poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, November 20, 2004


Amancay Diana Sacayan is a trans activist who has been very active in protesting police brutality in Buenos Aires province and also in social justice issues for a number of years. On July 10, 2004, she and her sister, Johana, were arrested. Police officers told them that the Deputy Commissioner at Police Station 4 wanted "to see them". As both trans women had been arrested and harassed by officers from that Station many times, they refused to go. Then, police officers employed unnecessary force to take both trans women to the police station. First, they were charged with "prostitution" and days later with "resistance to authorities, injuries and damages". Johana was released on October 28, 2004 but Diana is still being held in jail.

Many activists believe that the real reason for the arrest is Diana's involvement in denouncing police brutality against transvestites in the area where she lives. Diana has met with government officers on several occasions and has provided them with documentation to support her claims.



Unfortunately, many transgender and other gender non-conforming students face harassment, discrimination, and even violence on a daily basis. Your school does not have to be that way. By taking some basic actions, students, school staff, and community activists can greatly reduce discrimination and harassment against transgender and gender non-conforming students.

Who are transgender and gender non-conforming students?

The term "transgender youth" can be used as an umbrella term for all students whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth and/or whose gender expression is non-stereotypical. Some transgender students transition or change from one gender to another. Transition often means changing the way you dress, selecting a new name, and sometimes getting help from a doctor to change your body. Students who are gender non-conforming are those whose gender expression (or outward appearance) does not follow traditional gender roles, including, boys who are perceived as effeminate, girls who are perceived as masculine or "tom boys," and students who are androgynous.

What Kinds of Discrimination and Harassment Do Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students Face?

In addition to the typical challenges students face in school, transgender and gender non-conforming students often face slurs, bullying, harassment, and assaults by fellow students and even by teachers. Restrooms are a common place where transgender and gender non-conforming students experience discrimination and harassment. In addition, transgender students who change their name as a part of their transition some times have trouble getting people at school to use the correct name and pronoun. Finally, some transgender students find that they are criticized or punished for the clothes they wear, even when they are complying with the school’s dress code.


Nancy Nangeroni

For the sixth year, the international transgender community will observe a Transgender Day of Remembrance, with this Saturday (the 20th) being the official observance day.

In cities and towns and on college campuses literally around the world, relatively small groups of people will gather to comunally make their personal remembrances. I write "small" because in all but major cities the gatherings will be attended by fewer than a hundred people. Most will be attended by a mere handful, and the largest will not come close to a thousand.

And yet, the effect of these modest gatherings is immeasurably large. Not unlike the demonstration in Falls City, Nebraska in mid 1995, at which about 30 transgender activists challenged the routine acceptance of violence against gender "outlaws". Atttending that demonstration was Kimberleigh Pierce, who went on to direct the momentous film "Boys Don't Cry", which forever changed the way that those who saw it view transpersons and the nearly routine violence against them.


Transgender Twins
Identical Female Twins Become Sister and Brother
By Alan B. Goldberg

 Thirty-five years ago, near Anchorage, Alaska, Juanita and Liana Barbachano were born identical twins. Today, the twin sisters are now sister and brother.

Liana Hoemke is married and a devout Mormon, home-schooling her eight children in rural Texas. Juanita Barbachano is now Juan Barbachano and living near their childhood home in Palmer, Alaska.

How could identical twin girls, conceived from the same fertilized cell, sharing the same DNA, turn out to be so different? This sort of case is as rare as one in 12 million, according to some experts. The compelling and often painful journey of Juanita to Juan raises profound questions about what determines human identity: nature or nurture?


Dr Sony a.k.a the devil a.k.a evil himself! Doctor Sony Or Doctor Ramirez

Thinking about a sex change or gender reassignment? Doctor Ramirez or Doctor Sony as he is sometimes known, is the worst.

I arrived at the Sony clinic on the 15/ 08/ 04 to undergoe gender reassignment surgery. My initial feelings were that the procedure would be successful. Unfortunately I soon began to see things that made me feel uncomfortable. One of the clinic nurses placed myself and a friend in a room with only one bed. The clinic had promised to accommodate my friend during my stay there, to help overcome any language problems. We were provided with a single bed and a very uncomfortable leather sofa.


sorry no tolerance for gays and lesbians
By Jabu D (Activatewits Deputy President)

One would expect to find people who can use their reasoning capacity to the fullest and understand the meaning of tolerance. However, that is not the case at Wits University. The gay bashing of the LGBT members prove how far away we are from realising the value of tolerance. The Sebesong Le Kgorong at this very university posted messages inviting participants to the discussion of Dirty Gay and Lesbians Lifestyle. The SLK introduced themselves as moral regeneration group and their intention is to create the platform for short storytelling, jokes, and discuss issues affecting them in the hope that they will be able to influence others. And their joke of the day was Dirty Gay and Lesbian Lifestyle -(bashing). The posters stated it aloud by statements like Gay and Lesbian recruitment agency, could you afford to risk your negative status and risk being HIV positive? And are you still going to have sex tonight?


Mandate is clear: beat back Bush/Kerry attacks
By LeiLani Dowell

If ever there were an example of the capitalist media as an instrument of the state, this year's post-election coverage, with special emphasis on same-sex marriage, speaks volumes. In a clear attempt to demoralize progressives, especially the lesbian, gay, bi and trans movement, the media are accusing this movement of paving the way for George W. Bush's victory in the presidential election.

For example, a Nov. 7 article by the Asso ciated Press, headlined, "Election devastates gay community," tells of Democratic politicians wagging their fingers at the movement for fighting for same-sex marriage "too fast, too soon." The AP goes so far as to suggest that LGBT people across the country are planning some sort of mass exodus from the United States.

Exit polls, the media claim, overwhelmingly show that "moral values" won the vote for Bush, with same-sex marriage as the main issue. On its face this argument makes little sense, considering that John Kerry opposed same-sex marriage too, and never took a stand against discrimination. At first Kerry said that states should be able to decide the issue for themselves. Then he endor sed an attempted ban on same-sex marriage in his home state of Mas sachusetts, the one state where same-sex marriage has become a hard-won reality.

But what does it mean that voters in 11 states voted for initiatives against same-sex marriage? When polls suggest that the major ity of the people favor equality for LGBT people, what does it mean that laws were passed in some states that even deny civil unions and domestic partnership benefits?


Jamaica: Police Violence Fuels AIDS Epidemic

Widespread violence and discrimination against gay men and people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica is undermining government measures to combat the country’s fast-growing epidemic, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

The 79-page report, “ Hated to Death: Homophobia, Violence, and Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Epidemic ,” documents extensive police persecution of people suspected of homosexual conduct, as well as sex workers and people living with HIV/AIDS. Gay men and people living with HIV/AIDS face serious violence, and are often forced to abandon their homes and communities. Health workers often provide them with inadequate healthcare or deny them treatment altogether.  
Many people in Jamaica still believe that HIV is transmitted by air or casual contact. Widespread homophobia and discrimination are effectively undermining the government response to HIV/AIDS, Human Rights Watch said.  


Standing up for their rights: Coalition of African Lesbians formed in Windhoek
The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) congratulates African activists on the formation of the Coalition of African Lesbians.

Standing up for their rights: Coalition of African Lesbians formed in Windhoek
By Musa Ngubane and Liz Frank:

Women from 14 African countries gathered in Namibia’s capital Windhoek in the last week of August 2004 to develop the African Lesbian Alliance, which was renamed the Coalition of African Lesbians at the meeting. Hosted by the rainbow project together with Sister Namibia, 25 representatives of lesbian organisations and a number of individual women from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia spent a fruitful week developing the vision, objectives and structure of the organisation


IGLHRC Joins WLUML in Calling for the Release of Iranian Human Rights Defender
IGLHRC joins Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) in calling for the immediate release of Ms. Mahboobeh Abbasgholizadeh. IGLHRC will continue to support WLUML in their advocacy efforts to ensure her unconditional release and safety.

Summary from Women Living Under Muslim Laws:

WLUML is deeply concerned about the arrest of Ms. Mahboobeh Abbasgholizadeh on November 1, 2004 on the orders of Tehran's General Prosecutor, Saeid Mortazavi (who ordered the arrest of the Canadian woman journalist who died in prison). This seems to be part of an
escalating campaign to repress civil society groups and human rights activists in Iran. Even after 10 days of being arrested and held incommunicado, no formal charges have been brought against Mahboobeh, nor has permission been granted to any lawyer or family member to see her.


Gay teacher files bias complaint
By: Bill Bittar, Associate Editor 11/19/2004

A Mill Hill Elementary School teacher has filed a Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities complaint against Superintendent of Schools Ann Clark, alleging that he was discriminated against for his sexual orientation.

In a sworn affidavit filed Nov. 1, Larry Zankel, who is openly gay, said a written warning was placed in his personnel file two years ago because of a discussion regarding the "diversity of the family structure" he held in his classroom Jan. 15, 2002.

