poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Ontario sex-change-surgery case to be heard
Canadian Press

Toronto — The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal will hear a complaint today about government delisting of sex reassignment surgery.

The procedure, which reconstructs the genitalia, was delisted for medicare coverage in 1998 by the former Conservative government.

Forty-seven-year-old Martine Stonehouse says the delisting of sex-reassignment procedures left her in the lurch partway through the gender transformation process.


Parents want gay literature removed
By Deidre Bello
Iowa City Press-Citizen

SOLON -- Middle school teacher Sue Protheroe has come under fire by a group of parents demanding she cease using stories in her classroom that feature gay, lesbian or transgender characters.

As part of her fairy tale curriculum, students in Protheroe's eighth-grade language arts class read "Am I Blue?" a short, fictional story by Bruce Coville that explores a boy's confusion with his sexual identity and the gay fairy godfather who helps him overcome homophobia at school.

Another short story, "In the time I Get," by Chris Crutcher, is about a man who befriends a young man dying of AIDS. Both books are intended to promote tolerance, Protheroe said.

Seven people with children in the district have filed complaints; one of whom has a child in Protheroe's class. Criticisms for "Am I Blue" are that it has no instructional value for her class, it is about controversial areas that should be discussed within families, and it is not appropriate for middle school-aged students. In addition, parents argue the story promotes intolerance through use of slanderous and racist terms, perpetuates gay stereotypes and promotes homosexuality.


Campus Christian Group Sues To Exclude Gays 
by The Associated Press

(San Francisco, California)  A Christian group sued the University of California's Hastings College of the Law in federal court here Friday for not recognizing it as an official campus organization.

The Christian Legal Society says it should get campus funding and other benefits, but does not have to open its membership to gays, lesbians and nonbelievers - all requirements from the San Francisco law school.


Gay couple takes marriage vows under anti-gay billboard
Journal Register News Service

EAST HAVEN -- After a 25-year courtship, the bride wore a full-length leather coat, carried a colorful bouquet and had the groom’s name -- Joanie -- tattooed above her left breast.

The groom -- which is how she described herself -- wore a white sport shirt over a black T-shirt and, among her many tattoos, had her bride’s name -- Florrie -- on her upper right arm.

About a dozen people attended. Dozens more honked their horns as they whizzed by on Main Street and thousands more listened on KC101-FM as Joanie Miller and Florence Amore became the first lesbian couple to exchange vows on Main Street -- live on the radio -- during morning rush hour


Gay couple ignites Sierra rally crowd

The Sierra High School rally for their football game tonight against Buhach Colony High School was exciting in its own right, but when Homecoming Prince candidate DeBrito, 15, and his escort Carnegie, 17, walked out on to Sierra's gym floor, the crowd erupted so much so that the roof shook.


New Keyes Anti-Gay Assault
by The Associated Press

(Chicago, Illinois)  The fiery rhetoric that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes uses on the campaign trail returned during his first televised debate against Democrat Barack Obama after being noticeably absent from their radio matchup last week.

Keyes, a former ambassador who has focused his campaign around his stances against abortion and gay marriage, on Thursday called Obama naive and ignorant on constitutional issues.


When Republicans attack!
Restaurant co-owner says he was verbally assaulted by GOP staffers

It's no secret that elections can bring out the worst in people. Apparently, this goes for political staffers as well.

Despite rolling out the welcome wagon for a flurry of Republican MVPs in recent weeks, it seems members of the state Republican Party just don't have enough on their hands. A neighbor of the party headquarters says he was bullied by two staffers last week.

Kirk Offerle, co-owner of Jazzed Café (with his wife), made a call to Metro Police at 6:22 p.m. on Oct. 15 after unidentified men verbally assaulted him. According to Offerle, the men stormed the café chasing a boy who had just run through the establishment. The men, who came out of the Nevada Republican Party headquarters, said that the boy had just thrown a pine cone at them.

Offerle said that the men, in their 20s, didn't take the attack lying down. Perhaps it was all that leftover adrenaline from seeing the commander in chief the day before.


PayPal drops gay sites from payment service
Publisher says photo of bare-chested men prompted retaliation

When PayPal, the giant Internet payment processing service, announced last year it would no longer do business with clients that sell pornographic products or services, gay-owned Internet businesses assumed the firm was aiming its new policy at the graphic sex trade.

But at least three gay-owned companies that conduct business over the Internet say PayPal appears to be using its anti-porn policy against them, even though they don’t consider their businesses to be sexually oriented.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Youths charged with beating trans women in SW
D.C. attorney general calls case a hate crime

A group of six or seven teenagers attacked two transgender women on Sept. 27 near the corner of Delaware Avenue and M Street in Southwest D.C., causing one of the women to suffer two broken ribs, a fractured skull, and a facial wound requiring 40 stitches to close, according to accounts by the women and D.C. police.

“I curled up like a ball on the ground while they punched and kicked me,” said Kerri Kellerman, 31, a resident of Alexandria. “I didn’t know if I was going to live or die.”

She said the youths called her and her friend, Jaimie Fischer, 25, “faggot” and “bitch” as they assaulted the two, saying the women “don’t belong here.”

Police arrested a 17-year-old male in connection with the incident. A spokesperson for the D.C. Attorney General’s office, which prosecutes crimes against juveniles, said authorities listed the incident as a hate crime and charged the youth with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault, and one count of felony threats.


Transsexual MP Beyer posts gender identity bill

Transsexual MP Georgina Beyer has drafted legislation she hopes will stop discrimination on the grounds of the gender a person identifies with.

Her bill provides for "gender identity" to be included as one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination in section 21 of the Human Rights Act 1993.

Under the Act, people are not allowed to discriminate on grounds such as race or sex.

"Transgendered people are not referred to in section 21 and thus appear not to be protected by the anti-discrimination provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993," notes to Ms Beyer's bill said.


Human rights group alleges continuing anti-gay acts by Serbian right-wingers

LONDON — An anti-gay and lesbian poster campaign across Serbia, launched in July, is the latest in a string of homophobic activities by the right-wing group Obraz, according to a news release from Amnesty International. The Obraz posters featured the slogan “Better prevention than cure — better safe than sorry,” illustrated with mock road signs suggesting that same-sex couples should be prohibited, the group stated. Eight gay rights groups in Serbia sent government officials an open letter following the publication of the posters, demanding that the government speak out against homophobia, Amnesty International reported. “We, the undersigned, believe this to be a violation of the basic human right to freedom of choice of a sexual partner and to be symptomatic of severe abuse of the public space,’” the gay rights advocates wrote, according to Amnesty International. The Serbian government, thus far, remains silent on the issue, the group stated.

Gay youth oppose police in Village

An activist group that has had a stormy relationship with West Village residents marched through the neighborhood on Oct. 16. It demanded, among other things, an end to what they describe as continued harassment and discrimination by local residents and police.

FIERCE! or Fiercely Independent and Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment, brought an estimated 300 people to a rally and protest in Sheridan Square Park across from the Stonewall Inn. Despite a cool rain a number of gay and transgender youth talked about their experiences in the neighborhood during a press conference. Many argued that they have been pushed out.

“We are being totally ignored and they are pushing us back out into neighborhoods that are not safe for us,” FIERCE! spokesperson Angel Seda stated


Group protests at Arkansas City school
By Cindy Klose
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

They were lined up on opposite sides of the street, with signs of opposing views on a new club at Arkansas City High School.

The school board called it a First Amendment decision when it approved the Gay-Straight Alliance.  Members of a Topeka church known for their anti-gay feelings showed up Thursday morning to protest that decision. 

Yelling things like "God hates the educators and the teachers and the parents of Arkansas city," members of Fred Phelps group stood outside the high school with signs.

But they were outnumbered by students who thought it was important to support their classmates, even if they don't always agree with them.


