poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Drag queen, priest, beer bottle-(SA)  
Jan Taljaard

George - A "dispute" between a transvestite and an Anglican priest was postponed on Friday until December 2 in George magistrate's court to allow the prosecution to establish whether the priest's fingerprints appear on a beer bottle he is alleged to have thrown at the gay sex worker.

In a boisterous court hearing, sex worker Muered Michaels demanded, among other things, to be addressed as "miss" by the magistrate and later refused to reply to the defence's questions.

The priest, Keith Muller, is appearing on an assault charge.

Michaels testified that he had kept the beer bottle from an alleged incident on April 22 when Muller is claimed to have thrown the bottle at him and then threatened, with a finger sign, that he would shoot and kill him.


Church blames gays for storm
By Crystal Bonvillian
Montgomery Advertiser
Source: Equality Alabama

"Thank God for Ivan."

That is the slogan Montgomery residents might see on signs later this month when members of a Kansas church come to town for an anti-gay protest.

Shirley Phelps-Roper, lawyer for and member of Westboro Baptist Church, said the congregation believes the hurricane was God's punishment for homosexuality.

"Who do you think sent that storm?" Roper asked. "The Lord sent it as righteous judgement."


Five men will face trial for hate crime
Door County bar fight involved local gay couple
By Paul Brinkmann
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

STURGEON BAY — The five men facing hate-crime charges stemming from a June 6 bar fight are now facing trial in Door County Circuit Court.


Activists launch mail effort against proposal
By Elizabeth Shaw

The Genesee County chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is launching a mail campaign to inform voters about the potential impact on civil rights of Michigan's proposed constitutional amendment against gay marriage and other forms of civil union.

The public is invited to bring their address books and help address postcards at 3 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall downstairs at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Flint, on Ballenger Highway just south of Miller Road.

Calif. constitution permits laws for and against gay marriage

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Laws limiting marriage to a man and a woman do not violate California's constitution, but neither would a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, according to the state attorney general.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued the opinion Friday, a long-awaited response to a pair of lawsuits out of San Francisco challenging laws that ban gay marriage.

"Rights are considered fundamental only if they are deeply rooted and firmly entrenched in our state's history and tradition," Lockyer said. "There is simply no deeply rooted tradition of same-sex marriage in California or in any other state."


Call to extend hate crime offence
Tough new laws are needed to tackle "hate crimes" towards gay, transgender or disabled people, experts have said.

The Working Group on Hate Crime, which advises the Scottish Executive, said ministers should introduce a statutory aggravation for these crimes.

Similar legislation for race-hate crimes and religious bigotry can now be considered by courts in relation to existing offences.

Ministers will now consider the group's recommendations.

The working group said that it should be irrelevant whether or not the victim actually belonged to the particular social group in question, insisting that the motivation of the offender should be the determining factor


Judge: 'Serious Doubts' About Lawmakers' Suit Against Gay Couple
by The Associated Press

(New Hope, Pennsylvania)  A judge has indicated that he likely will rule against a dozen state lawmakers who tried to strengthen the state's ban on same-sex marriages by suing two gay men who want to marry.

Bucks County Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg said at a hearing Friday that he had "serious doubts as to whether plaintiffs' action will survive." Goldberg said that his instinct was to issue a ruling from the bench, but that he would instead release his decision shortly.

Robert Seneca, 49, and Stephen Stahl, 55, of New Hope, tried to apply for a marriage license in March at the Bucks County Courthouse, but Register of Wills Barbara G. Reilly said she couldn't legally accept an application for a same-sex union. Seneca and Stahl later said they would consider filing a lawsuit appealing her decision.

The 11 Republicans and one Democrat who sponsored the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act said they filed their suit in an attempt to have the law affirmed before Seneca and Stahl seek to have it declared unconstitutional.


Nix Gay Marriage Calif. A.G. Tells Court
by Mark Worrall Newscenter
San Francisco Bureau

(San Francisco, California) Domestic Partnerships yes, gay marriage no, California's attorney general told a San Francisco Superior Court Friday.

In a legal brief filed with the court Attorney General Bill Lockyer said that the California Constitution does not prohibit laws barring same-sex marriage. 

Lawsuits brought by the city of San Francisco and couples who married last winter in the city say that a state law which prevents gay couples from marrying is unconstitutional by violating the California provisions of equality.

The case is being keenly watched not only by gays and lesbians but also by both Democrats and Republicans. Lockyer, a Democrat has expressed interest in running for governor in 2006.

Ford criticizes ban on gay marriages

Mayor Jack Ford yesterday denounced a proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriages, and in the process disclosed the city has opened the door to recognizing unmarried partners.

The issue of "domestic partners" came up yesterday at a news conference when Mr. Ford announced his opposition to Issue 1 on the Nov. 2 ballot.

The measure would ban gay marriage. It also would forbid the state or its political subdivisions from recognizing relationships of unmarried individuals that "approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effect of marriage."

Mr. Ford expressed his opposition to gay marriage, but said that governments and businesses should be free to offer benefits to their employees.

Otherwise, he said, Ohio could find itself continuing to lose jobs.


Gay students kiss for a cause
By KAYCE T. ATAIYERO, Staff Writer

CHAPEL HILL -- Just before noon, the students came to the Pit in twos and threes, lured by word of mouth.

With the careful choreography of a line dance, they began kissing in chorus, setting off a 15-minute session of synchronized smooching, swaying in rhythm to the symphony of suction.

There were couple kisses. There were triple kisses, in which three people searched for the perfect point for their lips to overlap. There was also a cause: to bring awareness to the double standard that members of the UNC-Chapel Hill lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community say exists in society when they engage in public displays of affection.


City alters gay benefits rules
By April M. Washington, Rocky Mountain News

The city of Denver this week did away with a long-standing policy that required same-sex couples to answer a host of questions that some said were intrusive and degrading before receiving health benefits.

Denver revised the rules for gay employees so they now mirror what is required of employees in common-law marriages.

"We have opened the door to getting benefits to same-sex partners in ways that retain their dignity and are far more comparable to heterosexual couples," said City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson, who pushed for changes to the city's policies to bring about greater parity.

Aggressive steps were taken to change the policy before an open enrollment period began this month for benefits selection, said Kelly Brough, executive director of Career Service Authority, the city's human resource agency.


Friday, October 08, 2004

Fight? You Bet! (A Message From the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on November Ballot Initiatives)
Matt Foreman, Executive Director
the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

On November 2, voters in 11 states - or one out of every five voters nationwide - will be casting a ballot on a state constitutional amendment which seeks to forbid the recognition of same-sex marriages. In 8 of these states, the measures would also ban any form of partner recognition whatsoever. This is only round one of our new reality, where our lives and relationships are fodder in American politics. We will face more of these ugly, divisive assaults next year and the year after that.

We need to face the obvious: we are huge underdogs in every one of these battles. Not because marriage equality is simply a losing issue. It is not. Not because we don't have talented and courageous leaders and organizations on our side throughout this country. We do. Instead, it's because -- with only a handful of exceptions -- our side simply does not have the time, the resources, or the infrastructure to beat back the forces being unleashed against us in this election year.

What are the forces working so hard against our allies in these embattled states? Nothing less than the combined forces of the evangelical right, with their vast network of congregations and radio and television stations, and the might and money of the Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist churches, and a carefully orchestrated effort by the Republican machine to exploit 'gay marriage' in order to re-elect George Bush and his ilk, and literally hundreds of years anti-gay venom and hatred that's been inbred in our culture.

And what does our side have to stand up against these evil forces? Again, with only a handful of exceptions, our brave leaders and organizations are quite literally fighting unarmed. The statewide LGBT organizations in three-quarters of the states now under siege operate on less than $200,000 a year; none has an annual budget over $600,000. Is it realistic to expect these valiant souls to now suddenly be able to raise the millions it takes to wage a full-scale campaign? Of course it isn't.


Mayday, mayday! Why Every American Should Worry About the Rising "Culture War" Against Gay Marriage...and Gay People
by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst

"Sharpen your pencils, girls, and hold them like this at all times," my friend’s mother instructed us, her voice raspy and urgent. Demonstrating the procedure, she held a pencil below her naval, its eraser pressed firmly against her abdomen and the point directed menacingly at our imaginary assailant’s "private parts". The year was 1967, and the racial integration of Virginia public schools was about to begin.

"Now when they come at you," Mrs. Hudson continued, "you’ll be safe because you’ve been walking down the hall or down the sidewalk with your books held over the pencil where nobody will see it." She gave us each two books to hold horizontally with our left hands ("just hold them normally" she urged) about one inch above the pencils that we were simultaneously pushing against our bodies with our right hands. Pretty difficult—try it and you’ll see.