He has been working to have the warning removed from his file ever since.

"I have been verbally requesting that they remove the warning letter from my personnel file," Zankel wrote in the CHRO complaint, "because I was only following [the district's] policy on diversity."

Gay group fights for right to adopt

The Coalition for Fair Adoption announced its formation Friday and said members will make a coordinated effort to repeal Florida's ban against adoption by gays -- the only such law in the country.

''In the end, it is the thousands of children languishing in our foster care system who are hurt the most,'' Stratton Pollitzer, the group's South Florida director, said on the steps of the Miami-Dade County Courthouse. ``We are asking that people take an honest, unbiased look at the research on gay and lesbian parenting and on this adoption ban. The evidence is overwhelming: Sexual orientation plays no role whatsoever in a person's ability to be a good parent.''

The new coalition represents 20 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, SAVE Dade and the Greater Miami National Council of Jewish Women.

Members will lobby legislators to repeal the ban during the 2005 legislative session.


Topekans debate meaning, effect of city's new gay rights ordinance
By John Hanna - Associated Press Writer

Topeka — Kansas is as reliably Republican as any state, but its capital city has taken a small step toward protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination.
The Topeka City Council has approved an ordinance prohibiting bias based on sexual orientation in city hiring or employment.

Many advocates had hoped the council would enact a broader ordinance against discrimination in housing, lending and private employment and were disappointed. Yet a few took a bit of comfort in the small progress they did perceive.


MP upset private same-sex bill won't go to vote News Staff

An opposition MP says a decision rendering his private member's bill on the definition of marriage open to debate, but not to a vote, is a strike against democracy.

With the issue before the Supreme Court of Canada, Conservative MP Rob Moore introduced Private Member's Bill C-268 last week, calling for a House of Commons vote on the definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman.

On Thursday, the Subcommittee on Private Members' Business ruled the bill non-votable.


Greens petition for same-sex marriage
 From:The Irish Independent

A PETITION demanding that same-sex marriage be legalised in Ireland was handed into Justice Minister Michael McDowell yesterday by the Young Greens as their National Convention got underway.

Handing in the petition, the chairman of the Young Greens, John Keating, said that a "great injustice is currently being done to thousands of Irish citizens and couples who are denied the right to marry a same-sex partner".

He added that although "we are all raised in a society which teaches us to believe that marriage is the greatest expression of love and a life-affirming commitment, not all of us are allowed to experience it."  

Mr Keating continued: "Our laws must reflect the reality that same-sex couples are part and parcel of our society and should be treated as absolute equals. The inequality that exists must be brought to an end by progressive and comprehensive legislation."


ACLU Shifts Argument in Oregon Gay Marriage Case 

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - After Oregonians voted to ban same-sex marriages earlier this month, a gay rights advocate will no longer argue for same-sex marriage rights in the state's supreme court, activists said on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will instead argue for a legal civil unions between same-sex couples giving them the same rights and benefits as married couples.

"This changes our case in only one way. We are no longer seeking marriage," said Ken Choe, a New York attorney with the ACLU who will argue the Oregon case. "But we do believe that the Oregon Constitution requires equality with respect to the protections that come with marriage."

Also at issue is the fate of 3,000 same-sex couple who were married in Portland's Multnomah County after county commissioners started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in March before halting the practice amid a flurry of lawsuits nationwide both for an against same-sex marriages


Atlanta Gay Rights Law May Be Worthless Mayor Suggests
by Newscenter Staff

(Atlanta, Georgia)  Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin says the city ordinance which prohibits discrimination against gays and lesbians may not survive a court challenge.

Franklin made the comments during a meeting with LGBT businesspeople.

The mayor is considering what action to take against an exclusive country club which has refused to recognize the partners of gay and lesbian members.

Atlanta's Human Relations Commission determined that Lee Kyser and Randy L. New were victims of discrimination when Druid Hills Country Club refused to grant their partners family memberships.


Cincinnati looking to win back conventions in light of repeal of antigay law

Cincinnati tourism officials are targeting groups that had previously taken their convention business elsewhere because of a charter provision banning laws protecting gay people from discrimination. Cincinnatians voted to repeal the 11-year-old amendment this month after city and business leaders warned that it was harming the city's economy.

Last week the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau sent letters to 200 groups that cited gay rights issues as a reason for not hosting meetings in Cincinnati. And bureau representatives are considering meeting with eight groups that canceled scheduled events in Cincinnati after voters approved the amendment in 1993. Those conventions had been expected to bring $25 million to the area. "We'll follow up with every group that canceled," said Alan Welch, interim bureau president

Friday, November 19, 2004

Where is the Day of Remembrance/

The following locations have let us know they are hosting an event for 2004. Please drop us a note if you know of an additional location, or if you are interested in hosting an event. All events are on Saturday, November 20th, unless otherwise indicated.


Basic Tips for Journalists
Pronoun Usage
The Associated Press Style Book (2000 Edition) says:

"Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics (by hormone therapy, body modification, or surgery) of the opposite sex and present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly."

Gender trouble
Masae Torai

In Japan, each citizen is automatically enrolled in the family registry system. The registry lists all family members and is used by the government for various administrative purposes. (Korea and Taiwan are the only other countries that use this scheme, because Japan imposed it on them during its occupation.) Seeing as it forms the basis of all subsequent legal documents, the registry presents a real problem for some people.

The transgendered are among those with difficulties. That's because all legal documents in Japan, except for drivers' licenses, list the person's sex. Transgendered people, who lead an existence opposite that of their birth sex, are treated as if their very lives were proof of their criminality.

This burden, however, seemed to ease this summer when a law allowing citizens to change their gender went into effect. The transgendered can — for the first time — legally rent a house, work as a regular company employee, go to the doctor without hassle, and get married. (Transgenderism and homosexuality are separate issues; homosexuals can't get married in Japan yet.)

I had female-to-male sex reassignment surgery (SRS) at Stanford University in California in 1989, and thanks to the new law, I legally became a male last September. Three times during the past 10 years, I had appealed to the courts to change my gender on all my legal papers, and the third appeal was finally accepted. Do you know how happy I am? I wanted so badly to show the papers listing me as a legal male to my seriously ill mother before she died, and I was able to do it


Aging gays face problems of isolation, loneliness, fear
Sentinel correspondent

SANTA CRUZ — Mardi Brown has lived alone since her partner died five years ago. At 65, she is active, involved in the community and self-sufficient. But she still worries who will be there for her if she needs help as she ages.

"When you don’t have a family, and you don’t have a partner, how do you take care of yourself when you get older?" she wonders.

A survey conducted by the Diversity Center, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community center in Santa Cruz, shows Brown is not alone in her concerns. It highlights the emotional, social and support needs of LGBT seniors, and is being used to spread awareness of the senior LGBT community.


When most of your school is gay
By Paul Henley

Are pupils at the world's first "gay" state school victims of segregation or symbols of progressive thinking?

The majority of pupils at Harvey Milk High School in New York are gay and were bullied at their previous school for their sexuality.

Harvey Milk refuses to be classified as a "gay school" even though that is the general perception of it from opponents and supporters alike. But it says its unique brand of segregated education fully deserves its public funding.

It says it provides for a small population of victimised and bullied pupils who are made to feel so freakish in mainstream high schools that they are falling behind in lessons, too scared to go to school and missing out on a proper education.


Group rallies gay, straight students
By Eddie Beeby

An effort to bring students of all sexualities together has generated concern among members of a well-established student group.

The Gay Straight Student Alliance, a new student organization that received recognition by the Student Association Oct. 26, is causing some mild controversy in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center.

The goal of GSSA is to reach out to the university community to raise awareness of issues between LGBT and heterosexual students, said Stephen de Jony, president of GSSA and a senior history major.


Backers say Oregon's gay marriages remain valid
Associated Press writer

PORTLAND — Proponents of gay marriage are conceding that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage shuts the door to state-sanctioned nuptials between gay and lesbian couples — at least for now.

But they are claiming that the ban does not invalidate the marriages of the 2,961 gay and lesbian couples who tied the knot in Oregon earlier this year, when Multnomah County briefly permitted gay marriage, before a judge stopped the practice.

Nor does it shut the door to civil unions, according to legal briefs filed with the Oregon Supreme Court by the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday.

That contention is a scaled-back argument for gay rights advocates in Oregon, who had previously argued that marriage was the only avenue that could ensure full protection for gay and lesbian couples.


Human Rights Personnel Under Attack
by Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS - The world's human rights defenders – including lawyers, journalists, judges, women's activists, and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – are increasingly coming under attack by repressive governments, according to a senior UN official.

"The violation of the physical integrity of defenders takes the form of killings, attempted killings, torture, beatings, death threats, and disappearances," says Hina Jilani, the Geneva-based UN special representative on human rights defenders.