Pro-repeal has $556K
Drake also spends for levy
Enquirer staff report

Gay-rights activists trying to rid Cincinnati's charter of Article XII have had $556,244 to spend this year, compared to $145,081 for their opponents, according to campaign finance reports filed Thursday with the Hamilton County Board of Elections.

While the pro-repeal Citizens to Restore Fairness claims more than 2,000 individual and business contributors, the sources of support for the anti-Issue 3 campaign are a mystery.

The entire bankroll for the Equal Rights Not Special Rights Committee comes from conservative activist Phil Burress and his Citizens for Community Values, a Sharonville-based organization whose primary goal is "public awareness of the destructive impact of obscenity, pornography


Bettendorf civil rights provision now likely
By Tory Brecht

The inclusion of a sexual orientation provision in the City of Bettendorf civil rights ordinance appears inevitable despite growing vocal opposition, including that of Mayor Mike Freemire and his wife, Lori.

When the City Council voted 6-2 two weeks ago in favor of extending discrimination protection to gays and lesbians, all but one of the audience members who spoke up did so in favor of the ordinance amendment


`Nyack 10' lose court case, promise appeal
Associated Press Writer

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Ten same-sex couples, including the mayor of Nyack and his partner, have lost the lawsuit they filed when New York State denied them marriage licenses.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice Alfred Weiner ruled Thursday in New City that the state's domestic relations law limited marriage licenses to heterosexual couples, the plaintiffs' lawyer, Norman Siegel, said Friday.

The couples, known as the "Nyack 10," had claimed that the law did not specifically ban same-sex couples. But the judge said the Legislature's use of phrases such as "husband and wife" and "bride and groom" made its intentions clear.

The couples had also claimed that the denial of marriage licenses was unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but Weiner dismissed that as well.


Marriage amendment filed in Virginia
Measure follows DOMA and Marriage Affirmation Act

Virginia gay rights groups expressed outrage this week at the introduction of a proposed state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state.

Virginia House Joint Resolution No. 528, which was pre-filed on Oct. 8 for the 2005 session of the General Assembly, would add a subsection to the state’s Bill of Rights explicitly outlawing gay marriage.

The proposed amendment states: “To be valid or recognized in this Commonwealth, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman. No provision of this Constitution shall be interpreted to require the Commonwealth to recognize or permit marriage between individuals of the same sex.”

The resolution’s main patron, Del. John A. Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake), could not be reached for comment by press deadline. Phone calls to the Family Foundation, a Virginia group that supports laws that exclude gay couples from marrying, were also not returned immediately.


Student Taunted With Gay Epithets Appeals Ruling
by Rich Peters Western Canada Bureau Chief

(Vancouver, British Columbia) A former North Vancouver student who claims he was bullied for five years is appealing a court ruling that said because he is straight he wasn't protected under the law.

Azmi Jubran, had told the Human Rights Commission tribunal that even though he is not gay he was routinely called "faggot," "homo" and "gay" while attending Handsworth Secondary from 1993 to 1998. He had a variety of objects thrown at him and was kicked and spat upon. Students threatened to drop him in acid and to rape him with a broom. During a school camping trip his tent was urinated on.

Principal Terry Shaw testified he had never seen a student harassed as badly as Jubran was, but with almost 13,000 students and only 70 teachers, he didn't have the resources to stop it completely.

The tribunal condemned the attacks and awarded Jubran $4,000 in damages.  But, the school board appealed and a judge overturned the commission decision saying that the bullying wasn't homophobic because Jubran is straight.


Gay Man Criticizes Palestinian Society
By Alex Tehranian
Special to The Hoya

A Palestinian man described the challenges of living as a homosexual in what he deemed an oppressive society last Tuesday in New South.

Disguised with a wig, sunglasses and a fake mustache, he offered only his first name, Ali. He said he was unwilling to reveal his last name or hometown for fear of being discovered by the Palestinian Authority.

Ali had harsh words for the environment he said homosexuals were forced into by the Palestinian Authority.

“There is no freedom to speak about my homosexuality,” he said. “That’s what I’m experiencing in my Palestinian society as in the rest of the Arab world.”


Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Challenge To Gay Marriage Amendment  
by The Associated Press

(Columbus, Ohio)  The Ohio Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a legal challenge to placing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the November ballot.

The court ruled 6-1 against opponents of the amendment who challenged the validity of the initiative as it was submitted to the Secretary of State's office.

The decision paves the way for the amendment, which bans gay marriage and prevents local or state government from recognizing same-sex couples in any fashion, to appear on the Nov. 2 ballot. This was the last pending legal challenge, both sides said.

The opponents argued the initiative was invalid because it lacked the required summary and certification from the Ohio attorney general.


Gays fear marriage ban will end benefits

Sherri Stetten was added to the health benefits plan held by her partner, Julie Stetten, a webmaster at the University of Michigan, when her new employer, a small family-owned business, didn't provide coverage.

Six years ago that seemed the perfect solution to avoiding costly private insurance premiums. Today, the Ann Arbor pair is among 213 couples in jeopardy of losing their U-M partner benefits if Michigan voters pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage Nov. 2.

"A lot of people are scared," said Julie Stetten, who has worked at the university for 20 years and celebrated her 11th anniversary with Sherri on Thursday.

Depending on whom you ask, the proposed ban will either eliminate benefits for same-sex couples at some universities, public school districts and cities or simply solidify Michigan's constitutional stance that marriage is between a man and woman. People on both sides of the issue agree that organized labor agreements providing for partner benefits couldn't be changed until contracts expire.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Women & Smoking
by Anne Petrov Science Editor

It is a little known fact that lung cancer kills more women each year than breast cancer. In fact, lung cancer kills more women than breast, uterine, and cervical cancer combined. And, studies show that lesbians are more likely to smoke than straight women. Surprised? Many people are.

Women Against Lung Cancer, a newly-formed organization dedicated to reducing the threat of lung cancer, says one reason is that lung cancer is often perceived as a man's disease.

"Women just don't think about lung cancer as a risk to their health," says Dr. Joan Schiller, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "I treat lung cancer patients all the time who got mammograms every year but ignored their constant cough."


Has GOP Written Off Anti-Gay Keyes?
by Steph Smith Chicago Bureau

(Chicago, Illinois) Outspoken homophobe Alan Keyes is mysteriously missing from a GOP mass mailing titled "Your 2004 Republican Team," that includes every other Republican running for office in Illinois


Nixon sues Texas firm for sending spam to Mo. schools

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has filed suit against a Texas Web site operator that sent spam e-mails to Missouri public school superintendents

Nixon said the e-mails were sent by Abilene, Texas-based StarProse Corp. under the guise of being open records requests, but actually were seeking personal information about the superintendents. The e-mails then threatened to list the superintendent as a homosexual unless he or she replied.

The suit, filed in Camden County Circuit Court, states StarProse violated Missouri law by providing false or misleading information in the subject line of the e-mail. Nixon is seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the violations, and is asking the court to prohibit StarProse from sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to any Missouri school personnel, school or district.


Georgia's bishops urging faithful to support Anti-gay marriage amendment
Associated Press

SAVANNAH - Georgia's Roman Catholic bishops are asking their faithful to support a constitutional amendment that bans same-sex marriage.

Transgender victory would be milestone
By Mary Anne Ostrom
Mercury News

Invitations to his fundraisers get right to the point: ``All genders and sexualities welcome.'' Robert Haaland, a San Francisco activist who once sued city police for groping him to determine his sexual identity, could become the nation's first transgender public officeholder. He is a front-running Democrat in the race for supervisor in the city's most liberal district: Haight-Ashbury and surrounding neighborhoods.

On the world stage, a member of the New Zealand parliament is believed to be the only current transgender officeholder. In San Francisco, transgender candidates have run in the past but never have had a shot at election.

It's been 27 years since Harvey Milk became the first openly gay public official in the country, and a Haaland (pronounced Holland) victory would be a comparable milestone, say San Francisco leaders.