Fight? You Bet! (A Message From the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force on November Ballot Initiatives)
Matt Foreman, Executive Director
the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

On November 2, voters in 11 states - or one out of every five voters nationwide - will be casting a ballot on a state constitutional amendment which seeks to forbid the recognition of same-sex marriages. In 8 of these states, the measures would also ban any form of partner recognition whatsoever. This is only round one of our new reality, where our lives and relationships are fodder in American politics. We will face more of these ugly, divisive assaults next year and the year after that.

We need to face the obvious: we are huge underdogs in every one of these battles. Not because marriage equality is simply a losing issue. It is not. Not because we don't have talented and courageous leaders and organizations on our side throughout this country. We do. Instead, it's because -- with only a handful of exceptions -- our side simply does not have the time, the resources, or the infrastructure to beat back the forces being unleashed against us in this election year.

What are the forces working so hard against our allies in these embattled states? Nothing less than the combined forces of the evangelical right, with their vast network of congregations and radio and television stations, and the might and money of the Roman Catholic and Southern Baptist churches, and a carefully orchestrated effort by the Republican machine to exploit 'gay marriage' in order to re-elect George Bush and his ilk, and literally hundreds of years anti-gay venom and hatred that's been inbred in our culture.

And what does our side have to stand up against these evil forces? Again, with only a handful of exceptions, our brave leaders and organizations are quite literally fighting unarmed. The statewide LGBT organizations in three-quarters of the states now under siege operate on less than $200,000 a year; none has an annual budget over $600,000. Is it realistic to expect these valiant souls to now suddenly be able to raise the millions it takes to wage a full-scale campaign? Of course it isn't.

Gay National Boycott Begins
by Beth Shapiro Newscenter
New York Bureau 

(New York City) A one-day national work stoppage and economic boycott called by a gay marriage advocacy group began Friday morning.

The Boycott for Equality called on gays and lesbians across the nation to drop out of the U.S. economy for the day by staying home from work, not shopping and not using cell phones. 

The boycott also asks people to withdraw $80 from their bank accounts and hold onto the money to symbolize the average daily contribution of gay and lesbian people to the economy.

Estimates indicate that America's lesbian and gay population spends an average of $1.4 billion each day, totaling $500 billion a year. But, the effect the grassroots effort to show the clout of the gay dollar will have may not be fully known for several months when major companies release financial reports.


Gays, women call for boycotts
One-day actions designed to show economic muscle
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Get ready for an economic "flu" of sorts.

The Atlanta-based Boycott For Equality is asking gays, lesbians and sympathetic heterosexuals nationwide to skip work, halt shopping, turn off cellphones and send an $80 ATM receipt to elected officials today — all to showcase their spending power.


Boycott For Equality
By B.A. Klaene

Boycott For Equality is calling for a national boycott today to draw political attention to equality in marriage and the workplace for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens.

"This event brings into focus the economic contribution of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens," said Dale Duncan, co-founder of Boycott For Equality. "And people understand money."


Boys in pink skirts? School finds nothing funny about it

There were guys in chiffon skirts, brassieres and fitted sweaters, and gals with painted-on mustaches at Hastings High School yesterday despite official efforts to put the kibosh on "Cross-Dressing Day."

As part of Spirit Week, students had already celebrated Pajama Day, '80s Day and Dress to Impress Day. Then educators saw yesterday's provocative theme promoted in posters around the school and asked student government leaders to announce an alternative: "New York Pride Day."


"first annual intersex awareness day,''

Mark your calendars: Oct. 26 would be designated as the city's "first annual intersex awareness day,'' if a proposal by Supervisors Bevan Dufty and Tom Ammiano is approved by the full board.

The idea is to bring better understanding and awareness of the condition, in which people are born with sexual ambiguity.


Hate fliers turn up again in Newton
By Jennifer Roy / Tribune Staff Writer

NEWTON -- Anti-Semitic fliers condemning the war in Iraq and interracial sex have turned up on several Newton streets this week, two months after the same group littered lawns with fliers against gay marriage and desegregation.

     The National Alliance is taking credit for anti-Semitic fliers that also warn against "sex with (blacks) and AIDS," Sgt. Ken Dangelo said yesterday.

     A 52-year-old Jewett Street man stopped an officer on Pearl Street Monday night after finding three plastic bags containing the literature and rocks in his yard, Dangelo said.


Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) An alternate lifestyle parade will be held in Taipei Nov. 6, but will not be financially supported by the city government as was the case last year, an organizer of the event said Friday. The 2004 Taiwan Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Parade will be an ad hoc arrangement since the city is not funding the event this year, according to a spokesman for the organizing committee, Wu Hsu-niang.


Queer Solidarity With Ethnic Minorities

PrideAlliance calls upon the queer community to support the March for a Multicultural Aotearoa in Wellington this month.

"Many heterosexuals participated in the counter-protest against Destiny Church's homophobia in August," said PrideAlliance spokesperson Kelly Buchanan. "Now it's our turn to show support for the wider community."

The march has been organised by MCA (Multicultural Aotearoa) in response to an anti-Asian rally planned for the same day by fascist organisation the National Front. This far-right white supremacist group has been linked with numerous violent crimes against people and property in the Wellington region.

"Though their current public focus is Asians, the National Front is also a virulently homophobic group," said Ms Buchanan. "They participated in Destiny's anti-Civil Union rally, and are just as much a threat to us as they are to Jews and non-whites."


Gay Baiting Favored Weapon in Republican Election Arsenal
By Brent Brumley

Despite the Marriage Protection Amendment being defeated in the House of Representatives by a 227-186 margin last week, Republicans continue in this election season to use gay issues as a favored campaign weapon.

In a sound defeat, 27 moderate and conservative Republicans joined 158 Democrats and 1 Independent on September 30 in opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment—previously called the Federal Marriage Amendment—on the House Floor.

Since the constitutional amendment was first proposed last February, many voters saw the proposal as a cynical political ploy to distract them from foreign policy and domestic challenges facing the country.

“They’re blasting the radio as they pass the gas station on an empty tank,” said Cheryl Jacques, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “The Republican leadership has continued to focus on this divisive measure while critical security needs are neglected. This is a pathetic attempt to distract voters from the issues that matter.”


Tension grips gay rights caravan
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Denver -- The nearly four dozen riders on the National Marriage Equality Express -- a caravan of activists traveling cross-country to fight for marriage rights for same-sex couples -- were on edge.

They'd encountered little hostility and a lot of warmth in the places they'd visited in Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. On Wednesday, they had visited Laramie -- the town where Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, had been brutally murdered six years ago. Most considered the stop a highlight of the trip, but that horrible tragedy and the personal memories of violence the visit triggered were on their minds Thursday morning when one of the caravan passengers inexplicably disappeared.

Sometime after midnight Wednesday, Anthony Perez, a documentary filmmaker following the journey for the new gay and lesbian channel, the Q Television Network, walked out of his Denver hotel room without his cell phone or card key. He did not show up when the riders met in the hotel lobby the next morning. He didn't make it to the breakfast meeting with local gay and lesbian supporters or to the rally in Denver's Civic Center Plaza. When Perez still hadn't shown up by 11 a.m., the scheduled departure time, the bus left without him. Bewildered, Roland Torres, the other half of the documentary team, stayed behind and notified police.

The group's leaders, concerned that the riders might encounter anti-gay violence in the American heartland, had been lecturing from the start about safety. "I'm very, very angry," organizer Molly McKay said of Perez's disappearance. Her eyes were red-rimmed. "If you can't commit to the buddy system, take the next bus home."


Gay marriage battle heads to Pa. court

PHILADELPHIA — A Bucks County judge was set this week to hear arguments over a Pennsylvania law that bans same-sex marriage, the Intelligencer reported. Two gay men from New Hope who unsuccessfully tried to apply for a marriage license earlier this year are being sued by a group of state legislators, according to the newspaper. The two men had discussed a possible challenge to the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, but have not yet done so, the Intelligencer reported. The defense and some legal experts contend the case should be thrown out because the men have not yet actually challenged state law, according to the newspaper. “Where’s the case? You ask almost any lawyer about it and they say, ‘Huh?’” Larry Frankel, legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which is helping represent the men, told the Intelligencer.


Health authority warns gay community on rare STI
Ben Townley, UK

The Health Protection Agency has unveiled a new "enhanced surveillance" programme intended to stop a rare sexually transmitted infection (STI) getting a foothold in the gay community.