In a 23-page report to the current session of the UN General Assembly , she says human rights organizations are also increasingly facing "invasive policing."

Jilani cites 22 cases of raids by officers of law enforcement agencies, who seized documents, files, and databases relating to rights abuses, and also confiscated computers and cameras – all from human rights organizations

"Such police operations are often conducted without [search] warrants and, in some countries, occur repeatedly," she said.

Jilani reported that several human rights defenders who attended the June 2004 session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva complained that security officials had visited their homes or offices during their absence to question colleagues and family members about the Geneva trip.


Forget Canada, let's have California secede
By Jeremy Beecher

Media Credit: Heathter Macias | Daily TrojanTwo months ago I wrote about relocating to Canada should Bush retake the presidency.

"One of these days," I rhapsodized, "I'll find out where the downtown Canadian Consulate is. I hear Montreal is beautiful in the fall."

But fall has passed, and Montreal is far too cold in wintertime for a Californian's warm blood.

Call it an election-season flip-flop of my own.
Instead, California should just secede. It's a tough pill to swallow at first. But give it a chance.

Anti-gay protesters met with opposition at FHS
BY BRETT BENNETT Northwest Arkansas Times

A small group of anti-gay activist protesters drew a large response when they came to Fayetteville High School on Thursday afternoon.

The group, which numbered about a dozen children and adults, was from the antigay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. They said they decided to protest FHS because it has a Gay/Straight Alliance club, and the group was in Little Rock on Thursday morning to protest the opening of the Bill Clinton Library. "We’re here because stu- dents need to understand it’s not OK to be gay," church member Katherine Hockenbarger said. "It’s not OK for a school to have a club about sex. ... That club has no place in a tax-funded institution."

One FHS sophomore said he was particularly discouraged to see children accompanying the group. "It’s sad to see these kids so young, 5 or 6 years old. They’ve just been brainwashed," FHS student Trevor Logan said.

In anticipation of the protesters’ arrival, hundreds of Fayetteville High School students stood outside the school waiting for them. Many of the students held signs or wore shirts protesting the Westboro group’s message of "God hates fags


Norway rejects full marriage equality Network

Lawmakers in Norway rejected a measure on Thursday that would have granted marriage rights to same-sex couples, including the right to adopt children.

According to Agence France-Press (AFP), a majority of the members of Parliament voted against an amendment to make existing marriage law "gender-neutral".

The opposition included many Christian Democrats, the party of Lutheran pastor and Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

The Scandinavian country currently allows same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, which carry most of the same privileges as marriage .


Maryland pastors vow to press fight against gay marriage

Inspired by the recent success of ballot initiatives amending state constitutions to ban same-sex marriage in 11 states, 70 pastors have pledged to renew their efforts to ensure that such marriages never become legal in Maryland.


Va. cop linked to ’97 D.C. gay bar attack
Ex-Marine behind Remington’s gassing joined force in 2000

A former Marine who was given a bad conduct discharge from the military six years ago for his involvement in the tear-gas attack on a Capitol Hill gay bar is currently working as a deputy sheriff in southern Virginia.

Travis Lee Nutter is employed as a deputy in the Caroline County Police Department, located south of Fredericksburg, Va., according to Deputy Sheriff Roger Moser.


Tory candidate angers gay groups with calls for new Section 28
Ben Townley, UK

A Conservative parliamentary candidate has been slammed by gay rights groups, after apparently calling for the re-introduction of Section 28.

Michael Gove, a candidate for the Tory safe seat of Surrey Heath, sparked the row after telling the Conservative Way Forward group that he supported a county-by-county introduction of the policy.

"Those of us who want a more traditional sex education for our children should be able to choose schools that reflect our values," he said earlier this week.

"Those who want a more liberal approach to sex education for their children should follow through."


Gay Navy group tries again to win recognition
USNA alumni to find out Dec. 2 if they’re official

After a year’s worth of preparation, a group of U.S. Naval Academy graduates expressed optimism that they will soon establish the first official gay alumni chapter of any U.S. service academy.

Last Veteran’s Day, 31 gay graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy formally asked the 50,000-member Naval Academy alumni association — a nonprofit group with no direct ties to the military — to recognize a new gay alumni group.

But the board of trustees last year rejected the group’s application because alumni chapters are geographically based and board members thought the group excluded heterosexuals, according to Skid Hayworth, vice president of communications for the alumni association.


Gay marriage supporters accept ban, plan civil union push
The Associated Press  

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Proponents of gay marriage are conceding that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage shuts the door to state-sanctioned nuptials between gay and lesbian couples — at least for now.

 But they are claiming that the ban does not invalidate the marriages of the 2,961 gay and lesbian couples who tied the knot in Oregon earlier this year, when Multnomah County briefly permitted gay marriage, before a judge stopped the practice.

Nor does it shut the door to civil unions, according to legal briefs filed with the Oregon Supreme Court by the American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday.

That contention is a scaled-back argument for gay rights advocates in Oregon, who had previously argued that marriage was the only avenue that could ensure full protection for gay and lesbian couples.


Anne Fausto-Sterling: The social good of same-sex marriage

THIS PAST SEPTEMBER I got married to another woman, one with whom I have lived intimately for more than 15 years. Obtaining the marriage license, the logistical planning, the writing of the actual ceremony, and the months of discussions between my wife and myself about the meaning of marriage, of commitment to one another, to our respective families, and to our broader community of friends, neighbors and colleagues at work, composed one of the most profound periods in my 60-year existence.

As a result, I find that I cannot empathize with those who believe that this act -- to me a deeply moral and ethical one -- was evil or immoral or in someway a threat to heterosexual marriage.

Marriage is a social good. It provides stability to the couple, to children, and to the community; it provides a social location for caring and giving, and it provides economic safety and benefits.

We opened our ceremony by recognizing the greater good: the commitment we offered to our overlapping communities, the promise to honor our elders and the children in our larger group


US bishops launch marriage initiative, approve audits

Washington, DC, (CNA/ - The US bishops' conference on Wednesday launched an ambitious plan to promote marriage, an institution they see as being under extreme pressure, not specifically from those who favor homosexual unions but also from the general difficulty of getting and staying married.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops also approved plans to collect more information on the clerical sex abuse scandal.


Gay Marriage Anniversary Brings New Threats From Right
by Jennifer Peter, Associated Press

(Boston, Massachusetts) The first anniversary of Massachusetts' gay marriage decision was marked with little fanfare Thursday, but both sides said it was simply the calm before a storm of new battles over the ruling's legacy.

Lawyers at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, which represented the seven same-sex couples who filed the landmark lawsuit, are poised to appeal a second case to the Supreme Judicial Court on behalf of out-of-state gay couples who are currently barred from marrying here.

Conservative groups, heartened by the success of anti-gay marriage ballot questions in 11 states earlier this month, are retooling their local opposition to focus on the public schools, where they say teachers now feel free to promote the gay lifestyle.

The Massachusetts Family Institute issued a pamphlet this fall, warning parents about "How same-sex marriage will affect your school." Distributed through churches and conservative organizations, the brochure shares anecdotes about how 7-year-old "Patrick" was told by his teacher that homosexuality was normal and how "Stacey," a sixth-grader, called her parents bigots after one of her teachers had said that opponents of gay marriage were bigoted.


Gay couple from Ohio find refuge in California

BERKELEY -- Beverly Senkowski can't go back to Ohio. A year and a half ago, she and her partner, Jacqueline Frank, decided to move from Ohio to San Francisco for a work contract for their health care business. They had intended to return in a couple of years to live near their families, which include 23 nieces and nephews.

No more. On Nov. 2, Ohio voters resoundingly passed a constitutional amendment banning not only gay marriage but also any legal status "that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Critics call province cowards for failing to cover sex-change surgeries
Keith Leslie
Canadian Press

TORONTO -- Ontario's Liberal government has ''chickened out'' of reinstating medicare coverage for sex change operations for fear of a public backlash, deputy NDP leader Marilyn Churley charged Thursday.

Churley accused the Liberals of backing off a pledge while in opposition to restore funding for the procedures, which left numerous patients in the lurch when they were delisted by the previous Conservative government in 1997.

''They promised they'd reverse that decision,'' but backed out amid a storm of controversy over the more heavily publicized - and criticized - move last May to delist chiropractic services, physiotherapy and eye exams, she said.


Transmissions: No time to play it safe
By Gwendolyn Ann Smith

For me, November is dominated by two things. Seven years ago, I founded a project called Remembering Our Dead, focusing on anti-transgender violence. It is from this project that the Transgender Day of Remembrance began. It will be held on November 20 across the world and in your own hometown.

November is also the realm of political elections, and this year was one of the most involved elections I've ever been party to. It was also one of the first elections to so directly involve me, with an incumbent president who backs a constitutional amendment to ban my marriage, amongst other things.

This November, both the election and the Transgender Day of Remembrance have certain parallels that I suspect few would realize. Let me explain.

