poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 15, 2006


In a Nineties’ study of ‘floating’ sex workers in Bangalore — that is, those who do not live in brothels but solicit clients on roads or in parks and take them to a mutually convenient place — a 26-year-old woman says that the question of morality does not bother people in her situation. She is just glad she can keep her husband happy. She was a domestic worker when her husband, injured in an accident, had to stop working. When a neighbour suggested sex work, telling her where to find clients, her husband encouraged her. He accompanies her to her ‘spot’ every day and waits for her till she returns after her last client.

This story has its own morality, one that drives the shadowy world Moni Nag seeks to bring to light in Sex Workers of India. The author has sifted through a large number of reports and surveys on Indian sex workers by various organizations, especially since the Nineties. The volume is so arranged as to illuminate the world of sex work in as systematic and realistic a way as possible. As Nag says, the studies made so far, in spite of their variety and differing depths, are still too scrappy for a full understanding of the profession. No one can even be sure how many sex workers there are in India.


Transsexual Denied Visiting Rights To 14-Year Old Daughter 

(London) The Court of Appeal has ruled that a transsexual cannot be considered a co-parent because the man and his former wife were married and the child born before trans persons were allowed to have their official records changed to reflect their transitioned sex.

In 2004 British law was amended so that transsexuals could have their records corrected, but the man, a female to male transsexual identified in court documents only as Mr. J. was married a decade earlier.


Justices Shy Away From Gay Parent's Case

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court said Monday it would not block a lesbian from seeking parental rights to a child she helped raise with her longtime partner.

The justices have never before dealt with the rights of gays in child custody disputes, although state courts are handling a growing number of legal fights.
The court had been asked to review a ruling of Washington state's highest court that said Sue Ellen ``Mian'' Carvin could pursue ties to the girl as a ``de facto parent.'' Justices declined to take up the case.


‘Framed’ gay Muslim appeals conviction

A gay Muslim prisoner has launched an appeal against a conviction for grievous bodily harm, claiming he was framed by the men who had been targeting him in a homophobic hate campaign.

The 28 year old, Mohamed S, whose full identity cannot be revealed for safety reasons, was jailed for eight years in 2002, but has had his case accepted for review by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC,) who decide if a conviction should be sent to appeal.


Gay group return Democrat donation after marriage remarks

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) is returning a $5,000 donation from the Democratic National Party after party chairman Howard Dean mischaracterized the DNP platform on gay rights in an interview intended to court the evangelical vote.

Though the New York Times reports that Mr Dean corrected himself amid pressure from advocacy groups to set the record straight, he went on record with the Christian Broadcasting Network, saying the 2004 Democratic platform declares “marriage is between a man and a woman.”


Iraqi Ayatollah removes gay fatwa

Iraqi gays are claiming success following the decision of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani to remove from his website a fatwa calling for the killing of homosexuals in the "worst, most severe way possible".

The removal on 10 May 2006 follows protests to Mr Sistani by the London office of the Iraqi gay rights organisation, Iraqi LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), which represents a clandestine network of lesbian and gay activists inside Iraq's major cities, including Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, Duhok and Basra. 

Following two weeks of negotiations with Iraqi LGBT – UK, Mr Sistani's office agreed to remove the fatwa calling for the murder of gay men, but refused to remove the fatwa urging punishment for lesbianism.


Queer' memorial to remember gay holocaust

Gay and lesbian holocaust victims are to get their own memorial in Vienna, officials revealed today.

A large basin filled with pink water will be built in 2007 in Morzinplatz, Vienna, at the former Gestapo headquarters, to remember the homosexual victims of the Nazi regime, according to plans published today.

The basin will be inscribed with the word “queer.”


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