poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, June 10, 2005

When idea for gay political organizing finally ignited
Lesbian, gay, bi and trans pride series, part 37
By Leslie Feinberg

Harry Hay, Rudi Gernreich, Dale Jennings, Bob Hull and Chuck Rowland met for the first of a series of weekly meetings at Hay’s home in the Silver Lake neighborhood in Los Angeles on Nov. 11, 1950, to discuss organizing for homosexual emancipation.

Each of the five brought their own history of activist mettle and revolutionary perspective to this bodacious initiative.

Rudi Gernreich was a gay Jewish immigrant from Vienna who knew about the rise of the German Homosexual Emancipation Movement. He had fled fascism and immigrated to the U.S. as a 16-year-old.

Gernreich and Hay had been organizing to stop the U.S. war against Korea and to bring the GIs home.

Hull and Hay were still members of the Communist Party USA,

Tinkering with the truth
The New York Times

President George W. Bush moved quickly after the 2000 election to fill many important environmental and energy jobs with lobbyists who had spent their careers trying to weaken the laws they then would swear to protect. Most were vetted by Karl Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, and by Vice President Dick Cheney. The result has been an erosion of the regulations protecting America's air, water, public lands and wildlife, combined with a chronic unwillingness by the administration to address difficult environmental issues.

 Anyone needing evidence of industry's influence need look no further than a New York Times article this week, by Andrew Revkin, involving the handiwork of one Philip Cooney, an important but heretofore obscure official who serves as chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Nebraska AG appeals federal ruling against same-sex marriage ban   

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning filed an appeal Thursday contesting a federal judge's May 12 ruling against the Nebraska same-sex marriage ban. The appeal was expected as Bruning had previously announced in a press release that he would oppose the decision. Nebraska's overthrown Defense of Marriage Amendment was enacted by 70 percent of voters in 2000 and defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman. Bruning announced that through the appeal he hopes to uphold "Nebraskans' right to amend their Constitution as they see fit."

US school fined over anti-gay bullying
Christopher Curtis, Network

A San Diego Superior Court jury slapped a California school district with a $300,000 (£164,500) fine on Wednesday for not adequately protecting its lesbian and gay students.

Federal Lawsuit to End Michigan’s Ban on Gay Marriage

A new federal lawsuit wants to strike down Michigan's constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. A co-plaintiff says the amendment strips away health insurance for gay and unmarried heterosexual domestic partners and their children. Michigan voters approved the amendment with November's passage of proposal two.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Students, parents and teachers battle over club rule

ATLANTA - Students, parents and teachers clashed Wednesday at a public hearing on a State Board of Education rule that would require parental permission for children to take part in extracurricular organizations.

Supporters said the rule would increase involvement by giving parents a greater voice in their children's education.

"I would like to think that the teachers who teach my children would want me involved," said Rep. Bobby Reese, a Sugar Hill Republican who sponsored one of this year's legislative proposals that sparked the board rule.

But opponents of the rule said it was targeted at gay-straight alliances, support groups formed for students who are gay, lesbian, transgender or questioning their sexuality. They said the proposal infringed on high schoolers' rights to associate with whatever groups they choose.

Lawyer criticised in transgender murder case
Christopher Curtis, Network

The California judge in the Gwen Araujo trial warned a defence attorney twice on Wednesday to stop arguing with the prosecution's star witness in the retrial of the murdered transgender teenager.

The case has sparked calls from international transgender groups for more work to be done in increasing awareness of the issues facing trans people in both the US and worldwide community.

LC Sued After Rescinding Job Offer to Transsexual

David Schroer was hired by the Library of Congress’s (LC) Congressional Research Service as a terrorism research analyst, but found the job rescinded after informing personnel officials that he was in the process of having a sex change. Now he’s suing LC. According to the Washington Post, David—now Diane—Schroer was a 25-year army veteran, who tracked terrorists as a Ranger and Green Beret officer. Schroer’s suit charges LC with sexual discrimination and demands reinstatement of the job offer. LC has declined comment.

The Kids Aren’t Alright

Ohio has spent $455,000 in taxpayer money to teach abstinence-until-marriage-only sex ed to students in middle school and high school. Dr. Scott Frank, a leading public health researcher at Case Western Reserve University decided to check out exactly what the kids were learning. Here’s the sex-ed information a half-million dollars bought for Ohio teens:

HIV can be transmitted through “tears and open-mouth kissing.”
Contraceptives are to blame for mental health problems in teens.
Taking the pill will increase a girl’s future chances of infertility.
Students should just “follow God’s plan for purity.”

Capitol Advantage: They help hate groups do anti-gay advocacy, and work for uber-liberal advocacy groups. What's wrong with this picture?

Marines 'beat US workers' in Iraq
Contractors say they were treated like insurgents
Jamie Wilson in Washington
Thursday June 9, 2005
The Guardian

A group of American security guards in Iraq have alleged they were beaten, stripped and threatened with a snarling dog by US marines when they were detained after an alleged shooting incident outside Falluja last month.

"I never in my career have treated anybody so inhumane," one of the contractors, Rick Blanchard, a former Florida state trooper, wrote in an email quoted in the Los Angeles Times. "They treated us like insurgents, roughed us up, took photos, hazed [bullied] us, called us names."

Two Years Before 9/11, Candidate Bush was Already Talking Privately About Attacking Iraq, According to His Former Ghost Writer
by Russ Baker

HOUSTON -- Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Dave or Diane -- being different no reason for guilt

Each time I talk to Diane Schroer it gets a little bit easier to accept what's happened to my old roommate Dave, a little less worrisome about whether I've slipped up and used the wrong name or called her "man" as in "thanks, man" or "hey, man." That's not to say it didn't come as a shock at first or that it still doesn't have its awkward moments or that I don't think there's anything unusual about a man becoming a woman.

But she's convinced me it's the right thing for her, and that has helped make me aware that this is one of those areas of human experience about which I had previously chosen to remain willfully ignorant.