poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, June 08, 2006


You’re better off alive, no matter how messed up you think you might be right now. And you’re better off alive no matter how mean someone is being to you. You are simply better off alive than dead—no matter who or what you are, no matter who or what you love, and no matter what you do. Just don’t be mean. Being mean never works. Never. So that’s the only rule I can think of that’s worth following in life: don’t be mean. Yes, you can be mean to yourself if that’s what’s going to keep you alive. I’m sorry if that’s happening to you. But keep in mind that there are alternatives that hurt a lot less, and I hope you find one soon. Do what you have to do, and stay alive because it gets better. I promise. xoxo Kate


Senate marriage ban amendment rejected

Washington -- The Senate easily defeated for the second time in two years a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, a measure that opponents dismissed as an attempt by Republicans to excite conservatives increasingly disenchanted with President Bush and the GOP-led Congress.

Supporters countered that few issues are more urgent than protecting the bedrock institution of marriage between a man and a woman from a rewriting by the courts. Social conservatives expressed delight at Bush's ringing endorsement of the Marriage Protection Amendment on Monday despite his inattention to the issue since he last endorsed it prior to his re-election in 2004.

But a procedural vote failed to clear even a 50-vote threshold, much less the two-thirds needed to set in motion a change to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment gained just one more vote than a similar measure did two years ago despite predictions by supporters that their cause was gaining momentum and would be aided by a four-seat Republican gain in the Senate in 2004.

"We didn't get as many votes as we'd hoped," acknowledged Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo.


Macy's removes display marking local gay pride week

BOSTON --Macy's department store has altered a window display marking Boston's gay pride week after a group that opposes gay marriage complained it was offensive.

The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events.

The mannequins were removed after MassResistance, formerly the Article 8 Alliance, which has campaigned against gay marriage and gay-themed textbooks in public schools, objected to the display.

The group posted pictures on its Web site and scores of its supporters complained to Macy's by phone and e-mail. A picture published in the Boston Herald showed one of the mannequins wearing a "gay pride" flag wrapped around its waist like a skirt.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

National Security Agency Will
"Neither Confirm Nor Deny" Surveillance of LGBT Community
"2006 is the new 1984," says SLDN
Washington, DC - In a June 5 letter to counsel for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), the National Security Agency (NSA) says it will "neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence" of information that may have been obtained through agency surveillance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  SLDN sought information, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, after media reports indicated the agency may have been monitoring groups and individuals opposed to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on lesbian, gay and bisexual personnel.  The June 5 letter was sent in response to SLDN's appeal of NSA's refusal to release any information related to that surveillance.  The appeal was filed on SLDN's behalf by the law firm of Proskauer Rose LLP.
"2006 is the new 1984," said SLDN executive director C. Dixon Osburn.  "The federal government's Orwellian surveillance programs of ordinary, law-abiding citizens violates our right to privacy under current law.  The government's refusal to disclose its surveillance programs erodes the public trust."
The NSA letter, from William B. Black, Jr., notes that "any substantive response to [the original] request would tend to confirm or deny specific activities."  SLDN has up to five years to appeal the NSA's response.
In January, the Department of Defense acknowledged that it had "inappropriately" conducted surveillance on student protestors at several universities.  The Pentagon has also indicated it has additional surveillance materials, in the form of government TALON reports, which will be released at a later date.  Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said the surveillance program is "no big deal


BBC defends DJ's 'gay' jibe

The BBC's Board of Governors has ruled that the word "gay" now means "lame" or "rubbish" among young people and may be used in a pejorative sense without insulting homosexuals.

The Boad rejected a complaint against Radio One presenter Chris Moyles after he dismissed a ring tone by saying "I don't want that one, it's gay".
The word "gay", in addition to being used to mean "homosexual" or "carefree", was often now used to mean "lame" or "rubbish", the committee said.


Gay rights law to be overriden

THE ACT law enshrining legal rights for same-sex couples will be overriden because the Federal Government insists the law provocatively and deliberately tries to legitimise gay marriage.

