poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Openly trans Georgia city council membert says council wants her out
Claims she was targeted after proposing anti-bais policy

Georgia's first openly transgendered elected official, Michelle Bruce, claims she is the target of a campaign by fellow Riverdale City Council members to remove her from office over her gender identity.     

Bruce said the effort came after she proposed expanding the city’s non-discrimination policy to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression earlier this year.

On Monday, a resolution to change the city’s charter section on impeachment of council members was defeated by a 3-2 vote. Bruce said the proposal was an effort to unseat her.

US court backs restriction on same-sex marriage
By Jim Christie

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Delivering a setback to supporters of same-sex marriages, a federal judge in California on Thursday upheld the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which recognizes only unions between a man and a woman.

In his ruling in favor of the 1996 law, U.S. District Judge Gary Taylor said it served government interests by promoting a traditional definition of marriage as between a man and woman.

When one door closes…
Transgender support services growing in D.C.

Transgender Health Empowerment’s first supportive house for transgendered and gay people opened this month in Northeast D.C. Organizers say it marks a milestone for the non-profit organization and is long overdue.

They say shelters for D.C. residents who have no place to live are not always welcoming when staff members learn that the client seeking services is transgendered. And if they’re not automatically turned away, they can be told to remove their makeup. Sometimes questions crop up about which bathroom they should use.

“This is a place where transgender people can be themselves,” says Lynda Thomas, board chair for Transgender Health Empowerment, which was formed about a decade ago. “This is a place where they can find empowerment.”

Suu Kyi at 60 - isolated but not forgotten by army of supporters
John Aglionby, south-east Asia correspondent
Saturday June 18, 2005
The Guardian

When Aung San Suu Kyi wakes up tomorrow there will be no crowds of well-wishers outside her lakeside home in the Burmese capital, Rangoon, singing happy 60th birthday, no piles of cards and presents to open, and no party preparations to finalise.

The only people greeting the pro-democracy campaigner and Nobel peace laureate will be an elderly housekeeper, the housekeeper's daughter and - if he is granted what is becoming increasingly rare permission - Ms Suu Kyi's doctor.

Oil, CO2, Environment, Climate, War
by Caroline Arnold

This year there are real, physical issues for the humans on Planet Earth. We hear hints of them when our mainstream media can tear itself away from runaway brides and the gong-show in Rome, where old men in red dresses and lacy rochets fiddle around with edicts about sex and sin while AIDS smolders, populations explode, and fossil fuels burn steadily worldwide.

This decade has brought a new reality of terror, torture, and high-tech war, all obscured by secrecy, forgeries, lies, distorting frames and red-herrings that serve the purposes of Power and Money. The Newsweek/ Koran-flushing story was a massive conflagration that effectively bedazzled everyone into disregarding fundamental questions of torture. (Even this paragraph is more about the abuses of communication than about the abuses of real flesh-and-blood human beings.)

Bush Still Can't Pronounce "Global Warming"

A leaked document from papers leading up to the early July meeting of the G8 indicated that the United States is unwilling to sign anything that says the world is getting hotter. In other words, Bush and his buddies in the US government are continuing to insist that global warming is a figment of tree-huggers' imaginations. And it is a position that may cause political problems for British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He has pledged to make global warming a top priority at the G8 meeting, which he is hosting in Scotland. Now, Blair is being urged to break with his good pal Bush on the issue.

Bush faces growing opposition to Iraq war
By Patrick Martin
There are mounting signs that the Bush administration is in disarray over the crisis of its military adventure in Iraq. With the US casualty toll steadily mounting, and opinion polls showing a clear majority of Americans opposing the war and supporting a withdrawal of American troops, Bush has begun to face cautious criticism even within the halls of Congress, which up to now has slavishly supported the US aggression in the Middle East

States brief ~ Iowa Supreme Court refuses to address ruling that dissolved civil union   

Leading Friday's states brief, the Iowa Supreme Court today refused to address the ruling of a lower court that dissolved a Vermont civil union. The Supreme Court did not judge the merits of the legal claim made by conservative challengers, but instead found that the Iowa Family Policy Center, a church and several state legislators had suffered no injury and did not have standing to challenge the lower court's decision. In its opinion, the Court said, "We fail to see how the district court's action in dissolving a civil union of another couple harmed in any specific way these plaintiffs' marriages and for this reason, they have shown no legally recognized interest or personal stake in the underlying action." District Court Judge Jeffrey Neary ruled to terminate the civil union after one partner petitioned for divorce.

