poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, July 08, 2005

homosexuality debate in Kenya un-muted as key figures start questioning homophobia
By Mwangi Githahu (Nairobi )

Over the two weeks when gays and lesbians in Spain and Canada were marking significant victories in the continuing struggle for LGBT rights, Kenya's LGBT community also received a glimmer of hope, though nowhere on the same scale as same sex marriage.

July 8, 2005: Nairobi - Over the two weeks when gays and lesbians in Spain and Canada were marking significant victories in the continuing struggle for LGBT rights, Kenya's LGBT community also received a glimmer of hope, though nowhere on the same scale as same sex marriage.

Uganda To Jail Same-Sex Couples Who Marry
by Newscenter Staff

(Kampala) Uganda's parliament has passed tough new laws against gays in the African nation. The new law makes it a criminal offense for same-sex couples to marry.

Service members challenge "don't ask, don't tell" policy

Prosecutors asked a federal judge on Friday to dismiss a challenge to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay service members, saying only Congress has the power to change the rule it enacted 12 years ago.

Bush Gives Global AIDS Fighters Ultimatum
By JUAN-CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, Associated Press Writer

U.S. groups fighting AIDS overseas are being given an ultimatum by the government: Pledge your opposition to sex trafficking and prostitution or do without federal funds.

The new rule has created confusion among health groups that wonder how it will affect them, and has drawn criticism from others who say it infringes on free speech rights and could do more harm than good.

Bush Averts His Eyes
With rape as an official weapon in Darfur, Sudan officials are now welcome here
by Nat Hentoff

Refugees fleeing . . . from a village called Saleya described how nine boys were seized by the janjaweed, stripped naked and tied up, their noses and ears cut off and their eyes gouged out. They were then shot dead and left near a public well. Nicholas Kristof, reporting from Sudan about the genocide in Darfur.("Uncover Your Eyes," The New York Times, June 7)

North Atlantic Ocean Temps Hit Record High

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland - Ocean temperatures in the North Atlantic hit an all-time high last year, raising concerns about the effects of global warming on one of the most sensitive and productive ecosystems in the world.

Sea ice off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador was below normal for the tenth consecutive year and the water temperature outside St. John's Harbor was the highest on record in 2004, according to a report released Wednesday by the federal Fisheries Department.

Transsexual mother to adopt child

BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhuanet) -- A transsexual woman in east China's Zhejiang Province is very likely to succeed in her bid to adopt a child despite a storm of controversy, China Daily reports Thursday.

Zhang Shan (her anonym) was recently in the news for her parenting attempt after hitting the headlines a year ago when she got married in a grand ceremony in Zhejiang's Lin'an.

From:LBGT India: A COUNTER-VIEW FROM A CANADIAN MUSLIM COMMENTATOR: From 9/11 to 7/7: Crusade intensifies
By abid ullah jan
Published: July 08, 2005

The staged terrorist attacks are the occasions when even the most honest and since of us lose sight of the reality. One can guess it from the statements of George Galloway and others who called it "shock and awe" in London.

Galloway considers that Londoners had "paid the price" of the increased likelihood of terrorist attacks for the UK government's role in the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan. However sincere such comments may be, they directly support the accusations without evidence which Blair put forward within minutes of the attack.

Subject: Call for Papers to Asian Regional Conference
of Intl Lesbian and Gay Association

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to invite you to the 2nd International Lesbian & Gay Association - Asia Regional Conference (also referred to as Cebu 2005)
entitled “Coming Out, Coming Home”. 

ILGA is a world-wide network of national and local groups and activists dedicated to achieving equal rights for sexually marginalized people everywhere. Founded in 1978, it now has more than 400 member organizations. Every continent and around 90 countries are represented, ranging from small collectives to
national groups and entire cities.

ILGA-Asia, a chapter of ILGA, is in the midst of organizing its 2nd regional conference to be held in Cebu CIty, Philippines.

The overall theme of this conference will focus on the distinctiveness of LGBTs in Asia, as it hopes to further understand the meanings and significance of LGBT representation within the Asian cultural context in this era of aggressive globalization. The conference also hopes to strengthen the direction of ILGA in the Asian region.

Although the program of the conference proper is still to be finalized, plenary and workshop themes have been identified.