The initiative will focus on lympogranuloma venereum (LGV), a treatable STI that has seen a large spike in the gay and bisexual population of the Netherlands and France.

A cluster of cases were first seen in Rotterdam in December 2003, but quickly spread to Antwerp and Paris. A total of 157 cases have been seen in the three cities since then; previously it had been fairly obscure.

The new UK initiative is intended to stop the STI spreading into the UK's gay and bisexual community.


Ga. Supreme Court asked to review marriage ban
Plaintiffs hope to overturn trial judge who tossed out suit

After suffering a setback in Fulton County Superior Court last month, opponents of Amendment 1 asked the Georgia Supreme Court to strike the gay marriage ban from the Nov. 2 ballot.

Johnny Stephenson — a partner with Alston & Bird, a law firm leading the challenge to the proposed amendment on behalf of seven plaintiffs — filed an appeal with the state’s high court on Oct. 6. The appeal disputes Fulton County Superior Court Judge Constance Russell’s Sept. 29 ruling that the principle of separation of powers prohibits Georgia’s courts from intervening in pending legislation, dismissing the lawsuit.

“It is well established that the judiciary’s role among the coordinate branches of government is to provide relief to claimants who have suffered, or imminently will suffer, actual harm,” Stephenson wrote in his appeal


Anti-Gay House Leader Chastised For Ethics Violations 
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) The House ethics committee has rebuked Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) for the second time in a week for questionable conduct.

The committee sternly warned the Texas Republican to temper his behavior, but stopped short of censuring him.

The committee accused DeLay for creating an appearance of giving donors special access on pending energy legislation and using the Federal Aviation Administration to intervene in a Texas political dispute.

Last week, the same committee admonished DeLay for offering to endorse the House candidacy of a House member's son in exchange for the member's favorable vote on a Medicare prescription drug bill.


Arkansas justices refuse to remove marriage amendment from ballot

The Arkansas supreme court on Thursday refused to strike an anti-gay marriage amendment from the state general election ballot, ruling in a split decision that the proposal, as presented to voters, is sufficiently clear. The court voted 5-2 to present the issue to voters.

Backed by more than 200,000 signatures, the Arkansas Marriage Amendment Committee proposes changing the Arkansas constitution to read, "Marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman." More than a dozen states are considering similar bans, triggered by a Massachusetts supreme judicial court decision last year to recognize gay unions in that state.


House and Senate Republicans kill hate-crimes bill

For the second time in four years, Republican-led congressional negotiators have ripped out a hate-crimes prevention bill that had been added to spending legislation. The move, which was expected by national gay rights groups, effectively kills any kind of new protections for gay Americans, lawmakers said Thursday.

"The Republican leadership has unconscionably ignored the will of House and the Senate and stripped the hate-crimes prevention provisions," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a California congresswoman. "The needs of law enforcement--which have repeatedly requested federal assistance in solving and preventing a wide range of violent hate crimes--have been ignored."

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would add real or perceived sexual orientation, gender, and disability to federal hate-crime laws, thus allowing the federal government the ability to provide critical assistance to state, local, and federal law enforcement to combat violent crimes against victims because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender, or disability. It was included by the Senate as part of the Defense Authorization Bill.

"This is a sad day for America," said Wisconsin congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. "All Americans, regardless of their race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation, have a right to feel safe in their communities. Hate crimes are different than other violent crimes because they seek to instill fear and terror throughout a whole community--whether it is burning a cross in someone's yard, burning a synagogue, or a rash of physical assaults near a gay community center."


Lesbians 'marry' in Laramie
Associated Press

LARAMIE (AP) - Two lesbian women and an opposite-sex couple exchanged vows at the University of Wyoming six years to the day after a notorious attack on a gay student.

Wednesday's event in front of the Wyoming Union was part of the Marriage Equality Caravan 2004, in which same-sex couples whose marriages in San Francisco were invalidated are headed, along with supporters, to a rally in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

The tour stopped in Laramie on the anniversary of the day two men tied University of Wyoming freshman Matthew Shepard to a fence outside town and pistol-whipped him. He died at a hospital


Borrell enters EU gay ‘sin’ row

Rocco Buttiglione is not suitable to be the EU’s new justice chief, the European Parliament president has said.

As MEPs prepare to vote on a new European Commission, Josep Borrell has given a clear indication of his views.

The outspoken Buttiglione has outraged some in the parliament with his conventional Catholic views on homosexuality and women.

With such views Borrell suggests the Italian would better put in charge of root vegetables than given the EU’s growing justice brief.


Political Disclosure Rules Equate Domestic Partners With Spouses
Gay and lesbian officials embrace decision calling for conformity with conflict-of-interest laws.
By Robert Salladay, Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Gay and lesbian public officials with domestic partners must comply with the same financial disclosure requirements as married spouses under new regulations approved Thursday by the state.

David Roberts, a candidate for City Council in Solana Beach, had requested a ruling last April from the state Fair Political Practices Commission over whether his partner is considered a "spouse" under the state's conflict-of-interest laws for public officials.

The answer is yes, the commission said Thursday. Under its rules, public officials would be required to publicly disclose property, stocks and business interests considered community property with their domestic partners, and they could not vote or make government decisions that would affect those mutual interests.


Lesbian starts own event after her work was banned from first
Nina Gougis - Staff Reporter

For many years, Diane Johns has been a member of the DeKalb County Quilters’ Guild, serving one term each as president, secretary and treasurer.

Almost 20 years later, it was the controversy over her pro-homosexual artwork that sparked disagreement and tore the group apart.

The controversy began when the DCQG board of directors banned her quilt, “The L-Word,” from their Harvest of Quilts show because it contained derogatory references and could be offensive, said Jill Draves, DCQG president.

The 25-by-25 inch quilt, inspired by the television show, had quotes from lesbian composers and writers and included phrases such as “diesel dyke,” “sappho” and “butch.”


Senate slur prompts apology
Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Tensions between two of the state Senate's most powerful senior members erupted into name-calling Wednesday night, with a Philadelphia Democrat using a derogatory term for homosexuals to denounce Republican leaders.

The language shocked members of a chamber that prides itself on decorum, and on Thursday President Pro Tempore Robert C. Jubelirer, R-Blair, called for an apology from Sen. Vincent C. Fumo.

"He called me a faggot is what he called me. And then I said, 'What did you say?' and he screamed it," Jubelirer said. "That was just wrong. If he has an issue with me, that's fine, but to use that term, 'faggot,' to me was a black mark, not only on him but the institution."

The incident occurred around 10 p.m. after Republicans invoked an obscure parliamentary procedure to cut off debate on a package of changes to the slots-gambling bill passed in July. The move short-circuited the Democrats' hopes of bringing up amendments of their own, and Fumo went ballistic, according to witnesses.


Top court grills gay-wedding foes
Bill threatens religious freedom, opponents warn Many institutions have changed, one justice says

OTTAWA—Several Supreme Court of Canada judges challenged conservative arguments yesterday that letting gays wed would wreck the "ideal norm" of heterosexual marriage and undermine social and religious institutions.

During the second day of landmark hearings into whether Ottawa can extend the legal right to marry to same-sex couples, there were pointed questions from the high court bench to the opponents of gay marriage.

There was also a striking admission from the lawyer for the attorney-general of Canada, who said even the government is not sure how strong the religious-freedom protections are in draft legislation recognizing same-sex marriage.

Constitutional scholar Peter Hogg, speaking for Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, said courts will have to deal with concerns on a "case-by-case basis."

NEWS: Transatlantic Howl! A Dedication to Allen Ginsberg

Please see the link from The Academy of American Poets 

 to Transatlantic Howl! A Dedication to Allen Ginsberg
(Plz announce this event to fellow poets,  students, and colleagues)
Paris: ENSAM (20:00 GMT)
London: University College London (19:00 GMT)
San Francisco: SFSU (11:00 am),
Ann Arbor: U of Michigan (2pm),
Newark, NJ: NJIT (2pm),
at CU's Norlin 5th floorThursday, 14th October, 12pm noon. Free!
Thursday, October 14, 12:00 noon, British Studies (5th floor of Norlin Library)
The Allen Ginsberg Greek Chorus -- Transatlantic Howl! A Dedication to Allen Ginsberg

Faculty, students and alums from the University of Colorado, Boulder and Naropa University will read during Boulder's portion of HOWL in this international event, a first, celebrating poetry across the seas.

