in Other news…

Welcome to a (semi)weekly roundup of news related to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and otherwise “Other” community.

  • The New York Times reports on the worsening situation for queer Iraqis since the American invasion, which has allowed a sharp increase in religious fanaticism:  

    In 2005, Iraq’s most revered Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for gay men and lesbians to be killed in the “worst, most severe way.

    He lifted it a year later, but neither that nor the recent ebb in violence has made Mohammed or his friends feel safe.

    The article covers the rollercoaster of social opinions on queer culture from 1990 through now, and is well worth the read.

  • Good luck finding student housing if you’re transgender: Southern Utah University is denying a transgender student housing until he can provide a doctor’s note (literally!) verifying his gender, a requirement not exactly placed on its other housing applicants.  The University’s policy requires proof of full, complete transition; otherwise says the housing director, “Where they’re in the process [of gender transition] I have no place to put them.”  Meanwhile the prohibitive cost of gender reassignment surgery will likely keep the student, Kourt Osbourn, from meeting the University’s requirements.
  • Accused of homosexual acts, Iranian Makwan Moloudzadeh was murdered in prison by guards earlier this month.  I’m not one to flare up in anger, but this is fucking barbaric.  In the meantime, the U.S. is still considering deportation of Iranian gays begging for amnesty… further proof that our own fundamentalists have more in common with Iran than they’d like to admit.

More below the fold…

  • Transsexual advocates are terrorists!  Marti Abernathy of The Transadvocate responds to an inane letter from the American Family Association blaming the transgender community for security loopholes destined to lead to the impending terrorist apocalypse.
  • 60 Minutes suggests that the military is “too soft” on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell during wartime.  During the interview, Army Major Daniel Davis repeats the tripe that gay servicemen will hurt unit cohesion, an argument nothing whatsoever like racial integration in the military.  I’ll quote the loathsome Duncan Hunter in full:

    “We aren’t the Brits. We’re not the Europeans. We’re not the Swedes,” says Republican presidential candidate Duncan Hunter, who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Hunter argues that gays do not belong in the U.S. military because American troops need to be hardened warriors, unlike soldiers in the 15 NATO countries where gays serve openly.

    “The Fallujahs of the world, the Ramadis of the world that require heavy combat and lots of fire-fighting capability – those are the places the Americans go. The other countries tend to go to the so-called peacekeeper zones, where they have fewer fire fights and less contact with the enemy,” Hunter says. “And the European nations show little will to send large contingents of their military people into dangerous places.”

    At least we can count on Hunter to blame whatever future military losses we incur on gay and lesbian soldiers, since the nearly 3/4 of Americans who support the repeal of DADT will likely lead to open service within the next few years.

  • John Kerry joined forces with Oregon Republican Senator Gordon Smith to introduce legislation toward lifting the travel ban on people who are HIV+.  As worded the legislation would actually give power to make the decision to the Department of Health and Human Services rather than Immigration, since every other medical ban is under their jurisdiction.
  • The University of Virginia has posted notes from a debate on same-sex marriage and adoption, between Virginia law professor Kim Forde-Mazrui and Professor Lynn Wardle from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University.  I’ll let you guess which was on which side…

    Forde-Mazrui said that statistics, for example, show that families of veterans have significantly higher rates of domestic violence, alcoholism, drunk driving, suicide and child abuse. Statistics also indicate that “states that predominantly go Republican have higher rates of divorce, teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births.”

    Even though these risks exist, we don’t deny marriage or adoption to individuals based on whether they are veterans or from states that are predominantly Republican.

    Ooh…Snap!

  • Hungary now has civil unions.  F’n Hungary!  (Actually, given Hungary’s domination of the gay porn market, this isn’t a huge surprise.)

    Meanwhile, the Church of Sweden (Lutheran by affiliation) has okay’d performing same-sex marriage in the church.  Why can’t our religious be like their religious?  I’m sure Duncan Hunter has an explanation.

I won’t be around next week to post a news roundup, so I hope everyone has a happy holiday and all that.  Cheers!

12 comments

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    • pico on December 19, 2007 at 6:06 pm
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    this fine (but cold) Wednesday?

    • pico on December 19, 2007 at 6:12 pm
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    is that Hunter can sling bullshit like that with impunity, and no one would dare question the extent to which he’s disrespecting the troops.  Apparently supporting the troops is only a necessity when they’re straight and homophobic, otherwise you can smear them as weak and destructive all you want.  Fuck you, Duncan: I know plenty of queer service members who could kick your pansy ass up and down the street.  

  1. Our religious fundamentalists have actually made their religious fundamentalists much stronger, by waging war on Islamo-fascicm, they have vastly increased its power. Will they never learn the lessons of Christ?

    • Edger on December 19, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    As your irritation mounts, you can feel your blood pressure rising. And that’s exactly what is happening to your body when you have an argument. The effects, it seems, can be lasting. In the week after the irritating incident, you just need to think about the argument and your blood pressure will rise again, according to research published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology. So if you’ve recently experienced a dispute, a seething irritation or a simple frustration, you could be best off forgetting about it.

    A half-hour argument with your lover can also slow your body’s ability to heal by at least a day. In couples who regularly argue, that healing time is doubled again. Researchers at Ohio State University discovered this by testing married couples with a suction device that created tiny blisters on their arm. When couples were then asked to talk about an area of disagreement that provoked strong emotions, the wounds took around 40 per cent longer to heal. This response, say researchers, was caused by a surge in cytokines – immune-molecules that trigger inflammation. Chronic high levels of these are linked to arthritis, diabetes, heart-disease and cancer…

    Lots more worth reading – including “Falling in Love: Researchers at the University of Pavia, in Italy, have found that falling in love raises levels of Nerve Growth Factor for about a year. This hormone-like substance helps to restore the nervous system and improves memory by triggering the growth of new brain cells. – in How Your Mood Affects Your Health

    Heh! Blow a kiss at your most hated politician this morning…

  2. What we are currently experiencing as a military community is that we must protect our gay service members and we absolutely cannot afford to lose senior service members since they are already scarce as hen’s fucking teeth these days and they do know how to organize a military and keep people alive for fuck’s sake!  Sadly though if someone develops a grudge for a gay service member and then finds out they are gay there isn’t much we can do to keep them safe if grudgemaster gets proof.  But as far as the military being too soft on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell during wartime………look fuckers…..we are having a hard enough time surviving this situation and this war and now you can just stop fucking with some of us Okay?  We are the people who know how to use the weapons and we are the people getting our blood spilled here and if you are feeling like we are telling the witch hunters to back the fuck off and the witch hunters are feeling a little intimidated…….. war tends to be a little dehumanizing and they MAY BE feeling a bit geniunely intimidated at this point!  I’m sure they’re capable of “getting it” though if they just think about it for a minute, or maybe they can don a uniform and come to embrace this staying alive philosphy and forget about devoting time and life to stupid fucking shit!

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