poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, May 27, 2006

MOSCOW POLICE ARREST GAY PRIDE LEADER AND 50-100 OTHERS TODAY AT BANNED MARCH--Gay German MP Volker Beck, Oscar Wilde's Grandson, and Paris Mayor's Rep All Injured (Updated)

Moscow's police --1000 of whom were deployed to enforce Mayor Yuri Luzhkov's ban on a Gay Pride March scheduled for today -- have arrested Nicolas Alexeyev, principal organizer of the banned, first-ever Pride March in Russia's capitol, the Russian news agency Interfax has reported.  Alexeyev was arrested while attempting to lay a wreath at Russia's World War II-era Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (right) in Alexander's Garden, one of the city's largest parks, which runs the entire length of the Kremlin's west wall.

The choice of the Tomb for the wreath-laying was designed to emphasize the links between the struggle against Nazi Germany and the fight for the rights of gay people. Ten other Gay Pride participants were also arrested at that time. Reuters later reported that Alexeyev was "dragged, bent almost double, away from the gates [of the Tomb] by two policemen."
Yevgenia Debryanskaya, a prominent lesbian movement activist, was also later arrested by police today near Moscow's city hall, at the monument to Yuri Dolgoruky, along with some dozen other Gay Pride marchers, after the demonstrators moved to the monument, police told Interfax.

"OMON anti-riot task force servicemen have now cordoned-off the square in front of the monument to Yuri Dolgoruky and are shoving those protesting the gay parade from the square," Interfax reported at 3:40 PM Moscow time. The OMON (insignia at right), frequently accused of abuse  of power and repressive violence, was created as an anti-terrorist cum riot militia for the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980, and continues to exist since the fall of the Communist regime.

1,000 police to take Moscow streets for banned gay pride parade

MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - Security will be tight in downtown Moscow Saturday when an unsanctioned gay parade could take place in central streets, a city police spokesman said Friday.

Opposition to the would-be event has been strong in Russia, especially from the Russian Orthodox Church and other religious leaders, and Moscow authorities fear that parade participants could be attacked by aggressively minded youth groups.

"About 1,000 policemen will be on duty in the city's center during the anticipated gay parade," Yevgeny Gildeyev said. "All the central streets will be under control, as the exact location where the organizers plan to hold the event is unknown."


Landmark meeting for gay Lebanese

For people routinely harassed and sometimes arrested by the Lebanese authorities, it was refreshing to be able to attend a public event without fear of being detained.

But the gun-toting policemen standing outside the hotel were not there to carry out a raid against the dozens of people who had gathered inside for the press conference by the gay rights organisation, Helem.
Instead, the police were there to ensure the safety of the event.

The press conference part of a three-day event organised by Helem to coincide with International Day Against Homophobia, which marks the day in May 1990 on which the World Health Organisation took homosexuality off its list of mental disorders.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Transsexual may have Title VII discrimination claim

Although a transexual plaintiff's allegations of sex stereotyping failed to state a claim under Title VII, an employer's motion to dismiss was denied because discrimination against a transsexual may nevertheless violate Title VII's proscription of discrimination "because," ruled a federal district court in the District of Columbia. (Schroer v Billington, DDC, 87 EPD ¶42,334)

The plaintiff, a male-to-female transsexual, applied for a position as a terrorism research analyst with the Congressional Research Service (CRS) as a man and dressed in traditionally masculine clothing for the job interview. The plaintiff was highly qualified for the position with extensive military and anti-terrorist experiences, including being appointed the director of a 120-person classified organization charged with tracking and targeting high-threat international terrorist organizations after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. After retiring from the military, the plaintiff became a senior analyst and program manager at a private consulting firm where she worked with the National Guard on infrastructure security issues.

Cross-dressing teen barred from senior prom

GARY, Ind. -- The prom ticket was in hand: $85. The fuschia, slinky prom dress and strappy heels were ready. The whole week of giddy anticipation and pampering -- more than $200 worth of a manicure, pedicure and hair set -- was set to culminate with the grand walk into the glam ball.
But when Kevin Logan, a transgender and gay student at Gary’s West Side High School, arrived last Friday at Avalon Manor in Hobart for his prom, he was banned by Principal Diane Rouse.
That ban, according to Indiana Civil Liberties Union legal director Ken Falk, violates the First Amendment. The Logan family is mulling both a complaint with the ICLU and possible litigation.


Gay pride proclamation stirs controversy

A cheer went up Monday when a proclamation declaring June as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Month was read aloud during the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The proclamation was a historic event for Jefferson County, said Kellie Ragan, who had asked the commissioners to sign the document.

“This is a first for this county,” she said. “It’s really about increasing the visibility of our community and letting folks know it’s not just about having a proclamation but it’s about having a celebration.”


Military Discharging Two Soldiers Per Day For Being Gay Despite War Group Says

(Washington) The armed forces discharged an average of two people a day in 2005 for being openly gay a group advocating for LGBTs in the military said on Wednesday.
Citing newly released data for 2005 the  Servicemembers Legal Defense Network said the  rate of discharge has remained relatively consistent each year since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. But, it added that the numbers  represent a 40% decrease compared with years prior to the attacks.   
A total of 742 military personnel were discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on openly gay service members, up from 668 discharges among the services in 2004.


Transsexual had right to choose female officer for strip search

Transsexuals who are strip-searched by police should be able to choose whether it's done by a male or female officer, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruled Wednesday.

The ruling stems from a complaint by Rosalyn Forrester, a transsexual, born as a man, who hadn't yet undergone a sex-change operation.

Forrester was strip-searched in 1999 by male police officers in Peel Region just west of Toronto. Police arrested Forrester after her common-law spouse accused her of harassment and breaching a restraining order.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Greenhouse gas-temperature feedback mechanism may raise warming beyond previous estimates

A team of European scientists reports that climate change estimates for the next century may have substantially underestimated the potential magnitude of global warming. They say that actual warming due to human fossil fuel emissions may be 15-to-78 percent higher than warming estimates that do not take into account the feedback mechanism involving carbon dioxide and Earth's temperature.

In a paper to be published on 26 May in Geophysical Research Letters, Marten Scheffer of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and colleagues at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the United Kingdom use newly acquired ancient climate data to quantify the two-way phenomenon by which greenhouse gases not only contribute to higher temperatures, but are themselves increased by the higher temperatures. This higher concentration leads to still higher temperatures, in what scientists call a positive feedback loop.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Senate lawmakers move to take gay youth commission from Romney

BOSTON --More than a dozen Senate lawmakers, including three Republicans, are backing a proposed budget amendment that would create a new state commission on gay and lesbian youth out of the reach of Gov. Mitt Romney.

Romney angered many gay rights activists and lawmakers when he flirted with the idea earlier this month of abolishing the 14-year-old commission, the first of its kind in the nation, after a press release announcing a youth gay pride march was issued without the administration's blessing.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Scottish Schools To Teach Gay Sex Ed

(Edinburgh) Gay sex ed is to be taught in Scottish schools during health lessons a Scottish newspaper reported on Sunday.

Scotland on Sunday reports that the current sex education guidelines will be expanded because they are "heterosexist". Lessons will include safe sex, where to get peer counseling and same-sex relationships.