay refuses to bring the measure up for a vote.

"Congress should work to protect Americans, not discriminate against them," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "Today the House pushed leadership to keep the measure alive, but later this week they'll consider putting discrimination in the Constitution. It's mean-spirited, election-year politics that puts hard-working, tax-paying Americans at risk. We laud Congress for this vote, especially Minority Leader Pelosi for offering this motion and working to get the overwhelming support of her peers. We urge conference committee members to take it to heart - keep the federal hate crimes bill in conference committee."


Bush Administration Sits on Revised Video Until After Election

Washington, DC — In order to edit out filmed scenes of gay and abortion rights demonstrations that occurred at the Lincoln Memorial, the Bush Administration has spent more than a year and nearly $200,000 making two new versions of a video, according to agency records released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).

In November 2003, under pressure from conservative religious groups, the Park Service announced that it would alter an eight-minute video containing photos and footage of demonstrations and other events taking place at the Lincoln Memorial. These conservative groups complained that footage of gay rights, pro-choice and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations implied that “Lincoln would have supported homosexual and abortion ‘rights’ as well as feminism.” The Park Service promised to develop a “more balanced” version of the videotape that has been shown at the Lincoln Memorial since 1995.


Scant LGBT benefits turn away potential staff, faculty
By Heather Keels
Senior staff writer

If you asked former Denton Hall Resident Director Trisha Lay last year how she felt about the campus climate for homosexual staff, she might have told you how her partner, who lived with her in Denton, couldn't use the Campus Recreation Center without paying the guest rate, or how her partner had to take community college classes because she wasn't granted the tuition remission benefits marital spouses receive.  

The university is asking faculty and staff just that question, but Lay isn't around to answer. She works at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, where her partner receives full spouse benefits


Boys deliberately killed Calgary man, prosecutor tells judge

CALGARY -- Irritated by accusations about stolen money and perceptions of homosexual advances, three teenage boys accused of first-degree murder deliberately planned the stabbing death of a 42-year-old Calgary man, a youth court heard during closing arguments yesterday.

Crown prosecutor Ken McCaffery told the court that on Jan. 7, the youths -- then 15 years old -- lured Eric Wong, a part-time disc jockey and security guard, into driving toward a secluded area where he was stabbed five times with knives the three had brought along.


New claims of forgeries on petitions
Man says dead mother's name among faked signatures on list supporting gay-marriage ban
By Stephen Dyer and Craig Webb
Beacon Journal staff writers

A steady flow of people denied Tuesday that they or their loved ones had signed a petition to get a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the Nov. 2 ballot. Many had been sent letters by local Republicans thanking them for their support.

Take Mike Meredith. The 47-year-old Clinton resident got a letter Saturday from Republican former state Rep. Twyla Roman thanking his mother -- Patricia Meredith of Tallmadge -- for signing the petition


“The makeup of the court is one of the most important outcomes of elections,” said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

(Washington, DC)   Our nation’s courts play a pivotal role in the fight for equality, according to “Justice for All,” a report released today by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Part of an educational campaign funded by the Open Society Institute Network of the Soros Foundation’s Network, the publication clearly outlines the unique relationships between gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied-voters, legislators and judges.


Row over "anti-gay" cleric continues
Ben Townley, UK

The row over the Muslim cleric Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, accused by gay activists of being homophobic, and his meeting with London mayor Ken Livingstone continues today, after the Greater London Authority (GLA) apparently blocked a motion regretting the controversial event.

Gay rights groups in the capital are accusing Livingstone's Mayoral Advisor, Anni Marjoram, of pressuring members of the GLA's LGBT Forum not to vote on a motion that expressed regret at the meeting.


Project offers support for victims of anti-gay attacks
Ben Townley, UK

A new project is set offer support for victims of homophobic attacks in West Yorkshire, in a bid to encourage more reporting of crimes.

The initiative will focus on victims of anti-gay attacks, as well as those of racist abuse and will see surgeries in towns and cities across the region.

So far, the surgeries will be in Todmorden, Elland, Brighouse and Halifax, although it is expected to be expanded across West Yorkshire in the future.

The surgeries will include a variety of experts trained to give advice on different aspects of hate crime, and are supported by the local council.


Soccer hairstyles banned for being 'too gay'

Attempts are gathering pace to stop young Nigerian footballers from wearing hair braids, dreadlocks and earrings.

Many of Nigeria's top footballers, including national captain Jay-Jay Okocha and star striker Nwankwo Kanu, have their hair braided. In the late 1990s, defender Taribo West had his braids dyed in the national colours.

But some football officials seem to have had enough. 