``There are parallels, certainly,'' said Supervisor Tom Ammiano, a gay supervisor who is backing Haaland. ``The institutionalized prejudice and ignorance around the issue make his run very, very significant. A win would be even sweeter.''


Transgender lawsuit against SFPD begins

The case of a transgendered man who is suing the San Francisco police department for $25 million went to trial Monday. Jeremy Burke, 37, says that officers severely beat him when he tried to visit his domestic partner's apartment in August 2001.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the incident began when Burke showed up to deliver medicine to his ill 67-year-old female partner, who lives in a Housing Authority development. Burke showed his identification to a guard but was refused entry into the building. The guard told police that Burke pushed past her, while Burke maintains he was shoved into an elevator. Officers were called, and a tussle ensued. Burke was arrested on suspicion of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, and trespassing, the newspaper reported. The charges were later dropped.

Burke maintains that he was severely beaten by the officers who showed up. In addition, Burke says, his feet and hands were cuffed and he was made to lie facedown on the floor. When Burke told the officers he was transgendered, one of the officers reportedly said, "Oh, shit. We fucked up."

"While the transgender community makes up less than 5% of the general population, this lawsuit is meant to send a clear message to governmental police agencies that discrimination in any form, against any citizen, will not be tolerated," said San Francisco civil rights attorney Waukeen Q. McCoy, who represents Burke in the case, in a statement. "This case will send a wake-up call to law enforcement across the country that the use of excessive force will be challenged."


An original artist
Gloria Anzaldúa led the way for Chicana and lesbian writers
By Jesús Alejandro Pérez

Gloria Anzaldúa would sometimes go three days in a row without sleep. Forgetting all physiological need for rest, she would write. Then she'd rewrite and revise again, more than a hundred times. When she did take breaks, she'd walk along the ocean coast near her house in Santa Cruz, Calif. And at this beach, still not outside the walls of her musing, there was a tree, a Monterrey Cyprus. She'd lean on it after every walk.

Sometimes her friend, AnaLouise Keating, would go with her. These are the things she'll remember about Anzaldúa.

Anzaldúa, an influential lesbian Chicana writer, theorist, scholar and UT alumna, challenged the conventional ways to approach Chicano and gender studies by overtly addressing the Chicano queer experience. She was 61 when she died from diabetic complications in May.

Bisexual teacher fights back - (SA)  
Millicent Merton

Cape Town - A bisexual art teacher, who applied for a post at Jan van Riebeeck High School, claims he was discriminated against during his interview.

Riaan Vosloo plans to file a complaint with the equality court.

He claims the school's principal, Hammies van Niekerk, questioned him on his marital status, circle of friends and sexual orientation during an interview.

"He asked whether I was married. When I said 'no', he said he should probably not ask why. He also asked whether I have male or female friends. I asked whether he was referring to romantic friends. He said 'yes'."


Bid to end EU gay comments row

Incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is hoping to defuse a row over his controversial choice of justice commissioner.

He is meeting European Parliament leaders in a bid to secure support for a confidence vote next week.

Several parties threaten to reject the whole 25-member Commission unless the nomination of Rocco Buttiglione for justice commissioner is withdrawn.


Program Launched To Combat LGBT Domestic Violence
by Matt Johns Los Angeles Bureau

(Washington) It is often called the gay 'dirty little secret' - domestic violence in gay and lesbian relationships. 

A report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects released last week documented 6,523 cases of LGBT domestic violence reported in 2003, including 6 domestic violence-related deaths. The figure represents a 13% increases in cases reported from 2002 to 2003.

Usually the signs of domestic violence are ignored in gay relationships by the very people who are trained to look out for spousal abuse.

Now, for the first time a major program will be launched in California to educate medical care providers about the existence of domestic violence in the gay community.


Quilt controversy goes to committee
Quilt with lesbian theme was banned from annual quilt show, Human Relations Committee may review case
  By Diane Strand
  The MidWeek

 The DeKalb County Quilting Guild member whose work was rejected for display in last week’s Quilt Show at Clinton Rosette Middle School is taking her concern to the DeKalb Human Relations Committee, a subcommittee of the City Council.

The Human Relations Committee led the drive a few years ago to pass ordinances barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Diane Johns, whose quilt was banned, was supported by four other guild members who withdrew their quilts from the show in solidarity with Johns: Amy Climer, Jana Mirs, Fran Norris and Kathy Lockard. In addition, members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship protested the guild show, providing information sheets to the public who were attending the major regional exhibit. Johns said she also was supported by Guild President Jill Draves, who at one point offered to resign


Bean shares trials of gay life
By Hallie Grossman
Collegian Staff Writer

Billy Bean first made waves in the major leagues when he had a record-tying four hits in his first game with the Detroit Tigers.

Now he is going up to bat for a different team: the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Bean, who is the only former professional baseball player to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality, kicked off this week's National Coming Out Day celebrations when more than 75 people gathered last night to hear him speak in HUB Heritage Hall.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Russian army 'riddled with sadists'
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow

Russia's once mighty armed forces are a haven for sadists, with senior soldiers subjecting their junior colleagues to vicious beatings, torture, sexual violence and death threats, a report said yesterday.

After three years of research and more than 100 interviews with victims, Human Rights Watch, based in New York, said the problem of violent initiation ceremonies - known as dedovshchina or "rule of the grandfathers" - had reached horrific levels and was sapping morale and undermining combat readiness.

According to official figures 25 soldiers have died as a result of the rites presided over by older conscripts since the beginning of this year; 12 others have died from excess force used by their officers, while 109 have committed suicide. Independent analysts say the real figures are much higher, however, with many deaths being erroneously recorded as accidental or occurring outside military service.


Lambda Legal Demands Changes to Bush Administration's New Regulations that Focus on Boy Scouts' Access to Schools While Ignoring Gay Student Groups

As Part of Its Broad New National Campaign on Youth Rights in Schools, Lambda Legal Mobilizes Public to Contact U.S. Department of Education WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Saying that the Bush Administration is focused on protecting the Boy Scouts' access to public schools while ignoring the rights of gay student groups whose equal rights are often violated, Lambda Legal urged the U.S. Department of Education to add inclusive language to policy regulations that were made public this week and will go into effect within the next couple of months.

The proposed regulations, which now enter a 45-day period of public comment before going into effect, guide schools on making sure Boy Scouts groups have access to schools for meetings, recruitment and other activities. Lambda Legal, which just launched a long-term national campaign on students' rights in public schools, said today that Gay-Straight Alliance groups should be specified in the new regulations as one kind of youth group that also has a right to meet in public schools.

"The Bush Administration wants to add thousands of words about the Boy Scouts to federal rules that don't say one word about gay student groups -- even though they're both protected by federal law and Gay-Straight Alliances are unlawfully denied school access on a regular basis," said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal. "The Boy Scouts need no help getting access to schools but they're the focus of the federal government's attention, while gay youth are routinely ignored and left to fend for themselves when their rights aren't respected."

Scouts' Access to Schools While Ignoring Gay Student Groups
by Doreen Brandt Washington Bureau

(Washington) Saying that the Bush Administration is focused on protecting the Boy Scouts' access to public schools while ignoring the rights of gay student groups whose equal rights are often violated, Lambda Legal urged the U.S. Department of Education Wednesday to add inclusive language to policy regulations.

The new regulations were made public this week and now enter a 45-day period of public comment before going into effect.

Part of the regulations guide schools on making sure Boy Scouts groups have access to schools for meetings, recruitment and other activities.

Lambda Legal said today that Gay-Straight Alliance groups should be specified in the new regulations as one kind of youth group that also has a right to meet in public schools.


Schools Dragged Into Oregon Anti-Gay Amendment Campaign
by Newscenter Staff

(Portland, Oregon) Conservative groups urging voters to pass a constitutional amendment in Oregon that would ban same-sex marriage claim that unless it is passed schools will be forced to teach classes on gay marriage.

