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1st May, 2002 (# 3) News Clippings Digest

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  • grahamu_1999
    1st May, 2002 (# 3) News Clippings Digest 1. NEW YORK TIMES Editorial: Civil rights for the transgendered 2. METROWEST DAILY NEWS (Boston-area) Column:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2002
      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'
      safety

      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 )
      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/01/opinion/_01WED4.html
      Editorial: Civil Rights for the Transgendered
      Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday signed into law a bill that
      extends
      New York City's human rights protection to transgendered people - a
      group
      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
      5, is
      an important step forward in fighting prejudice and in protecting the
      rights
      of some of society's most vulnerable citizens.
      The transgendered category covers a wide array of people who
      do not
      fit into traditional gender groups, whether due to appearance,
      behavior or
      physical attributes. Even in a city as diverse, and generally
      tolerant, as
      New York, transgendered people often find themselves discriminated
      against
      when looking for work and on the job, and in finding and keeping
      housing.
      They are frequently denied service in restaurants and stores. And
      they are
      often the victims of hate crimes.
      In the debate over the new law, few argued that transgendered
      people
      deserve to be discriminated against. Rather, they said that
      transgendered
      people were adequately protected by the city's human rights law, which
      prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual
      orientation. The
      argument that explicit protection of the transgendered was
      superfluous was
      the one Mayor Rudolph Giuliani gave last year, and the position that
      Mayor
      Bloomberg took until he changed his mind.
      It is true that transgendered people have sometimes been able
      to
      employ existing antidiscrimination laws, but not reliably. Putting
      specific
      language into the city's human rights law removes all doubt that the
      transgendered are entitled to equal rights and equal treatment. It
      also
      sends a clear message that this sort of discrimination will not be
      tolerated.
      Because the rights of the transgendered have gotten little
      attention,
      it might seem that New York broke new ground yesterday. But in fact,
      more
      than 40 towns, counties, cities and states - including Iowa City,
      Louisville, Kentucky and Rhode Island - have written transgendered
      people
      into their antidiscrimination laws. New York City's action yesterday
      was
      not path-breaking, but it should light the way for other
      jurisdictions to
      extend protection to their own transgendered citizens.


      MetroWest Daily News, May 1, 2002
      (affiliated with the Boston Herald)
      http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/columnists/colhaneisen05012002.
      htm
      Anti-gay group doesn't connect dots
      By Rob Haneisen
      When Lisa Eisenburd's two kids ask her why she and her partner
      Iris
      Godes are not married to each other this is what she must tell
      them: "We
      have to say we are married in our hearts," the Framingham mother
      said. "Why
      should I have to have a footnote next to that when we are explaining
      it to
      our kids?"
      Eisenburd and Godes are parents to a 6-year-old and 10-year-
      old. The
      kids attend public school. Eisenburd is on the school council for
      one of
      her daughter's schools and started an astronomy club. She and Godes
      have
      been in a relationship for 22 years and by all accounts the two fit
      the bill
      of suburban moms.
      But somehow, their relationship is a threat to a group pushing
      a
      ballot initiative to protect the institution of marriage.
      The initiative, sponsored by the Waltham-based Massachusetts
      Citizens
      for Marriage, would amend the state constitution to define marriage
      as a
      "union of one man and one woman."
      Eisenburd is mad, mad enough to start the MetroWest Chapter of
      the
      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-
      pleased that
      officially her next of kin are her parents in Boca Raton, Fla.
      If the initiative makes it on a ballot in 2004 and is
      successful it
      could cut off insurance benefits to same-sex partners, as well as
      bury any
      chance of the state recognizing same-sex marriages. If Godes were
      injured
      in a car wreck and hospitalized in critical condition, Eisenburd
      would not
      be able to be at her side. She would not be considered family.
      I've never really understood the logic of opposing same-sex
      marriages
      or gay relationships. Why has one of the most intimate acts between
      two
      people and the parameters of a relationship become cause for public
      debate?
      Or even legislation?
      What's disturbing about the Massachusetts Citizens for
      Marriage is
      its thinly veiled agenda. Why is it necessary to exclude gays and
      lesbians
      from marriage in order to protect marriage for heterosexual couples?
      It's
      as though married gays and lesbians would be such an affront to
      heterosexual
      married couples they would constitute a threat.
      You can see where I'm going with this. The protection of
      marriage
      and the rights of gay couples have nothing to do with one another, so
      why
      establish a link?
      "I think it is a direct assault on gay and lesbian
      relationships,"
      Eisenburd said. "There's nothing in there about trying to stop
      divorces or
      counseling to try and help existing marriages."
      Citizens for Marriage believe a majority of Massachusetts
      residents
      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
      should be
      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
      the
      harmless sounding name of the initiative.
      So now Eisenburd and more than 100 others in MetroWest must
      take time
      away from their loved ones to fight for what they already have:
      successful
      families.
