Vitale Letter #254, February 3, 2003
Anne Vitale PhD, Editor
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This is taken in part from a paper I wrote titled: Implications of Being Gender Dysphoric: A Developmental Review. The paper was peer reviewed and published in Gender and Psychoanalysis, An Interdisciplinary Journal, Vol. 6 No. 2, Spring 2001, pp 121-141. I have updated it slightly to represent my current thinking and post it here to make it available over the internet.
Living in conflict with one of the basic tenets of existence (Am I male or am I female?) is understandably anxiety provoking. This fact leads me to suggest that Gender Identity Disorder as this conflict is described in the DSM IV, is not an appropriate descriptor. I suggest here as I have elsewhere that instead the condition be termed Gender Expression Deprivation Anxiety Disorder (GEDAD). After explaining my thinking on gender expression deprivation anxiety, I will describe how this anxiety, if left untreated, is manifested in each of the five developmental stages of life: confusion and rebellion in childhood, false hopes and disappointment in adolescence, hesitant compliance in early adulthood, feelings of self induced entrapment in middle age, and if still untreated, depression and resignation in old age.
Full Text version available at http://www.avitale.com/developmentalreview.htm
 USA: San Francisco Bay Area--Final Notice--Advanced transition / Recent post-op, Male-to-Female Group Reforming: Facilitater---Anne Vitale PhD Top The Advance Group is for MTF's who are either in an advanced stage of transition (living full time in the female gender role) or has had SRS in the last year. The group has been meeting for the last 20 weeks and is well established. But due to natural attrition, there is room for two new members. Although we will be having our second of 10 sessions on Wednesday, January 29th, it is still not too late to join us.
Call Anne Vitale PhD at 415-456-4452 or send an email to Group@avitale.com for more information.
GENERAL INFORMATION  INDIA MP: HC upholds invalidation of eunuch's election Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. http://www.hinduonnet.com/...holnus/04032217.htm http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/04032217.htm News Update at 22.30 hrs (IST) Jabalpur, Feb 3. (PTI): The Madhya Pradesh High Court today upheld an election tribunal order setting aside the election of Kamala Jaan, the country's first eunuch Mayor of Katni civic body, to a seat reserved for women. Justice S P Khare, in his order, held that the eunuch Mayor was a 'male' and was not entitled to contest the election as a mayor as the seat was reserved only for women candidates. Kamla Jaan had won the election for the Mayor's post defeating BJP's Alka Jain and others. © 2003, The Hindu. Top
USA: BROWN UNIVERSITY: Transsexual and transgender students and faculty discuss issues in academia Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. The Brown Daily Herald Online http://www.browndailyherald.com/stories.asp?storyID=211 Monday, February 3, 2003 vol. CXXXVIII, no. 9 By Zoe Ripple In an all?day symposium organizer Cole Krawitz called the first of its kind, panelists discussed issues surrounding transsexual and transgender students and faculty in academia. "Transecting the Academy," a symposium held at Brown on Saturday, examined how transsexual and transgender undergraduate students', graduate students' and professors' experiences can complicate and expand the curriculum taught in colleges and universities in the United States, according to the program. The symposium also brought transsexual and transgender people together to foster dialogue and to create networks in academia, Krawitz said. All of the presenters were transsexual or transgender people, said Sel Wahng, symposium co?coordinator and a visiting scholar at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women. This made those attending the symposium feel "more relaxed." In such an environment, those attending the symposium "could talk more about who they were," Wahng said. Wahng said that many events focusing on transsexual or transgender people don't actually include many transsexual or transgender people. Scholars who are not transsexual also write about transsexual and transgender people, but often end up "generalizing" or "saying negative things," Wahng said. One goal of the symposium was to "grapple with the ways courses are taught" and "how concepts of gender are dealt with" in academia, Krawitz said. Panelists and symposium participants also talked about the role of theory, asking "Is it working, and who is it working for?" Krawitz said. "Transecting the Academy" featured panels on Feminist Studies, Race and Ethnic Studies, Queer Studies and Trans Visual Culture. Wahng said about 150 people attended each panel throughout the day, filling room 106 of Smith?Buonanno to capacity. Author Susan Stryker gave the closing remarks. Her works include "Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Fransisco Bay Area," and "Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback." She told the audience that a symposium like the one this weekend would have been "unfathomable" 10 or 12 years ago. The closing ceremony also included a dialogue about the use and applicability of gender and queer theory in the lives of both academics and the general public. -- Send an e-mail to Herald staff writer Zoe Ripple. This story appeared in the Brown Daily Herald on Monday, February 3, 2003. Top
 NATO: Facts about the draft and Selective Service System Top From an anonymous reader www.sfgate.com The Associated Press Sunday, February 2, 2003 ©2003 Associated Press (02-02) 09:22 PST (AP) --
Some background and statistics about the military draft and the Selective Service System:
CURRENT LAW: Men must register with the Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18 -- including disabled men, male-to-female transsexuals (emphasis editor), clergymen, and men who conscientiously oppose war. Those who don't can face $250,000 fines and up to five years in prison; they also can be denied financial aid and government jobs.
FUTURE DRAFT: If a draft resumed, 20-year-olds would be the first called up. Draft order would be determined by a lottery of birth dates. If more soldiers were needed, another lottery would be held for 21-year-olds, continuing on through age 25.
HISTORY: The first U.S. draft was during the Civil War; some wealthy men were able to pay others to take their place. About 2.8 million men were drafted during World War I, 10.1 million during World War II, 1.5 million during the Korean War, and 1.8 million during the Vietnam War before the draft ended in 1973.
SELECTIVE SERVICE: The Selective Service System, an independent federal agency, was created in 1940. Between 1975 and 1980, men were not required to register. President Carter resumed registration after the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980.
OTHER COUNTRIES: Of America's 18 allies in NATO, 10 have a draft: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Turkey. Portugal expects to end the draft by next year; Italy by 2005. Israel, not a NATO member, is the only country to draft women.
Sources: Selective Service System, NATO
©2003 Associated Press Top
[6a] Questions linger in a transsexual's death She died of a head wound. A medical examiner ruled it homicide. Police say it was an accident. Top Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/28/2003 | Question... http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/5045222.htm Posted on Tue, Jan. 28, 2003 By Michael Currie Schaffer Inquirer Staff Writer Even in the costumed world of Center City's drag-show scene, Nizah Morris cut quite a profile. Born Robert Morris, the 6-foot-3 transsexual - 6-foot-5 in stiletto heels - drew stares and catcalls with her towering hairdos and plunging silicone cleavage. But the 47-year-old West Philadelphia resident drew something else, too: cheers, from the nightclub audiences who watched her lip-synch versions of classics by the likes of Eartha Kitt and Peggy Lee. "She was so elegant," said LaTina Montgomery, an old friend who was on hand last year when Morris won an annual beauty pageant at a South Street bar where she was a regular drag-show performer. "She was an icon." Today, Morris is an icon of another sort. Early in the morning of Dec. 22, a passing motorist nearly hit her unconscious body as it lay near the corner of 16th and Walnut Streets. Moments earlier, Morris had gotten out of a police car driven by a female officer who had given her a ride after Morris was found on the sidewalk outside a bar. Morris was taken by rescue workers to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where she spent two days in a coma with an unexplained head wound. She died on Christmas Eve. A medical examiner ruled that the blow that caused Morris' death was an "assault by others." He called it a homicide. But according to Capt. Thomas Lippo of the police Homicide Division, preliminary police investigations suggest the death was an accident. Police have asked for a second round of tests by a brain-injury specialist. Friends and family are convinced that she fell victim to foul play, indifferent police work, or both. Activists are planning a vigil and candlelight protest march tonight to highlight the death. The event is to begin at 7 at the William Way Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. Police said there has been nothing to warrant a protest. "This case is no different than any other," Lippo said. "We'll investigate it to the fullest extent." But Morris' family isn't satisfied. "There are so many unanswered questions," says Andrea Dhunna, 40, Morris' sister and a former Philadelphia police officer who is training to be a nurse. "I think she was treated differently because of who she was." Robert Morris was born in New York, where his father, who died when Robert was a child, was a barber, and his mother, now 71, ran a candy store. They knew early that Robert was different. One Christmas, he threw his gift GI Joe action figures into an incinerator, preferring to swipe his sister's Barbies. He developed a taste for wearing his mother's clothes. He spent years calling himself by different girls' names: The Doll, Geraldine, Jerri, Judy, and Didi. "It wasn't an easy thing for me," said Roslyn Wilkins, Morris' mother. She finally took Morris to a psychiatrist, who she said told her that her child's identity was "in the genes." Wilkins accepted that. She even credits herself with choosing the name that stuck, Nizah. "I picked Nizah because I thought it was just different. And I figured she was different." The family moved to Philadelphia in mid-1970s. By this point, said Dhunna, Morris was already "living as a woman." In later years, she said, Morris used hormones and received breast implants. She had planned a summer trip to Thailand, a top destination for sex-change operations, "to finish the change." Nizah worked for a time for her mother, who was a custodial supervisor at a hotel. But she also made money in other ways. Criminal records show she was arrested 58 times between 1976 and 1986, mostly on prostitution or solicitation charges. Most cases were dropped or dismissed, but Morris was convicted of or pleaded guilty to several, earning probation and short jail sentences. She also faced drug charges as recently as 1994, when she pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence. Wilkins and Dhunna said Morris eventually decided to clean up her life and stay sober. She started working at the day-care center Wilkins runs from her West Philadelphia home. And she became a Buddhist. A New Year's Day memorial service for her at a local Buddhist center drew more than 100 people. Morris was arrested on prostitution charges one more time, last summer. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year's probation. "She kept that part of her life private," Wilkins said. Since Morris' death, figuring out what happened is "a full-time job," Dhunna said. Morris spent the evening of Dec. 21 at the Key West bar at 207 S. Juniper St. And though one bartender who knew her well said she never ordered anything except cranberry juice and seltzer water, police and an eyewitness said Morris had been drinking alcohol that night. Early the next morning, a female police officer responded to a 911 report that Morris was disoriented outside the bar. Lippo, of the Homicide Unit, said Morris indicated she did not want to go to the hospital. So the officer called off emergency workers. "Nizah said, 'Can you just take me home?' " Lippo said. He said bystanders helped get her into the police car. Lippo said that Morris, who lived near the intersection of 50th and Walnut Streets, said she wanted to go to 15th and Walnut Streets. The police officer dropped her off there just before 3:30 a.m. Moments later, Morris was spotted lying in the street on the north side of Walnut Street, near the intersection with 16th. A passing driver called 911; rescue workers took Morris to the hospital with a wound on her right temple. Lippo said police had not found anyone who saw Morris between the time she got out of the police car and when she was found unconscious. "It didn't appear that there was any foul play involved," he said. But Morris' mother and sister said medical examiners showed them pictures indicating defensive wounds on her hands. Calls to assistant medical examiner Edwin Lieberman, who signed Morris' death certificate, were not returned. Jeff Moran, director of communications for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said he would not comment on the continuing investigation. Friends believe Morris was another victim of the random violence that they said is frequently aimed at transgender people. And family and friends said they were concerned about the role police played before her injury. "How could a police officer who needed help to get her into the car then get her out of the car?" Dhunna asked. "Was there a miraculous recovery?" Lippo said police believe Morris walked away under her own power. Lippo said investigators had interviewed the officer and examined the squad car for evidence that Morris might have been injured before leaving the car. He would not release the officer's name. It is not surprising that the uncertainty has bubbled over into suspicion and anger, said Stacey Sobel of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, a legal-aid group representing Morris' family. Sobel said transgender people have often had rocky relations with law enforcement. Senior police officials met last week with Morris' family in an attempt to allay those concerns. Inspector James Tiano, a member of a police liaison committee that works with the gay community, said the department had reached out to improve relations with transgendered people in recent years. But Wilkins said she did not know if she would ever understand what happened in the wee hours of Dec. 22. "The fact that my daughter was murdered in the streets of Philadelphia, it somehow consumes me," she said. Said Dhunna: "It's like she's driving us to find out what happened." -- Contact staff writer Michael Currie Schaffer at 215-854-4565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