In this history-making transatlantic poetic happening, celebrating Allen Ginsberg and his epic poem HOWL, poets will perform at venues in London, Paris, and across the United States.  These live poetry readings and poetic theatre pieces will be simultaneously streamed across JANET, Renater, and Internet2 advanced networks. Streaming video and audio will allow audiences at each site to not only observe readings on location, but will provide the ability to experience the art of poetry in remote theaters as well. While Transatlantic Howl! A Dedication to Allen Ginsberg is streamed; anyone from Calcutta to Caracas with broadband access will be able to watch the entire poetry reading as it happens. Featured readers include Amiri Baraka, Anne Waldman, Anne Carson, Alice Notley, Robert Glück, Ken Mikolowski, Danny Karlin, Joanne Kyger, Bob Rosenthal, Steven Taylor, Ed Sanders, Jacqueline Cahen-Sergent, The Allen Ginsberg Greek Chorus, composer and musician Bill Douglas, Stephen Mooney, London Under Construction, students from University College London, and surprise special guests. Anne Waldman of Naropa University and Internet2's Ann Doyle will serve as MCs for this event. Universities who are assisting in producing this poetry reading are: University College London; Birkbeck College, University of London; ENSAM; San Francisco State University; University of Colorado at Boulder; University of Michigan; and New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Technical support is provided by Ohio State University with additional assistance by Naropa University's Summer Writing Program. For more information, visit our website
.  If you have questions about Transatlantic Howl! A Dedication to Allen Ginsberg, contact Mary Kite, phone (303)444-9856.  Sponsored by CHA, Center for British and Irish Studies, Department of Art and Art History.


Thursday, October 07, 2004

Anti-gay Policies Blasted
Rosanna Ruiz
Houston Chronicle

"The Rev. Carolyn J. Mobley and her partner, Adrain Bowie, say they consider themselves "thrice blessed" as black, gay women.

Not everyone they encounter shares the sentiment.

"Those who don't want to acknowledge the whole of me, God bless them," Bowie said Wednesday. "They've missed out on the blessing of me."

Black same-sex couples such as Bowie and Mobley would be disproportionately harmed by anti-gay marriage policies, says a report released Wednesday by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition."


Lesbian Couple's 'Marriage' under Investigation
By Nick Foley, PA News

A lesbian couple who tied the knot after convincing register office staff that one of them was a man were today facing an official investigation.

Susan Abberstein, 47, married her lover Lucy Kong, 37, in 1986 after she transformed herself into a man – complete with moustache and muscles.

As part of the elaborate fraud she even changed her name by deed poll to Samuel, wore men’s clothes and took male hormones, according to The Sun newspaper.

No-one suspected a thing when they married at an official ceremony at Hull Register Office and the couple cemented their relationship six years later with a baby born through IVF treatment


DNC Unveils New GLBT College Outreach Plan
Largest Outreach to GLBT College Students In History of Presidential Politics

Washington, DC – Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT) students from over 70 colleges across America are joining forces with the Democratic National Committee next week as part of a brand-new outreach program targeting GLBT college students during National Coming Out Day. Former Major League Baseball player Billy Bean, Karamo Brown of MTV's The Real World, Democratic Activist and American Candidate Chrissy Gephardt, and Wayne Ting, GLBT Caucus Chair of the College Democrats of America, hosted a press conference this afternoon to roll out the historic program.

GPAC Applauds Defeat of Same-Sex Marriage Amendment
Condemns Gender Stereotypes Utilized by Some Far Right Lawmakers

WASHINGTON - The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives today for rejecting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The 227-186 vote was decisive, falling far short of the two-thirds majority needed to move the amendment to the next stage. A similar amendment failed in the Senate in July.

Said GenderPAC Executive Director Riki Wilchins, "The far right's opposition to same-gender marriage is rooted in their extreme agenda of returning the nation to the Ward and June Cleaver-era. We know today that fathers can be nurturing and mothers can be strong disciplinarians -- in sharp contrast to the old stereotypes. What children need are loving homes and strong values. We are elated that Congress rejected this discriminatory Constitutional amendment and, along with it, some outmoded gender-role stereotypes."

Beyond the Women's Room
Written by: Dylan Vade
Curve: Vol. 13#3

Public restrooms. Rather mundane. Not much to think about — unless one is transgendered, genderqueer, a butch woman, a feminine man, or otherwise does not subscribe to rigid gender norms. Then, going to the bathroom in public becomes a daily struggle.

When I started taking hormones and looking more ambiguously gendered, no one wanted me in “their” restroom. No matter what choice I made, I annoyed someone — and that person made sure I knew. People stared at me and told me I was in the wrong restroom. Some ran out as soon as they saw me. I was lucky that these incidents didn’t lead to violence.

Bathrooms are places of heightened gender policing. Anyone who is not obviously feminine is suspect in the women’s room; anyone who is not obviously masculine is suspect in the men’s room. To be honest, I don’t understand why only people of virtually identical genders can share a restroom area. What I do know is that people who don’t fit rigid gender norms get routinely harassed in bathrooms, and almost every gender nonconforming person I know has had difficulty finding safe bathroom access. For many, even in San Francisco, going to the bathroom is literally dangerous.

According to a San Francisco Human Rights Commission (SF-HRC) survey, experiences in gender-segregated bathrooms range from harassment to violence to getting arrested and fired. A butch woman wrote about using men’s and women’s restrooms: “Women jump out of their shoes; I get harassed by the guys.” To avoid attacks, another butch woman saves going to the restroom for certain moments, such as the most interesting parts of movies (bathrooms are emptiest then). Often, harassment leads to violence: An FTM said, “I have been slapped, pushed and dragged out by security guards.” Some people avoid public restrooms altogether. One genderqueer person wrote, “I often ‘hold’ it.” Another person keeps a bucket in his car.

Ark. Court OKs Gay Marriage Ban Vote
by Newscenter Staff

(Little Rock, Arkansas) The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the state can ask voters to consider a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

The court rejected arguments that the proposed amendment question was vague and misleading.
The ruling means the issue will go to voters on November 2.

The proposal to change Arkansas' constitution says "marriage consists only of the union of one man and one woman.'' But it does not question voters will consider does not mention that the measure would bar the state from recognizing civil unions or gay marriages performed in Massachusetts or outside the country.

April 26 - 30, 2005
Austin, Texas

Transgender 2005, the 19th Annual IFGE Conference on Sex and Gender will be held in Austin, Texas at the fabulous Red Lion hotel, right in the middle of everything (well, almost). Malls and great restaurants are in walking distance; we will feature over 50 seminars and workshops on various trans subjects; have lots of free time for networking; there will be fun events and our gala (formals please) banquet on Saturday night.

This exciting event will be hosted by the Transgender Advocates of Central Texas, the Central Texas Transgender Society, and the Alpha Tau Chapter of Tri-Ess. It is being coordinated by Lisa Sheps, a member of the IFGE Board of Directors and an Austin resident and local activist.

Day of Remembrance: November 20, 2004

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

Although not every person represented during the Day of Remembrance self-identified as transgendered — that is, as a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant — each was a victim of violence based on bias against transgendered people.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgendered people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence

‘Vice President Cheney’s ignorance about the HIV/AIDS crisis is inexcusable,’
said HRC President Cheryl Jacques.

WASHINGTON — Human Rights Campaign President Cheryl Jacques made the following statement regarding remarks made by Vice President Dick Cheney last night about the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States.
“Vice President Cheney’s ignorance about the HIV/AIDS crisis is inexcusable,” said Jacques. “When asked about the effect this epidemic is having on Americans — especially communities of color — he said he was unaware of the problem.”

Jacques continued, “He failed the question, but he’s also failed millions of Americans at risk for or living with HIV infection. The administration has an abysmal record on the domestic epidemic, cutting funds for key prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and failing to adequately fund health care coverage for people with HIV. Despite this failure to fund, the administration has found resources to increase funding for abstinence-until-marriage programs by millions upon millions of dollars — programs that are unproven, untested and insufficient.”

Moderator Gwen Ifill first addressed Vice President Cheney during the debate, saying, “I want to talk to you about AIDS, and not about AIDS in China or Africa, but AIDS right here in this country, where black women between the ages of 25 and 44 are 13 times more likely to die of the disease than their counterparts.”

New booki from PFLAG-TNET

Carly: She's Still My Daddy
This 20 page booklet presents a new fiction story designed for young children. A story from a child’s point of view of his mtf TS dad, the topics include gender transition, family relationships, acceptance, and love. Written by Mary Boenke, illustrated by Dolores Dudley.