      If you would like to join her, she can be reached at
      metrowest@....
      With more than half of all heterosexual marriages ending in
      divorce,
      it's fair to say that marriage can be a challenge. But to say that
      gays and
      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
      subject
      because there's no budging people there. But what about time and
      energy
      well spent? If anyone is truly concerned about the well-being of
      marriage,
      their time and energy would be better spent on their own marriage to
      begin
      with and couples support programs.
      Of course, that is only if that person is truly concerned
      about the
      future of marriage.
      My wife and I went to a bed and breakfast in Vermont for our
      second
      anniversary two years ago. When I booked our room I was told that we
      would
      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
      the
      front desk how the marriage went. The woman leaned over the desk and
      said
      in a voice close to a whisper, "It was a civil union," the term used
      in
      Vermont for same-sex marriages.
      I wish she didn't have to whisper.
      . Rob Haneisen is the central regional editor for the
      MetroWest Daily
      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/ )
      http://www.borderlandnews.com/stories/borderland/20020501-193904.shtml
      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
      convenience
      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-
      year-old
      man dressed in women's clothing and became "Arlene," a fixture of the
      gay
      scene in Downtown El Paso.
      April 10, when a passer-by found his body on Anapra Road,
      shock and
      sorrow united his two worlds.
      "I am shattered," his mother, Rosa Diaz, said last week, in
      tears.
      "You have children. You raise them. You see them grow and
      someone
      kills them. He didn't deserve this. There is no reason for this."
      Police believe the killing was motivated by prejudice over
      Diaz's
      sexual orientation.
      Police declined to comment further, but a police report
      indicates
      they obtained an incriminating statement from the alleged killer,
      Justen
      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
      authorities.
      Project volunteers monitor anti-gay violence through victims'
      calls
      to a hot line. In 2001 they received testimonies of 117 bias-
      motivated
      incidents involving 172 victims. The tally includes 42 reported
      assaults,
      85 cases of harassment and 16 cases of vandalism, the project
      volunteers
      said. The number of anti-gay incidents remained constant between
      2000 and
      2001, volunteers said.
      In 2000, police data show, there were nine hate crimes in El
      Paso and
      none were believed to have been committed over sexual orientation.
      Project coordinator Rob Knight said such acts and the killing
      of Diaz
      are "spawned by bigotry and hate."
      "No one should live in fear or lose their life simply for
      being who
      they are," Knight said.
      Diaz had left Gadsden High School in Anthony, N.M., in the
      11th grade
      and obtained his GED from UTEP. He studied at a technical school and
      got a
      job filing records at Sierra Medical Center, his family said.
      He lived with his mother, a hotel housekeeper, and three
      sisters at
      their mother's house on Yucca Street in Sunland Park.
      There, he shared a bedroom with his grandfather until the
      elderly man
      died two years ago. Stuffed animals and a fleet of small helium
      balloons
      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
      described
      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
      chin.
      Diaz was what the gay community calls "transgender," someone
      who
      feels trapped in a body of the wrong sex.
      To respect Diaz's wishes, friends Sascha Adams and Dan
      Nicotera refer
      to Diaz as "she."
      "She would go to work in male clothing and dressed as a boy at
      home.
      She respected her family's wish not to see her like that," said
      Adams, a
      soft-spoken transgender person, sitting in a corner of the Lambda
      Community
      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
      the
      night, Diaz would change again on the way home.
      "She'd wake up as a boy," Adams said. "She used to say as
      soon 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
      ago. But
      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
      would
      always mention them. That's all she ever talked about - how happy
      she was
      at home."
      Diaz's alleged killer had been hanging around the gay bar
      scene for
      some time, but several members of the gay community said Hall is not
      claimed
      as one of their own. With his bony face, he looked a good 10 years
      older
      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
      Rainbow
      Center for a transgender support group meeting. He put on his
      favorite
      outfit, a fuzzy black woman's sweater, black pants and fashionable
      boots.
      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
      Missouri
      Avenue. Diaz disappeared about 10:30 p.m.
      Police did not disclose the relationship between Diaz and
      Hall, but
      friends said they were not dating. A witness saw the two early the
      next
      morning, a police report says. They appeared to be arguing. It was
      shortly
      before police reports allege Hall shot Diaz in the back.
      On April 20, Hall was arrested at the Gas Light Square trailer
      park
      at 500 Talbot in Canutillo for illegally carrying a loaded Bryco Arms
      9 mm
      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
      $75,000
      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 )
      http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%7E53%7E582469,00.html
      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
      morning,
      her body abandoned on the steps of Armstrong Hall at Colorado College
      in
      Colorado Springs. Police are still searching for her attacker.