[6b] USA Philadelphia --Cops: Morris was murdered Transgender community is still upset with police Top Philadelphia Daily News | 01/31/2003 | Cops: ... http://www.philly.com/mld/dailynews/news/local/5068692.htm Posted on Fri, Jan. 31, 2003 By CATHERINE LUCEY email@example.com POLICE HAVE angered the transgender community for weeks by saying they weren't sure that transgender woman Nizah Morris - who died after being smashed in the head on a Center City street - was murdered. Transgender activists accused police of doing a sloppy investigation, while cops said they just needed more information. Finally, yesterday, cops said they would indeed investigate the case as a homicide. The announcement, at a press conference, came just two days after a Daily News cover story about the controversy. Homicide Division Capt. Thomas Lippo said additional examinations of Morris' damaged brain tissue showed that she was murdered. He said Morris had suffered "a severe blow to the head, possibly caused by a punch or hit by a motor vehicle." Still, the problem with the investigation, he said, is that there are no witnesses and very little information about what happened on Dec. 22. But the already fragile relationship between the police and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community might suffer if the case goes unsolved. "A lot of cops in Center City don't like transpeople," said Jessica Love, a volunteer at the Transgender Health Action Coalition. "Cops harass people when they weren't even doing anything." In a show of support, several hundred people attended a memorial and vigil for Morris Tuesday night. "I think the march and the vigil told [police] for the first time: give us an answer," said Jaci Adams, a transgender activist and friend of Morris. Morris, 47, was a popular performer in the drag show at the South Street bar, Bob and Barbara's. While born male, she took female hormones and had breast implants and lived as a woman. She was found lying on Walnut Street near 16th on Dec. 22. She had been hit so hard that she fell into a coma and never awoke. Earlier in the evening, Morris had been at Key West, a bar on Juniper Street near Locust, in the so-called "gayborhood." Early on Dec. 22, she collapsed, drunk, outside the bar, police said. Cops were called and an officer offered her a ride home. Morris lived in West Philly, but asked to be let out on Walnut Street near 15th. She was dropped off at about 3:25 a.m. Passing motorists found her lying in the street minutes later. Cops took her to the hospital and she died on Christmas Eve. The medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide, but police said they weren't sure. Transgender activist Kathy Padilla said she had some concerns about the investigation. "If the facts of the case are so complex that it takes the police and the medical examiner over a month to determine that it is indeed a murder, perhaps additional resources need to be brought in," she said. Several questions remain. What was the role of the officer who gave Morris the courtesy ride? And just how drunk was Morris? Lippo said the female officer who drove Morris was not a suspect. He also said he would not release the results of toxicology tests with Morris' blood-alcohol level. Morris' mother, Roslyn Wilkins, who appeared at the police press conference yesterday, said this was far from over. "I am still very much in need of solving this," she said. "My child was murdered." Top
[6c] USA Philadelphia--Transsexual's death homicide, police say Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/31/2003 | Transsex... http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/local/5070540.htm Posted on Fri, Jan. 31, 2003 By Thomas J. Gibbons Jr. and Michael Currie Schaffer Inquirer Staff Writers More than a month after Nizah Morris was felled by an unexplained late-night blow to the head on a Center City street corner, police have declared the 47-year-old transsexual's death a homicide. "The cause of death according to the medical examiner is cranio-cerebral injury, and the manner of death is homicide," said Homicide Division Capt. Thomas Lippo at a hastily announced news conference yesterday outside Police Headquarters. The finding - which came after members of the transgender community accused police of foot-dragging - suggested that Morris might have been killed by "something similar to a severe blow to the head, possibly caused by a punch, or possibly by a motor-vehicle accident," Lippo said. A passing motorist nearly hit Morris' unconscious body near the intersection of 16th and Walnut Streets about 3:30 a.m. Dec. 22. Morris was rushed to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in a coma and died Christmas Eve after being taken off life support. Although a medical examiner ruled the death a homicide on Dec. 27, police asked for a brain-injury specialist to conduct further tests on samples taken during the initial autopsy. Initial police investigations had suggested that her death was accidental. "Based on the second opinion that we asked for based on the opinion of a brain specialist, the doctor came back with a finding similar to the initial report, which was the cerebral injury," Lippo said. Jeff Moran, director of communications for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, said that because of the ongoing investigation, he would not comment on what caused the medical examiner to conclude Morris' death was a homicide. Lippo said that despite initial reluctance to declare Morris' death a murder, police had investigated it "just as we would a homicide." But activists in the transgender community have criticized police for not taking the case seriously, particularly in its early stages. A Tuesday night vigil for Morris in Center City drew several hundred people. Many in the crowd accused law enforcement of discrimination against transgendered people. Transgender activist Jaci Adams, 45, a close friend of Morris', credited community protests with focusing attention on Morris' death. "It let the cops know this is very serious, and that that they need to pay a little more attention," Adams said. Questions about the police role in Morris' death are particularly pointed because Morris was given a ride by a police officer just minutes before she was critically wounded. The female officer had responded to a call after Morris was found disoriented on a sidewalk outside the Center City bar where she had been attending a Christmas party. Morris told the officer she wanted to go home, not to the hospital, police said. Bystanders had to assist Morris into the officer's car. Although Morris lived near the intersection of 50th and Walnut Streets, police said she asked to be let off at 15th and Walnut. Morris walked away under her own power, police said. The officer, whom police have not identified, was the last person known to have seen her before she was injured. Lippo said the officer is not a suspect. At yesterday's news conference, Lippo reiterated his request for more information from the public. "We do feel that possibly someone saw or heard something out there on that night which caused Nizah's death," he said. "We would ask that person or persons to please come forward. We need your help." Lippo was joined by Roslyn Wilkins, 71, Morris' mother. "I am still very much in need of solving this," she told reporters. "My child was murdered, and I definitely want it to be solved. I just can't see my child's blood spilled on the streets of Philadelphia." Wilkins, who has received legal representation from Philadelphia's Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, also spoke at Tuesday's vigil. Her attorney, Stacey Sobel, said that the family is keeping its options open regarding legal action. "The primary focus of the family is to find out what happened," Sobel said. -- Contact staff writer Michael Currie Schaffer at 215-854-4565 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Top
[6d] USA: Chronology of events in Nizah Morris murder investigation Top Date: Mon, 27 Jan 2003 From: "tgnews_moderator <email@example.com>" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Source: Philadelphia Gay News (GLBT weekly, Pennsylvania) Author: Timothy Cweik http://www.epgn.com/StoryPages/NewsStories/m_chronology.html Dec. 22 ð About 2 a.m.: Nizah Morris leaves Key West Bar. ð 2:50 a.m.: Morris collapses at the intersection of Juniper and Chancellor streets. A group of onlookers forms around Morris, holds her upright, protects her from a potential mugger, and begins a 20- minute wait for paramedics. ð About 3:10 a.m.: An unnamed 6th District police officer arrives, cancels a prior call for paramedics, and indicates she will take Morris to 15th and Walnut streets. A witness describes the officer's manner as "curt" and "brusque." ð 3:25 a.m.: Morris departs from the patrol car at 15th and Walnut streets, and begins walking towards 16th Street. The unnamed officer immediately returns to her assigned 6th District, to resume patrol work, according to Homicide Capt. Thomas Lippo. ð 3:27 a.m.: Morris is discovered by a passing motorist lying in the street, on the north side of Walnut Street, near 16th Street, bleeding from the right forehead, according to Lippo. After a 9-1-1 call is placed, 9th District Police Officer Thomas Berry arrives at scene. Berry does not call a supervisor or treat the matter as a crime. Morris is transported to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, in critical condition. Dec. 23 Time unknown: Morris is removed from life-support systems at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Dec. 24 8:30 p.m. Morris is pronounced dead at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Dec. 25 Morris' death is declared a homicide by the medical-examiner's office; the city's homicide unit declines to accept this ruling, and classifies the Morris case as a "suspicious death," Lippo said. Dec. 26 8 p.m. Roslyn Wilkins, mother of Morris, is notified of her daughter's death by a Philadelphia homicide detective. "He's dead," Wilkins says the detective tells her. The detective is later removed from the case after Wilkins complains of alleged insensitive treatment. Dec. 27 Family members view photographs of Morris' body at the city medical examiner's office. They are suspicious of slight indentation marks encircling both wrists. Dec. 31 The Philadelphia Inquirer publishes the first media account of Morris' death, labeling her a "prostitute" in a headline, and a "male prostitute" in the story. Jan. 1 5:15 p.m. Morris is cremated after a funeral service attended by more than 300 people. Jan. 7 After being questioned by Wilkins, Homicide Capt. Charles Bloom acknowledges that a police ride was provided to Morris shortly before her death. He says the ride occurred about 20 minutes before the discovery of Morris' body. Later that day, Inspector William Boyle tells PGN that any suggestion by Wilkins of police involvement in Morris' death would be "preposterous." Jan. 9 2 p.m. The first of several planning meetings are held at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights to organize a community-wide response to Morris' death. Jan. 14 3 p.m. Police hold a press conference in the lobby of Police Headquarters, Eighth and Race streets, concerning Morris' death. Relatives and supporters of Morris appeal for the public's help in finding her killer or killers. Jan. 17 10 a.m. Sixth District Police Capt. Brian Korn, commander of the unnamed officer who provided the police ride for Morris, refers all PGN questions about the incident to other police officials. Jan. 18 Morris' relatives receive hospital records about the medical care she received at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Records indicate that Morris may have been in the beginnings of a diabetic coma when she collapsed at Juniper and Chancellor streets. Traces of marijuana are found in her system; no alcohol is detected. t - Compiled by Timothy Cwiek © 2003 Timothy Cwiek Top
MEDIA WATCH  UK: Employment law Q&As - transsexualism and redundancy Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. HR Gateway.com - HR News & Information with U... http://www.hrgateway.co.uk/viewnewsdetail.asp?uniquenumber=1353&loginstatus= Details Ref : L1/1353 Date Posted : 03/02/2003 Author : HR Gateway Editorial ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Brief Details As part of HR Gateway's weekly newsletter, we offer a FREE Question and Answer employment law service. Here are the latest subscriber questions with answers courtesy of Lawspeed. If you have a legal Q&A you would like answering then email: email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Question 1: (SNIP) Question 2: 'I am a transsexual with a high profile position in a large UK company. They are unaware of my status and believe that I have always been a woman. I want the company to improve its position towards the transgender community but I am afraid to speak out in case there are career repercussions. I don't want my career to be jeopardised. Is there anything the company can do inside the law to make my progression difficult? My industry is traditionally male and I fear they may use that against me. I believe I am covered by the sex discrimination act but I am not sure how the new EU legislation will fit in to it.' Answer 2: On 13th December 2002 the UK government announced that following recent European Court of Human Rights judgments it is committed to amending the law in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights. A draft bill is to be issued for consultation and this would probably impact upon any action that might be taken by the employee and the employer. It is better to obtain specific legal advice with respect to any potential discrimination claim and even though discrimination legislation is meant to offer protection to transsexuals, it does not mean that every discrimination claim will succeed. More detailed advice would require more information about the specific circumstances and the company's discrimination policy. To avoid any potential problems it would be worth considering if it is really wise to raise the issue. -- Monday 03 February 2003 Copyright HR Gateway Ltd 2002 Top
 USA: San Jose California--Diversity in Progress-Yeager's Mid-Term Report Top [thanks to LGBT Activists List via QueerPolitics Sun, 12 Jan 2003] Greetings. In case you're interested, the following is the cover story from January's OutNow Magazine. By Shawn Maxey As San Jose's first openly gay city council member, Ken Yeager is a symbol of diversity, but just as diverse are Yeager's legislative achievements since taking office in 2000. Along with his strong support of issues important to the GLBT community, such as raising the Gay Pride flag at City Hall and adding gender identity protections to the City's harassment policy, Yeager has been a strong proponent of reducing the negative impact of the airport on local residents, improving access to and quality of child care and revitalizing the City's long neglected trail system. As he reaches the midway point of his first term in office, Yeager is compiling a varied record of accomplishments that highlight his commitment to serving all members of San Jose's community. Extending from Santa Clara to the north, Curtner Avenue to the south, Highway 87 to the east and Winchester Boulevard to the west, San Jose City Council District 6 contains some 95,000 residents, and, for Yeager, overseeing them is often an arduous undertaking. The district's geographical proximity to the airport means that Yeager's constituents bear a disproportionate amount of the airport's negative impact, which has caused Yeager to become a leading advocate for lessening the burden the airport places on local residents. Accomplishing this has not been easy. "The airport generates a lot of money for the city," explains Yeager, "so the city views the needs of the airport and airlines primarily and local residents secondarily." Despite this pervading attitude from city officials, Yeager has managed to make significant progress. He successfully lobbied for the creation of a Community Ombudsperson to work with local residents and airport and city officials to insure the airport's adverse effects are minimized and to guarantee current policies are being complied with. In addition, Yeager has begun the process of amending the City's airport curfew to establish fines and penalties for violations. Another of Yeager's top priorities upon taking office was to improve San Jose's long ignored trail system. An avid runner who has completed numerous marathons, Yeager was disturbed that the trail system was in disrepair after ten years of abject neglect. In an effort to mend the problem, Yeager successfully advocated for the creation of a Trails Coordinator to collect