Report on anti-gay ‘Love Won Out’ ministry
So-called ‘ex-gay’ conferences target LGBT youth and tear families apart
by Roberta Sklar

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. — A new report released May 6 by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute entitled, “A Report from Love Won Out: Addressing, Understanding, and Preventing Homosexuality,” provides a first-hand account of an anti-gay conference that took place in Minneapolis, Minn., in September 2004.

The report’s authors, Jyl J. Josephson, an Associate Professor at Rutgers University-Newark, and Cynthia Burack, an Associate Professor at Ohio State University, detail the theories and world views espoused by the presenters and “ex-gay” leaders who spoke at the conference, one of at least four such conferences sponsored annually by Focus on the Family around the country.

“‘Love Won Out’ is one of the most harmful programs sponsored by James Dobson’s organization,” said Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). “Their speakers are nothing more than snake oil salesman peddling pernicious and discredited theories about how parents can ‘prevent’ homosexuality in their children. It is homophobia, not love, that wins out at these conferences.”

Friday, June 17, 2005

From: LBGT Napal

Peer Educator beaten, Difficult to carry out HIV
education program

I am writing to express grave concern that our members and staff are continually abused physically. Yesterday one of our Meti (effeminate male) peer educator, 25, name "Burkunchhi" was beaten on his face on her way back home at Baudha, Chabahil , Katmandu on 16th June 2005 around 8PM.

While Burkunchhi was walking after her filed work, at Chabahil she was approached by 4 men, on a ordinary getup, asked her to come with them for sex,  and took her to a near by isolated place. Burkunchhi refused to go with them further fearing to be raped. Suddenly one of the men hit her face by a stone while other started kicking her.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

MA Governor supports amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions
David Shucosky

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney Thursday announced his support of a drive to put before state voters a proposed constitutional amendment to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. Massachusetts is the only US state where same-sex marriages are legal; Vermont, Hawaii, and California have granted same-sex couples limited legal rights. The Massachusetts legislature is already considering an amendment to ban same-sex marriages but allow for civil unions that could appear on the ballot in November 2006the initiative Romney supports would appear in November 2008 at the earliest.

LGBT Pride, Africa and the AIDS crisis
By Minnie Bruce Pratt

June is a whirlwind of Pride activities in the United States as lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people commemorate the beginning of their liberation movement, the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in New York City. Prominent among the Pride events, from San Francisco to Boston, are the annual AIDS walks. These mark the continuing struggle against the deadly AIDS virus, which was first reported in the United States within gay men’s communities during the 1980s.

Transsexual Accuses SAPD Officer Of Rape
Officer Placed On Administrative Duty Pending Investigation

SAN ANTONIO -- An officer with the San Antonio Police Department was placed on administrative duty over the weekend pending an investigation into the alleged sexual assault of a 21-year-old transsexual.

The transsexual said the alleged incident happened Friday night as he(sic) was walking home near a bus stop at Laredo and Zarzamora streets.

The transsexual said the officer pulled up next to him(sic) in his police cruiser and asked him if he had any outstanding warrants.

When the officer realized the transsexual had an outstanding traffic ticket, he told the transsexual, "You can go with me or go to jail," the transsexual said.

Catholic School Bans Gay Parents From Functions

COSTA MESA -- A Catholic school that angered some parents by allowing a gay couple to enroll their two boys has drafted a policy that would forbid the men to appear as a couple at school functions, it was reported Tuesday.

At the Door of the Mosque
By Ty Jalal

In every mosque I have ever entered there are two doors. One door is usually wide, formal, inviting. Inside, you may find racks of shoes and then a large open space that quickly fills with neat lines of men in various stages of salat, saying their prayer of greeting to the mosque.

