He's the chat show queen of Pakistan
Begum Ali is the Dame Edna Everage of the Islamic world, thanks to a television revolution
Declan Walsh in Karachi
Sunday April 23, 2006
By day Ali Salim has stubble, scruffy jeans and a taste for cigarettes. But at night he pulls on a sequinned sari and high heels to become Begum Nawazish Ali - catty chatshow queen and South Asia's first cross-dressing TV presenter.
'She's every woman's inspiration and every man's fancy,' smiles 27-year-old actor Salim, his nails painted gold and his eyebrows plucked after filming the latest episode of Late Night with Begum Nawazish Ali, Pakistan's answer to Dame Edna Everage.
IRS plays politics with tax code
Tortured logic behind rulings on domestic partners, transgender surgery
Those who suspect that bias might have deprived "Brokeback Mountain" of the best picture Oscar and hobbled "Transamerica's" consideration might feel the same about the IRS' recent treatment of domestic partners and transgender people. So should everybody.
The two IRS rulings may not seem troublesome at first. The IRS ruled that, when filing individual returns, each registered domestic partner in California must report his or her own individual salary, rather than half of both partners' combined income (sometimes called income splitting). It also ruled that costs of gender reassignment surgery are not deductible medical expenses. What's the big deal?
Gay couples in Belgium get adoption rights
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The Belgian parliament has narrowly approved a bill to grant same-sex couples equal rights in adoption.
Senators backed the proposal Thursday by a vote of 34 to 33 with two abstentions. The House had earlier voted 77-62 in favor of the bill.
With the adoption of the bill, Belgium becomes the fourth European Union member state to allow same-sex couples equal rights in adoption, after Spain, the Netherlands and Sweden
Transgendered seek campus support
Many say they don't feel equal
Two years ago, an incoming freshman at MIT changed dormitories four times in five months, going from one for all girls, to another for all boys, back to one for girls, and finally to a private room on a coed floor.
University officials could not figure out where to place a student who had the body of a woman but identified himself as a male and dressed like one.
The student, who did not want his name used because he feared it could hurt his chance s of getting into a medical school, says MIT gave him little support.
Many transgender students and staff members at colleges and universities, including about 100 who rallied at Harvard University yesterday, echo the student's complaint. They say colleges, even as they are amending their nondiscrimination policies to include gender identity, are not doing enough to make transgender students at ease on campus.
Standoff at Caledonia
McGuinty comes under fire in legislature as natives resist predawn OPP raid
With reports from Gloria Galloway and Canadian Press
TORONTO -- The worst confrontation between Ontario police and natives since an aboriginal protester was shot dead a decade ago has landed on the doorstep of Premier Dalton McGuinty, just one day after he pledged a peaceful resolution.
A police raid intended to remove a score of occupiers from a disputed tract of land in Southwestern Ontario yesterday morning ended with more than 200 people from the Six Nations reserve regaining control amid scenes of burning tires, overturned vehicles and shaken police officers.
The ghost of the Ipperwash tragedy came back to haunt the government as Mr. McGuinty was grilled during Question Period over what role, if any, his cabinet played in the police raid and why he had not resolved a dispute that has been simmering for more than a year.">
Bloomington council approves protections for transgender people
Bloomington, Ind., April 20 - The Bloomington City Council has voted unanimously to approve adding protections for transgender people to the city's human rights ordinance. The amendment adds "gender identity" as a protected category against discrimination to city code, just like race, religion, disability or sex. A supporter of the amendment, Bree Hartlage, says including gender identity is a move toward equal rights for all residents.
Parents rip school over gay storybook
Lesson reignites clash in Lexington
By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff
In a controversy with a familiar ring, parents of a Lexington second-grader are protesting that their son's teacher read a fairy tale about gay marriage to the class without warning parents first.
The teacher at Joseph Estabrook Elementary School used the children's book, ''King & King," as part of a lesson about different types of weddings. A prince marries another prince instead of a princess in the book, which was on the American Library Association's list of the 10 most challenged books in 2004 because of its homosexual theme.
Russian Constitutional Court to Hear 'Gay Marriage' Case Next Year
By Terry Vanderheyden
UFA, Bashkortostan, April 20, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A deputy in the State Assembly of a Russian Republic has been granted an inquiry by the country’s constitutional court, to investigate the legality of same-sex “marriage.”
Edvard Murzin, an MP from Bashkortostan – a republic with autonomous status in the southern Urals region – was denied a marriage license last year after attempting to marry a homosexual activist from Moscow. Although a heterosexual, Murzin calls himself a champion of homosexual “rights”, according to a UK Gay News report.
Pope Goes on a Tear against Gay Families
Benedict XVI used his first Good Friday sermon to tell Catholic faithful, “Surely God is deeply pained by the attack on the family. Today we seem to be witnessing a kind of anti-Genesis, a counter-plan, a diabolical pride aimed at eliminating the family.” He took aim at “attempts to make [marriage] juridically equivalent to radically different forms of unions which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization.”
Christian law group sues over school prayer club, anti-gay speech
4/20/2006, 6:13 p.m. ET
By MARYCLAIRE DALE
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A national Christian law group sued a suburban school district on free-speech grounds, saying the district censors prayer club members and threatens discipline if students speak out against homosexuality.
The federal lawsuit against the Downingtown Area School District mirrors others filed by the Alliance Defense Fund that accuse schools of implementing "Orwellian speech code(s)
Students rally to protest Cumberlands' anti-gay policy
By Mark Pitsch firstname.lastname@example.org The Courier-Journal
WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. — About 50 students from across the state rallied here yesterday to support a gay student expelled from the University of the Cumberlands.
The off-campus rally came a day after the private, Baptist-affiliated school agreed to let Jason Johnson, the expelled student, finish classes for the semester.
Court Rules Against Gay-Bashing T-Shirts
By Henry Weinstein, Times Staff Writer
1:50 PM PDT, April 20, 2006
Schools in the western United States can forbid a high school student from wearing a T-shirt that denigrates gay and lesbian students, a sharply divided federals appeals court in San Francisco ruled today.
In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said that a T-shirt that proclaimed "Be Ashamed, Our School Embraced What God Has Condemned'' on the front and "Homosexuality Is Shameful'' on the back was "injurious to gay and lesbian students and interfered with their right to learn.'' The court said that the shirt can be barred on a public high school campus without violating the 1st Amendment.
"We conclude that'' Poway High School student Tyler Harper's wearing of his T-shirt " 'collides with the rights of other students' in the most fundamental way,'' wrote 9th Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, quoting a passage from Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent Community School District, a seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision on the free speech rights of students
Gay Methodist ministers plead for acceptance
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dozens of gay and lesbian Methodist ministers have anonymously signed a letter acknowledging their sexuality and calling for further inclusion in the church.