information on the status of current trails, investigate possible new trail sites and identify funding sources to support the establishment of a citywide trail system. "The trails are a work in progress," says Yeager, "but now we have the strategy and resources to create a citywide trail system." Among his accomplishments in support of the GLBT community, Yeager has helped to redefine gay pride in San Jose. For the last two years, Yeager has hosted a ceremony attended by the Mayor and City Council to kick off Gay Pride month. The ceremony culminates with the raising of the Gay Pride flag at City Hall. "We raise the gay flag. There's a gay proclamation, a gay choir, a gay minister. It's all gay, gay, gay," beams Yeager. In addition, Yeager helped form a GLBT Employee Association for the City of San Jose. He identified the unequal treatment of gay partnerships in conveyance tax collection and created an exemption for Domestic Partners similar to what was already in place for heterosexual couples. Yeager is also pushing for a policy that would require any City contractor to offer Domestic Partner benefits. None of the other fourteen city governments in Santa Clara County have taken up any of these GLBT issues. The horrific murder of transgender teen Eddie "Gwen" Araujo prompted Yeager to pour over current city codes to see where they could be amended to better support transgender people. The changes Yeager helped enact were to add protections for gender identity to the City of San Jose Harassment Policy, make it illegal for city contractors to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and to include gender identity discrimination as a matter affecting human rights and therefore to fall under the guise of the City's Human Rights Commission. Yeager has found little resistance to the GLBT legislation he has proposed. "I think we're beyond that," he explains. However, Yeager insists that it is only through continued diligence that GLBT issues will continue to be raised. "It's how we were programmed. We expect trouble. Many elected officials are cautious about raising these issues because of a perceived backlash that is not really there." As he looks forward to his next two years in office, Yeager recognizes the importance of meeting the arising needs of the community he serves. "My first priority will always be the needs of my constituents." In serving his constituents, Yeager is making childcare, education and supporting local businesses his top priorities. As the City Council's liaison to the Youth Commission, Yeager is helping to construct a Childcare Master Plan that will serve to improve the quality of and access to childcare. Yeager wants to increase the dialogue regarding the problems GLBT students face at school in an effort to uncover solutions, and he believes the City should play a larger role in improving local schools. "The school districts cannot do it alone," he explains. Assuring the viability of local business districts is also paramount to Yeager, and he proposes a symposium on starting a small business in an effort to promote more GLBT and minority-owned businesses. Speculation abounds in political circles as to what Yeager's future will hold. Some say a run for Mayor is in his future. Others say State Assembly. Yeager blushes at such talk, but when asked if he intends to run for re-election of his City Council seat in 2004, his expression becomes much more serious. "We're full steam ahead," he proclaims. As an openly gay legislator, Ken Yeager's high profile success has hastened the day when the GLBT community will be celebrated as yet another branch of San Jose's richly diverse human family. "We live in a tolerant climate, but it needs to be more than that," says Yeager. "As gays and lesbians, we have worked hard to be included in society. Now it's time for society to work hard to include us." Top
 USA San Francisco--Working the system Top San Francisco Examiner http://examiner.com/frank_gallagher/default.jsp?story=n.gallagher.0129w Publication date: 01/29/2003 BY FRANK GALLAGHER Of The Examiner Staff USUALLY IN THIS TOWN, political payoffs are done behind closed doors with a bit of class and decorum. Not anymore. On Monday, after a closed session out of the public eye, a majority of the members of the Board of Supervisors handed over a fat, happy check for $107,000 to Robert Haaland, a political consultant of the progressive stripe. Only Supervisors Matt Gonzalez, Tony Hall and Gavin Newsom had the sack, so to speak, to vote against the deal. Simply put, this thing stinks -- and the more you dive into it, the worse it gets. The facts, according to court documents obtained by The Examiner: On Jan. 1, 1999, Haaland and a gang of his progressive pals took over a Page Street house, which they claim had been abandoned, and said they were going to use it to house the homeless. Apparently, the property's owners had a different idea, so the cops showed up, cuffed and stuffed Haaland and his crew and hauled 'em off to the station. It's important to note Haaland is a female-to-male transgender -- his claim rests on that bit of information. Upon arrival at the station, Haaland says, he was asked "degrading" questions about his gender and "groped." So Haaland sued, alleging the cops violated his civil rights. It appears, though, that Haaland's case doesn't hold water. For example, Haaland, who was supposedly degraded for hours at the station, can't even identify the cop who allegedly groped him. Similar problems abound. Regardless, Haaland is getting paid. Why? Simply put, it is cheaper to pay Haaland than to go to court. "Because this case involves a transgender, no jury in San Francisco would find for The City," one source familiar with the case told The Examiner. "Even if Haaland were awarded only a dollar in damages, we'd be on the hook for all the court costs and legal fees, which would be far in excess of the $107,000 we're paying him now." Indeed, one supervisor told The Examiner that Haaland's case is, at best, weak -- but it is still cheaper to pay him. "This guy's figured out how to work the legal system, and now he's holding a gun to our heads," the supervisor said after the closed session. Unfortunately, Haaland's payoff represents a bit more than just working the legal system. Haaland is a well-known political consultant around town, although now he is working at SEIU Local 790 as an "organizer" who has had a hand in most of the progressive campaigns waged during the past couple of years. Haaland has been intimately involved in Supervisor Tom Ammiano's political efforts, and ran Ammiano's doomed 1999 mayoral bid. Campaign-finance reports filed with the Ethics Commission show Ammiano paid Haaland at least $2,000 in connection with that effort. Haaland also lent his time and energy to campaign on behalf of some other supervisors or their various political efforts, although he was not paid for those efforts. Which perhaps explains why he was paid Monday. At the very least, Ammiano should have recused himself from the vote, given that he and Haaland enjoy a well-documented business relationship. Ammiano had no comment on his vote and did not return telephone calls from The Examiner. But imagine for a second that the shoe were on the other foot, and this were, say, Mayor Willie Brown's political consultant, Jack Davis, who said he was inappropriately felt up by some rogue cop and deserved a hundred grand for his troubles. The progressive supervisors would be outraged, screaming and yelling at the injustice of it all, and lining up to take their shots. Yet here, the silence is deafening -- and it speaks volumes. As of this writing, Brown is reportedly considering vetoing the settlement, although, because it takes eight votes to override a mayoral veto, he would need to find another vote among the seven supervisors who signed off on the Haaland payoff to make it stick. That could be tough. Supervisor Chris Daly, who stepped out to attend another meeting and consequently didn't vote on the matter, didn't sound inclined to go against the deal. "Normally, we listen to the advice of our counsel, who I think has been pretty good on these matters," Daly told The Examiner. "If we go to court, it could cost us a lot more." But there are other things at stake, too, like integrity -- talk to Newsom, Hall or Gonzalez, Chris. They can explain it to their colleagues. -- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Frank Gallagher's column appears Monday, Wednesday and Friday in The Examiner. Top
 USA: University of California San Diego. Two articles regarding Unisex bathrooms on campus Top Editor's Note: " What goes around, comes around"...so they say. When I was a graduate student at UCSD back in the early 1970's , the women took over the MEN's bathroom-- the only bathroom located on the main floor of the Main Library-- and proclaimed it to be a Unisex Bathroom. It had nothing to do with transgenderism back then but it did show that men and women can share the same restroom.....ed TWO ARTICLES RETRIEVED: January 29, 2003 from: Volume XXII Number 2 November 2002 The California Review Temple of Mars the Avenger P.O. Box 948513 La Jolla, CA 92037 CalRev@ucsd.edu ----- Ambiguous Bathrooms? By Lucas Simmons http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~calrev/november2002/ambiguous.html RETRIEVED: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 Ambiguous Bathrooms? ASUCSD resolution calls for unisex restrooms for transsexuals Lucas Simmons Technology Director The ASUCSD Council unanimously passed a resolution demanding unisex bathrooms on campus, primarily to make transsexuals feel more comfortable on campus. President Jenn Brown did not acknowledge the transsexual aspect of the resolution, but rather cited that there are not enough bathrooms on campus for women. She feels women would favor of the resolution. "Any woman that has waited in line at a single stall bathroom while men have been able to go in and out of their single bathroom right next door would most definitely in favor of this resolution," Brown said. Student Advocate Brie Finegold, who actually proposed the resolution, had a different opinion on its intent, saying that the implementation of the resolution would help UCSD be a safer, more welcoming place to all people. "The resolution shows A.S. support for creating a campus that is a safe, inclusive space for everyone, specifically parents, students with disabilities, and students whose sex is not readily apparent," Finegold said. Finegold also asserted that she doesn't think anyone would be offended by unisex bathroom resolution. "I don't see why anyone would be offended by a suggestion that there be bathrooms that can be used by anyone," Finegold said. However, council members were unaware of exactly how many people this resolution would affect. "Our campus has a very low reporting statistic, which does not accurately reflect how many instances perhaps that there are," Brown said. Revelle Soph. Sen. Achim Lyon said that he supported the resolution, but was also unable to provide information as to how many students would be affected if its policies were implemented. He also said he was unaware of what the costs would be to implement such a policy. The UCSD Police Department was unable to give exact figures on the number of transsexuals harassed in bathrooms at UCSD. The University of California Police Department's Annual Report and Crime Statistics, however, stated that there were a total of two "bias motivated incidents" in the year of 2001 at UCSD. Other A.S. Senators were clueless on the resolution as a whole. When asked for her comments about the unanimously passed resolution, Marshall Fr. Sen. Caitlin Colman said, "I don't know enough about the resolution." ===== Common Sense by Ryan Darby http://www-acs.ucsd.edu/~calrev/november2002/commonsense.html RETRIEVED: Wednesday, January 29, 2003 Common Sense Should we build restrooms specifically for transsexuals? Ryan Darby Editor-in-Chief The student council's unanimous support of unisex bathrooms for the sexually confused is yet another example of the politically correct left trying to fix a problem that doesn't seem to exist, presumably to promote a narrow political ideology. After all, how many transsexuals are there on this campus, anyway? All we know is that there is no official statistic on the matter. It seems silly to me to spend time and money on a project that would theoretically help only a handful of people we're not even certain exists. Moreover, the council has provided absolutely no evidence that there is a problem in the first place. I certainly don't recall ever reading about transsexual harassment in public restrooms, and for all the proponents' rhetoric, none of them seem capable of divulging any concrete statistics suggesting that this even happens. I for one can't say I've ever seen someone in a restroom and thought to myself, "Oh, that's a transsexual." Although I'd probably be caught a bit off guard if I saw what appeared to be a woman standing guard at a men's urinal, I think it's safe to say that most of us consider restrooms to be less of a social call than a nature call; one would really have to call attention to oneself to be singled out, and if those resembling women use the women's room while those resembling men use the men's room, odds are that nobody would notice the difference. If the problem is that these people feel the need to 'express' their sexuality, I have a simple solution: Don't express yourself. While I absolutely don't condone any resulting violence, if somebody knows that certain actions may cause other people to attack them, it's probably wiser not to give any provocation in the first place. Life is, after all, a series of choices. I honestly couldn't care less what other people do with their lives; if someone feels the need to switch sexes, that's up to him or her or her or him or whatever sex that person wants to be. But at the same time, it's not exactly my conversational topic of choice when I go drinking with my friends. They have the right to do what they want with their sexuality, and God knows they have the right to speak freely about it -- and I have the right to say, "Dammit, I really don't want to hear about your sex change operation." I really don't think I'm out of line for feeling some level of nausea at the thought of changing one's internal plumbing, and I don't need to explain that any more than repulsion at any other sight which most people would find disturbing. Besides, should it be the responsibility of society to wholeheartedly embrace such things? Just as the sexually confused have the right to craft their chosen sex, society has the right to formulate and express its own opinions on the matter; if people are offended by that, then that's just the way it is. Free speech can be an offensive thing at times. Unfortunately, those who speak out against unisex bathrooms are likely to be labeled a bigot, a homophobe and a Republican, just for good measure. Intellectual debate on the topic usually gives way to the cries of, "You bigot! I'm offended by your argument, so it's hate speech!" To force one's beliefs onto another or intimidate an opposition into silence is fascism, plain and simple. Then again, tolerance is not a matter of embracing something, but rather leaving it unmolested and to its own devices. If most people are as decidedly adverse to something as they are to the concept of sex change operations, then what's wrong with simple tolerance? It is absolutely wrong to physical assault or verbally threaten transsexuals -- or anyone else, for that matter -- so shouldn't we be content by simply curbing such aggression rather than attempting to reengineer society's entire perception? If so, then I think we as a society are already doing a pretty good job of that, particularly at UCSD, because we have been unable to even discover whether or not any such problems have even been reported here. Then again, I suppose the burden of proof should be on the side claiming the problem exists, but