One case I've ended up intimately involved with due to the Remembering Our Dead project is the brutal murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo. Last Spring, her murderers were brought to trial, and everyone was pretty sure this case would be a "slam dunk." Nevertheless, there were some things that didn't seem right, such as the Deputy District Attorney's desire to downplay Miss Araujo's transgender status, and all-but-discarding the hate crime enhancement. Indeed, in retrospect, I feel he was doing all he could to pretend that Gwen's gender was irrelevant, even though she was killed due to her gender.


Letter From Phnom Penh: Gay Marriage Accepted Here
Commentary, Cyril Chin-Kidess,
Pacific News Service,

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia--Anyone disheartened by the way many U.S. leaders cast gay marriage as a "threat" to moral values should remember that there is a world beyond the reach of America's courts and legislatures, where gays and lesbians and their unions are acknowledged and accepted, often without great fanfare. Take my story, for instance.

Although I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I've lived abroad for the last 10 years and have been with my partner, Theo, for eight years. Theo is a German diplomat, so we move around a lot. At the beginning of this year, Theo was offered a posting to Phnom Penh. He accepted on the condition that the German foreign ministry find a way for me to accompany him.

While Germany legally recognizes same-sex unions and the German foreign ministry supports our partnership, the Cambodian government does not, nor would it grant me the same long-stay diplomatic visa typically issued to a diplomat's spouse. I could, of course, have tried to find a job in Cambodia and apply for a work permit. But if I wanted to live in Cambodia solely on the grounds of my relationship with Theo, I would have to go in and out of the country on a monthly tourist visa, become a student or go under the guise of Theo's domestic help -- a common scenario for gay diplomats and their partners worldwide, including those posted to the United States.

Topeka Accepts Stripped Down Gay Law
by Newscenter Staff

(Topeka, Kansas) The Topeka City Council Wednesday night voted for a stripped down version of legislation to ban discrimination in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation. 

In a 5-4 vote council removed protections for the transgendered in the bill which covers only city hiring practices and not the private sector.

The legislation was seen as the first civic litmus test of where America's gays stand following this month's election.

Several dozen speakers, many from the Topeka-based Fred Phelps cult, slammed the ordinance, claiming it "endorses sin".

'Gay-straight' clubs in schools anger foes
By Christina Bellantoni

Family groups and state lawmakers say "gay-straight" student clubs in the region — some even are operating at middle schools — promote homosexuality and encourage teens to be sexually active.
   Students in Virginia, Maryland and the District have formed dozens of such school clubs in an attempt to foster tolerance.
   The formation of these clubs has become an issue in Virginia, where homosexual-rights advocates say the clubs help communities bridge divisions — but more conservative groups fear students will be lured into engaging in behavior they don't support.
   "They are teaching acceptance and that it's OK to be a homosexual and to practice homosexual sex acts," said John Elledge chairman of the Republican Party of Harrisonburg, Va. "I'm all for just getting along, but I'm not at all for having a sexually oriented club in our high school."


Protest denounces Prop. 2
The State News

No-preference freshman Kate Walquist, right, Japanese and marketing junior Brian Casey, center, and Japanese freshman Jessica Storrison, left, protest the passage of Proposal 2 in front of the Capitol.

About 100 angry and confused protesters stood on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday night with signs that read "What is wrong with wanting equality," and "How many people have to die for us to have equal rights."

The event was a demonstration by protesters voicing their disapproval of the passing of Proposal 2, which will amend the state constitution to define the union between one man and one woman as the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union.

The protest was organized by Rally for Equality, a group of Haslett High School students who said they want equality for everyone.

"People should be free to make their own choices," said Haslett High School sophomore Ashley Nalett, the organizer of the event. "There should be separation of state and religion and there's not."


National Field Director for Republican Party sought unsafe sex, multiple partners online; Admits to profile but can’t recall content
By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

The National Field Director and deputy political director for the Republican National Committee Daniel Gurley solicited unprotected sex and multiple sex partners in an online profile at, in seeming contradiction with the Party’s call for abstinence and positions on gay issues.

His adult chat profile soliciting men for unprotected sex and said he has sex three to five times weekly was discovered yesterday by activist Michael Rogers of

Gurley admitted to RAW STORY Tuesday he had a profile in his America Online screenname.


Civil Partnerships to become law
Ben Townley, UK

The House of Lords has voted to back Civil Partnerships in the final vote on the bill.

Same-sex couples across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will now be allowed to register their relationship and be legally recognised for the first time. Scotland is expected to adopt the laws in the near future.

The historic step forward will see lesbian and gay couples have access to the rights and responsibilities on offer to heterosexual couples who wish to hold a civil wedding.

The vote of support comes despite fears that the bill would be blocked by peers just a day before the end of this parliamentary session.


French scientists claim major AIDS vaccine breakthrough
Christopher Curtis, Network

In what could be a major breakthrough, French researchers may be on the way to developing a vaccine against the AIDS virus.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that under laboratory conditions, antibodies were able to prevent the AIDS virus from infecting human immune cells.

Researchers at the Pasteur Institute and National Centre for Scientific Research say this is the first time such a success has ever been achieved against such a wide genetic range of the virus.

This discovery will "open up interesting prospects for the development of a vaccine against AIDS," the team said in a press release.


Gay American Smoke Out set for Thursday

The 10th annual Gay American Smoke Out, which urges lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to stop smoking, is set for Thursday, November 18. The American Legacy Foundation, which sponsors the yearly event, says gay people are considerably more likely to smoke than their heterosexual peers, with up to half of all LGBT adults reporting smoking. As many as 59% of gay adolescents smoke, according to the foundation, significantly higher than the 35% of all adolescents who do so. Fewer gay people have attempted to quit smoking, according to the foundation; about 75% of gay smokers have attempted to quit at some point, compared with 80% of all adults who smoke. Smokers are at greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer, stroke, and emphysema.


Protest angers alderman
By Scott Aust, Journal Staff Writer

RAPID CITY - A Rapid City Council member has been mounting a personal protest for the past couple of weeks by refusing to stand for the invocation or Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of council meetings, actions that have outraged another alderman.

Alderman Tom Murphy said during an interview Wednesday that the nation is heading so far to the right that civil liberties and the Constitution are threatened. He said the only way he can fight back is to make a small gesture of dissent.

"I think a lot of people would understand. They may not agree with how I'm doing it or how I'm saying it, but how can I really look at a country I love that's going the wrong way, and look at the symbol, the cloth that it represents when that cloth no longer represents the ideals it was based on?" he said. "It's starting to fade. The colors are starting to fade into white."


100,000 South Africans Call on Drug Giant Glaxo to Create AIDS Treatment Fund Reports NetCom SA and AHF

DURBAN, South Africa and LOS ANGELES, November 18 /PRNewswire/ --

- South African AIDS Advocates to Host March & Rally Demanding GSK Set up 10 Billion Rand Trust Fund for AIDS Treatment

Up to 1,000 People Expected to Join in March & Rally in Durban on Thursday Nov. 18th; More than 100,000 South Africans Signed Petitions Calling on Drug Giant to Set up Fund; Move is Spearheaded by the Network of AIDS Communities in South Africa and Supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation,


Mugabe bans human rights groups
From Jan Raath in Harare

Zimbabwe’s parliament was rushing through legislation yesterday that will shut down human rights groups and other organisations critical of President Mugabe and his Government. It is regarded as the most repressive legislation since independence in 1980. The Zimbabwe Non-Governmental Organisations Bill will force all the estimated 3,000 private voluntary organisations to register with a state commission or be closed, have their staff arrested and their assets seized. Those not already on the Social Welfare Ministry’s voluntary register will be regarded as illegal as soon as the law comes into force. The Bill also threatens charities that serve as an alternative Civil Service for impoverished Zimbabweans in a society where the state infrastructure is largely in ruins. These organisations bring water supplies, famine relief, seed and farming implements, literacy and support to much of the one third of the population stricken by HIV/Aids. The jobs of up to 20,000 people working for the charities are at risk.

Agencies devoted to what is broadly described as “governance” will be banned from receiving foreign funding. Foreign human rights organisations, including the local office of Amnesty International, will be outlawed. David Coltart, legal director of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), said: “It attacks the churches, human rights organisations, trade unions, everything.” In Zimbabwe, private organisations have managed to keep alive a semblance of democracy and independence. Observers say the face of the country will be changed rapidly when Mr Mugabe signs the Bill into law. Announcing the Bill in July, he declared that “we cannot allow them (voluntary organisations) to be conduits of foreign interference in our national efforts”. Since then, the state propaganda mill has incessantly denounced the groups as “puppets of imperialist forces seeking to destabilise the country to effect regime change”.


New national gay group forms

According to a 2002 survey by peak body Philan-thropy Australia, only two percent of grant givers fund lesbian and gay needs. It’s a statistic members of The Gay and Lesbian Foundation of Australia hope to change.