One senior football official has ordered the removal of any unacceptable braids from players' hair at an upcoming junior tournament. He says their fashion statements are not culturally acceptable and promoted homosexuality.


Gay couple 'driven from home'
A gay couple in Londonderry say they have been driven out of their home following a number of attacks.

In the latest incident at the weekend, golf balls and bricks were thrown at the house in the Ballymagroarty area of the city.

One of the men, who was too frightened to be identified, said he had been made to feel like a prisoner in his own home.

"The only way that people are going to do anything is when the community comes together to stand up to these people and removes them from the estate," he said.

"Nobody has the right to verbally or physically abuse or attack people or their property."


HRC Reveals 'Best and Worst' Companies for Gay Employees
New Report Card Shows Number of Top-Scoring Companies Doubled in Last Year

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Human Rights Campaign Foundation unveiled its third annual report card on corporate America's treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, which includes 28 companies with first-ever perfect records and eight companies with the worst records. The number of companies that scored 100 percent doubled in one year to 56, the report found.

"Corporate America knows that fair treatment for employees is not just the right thing to do, it's good for the bottom line," said Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "These aren't movie ratings. An imperfect score could mean an unfair firing or families without health care."

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation's report card -- the Corporate Equality Index -- rates Fortune 500 and other major companies on a scale from 0 to 100 percent on seven key indicators of fair treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. These include policies prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity and health care benefits for employees' partners.


Lambda Legal Launches First National Education Campaign Aimed at Making Schools Safer for LGBTQ Youth
Knowledge of Their Rights Is a Key Factor in Keeping the Estimated 2.7 Million LGBTQ Students Safer at School

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Lambda Legal, the nation's oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal rights advocacy organization, launches its first national youth education campaign today in an effort to make the nation's schools safer for LGBT and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

A national survey(1) of LGBTQ students found that 78% heard remarks such as "faggot" or "dyke" frequently at school and that 39% had been physically assaulted at school because of their sexual orientation. Of those same students, 64% felt unsafe in their school because of their sexual orientation.

"Many of our nation's schools simply aren't safe for gay students -- we know that from the research but mostly from calls we get every day from young people all across the country," said Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal's Executive Director. "We've won powerful court rulings in recent years that make it absolutely clear that schools have to protect gay youth and treat them equally. This campaign is putting those court victories to work in schools nationwide by telling students what their rights are and what to do to make sure those rights are enforced."


Gay group challenges Swaggart tax status
Advocate staff report

A Baton Rouge gay rights organization is asking federal authorities to investigate whether Jimmy Swaggart Ministries should lose its tax-exempt status for comments the evangelist made about homosexuals.

At a news conference Tuesday, Capital City Alliance Co-Chairman Joseph Traigle announced he has asked both the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney David Dugas of Baton Rouge to consider whether the ministry broke any federal tax laws.

In a Sept. 12 broadcast, Swaggart told his congregation he's "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 has since apologized and said his comments were "silly" and intended as a joke, and he is opposed to violence. A spokeswoman for Jimmy Swaggart Ministries did not return several calls to its headquarters Tuesday.


Lesbian given sole custody of daughter
By Associated Press

WINCHESTER, Va. — A woman who moved to Virginia with her 2-year-old daughter after the breakup of her civil union in Vermont was awarded sole custody of the child Tuesday.

The decision by Frederick County Circuit Judge John Prosser is the latest twist in a case that has resulted in conflicting decisions by courts in the two states.

Prosser gave Lisa Miller-Jenkins, 35, full custody of 2-year-old Isabella and ruled that she can decide whether to allow visitation by her former partner, Janet Miller-Jenkins.

The women were a couple in Virginia when they decided four years ago to enter into a civil union in Vermont. They then went back to Virginia and decided Lisa Miller-Jenkins would conceive a child through artificial insemination.


Gay-rights agency
helps teens take stand

When Becky Goldberg couldn't access the Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth Web site at Ward Melville High School, she decided to do something about it.

Goldberg, a junior at the time, was appalled that school officials blocked access to the site simply because it featured words like gay and lesbian.

"We fought for two or three months to get it unblocked," said Goldberg, now 17 and a senior. "The whole point was, we wanted it to be seen."

More and more students like Goldberg are standing up for their rights as a result of Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth.


Wash. Twp. officials believe cigar store is gay sex club
By Shawn G. Menzies

WASHINGTON TWP. -- Township officials issued a cease and desist order against Inside Out Cigars in the Whitman Plaza, Tuesday because they suspect the business is a "gay gentlemen's lounge" based on a Web site that lists the location as a place to "cruise for sex."