Gay activists mark a grim anniversary
Brutal 1998 slaying left legacy of pain and hope in Laramie
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

Laramie, Wyo. -- Wednesday was an emotional anniversary for Dave O'Malley. "Everything started a few hours from now, not too far from where we're standing," he said.

Six years ago, O'Malley was in charge of the detective division of the Laramie Police Department when the death of Matthew Shepard outraged the nation and inspired a wave of soul-searching about anti-gay violence.

Shepard, a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming, was lured from a bar the night of Oct. 6, 1998, by two young roofers who pretended to be gay. They tied Shepard to a wooden ranch fence, beat him unconscious and left him there. Shepard died the next week; his killers were convicted of murder.

O'Malley has gray hair, watery eyes and a quick laugh -- but he gets quiet and serious when he talks about how Shepard's death changed him.


Judge strikes monument vote
Religion: Decision blocks Nov. 2 referendum on Ten Commandments, backers plan appeal
By Adam Rush
Idaho Press-Tribune

BOISE -- A judge dealt another setback to supporters of a Ten Commandments display at Boise's Julia Davis Park.

A coalition of religious groups had wanted voters to consider a referendum that would compel the city to place a Commandments monument in the downtown park. Backers collected thousands of signatures to secure a spot on the ballot.


Economic boycott planned for Friday

Dale Duncan became a gay rights activist earlier this year, when he and his partner were watching President Bush on television.

"When the president stepped up to the microphone and said, 'We want to have a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage,' we decided we had to do something," said Duncan, a middle school music teacher who lives in Atlanta.

N.J. Supreme Court Leaves Gay Marriage With Appeals Court
by Chris Newmarker
The Associated Press

(Trenton, New Jersey)  The New Jersey Supreme Court announced today it is leaving a case involving the legality of same-sex marriages with an appeals court.

The state's highest court also directed the New Jersey Appellate Division to speed up its scheduling of an appeal in the case before a three-judge panel.

Officials at Lambda Legal, the group pushing for same-sex marriages in New Jersey, said the court's decision was disappointing for the seven gay and lesbian couples involved in the case..

"I think the state and everyone agrees that this is going to end up in the highest court," said David Buckel, director of Lambda Legal's Marriage Project. "So from our perspective, we thought it would be better to get it there sooner than later."


Criminal Probe Into Anti-Gay Amendment Names
by Newscenter Staff

(Columbus, Ohio)  A criminal investigation has begun into the way names were collected for petitions to force an anti-gay constitutional amendment onto the Ohio ballot.

After allegations that some names on the petitions were forged, the  Summit County Board of Elections turned over the petitions to Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander.

The board said that it suspected between 20 and 30 signatures appeared to be forged.

"It affects this unbelievable democracy we enjoy and goes right to the heart of the Constitution,'' Summit County Sheriff's Inspector Keith Thornton told The Beacon Journal. "I take it really seriously.''


Poll shows 40% of GLBT high schoolers have experienced bullying

About 5% of America's high school students identify as gay or lesbian, and nearly 40% of them report being physically harassed because of their sexual orientation, according to a new poll conducted by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network and released exclusively to on Wednesday.

"The findings suggest that, on average, every classroom in America has at least one student who identifies as lesbian or gay and that a majority of those students know at least one gay or lesbian person, whether it be a teacher, a classmate, or a family member," noted GLSEN executive director Kevin Jennings.

The national poll asked questions of 9th- to 12th-grade students across the country about sexual orientation, name-calling, and general attitudes toward lesbian and gay people in schools. The group said the findings are important because they underscore the widespread problems that arise when students use antigay language, name-calling, bullying, and harassment in America's schools.

"The research demonstrates a disturbing gap between how LGBT and straight students perceive and are affected by the pervasive language," the group determined. "It is probably shocking to many adults how many of their children are using offensive homophobic language day in and day out in our nation's high schools," said Marty McGough, director for Widmeyer Research and Polling. "What the research also gives us is an indication of the large population of LGBT students who have to listen to it."


Voinovich, DeWine reject amendment to ban gay unions

COLUMBUS - Saying they oppose same-sex marriage but believe the wording of a ballot issue is unclear, Ohio's two Republican U.S. Senators said yesterday they oppose a state constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot that would prohibit such unions.

Mike DeWine and George Voinovich believe the second sentence of Issue 1 is "vague, ambiguous, and raises a thicket of questions," their press secretaries said.

Issue 1 states: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions."

Aides to Senators DeWine and Voinovich said they would vote for Issue 1 if it was limited to the first sentence.


Ottawa lambasted over same-sex case
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Ottawa — Gay-rights lawyers said the government gave every indication last year that it had embraced three provincial appellate decisions legalizing same-sex marriage, only to turn around and add a question that forced the court to rule on that very issue.

"It is improper to ask the court to revisit those decisions," said Cynthia Petersen, a lawyer for gay-rights advocacy group Egale Canada and several gay couples. She urged the judges to show their displeasure at this "abuse" of its role by ignoring the question altogether.

Ms. Petersen warned the judges that by taking the bait and "second-guessing the lower courts," it could end up causing a worse mess. "If you provide an opinion that in any way deviates from the lower-court opinions, it will not provide clarity," she said. "It will create confusion."


Poll finds narrow support for same-sex marriage News Staff

The Canadian public slightly supports the notion of gay marriage -- but they are increasingly uncomfortable calling it marriage, a new poll has found.

The Ipsos-Reid survey, conducted for CTV and the Globe and Mail, also found that if the Supreme Court ultimately finds the federal government's proposed bill to be constitutional, 52 per cent of Canadians would accept it.


Oklahoma marriage amendment may meet same fate as Louisiana measure

Oklahoma's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages differs from a similar amendment that was dismissed this week by a Louisiana judge, the legislation's principal author says. Louisiana voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to their state's constitution to ban such marriages, but Judge William Morvant on Monday ruled that it was flawed because it included more than one purpose: banning not only gay marriage but also civil unions.

Oklahoma state senator James Williamson, the principal author of the language that became State Question 711, said he doesn't think SQ 711 would ban civil unions automatically. "The ballot title indicates that it prohibits giving the benefit of marriage to people who are not married, but the actual language of the amendment itself says neither this constitution or any other provision of law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups," he said.

Williamson, a lawyer, said state questions regarding constitutional amendments often have many different subcategories but that the standard legal test always has been whether the question addresses one prevailing subject. "For example, during the legislative fight on the issue, Sen. Frank Shurden tried to put cockfighting on it. That would have been more than one subject," Williamson said.


More Michigan companies offering same-sex benefits
Associated Press

DETROIT - After initially lagging behind companies in other states, a growing number of Michigan employers now are offering same-sex domestic partner benefits.

About 55 Detroit area employers - including private companies, government agencies and nonprofits - now offer same-sex benefits, up from just a handful in 1997, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay advocacy group.

But the issue remains a hot topic. Michigan's Nov. 2 ballot includes a proposal that could ban gay marriage, and some workers worry its passage could lead to legal challenges to same-sex benefits at municipal employers or universities.


Jamaican firms threaten financial block over reggae row
Ben Townley, UK

Companies across Jamaica are threatening the reggae singers at the centre of a row over homophobic lyrics with the withdrawal of sponsorship funds, unless the artists drop their anti-gay content.

The firms involved in the threat include Cable and Wireless Jamaica, Red Stripe and Pepsi-Cola Jamaica.

The unanimous decision to block funds to those artists accused of inciting violence against gays comes after a business conference held last Friday, where companies expressed fears that their own brand names could be tainted by the violently anti-gay lyrics.

In a joint statement released today the companies involved in this new threat said that as well as withdrawing funds from anti-gay singers, they would also develop a new code that all artists sponsored by the companies must adhere to.


Anglican church rules on gay couples
By Tim Clarke

Australia's Anglican Church has said it cannot condone church blessings for gay relationships or the ordination of homosexuals, following a debate at its General Synod.

Delegates at the synod meeting in Fremantle agreed to motions put forward by the church's hierarchy stating they did not condone liturgical blessings for same-sex couples or the ordination of people in same-sex relationships.

The meeting also agreed to back federal parliament's decree earlier this year that marriage, at law, was the exclusive union of a man and a woman.


CMA votes to admit gay pastor

The Campus Ministry Association voted to allow the Rev. Renee DuBose, an openly gay pastor, to join the group as a full member.

The voting took place Wednesday morning during this month's CMA meeting at the Presbyterian Student Center.

DuBose is a pastor for Our Hope Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) on campus, a Christian church open to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and "straight-but-not-narrow" community.