“My experience has been that we can’t rely on heterosexually oriented or mainstream organisations to appropriately and relevantly respond to GLBTI issues,” Chris Gill, interim chair of GALFA, told Sydney Star Observer

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Gay Students Protest Treatment At UNF

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Gay and lesbian students say they've been threatened and harassed ever since the student president refused to approve funding for their group.

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual students converged on the University of North Florida campus with signs saying they've been the victims of blatant discrimination and they want to put a stop to it.

The students said that harassment has increased since Student Body President Jerry Waterson refused to approve funding for the PRIDE group on campus.

The group did get its money, but now students want an apology and some action from the administration.


Report Outlines How To Stay Healthy During Anti-Gay Campaigns

AMHERST, MA – Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and their heterosexual allies can take concrete steps to resist feelings of isolation, stress, and sadness in the face of anti-gay campaigns, according to a new publication by the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies.

Communities in eleven states enacted divisive anti-gay referenda in this months election. In the course of these campaigns to limit the rights of gay people, well-publicized stereotypes and hostility became dominant themes that challenged the psychological well-being of GLBT people.

“I’ve heard many stories about fear, sadness, and a sense of loss from people all over the country,” noted Dr. Glenda Russell, author of the report.

“Putting the civil rights of one group to a vote takes an enormous psychological toll on members of that group, as well as on communities and on families.”


Mayor: City pension funds should recognize gay marriage

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Wednesday that he will direct his appointees on the city's pension fund boards to treat city employees in gay marriages the same way as those in traditional marriages.

Bloomberg's decision, based on a legal opinion by the city Law Department, makes no immediate changes. It is unclear how many people would be affected.

If the idea is approved by the city's five pension fund boards, same sex couples who are legally married or involved in a civil union with a city employee, would receive pension benefits _ including for instance, accidental death benefits.

The mayor does not have a majority of appointees on any of the boards, which cover pension plans for police, teachers and other city employees.


'Gay Weddings' Bill Clears Final Hurdle
By Amanda Brown PA Lords Staff

Government plans for so-called “gay weddings” passed their final hurdle in the Lords tonight – after a three hour heated debate and protests that it would create unfair tax advantages for a minority.

The Civil Partnerships Bill gives gays and lesbians the right to form legally binding civil partnerships – giving them the same tax, inheritance and tenancy rights as married couples.

Suit Filed To Nullify Kentucky Gay Marriage Ban
by Bruce Schreiner, Associated Press

(Louisville, Kentucky) A court challenge seeks to nullify the approval of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and civil-unions by Kentucky voters this month.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Frankfort, claims the measure that passed by a 3-to-1 margin was flawed because it dealt with two separate issues - the first part pertained to marriage, the rest civil unions


Jeb Bush: No Gay Marriage Amendment
by Fidel Ortega Miami Bureau

(Jacksonville, Florida) Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has rejected a call to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage, a move that has put him at odds with his brother the President.

While George W. Bush continues to call for a federal constitutional amendment to block gays and lesbians from marrying, his brother this week said that a state amendment is not needed in Florida.

Jeb Bush was commenting a call from Southern Baptists for the state to enshrine traditional marriage in its constitution. The denomination voted last week to support a gay marriage ban in the constitution.


Almost 3,000 same-sex marriage licenses filed in Massachusetts since May 17

Newlyweds Gail and Betsy Leondar-Wright now walk hand-in-hand with a greater sense of entitlement. Rod and Lindel Hart revel in the simple act of checking off the "married" box on applications, even on federal forms that do not recognize their union. "I will never, ever check the 'single' box again," said Rod, 31, of Greenfield, Mass.

Tanya McCloskey feels the full impact of Massachusetts's year-old gay marriage decision when a neighbor asks, "So how's the wife?"

Sylvia Guerrero honored by foundation

Sylvia Guerrero, the mother of a transgender Newark youth who was killed after others at a Newark party discovered the 17-year-old was biologically male, is the recipient of a Special Courage Award presented by the Colin Higgins Foundation.

In awarding Guerrero a $5,000 grant, the foundation cited her work as "a mentor to transgender youth" and her "travels around the country to educate communities about transgender issues and advocate change."

Guerrero also will receive a scholarship to attend the 17th annual National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference.

"Sylvia has endured unthinkable tragedy, yet still finds the strength to make a difference in the lives of others through her advocacy work," said Catalina Ruiz-Healy, manager of the foundation, established by screenwriter, director and producer Colin Higgins in 1986 to further his humanitarian goals


Gay officer awarded $2.8 million in harrassment suit

A jury has awarded $2.8 million to a former Essex County sheriff's officer who said other officers sexually harassed her because she is a lesbian.

The Union County jury returned the verdict Monday for Karen Caggiano, 43, of Bridgewater, after a three-week trial. Caggiano testified that she had to use the same bathroom and locker room as male officers in the late 1990s, and that pictures of naked women were posted on lockers. She endured lewdness, including one sheriff's officer who repeatedly exposed himself in front of her, her lawyers said.


School Scraps Cross-Dressing Day

Note to boys in the tiny Spurger, Texas, school district: Put away those high heels and pleated skirts. Instead, wear black boots and Army camouflage to school Wednesday.

A parent's concerns prompted the district 150 miles northeast of Houston to scrap its annual "TWIRP Day" - when boys dress like girls and girls dress like boys- in favor of "Camo Day."

TWIRP stands for "The Woman Is Requested to Pay," and for years Spurger schools hosted the day during Homecoming Week to give boys and girls a chance to reverse social roles and let older girls invite boys on dates, open doors and pay for sodas.

Plano-based Liberty Legal Institute issued a news release Tuesday reporting that it "came to the aid of a concerned parent requesting an excused absence for her children on official cross-dressing day in her children's elementary school."

Remembering the slain Antioch woman has created Web site to honor the victims
Rona Marech, Chronicle Staff Writer

It started with the killing of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was stabbed to death in 1998 in Boston.

Gwen Smith thought Hester's killing seemed tragically similar to the recent slayings of two other transgender women -- Debra Forte and Chanelle Pickett. The earlier deaths had received a small amount of news coverage, but when she mentioned the parallels to friends online, Smith was stunned by the response. No one had heard of Forte or Pickett.

"From that night on, I begin to look for all the people we have forgotten, bearing in mind the George Santayana quote: 'Those who cannot remember the past are (condemned) to repeat it,' " Smith later wrote. "I want to make sure we remember." Soon after, Smith created Remembering Our Dead, a Web site that records the lives and deaths of victims of anti-transgender killings, and called for a Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the people on the grim list she kept.

At the first remembrance event, in 1999, 25 people held candles in the rain outside San Francisco's Castro Theater. This year, on Saturday, the day of remembrance will be recognized in at least 166 cities and seven countries.

"It's a lot better than being a voice crying out in the wilderness," Smith said.


Rainbow Sash Movement: Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Catholics Calls on the National Council of Catholic Bishops to Remove the Blinders of Homophobia

WASHINGTON,PRNewswire/ -- The following Press Release was issued today by the Rainbow Sash Movement:

It was ironic that members of the Rainbow Sash Movement were denied Communion at the Bishops Plenary Liturgy this past week in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC because of a public witness of their faith. While simultaneously the Bishops where patting themselves on the back about overcoming racism, intolerance, and the blindness of ignorance that cannot see Jesus Christ in our neighbor. It is ironic because at the end of the day hate motivated by good intentions, is still hate and a sin.


Peers warned over gay rights plan
Plans to give gay couples similar rights to married couples risk being "held to ransom" by opposition peers, a Home Office Minister has claimed.

Baroness Scotland was speaking as peers debated plans for civil partnerships, which could become law this week.

A change proposed by a Tory peer would mean family members living together would get some of the rights given to gay couples through the partnerships.

Lady Scotland argued it was the wrong legislation to enact the idea.

The amendment by Tory Baroness O'Cathain called for brothers and sisters living together for at least 12 years to be able to get the same rights for capital gains and inheritance tax, fatal accident claims, and housing tenancies.


Gay men "overlooked" in government health paper
Ben Townley, UK

Gay men and Africans are being overlooked in the government's attempts to fight HIV/AIDS, according to the National AIDS Trust (NAT).

The NAT response comes as the government unveils its latest Public Health White Paper, which deals with sexual health issues.

Published today, the paper calls for more funding to fight sexually transmitted infections (STIs) as well as tighter deadlines for patient waiting times in GUM clinics.

All patients should be seen within 48 hours by 2008, it says, while access to such clinics should be simplified.


Fears over Lords' threat to Civil Partnerships
Ben Townley, UK

The Civil Partnerships bill is returning to the House of Lords again today, as the government moves to ensure it is passed before the end of this parliamentary session.

The bill, which will give full legal recognition for same-sex couples for the first time, will be put before peers once again, after MPs dismissed an amendment that was labelled a "wrecking tactic".