"They have no business using our public schools as part of this campaign," Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo said Tuesday. "Our schools have nothing to do with this measure. They are trying to create some sort of fear in our schools related to sexual orientation."

The broadcast ads and flyers include statements from people including Republican Rep. Wayne Scott, the current House Majority Leader, Clark Brody, a former deputy superintendent of public instruction, and David Crowe, the founder of a Christian group called "Restore America."

Gay US bishop: I will not resign
By Jane Little
BBC religious affairs correspondent

The gay bishop at the heart of the Anglican Communion crisis has told the BBC he regrets the pain caused by his consecration but he will not resign.

Gene Robinson was responding to a report which called on the American Church to apologise for consecrating him last November as a bishop.

A senior Nigerian Anglican leader has condemned the report as unbalanced.

Archbishop Peter Akinola accused liberals of being "hell bent" on destroying the Anglican communion.

Gene Robinson welcomed what he called a "remarkable report" and he said he and his diocese accepted its call for an expression of regret.

Group plans counterpicket at 'Laramie'
Gay-advocacy group to stand up to protesters
Times Herald

EAST CHINA TWP. -- Protest threats from an anti-gay church in Kansas have members of a local gay-pride organization ready to silently fight back.

Blue Water Pride, a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy and education group, announced Tuesday it would counter a protest planned by Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. The church plans to picket this week's production of The Laramie Project at the East China Performing Arts Center.


Vermont Episcopal church will continue to bless civil unions
Associated Press

MONTPELIER — Vermont Episcopal priests will continue to bless same-sex unions despite criticism of the practice from an Anglican church commission.V

Vermont Bishop Thomas C. Ely said Monday that parishes in the state will continue to celebrate and bless civil unions until the governing body of the Episcopal Church says not to.
The U.S. Episcopal Church, a branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, was criticized in a report released Monday for electing openly gay Rev. V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire. The Anglican church commission urged the Episcopal Church not to elect any more gay bishops and asked bishops not to "authorize public Rites of Blessing for same sex unions."


Outraged pundits ignore Bush's lies
False indignation remains cornerstone of post-debate strategy

For reasons known only to America's leading conservative thinkers, it is far more offensive to utter an inconsequential truth than to tell a long series of important falsehoods. Or so we are learning in the wake of the final Presidential debate, as Republicans and their noisemakers proclaim grave indignation over John Kerry's innocuous reference to the sexual preference of Mary Cheney.


New Europe and its old attitudes

Poland's only openly gay politician, 28-year-old Robert Biedron, should be in a celebratory mood as senators discuss a bill to legalize same-sex partnerships in this devoutly Roman Catholic country.

But despite a Europe-wide trend towards giving equal rights to homosexuals, with Spain the latest country to have liberalized its laws, Biedron says that zero-tolerance prevails in Poland despite joining the European Union this year.


Professor decries homophobia
By Laura Francoviglia
Kansan staff writer

At the end of the 20th century, American culture was probably the most homophobic society ever to exist, said Robert Minor, professor of Religious Studies. Minor led a workshop titled Scared Straight: How Homophobia Hurts Us All last night at the Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Ave. Minor said he presents workshops around the nation, though only seven people participated in last night’s workshop.

Ellen Goodman
Washington Post Writers Group
The right finds a lesbian
After decades of opposing gays, GOP feigns shock for Mary Cheney

BOSTON -- Let me see if I have this right. The Republicans are now accusing the Democrats of being insensitive to gay Americans? Or to one gay American at least?

After John Kerry mentioned Mary Cheney in the third debate, talk radio hosts finally found a lesbian they wanted to protect. Even the homophobic wing of cable TV rallied to the support of a family with a gay offspring.

Meanwhile Dick Cheney described himself as "a pretty angry father." And Lynne Cheney said of the senator: "This is not a good man."

What's wrong with this picture?


Civil unions plan for same sex couples

Homosexual couples will be able to enter civil unions in South Australia under proposed new laws.

SA Liberal backbencher Mark Brindal has introduced a Civil Unions Bill which he said would enable same sex couples who wanted more than de facto recognition to legally formalise their relationship.

He denied the proposed laws would pave the way for gays to marry.

"A civil union would expand on recent government moves to provide same sex couples with legal recognition within South Australia but is not a marriage," Mr Brindal said.


Clergy rally against banning gay marriage
Amanda Garrett
Plain Dealer Reporter

It has been more than 100 years since the Rev. Bernice Powell Jackson's great-great-grandmother was prohibited from marrying her great-great-grandfather.

She was Irish and he was black - mixed-race marriages were illegal then in Virginia.

Such racist laws seem outrageous now, and perhaps did even then to Ohioans, whose progressive laws permitted mixed-race marriages.

Yet a century later, Ohio voters are being asked to support a measure that is just as discriminatory, just as morally reprehensible, said Jackson.


Nasty Lesbian Visitation Battle Goes To Appeals Court

(Galveston, Texas) A nasty court battle between a Galveston lesbian and her ex-partner over visitation rights to their six year old daughter is heading to the appeals court.

The birth mother, Julie Anne Hobbs, is fighting a district judge's ruling earlier this month that Hobbs' ex-partner, Janet Kathleen Van Stavern had equal parenting rights. y


65,000 Gays In Military

(Washington)  A new report from the Urban Institute estimates that, by even conservative counts, 65,000 lesbian and gay Americans are serving in the United States Armed Forces, on active duty, in the reserves and the National Guard.

The report, Gay Men and Lesbians in the U.S. Military, using estimates from the 2000 Census 2000 found that the length of service for gay men is equal to their heterosexual colleagues, while lesbians typically serve longer than their straight counterparts.

The Institute is a non-partisan economic and social policy research organization.

"The positive contributions of 65,000 gay and lesbian Americans to our armed services and our national security cannot be ignored," said C. Dixon Osburn, Executive Director of Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN). 


Pro-Gay Methodists Urged to Exit Denomination Graciously
Jim Brown & Jody Brown
Agape Press

Pro-homosexual members of the United Methodist Church (UMC) are being asked to make a "gracious exit" from the denomination.

The United Methodist Action Committee of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is calling for the "peaceful departure" of Methodist clergy who cannot abide by the church's standards on marriage and sex.  Same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy sexually active outside of traditional marriage are officially barred by the denomination


The Sin of Pride
A new generation of gay and lesbian students is challenging homophobic policies at religious colleges.
By Janelle Nanos

At 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning in June, Grant Turck crept across the Pepperdine University campus with a couple of cans of paint in hand. Turck, a 21-year-old Pepperdine student, was about to partake in a venerable school tradition: painting “The Rock,” a boulder that has doubled as a billboard in the middle of the Malibu campus for decades. In a few hours, hundreds of incoming students and their parents would be streaming by, touring the campus as part of an open-house weekend. First, Turck coated the Rock in red paint. Then he scrawled in white letters, “Will your gay son or lesbian daughter be safe at Pepperdine?” Turck knew his stunt would turn heads at the conservative Christian school. For a few hours, his words silently questioned the sleeping campus. But by early morning, a school official had added his own touches, enlisting two students to help him cover over Turck’s message.

Gay and lesbian students who attend religious universities and colleges are used to being ignored, thwarted, and condemned by their schools. But more of them are openly questioning their schools’ anti-gay policies, taking on the traditional idea that a Christian education is incompatible with being gay


Judge tosses suit on gays, marriage
Legislators wanted to prevent challenges to Pennsylvania law.
By Pervaiz Shallwani
Of The Morning Call

A Bucks County judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit filed by a dozen Pennsylvania lawmakers who want to stop a gay New Hope couple and other same-sex couples from challenging the 1996 state marriage law.

Calling their action unorthodox, extraordinary and irresponsible, Judge Mitchell Goldberg ruled the lawmakers have no legal basis to file a pre-emptive suit against Stephen Stahl and Robert Seneca, who had told the media they might challenge the state Defense of Marriage Act.