Our Hope MCC is five years old and operates out of the Presbyterian Student Center, though it is not an official religious campus center.


For some gays, living with partners means leaving U.S.
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - (KRT) - What's the hardest part about living in Canada?

"I can't get good Mexican food," jokes 36-year-old Dallas native Gena Watkins. "But the really worst thing is not having my family here. My children, my dad, my brother, my aunts and uncles. I have a huge family base there that I've had to leave."

Each year hundreds of gay and lesbian Americans like Watkins make the difficult decision to move to a country that provides immigration rights to same-sex couples.

Watkins said she had no idea of the obstacles three years ago when she and her life partner, Lisa Proulx, got together. Proulx was in the United States on a visitor's visa.


Sex change `is against my beliefs'
by Tina Clarke

A RELIGIOUS follower refused to see his probation officer because the worker was going through a sex change.

Magistrates were told that Nigel Coleman's reason for not turning up for the interview was because sex change was against his religious beliefs.

The defendant refused to complete a pre-sentencing interview because he did not want to reveal his personal life to the probation officer he had been assigned.

Coleman was due to be sentenced for assault but his solicitor told the bench that his religious views prevented him from opening up to someone he regarded as a worse criminal than himself.


New cannibalism case feared in Germany

BERLIN - Police are investigating a killing in Berlin which appears to be a repeat case of cannibalism linked to sex.

A 33-year-old piano teacher was found dead in an apartment in the city's troubled Neukoelln district, police confirmed.

The man, who had been stabbed to death with a screwdriver, was sawed into pieces and his internal organs including the heart and liver had been put into a refrigerator.


DeMint apologizes for remark
He regrets comment on single, pregnant teachers, but doesn’t elaborate on issue of gays and unwed moms as teachers
Staff Writers

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Jim DeMint apologized Wednesday after telling a newspaper editorial board that single, pregnant women should not teach in public schools.

It was not clear — because DeMint refused to comment further — whether that apology also applied to his remark in a televised debate Sunday that gays and lesbians should not be teachers.


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Gay & Lesbian Legal Guide to Internet Hate
Christopher Wolf

In April, Canada passed a law banning homophobic hate speech, and gay-bashing online was the target of the new law. Despite its noble intentions such a law would never pass muster in the United States.

As a gay man, I know how hurtful homophobic hate speech can be, and how it serves to stir up the worst in haters, who may well translate hateful words into hateful conduct – such as gay bashing. As chair of the Internet Policy Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, I have studied how widely the Internet may be misused to disseminate messages of hate and violence.

As a lawyer specializing in Internet law, I am also well aware of the challenges faced by legislators, law enforcement and national governments to keep up with the daily barrage of hate propaganda on the Internet. Our First Amendment permits even the most repugnant hate speech, unless it crosses a line – the line that threatens real, physical harm to identifiable persons. Hate speech constituting threats or inspiring real attacks can be prosecuted; the rest of hate speech online is the price we pay for free speech. This framework is probably best, as I will explain.


Judge Reserves Decision In Arkansas Gay Foster Ban
by Newscenter Staff

(Little Rock, Arkansas) A Little Rock judge Wednesday reserved judgment in a challenge to the state's ban on gays serving as foster parents. The ban is so sweeping it even precludes heterosexuals who may have a gay adult in their home.

Circuit Judge Tim Fox said he likely would not rule for about three months. He set a hearing for Dec. 20 in case he needs to hear more testimony.

The last witness on the stand was psychologist George Rekers, a University of South Carolina professor who also is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Rekers is a founder of the conservative Family Research Council, and has a history of anti-gay views, relying on the research of Paul Cameron, whose work has been discredited by psychiatric professional groups. Rekers also practices so-called "conversion therapy" which claims to "cure" gay people


Gay unions a global issue

South African homosexual couples can adopt children; in Zanzibar gay marriages are illegal and Canada recently granted the world's first same-sex divorce.

In the debate over whether same-sex couples should enjoy the same legal recognition as heterosexual couples, New Zealand joins a number of nations juggling issues of equality, heritage, morality and religion.
Our closest neighbour, physically and culturally, Australia, banned gay marriage in August through a law which defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Prime Minister John Howard, who has said marriage is the bedrock institution of Australian society, rushed the bill through Parliament, ensuring it would not become a divisive election issue.

Demand for Full Inquiry and Justice in the matter related to Injustice to the three Deserving Dalit Students of the Preparatory Course (2002-2003) at IIT Bombay Sign

To: Hon. President of India

Sub: Demand for Full Inquiry and Justice in the matter related to Injustice to the three Deserving Dalit Students of the Preparatory Course (2002-2003) at IIT Bombay.

Hon. President,

The IIT Bombay (IITB) authorities have done a great injustice to the Dalit students of the Preparatory Course (2002-2003) by not following the prescribed syllabus specially developed for this course and teaching the B. Tech. 1st year syllabus for the Physics and Mathematics courses. As a result of this, 3 deserving Dalit students have been victimized and expelled from IITB as the authorities state that they could not perform in one or two courses out of 8 theory courses and 4 laboratory courses. The unsatisfactory performance was essentially due the violation of the syllabus and several other lapses on the part of the IITB authorities. A detailed account of this is given on the website An appeal was made by the Dalit Utkarsha Manch on August 12, 2003 to the MHRD. IIT Bombay authorities, in their reply on this appeal, deliberately avoided to give their comments/answers on several important issues including that of not following the prescribed syllabus. Thus by giving round about and vague answers, they created an illusion on the MHRD officials that no injustice has been done.

Preparatory course has been introduced to improve the intake of Dalit students into the IITs on the advice of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development. The students who qualify in the All India Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are admitted to this preparatory course. In this Programme, the students are required to undergo intensive training in English, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics for two semesters at such a level as to make it possible for the students to join the regular B. Tech. Course at the 1st year level. This course is designed as a bridge between 12th std. and first year B. Tech. Programme and essentially to stress on the fundamentals. However, by taking such casual approach of ignoring the well structured Preparatory Course Syllabus and teaching the syllabus of the 1st year B. Tech. level for the students of this special course, the purpose and the spirit of the course has been totally violated by the authorities and also resulted in victimization of the three deserving students.

Very harsh rules (in contrast to the liberal and students friendly rules for the B. Tech. and other programmes) have been made for this Preparatory Course with an objective of elimination of some of the students and thus making these students loose one full year of their career. Such attitude has resulted in discouraging the students to join this programme as evident from the statistics of admissions in IITs for this Course. Moreover some of the students from this course are simply expelled from the Institute after just one re-examination under the pretext of upholding the Merit. (As per the rules, now made available to this ‘Manch’, there is no provision for expulsion.) This is a clear example of biased attitude to the Preparatory Course. This has very serious implications on the spirit and purpose of the Preparatory Course and such bad practices can not be allowed to continue.

Since this case of injustice is being suppressed by the authorities of IITB as well as the MHRD officials, we request your action by

1. providing justice to the three victimized Dalit students by admitting them to 1st year B.Tech Programme at IIT Bombay,
2. by taking disciplinary action against the defaulting authorities.
3. implementation of the Preparatory Course in the right spirit for the welfare of the Dalit students and thus stopping the wrong practice of elimination of some students from this course after one full year and
4. a better substitute programme in place of the present one full year Preparatory Course.


First-Ever In-Depth Study of Black Same Sex Households In U.S Reveals High Parenting Rates; Income Disparities
Black Couples Have Most at Stake In The Same Sex Marriage Debate, Census Analysis Shows

"This study disproves the myth that all gay people are White, wealthy, and have unstable relationships without children," said Task Force Executive Director, Matt Foreman

A groundbreaking study released today by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition shows that Black lesbian couples are raising children at almost the same rate as Black married couples, and that Black same-sex couples raise children at twice the rate of White same-sex couples. They also earn less, are less likely to own a home, and are more likely to hold public sector jobs. For all these reasons, Black same-sex couples have more to gain from the legal protections of marriage, and more to lose if states pass amendments banning marriage and other forms of partner recognition.

The study, titled Black Same-Sex Households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census, is the first to analyze the demographics and experiences of Black same-sex households captured by the 2000 U.S. Census, the largest random sample dataset available on same-sex couples.

"As this landmark report makes clear, gay African-Americans are an active, involved, vibrant, and integral part of our communities. African-Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population. Black same-sex couples are 14% of all same-sex couples in the U.S. We are you," said H. Alexander Robinson, Strategic Director of the National Black Justice Coalition.