Backed by Lord Tebbit and Baroness O'Cathain, the amendment would have extended the bill to partnership that were non-sexual, using the "spinster sister" argument.


U.S. adviser freed after month in jail
Afghan police torture led to homosexual charges
Colin Freeman, Chronicle Foreign Service

Kabul, Afghanistan -- The Afghan government has launched a high-level corruption probe after one of its key U.S. advisers was falsely accused of homosexual conduct and subjected to a monthlong "Midnight Express" jail ordeal.

Vincent White, a Finance Ministry adviser, spent four terrifying weeks in a filthy, rat-infested Kabul prison cell after being accused by police of paying a young Afghan man employed in his office to have sex with him.

White faced up to 15 years in jail for the alleged crime, which is considered one of the most heinous in Afghanistan's Islamic legal code. Until recently, offenders were executed by having a wall collapsed on top of them.

White vehemently denied the accusations, and three weeks ago, the charges were abruptly dropped when the 18-year-old admitted to Ministry of Justice investigators that he had been forced to place his inked fingerprint on charge sheets against White after being tortured by local police.

Billet a gay American?

OTTAWA -- A Canadian couple has launched an online billeting program to help gay Americans trying to flee their homeland. 'BIG DECISION'

The re-election of U.S. President George W. Bush and the U.S. movement to ban gay marriage has inspired some homosexuals to consider immigration to Canada. Through his website,, Larry Dickinson of Fredericton, N.B., is rolling out the red carpet to ease the transition.

"It's a big decision to make and when you make it, there's a lot involved. You've got to find a place to live, find a job and it's very expensive to do that," he said.

"I thought, why not try to make it easier for them to move to Canada? It always helps to be nice to your neighbour."

Welcome to GaySpaces

Finding living arrangements can be tricky when you're gay. If you are an individual looking for a gay friendly place to live, or have a room/house/apartment for sale or rent in a Gay Friendly environment, click here and complete the form, or email us and we will advertise it for you on GaySpaces FREE.

If you are looking for someone to share accommodations we will also post your ad. However this is NOT a personals page to help you find a date! Our goal is to provide free housing help.


Muslim Parents Demand School Remove Their Children From Class Discussions On Gay Families 
by Jan Prout Toronto Bureau

(Toronto, Ontario) Muslim parents Monday night demanded that their children be removed from a mandatory class on diversity. The group told the Toronto District School Board that the program promotes homosexuality. 

The parents, whose children are enrolled in the downtown Market Lane Public School, were particularly angered by discussions in the course on same-sex marriage, and families where both parents are gay.


'DISGRACEFUL'- New report says Gov't, police condone abuse of gays, HIV persons
By Trudy Simpson, Freelance Writer

HUMAN RIGHTS organisations yesterday accused the government and the police force of turning a blind eye to the rampant abuse of homosexual males and persons living with HIV/AIDS.

In an explosive new report, launched by Human Rights Watch ú an international organisation ú at the Courtleigh Hotel, New Kingston, local human rights groups the Independent Jamaica Council For Human Rights (IJCHR), Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) and Families Against State Terrorism (FAST) called for the establishment of an independent body to investigate allegations of discrimination and abuse based on sexual orientation or HIV status. Perpetrators, they say, should be punished to the full extent of the law.

The report also accused government officials of turning a blind eye to "state-sponsored homophobia and discrimination" which, Human Rights Watch said, represents breaches of international conventions against discrimination, which Jamaica has been a signatory to.

Singular Heroic Efforts to Gay Legacies
Ulash Rana

I heard somewhere that it is foolish to make a singular heroic effort in a war because you will surely be killed and your cause will be lost. Very logical indeed!

But just being what you are can be a singular feat of heroic effort for a gay person! But again, the above logic holds very true when the death of Matthew Sheperd comes back vividly into a lone gay persons mind.

Every normal day is a war for a gay person in which he/she stands alone against the normal society. Hence, “singular heroic effort” does apply to every single gay person who is out of the closet.

That “singular heroic effort” can be magnified several times fold for the visible group of gay men known as “metas” (male cross-dressers in Nepal). One of the despicable acts of human hate crimes that I came across was when I read Mr. Sunil Babu Pant’s (Chairman of the Blue Diamond Society) article, “Gay Resolution”in the June 2004 Issue of the Wave Magazine in which he gave an earth shattering example about 2 metas being raped by more than 10 policemen and left to die, and worst no justice done to the offenders, who ironically were policemen, the enforcers of the law!


Court sets date on gay marriage appeals

OLYMPIA -- The Washington State Supreme Court will hear the appeal March 8 of cases from King and Thurston counties backing gay marriage.

In recent months, judges in those two counties have struck down prohibitions on same-sex marriages.

Gay and lesbian couples won their first step toward being able to legally wed in Washington state Aug. 4, when Superior Court Judge William Downing called it "a fundamental right" for people to be able to marry whomever they want.


Topeka passes version of ordinance banning discrimination against gays
Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Topeka City Council on Tuesday night approved a version of an ordinance making it illegal for the city to discriminate in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.

Council members voted 5-4 to approve the ban. City attorney Brenden Long said the measure affects the city of Topeka's hiring practices and not the public at large. He said Shawnee County commissioners passed a similar measure last year.

The council initially considered a proposal that would have inserted the terms "sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression" into sections of city code that ban discrimination based on other reasons, such as race, gender or disability.

Call for Submissions - The Netherlands Transgender Filmfestival (NTGF)
May 18-22, 2005
Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Netherlands Transgender Filmfestival will be held for the fourth time in Amsterdam in 2005. This bi-annual festival in 2003 was host of international guests like Holly Woodlawn, Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad, Barry Shils and Judith Halberstam. The NTGF 2003 was a showcase of a broad range of non-Western films and documentaries on transgender lives from around the world.

The Trans Project
If you identify as transgendered, you have a sibling who does not identify as transgendered, and you and your sibling are 18 or over, you can help bring the voices and experiences of trans people into psychology.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Judge Rules Gast Didn't Lie

A judge in Leavenworth says a transsexual who signed as a woman on a marriage license application didn't lie, even though she's legally considered a man.

The decision came right after closing arguments this afternoon.

The judge said it's impossible to determine whether Sandy Gast intended to lie, or whether she truly believes herself to be female.

Gast was tried on a misdemeanor charge of false swearing. Prosecutors say she should have been listed as a man on the marriage license application filed in February.


MCC's Rev. Dr. Troy Perry on "Transgender Day of Remembrance"
A Statement From The Reverend Dr. Troy D. Perry

Today, I am inviting all people of goodwill around the globe to join in the
observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Saturday, November 20, 2004.

Transgender Day of Remembrance has become an annual international event and
an effective way of raising public awareness of the ongoing plight of hate
crimes against our transgender brothers and sisters.

The reality is that vicious hate crimes are regularly committed against
transgender persons. In fact, over the past decade the statistics have been
consistent: On average, one transgender person has been the victim of a hate
crime murder every single month over the past 10 years. The impact of these
figures is staggering and reminds us that John Donne was correct: The death
of any one of us diminishes all of us.

These tragedies are further compounded by the fact that these hate crimes
and deaths too often have received little public attention and virtually no
media coverage.


BC tribunal told lesbian moms sat through 'poisonous' school board meetings
Terri Theodore
Canadian Press

VANCOUVER (CP) - Fear and principle brought lesbian mom Kim Forster to the B.C. Human Rights Commission to complain about two Surrey school board meetings held last year.

"I was fearful for probably six months after the meeting at the level of hate that we were exposed to," said the woman who went to the meeting to support three same-sex books being used in Surrey's schools.

Forster and Carol Pegura complained the school board allowed anti-gay sentiment to be spewed during the meetings June 3 and 9, 2003.

Their lawyer Tim Timberg told the hearing Monday the school board had a duty under the School Act to provide a discrimination-free environment during the meetings.


Students rally against protest
Anti-gay group to picket school

CARLISLE - Adisa Gobeljic could barely keep pace as students swarmed the cafeteria table where she sat yesterday taking unity pledges.

Carlisle High School students signed vows to treat one another with dignity and respect.

They snapped up tri-color, string bracelets that symbolize the school's stand against an anti-gay group that has planned to picket the high school Dec. 6.

"The group's coming to protest against the Gay Straight Alliance. Basically, we're having a unity thing ... to counterbalance it," freshman Rachel Wells said.


Lesbian sheriff's officer wins $2.8 million in harassment suit

A jury has awarded $2.8 million to a former Essex County, N.J., sheriff's officer who said she suffered sexual harassment from other officers because she is a lesbian. The Union County jury returned the verdict Monday for Karen Caggiano following a three-week trial.