their lack of evidence leads me to believe the problem really doesn't exist. Despite its best intentions, the council is only emphasizing how different these people are from the rest of the population. The real irony here is that the bathroom habits of transsexuals was never an issue until the student council made it an issue. If anyone is going to harass transsexuals in a restroom, it will be now that the issue is actually on people's minds. After all, did the restroom habits of transsexuals ever cross anyone's mind before recently? The idea of unisex restrooms is so ridiculous that a backlash from bigots is probably imminent, especially if they see an odd-looking person exit a unisex bathroom. If a bigot is someone who hates others for being different, then the council has done a great job of ostracizing these people; they may as well have declared, "These people are so different from you and I that they can't even share a restroom with the rest of the population.." Would it be surprising if there's a sudden increase in violence toward transsexuals? If the council really wants to change people's perception of transsexuals, this is the worst way of doing it. In my opinion, there should be an emphasis on what these people have in common with everyone else rather than how different they are. Perhaps if they want society to accept them, they shouldn't demand segregated restrooms -- other groups fought long and hard to overcome such discrimination, so I think it's sad that they want to cast themselves into it. I also think it's interesting that such a high-profile issue would be passed unanimously without any debate on the floor. Is there not a single senator willing to at least present the devil's advocate, just to provide a semblance of fairness? It's also interesting how some senators evidently didn't even know what they were voting for, as at least a few have been proud to voice their clueless on the matter. Honestly, I don't see why some people would have such difficulty choosing which restroom to use. Moreover, why should their indecisiveness fall upon the shoulders of the vast majority of people whose sexuality is, in fact, 'well defined'? As cold and heartless as this may sound, these people have made conscious choices, and it's their responsibility to face the consequences that go along with them -- and that includes choosing one restroom or the other. There are a lot of questions here left unanswered, and I think that if the council genuinely cares about this issue -- and these people -- then it ought to start answering them. -- ©2002 California Review Top
 UK: The bride ... and groom Top The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selli... http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2003041070,00.html From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Tue, Jan 28, 2003 EXCLUSIVE >From BRIAN FLYNN in Florida and JOHN KAY, Chief Reporter A SEX-SWAP dad has walked down the aisle again --only this time as the blushing BRIDE. Ex-RAF corporal Michelle Marshall won the heart of John Ellis after her photo appeared in The Sun. Six-footer Michelle was first married 21 years ago when she was Mike Sowry -- and has a teenage son. Now she and security guard John plan to adopt two children of their own. After their traditional white wedding in Orlando, Florida, radiant Michelle, 40, said yesterday: "I dreamed of wearing a beautiful wedding dress but never thought the day would come. The ceremony was perfect. I was so emotional and nervous." Florida is one of the few places in the world where the couple could legally marry. They invited 18 family, friends and RAF pals and forked out £11,000 for the ceremony, held beneath a waterside pagoda. Michelle said: "I expected to grow old alone. It takes a special sort of man to marry someone who has changed gender and accept me for what I am, and John is that man. "He has made me the happiest woman in the world. "I loved John from the moment we met. He really is a man in a million and I will do everything I can to make him a good wife. "It feels the most natural thing in the world. We are just a normal married couple. "We invited people to the wedding who have helped us get this far -- and that included The Sun. "If John had not seen my picture we would never have got together." We told last April how Michelle paid £35,000 for the five gruelling sex-change ops that made her only the second transexual in the British armed forces. She also had hormone treatment, 180 hours of electrolysis to remove facial hair and voice training to sound feminine. John, 47, who was working at a Lancashire hospital, fell for Michelle after seeing her picture taken by our snapper Arthur Edwards. He asked us to pass on a letter and the pair met in Manchester that May. They sealed their love at a Blackpool hotel and smitten John proposed. And lensman Arthur was at the Florida ceremony -- taking their wedding snaps. John said: "I've always been a Sun reader but never dreamed I would find my future wife on your pages. The moment I saw her face I fell for her. "And when we met, she looked even more beautiful. "The Sun is the reason we are together. It meant so much to have Arthur here." Michelle arrived for the service in a white stretch limo, carried a blue and white bouquet and walked down the aisle to the traditional Wedding March. As they exchanged vows, Florida notary Doris Peterson told them: "You have now become husband and wife. May all others honour your decision." And she ended by telling John: "You may kiss your beautiful wife." Doris told The Sun: "It is a wonderful story and I was very happy to marry them. "If there is love in their hearts then that is all that matters. They make a lovely married couple." Michelle and John could not tie the knot in Britain because the law does not yet allow it, despite a European Court ruling on sexswap marriages last summer. They are legally man and wife in the United States but the marriage will not be officially recognised in the UK. Proud groom John, who wore a white tuxedo, said: "Michelle looked gorgeous. I have only ever known her as a woman and that is all I ever think of her as. "Michelle is not just all woman. She is also a real lady. She is gentle and caring and looks after me. The wedding made me feel like the luckiest man alive. "After the ceremony and reception we went upstairs to enjoy our first night together as husband and wife." Michelle added: "There is no reason why we can't lead a normal married life. "The surgery was successful, so everything looks like it should and works as it should. We are able to consummate the wedding like any other married couple. "We want to spend the rest of our lives together and raise children. We are going through the adoption process. We expect to have children before the end of the year -- then our family will be complete. But we will adopt children of an appropriate age. "A baby would not be realistic or sensible in our case. Most parents our age have children aged at least seven or eight. "I must accept I cannot live the life of a 20-year-old woman." Michelle joined the RAF as a burly teenager and was promoted to corporal in 1988, serving as a jet armourer at more than a dozen bases. As Mike, his first marriage was to childhood sweetheart Sally Witton, 38, in 1982. It lasted 16 years before they grew apart and split. Sally only learned that her husband wanted to be a woman two years after their divorce. Michelle told how she secretly cross-dressed as a child and fought to overcome feminine feelings while growing up. During 22 years in the RAF she trained as a bomb disposal expert in a bid to appear more macho. But she knew she still wanted to be a woman and began the sex-change process in 1997. In 1999 she told her RAF bosses about her new gender. She quit last August after failing an officer training course because she found the physical challenges too tough. She is now training as a teacher. She said: "I am the first transexual from the forces to marry." Last night Michelle and John, who have just moved into a four bedroom house in Lancashire, were honeymooning in Florida. There are around 3,000 sex-change women in Britain. The only other one in the Services is RAF helicopter pilot Caroline "Caz" Paige. The Sun told in 2000 of her swap from her former identity as Flight Lieutenant Eric Cookson, 40. -- RELATED STORIES: Sun says http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,31-2003041241,00.html -- © 2003 News Group Newspapers Ltd. Top
USA :San Francisco-- Transgendered Give Bittersweet Gift to Local Media. Top From: Gwendolyn Ann Smith <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 27 Jan 03 22:38:32 -0800 To: "TSMenace_intl List" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Remembering List" <email@example.com> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Gwendolyn Ann Smith firstname.lastname@example.org SF Transgendered Give Bittersweet Gift to Local Media. Books to assist coverage of Gwen Araujo murder, others. At the end of November, members of the transgendered community in San Francisco, outraged with the coverage of the murder of one of their own, decided to send a message to their local media, digging deep into their own pockets to give copies of the Associated Press Stylebook to their local media outlets. When Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgendered woman, was brutally murdered in Newark, California, local media opted to ignore Associated Press guidelines and refer to Miss Araujo as a male, and used her male name almost exclusively. Much of the media took a stance that was based on stylebooks that were several years out of date, and lacked a key change that was made in 2000. That change indicates that it is an individuals' preference (or how they lived publicly, if they cannot be consulted as to their preference) that determines the pronouns. Previous editions based pronoun use on sexual reassignment surgery. Gwendolyn Ann Smith, founder of the Remembering Our Dead project, made a sarcastic leap. "Maybe the economy has been just too bad for our local media," Smith said, "and they can't afford new stylebooks." Her thought was to embarrass the media into change, and get the transgendered community to donate copies of these books in Araujo's memory. A fund raising campaign was held at the 4th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, to gain funds for purchasing and shipping current editions of the Associated Press Stylebook to the editors of several local newspapers and television stations, especially the San Francisco Chronicle and San Jose Mercury News. Both have shown high levels of resistance towards changing their policies. A copy of the stylebook has been sent to the editors of nine San Francisco Bay Area news outlets, with a faceplate displaying the dedication to Miss Araujo. The books also have the section on the transgendered -- listed under "Sex Changes," highlighted. Each package also includes the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Media Guide, and a letter detailing the purpose for sending these materials. "It is the hope of the transgender community that these books will serve you well," the letter states, "as a useful tool in future coverage of transgendered people." The trial in the murder of Gwen Araujo is set to begin the week of January 27th, 2003. A complete copy of the letter and a photo quality scan of the faceplate is available upon request. Remembering Our Dead is a project of Gender Education and Advocacy. Additional information can be found at www.rememberingourdead.org. Top
LEGISLATIVE ACTION USA: Tennessee-- Rights proposal does not apply to housing, Metro official says Top Rights proposal does not apply to housing, Me... http://www.tennessean.com/government/archives/03/02/28444004.shtml?Element_I D=28444004 Monday, 02/03/03 | Middle Tennessee News & Information Rights proposal does not apply to housing, Metro official says By ANNE PAINE Staff Writer Controversy continues to encumber a proposed Metro law aimed at ensuring that people aren't denied jobs on the basis of their sexual orientation or disabilities. While efforts are under way to make parts of the bill more specific and include exemptions, it has come to light that the proposal does not apply to housing. The law would not require an apartment owner to rent to a gay, lesbian or bisexual person, according to Metro Law Director Karl Dean. An opinion Dean issued last week says the law is constitutional but that modifications are needed. Councilwoman Ginger Hausser said she plans to offer an amendment with Dean's recommendations at tomorrow's 7 p.m. Metro Council meeting. The amendment would be attached to ordinance BL2002-1313, which is on the agenda for the second of three required votes. This follow-up bill was introduced to clean up the original bill, BL2002-1274, which is pending. Both bills could be on the Feb. 18 council agenda on a third vote. ''I feel more at ease with the opinion made,'' Hausser said Friday. Hausser, a sponsor of the original bill, and bill opponent Councilwoman Carolyn Baldwin Tucker had both asked Dean for an analysis. Dean advised specifying that the law does not apply to churches or religion-affiliated groups when a position is ''important to its spiritual or pastoral mission.'' He also said an exemption should be listed for any group when the hiring would ''significantly burden the expression of the group.'' Nashville's anti-discrimination law now includes the categories of race, religion, national origin and sex. The bill would replace the word ''sex'' with ''gender,'' as well as add the categories of sexual orientation and disabilities. The ''safer course'' is to define gender, Dean wrote. The opinion and suggested changes aren't winning converts among major opponents. ''They came back with a second ordinance to try to prop up the first one,'' Tucker said. ''Now, in order for the second one to stand up, it will have to be propped up, also. ''The responsible thing would be to withdraw both and come with a piece of legislation that will, in and of itself, without any props, stand the legality test.'' Dean's assessment of the legislation is far from accepted. ''Our attorney has expressed the opinion that it is not constitutional,'' said Bill Merrell, with the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. ''Until it is tested for constitutionality through the courts, then it is simply a matter of opinion.'' The committee's view is that the proposal is ''an attempt to accredit and approve homosexuality as a normal style of life, which we do not frankly believe to be the case.'' ''Using civil rights arguments is really an exploitation of good people's sympathy,'' Merrell said. The bill is needed, advocates say, because qualified people lose or are denied jobs on a regular basis when employers don't like, for instance, the fact that they have a partner of the same sex. If employers violated the law as it is proposed, or were accused of it, they could be called before the Metro Human Relations Commission. The commission acts as a kind of mediation group. Its enforcement powers are unclear. The follow-up bill before the council next week defines the ''sexual orientation'' referred to in the first bill as ''homosexuality, bisexuality or heterosexuality, whether the orientation is real or perceived.'' One of the statements in Dean's opinion says: ''It is unlikely that transvestites, transsexuals, those who engage in sexual sadism or pedophiles would be considered to come within the protection'' of the law if both bills are passed. One advocate of the proposal has pause over this. ''I would like it to see it cover sexual orientation and also gender identity,'' said Paul Clere, interim executive director for Equality Tennessee, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. ''Gender identity has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with whether you equate yourself to a female or male role. ''I don't think there's anyone who would want to protect pedophiles (or) people having sex with dead people as (some opponents claim the bill would do).'' If transsexuals are left out, the law isn't giving equal rights to all, he said. Transsexuals are people who want to be considered a member of the opposite sex or have undergone a sex change. But that's not a deal-killer for Clere. ''We'd be happy just to get started with this,'' he said. The rift in the community that the proposal has created has left some council members mulling over whether the bill should apply only to Metro government and not employers throughout the community. ''Probably the best thing to do is to go with what you can get 21 votes for,'' Hausser said. ''You adopt what you can. If a bill is more scaled back, it's better than nothing.'' -- © Copyright 2003 The Tennessean A Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper Top