The plenary topics are as follows:
• Health priorities in the Asian region unique to LGBTs This includes identifying the health concerns for LGBTs particular to the areas in Asia, the way in
which the issues are addressed, etc.
• Taking transgender issues seriously in Asia This includes understanding the nature of transgenderism, its distinctiveness to lesbian, gay and bisexual identities, etc.
• The human rights-based approach in LGBT advocacy This includes identifying the laws that criminalize LGBT existence in Asia, the laws that affirm it, the gains of the human rights approach, the limitations, etc.
• Religions that condemn LGBTs and spiritualities that celebrate it This includes knowing the extent in which religions in Asia discriminate LGBTs, learning of the
spiritual practices of LGBT communities across Asia, etc.

The workshop topics are as follows:
• Skills workshops Advancing LGBT legislative advocacy and addressing discrimination in the workplace in the Asian region Understanding the nature of same-sex domestic violence in Asia
• Sharing workshops Visibility of Asian LGBTs in local, national and global media
Expressions of Asian LGBTs in the arts
• General workshops LGBTs within Asian indigenous communities and repressive societies; surviving hostile environments and moral exclusion LGBTs and its interfacing with social movements




Visit our website

Progay  Philippines is a service and advocacy organization that provides counseling, training and education assistance to marginalized gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Filipinos, especially the youth and the ageing sectors. ProGay initiated Pride traditions in the country when it led the first ever gay and lesbian Pride parade in the entire Asian region on 26 June 1994. For more information, log on to

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Iraq War Deserters Speak Out
By Paolo Pontoniere, Pacific News Service. Posted July 7, 2005.

Three young U.S. servicemen currently living in Canada explain why they refused to return to Iraq.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

San Antonio Cop Charged With Raping Transsexual
by Newscenter Staff

(San Antonio, Texas) A San Antonio police officer has been charged with sexual assault in the rape of a transsexual woman.

Officer Dean Gutierrez was arrested Tuesday while on duty. The 45 year old Gutierrez has been on the force for 16 years.

FRANCE: Recasting Colonialism as a Good Thing
Julio Godoy
Inter Press Service (IPS)

PARIS, Jul 5 (IPS) - France and other European countries are claiming, either officially or through historians, that colonialism was a positive thing.

City readies seizure of thousands of workers' homes
By Betsey Piette

Over 80 people gathered in West Philly´s Clark Park June 29 for the premiere of the film “All for the Taking.’ This work documents the stories of residents affected by Philadelphia´s urban-renewal program, and of housing activists fighting eminent-domain abuse.

I Wrote Bush's War Words -- In 1965
by Daniel Ellsberg

President Bush's explanation Tuesday night for staying the course in Iraq evoked in me a sense of familiarity, but not nostalgia. I had heard virtually all of his themes before, almost word for word, in speeches delivered by three presidents I worked for: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. Not with pride, I recognized that I had proposed some of those very words myself.

Iraq War Casualties

Karl Rove Again Linked to Outting of CIA Operative Valerie Plame

Spirituality Up, Religion Down in America
Copyright 2005 D. Patrick Miller

It may come as a shock to many Americans to learn that the number of Christians in our country is steadily declining -- and that evangelical Christians in particular represent only 7% of the populace, with no increase in their numbers over the last decade. Meanwhile, a full third of American adults now say they are 'spiritual but not religious.' What does that mean exactly? And why aren't these numbers making news?

Class Consciousness Matters
What’s missing from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal
By David Moberg

The myth of the self-made man is American culture's own special heart of darkness, helping to explain both its infectious optimism and ruthless greed. The idea holds enough truth and seductiveness to make it easy to forget its delusional dangers. To reprise Marx's famous formulation, individuals, like humankind, do make their own personal history, but not under conditions they choose. But in America, we choose to ignore the caveat about conditions at our peril.

The myth, or belief, that people are solely what they make of themselves is useful to keep in mind while reading two ongoing series: the New York Times' on class and the Wall Street Journal's on social mobility. Both focus attention on a truth about American society that runs counter to most people's deep-seated beliefs: There is less social mobility in the United States now than in the '80s (and less then than in the '70s) and less mobility than in many other industrial countries, including Canada, Finland, Sweden and Germany. Yet 40 percent of respondents to a Times poll said that there was a greater chance to move up from one class to another now than 30 years ago, and 46 percent said it was easier to do so in the United States than in Europe.