Caggiano, 43, of Bridgewater, testified that she was forced to use the same bathroom and locker room as male officers when she worked at the sheriff's office during the late 1990s and that pictures of naked women were repeatedly posted on lockers. She was also subjected to acts of lewdness, with one sheriff's officer repeatedly exposing himself to her, according to her lawyers.

Lawyer Neil Mullin said the department issued a "whitewashed" internal affairs report that found no merit to her complaints. Caggiano's superiors acted maliciously and intended to hurt her, Mullin told The [Newark] Star-Ledger for Tuesday newspapers.

Gay Muslim Activist Slams Mayor’s Embrace of Anti-Gay Cleric  

LONDON  –  A gay Muslim is not too happy that London Mayor Ken Livingstone gave “red carpet” treatment to the radical cleric, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, last July.

“I fled to Britain to escape murder by Islamic fundamentalists in Algeria,” says gay Muslim and OutRage! activist, Ramzi Isalam.

“Now I find the Mayor of my adopted city embracing a cleric who endorses the execution of gay people in Islamic states and who provides a theological justification for the people who wanted to kill me.”

“Why is the Mayor prepared to have a dialogue with Islamic fundamentalists like Dr Qaradawi and the Muslim Association of Britain, but not with liberal and progressive Muslims,” he asks?


A Day Without Rights

Gay activists will assemble at 11:30 am outside the Mayor's office on the fifth floor of City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle Street, to present a giant "Thank You" card as a display of appreciation for the PUBLIC ENDORSEMENT of equal marriage rights by Mayor Daley.


Pentagon Settles Suit Over Boy Scout Support
by The Associated Press

(Chicago, Illinois) The Pentagon has agreed to warn military bases worldwide not to directly sponsor Boy Scout troops, partially resolving claims that the government has engaged in religious discrimination by supporting a group that requires leaders to be heterosexual and believe in God.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges in recent years over how closely the government should be aligned with the Boy Scouts of America, a venerable organization that boasts a membership of more than 3.2 million members.

Gast to take stand today
By CONNIE PARISH, Times Staff Writer

Sandy Clarissa Gast, a 49-year-old Leavenworth transsexual, will have a chance today to tell a district court judge why she didn't believe she was lying when she applied for a marriage license as a female.

Gast is accused of false writing when she applied for a license in February to marry Georgi Somers, a 63-year-old Leavenworth transsexual. Somers' daughter contacted the county attorney's office to report what she considered a moral abomination, since it would involve a same-sex marriage.

Consequently, Gast was arrested at her home and "hauled to Leavenworth County Jail in shorts, a halter top and thongs," strip searched and subjected to many indignities during the next six or seven hours, said her attorney, Pedro Irigonegaray of Topeka.

The American Civil Liberties Union is bankrolling the criminal trial, which began Monday in Leavenworth County District Court in Judge Frederick Stewart's court.


Man charged for knife attack
Ben Townley, UK

A man has been charged with attempted murder of a gay man who was stabbed on a London night bus earlier this month.

David Samuel, 22, is accused of attacking the unnamed 28-year-old victim earlier this year, after seeing him with his partner on the bus.

After shouting verbal abuse and being thrown off the bus in the Highgate area of north London, he managed to push his way back in and stab the victim 4 times.

The victim was admitted to hospital with his injuries, but was released days later.

Police believe the attack was motivated by homophobia .


Group targets anti-gay bullying
Network to hold public meeting tonight at City Hall
By Christine Mahr
The Desert Sun

CATHEDRAL CITY -- A group of community leaders are working to form an organization dedicated to stopping bullying and harassment in schools. G

Organizers and supporters of a Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network chapter will meet at 6 p.m. tonight in the Cathedral City Council Chambers.


Anti-gay crimes surge in Scotland
Ben Townley, UK

Scotland has seen a sharp increase in the reporting of anti- gay hate crime, according to a new poll, with an estimated rise of 90% across the country.

The study of Scottish police forces found that areas such as Strathclyde and Grampian had seen the bulk of the massive increases, although an increase in incidents was seen across the majority of regions.

One force - in Lothian and Borders - had its first ever figures, having just introduced reporting this year.

The figures, revealed in the Sunday Herald, echo similar rises in anti- gay hate crimes in English police force figures


Gay Fairfield teacher wants written warning pulled from personnel file

FAIRFIELD — A gay teacher at Mill Hill Elementary School who received a written warning from superiors for holding a classroom discussion about "diversity of family structure" has filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

Larry Zankel, a second-grade teacher hired by the Board of Education seven years ago, says in the complaint against Supt. of Schools Ann Clark that he was "only following [the Board of Education's] policy on diversity" when he held the classroom discussion in January 2002


Repeal of gay union ban urged
By John Yellig / Daily Progress staff writer

The Charlottesville City Council passed a resolution Monday urging the repeal of a state law banning same-sex civil unions.

The resolution was a symbolic statement against House Bill 751, which was passed during the 2004 session of the General Assembly and prohibits any legal arrangement bestowing the rights and privileges of marriage on couples of the same sex. It also voids civil unions current Virginia residents entered into in other states.

The resolution drew a large crowd of supporters and opponents, reflecting the controversy of the larger issue of gay marriage, which occupied a significant amount of the political discussion during this year’s election season.

A civil union is not a marriage. It is a secular, state-sanctioned contract that addresses legal topics such as health benefits, inheritance rights and the power of attorney.


Black HIV Patients Suffer At Hands Of White Doctors Study Says
by Matt Johns Los Angeles Bureau

(Los Angeles)  African American HIV patients treated by white doctors receive life-saving HIV medication later than those who have an African American doctor a study by the University of California Los Angeles claims.

The researchers found that African American patients treated by white doctors receive their HIV medications nearly four months later than African American patients being treated by African American doctors. Furthermore, the study confirms the differences are not because of patient's income levels, years of education or insurance coverage. On the doctors' part, the knowledge, specialty, degree of training and years of experience did not affect the results. The fact remained that African American patients seen by African American doctors received better care than African American patients seeing white doctors.

The clinical implications of the findings are that delay in effective treatment could result in more deaths for African American patients. The researchers conclude that policy changes boosting the number of African American physicians are "imperative."

"This is an important study because so many African American people have HIV infection and African Americans die more frequently from the disease than any other group," said Dr. William Cunningham, professor of medicine and public health and the study's co-author. 


In search of the hidden gay agenda
By Mark Ridolfi

Letter after letter arrives in my office warning of the hidden gay agenda. It goes like this: First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes pedophilia, bestiality and ultimately, the end of civilization.

So when I encountered 2,500 gay activists gathered in St. Louis for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 17th annual convention, I figured I might learn first-hand about the gay agenda.

I was in the same St. Louis hotel for a copy editing conference. Our small group sat attentively through Powerpoint presentations, headline drills and editing exercises. The task force’s huge conference buzzed with gay men and women grouped in dozens of small meeting rooms with chairs rearranged from orderly rows into unstructured discussion circles. Casual jackets next to lumpy flannel shirts, next to tie-dyed pull-overs next to snappy Lands End cardigans. Spikey women and bubbly men. Cover girls and GQ guys. Couch-comfy grandmas and prickly college professors. Attorneys. Bankers. Part-time landscapers. And lots of students.

The gay agenda leaked out in 150 sessions spread over three days. Gay Americans discussed medical record privacy. They talked about sometimes strained race relations within gay activist groups. They shared organizational structures for youth groups. They worshiped in ecumenical Christian services, Hebrew study and Muslim prayer calls. They provided daylong child care for parents in attendance.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Transsexual Marriage Case Goes To Trial
by Newscenter Staff

(Leavenworth, Kansas) The trial of a transsexual woman accused of lying on a marriage license form opened Monday.

Sandy Clarissa Gast, 48, is charged in Leavenworth County with false swearing, a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $500. Sheriff's deputies arrested her shortly after she filled out the license form with her partner and fiancé George Somers.  Somers now also lives as a woman.

Prosecutor  Frank Kohl said Gast should have been listed as a man on the license application, filed in February.   

Even so, she still would not have obtained a marriage license since gay marriage is illegal in Kansas.

6th Annual Day of Remembrance, November 20th, 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 in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world.


Trans Action Week to spread awareness transgender community
Series of events sponsored by LGBTRC aims to educate community on issues
By BRIAN CHEN / Aggie News Writer

  In an effort to educate people about the transgender community, UC Davis' Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center will be hosting a series of events called Trans Action Week starting today.

   The series of events will educate people on topics such as transgender legal issues, gender policing in public restrooms and general problems within the transgender community.

   "Transgender is a gender identification which is separate from sexual orientation," said Sheri Atkinson, director of LGBTRC. "The biggest issue in Davis is that folks are just not understanding the issues of the identity and what it means."


GEO, 'U' seek new contract
Transgender rights, health care on table
By Ekjyot Saini, Daily Staff Reporter

Two years after holding a walkout, the Graduate Employees’ Organization is back at the table with the University, seeking specific protection of transgender rights, less discrimination toward international students and more childcare subsidies


Two years' paid leave for sex-change officers

POLICE officers in the Capital are to be offered up to two years’ paid leave if they undergo sex-change treatment.