AIDS Protestors Arrested At Bush Election HQ 
by Newscenter Staff

(Washington) Twenty-one AIDS activists have been arrested after chaining themselves to the doors of the Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Close to 120 demonstrators took part in the protest that was organized by ACT UP and Housing Works, a New York agency that provides services with people with HIV/AIDS.

The groups denounced what they call a total lack of funding by the Bush administration for AIDS initiatives in the US and around the world.

"We are here to protest the failures of the Bush administration's AIDS policies," Robert Cordero, director of federal advocacy for Housing Works told the Washington Post.


YMCA changes policy to allow gay couples to pay same rate as other families
The Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- The YMCA of the Triangle Area will charge gay couples with children the same membership fees as heterosexual families but won't call them "families" under a policy that covers a range of household types.

Grandparents with dependent grandchildren, couples with foster children and children living with adults who are their legal guardians will also benefit from the new policy, said the Y's chief executive officer Doug McMillan.


Mormon Church Voices View on Gay Marriage
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement opposing gay marriage on Tuesday, two weeks before Utah voters decide a proposed constitutional amendment on the question


Gay marriage ban fight goes before Ga. Supreme Court
By Andy Peters
Telegraph Staff Writer

ATLANTA -Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to give Georgia law an extra line of defense against the possibility that same-sex couples might try to get married in the state.

But opponents of the measure say there is serious concern that if Georgia chooses to ban gay marriage, the new law may actually do much more.

Tuesday, the state Supreme Court heard arguments from two advocacy groups who argue that the ballot referendum, as it is worded, fails to indicate that the law would do more than amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage.


Play about gay slaying will be staged despite protests
October 20, 2004

EAST CHINA TWP. -- St. Clair High School's production of "The Laramie Project" is scheduled to open Thursday despite plans by members of a Kansas church to picket the show.


Surgeries to tackle homophobic crime
By Jen Bishop

POLICE in Croydon have launched surgeries for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender residents in a bid to tackle homophobic hate crime.


Gay-union decision author denounces attacks on judges
By JENNIFER PETER, The Associated Press

BOSTON - The author of the landmark gay marriage decision that triggered political backlash across the country warned Tuesday against efforts to tamper with the independent judiciary system.

Margaret Marshall, chief justice of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, told a gathering of business leaders that she welcomed scrutiny and criticism of the court’s decision, but she decried attempts - here and elsewhere - to subject judges to elections.


Mrs. Kerry Would Focus on 'Gay Tolerance' As First Lady
By Susan Jones Morning Editor

( - If her husband is elected president, Teresa Heinz Kerry "pledges to make gay tolerance a centerpiece of her First Lady duties," an online media company reported.

In an exclusive interview with PlanetOut -- which describes itself as a gay media company -- Mrs. Kerry made a distinction between sex and sexuality.

She told PlanetOut's senior political correspondent Chris Bull, "A lot of people, particularly those of the more fundamentalist view, think of homosexuality as a sex thing rather than a sexuality thing. They are really very different."

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bloomberg's Discriminatory Court Case Baffling Says Task Force's Foreman
Foreman resigns his position on New York Human Rights Commission

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman today publicly announced his resignation from the New York City Commission on Human Rights due to the City going to court October 14 to try to keep the provisions of the Equal Benefits Law* from going into effect.

Following is the text of Foreman's letter, sent to both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner and Chair of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Patricia Gatling:

Dear Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Gatling:

It is with deep regret and immense sadness that I write to resign as a member of the Commission on Human Rights.
Serving on the Commission has been a tremendous honor and privilege. I have enormous respect for the outstanding work of Commissioner Gatling and her staff. They have turned a moribund agency into a real force for human rights.

Unfortunately, the City went to court yesterday to try to keep the provisions of the Equal Benefits Law from going into effect. This law is in keeping with the City's - and the Commission's - long and proud tradition of working to secure equal rights for its people. For decades, the City has used its contracting and purchasing power to enforce the Human Rights Law, advance and protect the rights of religious and racial minorities and women, secure equal pay for equal work, improve working conditions and wages, and protect the freedom to organize, among many other social equity goals. Through its lawsuit, the Administration is saying loudly - and inexplicably - that gay and lesbian families do not merit being part of this tradition.

A tale of two workers
Stories illustrate different responses to trans folk on the job
by Dawn Wolfe

BTL interviews with two local trans persons show the potential disparity in reactions from one employer to another when a transgender person carries his or her transition to the workplace. The work experiences of "Jane" (who has asked that her real name not be used) and Tim Genaw show the worst, and the best, that local transgender people have faced on the job.

Jane worked in commercial construction both before and during her transition. She had been at the trade as a man for about fifteen years, but it was about three months into her second-to-last construction job that she openly expressed her gender at work.

"I reached the point where I couldn't do another day living as a guy," she said. "Getting out of the truck that morning was the scariest thing I've ever done."

Jane reports that there was very little reaction for roughly two months after that day, though, "My fellow workers tried to bait me into talking about it." However, when she asked a union official about changing her name, the reaction was pretty definite


I hesitated putting this in, its written with such glee in its voyeuristic manner... the writer could just inform how many do not fit the illusional binary

Don't give him any labels -- he's just Larry
Marianne Costantinou

He's an odd man. Or woman. Take your pick.

He has an Adam's apple and a bosom. Both are real. So, too, is the male anatomy he says is tucked under his panty hose.

No, he answers patiently, he's not a transsexual.


OIA Newswire

NEW YORK - October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in recognition, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs today released a 2003 Supplement to its report Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Domestic Violence in 2002.

The 2003 Supplement represents NCAVP's 8th annual analysis of this kind and looks at domestic violence through the lens of those victims who reported to its member agencies during the past year.


A Capitol kiss controversy
Police reprimand men locking lips on state grounds
By Victoria Rossi

UT alumnus John Corvino thought it was "just some innocent kissing." He and a male friend sat talking and kissing on a park bench near the Capitol on Sept. 16, when he said a state trooper strolled by.

Anti-gay preacher told he's not welcome
South Wales Echo

CONTROVERSIAL American preacher Luis Palau has been told he is not welcome in Cardiff because of his "anti-gay" views.

Cardiff council has withdrawn a civic reception next week, which was to have been hosted by Lord Mayor Jacqui Gasson and the city's first citizen has also pulled out of a dinner organised as part of 04theCity, a Christian celebration to mark the centenary of the Welsh reviv


Bigotry in our backyard: a wake-up call

 Most of the homophobia I have encountered and confronted is subtle. Many modern homophobes are getting smart enough to avoid open displays of bigotry, so you rarely see anyone standing on the street corner holding a "God hates fags" sign (unless, of course, you are looking at the Rev. Fred Phelps). But sometimes it doesn't take much provocation for ignorance to surface.

Anyone who spent time on York Street last Tuesday night learned this firsthand. Tuesday was the six-year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay student in Wyoming who fell victim to a homophobic hate crime. Toad's Place invited the musician Beenie Man, whose lyrics explicitly call for the burning and hanging of homosexuals, to perform in New Haven on that very evening.


Coming out's effect lasts a lifetime
By John Johnston
Enquirer staff writer

Steve Howe knew his parents' expectations for him. They mirrored society's: Get married and have children.

His parents tried to expedite the process by introducing him to a woman when he was in his early 20s. But even as the couple dated, then lived together and eventually married, Howe was suppressing his true feelings. He was a gay man trying to live a heterosexual existence


Suit alleges man fired for being gay
By Iowa City Press-Citizen

A former MCI Mass Markets employee is suing the company for allegedly firing him because he is gay.

In a suit filed last week in Johnson County District Court, Shannon L. Derifield alleges he was denied promotions, treated unfairly and ultimately fired in January from MCI Mass Markets, 1925 Boyrum St., after nearly three years of employment. The lawsuit also names Derifield's former supervisor Jane Williams as a defendant.