"I went to the cigar store (Tuesday) and there was no answer." said Zoning officer Rose Ann Lafferty. "I called them and left a message. I put a bright orange violation notice on the door, which read that they are in violation and to see the zoning officer in the Washington Township building."

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Kentucky church launches anti-gay marriage ad campaign

Kentucky's largest church is launching an advertising campaign proclaiming the union of one man and one woman as "God's plan for marriage." The ads come as Kentucky voters prepare to decide on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. Southeast Christian Church in Jefferson County plans to run display ads in newspapers, on billboards, and on the sides of buses. It also is starting to run commercials on radio and television stations and at movie theaters. "Our goal is to represent the biblical truth of marriage to our community that affirms marriage at a time when the traditional definition of marriage is under attack," said Bob Russell, the church's senior minister.

France Starts Gay TV Channel
by John Leicester
The Associated Press

The transgender sportscaster wears a miniskirt, the porn is gay, lesbian and bisexual, and Wonder Woman will be on every night at seven.

France's first gay television channel, PinkTV, is an eye-opener. And that's the point. Pink's founders believe there's a ready audience for the channel, and not just among France's estimated 3.5 million gays.

Pink's "a giant leap for television, a small step in high heels," said presenter Eric Gueho in a promotional clip shown at the channel's unveiling Tuesday, which was feted with pink champagne. "Gays are speaking to the French. But not all French speak to gays. But it will come."


Older Gays Gain Clout
by Beth Shapiro Newscenter
New York Bureau

(New York City) The number of graying gays is growing and they're demanding to be recognized by companies trying to sell to them.

A report by research publisher Packaged Facts highlights the diversity within the gay and lesbian population – families, seniors, people of color – and shows a growing sophistication among gays. The report says that LGBT will reach $610 billion in 2005.

The report indicates that at least 2 million gays are approaching or have already reached retirement age. By 2020, some 5.7 million, or 25% of the gay community, will be 50 or older.

The report also projects that there are 1.8 million gay and lesbian households with children, and there are approximately 2.6 million children living with gay parents.

From: Human Rights Spanish Network
Cuban police launched a campaign against homosexuals Habana,

BBC.- “Municipal police warns you not to dress as a woman, and if you do they will hold you under a dangerous law with which they can sanction you and even give you four years in prison”, explained health professional Francisco Garcia, “Sissi”, to a BBC journalist.

One of the chief of the specialized police, who held the journalist while he made an investigation, denied that there is such a campaign against gays in Cuba . “This is against the negative conduct which they display”, he stated. BBC reporter in the Cuban capital, Fernando Ravesberg, assured in his report that they arrest transvestites, close private clubs in which they have performances and at a municipal level the police is citing them to warn them about their clothing. “If we go out in the street dressed as women they arrest us; we cannot have gay parties because they are illegal; if we go to a straight club they won't let us in” stated “Giliana”, a transvestite.

The National Center for Sexual Education (CENES, initials in Spanish), had gathered many transvestites and transsexuals and had turned many of them into health promoters for the Cuban homosexual community. In his article Rayberg stated, “CENES has in some way protected this minority; but against this campaign by the police, even they seem impotent”. However, several of the transvestites that were interviewed by the BBC stated that they were advised by CENES not to go out on the street dressed as women until this repressive wave passes.


From: Human Rights Spanish Network
Portugal constitutionally prohibits discrimination for sexual orientation Madrid, Agencia

Portugal is the first European country and the fourth in the world to constitutionally prohibit discrimination due to sexual orientation. On July 24 of this year, Constitutional Law # 173 was published in the “Diario de la Republic”.

The law came into effect on July 30 th in the interior part of the country and in the Azores and Madeira areas on August 10 th . Article 13 of the Portuguese Constitution now reads “All citizens have the same social level and are equal under the law. No one should be privileged or favored or discriminated, or un-favored of any right or excluded from any obligation due to their heritage, sex, race, language, territory of origin, religion, ideological or political beliefs, education, economic situation, social circumstances or sexual orientation”.

GenderPAC applauds trend toward waiting to initiate intersex surgery

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition on Friday released a press statement applauding recent shifts in doctors' attitudes away from early treatment of intersex infants with cosmetic surgery. The previous standard of treatment has been to perform early cosmetic surgery on intersex infants to give them more normal-appearing male or female genitalia, but studies and interviews with surgery patients suggest it may be wiser to delay such procedures until the children are older or forgo them altogether.

"Cosmetic genital surgery for intersex infants is another effort to make sure that even our bodies conform perfectly to gender stereotypes," says GenderPAC executive director Riki Wilchins. "We applaud this growing trend of doctors rethinking this surgery and hope this will spare many children unhealthy and invasive procedures."