The Lothian and Borders force has become the first in Scotland to issue guidelines on how to treat officers who have changed sex.

Officers will be offered time off for hormone therapy and a full sex-change operation. The new guidelines cover employment rights and set out how an officer who has changed gender should be treated when they return to work. They cover sensitive issues including when to switch uniforms and changing rooms to those of their new sex.

Anyone who does not use the "appropriate pronoun" when addressing a transsexual officer or makes upsetting remarks could face disciplinary action. Peter Thickett, the force’s human resources director, said: "This document is something we are very proud of and we regard it to be the definitive policy on the issue. We know we have transsexuals in the force and a number of people are considering the change."


Gay group takes stand for equality at school
Student's lawsuit leaves Seton Hall in legal tangle
Star-Ledger Staff

On National Coming Out Day last month, gay students at Seton Hall University in South Orange celebrated by scrawling gay pride slogans in colored chalk on campus walkways.

University administrators saw the display, and not long after, groundskeepers hosed it away, sending the messages down the drain.

 But the battle over homosexual rights at the Roman Catholic university isn't going away that easily.

The topic of gay rights has dominated meetings of the Student Government Association and the letters column in the campus newspaper


Should human rights measure include sexual orientation?
Some argue need to amend anti-discrimination ordinance.
Tribune Staff Writer
Nancy and Hank Mascotte, a married St. Joseph County couple, favor a proposal to ban discrimination against gay and transgendered people in South Bend. Nancy founded the local chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

SOUTH BEND -- John Shockey thinks local legislation is needed to protect gay and lesbian people from losing their jobs or their housing because of prejudice.

"We need it because there are cases where people are discriminated against because of their orientation. Right now, we have no recourse," said Shockey, 44, a gay man who lives in South Bend.

Shockey said he was fired from a local job 15 years ago when his employer found out he was homosexual.

He used to fly a rainbow flag representing gay unity outside his home in South Bend. Several of the flags were ripped down or stolen over the years, he said.

Bishop withholds his consent after Niagara approves same-sex blessings

The diocese of Niagara in mid-November became the second Canadian diocese to approve the concept of blessing ceremonies for gay couples, but Bishop Ralph Spence declined to endorse such action, saying that the diocese needed to discuss it further


'Son of Section 28' protests hits Kent council
Ben Townley, UK

More than 80 demonstrators protested against Kent County Council's 'Son of Section 28' policy on Saturday, calling for council bosses to drop the policy immediately.

The protest, organised by the Queer Youth Alliance, took place outside the County Hall in Maidstone. It follows ongoing campaigns against the council's decision to hold onto the policy, despite Section 28 being repealed by MPs last year.

QYA's David Henry said the large protest was not only an example of the opposition to the policy, but also of the new wave of demonstrations being planned.

"We’ve got absolutely nowhere going down the quiet road of getting this awful policy repealed, and today was about time we stood up for ourselves and shouted a little louder,” he said, warning that campaigns against the council and its leader Sir Sandy Bruce Lockheart would intensify in the coming months.


Majority may support gay adoption
Norway's Conservative Party is reportedly shifting its position on the issue of gay adoption. If the Conservatives agree to support the issue, it would mean a majority in parliament would favor allowing homosexuals to adopt children.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that a key member of the Conservative Party, Sonja Sjøli, is among those moving to support gay adoption. Sjøli leads the parliament's committee on children's and family affairs.

"The time is ripe to open up for this," Sjøli told NRK. "Personally, I'm in favour of looking into this, but there's a need for more work on the issue."

The Conservatives have formally opposed gay adoption, even though the head of the party is openly gay himself. Per-Kristian Foss, who also serves as Norway's current Finance Minister, generally keeps a low profile on issues involving homosexuality.

Other party colleagues appear ready to support gay adoption as well. Finn Magnar Vallersnes says he has been sceptical, "but I recognize that the world is moving forward."


Ahern backs equal tax rights for gay couples
By Harry McGee, Political Editor

TAOISEACH Bertie Ahern last night said gay couples should be entitled to the same tax and inheritance rights as other couples but firmly ruled out State recognition of gay marriage.

In a series of television interviews to coincide with the 10th anniversary of his leadership of Fianna Fáil, Mr Ahern said extending rights to gay couples in the areas of tax and inheritance was the "fairest, caring and Christian way of dealing with it".

However, he told RTÉ's The Week in Politics last night that it was wrong to group the question of gay marriage with those rights.

"(On) the issue of marriages of gays, I think, personally, we are a long way off that in this country and a lot of other countries as well.


City set to back same-sex unions
By John Yellig  / Daily Progress staff writer

The Charlottesville City Council is expected to pass a resolution tonight urging the repeal of a ban on same-sex civil unions passed this year by the General Assembly.

The law, House Bill 751, prohibits “a civil union, partnership, contract or other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.”

The resolution’s sponsor, Councilor Blake Caravati, said he proposed it because the state law limits civil rights.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with gay marriage or the Bible,” he said of the resolution. “It just has to do with civil rights.”


Democrats fail moral test of helping gays
By Deb Price / The Detroit News

Why is America at its current moral crossroads over gay rights? Every time I ponder how to answer that question, I hear the powerful words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who in a letter from his jail cell thundered in reply to Alabama clergymen who accused him of stirring up trouble, of leading "unwise and untimely" protests against racial segregation.

"I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. ... For years I have hear the word 'Wait.' ... This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.'"

Just as King was denounced in 1963 for supposedly pushing too hard, too fast, gays are being wrongly accused of pushing too hard, too fast for equal treatment. And to borrow from King, whose widow supports equal marriage rights for gay couples, we find ourselves here because injustice is here.

We also find ourselves here because the Democratic Party does indeed have a gay problem -- just not the one that the Republican Party and some prominent Democrats seem to think it has. The party hasn't done too much for gay Americans; it's done far too little


The Pharisees line up to cast their stones at gay partners
By HOWARD TROXLER, Times Columnist

This past Tuesday in Jacksonville, the Florida Baptist Convention voted to support a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

The Baptists want the Florida Constitution to state that marriage is "the union between a man and a woman and is the God-ordained building block of the family and the bedrock of society."

"The church is the voice of morality," declared the sponsor of this resolution, the Rev. Jay Dennis of Lakeland. The voice of morality!

My only question is: Why just this morality? Why just this sin?


Canadians urge disaffected left to elect a move north
Blue-staters log on to migration sites
By Gene Johnson, Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Got the blue-state blues? Rudi Kischer feels your pain.

The immigration lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia, plans seminars in three US cities -- Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles -- to tell Americans frustrated with President Bush's reelection that the grass is greener north of the border. And that is not an allusion to Canada's more-lenient marijuana laws


Conservatives Plan New Assault On Cal. Gay Partner Law
by Mark Worrall San Francisco Bureau

(San Francisco, California) A conservative Christian law group that lost a bid to overturn California's domestic partner law is preparing to appeal and has announced a recall effort aimed at throwing the judge who made the ruling off the bench.

The law, which is slated to go into effect January 1, 2005 was passed by the Legislature last year. It grants same-sex couples nearly identical legal rights and responsibilities as married spouses.

Lawyers for the Campaign for California Families sued to have the law declared illegal on the grounds it violates the spirit and intent of Proposition 22, a 2000 ballot initiative, that holds California will only recognize unions between a man and a woman.


3 face trial in gay sex assault
Suspects, including a UT student, set for first court appearance
By Angela Grant

Three men, one a UT student, charged in early August with assaulting a homosexual man will have their first court appearance Thursday.

The three defendants, along with a juvenile suspect, were charged with aggravated sexual assault and aggravated robbery after they picked up the victim, whose name is being withheld due to the sexual nature of the allegations, from Oil Can Harry's, a gay bar in the Warehouse District, and returned to his apartment, where they alledgedly began assaulting him.

On Thursday, Darren Gay, a biochemistry senior, Donald Bockman, a former UT student, and Shawn Regan will formally designate the attorneys who will represent them. The hearing is the first step in court procedures expected to last at least one year.



Attorney Already Using Amendment 3 in Case
An attorney has cited Utah's new amendment against gay marriage in arguing against enforcement of a court protective order.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- An attorney has cited Utah's new amendment against gay marriage in arguing against enforcement of a court protective order.

Amendment 3 does not take effect until Jan. 1, but lawyers are exploring ways to employ its prohibition of legal recognition for any domestic union that is substantially equivalent to a marriage.

Salt Lake attorney Mary Corporon recently filed a motion contending that Amendment 3 makes it unconstitutional to enforce a court protective order against her client that his former live in girlfriend got from a judge.

Corporon's client was charged with violating the order that was to keep him away from the girlfriend and the apartment they formerly shared