 USA: Cincinnati--Cranley pushes hate-crimes law Top http://enquirer.com/editions/2003/02/03/loc_glbt03.html Monday, February 3, 2003 Cranley pushes hate-crimes law Tells those at rally to attend hearing on ordinance By William A. Weathers The Cincinnati Enquirer Cincinnati Councilman John Cranley urged about 30 people at an antihate rally Sunday to lobby other council members for their support of an expanded hate crime ordinance that prohibits harassment or violence prompted by the victim's sexual orientation. Cranley urged his audience at Club Chica, a nightclub in Mount Airy, to attend Tuesday's 3 p.m. public hearing on the proposed ordinance at a council committee meeting. A vote on the ordinance is scheduled for Wednesday, and Cranley said Sunday that he believes he has enough support on the nine-member council to pass it. "It does matter that you are there," Cranley said. "Council members can be swayed. ... I am confident that we're going to win." The city's existing hate crimes ordinance covers crimes motivated by a person's race, color, religion or national origin. Cranley and Councilman David Crowley introduced the expanded ordinance proposal last month that would include crimes motivated by a person's sexual orientation, gender, age or disability. They were spurred to action after the death of Gregory A. Beauchamp, a 21-year-old English Woods man, who was shot to death Dec. 31 in Over-the-Rhine by someone yelling antihomosexual slurs. "This is an antihate rally," Dianna Brewer, the 41-year-old Northside woman who organized Sunday's event, said at the start of the meeting. Passive violence against gays in Cincinnati has escalated to physical violence, and it's time to get people speaking out against it, she said. If the ordinance passes, Cranley told the group, it would cover misdemeanor crimes, but not felonies like the slaying of Mr. Beauchamp. State law prohibits city council from doing that, he said. But Cranley noted that most hate crimes against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people are misdemeanors like assault, telephone harassment, menacing and vandalism. After his speech, Cranley stayed to answer questions from the supportive audience. Meanwhile, the Rev. Fred Phelps, pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., said Sunday that he plans to bring a group to Covington and Cincinnati Feb. 11 to protest ordinances dealing with protection for homosexuals. "They're talking about adding homosexuals to protective classes in that town," Phelps said in a telephone conversation. "We vigorously oppose (expanding the ordinance)." Phelps said he plans to picket a Covington City Commission hearing on a proposed change in a human rights ordinance that would extend housing employment protections to gay people and others. The group also will protest at Hebrew Union College because, he said, Reform Judaism recognizes same-sex marriages. Enquirer reporter Erica Solvig contributed. E-mail email@example.com Feb. 3, 2003 Copyright 1995-2003. The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper. Top
USA: California--New legislation would expand rights of California gay couples Top The Sacramento Bee -- sacbee.com -- New legis... http://www.sacbee.com/24hour/nation/story/740732p-5386190c.html By JIM SANDERS, Sacramento Bee Published 11:03 a.m. PST Wednesday, January 29, 2003 SACRAMENTO, Calif. (SMW) - Gay marriages are prohibited in California, but legislation unveiled Tuesday would grant same-sex partners nearly all the legal rights and responsibilities of married spouses. AB 205 would expand the state's existing domestic partnership program to ensure equal treatment of gay and lesbian couples in child custody, financial support, community property, debt assumption and other family matters. "It gets very close," said Assemblywoman Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, when asked if her bill proposes duties and obligations roughly equivalent to marriage. Supporters hailed AB 205 as civil rights legislation to ensure basic fairness, but opponents blasted it as an attempt to sidestep Proposition 22. That measure was approved with 61 percent of the vote in 2000 and limits marriage to a man and a woman. "This is homosexual 'marriage,' pure and simple - no one should be fooled," said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families. "This in-your-face bill would reverse the vote of the people." AB 205 is the centerpiece of a four-bill package unveiled Tuesday by the Legislature's five-member Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus, which includes two freshmen who are California's first openly gay male legislators - John Laird, D-Santa Cruz, and Mark Leno, D-San Francisco. Other bills in the package include: - AB 17 to prohibit a state agency from contracting with businesses that offer benefits to employees' spouses but not to their domestic partners. A similar bill died in the Legislature last year. - AB 196 to expand the ban on gender-based discrimination in employment and housing. It would not bar employers from setting reasonable dress standards. But the bill would ban housing discrimination against a man who looks or acts female, for example, or someone who is transgender - meaning they identify with the opposite sex. - A foster youth bill, not yet formally introduced, to prohibit discrimination or harassment of foster children and caregivers on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill also would require caregivers to receive information about non-discrimination policies as part of their training. Gov. Gray Davis has taken no position on the four bills, because the governor prefers evaluating legislation in final form after amendments are made by the Assembly and Senate, spokesman Russell Lopez said. Francisco Lobaco, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the four-bill package the "key civil rights legislation facing the Legislature this year." Supporters said the bills could benefit the state financially, although no revenue projections were released. Laird said AB 205, for example, could reduce welfare costs because the income of both partners would be weighed in determining eligibility. Goldberg's bill is supported by proponents of civil unions, available in Vermont, that provide a parallel system that is extremely similar to marriage but under a different name. Unlike civil unions, AB 205 would not result in gays and lesbians being united in marriage-like ceremonies conducted by county clerks. Ending the relationship would not require the same court process as divorce. Goldberg's bill proposes to expand California's existing domestic partnership program, which currently provides limited legal rights to 18,367 couples registered with the secretary of state. Other states and the federal government are not required to honor same-sex privileges adopted by California. Lydia S. Ramos, of Pomona, said gay and lesbian couples are treated shabbily by the state. When her longtime, live-in partner died in an auto accident last year, Ramos, 47, said she had no legal right to make funeral decisions and that an 11-year-old child they had raised together was removed from their home by relatives of the deceased. Weeks later, Ramos obtained a court order to regain custody. "I hope that what happened to us opens eyes, minds and hearts," Ramos said. "No more families should be unprotected like we were." Art Croney, executive director of the Committee on Moral Concerns, a nonprofit advocacy group on social issues, said the bills are part of a homosexual agenda that craves "public acceptance for what historically has been considered unnatural sexual behavior." Assemblyman Tim Leslie, R-Tahoe City, said he doubts that AB 205 will get much support among Republican lawmakers. "It's clear these are thinly disguised efforts to throw (Proposition 22) into the trash and bully a point of view that is not shared by a majority of the public," Leslie said. -- © The Sacramento Bee / ver. 4 Top
USA Washington Sate-- City of Bellingham passes civil rights resolution, with gender identity Top From: "tgnews_moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>" <email@example.com> Source: Seattle Gay News (GLBT weekly, Washington) uthor: Jason Allen Kirk http://www.sgn.org/2003/01/24/bb.htm Date: Jan. 24, 2003 City of Bellingham passes civil rights resolution; City Councilmember says next step is to add penalties The City of Bellingham recently passed a civil rights resolution with unanimous approval by the city council. This new resolution ensures that city policies provide equal treatment for all city employees while encouraging community employers and businesses to adopt similar anti-discrimination policies. According to Gene Knutson, a Bellingham City Council member, the resolution, which includes race, sexual orientation and gender identity among a long list, is only the first step in the process. The city council will be working with local authorities on adding consequences for failure to adhere to the civil rights resolution. "Bellingham has always had a rich history of diversity. It has always been something we have been able to enjoy here in Bellingham," said Knutson. For Knutson, the resolution sends a clear message that Bellingham doesn't tolerate profiling or discrimination. The resolution had been in the works for a couple years and the city council and mayor worked with various members of the community from different organizations in drafting the civil rights resolution. In a community where a Diversity Day is held yearly to celebrate differences and the full spectrum of people within the community, Knutson feels, "It was something that it was time to do." Top
IN THE COURTS [18a]USA: California --Letter allegedly depicts killing of transgender teen One of the defendants allegedly wrote note to 'implicate the other three' Top Oakland Tribune Online http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~1865~1133993,00.html Friday, January 24, 2003 - 12:36:21 PM MST By Robert Airoldi, STAFF WRITER FREMONT -- A letter, purportedly written by a defendant charged with murdering Eddie "Gwen" Araujo, describes in detail what took place the night the transgender teen was killed, according to court records. The letter -- which led to the arrest of Jason Cazares, according to his attorney -- has not been made public. But an edited version of a motion to seal the letter says its "graphic and disturbing" content was written by one of four defendants "who manages to extricate himself from wrongdoing, while implicating the other three." It purportedly was written by 19-year-old Newark resident Jaron Nabors to his girlfriend about a month after he and Fremont resident Michael Magidson, 22, and Newark resident Jose Merel, 23, were arrested and charged in mid-October with beating and strangling Araujo, 17, according to court records. Cazares, 22, a Fremont resident, was arrested shortly after the letter was written. All four have pleaded innocent. Fair trial J. Tony Serra, Cazares' attorney, argued that the release of the letter -- intercepted by jailers at Santa Rita county jail in Dublin where all four are being held -- would have prevented his client from getting a fair trial. Superior Court Judge Dennis McLaughlin disagreed, however. He returned the letter to Serra without releasing its contents to the public, but ruled if it is ever introduced as evidence, then it would be made public. When Cazares was arrested in mid-November, police said he was one of the main participants in Araujo's death. During a bail motion for Magidson last week, officials in the District Attorney's Office also called Magidson a main participant in the crime. Araujo, also known as "Lida," was killed during a party at Merel's Newark home the night of Oct. 3, after the four men discovered Araujo -- who dressed as a woman -- was biologically male, police said. Araujo's body, bound with ropes, was found Oct. 16 in a shallow grave east of Placerville in the El Dorado County wilderness. It was Nabors who led police to the body. Police would not elaborate on Cazares' role in the slaying, but they confiscated his Chevy pickup. They also took a red pick ax, two shovels, a flat spade and a hoe from his parents' Newark home. 'The Laramie Project' The killing -- with eerie similarities to the Teena Brandon transgender murder portrayed in the movie "Boys Don't Cry" -- occurred as Newark Memorial High School students were rehearsing for November performances of "The Laramie Project," a play about a Wyoming city's reaction to the murder of a gay college student. The Araujo case drew national media attention and became a rallying point for gay and transgender rights groups. -- ©1999-2003 by MediaNews Group, Inc. and ANG Newspapers Top
[18b] USA: California --Hearing today in slaying of Newark transgender teen Top Mercury News | 01/29/2003 | Hearing today in ... http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/5058037.htm Posted on Wed, Jan. 29, 2003 By Yomi S. Wronge Mercury News The grim details of how -- and perhaps why -- a Newark teenager was killed will come to light today, when the four men accused of killing Eddie ``Gwen'' Araujo face a preliminary hearing. The hearing, to determine whether the case will go to trial, will showcase the strategy of the Alameda County prosecutor who says the men brutally beat and then strangled the trasgender 17-year-old in a homophobic rage after Araujo's male anatomy was divulged at a party. Defendants Jose Antonio Merel, 23, and Jaron Chase Nabors, 19, both of Newark, and Fremont residents Michael William Magidson, 22, and Jason Michael Cazares, 23, are all also charged with a hate crime. All four have pleaded not guilty and remain behind bars, although Magidson recently was granted bail and could be released if his family can post bond. The proceedings for the four men are set to run through Friday in Alameda County Superior Court in Fremont. Defense attorneys for the accused have said the young men were deceived by Araujo, whom they knew as a beautiful 19-year-old girl named Lida. They became enraged when, after a night of heavy drinking at Merel's house, a girl followed Araujo into the bathroom and discovered the teen was anatomically male. Araujo ``perpetrated a sexual fraud on heterosexual men who, when discovering they had been having sex with a man, had their masculinity, sexual identity and self-esteem called into question at a time when they had been drinking heavily,'' attorney Michael Thorman, who represents Michael Magidson, wrote in court papers. But according to police reports and court documents, the defendants had discussed Araujo's gender among themselves several days before the killing. Deputy District Attorney Connie Campbell has called the case premeditated murder. ``There is ample evidence,'' Campbell wrote in court papers, ``that this was not a spur of the moment reaction . . . but rather a cold-blooded hunt to discover the biological gender of the victim.'' The hearing is likely to include graphic photographs and other forensic evidence, as the prosecutor tries to prove the defendants should stand trial. Likely witnesses include police detectives and those present at the time of the killing: Jose Merel's brother, Paul Merel, who was arrested but then released; Emmanuel Merel, 19, another brother; and Nicole Brown, 22, who is Paul Merel's girlfriend. Brown was the one who followed Araujo into the bathroom and then told partygoers that Araujo was male. According to police reports, the defendants attacked Araujo, punching and grabbing the teen by the hair before dragging his body into the garage. They tied a rope around Araujo's neck and strangled the youth, then drove the body 150 miles north to dump it at a campsite near Placerville. It was Nabors who later led detectives to the makeshift grave. The case became a flash point for transgender activists and anti-gay protesters and is sure to draw more media attention as it heads toward a trial. ``It's really important to remember the memory of someone as courageous as this youth, Gwen, so that people understand the connection between homophobia or transphobia and what people do to act out emotions around those phobias,'' said Tina D'Elia, director of the anti-hate crimes program at the non-profit Community United Against Violence in San Francisco. Since the first wave of national coverage, Araujo's mother, Sylvia Guerrero, has hired high-profile feminist attorney Gloria Allred. Allred has said the family will lobby the state Legislature to include hate crimes in the list of special circumstances that make a defendant eligible for the death penalty if found guilty. -- Contact Yomi S. Wronge at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 790-7315. Top