A recent study by the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics shows that early surgeries often result in pain and lack of sensation and that children raised as one gender may later in life identify as another. As more adults who received such surgery as infants are stepping forward to challenge its effectiveness, medical professionals are increasingly opting to postpone surgery until the child is older and can contribute to the decision, providing families with psychological support instead.

"Everyone's rethinking this," Bruce Buckingham, associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at Stanford University, told The New York Times. "There's no good scientific data, and more and more we're leaning toward waiting."


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.


Sexy and Loathsome
Author J.T. LeRoy talks to the creators of the graphic novel How Loathsome about one of gay readers’ leading phobias: sexual ambiguity 
The Advocate

Staring at a sexy figure across a crowded room, you suddenly catch yourself: Wait! Is that a boy or a girl? To which the authors of the underground comic How Loathsome might reply, “Who cares?” For artist Ted Naifeh and photographer Tristan Crane, who cowrite the comic—in addition, Naifeh does the drawing, Crane the lettering—the importance of fluidity and honesty and possibility far outweigh the politics of sexual identity. 

Now that Loathsome’s first four issues have been republished as a beautiful, compelling graphic novel, every gay man and lesbian whose lust has ever accidentally crossed gender lines has a chance to meet supercool Catherine Gore, the comic’s adventurous central character, and Chloe, the magnetic and mysterious object of her affection. And maybe gay readers will come away from the experience a little closer to “Who cares?” 


Hermaphrodite (sic) alleges racial bias
By J.M. Lawrence

Federal civil rights investigators are probing whether Plympton officials discriminated against a black female hermaphrodite horse trainer who was denied permits to house migrant workers in mobile homes on her farm.

     Justice Department lawyers launched an investigation based on complaints Patricia Renee Pina, 45, filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development last year, according to letters signed by DOJ trial attorney Charla Jackson in Washington.

     Plympton officials deny discriminating against Pina and strongly reject her claim in a lawsuit pending in federal court that a building inspector called her a racial epithet in Town Hall


Officials denied role in suit on 'marriage'
By Robert Redding Jr.

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers said yesterday that it will challenge a Baltimore judge's decision to bar them from joining the legal fight against an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit aimed at forcing Baltimore and four Maryland counties to accept homosexual "marriage."

    The group of eight lawmakers — seven Republicans and one Democrat — was rebuffed by Baltimore Circuit Court Judge M. Brooke Murdoch, who ruled that the lawmakers could not join the city of Baltimore and the counties of Dorchester, Prince George's, St. Mary's and Washington in their battle to fend off the ACLU lawsuit.


Man Says His Name Was Forged On Gay Marriage Ban Petition
Summit County Examining 100 Signatures

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio -- A 78-year-old Cuyahoga Falls man said his name was forged on a petition to ban gay marriage, NewsChannel5 reported.

Hilary Labbe said his name was misspelled and his address is wrong on the petition. The registered Democrat said he would never sign a petition to support the proposed amendment.

Labbe said he was stunned to get a letter from the county Republican Party last week thanking him for signing the ballot petition.


Attorney general: Marriage amendment would harm economy
Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro is the first statewide elected official to oppose the proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying vague language makes it the most intolerant-seeming of proposals in 10 other states.

Petro, arguing the amendment would hurt Ohio's economy, is splitting from fellow Republican statewide officials who support the proposal: Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell and Auditor Betty Montgomery, who might be Petro's opponents in the 2006 governor's race.

Gov. Bob Taft has not taken a public stance, saying his legal team is still reviewing the amendment language.

Blackwell has not determined if the question will be on the statewide Nov. 2 ballot


Carter fears Florida vote trouble
Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet "basic international requirements" and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says.

He said a repeat of the irregularities of the much-disputed 2000 election - which gave President George W Bush the narrowest of wins - "seems likely".

Mr Carter, a veteran observer of polls worldwide, also accused Florida's top election official of "bias".

His remarks come ahead of the first TV debate between Mr Bush and John Kerry.

They are expected to discuss the war on Iraq and homeland security during the programme on Thursday.

this is what war gets you-

Wyoming AIDS Program Halts Accepting New Patients 
by The Associated Press

(Cheyenne, Wyoming) A program that helps HIV and AIDS patients in Wyoming with care and drug costs is running short of money and will stop accepting new patients after Thursday, officials said.

"We didn't feel we could continue to take people," said Kurt Galbraith, the HIV/AIDS coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Health.

The state program will maintain a waiting list for new applications received starting Oct. 1, but it is unknown when the program will be able to consider adding any new individuals, Galbraith said. There are 87 patients in the program now.

