1st May, 2002 (# 3) News Clippings Digest
- 1st May, 2002 (# 3) News Clippings Digest
1. NEW YORK TIMES Editorial: Civil rights for the transgendered
2. METROWEST DAILY NEWS (Boston-area) Column: Anti-gay group that
opposes recognition of same-sex marriages fails to connect the dots
3. EL PASO TIMES Victim of hate crime led two lives
4. DENVER POST 600 attend memorial service for slain lesbian
activist Jocelyn Sandberg
5. CAPE COD TIMES Harwich forum will raise issue of gay students'
New York Times, May 1, 2002
229 W. 43rd Street, New York, NY, 10036
(Fax: 212-556-3622 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.nytimes.com )
Editorial: Civil Rights for the Transgendered
Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday signed into law a bill that
New York City's human rights protection to transgendered people - a
that includes cross-dressers and people who have had or will soon have
sex-change surgery. The new law, which passed the City Council 45 to
an important step forward in fighting prejudice and in protecting the
of some of society's most vulnerable citizens.
The transgendered category covers a wide array of people who
fit into traditional gender groups, whether due to appearance,
physical attributes. Even in a city as diverse, and generally
New York, transgendered people often find themselves discriminated
when looking for work and on the job, and in finding and keeping
They are frequently denied service in restaurants and stores. And
often the victims of hate crimes.
In the debate over the new law, few argued that transgendered
deserve to be discriminated against. Rather, they said that
people were adequately protected by the city's human rights law, which
prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual
argument that explicit protection of the transgendered was
the one Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gave last year, and the position that
Bloomberg took until he changed his mind.
It is true that transgendered people have sometimes been able
employ existing antidiscrimination laws, but not reliably. Putting
language into the city's human rights law removes all doubt that the
transgendered are entitled to equal rights and equal treatment. It
sends a clear message that this sort of discrimination will not be
Because the rights of the transgendered have gotten little
it might seem that New York broke new ground yesterday. But in fact,
than 40 towns, counties, cities and states - including Iowa City,
Louisville, Kentucky and Rhode Island - have written transgendered
into their antidiscrimination laws. New York City's action yesterday
not path-breaking, but it should light the way for other
extend protection to their own transgendered citizens.
MetroWest Daily News, May 1, 2002
(affiliated with the Boston Herald)
Anti-gay group doesn't connect dots
By Rob Haneisen
When Lisa Eisenburd's two kids ask her why she and her partner
Godes are not married to each other this is what she must tell
have to say we are married in our hearts," the Framingham mother
should I have to have a footnote next to that when we are explaining
Eisenburd and Godes are parents to a 6-year-old and 10-year-
kids attend public school. Eisenburd is on the school council for
her daughter's schools and started an astronomy club. She and Godes
been in a relationship for 22 years and by all accounts the two fit
of suburban moms.
But somehow, their relationship is a threat to a group pushing
ballot initiative to protect the institution of marriage.
The initiative, sponsored by the Waltham-based Massachusetts
for Marriage, would amend the state constitution to define marriage
"union of one man and one woman."
Eisenburd is mad, mad enough to start the MetroWest Chapter of
Freedom to Marry Coalition.
"I'm kind of sick of it at this point," she said.
What she is sick of is having to scramble for health insurance
because she is not officially a "spouse." She's also none-too-
officially her next of kin are her parents in Boca Raton, Fla.
If the initiative makes it on a ballot in 2004 and is
could cut off insurance benefits to same-sex partners, as well as
chance of the state recognizing same-sex marriages. If Godes were
in a car wreck and hospitalized in critical condition, Eisenburd
be able to be at her side. She would not be considered family.
I've never really understood the logic of opposing same-sex
or gay relationships. Why has one of the most intimate acts between
people and the parameters of a relationship become cause for public
Or even legislation?
What's disturbing about the Massachusetts Citizens for
its thinly veiled agenda. Why is it necessary to exclude gays and
from marriage in order to protect marriage for heterosexual couples?
as though married gays and lesbians would be such an affront to
married couples they would constitute a threat.
You can see where I'm going with this. The protection of
and the rights of gay couples have nothing to do with one another, so
establish a link?