[18c] USA: California New details in Newark slaying Top Source: San Francisco Chronicle Author: Kelly St. John http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/01/31/BA72353.DTL Date: January 31, 2003 Defendant's brother says transgender teen was repeatedly questioned- Newark -- The younger brother of a man accused of killing transgender teenager Gwen Araujo said he overheard all four defendants questioning Araujo's gender on the night prosecutors say the teen died. Emmanuel Merel, 20, testified Thursday in Alameda County Superior Court that he was awakened twice by loud confrontations between the men and Araujo, whom he had been introduced to as "Lida." Merel, who said he went straight to his room after arriving at the Newark home on the evening of Oct. 3, said he was first alerted to loud voices, including that of his brother, Jose Antonio Merel, 23, repeatedly asking, "Are you a man or a woman?" "I did hear a response, something along the lines of 'Isn't it obvious?' " he said. "That was Lida's voice." Later that night, Merel said he heard Michael Magidson, 22, take "Lida" into the bathroom and continue to question her. He said he also saw his brother, Jaron Chase Nabors, 19, and Jason Michael Cazares, 23, standing outside the bathroom door as the questioning continued. Emmanuel Merel opened the door but never left the room. "I believe after I saw them in the hallway, I probably closed the door," he said, adding that he told the men at one point to "leave (Araujo) alone." Merel's testimony capped the second day of a hearing to determine whether the four men should stand trial for the slaying of Araujo -- who was born a boy, Edward Araujo, but identified and lived as a young woman -- at the Merels' Newark home. The day's testimony was emotional for members of Araujo's family. Araujo's mother, Sylvia Guerrero, left the Fremont courtroom after a Newark police detective described unearthing Araujo's body, which was bound and gagged and had been strangled with a heavy rope. Araujo's purse was buried in the grave, its strap wrapped around Araujo's neck. "It's been a nauseating, horrific day for this mother," said Guerrero's attorney, Gloria Allred. Alameda County prosecutors alleged that during a night of partying, the four men beat and strangled Araujo after discovering the girl they knew as "Lida" was biologically male. Prosecutors say Araujo, 17, had engaged in sexual acts with at least one of the defendants going back several weeks before the slaying. All four men have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and a hate crime enhancement, and remain behind bars. Thursday's hearing also brought additional details about how Araujo died and how Newark police officers found the shallow grave near Placerville that contained her remains. Araujo died from strangulation and blunt trauma to the head, said Dr. Paul Herrmann, an Alameda County forensic pathologist. Araujo's bruised body was bound at the wrists, ankles and knees with rope, and her mouth was gagged with a piece of bloody cloth. Methamphetamines and marijuana were also found in Araujo's bloodstream, Herrmann said. Earlier, Newark police Detective David Parks testified that on the night of Oct. 15, he and several other law enforcement officers accompanied Nabors as he led them on a search for Araujo's grave. Parks said Nabors had to stop several times before finally identifying the spot along Silver Fork Road, near the town of Kyburz in El Dorado County. Authorities waited until dawn to unearth Araujo's body, which was wrapped in a white comforter and laying atop a blood-stained piece of carpet, Parks said. A purse containing papers belonging to Araujo was wrapped around the victim's neck, Parks said. Top
[18d]USA: California-- Hearing details 'hurts so much,' says mother of murdered teen Top AP Wire | 01/31/2003 | Hearing details 'hurts... http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/5069932.htm Posted on Fri, Jan. 31, 2003 MICHELLE LOCKE Associated Press FREMONT, Calif. - The mother of a transgender teen who police say was killed in a hate crime briefly left the courtroom in tears after a policeman described finding the dead teen's body, bound at the neck, wrists, knees and ankles and with a bloodstained cloth stuffed in her mouth. "It hurts so much," Sylvia Guerrero said later, following the second day of testimony on whether four men should stand trial for the murder of her child, 17-year-old Eddie "Gwen" Araujo. Prosecutors say Araujo was killed at defendant Jose Antonio Merel's house after the defendants found out the girl they knew as Lida was biologically male. The prosecution continued to try to make that case Thursday, presenting testimony from Emmanuel Merel, Jose's brother, who was at the house that night and heard shouts of "Are you a man or a woman?" Also charged are Michael William Magidson, 22, Jason Cazares, 23, and 19-year-old Jaron Nabors. Because of scheduling conflicts, the next day of the hearing will be Feb. 18. Much of the testimony Thursday dealt with the finding of Araujo's body and the results of a subsequent autopsy. Newark Detective David Parks said Nabors led police to the body, buried in a shallow grave 150 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra foothills. He said the body had a rope around the neck and was tied up and gagged. Guerrero left the courtroom after Parks described how a purse strap was wrapped around Araujo's neck. But she soon returned to sit grim-faced through the sometimes technical, sometimes gruesome details of the autopsy. "The testimony that was heard today is a parent's worst nightmare," family attorney Gloria Allred said after court ended for the day. "It's been a nauseating, horrific day for this mother." Pathologist Dr. Paul Herrmann testified that the cause of death was strangulation associated with blows to the head. He said Araujo had two wounds on her head that probably were caused by a blunt instrument. Under cross-examination from defense lawyers he also said that a blood alcohol level of .12 was found. However, Herrmann said the blood was drawn some time after death and it is possible that decomposition raised the level of alcohol in the blood. Tests also showed small amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine, he said. After Herrmann, Emmanuel Merel, 20 and three years younger than his brother Jose, testified about what he overheard the night of the killing. Clean-cut and studious-looking in wire-rimmed glasses, Emmanuel Merel said he went straight to his room after coming home the night of Oct. 3 and did not talk to other people in the house. He said he was awakened by shouting and heard his brother and others asking "Are you a man or a woman?" Merel said he thought he heard an answer of "Isn't it obvious?" from Araujo, whom he knew as Lida. Merel said he opened his door but mostly stayed in his room because he didn't want to be part of the confrontation. He said he thought, "Are you a man or a woman?" was "a fairly ridiculous question to be asking somebody and that it was wrong to ask somebody a question like that." At one point, Emmanuel Merel did yell out to "leave (Araujo) alone." After the hearing ended, Allred said the interrogators were asking the wrong question. "The relevant question was, `Is this person a human being?'" she said. "This was Sylvia's child." Listening to the testimony Thursday was something, "words can't describe, just can't describe," Guerrero said. "I just want the truth," she said. "I think I deserve that." Top
[18e]USA: California-- Brother of defendant in Newark killing says teen was being asked about gender Top Mercury News | 01/31/2003 | Second witness he... http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/5073261.htm Posted on Fri, Jan. 31, 2003 Second witness heard badgering BROTHER OF DEFENDANT IN NEWARK KILLING SAYS TEEN WAS BEING ASKED ABOUT GENDER By Yomi S. Wronge Mercury News A second witness in the case of four men charged with killing a transgender Newark teenager testified Thursday that he, too, heard the defendants badgering 17-year-old Eddie ``Gwen'' Araujo about the youth's biological sex. ``Are you a man or a woman?'' they asked the teen repeatedly, said Emmanuel Merel, the younger brother of defendant Jose Merel. His testimony came one day after a girlfriend of defendant Jason Michael Cazares, 23, recounted hearing a similar exchange in the background during a phone conversation with Cazares. Jose Merel, 23, and Jaron Chase Nabors, 19, both of Newark, and Fremont residents Michael William Magidson, 22, and Cazares, 23, are all charged with killing Araujo on Oct. 4. The defendants knew the teen as a girl named Lida, and court documents indicate some or all had sexual relations with the teen. The defense claims the men reacted violently after discovering, for the first time in the early hours of Oct. 4, that Araujo was anatomically male. The prosecution contends that the men suspected Araujo's gender all along and that the killing was premeditated. Because Araujo was transgender, meaning the teen identified and lived as a woman, the men are also charged with a hate crime. All four have pleaded not guilty and remain behind bars. The younger Merel said he was awakened by the loud questioning, ``Are you a man or a woman?'' At one point, he said, he thought he heard Araujo answer, ``Isn't it obvious?'' Emmanuel Merel listened from his bedroom door as he said Magidson led Araujo into a bathroom. He said the other defendants waited outside and urged Magidson to find out the truth. ``I was thinking it was a fairly ridiculous question to ask someone,'' Emmanuel Merel said, adding that at one point he called out ``just leave her alone.'' But he was reluctant to get more involved and stayed in his bedroom. ``I didn't want to be part of the confrontation,'' he said. Emmanuel Merel's testimony capped a second day in the preliminary hearing, which will resume Feb. 18 in the Fremont Hall of Justice. Judge Kenneth Burr will decide whether the case will go to trial. Thursday, Newark police detective David Parks described the late-night ride to El Dorado County, near Tahoe, on Oct. 16, when Nabors led investigators to where Araujo was buried. Nabors turned his head down and away from his friends as Parks told of the trip. Parks said there were faded footprints and tire tracks on the wooded road and the steep dirt path leading to the grave. He said Newark police did not take photos or cast impressions of these prints, which could be significant in a trial if the defendants dispute their level of involvement in the case. Parks said Nabors pinpointed Araujo's grave just before dawn. At daybreak, El Dorado County sheriff's deputies dug until they spotted a human hand protruding from under a rock. They sifted the rest of the way by hand, removing heavy rocks and other debris until they unearthed the body, which was lying face up, the legs drawn up near the torso. Araujo was bound about the neck, wrists, knees and ankles with a white rope. There was a bloody gag in the victim's mouth and a large, bloodstained rock on top of Araujo's face. The teen was dressed in a denim skirt and blouse, with a black purse draped around the neck and hung over the shoulder. There were papers inside with the victim's name scribbled on them. Araujo's family members were visibly shaken at points, and particularly when forensic pathologist Dr. Paul Herrmann described the blunt trauma and strangulation that killed the youth. Herrmann also testified that small amounts of marijuana, alcohol and methamphetamine were in Araujo's system at the time of death. ``It's been a nauseating, horrific day for this mother,'' said Gloria Allred, the attorney representing Araujo's mother, Sylvia Guerrero. -- Contact Yomi S. Wronge at email@example.com or (510) 790-7315. Top
 USA: N.Y. trans rights victories may set precedents Decisions mark courts' new interpretation of rights Top From: "tgnews_moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>" <email@example.com> Subject: USA: N.Y. trans rights victories may set precedents Source: Washington Blade (GLBT weekly, DC) Author: Steve Weinstein http://www.washblade.com/national/030124trans.php3 >>> Date: Jan. 24, 2003 NEW YORK -- Two important decisions in New York City recently have helped refine the rights of city and New York State's transgendered persons. Advocates hope they may prove precedent-setting in other court jurisdictions as well. A person's physical anatomy does not automatically determine that person's gender identity, according to a Jan. 16 ruling by a New York State Supreme Court judge. The case concerned one of the main battlegrounds of transgender rights: the choice of which bathroom to use and what to do when that choice offends other people. A commercial landlord had been renting space to the Hispanic AIDS Forum when he began receiving complaints from some of the building's other tenants. Some of the women working in the Bruson Building, a multi-tenant office building in Jackson Heights, Queens, didn't like sharing their bathrooms with people who identified as female but were born male. The landlord, the estate of Joseph Bruno, told Sanchez Soto, HAF's executive director, that the group would have to leave after its lease expired. The reason cited was complaints from the other tenants of "men who think they're women using the women's bathrooms," according to Soto. The landlord tried to force HAF clients to reveal their genitals in an attempt to establish gender identity, according to a lawsuit filed by HAF after it was forced to vacate the building. HAF eventually relocated to Woodside, an adjacent community, also in Queens, but which was less accessible to Hispanic persons with AIDS. New York City passed a landmark law recognizing transgender rights last year. But this case, filed in June 2001, wouldn't have been covered by the law. "The whole case is precedent-setting," said James Esseks, litigation director of the ACLU's Lesbian & Gay Rights Project in New York. "A judge has recognized that genitalia doesn't determine what one's gender identity is." The ACLU was HAF's lead lawyer on the case. There have been other cases involving who can use which restrooms and other sex-segregated facilities, Esseks said. But none of them have been as specific as this ruling was. Another facet of this case also set a precedent. In an effort to establish the identity of HAF's clients, the landlord wanted not only to examine their genitals but also wanted their names. "The landlord said he was just asking for names, not HIV information," Esseks said. The revealing of the identity of someone who is visiting an AIDS service organization is in clear violation of New York State's privacy guidelines, according to the judge's ruling. "The landlord's tactics of trying to degrade our clients by forcing them to disclose what their genitals look like and their HIV status demonstrates the contempt they have for transgendered people suffering from HIV and AIDS," Esseks said. The damages that HAF maintained it sustained by having to move have not been set. If the landlord appeals, a ruling favorable to HAF may have an even further-reaching effect. Trans teen wins case In another case, a 17-year-old who identifies as female won the right to dress as a woman. Mariah Lopez, who has been in foster care facilities since the death of her grandmother when she was 9, recently lived at the Atlantic Transitional Foster Facility in Brooklyn. While there, she said she was harassed by the staff and not allowed to wear what she wanted. Lopez, who is undergoing hormone-replacement treatment, sought help from the Urban Justice Center, with free legal help from the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton. She sued the Administration of Children's Services, a city agency, last year. Earlier this month, Judge Louise Gruner Gans ruled that ACS violated the city's human-rights law by failing to accommodate Lopez's gender identity. David Spade, a transgendered attorney who represented Lopez, called the ruling "a great step towards eliminating the serious discrimination and abuse transgender youth face in New York's foster care system." The two cases are closely intertwined and represent a giant step forward for transgendered persons, Esseks said. "We think it's terrific." Copyright © 2003 Window Media, LLC Top
