poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Louise Arbour: keynote address - MONTRÉAL, 26 JUILLET 2006


Judge orders woman to stop making anti-gay comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. --A judge ordered a Warren woman to stop directing anti-gay slurs at her homosexual neighbor, saying the insults amounted to "hateful conduct" and interfered with the man's right to live in peace.

The attorney general's newly formed civil rights advocate's office sued Theresa R. Deschenes in its first case, accusing her of harassing a gay neighbor with AIDS and threatening him with violence.

Court urged to reconsider Nebraska gay marriage ban

Two advocacy groups asked a federal appeals court Friday to reverse a ruling that reinstated Nebraska’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

New York-based Lambda and the ACLU’s Lesbian & Gay Project asked that the three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverse its July 14 ruling or for the entire court rehear the case.

"The federal appeals court panel ... just ignored the U.S. Supreme Court, which has ruled that states can’t pass laws just to discriminate against gay people," said Matt Coles, director of the ACLU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project. "We are hopeful that the court will recognize this decision simply can’t be squared with constitutional guarantees of equality."


Is Trans-Gendering the New Homosexuality?: Some Thoughts on the Subject

The author was intrigued with the story of Miles and Samantha, both of whom surgically altered their original sexes, yet met and fell in love. What happens when a body radically changes to reflect a different gender while remaining fundamentally the original sex?

When I saw The Maury Show’s episode of “They’re called trans-men,” which aired earlier in 2005, I was intrigued with the story of Miles and Samantha, both of whom surgically altered their original sexes, yet met and fell in love. I would argue that in this case, what you have is a perfect example of soul mates, as I believe they were destined to meet despite their intentioned sexual genes. In our society which seeks to define acceptability based on standards of appearance, the very existence of Miles and Samantha challenges heterosubjective norms in which non-altered men and women propagate the species.

What happens, however, when a body radically changes to reflect a different gender while remaining fundamentally the original sex? Looking to Miles and Samantha, what their engagement suggests (Miles actually proposed to Samantha on the show) is that, as Simone de Beauvoir argues, we are socially responsive to explicit expressions of outward ontogeny which may be contrary to how we identify with ourselves. On the other hand, if identity is a social construction, what do Miles and Samantha contribute toward debates about homosexuality?


Save 1.800.Suicide

Imagine a troubled gay teenager contemplating suicide, dialing a suicide prevention line, and getting James Dobson on the other end. It could happen. Via a government agency, it looks like the Bush administration could trying to starve a suicide prevention line of funding in order to make that happen. Or it might just be payback.

This is the kind of thing that won’t register on most people’s radar, but it’s important and once it was brought to my attention I wanted to do everything I could to let others know about it to. The suicide prevention program 1-800-Suicide is in trouble. It’s in danger of being shut off, or falling into the hands of the federal government.To put it another way, and underscore the importance, it’s in danger of falling into the hands of the George W. Bush administration. That’s something that should concern a lot of people, especially the gay community, because there are some pretty serious — even deadly— implications for LGBT youth. But first, sere’s the vital info:

1-800-SUICIDE is in danger of being shut off or worse falling into the hands of the Federal Government. With teenage suicide being the 3rd leading cause of death between 18 to 24 year olds - our government should not be duplicating prevention efforts but helping fund the many local organizations and non-profits with proven track records on prevention. In addition our government should not be in the business having access to this private and sensitive information!


Dismisses Gay Arabic Linguist

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was dismissed from the U.S. Army under the ``Don't Ask, Don't Tell'' policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified.
Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was ``outed'' by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.

``I knew the policy going in,'' Copas said in an interview on the campus of East Tennessee State University, where he is pursuing a master's degree in counseling and working as a student adviser. ``I knew it was going to be difficult.''Army

An eight-month Army investigation culminated in Copas' honorable discharge on Jan. 30 - less than four years after he enlisted, he said, out of a post-Sept. 11 sense of duty to his country.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

US court backs gay marriage ban

The court backed the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed in the state eight years ago to limit marriage to heterosexual couples.
Nineteen same-sex couples had challenged the law, but the court ruled against them by five votes to four.

The judges stressed that they were not ruling on the rights or wrongs of gay marriage itself, but only on whether the current law was constitutional.

The decision follows a string of setbacks for same-sex marriage advocates in other parts of the US.

Forty-five of the 50 states have passed laws or amended their constitutions to effectively prohibit same-sex marriages.


Indian health authorities call for scrapping of gay sex

NEW DELHI - Health authorities are calling for a repeal of a 145-year-old law that makes gay sex a crime, fearing it is causing HIV and AIDS to spread quickly in India’s homosexual community, officials said Wednesday.

The government’s main AIDS prevention agency has filed an affidavit in the Delhi High Court, supporting a request by an AIDS activist group to scrap the law.

The National AIDS Control Organization, part of India’s Health Ministry, argued in the affidavit filed last week that the 1861 law creates a public health risk.

So long as the gay community is forced to go underground, it limits the access to them and makes it difficult for the AIDS prevention campaign to reach them,” Sujatha Rao, who heads the AIDS Control Organization, also known as NACO, told The Associated Press.

Transgender politician quietly makes waves in central Missouri

CENTRALIA, Mo. - Politicians looking to launch high-profile careers awash in the cable news klieg lights and the Sunday network gabfests should avoid this town's Board of Aldermen.