"I think it is a direct assault on gay and lesbian
Eisenburd said. "There's nothing in there about trying to stop
counseling to try and help existing marriages."
Citizens for Marriage believe a majority of Massachusetts
would disagree with myself and Eisenburd.
The group claims a poll shows that 60 percent of Massachusetts
residents support the measure, while 81 percent believe children
raised by a married mother and father. The group also collected about
76,000 signatures to put the measure on the 2004 ballot.
It's likely many of those signing the petition were duped by
harmless sounding name of the initiative.
So now Eisenburd and more than 100 others in MetroWest must
away from their loved ones to fight for what they already have:
If you would like to join her, she can be reached at
With more than half of all heterosexual marriages ending in
it's fair to say that marriage can be a challenge. But to say that
lesbians should not enter into this covenant fraught with hurdles and
challenges, though more often joy and bliss, seems selfish.
I'll stay away from the religious and moral issues with this
because there's no budging people there. But what about time and
well spent? If anyone is truly concerned about the well-being of
their time and energy would be better spent on their own marriage to
with and couples support programs.
Of course, that is only if that person is truly concerned
future of marriage.
My wife and I went to a bed and breakfast in Vermont for our
anniversary two years ago. When I booked our room I was told that we
have the last room in the old section of the house because there was a
marriage party there that weekend. Fine with me.
When we arrived, the reception was in full swing and we asked
front desk how the marriage went. The woman leaned over the desk and
in a voice close to a whisper, "It was a civil union," the term used
Vermont for same-sex marriages.
I wish she didn't have to whisper.
. Rob Haneisen is the central regional editor for the
News. He can be reached at rhaneis@... or 508-626-3882.
El Paso Times, May 1, 2002
300 N. Campbell, El Paso, TX, 79901
(Fax: 915-546-6415 )(E-Mail: opinion@... )
( http://www.elpasotimes.com/ )
Victim of hate crime led 2 lives, friends say
Louie Gilot, El Paso Times
Before he was shot in the back and left to die near a
store, Hector Arturo Diaz led two lives.
At home in Sunland Park, he was the baby boy of a hard-working
mother, the sibling of nine brothers and sisters. At night, the 28-
man dressed in women's clothing and became "Arlene," a fixture of the
scene in Downtown El Paso.
April 10, when a passer-by found his body on Anapra Road,
sorrow united his two worlds.
"I am shattered," his mother, Rosa Diaz, said last week, in
"You have children. You raise them. You see them grow and
kills them. He didn't deserve this. There is no reason for this."
Police believe the killing was motivated by prejudice over
Police declined to comment further, but a police report
they obtained an incriminating statement from the alleged killer,
Grant Hall, 20, of the 8500 block of Lakehurst.
Hall was charged with murder April 22, and police subsequently
announced that the case was being classified as a hate crime.
The law describes a "hate crime" as an offense
committed "because of
the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual
orientation, gender or disability" of the victim.
In El Paso, members of the Anti-Violence Project of Lambda, a
national gay advocacy group, say hate crimes are underreported to
Project volunteers monitor anti-gay violence through victims'
to a hot line. In 2001 they received testimonies of 117 bias-
incidents involving 172 victims. The tally includes 42 reported
85 cases of harassment and 16 cases of vandalism, the project
said. The number of anti-gay incidents remained constant between
2001, volunteers said.
In 2000, police data show, there were nine hate crimes in El
none were believed to have been committed over sexual orientation.
Project coordinator Rob Knight said such acts and the killing
are "spawned by bigotry and hate."
"No one should live in fear or lose their life simply for
they are," Knight said.
Diaz had left Gadsden High School in Anthony, N.M., in the
and obtained his GED from UTEP. He studied at a technical school and
job filing records at Sierra Medical Center, his family said.
He lived with his mother, a hotel housekeeper, and three
their mother's house on Yucca Street in Sunland Park.
There, he shared a bedroom with his grandfather until the
died two years ago. Stuffed animals and a fleet of small helium
still line his shelves. His Bible lies open, its pages held down by a
bookmark that reads, "Be Happy, Share A Smile!"
He liked going to the movies and eating Chinese food.
"He was very funny," his sister Rosemary Porras said.