[20a]USA Chicago --Transgender Custody: Mother Testifies 'Husband' Threatened Her Top View More Details http://www.wbbm780.com/asp/ViewMoreDetails.asp?ID=18596 Monday, January 27, 2003, 8:59 p.m. By Steve Miller WBBM Newsradio 780 (Chicago) -- A unique child custody case is winding down at the Daley Center - with a biological mother on one side and the person she married on the other: a woman who is living as a man. On the stand Monday and expected again Tuesday: the biological mother of a 10-year-old boy. She broke down on the stand as she testified that the person she married held a knife to her throat and told her not to leave him -- how, she said, he waited until their wedding night to tell her he wasn't a man, but a woman living as a man. She also testified that the person she married told her on their wedding night he would hunt her down "like a dog" and kill her if she ever left him. He had already testified that his wife had a drug problem. The fight now is over the child she had through artificial insemination from an anonymous donor. Closing arguments could begin as early as Wednesday. Whatever happens, this is the first time an Illinois court has been asked to consider the custody rights of a transgendered father-figure. Stay tuned to WBBM Newsradio 780 for the latest developments on this and other stories. Top
[20b] USA: Chicago--Woman-Turned-Man Seeks Custody Of Son After Divorce Public Guardian Says Child Wants To Live With Father Top NBC5.com - News - Woman-Turned-Man Seeks Cust... http://www.nbc5.com/news/1945099/detail.html POSTED: 7:02 a.m. CST January 30, 2003 CHICAGO -- A Cook County judge will hear closing arguments Thursday in a rare child custody battle between a boy's biological mother and the person she married: a transgendered man. The boy was conceived by artificial insemination and delivered by his biological mother, who married her spouse in 1985. The husband, who is now 43, was born a woman but underwent hormone therapy at age 18 and has been living as a man for more than 20 years. Circuit Judge Gerald Bender scheduled closing arguments for their custody fight for 2 p.m. Thursday at the Daley Center. When the couple wed, they were both women, but the legality of the marriage was not questioned, according to Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy, who is representing the child in court. In 1991, the husband underwent a hysterectomy and oophorectomy -- removal of the ovaries. He later had his birth certificate legally changed to reflect his new name and gender identity, according to his attorney Susan Goreczny. In 1989, the couple entered into an artificial insemination agreement, in which they both agreed to accept the role of parents, according to court records. Their son was born July 20, 1992, and both parents' names are listed on the child's birth certificate. Their names are being withheld to protect the child's identity. The husband filed for divorce in 1998, and his wife and their son moved in with her parents. The father has visitation with the child every other weekend and one night on off-weeks. His wife is seeking sole custody. The mother accused her husband of threatening to kill her on their wedding day if she ever left him. For his part, he testified that his wife has a history of drug problems and denied claims that he threatened her. But the wife's attorney, Burt Hochberg, said she has been drug-free for more than four years and has provided the boy with a safe and stable home. Murphy's office has told Bender that the child wants to live with the person he has always known as his father and to have visitation with his mother. Assistant public guardian Margaret Currin told Bender that the boy's desire to live with his father has not changed since the parents separated. The husband, by all outward appearances, is a man -- bald with a broad chest, a thin mustache and deep voice. But he still has female genitalia, which Hochberg claims makes their union null and void. Hochberg contends the marriage was never valid because both persons were female, and the father has no legal standing to claim custody because he is not the biological father. Murphy argues that it doesn't matter if the couple's marriage was valid or not, only that the boy views the man as his father. "The only thing that is important is that there's a 10-year-old who considers this man his dad and wants to live with him," Murphy said at the outset of the bench trial last year. As with many child custody trials, this one has proceeded sporadically in Bender's courtroom. The trial began in late September 2002, went on a break for a few weeks in early October while the judge was on vacation, then resumed for a few days in late October, and was again revived again late in the year. (This report was taken from City News Service wires.) Copyright 2003 by NBC5.com. All rights reserved. Top
USA New York City--Transsexuals In 'Real' Dispute Transsexuals Say They Were Fired in Favor Of 'Real Women' Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Newsday.com - Transsexuals In 'Real' Dispute http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-transsex0124,0,7030918.story?co ll=ny-nynews-headlines By Robert Kahn Staff Writer January 23, 2003, 7:31 PM EST Jury selection began Thursday in a civil trial pitting two Manhattan transsexuals against the owners of a once trendy, now shuttered Chelsea nightclub. Amanda Lepore and Sophia La Mar Munoz, dancers employed by Twilo during the late 1990s, filed a sexual discrimination suit against the club's operator in 2001, claiming they were fired "because the owner wanted to hire real women." They are seeking $100,000 from Stuart Cromwell Inc., operators of the legendary West 27th Street nightspot. A lawyer for the defendant said the women were fired only because the club wanted to take "a new marketing approach." "If there were a gay-friendly and transgender-friendly nightclub in the world, Twilo would have been at the head of the class," said Peter Sullivan, an attorney for the club's owners. "Transsexual rights are worthy of protecting, but to expend energy against a nightclub that was a home for the transgendered community is counterproductive," he said. Sullivan said the club owners knew Lepore and Munoz were transsexuals when they were hired. "And they were fired based on a professional marketing judgment by the business, which wanted to take a different approach," he said. Tom Shanahan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the issue was fundamentally about the women's right to work. "Amanda and Sophia had worked there for years and had received raises right before they were fired," he said. At the time Lepore and Munoz were fired, club promoter Marc Berkley told The Village Voice: "If you're changing the kind of party you're doing ...and they're doing something that's totally heterosexual and they now want regular female dancers, why aren't they allowed to do that?" Sullivan said Stuart Cromwell Inc. is in the process of being dissolved and has no assets. Shanahan said he would pursue the owners' other assets in an effort to reach a "fair settlement." Reached at home Thursday, Munoz said she was looking as much for a public apology as she was compensation. "I'd worked there for three years and they gave me two hours notice that I was being fired," Munoz said. "The club's manager didn't even call Amanda to tell her she was being fired. He asked me to tell her." New York City revoked Twilo's cabaret license in May 2001, effectively putting it out of business. Munoz and Lepore have since been employed by, respectively, the Manhattan nightclubs Spa and Splash. -- © 2003, Newsday, Inc. Top
UK: Transsexual told to wait for new law Top From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. this is lincolnshire - news, entertainment, j... http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=57685&command=displ ayContent&sourceNode=57237&contentPK=3784910 10:30 - 22 January 2003 A transsexual fighting to have her marriage legally recognised has been told to wait for new legislation. Male-to-female transsexual Elizabeth Bellinger (55), from Lincoln, had asked Britain's highest court to grant her full legal status as a woman. On the last day of a two-day hearing at the House of Lords yesterday she was told legal reforms giving transsexuals the right to marry would happen. But Law Lords said such reforms should not by forced through by the courts. Mrs Bellinger was born male. She married a woman and fathered children before the marriage was dissolved and she underwent surgery and hormonal treatment to become a woman in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1981 she married Michael Bellinger (57) and the couple raised his daughter by a previous relationship. But they are not married in the eyes of the law because Mrs Bellinger is not legally entitled to change her birth certificate. The European Court of Human Rights has already ruled that this goes against the Human Rights convention which grants everyone the right to marry and live a private life. In response the British Government announced it was to change the law and give transsexuals the recognition they had long fought for. But it has not happened yet and lawyers acting for the Bellingers say the law, if reinterpreted, already affords transsexuals those rights. That claim is hotly disputed by the Lord Chancellor, Lord Irvine, who became personally involved in the case at a late stage. Lawyers acting for the Lord Chancellor - who is a member of the Cabinet and Britain's most senior lawyer - yesterday argued that it was up to the Government alone to enact the necessary changes. The issue of transsexuals in marriage was first brought to the courts' attention in 1969 when Mr Justice Ormrod ruled that someone's gender could only be determined at birth on the basis of biological evidence. That conviction was made law in both the Nullity of Marriage Act of 1971 and the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1973. But Mrs Bellinger's lawyers argue that the law gives room for an interpretation which allows transsexuals to marry. Both acts use the word gender, not sex, they say. Furthermore, any definition of gender which excluded psychological factors was flawed, it was claimed. On day one of the hearing, Pamela Scriven QC told the court there was a growing body of evidence to prove the importance of psychological factors in determining someone's sex. Someone's birth gender, she argued, was a "presumption" capable of being challenged at a later date as an individual's sexual identity developed. Transsexuals, she said, testified to a "very strong sense" of psychological identification with the other sex. Biology could even play tricks on doctors and midwives who were responsible for determining someone's gender at birth, she told the Law Lords. For example, a baby could be born with one set of genitals but have the chromosomes of the opposite sex. If the Law Lords cannot accept their argument, Mrs Bellinger's lawyers have asked them to issue a Declaration of Incompatibility, which effectively forces the Government to change the law. But the Lord Chancellor is strongly resisting that idea, arguing it could lead to a flood of cases by transsexuals. Some commentators suspect the Government fears it will lose time to introduce domestic law reform if it is forced to enact a change in the law brought my Mrs Bellinger's case, if she is successful. The Lords' decision is expected to be announced in a few months. -- Copyright Top
HEALTH AND SCIENCE  INDIA: LUCKNOW Rare sex change operation performed in Varana.. Top. From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?artid=364 03182 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2003 THE TIMES OF INDIA CITIES: LUCKNOW Rare sex change operation performed in Varanasi BINAY KUMAR SINGH TIMES NEWS NETWORK TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 04, 2003 12:33:56 AM VARANASI: For the parents of a nine-year-old child with deformed genitals, who was reared up like a boy, it was a miracle of medical science that metamorphosed their "son" into a normal female child with all feminine characteristics. It was not only a rare case of "sexual disability" but also the first such successful surgical feat in this region utilising sophisticated plastic surgery, which is believed to be introduced to the world by an Indian surgeon, Sushrut, in 600 BC. The child, Apurva (identity changed) was operated upon recently at a local hospital by cosmetic and plastic surgeon Dr Subodh Kumar Singh with the help of a team of experts. "The child had a penis like undeveloped genital presenting a complicated case of 'hypospadias' (abnormal urethral opening) and 'undescended testis' during initial clinical examination," said the surgeon. "As it was important to find out his pelvic organs, he was sent for advanced tests, including an intra-venous pyelography investigation, which revealed some dilatation of the renal pelvic and right ureter and presence of a 'uterus' like structure," Dr Singh added. He further stated that it now became important to determine the child's genetic sex for which several tests were done, including chromosome test and advanced DNA test called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Child's internal organs were examined with the help of laparoscope and cystoscope by noted laparoscopic surgeon Dr Rohit Gupta and urologist Dr LK Singh. "After a painstaking exercise, it was determined that the child had distinct female components like two ovaries, normal uterus and fallopian tubes. The experts unanimously decided that the boy was genetically female, and it would be most appropriate to convert him fully to a female to avoid future psychological, physical and social conflicts because of his apparent sex and true sex," the doctors said. The news came as a psychological trauma to the child's parents when they came to know that their only son was genetically female and who already have three daughters. Later, the child was counselled to prepare him mentally for the operation. The stage was now set for a radical change in child's sex through a landmark four-hour-long operation at the GS Memorial Plastic Surgery Hospital. © 2003 Times Internet Limited. All rights reserved Top.