The lawsuit alleges MCI violated its own non-discrimination policy by firing Derifield and that Williams "orchestrated, manipulated and encouraged an unfair accusation of poor performance on the part of (Derifield)," which resulted in his ineligibility for a promotion within the company. Derifield also alleges he was subject to an "intimidating, hostile and offensive" work environment.


Civil Partnerships "wrecking" amendment rejected
Ben Townley, UK

Baroness O'Cathain's amendment to the Civil Partnerships bill, which MPs, legal experts and gay lobby groups claimed would make the laws offered unworkable, has been rejected in the House of Commons.

The amendment was tabled to extend the bill from lesbian and gay couples to other persons in non-sexual relationships such as carers and disabled people, and elderly siblings.


Who would Jesus invade?

Something caught my attention in the last debate and I was wondering if you caught it, too. Did anybody else out there happen to catch that the President of the United States, commander of the most powerful military on Planet Earth and leader of the free world, said that God told him to invade another country? And did you find that at all … alarmin


Gay man hits out at Northern Ireland police
Ben Townley, UK

A gay man is threatening to sue the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), accusing the force of violent homophobia and victimisation.

Jeff Hoskin says he will sue the force after he was cleared of assaulting a police officer in Belfast.

The 27 year old was said to have verbally abused an officer and pushed him.

The encounter took place in the city after he was attacked by a gang of 10 homophobic youths while leaving a local gay club.


The Pink Paper returns from the brink
Ben Townley, UK

Free gay newspaper The Pink Paper is set to return to clubs and bars across the UK, after one of the country's biggest gay publishing groups announced it was buying the troubled publication.


Bloomberg Loses Bid To Toss Gay Benefits 
by Doug Windsor New York Bureau 

(New York City) New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg lost round one Monday in his bid to overturn a law that would force companies doing business with the city to provide domestic partner benefits.

A judge refused to grant Bloomberg a temporary restraining order to prevent the law from going into effect October 26.


Lebanese group wants ban on homosexuality lifted
Hurriyyat Khassa seeks to abolish law which stipulates one-year jail sentence for sexual intercourse against nature.
By Salim Yassine - BEIRUT

A rights group has launched a campaign in Lebanon to overturn the country's ban on homosexuality, in the first publicity offensive of its kind to take place in the Arab world.

The group, Hurriyyat Khassa or Private Liberties, started the campaign with a screening at the American University in Beirut of the British movie "Victim" which helped change the law banning homosexuality in Britain in the 1960s.

Pointing to recognition for the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the constitution, Hurriyyat Khassa is seeking to abolish Article 534 of Lebanon's penal code which stipulates a one-year jail sentence for "sexual intercourse against nature".

The screening of "Victim" was followed by a heated debate between activists fighting for gay rights and others who believe homosexuality flies in the face of public morality and religious beliefs.


Vatican Official: Gays Are Treacherous 
by Malcolm Thornberry European Bureau Chief

(Vatican City) A high ranking Vatican official has denounced what he calls a powerful cultural, economic and political lobby that is drowning out the voice of the Pope - gay civil rights groups and organizations supporting a woman's right to choose.  

Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, the former Papal Nuncio to the UN and now the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said the groups were "inspired mainly by anti-Christian prejudices".

"It is enough to think of how nonchalantly and blithely, yet tenaciously, these lobbies promote confusion over the role of gender identity, mock marriage between a man and a women, and take aim against life itself which is made the object of absurd forms of experimentation," Cardinal Martino said Monday.


Kansas anti-gay group pickets Alabama churches
The Associated Press  

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — A Kansas-based anti-gay group ended a series of protests in Alabama with a demonstration outside a church that conducted the funeral of a slain gay man.


Nasty Lesbian Visitation Battle Goes To Appeals Court 
by Newscenter Staff

(Galveston, Texas) A nasty court battle between a Galveston lesbian and her ex-partner over visitation rights to their six year old daughter is heading to the appeals court.

The birth mother, Julie Anne Hobbs, is fighting a district judge's ruling earlier this month that Hobbs' ex-partner, Janet Kathleen Van Stavern had equal parenting rights.

Hobbs had become pregnant through artificial insemination. The man who donated the semen voluntarily terminated his parental rights and Van Stavern legally adopted the girl when she was a 3-years old. 


Nicole Brodeur / Times staff columnist
Mary Cheney, say something

The Bush and Kerry girls are on the campaign trail, telling family tales aimed at giving us a glimpse of the private men — the fathers — fighting for the White House.

But Mary Cheney may be telling us the most, without ever saying a word.

The lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney — really, the very idea of her — has become a lightning bolt, setting off small fires about gay rights, activism and privacy all over the political landscape.

And in her silence, Mary Cheney has given us a glimpse of a family trying to reconcile its politics with its heart.


Episcopalians will continue to bless same-sex unions
By Andy Netzel
Free Press Staff Writer

Vermont Episcopal priests will continue to bless same-sex unions despite criticism of the practice from an Anglican church commission.

Vermont Bishop Thomas C. Ely said that until the governing body of the Episcopal Church says not to allow the practice, parishes in the state will continue to celebrate and bless the civil unions of homosexuals


Bishop expresses regret for hurt but not decisions over same-sex blessings -

A bishop in British Columbia says he regrets contributing to an international rift in the Anglican communion, but won't apologise for the decision to permit same-sex blessings or immediately go along with a proposed moratorium.

Bishop Michael Ingham said he will continue to allow same-sex blessings in the diocese of New Westminster until his synod meets next May and decides what course to follow.

"I have not acted apart from the diocesan synod and I don't intend to begin now," he said.

The report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion, called on bishops who have allowed same-sex blessings and those who took part in the consecration of gay Bishop Gene Robinson, to express regret for the hurt the actions have caused the global church. It asked that bishops cease actions that are causing further division in the church — blessing gay unions and electing gay bishops.


Monday, October 18, 2004

The Fight Has Just Begun    
By Josh Aterovis  

The Log Cabin Republicans are fed up. The conservative gay rights group that supported George W. Bush's bid for the White House in 2000 will most likely not be endorsing him in 2004. If you're not a Log Cabin Conservative you may be surprised that they were even considering an endorsement in what has been one of the most partisan and antigay legislative sessions in history. The events leading up to the defeat of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate were the deciding factor. Antigay rhetoric spewed forth in shocking quantities on the Senate floor, sometimes reaching bizarre new heights.

Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas compared gay marriage to marrying a box turtle. "It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle,” he told an audience. “But that does not mean it is right.... Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife."


Challenge to gay marriage vote goes to state's top court
Associated Press

ATLANTA - A poll shows huge support in Georgia for a proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot banning gay marriage. But to get to a vote, the measure must clear at least one more legal challenge

Just two weeks ahead of the election, the Georgia Supreme Court was scheduled Tuesday to hear arguments in an appeal seeking to prevent the votes from being counte


Royal Bank cancels sticker component of controversial 'Safe Space' campaign

TORONTO (CP) - The Royal Bank has abandoned a voluntary effort to encourage some of its clerks to display rainbow stickers at their desks and cubicles to promote a safe work environment for gays, lesbians and bisexu


Gays to celebrate at Independence Hall

Philadelphia, PA,(UPI) -- Gay rights groups said Monday they would mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. gay rights movement May 1, 2004, at Philadelphia's Independence Hall.


Gay in India
Activists brace for a long battle.
By Mike McPhate

NEW DELHI, OCT. 18, 2004. When Raju Sharma's father discovered his son was gay he got a rope and hung Sharma, 23, by the ankles from the first floor balcony of their New Delhi flat, and threatened to kill any neighbor that tried to rescue him.

Sharma says he dangled for an hour before his dad pulled him up, stripped him naked and tossed him into the street. He stood there sobbing, covering his genitals with his hands, as onlookers mocked him for lacking the courage to fight.