Funny, outspoken and friendly also is how Diaz's friends
him. But they knew him as "Arlene," almost unrecognizable in female
clothing, with a made-up face, save for the dimples in his cheeks and
Diaz was what the gay community calls "transgender," someone
feels trapped in a body of the wrong sex.
To respect Diaz's wishes, friends Sascha Adams and Dan
to Diaz as "she."
"She would go to work in male clothing and dressed as a boy at
She respected her family's wish not to see her like that," said
soft-spoken transgender person, sitting in a corner of the Lambda
Center on Ochoa Street.
Before cruising the clubs, Diaz would get ready at the Planned
Parenthood's Desert Rainbow Center on Montana Avenue. At the end of
night, Diaz would change again on the way home.
"She'd wake up as a boy," Adams said. "She used to say as
she got her own apartment, she'd be a girl 24-7."
Diaz's family knew. Their baby boy had come out many years
the mere mention of the name "Arlene" causes Rosa Diaz to tense up.
"It's Hector. That's the name he was born under," she said.
Diaz was buried in a man's suit.
However complicated life was getting, Diaz was happy.
"She loved her mother and sisters," Adams said. "There was one
sister in particular with whom they talked about everything. She
always mention them. That's all she ever talked about - how happy
Diaz's alleged killer had been hanging around the gay bar
some time, but several members of the gay community said Hall is not
as one of their own. With his bony face, he looked a good 10 years
than he was. He drove a dark GMC Yukon pickup, police reports read.
"Supposedly, he was a real nice guy," Nicotera said.
Few people knew Hall had been incarcerated from April 2000 to
November 2001 on two charges of burglary and one of auto theft.
On the last night of his life, Diaz had gone to the Desert
Center for a transgender support group meeting. He put on his
outfit, a fuzzy black woman's sweater, black pants and fashionable
He fixed his long, black hair and applied makeup. The group watched a
movie, and Diaz, Adams, Nicotera and others went to Sergio's Bar on
Avenue. Diaz disappeared about 10:30 p.m.
Police did not disclose the relationship between Diaz and
friends said they were not dating. A witness saw the two early the
morning, a police report says. They appeared to be arguing. It was
before police reports allege Hall shot Diaz in the back.
On April 20, Hall was arrested at the Gas Light Square trailer
at 500 Talbot in Canutillo for illegally carrying a loaded Bryco Arms
handgun. Hall was out on bond when he was arrested two days later and
charged with Diaz's murder. Hall remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of
bond, authorities said.
. Louie Gilot may be reached at lgilot@...
Denver Post, May 1, 2002
650 15th Street, Denver, CO, 80202
(Fax: 303-820-1369 ) (E-Mail: Letters@... )
( http://www.denverpost.com )
Slain activist's reach was long
Hundreds jam memorial for Sandberg
By Claire Martin, Denver Post Staff Writer
Jocelyn Sandberg died alone, stabbed to death early Friday
her body abandoned on the steps of Armstrong Hall at Colorado College
Colorado Springs. Police are still searching for her attacker.
But on Monday, more than 600 friends, relatives and
filled the college's Shove Chapel to celebrate the feisty, tenacious
they knew. Her parents, Evelyn and Harley Sandberg of Salt Lake
Sandberg grew up, looked on in astonishment as they listened to the
and testimonies of the lives their daughter had touched.
They heard from volunteers and staff members from KRCC, the
Public Radio affiliate in Colorado Springs, where Sandberg lived for
than 12 years. Sandberg, who came to KRCC as a volunteer and later
hired as office manager, tutored dozens of other volunteers.
"Jocelyn may not have had children of her own," station
Valdes told her parents, "but look around you, and you'll see people
helped, in her own way, like a mother."
He remembered Sandberg as a vibrant, energetic woman who looked
younger than her 41 years, with long dark hair and an informal
flip-flops, jeans, a T-shirt and a baseball cap worn fore to aft. She
pitched in wherever she was needed, always babysitting Vicky Gregor's
daughter while Gregor hosted the morning "Freeform" music show.