Around here, the agenda is more likely to involve street closings, stop signs or a stern warning to go easy on the City Hall copier. The nuts and bolts of small-town government are hardly the stuff of headlines - which is exactly what Jessica Orsini prefers.

Advocates for transgender equality hail the public, albeit low-key, leadership role played by Orsini, who for the first three decades of her life was known as Jeff Orsini, an Air Force veteran and self-described computer nerd partial to role-playing war games.

As one of just two openly transgender politicians to win elected office in this country - the other, Michelle Bruce, is a City Council member in Riverdale, Ga. - Orsini is a trailblazer, said Mara Keisling, executive director of the Washington-based National Center for Transgender Equality.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

McKellen breaks Pentagon gay policy

Gay actor Sir Ian McKellen has managed to overrule the Pentagon’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy after being made am honorary lieutenant colonel of the national guard.

US military policy dictates that lesbian and gay recruits must keep their sexuality hidden, but the openly gay star was recently given the honour on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.

Sir Ian, a patron for many gay causes, told the New York Daily News, “I was in Atlanta doing press for The Da Vinci Code - and they wanted to honour me. The governor made me a lieutenant colonel.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Protest same-sex marriage ban on August 13

Sydney - People in eight cities and towns across Australia are taking action to protest against the federal ban on same-sex marriage, which was passed with Coalition and Labor party support on August 13, 2004.

The Australian government was the first in the world to ban same-sex marriage, setting the international benchmark for homophobic relationship legislation. Uganda, Nigeria, Latvia and Honduras followed suit.

This contrasts with the passage of same-sex marriage and civil union rights in many countries. England and the Czech Republic have enacted civil unions, and South Africa will enact same-sex marriage rights this year.

In the lead-up to the ban in Australia, same-sex couples were variously labelled as “moral terrorists of the 21st century”, “psychologically disturbed” and “unfit to raise children”. This year, the federal government took the ban on same-sex marriage a step further, overturning a law in the Australian Capital Territory to allow civil unions. At the national Queer Collaborations conference, held on July 3-7, prominent gay-rights activist Rodney Croome warned that federal banning of state laws allowing same-sex civil unions could follow.


Board to debate gay marriage

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors may take up one of the most hot-button political topics this fall as a resolution supporting gay marriage moves slowly toward the board's agenda.

Two supervisors -- John Gioia and Mark DeSaulnier -- have said they would support the resolution, which endorses civil marriages and opposes a constitutional amendment to ban it on both the state and federal levels.

But the measure will not likely be heard until at least September, when the board returns from its summer break. It will be in the thick of a midterm election season when the issue might figure prominently in races across the country.


Gay Nups Bills Pushed in N.Y., 4 Other States 

Gay rights advocates will continue to follow a strategy employing both litigation and legislation to win full marriage rights for gay couples in carefully selected states, according to a gay rights attorney considered the lead strategist for same-sex marriage.

Evan Wolfson, executive director of the same-sex marriage advocacy group Freedom to Marry, said bills calling for legal recognition of same-sex marriage are pending and have a chance of moving forward in California, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine.

At the same time, court cases seeking to overturn laws that ban same-sex marriage are awaiting a final ruling in California, Washington and New Jersey, and similar cases are moving through lower courts in Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland and Oklahoma.


NUT seek pre-school gay awareness

Nurseries must play their part in challenging homophobia from an early age amongst pupils, the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has warned.

The NUT reacted to The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) consultation from the Department for Education and Skills on policies regarding pre-school children up to 5 years old.

The report said: “By five years old many children have already internalised gender-role expectations, through the process of socialisation. Early years education, amongst other cultural and social factors, plays an important role in young children’s socialisation.


Gay activists outraged at ‘lie’

Two photographs, showing the public execution last year of two teen-age boys in Iran have angered the gay community across the world since they raced across the Internet after the Iranian Student News Association reported the July 19, 2005, execution. The two boys quickly became gay martyrs, killed, said activists, only because they desired each other and acted on that desire.

Two young men, believed to be aged 16 and 18, are seen shackled in a prison van, sobbing; one of them is then seen being led to a scaffold; other shots show the boys together with dark-hooded men placing nooses around the boys' necks; and two final images show their bodies hanging from ropes, in a large public square, as a crowd watches from a distance.

But as human rights groups looked into the initial Iranian accounts, the waters muddied. The boys, identified as Ayaz Marhoni and Mahmoud Asgari, were said to have been convicted not for homosexual conduct but for raping a 13-year-old boy. Gay journalists, writing on blogs, cited sources in Iran who said that claim was a smoke screen used by the Iranian government to deflect outrage over the execution.

Chevalier d'Eon
(Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée Éon de Beaumont)(October 5, 1728 - May 21, 1810) - Here and

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Jamaican lesbians found dead

The bodies of two Jamaican women, who were allegedly having a lesbian relationship, were found in a ditch last week. 

The Jamaica Star described it a "murder of passion" and suggested that one of their ex-boyfriends may have been unhappy with the relationship. 

The bodies of 20-year-old Candice Williams and Phoebe Myrie, 22, were found dumped in a pit at a house they shared in Taylor Land, Bull Bay, on the 12th of July.

Jamaican police are now searching for Dwayne Lewis, the father of Candice Williams’ one-year-old child. He is wanted for questioning.