The Daft World of Lobbying the State or Make Bob Geldof History
Food for thought for believers in state-managed poverty relief
by Laure Akai

Many are cynical of the rich calling for an end to poverty but I am not interested in questioning the sincerity of people like Bob Geldof in relation to alleviating hardship in Africa. Questioning the intelligence of their strategy of action is another story.

Afghan 'war criminals' under scanner

An international rights group says Afghanistan's US-backed government has numerous officials who are implicated in war crimes and they should be brought to justice.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged Afghan President Hamid Karzai to set up a special court to try major war criminals - including some who are part of his government - saying such a move is vital for the nation to emerge from a quarter-century of bloodshed.

Science Fiction
· The altering of reports to fit policies is dismaying.

Once again a scientific report has been recast for the sake of political expediency and used as the basis for a federal rule that puts industry profit over the health of people and the environment. If that sounds familiar, it's because it has been happening regularly throughout President Bush's tenure.

In the most recent case, a government biologist and hydrologist complained that their findings on how cattle grazing damages wildlands were rewritten to produce contrary conclusions. A "significant adverse impact" on wildlife, for instance, somehow became "beneficial to animals." Then the Bush administration announced that based on these rosy findings, it would relax rules that limit grazing on public lands.

Spain's gay marriage law hits first snag

MADRID, Spain (AP) - Spain's new gay marriage law hit its first snag Wednesday as a court said a Spanish man can't wed his Indian partner because India does not allow same-sex marriage.

High court ruling sought on US gay mariage
Ann Rostow, Network

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer has asked the American state's Supreme Court to take direct review of four same-sex marriage cases that are presently under appeal in the state's first appellate district.

Woo v. Lockyer, the main challenge to California's marriage laws, was brought by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on behalf of several same-sex couples. 

Three smaller suits, brought by same-sex couples against the state of California, were coordinated with Woo and heard together in the San Francisco courtroom of Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Heterosexual Revolution
Olympia, Wash.

THE last week has been tough for opponents of same-sex marriage. First Canadian and then Spanish legislators voted to legalize the practice, prompting American social conservatives to renew their call for a constitutional amendment banning such marriages here. James Dobson of the evangelical group Focus on the Family has warned that without that ban, marriage as we have known it for 5,000 years will be overturned.

My research on marriage and family life seldom leads me to agree with Dr. Dobson, much less to accuse him of understatement. But in this case, Dr. Dobson's warnings come 30 years too late. Traditional marriage, with its 5,000-year history, has already been upended. Gays and lesbians, however, didn't spearhead that revolution: heterosexuals did.

Challenge to "don't ask, don't tell" policy to be heard in Boston

During her first five years in the Navy, Jen Kopfstein avoided conversations about her personal life. In the collegiate atmosphere of the Naval Academy and the close quarters of a ship, that was difficult for Kopfstein. "I felt like I was being forced to lie and having to be dishonest," said Kopfstein. "I could never share anything about my family or my home life or even say what I did on the weekend. It is hurtful to do that."


Monday, July 04, 2005

Toyota to build 100,000 vehicles per year in Woodstock, Ont., starting 2008

WOODSTOCK, Ont. (CP) - Ontario workers are well-trained.

That simple explanation was cited as a main reason why Toyota turned its back on hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies offered from several American states in favour of building a second Ontario plant.

Industry experts say Ontarians are easier and cheaper to train - helping make it more cost-efficient to train workers when the new Woodstock plant opens in 2008, 40 kilometres away from its skilled workforce in Cambridge.

"The level of the workforce in general is so high that the training program you need for people, even for people who have not worked in a Toyota plant before, is minimal compared to what you have to go through in the southeastern United States," said Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, whose members will see increased business with the new plant.

US close to climate change concessions
Ewen MacAskill and agencies

The United States is edging towards important concessions on climate change at this week's G8 summit, it has been revealed.

US President George Bush is now ready to concede that climate change has scientific basis, and that collective action is required over global warming. Until now, Mr Bush has adopted an intransigent position, insisting there is no scientific basis to conclude that there is such a phenomenon as global warming.

Blair Pressed to Isolate US Over Climate Change
by Colin Brown

Jacques Chirac, the French President, and Gerhard Schröder, the German Chancellor, have joined forces to press Tony Blair to isolate the Americans over climate change at next week's G8 summit.

Sunday, July 03, 2005