      But on Monday, more than 600 friends, relatives and
      acquaintances
      filled the college's Shove Chapel to celebrate the feisty, tenacious
      woman
      they knew. Her parents, Evelyn and Harley Sandberg of Salt Lake
      City, where
      Sandberg grew up, looked on in astonishment as they listened to the
      stories
      and testimonies of the lives their daughter had touched.
      They heard from volunteers and staff members from KRCC, the
      National
      Public Radio affiliate in Colorado Springs, where Sandberg lived for
      more
      than 12 years. Sandberg, who came to KRCC as a volunteer and later
      was
      hired as office manager, tutored dozens of other volunteers.
      "Jocelyn may not have had children of her own," station
      manager Mario
      Valdes told her parents, "but look around you, and you'll see people
      she
      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
      uniform of
      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
      infant
      daughter while Gregor hosted the morning "Freeform" music show.
      After Sandberg's death, hundreds of calls and e-mails flooded
      the
      station. Cards and letters arrived, including condolence notes from
      inmates
      at the prisons in Limon and Cañon City. Among the listeners who
      showed up
      for the Monday evening memorial was Joseph Bruce, a taciturn Calhan
      rancher
      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
      money but
      always donated something during KRCC's biannual fund drives because he
      admired Sandberg.
      "It felt like there was something missing in the universe.
      It's a
      sorry state of affairs. Someone shouldn't be persecuted for the way
      they
      catch."
      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,
      after
      sitting through 22 films in the three-day Pikes Peak Lavendar Film
      Festival,
      Sandberg went up to festival founder Alma Cremonesi and offered to
      join the
      production committee.
      Other mourners knew Sandberg from the 10 years she spent, on
      and off,
      as a chef and baker at Poor Richard's, a popular restaurant near
      Colorado
      College.
      Sandberg came up with the restaurant's pizza dough recipe in
      1993,
      said Richard Skorman, the Colorado Springs city councilman who owns
      the
      cafe. On Friday, before learning of the murder, Skorman was trying
      to reach
      Sandberg to tell her their pizza just won a Best Of award in the
      Colorado
      Springs Gazette.
      In addition to her parents, who live in Salt Lake City,
      Sandberg is
      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 )
      http://www.capecodonline.com/cctimes/forumwill1.htm
      Forum will raise issue of gay students' safety
      By JORDANA HASPEL, Staff Writer
      HARWICH - A variety of panelists will speak tonight at the
      Harwich
      Community Center about how some students are singled out for bullying
      and
      abuse.
      The forum, called Creating a Safe and Supportive Community for
      Our
      Youth, is one of a series of such forums organized by the Parents,
      Families
      and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and funded by the state
      Department
      of Public Health.
      Half the program will be devoted to issues concerning gay,
      lesbian,
      bisexual and transgendered youth, but organizers say the discussion
      will
      focus on anyone who is different, or even perceived to be.
      "Basically what we're trying to do is provide a safe and
      supportive
      community for everyone," said Pam Garramone, director of the PFLAG of
      Greater Boston. "What we're really hoping to create is a
      conversation. No
      one has the right to use name calling and bullying against anyone
      who's
      different in a public school setting."
      For some parents, tonight's event has rekindled a controversy
      from
      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,
      after
      members of the Cape and Islands Gay and Straight Youth Alliance
      visited
      three classes.
      Pem Schultz, co-chairwoman of the Cape Cod PFLAG chapter, said
      the
      town was offered one of the forums because of what happened last year.
      "They thought Harwich would be a good (town) because we had
      some
      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
      and
      racism to make the forum easier for residents who are uncomfortable
      discussing sexual orientation, but also because the issues of respect
      and
      safety are fundamentally the same for every group.
      According to state surveys, however, homosexual students have
      it
      especially rough. A 1999 survey of 4,415 high school students by the
      state
      Department of Education found:
      Homosexual students were more than four times more likely to
      attempt
      suicide.
      Homosexual students were three times as likely to be
      threatened or
      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
      of
      Harwich High School alumni, a current student, a parent, and a
      minister, who
      will offer a personal perspective about issues facing gay, lesbian,
      bisexual
      and transgendered youth, their straight allies, and their families.
      One of
      the alumni speaking will be the son of selectmen Chairman Cyd
      Zeigler, also
      named Cyd Zeigler.
      The event has the support of the Harwich police and fire
      departments,
      schools, selectmen, chamber of commerce, and several local churches,
      among
      other groups.
      That does not mean everyone is all for it, however. Lloyd
      McDonald,
      one of the Harwich residents who last year discouraged discussions
      about
      sexual orientation in schools, said he is concerned the forum will be
      more
      geared towards silencing the heterosexual majority than improving the
      safety
      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
      have no
      objection to protecting their personhood, but that's not what this
      forum is
      all about. It's to force the silence of most kids."
      The forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. The main program, which
      includes a
      keynote speech from Tufts University Professor Calvin "Chip" Gidney,
      will
      run from 7 to 9 p.m.
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