After cabinet decided to disallow the ACT Civil Unions Act, the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, accused the ACT Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, of "a cynical attempt" to "undermine the institution of marriage".

Unlike the 1997 overriding of Northern Territory law facilitating voluntary euthanasia, the ACT law will be quashed by executive edict, not by the Federal Parliament.

Poland: Official Homophobia Threatens Basic Freedoms

(New York, June 5, 2006) - Recent threats by Polish officials against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists and organizations threaten everyone's basic freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to Prime Minister Kasimierz Marcinkiewicz. Poland's State Prosecutor has reportedly instructed local prosecutors to launch investigations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) organizations and their "pedophilic actions." Human Rights Watch said that anti-gay actions and comments by numerous officials constitute a pattern of repression in Poland.

"Poland's leaders have stoked the fires of homophobic hatred to advance their political careers," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. "The continuing calls to restrict a minority's basic freedoms threaten the fabric of democracy."


300 march in gay pride parade organized by high school group

Downtown Los Altos was awash in rainbow-colored flags, balloons and leis Sunday afternoon as hundreds of participants in the city's controversial first Gay Pride Parade marched through its typically quiet streets.
Police and organizers estimated that more than 300 people -- including a gay and lesbian square dancing group and members of the Los Altos High School Gay-Straight Alliance, which spearheaded the parade -- walked the eight-block route. A sparse but exuberant crowd of supporters lined the sidewalks and provided non-stop applause.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Violence Mars Romanian Gay March

Police in Romania's capital Bucharest has made dozens of arrests during a gay rights march on Sunday.

The homosexuals were attacked by violent protesters, and police had to use teargas to hold the latter at bay, media report.

People were throwing eggs, stones and plastic bottles at the gay campaigners, according to reports.

According to the AP, gay people from the UK, Spain and Serbia had turned up to support the Bucharest GayFest participants, who marched against discrimination and for legalizing gay marriages.


Gay Marriage Advocates March On Bridge
Critics: President Playing Politics

Bay Area supporters of gay marriage are going head-to-head with President Bush. They took the opportunity to walk across the still-open Golden Gate Bridge in opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
Sunday's march took place at the same time as a gay marriage march on the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

Gay couples say even though they are in the minority they deserve the same rights and protections the majority of Americans have.

Teresa Sooknemizell, gay marriage supporter: "We're just regular people fighting for our rights. We work with them, we shop with them. We pay taxes, although unfairly. We just want to be equal."


From: glbt napal) International civil society denounce UN meeting on AIDS as a failure

Civil society groups from around the world denounced the final UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, released after marathon negotiations during the UN High Level meeting on AIDS this week.

“Once more we are disappointed at the failure to demonstrate real political leadership in the fight against the pandemic” said The Most Revd Njongonkulu Ndungane, the Anglican Archbishop of Capetown. “Even at this late stage, we call on the world’s political leaders to rise up and meet the challenges that the pandemic presents and to set ambitious targets at a national level to guarantee universal access to treatment, care, support and prevention.”

UN Member States refused to commit to hard targets on funding, prevention, care and treatment. They rejected frank acknowledgement that some of the today’s fastest growing HIV epidemics are happening among injecting and other drug users, sex workers and men who have sex with men. “The final outcome document is pathetically weak.  It is remarkable at this stage in the global epidemic that governments can not set the much needed targets nor can they can name in the document the very people that are most vulnerable” said Sisonke Msimang of the African Civil Society Coalition.

“African governments have displayed a stunning degree of apathy, irresponsibility, and complete disrespect for any of the agreements they made in the last few months” said Leonard Okello, Head of HIV/AIDS for Action Aid International. “The negotiation processes was guided by trading political, economic and other interests of the big and powerful countries rather than the glaring facts and statistics of the global AIDS crisis, seventy percent of which is in Sub-Saharan Africa.”