He said Thursday the overall cost of care, including everything from medications to laboratory tests, has gone up across the board.


GOP urges a vote on same-sex marriage ban
Some see it as effort to stress gay issues
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Washington -- Republican leaders pressed for a House vote Thursday on a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage they acknowledge will fail by a wide margin but will force members to vote on the issue less than five weeks before the election.

The vote appears part of a GOP effort to raise the pre-election profile of gay issues -- and to kill a popular hate-crimes measure that could land on President Bush's desk before Nov. 2 if it is allowed to proceed.

The Republican National Committee last week sent a mailing to voters in Arkansas and West Virginia -- both states that Bush narrowly carried in 2000 -- that suggests the Bible will be banned and same-sex marriage allowed if voters don't support the Republican ticket.

The mailing shows a picture of the Bible with the words "BANNED," accompanied by a picture of a male couple, one man kneeling and the other extending his hand wearing a wedding ring, with the words "ALLOWED."


DeMint aide rebuked for remark about gays
Operations director inadvertently sends e-mail with words ‘fag,’ ‘dike’
Staff Writer

The director of operations for Jim DeMint’s U.S. Senate campaign has been reprimanded for derogatory remarks she made about gays and lesbians in an errant e-mail.

Ginny Allen was admonished personally Monday by the Republican nominee, who promised in a letter of apology that she would be dealt with “according to office guidelines.”

Allen was not fired. Attempts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful Monday.

Lisa Hall, chairwoman of the Central Savannah River Area Rainbow Alliance, which works to raise awareness of gay and lesbian issues, in July invited both Senate campaigns to an Oct. 7 town hall meeting to discuss issues of interest to gay voters.


Keyes refuses to answer speculations concerning 19 year old daughter
By The Leader-Chicago Bureau

Even with knowledge of the internet storm brewing, Keyes stayed the course by criticizing his opponent Barack Obama's recent clarification that he was opposed to same sex marriages, but tolerant of civil unions and opposed to the Federal Marriage Amendment.CHICAGO -- At a Town Hall meeting Monday night on Chicago's Southside, the television, print and internet media almost outnumbered the black community members who came to hear Keyes emphasize the plight of the black community and answer audience issue questions at Chicago Southside's Israel Methodist Community Center.

But the press was anticipating that Ambassador Keyes would break news Monday night in response to web-related questions which began to appear over the weekend on gay blogs and gradually found their way onto Rich Miller's CapitolFax Monday morning.

Miller's daily newsletter alluded Monday to an expected revelation as to whether Alan Keyes' 19 year old daughter Maya and Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary could have similar sexual proclivities.

Miller also was the first website to publish Republican political consultant Rod McCullough's controversial affidavit that contained statements concerning the ex-wife of Jack Ryan's allegations.


Gay Marriage Like 'A Deadly Virus'
by Newscenter Staff

(Madrid) In its strongest condemnation yet of Spanish government plans to legalize gay marriage the Roman Catholic Church said it was akin to releasing a "deadly virus" into Spanish society.

The cabinet of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero this week is expected approve the gay marriage legislation and send it directly to Parliament. 

A vote is expected early next month and the bill is expected to pass despite opposition from conservatives and the Church. Once it becomes law the first marriages could take place early next year. 

"This legislation is imposing a virus on society, something false that will have negative consequences for social life," declared Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, the official spokesperson  for the Spanish Bishops Conference.


Television ad campaign targets Kerry on same-sex marriage

A new television ad campaign running in Michigan and Pennsylvania accuses Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of failing to preserve "traditional marriage." Former presidential candidate Gary Bauer announced the new ads on Monday as part of an effort to win votes for President Bush. Bauer's group, Americans United to Preserve Marriage, funded the ad buy with $500,000, he said. "Marriage in the United States must be preserved as the union of one man and one woman," Bauer said. "We believe it is important for the American people to know which candidates will defend traditional marriage."


Gay youth answer the call
Castro-based peer hot line seeing itself become nationwide resource
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

It's 8 o'clock on a Wednesday night, and a college student from a Northeastern city wants to know if he's gay. He broke up with his girlfriend, he says. He blushes sometimes around other guys. He's confused.

Rose -- at least she calls herself Rose when she's working on the hot line for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth -- is sitting in front of a computer in a cramped, hot room plastered with "you are not alone" and "girls who like girls" posters.

"Sometimes it takes a long time to figure it out," says Rose, who's 21 and has short dark hair, a pierced chin and an air of unalloyed self- confidence the caller probably would envy. "It's different for everyone."