 GERMANY--Licorice caution issued to oral contraceptive users Top. Reuters Health Information (2003-01-31): Lico... http://www.reutershealth.com/archive/2003/01/31/eline/links/20030131elin016. html Last Updated: 2003-01-31 14:00:09 -0400 (Reuters Health) BERLIN (Reuters Health) - Women who are taking oral contraceptives <http://www.reutershealth.com/wellconnected/doc91.html> should avoid eating too much licorice, the German National Chemists Association advised this week. Dr. Ursula Sellerberg from the chemists association recommended that women who take oral contraceptives limit their consumption of the black confectionery to 10 grams a day because it can trigger edema, the accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues. Oral contraceptives are known to be a contributing factor to edema, Sellerberg said, and women who take the pill and eat licorice around the same time are therefore even more likely to suffer from fluid retention. "Risk groups such as diabetics, people with high blood pressure <http://www.reutershealth.com/wellconnected/doc14.html>, and those with heart or circulatory diseases, as well as pregnant women should avoid all licorice or eat it only occasionally in small quantities," Sellerberg told Reuters Health. Dr. Andrea Kistner, an expert in nutrition at the German Society for Nutrition, said that large amounts of licorice could result in edema because it may deplete the body of minerals. Licorice is made using a medicinal plant called glycyrrhiza glabra, which contains glycyrrhizic acid. This substance gives licorice its distinctive taste but if glycyrrhizic acid is consumed in large quantities, it can also deplete the body of minerals such as potassium, zinc and magnesium. These are needed to maintain the body's sodium balance, and maintain levels of fluid within the body. Fluid retention can in turn lead to higher blood pressure, or muscle damage, as well as swelling of the fingers, legs, feet, abdomen and breasts. German health ministry guidelines recommend that people consume less than 100 milligrams (mg) of glycyrrhizic acid a day. Kistner said that almost all licorice products contain less than 200 mg glycyrrhizic acid per 100 grams, so that people should be able to eat at least 50 grams a day without suffering any side effects. A handful of jellybeans would contain about 50 grams of licorice. However, Sellerberg warned that researchers in Iceland had found that eating even small amounts of licorice every day can lead to an increase in blood pressure. "It is better to err on the safe side, and women who are taking the pill should reduce the consumption of licorice still further to 10 grams to offset any fluid retention caused by the pill," she said. © 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Top.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT CANADA --Vancouver BC.--Actor Mikela Mikael began life as a boy, but it's really 'not that big of a deal' Top. From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Arts http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/TGAM/20030113/RVMIKA/Arts/thearts/thearts_temp/2/2/12/ RETRIEVED: Monday, February 03, 2003 Not your typical starlet Monday, January 13, 2003 -- Page R3 VANCOUVER -- Mikela J. Mikael is a beguiling beauty. In No Night is Too Long, a chilling murder mystery based on the best-selling novel by Ruth Rendell that airs tonight on Showcase, the Vancouver-based actress plays a femme fatale who comes between two male lovers. Mikael is not your typical film starlet. Her delicate features and gentle mannerisms, combined with the quiet intensity of her performance and deep husky voice, recall an old-fashioned standard of beauty, somewhat akin to a young Katherine Hepburn. If you didn't know, you would never guess that this 37-year-old woman began life as a boy. Mikael is intersexed. She is a hermaphrodite, as the medical condition that affects one in every 2,000 people is more popularly known. She was born with male genitals, and named Michael. But as early as three years of age, she began identifying as a female. It wasn't until she attempted suicide at 10 that her parents took her seriously. At 15, an ultrasound revealed that she did indeed have a vaginal passage. Four years later, after many battles with the medical establishment, she underwent reconstructive surgery to liberate her true self. "It's not that big of a deal," says Mikael, when we meet for dinner. "I see myself more as a creative being than a gendered being at this point in my life." Mikael first came out publicly with the truth in 1997, when she was the subject of a multimedia art exhibit called Fierce, created by her friend, photographer Jamie Griffiths. "Most people thought I was brave," she recalls. "A few had issues with it. I said 'Hey, this is my issue. Back off.' " Since then, she has rarely talked about her intersexuality in public, or sought to exploit it any way that might advance her career. Shortly after the exhibit, a film producer offered her $6-million for the rights to her life story. She declined. "It's my story," she says. "It's not for sale." She says it's also very important that people respond to her as a whole person, not just this one aspect. Indeed, there are many fascinating sides to Mikael. And throughout her career, which has included not just acting, but also music, spoken-word poetry, filmmaking and international fashion modelling, the subject of gender is actually a non-issue. She says no one on any of her film and TV projects has ever brought it up. "Twenty years ago, the world was quite different. The reaction might have been 'Oh my God.' But now, is it that important? Everyone has different levels of male and female energy. Look at Michael Jackson," she adds, laughing. "What happened to him?" Twenty years ago, life wasn't so easy for Mikael. Growing up between Richmond Hill and the small Ontario town of Ridgetown, she was bullied by her schoolmates and often beaten up. "I was constantly on the brink of self-mutilation," she says. "No one knew who I was or what I was." Her mother was a painter who also practised Indonesian dance. She recognized her child's artistic talents and immersed Mikael in piano, gymnastics, dance and other areas that allowed Mikael to express herself and build her self-esteem. "If I didn't have that creative outlet," she says, "I probably would have self-destroyed by now." Although she is now comfortable with who she is, Mikael will admit it's somewhat ironic that someone who started life as a boy grew up to be a cover girl. In 1989, she moved to Europe to pursue modelling. For five years she worked steadily, travelling through France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy and Japan. By 1994, she felt the need to expand her artistic side, so she moved to Belgium to collaborate with composer Daniel Bressanutti as a singer in the underground electronica movement. She continues to sing and write here in Canada, lending her enigmatic vocals to a trip-hop band called Unspoken. Music is a huge passion. "I'm a slave to it," she says, but points out that for her it's more about building community than trying to be a pop star. In Vancouver, where she has lived on and off since 1997, she has been embraced by a close community of musicians, artists and activists who share her philosophy about living a creatively balanced life and her concerns about global corporatization. "My activism means a lot to me," says Mikael, who regularly performs her spoken-word pieces at the Alibi Room in Vancouver. "As much as I'm in the mainstream, I'm still coming from the fringes. My past has given me a special window into minority cultures and anyone who has ever struggled to survive." Her acting career pretty much happened by accident. When Mikael arrived in Vancouver in 1997, a local casting director was intrigued by this punk princess with the shaved head. She was given a guest part in the TV series Millennium, which was followed by a role in a sci-fi TV movie called Futuresport, and then a part in the pilot of a series called Daybreak. She has since appeared in several TV series such as Outer Limits, Andromeda and Bliss (she played the lead role in the episode of the Showcase series on female erotica directed by Lynne Stopkewich). The Showcase film forced her to reach down far. One particularly intense scene included a fight with her British co-star Marc Warren. It took two days to shoot, left her covered in bruises, and Warren cried through most of the shooting. Without hesitating, Mikael says she'd do it again. "Marc gave me so much energy." Mikael doesn't thinking acting is something she could do exclusively. "When you see some of the crap that comes along, it really leaves you wanting more. If I could work two or three times a year, on really important projects, I'd be happy, along with every other actor around," she laughs. Whatever life might bring, Mikael is just happy she has been able to have such a rich one. "I'm so grateful that I have this life and I'm able to do what I do and I'm given respect for what I do, regardless of gender." -- © 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. Top.
 INDIA --Actor Arif Zakaria is the new brand ambassador for the world renowned Johnnie Walker whisky Top. From Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Arif Raises A Toast http://www.financialexpress.com/fe_full_story.php?content_id=27192 Sunday, February 02, 2003 IN PERSON Arif Raises A Toast Actor Arif Zakaria is the new brand ambassador for the world renowned Johnnie Walker whisky Sulekha Nair His eyes alone could lend life to the characters he portrays. They reflect his emotions and thoughts so eloquently that words and gestures seem superfluous. Meet Arif Zakaria, the actor who was nominated for the National Award in his debut Hindi film, Kalpana Lajmi's Darmiyaan. He walked and talked the role of a eunuch with enviable ease in the film. An actor who has honed his craft to carve a respectable niche for himself in Bollywood, Mr Zakaria is now propagating the art of drinking Johnnie Walker whisky. "I heard that the makers of Johnnie Walker were scouting for a brand ambassador and I decided to pitch myself in." Why? "I have always been interested in challenging myself. Being a brand ambassador is an extension of my career as an actor. The fact that it is a premium global brand whetted my appetite for change," explains Mr Zakaria. "I was happy and amazed," he admits, when he was called for the second round of interviews. "I then had a hope that I would be appointed. I was selected to be a Johnnie Walker mentor after three intensive interviews conducted by UDV India officials and their advertising agency representatives. That was a definite kick," he says (pun intended). Mr Zakaria espouses the merits of the whisky to audiences and walks a step further by conducting sessions for drinkers to graduate to Johnnie Walker. Here, a select audience is introduced to the method and manner of sniffing, sipping and tasting four single malts and one peg of Black Label and enjoying it as a connoisseur would. Does Mr Walker... er... Mr Zakaria enjoy his new role of a 'spirited' teacher? "Of course. It is so different from what I have done till today. It is informative and educative for me as well as to the audience," he says with a loud laugh. But isn't there a conflict between his job and his religion? "Not at all," he retorts. "I don't attach sentiments to my job. It is all in one's psyche... how one wants to view things." What has the experience been like so far? Explains Mr Zakaria, "People who have been drinking Johnnie Walker for over 40 years are amazed when they get to know about the process of making it. There are some who consider single malts to be pungent, raw and dirty. It is my job to dispel that myth." Has the brand ambassador left the actor behind? Not at all, he says. "I am now off for a long schedule for Pamela Rooks' Dance Like A Man." This role requires Mr Zakaria to perform the Bharatanatyam. "I have been trying to learn the dance for the last eight months," he says. Why does he choose roles that raise a challenge to his gender? "Let me explain this. Every actor wants to do 'different' roles when he begins his acting career. Along the way, he is bogged down by the fame he acquires due to the characters he portrays and consequently shies away from such challenges. The kind of role that I did in Darmiyaan or the one I am doing in Dance Like A Man is what every actor would love to do. I look upon these as opportunities that I must meet up with. And I am immensely glad that the makers of such films think of me in these roles. That is a compliment." Mr Zakaria co-stars with Kerala's two-time National Award winner, Shobhana, in Dance Like A Man. Incidentally, sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's daughter, Anouskha, debuts in the film as the couple's daughter. Is Mr Zakaria awed by the fact that Shobhana is a well-known danseuse? "Awed?" he asks. "Traumatised would be more like it. It is like trying to play cricket with Sachin Tendulkar! The role is giving me a lot of sleepless nights, but as an actor I think I am lucky to have got it." But why are his appearances in films so limited? "You know, one get offers for roles like a cop or an elder brother very often. If money or number of films were that important, I would have grabbed any and every such offer that came my way. And the result would be a bigger house than what I have today or a better car, but where would the respectability be! I'd rather not trade that for inane roles and offers," he says. Time to raise a toast to this? -- © 2002: Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd. All rights reserved Top.
RELIGION --VATICAN--Vatican Denounces Transsexuals... [The Guardian] Top. Date: Sat, 1 Feb 2003 From: Brenda Lana Smith R.af D. Guardian Unlimited | World Latest | Vatican D... http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-2367348,00.html >From the Associated Press Vatican Denounces Transsexuals Saturday February 1, 2003 12:30 AM VATICAN CITY (AP) - Transsexuals suffer from ``mental pathologies,'' are ineligible for admission to Roman Catholic religious orders and should be expelled if they have already entered the priesthood or religious life, the Vatican says in new directives. The Vatican's orthodoxy watchdog, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, sent the directives to the superiors of religious orders worldwide. The leaders were told to implement the directives or turn cases over to the Congregation for handling, Vatican officials said Friday. The directives were the latest in a series of Vatican pronouncements on eligibility for the priesthood issued ahead of a long-awaited set of guidelines for seminaries in accepting candidates for the clergy. Those guidelines, due out later this year, are expected to address whether gays also should be barred. In the new directives, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said transsexuals should be barred as priests, monks, friars, nuns and brothers in religious orders. ``When, from clear external behavior and the testimony of those assigned to formation, there emerges the prudent doubt about the presence of transsexuality, the superior should arrange for a careful medical and psychiatric exam,'' said the directive, which was reported Friday by Adista, a liberal Catholic news agency. ``In the case that there is a serious and irreversible pathology of transsexuality, (the candidate) cannot be validly admitted into the institute or the society, while in cases of doubt, it is forbidden to allow admission since the candidate is missing a clear and full eligibility,'' said the document, whose content was confirmed by a Vatican official. Transsexuals, for the most part, feel they were born the wrong gender and undertake to change their sex, often through surgery and hormone treatments. One person in between 10,000 and 30,000 is transsexual, the U.S.-based National Transgender Advocacy Coalition estimates. The Vatican document said transsexuals are considered to suffer from ``mental pathologies,'' a disassociation between their mind and body in determining their sex. The Vatican distinguished transsexuals from ``intersexed'' people - those born with gender-ambiguous genitalia or internal organs. Earlier this week, the Vatican upheld its decision to excommunicate seven women who called themselves priests, repeating that the priesthood was reserved for men only. And in December, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments released a letter from its prefect advising against bringing gays into the priesthood. -- © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003 Top.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR This came addressed to "Editor" from Lori Top Amazonian News Service February 3, 2003 Transsexuals Denounce Catholicism In a sweeping statement today, the Holy Mother of Transsexuals, Mother Cybil, rejected the idea of any transsexuals becoming Roman Catholic. "We believe that it would be very damaging to the reputation and moral integrity of any transsexuals to associate with the Roman Catholic Church," the Holy Mother stated today. "A religion that fosters and promotes pathological behaviors like pedophilia, sexual abuse and denial of reproductive rights to women is no place for people of faith like most transsexuals." Noting that the Cult of Catholicism has promoted its program of world domination and overpopulation under a mythology that worships human sacrifice, and which also has a long history of inquisition, repression and torture, Mother Cybil denounced the current campaign that the Vatican has begun to vilify sexual minorities while avoiding its own guilt. "A cult that ignores the very basic facts of human sexuality, even to the point of insisting that its "savior" was sexually male, but not the product of sexual intercourse, obviously is in terminal denial of reality, and should not be allowed to poison the minds of our youth." "Theirs is moral and intellectual cowardice, hiding behind pompous religiosity," Mother Cybil stated, "It is a pathology that has consumed the self-dignity of too many for too long. It must be rejected and eliminated as soon as possible for the well being of humanity."
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