That was two months ago. "My father is quiet now," says Sharma, a slight man with a lisp and plucked eyebrows. "But the shame is still there."


Elizabeth Edwards Slam's GOP For Playing 'The Gay Card'
by: Steven K. Paulson The Associated Press

(Denver, Colorado) The wife of Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards said Monday that Republican criticism of Sen. John Kerry for mentioning Mary Cheney's sexual orientation was a distraction from more pressing issues.

Campaigning in Denver, Elizabeth Edwards also argued that President Bush has tried to politicize the issue of gay rights in pressing for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

"I believe the president has tried to use the constitutional amendment as a wedge issue, instead of addressing things like health care or real reform and attention to our veterans' issues," Edwards said.

Insurance coverage sought for sex change
News Staff Reporter

Camille Hopkins made local history two years ago by becoming the first city employee to openly transition from male to female in the workplace.

Now, the former Gregory Hopkins wants the city to pay for an insurance rider that would cover some or all of the cost of a sex-change operation.

Hopkins plans to travel to Montreal in April for the $14,000 surgery.

"I consider this a medically necessary procedure, as do my doctors," Hopkins said. "It's correcting a birth defect."


Blasphemy laws set to be repealed

Britain's ancient blasphemy laws could be repealed when plans for a new offence of incitement to religious hatred are brought forward.

The home secretary is considering the move to see off fears the new law would curtail the freedom to criticise and satirise religions.

There is good case for removing laws on blasphemy, David Blunkett has said.

The changes were being considered in the "wider context" of the incitement law, a home office spokesman added.


Rally Decries Military Policy
Dershowitz calls for law professors to file suit against Pentagon
Crimson Staff Writer

Frankfurter Professor of Law Alan M. Dershowitz, speaking at a protest organized by student gay rights activists Friday afternoon, called on his colleagues to file a lawsuit against the Pentagon to block military recruiters from forcing their way onto Harvard’s campus.

Just steps away from Langdell Library, where the rally took place, military recruiters wrapped up three weeks of interviews with Harvard Law School students at Griswold Hall.

For years, Harvard restricted Pentagon access because the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward gays violated the Law School’s nondiscrimination rules.


Queer Student Leaders Meet To Plan Upcoming Conference
By Lauren Melnick
Columbia Daily Spectator

Student leaders and delegates from Columbia University and NYU met with representatives from several schools in the tri-state area on Saturday for a planning session to discuss the upcoming College

Queer Leadership Conference at Rutgers. Saturday"s event, co-sponsored by Columbia and NYU, took place in the Kimmel Center"s Rosenthal Pavilion, NYU"s student center


Anti-gay policies hurt blacks more
By Deb Price / The Detroit News

Sweet little Noah may be only two weeks old and barely tipping the scale at 7 pounds, but already he has a favorite lullaby. It's about the ark, of course, and lots of animals.

"The house is filled with baby songs and books about Noah," explains giddy new mom Lisa Kebreau, who's easily coaxed into singing a few bars.

Noah's second mom, Mikki Mozelle, says of their infant's name: "Noah is the one God chose to favor over all others in the world. That's what I wanted for my son."

Family, church and hard work are central to the lives of the African-American lesbian couple, who also are raising 14-year-old Alex, a viola player whom Kebreau gave birth to in a previous marriage.

Hasty gay parade dwarfs homophobic preachers
Ben Townley, UK

A parade celebrating diversity in Bournemouth that was hastily arranged in response to a right wing Christian event dwarfed its anti-gay rivals this weekend, with high numbers turning out to show support.

The event, organised by local LGBT group Bourne Free, followed the planning of a day to support the recently deceased Harry Hammond. Hammond died earlier this year, just before he was due to challenge a fine he received for homophobic preaching in the town.

The Christian Voice organisation wanted to use his name to build a campaign against the "immorality" of Bournemouth, which they say has become a "gay mecca".

However, Hammond's granddaughter had pleaded with the group not to use his name, saying he was mentally unwell when he began his preaching. She told the local press that she was unhappy his illness was being used to support bigotry.


Report reveals extent of homophobic bullying
Ben Townley, UK

A new report looking into homophobic bullying in Northamptonshire schools has revealed that around a quarter of pupils have been the victim of abuse, while a large number of teachers were increasingly witnessing attacks.

Commissioned by the local county council, the study says that two thirds of children had witnessed abuse based on a fellow pupil's sexuality or perceived sexuality, while three quarters of teachers had also seen attacks.

The report also found that although the majority of the local school children thought that such bullying was unacceptable, few knew of any policies regarding anti-gay attacks.

While 65% said the behaviour should be stopped, just 13% were aware of their school's strategy of dealing with such problems.


Irish Lawmakers to Review Rights for Gays
Associated Press Writer

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Ireland, a mostly Roman Catholic country where divorce was legalized just seven years ago, is contemplating another leap away from its conservative past -- and toward greater rights for homosexual couples.

An all-party committee of lawmakers plans to meet next week to discuss the need to modernize Ireland's family law -- including, its members confirm, the possibility of granting gay couples rights similar to those enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.


U.S Anglicans told to apologise in gay bishop row

LONDON (Reuters) - The Anglican hierarchy has urged U.S. church leaders to apologise for consecrating a gay bishop and called for a moratorium on same-sex marriages.

In a report designed to pull the 70-million-strong Anglican Communion out of its biggest crisis for a decade, Irish Anglican leader Robin Eames concluded: "There remains a very real danger that we will not choose to walk together."

The crisis erupted last year when Canadian Anglicans voted to approve same-sex marriages and U.S. Anglicans, known as Episcopalians, consecrated Gene Robinson, a homosexual divorced father of two, as a bishop.

Both moves flouted official church policy and drew strong protest from conservatives both in North America and in Africa, Latin America and Asia, where Anglican worshippers are more numerous and tend to be more traditional than in the West.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Church conference backs same-sex marriage

SUFFIELD, Conn. -- The United Church of Christ's Connecticut Conference has backed marriage for same-sex couples, but local churches will now decide whether to follow the policy.

At a two-day annual meeting in Suffield on Saturday, 390 delegates approved a resolution supporting same-sex marriage, said Mark Dost, a delegate from the First Congregational Church of Watertown.


Georgia Gay Rights Supporters Get Hope From Other States

(AP) - Gay rights supporters in Georgia may NOT be able to defeat a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages at the ballot box, but they have new reason to believe they may prevail in the courtroom.

The state's voters will consider the constitutional amendment on gay marriages November 2, unless the state's highest court agrees to block the ballot question on the grounds it illegally
contains more than one subject matter.


Musgrave Claims Gay Vendetta
by Robert Weller, Associated Press

(Fort Collins, Colorado) Saying she has a "bull's eye" on her back, Colorado GOP Rep. Marilyn Musgrave has sent an emergency mass e-mail begging conservatives nationwide for money to help her combat the "radical homosexual agenda" that is trying to oust her from office. 

Musgrave, whose campaign against Democrat Stan Matsunaka has featured a series of colorful ads, said she has been declared public enemy No. 1 because she introduced the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. The measure recently stalled in Congress.


North Dakota Absentee Ballots Promote Gay Marriage 
by The Associated Press

(Fargo, North Dakota) A mistake on some absentee ballots shouldn't affect the vote tally for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, officials said.

The erroneous wording said that both "yes" and "no" votes would mean a voter was approving the gay marriage amendment. But the mistake will not affect the vote, Cass County Auditor Mike Montplaisir said.

ASM is a transqueer zine produced by Radiant Fracture Repair and Fabrication and The Queer Words Project
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Transvestites and Transsexuals Slowly Finding a Place in Society
Dalia Acosta

HAVANA, (IPS) - Transvestites and transsexuals face varying degrees of discrimination and marginalisation all over the world, but in a country like Cuba, with a firmly entrenched culture of "machismo", life can be even more challenging.