After Sandberg's death, hundreds of calls and e-mails flooded
station. Cards and letters arrived, including condolence notes from
at the prisons in Limon and Cañon City. Among the listeners who
for the Monday evening memorial was Joseph Bruce, a taciturn Calhan
who once met Sandberg when she was walking her dogs.
"We didn't see eye to eye on anything, but she was a nice
lady, and I
felt so sad," said Bruce, who prides himself on being tight with
always donated something during KRCC's biannual fund drives because he
"It felt like there was something missing in the universe.
sorry state of affairs. Someone shouldn't be persecuted for the way
Sandberg was lesbian and active in gay rights. In 1992, she
campaigned against Amendment 2, the ballot initiative that would have
repealed anti-bias laws that protected gays in Colorado. Last fall,
sitting through 22 films in the three-day Pikes Peak Lavendar Film
Sandberg went up to festival founder Alma Cremonesi and offered to
Other mourners knew Sandberg from the 10 years she spent, on
as a chef and baker at Poor Richard's, a popular restaurant near
Sandberg came up with the restaurant's pizza dough recipe in
said Richard Skorman, the Colorado Springs city councilman who owns
cafe. On Friday, before learning of the murder, Skorman was trying
Sandberg to tell her their pizza just won a Best Of award in the
In addition to her parents, who live in Salt Lake City,
survived by eight brothers and sisters.
Cape Cod Times, May 1, 2002
319 Main St., Hyannis, MA, 02601
(Fax: 508-775-7337 ) (E-Mail: letters@... )
( http://www.capecodonline.com )
Forum will raise issue of gay students' safety
By JORDANA HASPEL, Staff Writer
HARWICH - A variety of panelists will speak tonight at the
Community Center about how some students are singled out for bullying
The forum, called Creating a Safe and Supportive Community for
Youth, is one of a series of such forums organized by the Parents,
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and funded by the state
of Public Health.
Half the program will be devoted to issues concerning gay,
bisexual and transgendered youth, but organizers say the discussion
focus on anyone who is different, or even perceived to be.
"Basically what we're trying to do is provide a safe and
community for everyone," said Pam Garramone, director of the PFLAG of
Greater Boston. "What we're really hoping to create is a
one has the right to use name calling and bullying against anyone
different in a public school setting."
For some parents, tonight's event has rekindled a controversy
last year over parental notification for health classes about sexual
orientation. Some parents expressed concerns that gay men and a
transgendered person spoke to their 11th- and 12th-grade children,
members of the Cape and Islands Gay and Straight Youth Alliance
Pem Schultz, co-chairwoman of the Cape Cod PFLAG chapter, said
town was offered one of the forums because of what happened last year.
"They thought Harwich would be a good (town) because we had
difficulty with this subject," Schultz said. "Harwich has a little
difficulty understanding the sexual orientation part of diversity."
She said they included discussion of people with disabilities
racism to make the forum easier for residents who are uncomfortable
discussing sexual orientation, but also because the issues of respect
safety are fundamentally the same for every group.
According to state surveys, however, homosexual students have
especially rough. A 1999 survey of 4,415 high school students by the
Department of Education found:
Homosexual students were more than four times more likely to
Homosexual students were three times as likely to be
injured with a weapon.
Homosexual students were three times more likely to skip school
because they feel unsafe.
One of the highlights of this evening will be a panel made up
Harwich High School alumni, a current student, a parent, and a
will offer a personal perspective about issues facing gay, lesbian,
and transgendered youth, their straight allies, and their families.
the alumni speaking will be the son of selectmen Chairman Cyd
named Cyd Zeigler.
The event has the support of the Harwich police and fire
schools, selectmen, chamber of commerce, and several local churches,
That does not mean everyone is all for it, however. Lloyd
one of the Harwich residents who last year discouraged discussions
sexual orientation in schools, said he is concerned the forum will be
geared towards silencing the heterosexual majority than improving the
of gay students.
"My concerns were that this program would not be just about the
safety of all the students, but about the safety of a small number of
students who have chosen to call themselves gay," McDonald said. "I
objection to protecting their personhood, but that's not what this
all about. It's to force the silence of most kids."
The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The main program, which
keynote speech from Tufts University Professor Calvin "Chip" Gidney,
run from 7 to 9 p.m.
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