Black Same-Sex Households in the United States analyzes Census data on age, immigration status, language, disability, income, employment, home ownership, residential patterns, family structure, military service, and educational attainment for Black same-sex households. It compares Black same-sex households to White same-sex Households, Black married opposite-sex households, interracial same-sex households, Black opposite-sex cohabiting households, and Black single-parent households. The study reveals important and sometimes startling facts, including: ….

'Everyone has felt queer'
At this church, which has grown fourfold in six years, Christ has breasts Minister stands firm despite hate mail over gay stance,

Transit ads in west-end bus shelters that have displayed sexy lingerie and the world's tightest jeans now feature a different invitation: come to church.

The ads along Roncesvalles Ave. invite passersby to Emmanuel-Howard Park Church, one of the United Church's fastest growing inner-city congregations. Church members posed for the moody black and white photographs; in brief text they explain why they joined. "I came because I'm loved here," says a bearded man, photographed in half shadow. "I come because it's challenging," says another, pretty well summing up life at Emmanuel.

"They are not meant to proselytize or convert or even to market. We are not selling a product," says Rev. Cheri Di Novo, the driven, plain-speaking former executive head hunter turned minister. "It is a welcoming gesture."

The church, at Roncesvalles and Wright Aves., has blossomed and its membership increased fourfold since Di Novo's arrival six years ago. She's drawn in young mainstream families, whose children swell the ranks of the Sunday school, and those who might be outcasts in many congregations: unmarried couples who live together, gays, lesbians and transsexuals, the mentally ill.


Hate graffiti hits campus
Scott Jason, News Editor

University Police are urging hate crime victims to come forward because of racist, anti-gay and political vandalism that occurred on and off campus in the past three weeks.

The most recent acts of vandalism were reported on Sept. 24 by Assistant Professor Susan Green. She said she found "These are Chico State grads" written in red ink across a newspaper article about gay men getting married in San Francisco while she was in Trinity Hall.


Talks focus on "practical solution" to Northern Ireland attacks
Ben Townley, UK

Multi-stakeholder talks were held in Derry earlier this week in a bid to find solutions to the increasingly violent attacks against gay people in the city.

The talks, held with organisers of last weekend's march for equality, were intended to find "practical ways of confronting" the issue, Northern Ireland's Rainbow Project said.

They follow a steep rise in homophobic attacks in recent months. As well as beatings and verbal abuse, some gay men in the city have been subjected to death threats and homophobic grafitti on their homes. One had excrement smeared on the walls of his home.


LGBT Commission sponsoring ‘Day of Silence’ on Diag

As part of National Coming Out Week, the LGBT Commission will hold a “Day of Silence” at noon today on the Diag.

Students who wish to participate are encouraged to wear all black and stand in silence on the Diag in honor of those who stay silent because of homophobia and anti-gay violence.


High Court Asked to Block Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment
Speedy Decision Sought as Nov. 2 Election Nears

ATLANTA -- Gay rights supporters appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court Wednesday to block a same-sex marriage amendment from state ballots.

The appeal comes after a lower judge refused to prevent the ballot question on whether marriage should be only between a man and a woman. Judge Constance Russell ruled against the request last week.

The gay rights supporters, including two state legislators, had argued that the amendment should be tossed because voters will not be able to read the full language of what could be changed in the state constitution.

The measure going to voters on Nov. 2 stipulates that Georgia will not recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states and declares that the state's judges will have no jurisdiction to resolve property disputes arising from same-sex relationships. Gay rights groups claim the amendment is legally flawed because voters are asked only about marriage, not the jurisdiction question.


Local gay rights activist encourages boycott of goods
By: Steve Gabriel

      While news of gay marriage rights has long since drifted from the media's eye, the issue remains far from resolved. "We're still gay," remarks local resident Richard Livingstone, "and that won't be changing soon." In response to what organizers say is a "war on gay / bisexual / transgendered Americans," a non-profit organization has dubbed a nationwide "Boycott for Equality," set to take place this coming Friday, October 8th. The website states that the effort, which encourages Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgender (GLBT) to withdraw from numerous economic influences during the day, is aiming to, "demonstrate that we are vital and important members of our communities with significant economic presence."

      "Boycott for Equality" is an Atlanta, Georgia based non-profit attempting to mobilize GLBT Americans to action October 8 in the following ways: 1) Staying home from work. Not generating payroll taxes, income taxes or adding to the economy. 2) Withdrawing $80 from your bank account at an ATM. 3) Not shopping. 4) Refraining from using cell phones or the internet. The belief behind these actions are statistics that put the number of GLBT Americans at 17 million with a daily spending power of $1.4 billion, which amounts to around $500 billion annually. Major groups that have endorsed or encouraged Boycott for Equality Day include Don't Amend: The Equality Campaign, The Advocate magazine, Civil Marriage US, and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Task Force.

Bettendorf moves ahead on sexual orientation ordinance

BETTENDORF, Iowa Bettendorf has taken a first step in adding sexual orientation to its civil rights ordinance.
The City Council last night approved the first reading of an ordinance that extends protection from discrimination to gays and lesbians. The vote was six-to-two.

The ordinance change must be approved two more times.

Aldermen Norm Voelliger and Tim Stecker voted against it.

Voelliger said he felt the issue was a federal, not a local one. Stecker said he was concerned the city was going too far in extending rights to groups that are not protected under state or federal law.


SAN FRANCISCO - Sexual disease alert via the Net New Health Dept. program for gays
Suzanne Herel, Chronicle Staff Writer

These e-cards appear funny, sexy and hip, but if you're lucky, you won't be seeing one in your inbox anytime soon.

They're the newest way for gay men diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease to tell their sex partners about their condition.

The program is called InSPOT -- an acronym for Internet Notification Service for Partners or Tricks -- and it premieres today, paid for by the San Francisco Department of Public Health STD Services and run by a local group called Internet Sexuality Information Services (ISIS)


Activists hit out at Equality Commission
Ben Townley, UK

The government's plans for a single Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) are "flawed", and will lead to a weakening of power, according to gay rights activist group Outrage.

The CEHR proposals unveiled by the government earlier this year will replace the existing bodies dealing with equality and form an umbrella group for all minority groups.

But Outrage says the body will lead to a weakening of the Commission for Racial Equality's (CRE) powers by diluting them to fit the five other equality strands of disability, sexual orientation, religion, age and gender.

The knock on effect of this is that the powers available for those working with lesbian and gay groups will also be weakened, the group says.


Pope maintains campaign against gay marriages

Pope John Paul II kept up his campaign against gay unions today, telling Spanish-speaking pilgrims that marriage and childbirth were essential to civilisation.

The pope made his remarks in Spanish during his weekly general audience, five days after the Spanish government proposed legislation to allow homosexuals to marry and adopt children.


Gay Marriage Law Up to Canada's Top Court
Associated Press Writer

Canadian clergy are watching closely as the Supreme Court turns its attention at long last to the government's proposal to legalize same-sex marriage.

Some are worried they will have to perform such marriages against their beliefs if, as expected, the plan passes muster. The court was scheduled to begin hearings on the matter Wednesday.

"We are very confident that the Supreme Court will confirm what many judges have said across the country," said Laurie Arron of gay advocacy group Egale Canada.


HRW wants killers of Lesbian rights activist brought to book

Dakar, Senegal, 10/06 - New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the Freetown government to bring to justice those responsible for the "brutal murder" of FannyAnn Eddy, a Sierra Leonean lesbian/gay rights activist.

Eddy, 30, and founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association was found dead on the morning of 29 September.

HRW said in a release Tuesday that while Eddy was working alone in the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association`s offices the previous night, her assailant or assailants apparently broke into the premises, raped her repeatedly, stabbed and broke her neck.

"FannyAnn Eddy was a person of extra-ordinary bravery and integrity, who literally put her life on the line for human rights," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Project at Human Rights Watch.

Louisiana Anti-Marriage Amendment Struck Down
Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

"All across the country, the forces of religious and political intolerance are trying to do the same thing they did in Louisiana - mislead voters about what's at stake. They say they are only interested in preserving marriage as a heterosexual institution. In reality, the measures they are putting forward not only seek to forbid same sex marriage, they also seek to eliminate all other forms of partner recognition, such as domestic partnerships. This is true in 8 of the 11 anti-marriage amendments on the ballot in November 2.

Clearly, this is about more than 'defending marriage' (from what they cannot explain) it is about denying any protections or benefits to any kind of relationships outside of marriage. They do not care about real people's lives - real families and their children - only their own narrow view of the world.