Between 1998 and 2003, psychologists Janet Mesa and Diley Hernández conducted an in-depth research project involving interviews with 19 Cuban transvestites and transsexuals. The results of their research were recently published in the Cuban cultural magazine Temas, and can also be seen in Spanish on the website of the state-run National Centre for Sex Education (CENESEX).

Cuban transvestites and transsexuals are subject to conflicting emotions, in that "they feel proud of being Cuban, but find there is no place for them in Cuban society," according to the report.

"Being Cuban has strong social, economic and cultural implications, and this has contributed to the shaping of an identity that is very different from that of individuals in other places and other cultures," they add.


Sex-change (sic) husband fights Irish state ban
Russian businessman born a woman battles to overcome official 'prejudice' in Ireland which refuses to recognise his marriage
Henry McDonald, Ireland editor
The Observer

Because Nicholas used to be Nadia, the Irish state refuses to recognise his marriage. Now the 32-year-old Russian businessman who was born a woman is taking legal action to force the government to accept that his birth certificate can be changed.

Ireland is the last of only three countries in the Council of Europe which does not treat transgender people equally. Like Albania and Andorra, the Republic does not allow post-operative transsexuals to alter their birth certificates.

A successful entrepreneur in the import/export business, Nicholas Krivenko says he and his German wife, Sybille Hintze, will be forced to leave Ireland if the state continues to deny them residency on the basis of not recognising their marriage. The couple live in Quin, Co Clare and married legally and in full knowledge of the registrar in a civil ceremony in Limerick City five years ago.

'Nowhere on the marriage form did it say "Have you changed your sex?" But I gave the registrar my old birth certificate as a girl, my new one and a translation of them from Russian into English at the ceremony. I did not hide my past. I gave them the opportunity to find out.'


Legal experts ponder Ohio's gay marriage ban, ramifications
By Jim Siegel
Gannett News Service

COLUMBUS -- Ohio's proposed amendment banning gay marriage is a little broader in scope than most proposals in 12 other states, several legal experts say.

"We're not alone in going this far," said Marc Spindelman, assistant law professor at The Ohio State University. "But I don't think that should be reassuring to anybody."

Three legal experts said the language of Issue 1 is broad and vague. And although the language refers only to "state and political subdivisions," they believe it could reach beyond a governmental impact


Domestic partner benefits at risk
Passage of amendment could prohibit future coverage for Ohioans
By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer

One staffer at Cleveland State has gone where no one else there has gone before -- to sign up for workplace benefits for a same-sex domestic partner.

But if Ohio voters approve State Issue 1 on Nov. 2, no one else ever could.

The gay marriage amendment would do two things -- define marriage as the union between one man and one woman and prohibit the state and its entities from creating any relationship that approximates marriage.

Similar issues will be on the ballot in 10 other states next month. And voters in Missouri and Louisiana overwhelmingly approved anti-gay marriage amendments earlier this fall, although Louisiana's since has been struck down by a state judge for grouping two issues into one question on the ballot


Civil Rights Commission Releases Negative Evaluation of Bush Administration
Amy Baumann

The United States Commission on Civil Rights issued a report last week evaluating the accomplishments and setbacks in civil rights’ progress. The Commission examined areas of continued disparities for minority groups such as housing, employment, voting, and education, reporting an overall negative assessment of the Bush Administration’s efforts. The report, entitled “Redefining Rights in America—The Civil Rights Record of the George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2004” , cited the administration’s resistance in making civil rights a priority, in eradicating entrenched discrimination, in protecting the rights of the disadvantaged, and in promoting minority access to Federal Programs as evidence of their assessment.


HRC Marks National Latino Aids Awareness Day
Calls for Renewed Emphasis on Prevention and Treatment for HIV/AIDS

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today marked the second annual National Latino AIDS Awareness Day (NLAAD), calling for a renewed emphasis on prevention and treatment for the disease.

     "Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the ravages of HIV and today we are reminded of the need for renewed emphasis on education, preventing new infections, and treating those who live with the disease," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "In addition to facing homophobia, many GLBT Latinos face racism, the lack of culturally competent care, and other barriers to health care access. Thankfully local health groups, advocacy groups, and national groups, such as the Latino Commission on AIDS, the Hispanic Federation, and the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) have been fighting to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS in Latino communities."


HRC President Cheryl Jacques calls scorecard ‘a crucial tool for fair-minded voters.’

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign today released its annual Congressional Scorecard rating U.S. representatives and senators on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in the 108th Congress. The scorecard will be mailed to nearly 225,000 members of HRC throughout the nation prior to the election on Nov. 2, 2004.

“Learning where members of Congress stand on equality issues is a crucial tool for fair-minded voters,” said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. “We hope that all Americans who support equality will learn where candidates stand and vote for fairness on November 2.”

Rally sparks local gay marriage debate
By Kari Allen Daily Herald Staff Writer

Though one side had a microphone and the other didn't, two opposing groups that gathered at Elmhurst's Wilder Park Saturday got their message across.

The "United We Stand-Defending Marriage" bus tour stopped in Elmhurst. Speakers on this side - including Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes - spoke against gay marriages, saying they believe the only true marriage is one between a man and woman.

As they spoke to about 60 listeners, though, a group of more than 100 people - including local students - gathered on the opposite end of the park holding signs in silent protest of the rally. More than a dozen people chanted opposition on the outskirts of the "United We Stand" rally.


Gays See Hope Even In Impending Defeat
by Kristen Wyatt, Associated Press

(Atlanta Georgia) Gay rights supporters in Georgia may not be able to defeat a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages at the ballot box, but they have new reason to believe they may prevail in the courtroom.

The state's voters will consider the constitutional amendment on gay marriages Nov. 2, unless the state's highest court agrees to block the ballot question on the grounds it illegally contains more than one subject matter.

The prospect of court intervention, either before or after the vote, is quite real. In Louisiana last month, a similar gay marriage amendment won with 78 percent of the vote. However, a Louisiana state judge quickly threw out the amendment for the same subject matter complaint lodged here in Georgia.


Gay bishop's fate turns on report
By Kevin Eckstrom
Religion News Service

WASHINGTON — The openly gay bishop whose consecration threatens to split the Anglican Communion said he is not anxious about a report due Monday that will likely raise pressure on him to resign.

Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire said the Episcopal Church and his diocese will survive whatever recommendations come from a panel headed by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames. "I'm actually very much looking forward to it," he said.

The commission was asked to make recommendations for how the Anglican Communion — which counts the Episcopal Church as its U.S. branch — can continue to live together after conservatives promised a "realignment" over Robinson's election last year.


Mary's Silence On Lesbian Squabble
by Paul Johnson Washington Bureau Chief

(Washington) has learned that the GOP outrage over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's remarks about Mary Cheney may have been orchestrated by Mary herself.

Sources close to the Bush-Cheney campaign tell that the idea came up in a telephone call between Mary and her parents immediately after the presidential debate Wednesday night.

The younger Cheney, who serves as a backroom advisor to her father, suggested that she would continue to be a "issue" for Democrats unless something was done to stop it immediately. 

Mary Cheney's sexuality has never been a secret.  Prior to joining her father's 2000 campaign she  worked as a gay and lesbian outreach coordinator for Coors Brewing Co. In 2000 she served in much the same function on her father's campaign.


Coming Out Week: Greeks Create Queer Alliance
Contributing Writer

When a flier advertising the Greek Queer Straight Alliance was dropped off at his fraternity, junior J.P. Avila saw an all-too-common display of homophobia.

“One of my brothers said, ‘This faggot dropped off this flier,’ read it and dropped it on the ground,” Avila says.

For some members of the queer community who are also involved in Greek life, their sexual orientation can carry a stigma.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two Task Force Baghdad helicopters crashed in Southwest Baghdad at about 8:30 p.m. Oct. 16. Two Soldiers were killed and two Soldiers were injured. The wounded Soldiers were evacuated to a medical facility.