In the other door, often narrower, sometimes leading to a winding corridor or up a flight of stairs, women bustle in long dresses, jilbab, tunics and loose pants, their children running between them, little ones grasping at their mother’s legs. In the women’s prayer area they fan out. There is nothing orderly inside this door, as women sit leaning against walls or in small groups in the middle of the floor, trying to keep their children gathered around them. When the iqamah comes over the loudspeaker, they fall into rows like the men in the other room, their lines interrupted sometimes by small children making prostrations out of synch.

A Sex-Change Problem Complicated by Disputes Over Inheritance

The story of a young Saudi man, Ahmad, who has become a woman has created a furor in the Kingdom — not only because he changed his sex but also because, as a man, he inherited a large sum of money from his millionaire father. He changed his sex only after inheriting; according to Islamic law, as a woman, he would inherit half of what a man inherits. His relatives have filed a lawsuit, accusing him of deception and asking the court to re-divide the inheritance. Sayidaty, a sister publication of Arab News, investigatedthe case. The subject’s name as a woman has been withheld at her request.

Canada expected to pass bill approving same-sex marriage
U.S. neighbor would become the third country to do so
Wyatt Buchanan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, June 16, 2005

Canada is on track toward becoming the largest country yet to legalize same-sex marriage, after its ruling Liberal government survived four no-confidence votes this week.

Judge approves child custody settlement between transsexual and ex-wife
By Emanuella Grinberg
Court TV

A historic child custody battle between a transsexual father and his ex-wife ended last Friday in a shared custody agreement that both sides have hailed as nothing short of "miraculous."

In China, cigarettes are a kind of miracle drug

Guiyang, China — Here's some exciting medical news from the Chinese government: Smoking is great for your health.

Cigarettes, according to China's tobacco authorities, are an excellent way to prevent ulcers.

US senator stands by Nazi remark

A US senator has refused to apologise for comparing the actions of US soldiers at Guantanamo Bay to those of Nazis, while others have decried or defended the mandate and method used to hold prisoners there.

US Senator Dick Durbin on Wednesday refused to apologise for comments he made on the Senate floor referring to Nazis, Soviet gulags and a "mad regime" like Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Gay people still facing discrimination at work
Ben Townley, UK

Six months after the introduction of laws protecting lesbian and gay people from discrimination in the work place, LGBT people are still suffering prejudice from employers and colleagues, according to a UK Survey.

Nearly a third of respondents to the survey say they have recently suffered discrimination at work despite the new laws, with the majority not feeling confident enough to report it to employers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Rich-poor gap gaining attention
A remark by Greenspan symbolizes concern that wealth disparities may destabilize the economy.
By Peter Grier | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Ex-White House Official to Join Fuel Co.
by H. Josef Hebert

A former White House official and one-time oil industry lobbyist whose editing of government reports on climate change prompted criticism from environmentalists will join ExxonMobil Corp., the oil company said Tuesday.The White House announced over the weekend that Philip Cooney, chief of staff of its Council on Environmental Quality, had resigned, calling it a long-planned departure. He had been head of the climate program at the American Petroleum Institute, the trade group for large oil companies.Cooney will join ExxonMobil in the fall

Tenn. teen blogs about forced trip to ex-gay camp
16-year-old says coming out prompted action by parents

A Tennessee teen apparently admitted into an ex-gay camp by his parents after coming out as gay chronicled his anxieties about attending the ex-gay ministry through a blog, gaining attention from media outlets and gay activists.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

US training west African troops
Mauritania and its neighbours are taking part in the excercises

US troops are holding military exercises for nine north and west African countries aimed at laying the groundwork for security cooperation.

Senators who refused to sign anti lynching resolution
by kos
Tue Jun 14th, 2005 at 09:09:49 PDT

Here are the 20 Senators who 1) refused to co-sponsor the anti-lynching resolution passed yesterday, and 2) refused a roll-call vote so they'd have to put their name on the resolution.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Christopher Bond (R-MO)
Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Conrad Burns (R-MT)
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Michael Crapo (R-ID)
Michael Enzi (R-WY)
Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Trent Lott (R-MS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Richard Shelby (R-AL)
John Sununu (R-NH)
Craig Thomas (R-WY)
George Voinovich (R-OH)