We know these same forces will be back next year, but at the very least, today's court decision means that they will not be able to again mislead voters about what's truly at stake. We look forward to working with Equality Louisiana and its allies and beating our opponents in round 2."

A Festival of Poetry and other Curiosities

Thursday October 21 – Saturday October 23
The LAB, San Francisco and UC Berkeley

THURSDAY, October 21

8 p.m. at the LAB, $7 - $15 sliding scale

Charles Amirkhanian (duet with prerecorded tape)
Laynie Browne (poetry)
Ray Chung and Alex Artaud (dance)
Covert Action (Abigail Child) (film)
Roxi Hamilton (poetry/music)
David Meltzer (poetry)
Linda Norton (poetry)
Radio Adios (Henry Hills) (film)
Waterworx (Rick Hancox) (film)

FRIDAY, October 22

Friday 1 p.m. - 3 p.m, UC Berkeley,
Wheeler Hall, 3rd Floor, Maude Fife Room, #315, Free
Translation Symposium

Laynie Browne
KJ Holmes and Ray Chung
Claudia Rankine
Elizabeth Robinson
Jerome Rothenberg
Juliana Spahr

Friday 8 p.m. at the LAB, $7- $15 sliding scale

Tony Coulter (sound poetry/electroacoustic DJing)
Gently Down the Stream (Su Friedrich) (film) The Making of the Americans
(Roberta Friedman & Graheme Weinbren) (film)
Hoa Nguyen (poetry)
Randee Paufve and Beth Murray (dance/poetry)
Photoheliograph (Jim Flannery) (film)
Claudia Rankine (poetry)
Dale Smith (poetry)

SATURDAY, October 23

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the LAB, $15 Dance Improvisation Workshop with KJ Holmes,
"Dance as a Second Language" Saturday, October 23 2 p.m.- 4 p.m. at the LAB

All other Saturday events $7-$15 sliding scale; only one ticket necessary all
day, so come early!

Saturday 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the LAB

David Buuck (poetry)
KJ Holmes (dance)
Kevin Killian (poetry)
M. Mara-Ann (poetry/music)
Schlafbau (Helen Mirra) (film)
Sometimes My Feet Go Numb (Lourdes Portillo& Wayne Corbitt) (film)
Juliana Spahr (poetry)
Videograms (Gary Hill) (film)

Saturday 4:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. at the LAB

Ray Chung with Alex Artaud (dance)
Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment (Anne Waldman & Ed Bowes) (film)
Jean Day (poetry)
Stacy Doris (poetry)
kari edwards (poetry)
The Floating Series (Konrad Steiner & Leslie Scalapino) (film)
Junk Box Warrior (Preeti AK Mistry & Marcus Rene Van) (film)
Elizabeth Robinson (poetry)
Edwin Torres (poetry)

Saturday 8 p.m at the LAB (with reception following)

Brenda Coultas (poetry)
KJ Holmes & Edwin Torres (dance/poetry)
Poetic Justice (Hollis Frampton) (film)
Jerome Rothenberg (poetry)
Shelley Senter with Isabelle Cristo (dance)
Heriberto Yepez (poetry)

2948 Sixteenth Street San Francisco, CA 94103
(The Mission - 16th St. BART)
(415) 864-8855

UC Berkeley
Wheeler Hall, 3rd Floor
The Maude Fife Room, #315

For further info on the participants see the LAB’s website at

This event is supported by the generosity of The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, The UC Berkeley Comparative Literature Department, UC Berkeley's Consortium for the Arts, and Poets and Writers, Inc through a grant
it has received from the James Irvine Foundation.8 p.m. at the LAB

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Louisiana ditches gay marriage ban amendment

A Louisiana judge on Tuesday threw out that state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, less than three weeks after it was overwhelmingly approved by voters.

District judge William Morvant said the amendment was flawed as drawn up by the legislature because it had more than one purpose: banning not only gay marriage but also civil unions. The courts had rejected a similar argument before the September 18 election, saying it was premature.

Michael Johnson, an attorney for supporters of the amendment, said he will appeal the ruling. Some 78% of those voting favored the amendment. The Louisiana legislature pushed through the proposed ban in its session this spring. Louisiana already had a law against gay marriage, but conservatives warned that unless it was put in the state constitution, a Louisiana court could, in theory, one day follow the Massachusetts example and legalize same-sex marriage.

Christian conservatives launched a vigorous grassroots campaign to secure passage of the amendment. A gay rights group challenged the amendment on several grounds, arguing among other things that combining the question of gay marriage and the issue of civil unions in one ballot question violated state law.


EU official defends stand on homosexuality
Italy's conservative nominee to become the European Union's justice and home affairs commissioner vowed Tuesday that he would defend the rights of gays even though he considers homosexuality "a sin."

Rocco Buttiglione also defended plans to have the 25-nation EU help operate processing centers for asylum seekers in North Africa during a heated confirmation hearing at the European Parliament. Legislators pushed the Christian Democrat to come clean on his conservative religious views, which many fear could influence his job in drafting antidiscrimination rules.

When pressed by Dutch Green Kathalijne Buitenweg on his views on homosexuality, Buttiglione said he does not "hide the fact" that he is a practicing Roman Catholic and has close links to the Vatican. But he insisted his personal views would not influence his new position in promoting human rights in Europe.

"I may think that homosexuality is a sin, and this has no effect on politics, unless I say that homosexuality is a crime," Buttiglione said. "The rights of homosexuals should be defended on the same basis as the rights of all other European citizens. I would not accept the idea that homosexuals are a category apart."


Arkansas Anti-Gay Foster Care Law Back In Court
by Newscenter Staff

(Little Rock, Arkansas) After a six-month delay a legal challenge to an Arkansas policy that prevents lesbians and gays and anyone living in a household with a gay adult from being foster parents resumed today.

"The state has put up nothing but outdated, baseless myths to justify denying Arkansas's foster children potential homes," said Rita Sklar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arkansas which is fighting the law. "There may be a new witness taking the stand, but the state is going to be singing the same old song."


Doctor Sued After Refusing To Treat Patient With HIV
by Newscenter Staff

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) A 54 year old Wisconsin man who says his doctor illegally discriminated against his patient by refusing to perform surgery when he learned the man has HIV Tuesday launched a civil suit.

Steve Spera says he went to Milwaukee orthopedist James Cain seeking relief for severe and debilitating back pain. Spera says that he received care from Dr. Cain for nearly two years and was given a series of pain management procedures but with little success.

Dr. Cain finally recommended spinal fusion surgery, and Spera submitted to a blood test to enter the hospital as a patient for surgery. The blood test showed that Spera has HIV, and Dr. Cain informed Spera of his status and said he would not perform the surgery. Spera says that he had previously tested negative for HIV.

"Doctors have an ethical and legal obligation to treat people with HIV," said Jonathan Givner, AIDS Project Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal which is representing Spera.


Gay, Lesbian 'Economic Walkout' Friday

ATLANTA (AP) -- A middle school music and choir teacher says he wasn't a gay rights activist until Georgia politics forced the issue.

Prompted by a proposed constitutional gay marriage ban on the state's November ballot, Dale Duncan is doing something to try to unify gays and lesbians. He has turned to a tactic used during the civil rights movement -- a work stoppage and economic boycott.

On Friday, the Boycott for Equality is calling for gays and lesbians across the nation to drop out of the U.S. economy for the day by staying home from work, not shopping and not using cell phones. The boycott also asks people to withdraw $80 from their bank accounts and hold onto the money to symbolize the average daily contribution of gay and lesbian people to the economy.

It's a grass-roots effort being spread by word of mouth and e-mails. A Web site set up to outline the boycott had 1.6 million hits as of Tuesday, Duncan said.


Group opposing marriage amendment launches media campaign

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A group opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has launched a media campaign in Louisville.

The Fairness Campaign is mailing thousands of postcards and has sponsored a billboard off Interstate 65 at the Nov. 2 election nears.

The billboard, sponsored by the Fairness Education Fund, depicts the U.S. Constitution in the background and proclaims that gay and straight Kentuckians each "deserve equal protection under the law."


Liffrig staffer leaves over gay marriage ads
By DEENA WINTER/Bismarck Tribune

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Liffrig's press secretary has left the campaign in frustration over a provocative television ad campaign that accused his opponent, Byron Dorgan, of supporting gay marriage.

Chris Morrola was Liffrig's press secretary from July 1 until last week, when he returned to Virginia. Morrola said he left largely due to the TV advertisements that were broadcast over his objections. He said he opposes gay marriage, but the ads were inflammatory and only hurt Liffrig's polling numbers.