Tracy Clark-Flory attends a live taping of Ultimate Surrender at the Armory. The kind of bodies she saw competing, and the types of people she saw watching, were not what she expected.
Banning male circumcision is the goal of a group of San Francisco “intactivists,” lead by Lloyd Schofield, who have successfully placed a measure on the local ballot for November that would make it “unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years.” The ordinance contains an exception for religious ceremonies, which is interesting as it pits two frameworks of “rights” against one another. On the one hand, religious freedom, and on the other, basic human and youth rights.
The key, as noted by the Constitutional Law Prof Blog, is how one conceptualizes the argument: “Conceptualized as the child’s right to be free from harm, the First Amendment religious freedom arguments become less persuasive.” As they show, legal precedent is mirky, and some debate over whether the group’s motivations are a “hostility to religion” or a resentment that they were circumcised have arisen.
U.S. State Department Response to UN Human Rights Council Working Group UPR Report « www.harlotsparlour.comPosted: March 10th, 2011 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: humanrights, kotbriefs, politics, sexwork | 2 Comments »
The US State Dept. published a response to the UN's Universal Periodic Review in full support of Recommendation 86, which says "no one should face violence or discrimination in access to public services based on…their status as a person in prostitution". The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group who worked with the UN’s US delegation praised the statement. "We are especially happy to note that the Obama administration is taking human rights abuses against sex workers seriously," RJ Thompson, Woodhull's Human Rights Program Director said.
But many US sex workers, who face discrimination and violence from US police forces, expressed skepticism. A sex worker rights advocate and blogger who writes under the name elrond said: "Will this mean sex workers can get tested for STDs in the US without fear of arrest? While cities like New Orleans who imprison sex workers for long sentences, I some how don't think so."
New technique to help catch sexual offenders: Scientists detect condom lubricant on fingermarks for the first timePosted: February 4th, 2011 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: crime, kotbriefs, technology | No Comments »
A new technique that's able to detect condom lubricants in fingerprints may offer law enforcement personnel and prosecutors new ways to establish the presence of a suspect in an alleged sexual assault. The technique, developed at Sheffield Hallam University, uses MALDI-MSI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging), a technology used to map fingerprint ridge patterns, and is able to detect lubricant in fingermarks that have been left for several weeks before analysis.
"Offenders are increasingly aware of forensic issues and it is common now for condoms to be used and removed from the scene of a sexual assault," Dr. Simona Francese said. "If condom lubricant can be detected in fingermarks it would improve the evidence for the prosecution by establishing the assailant's presence at the scene and, crucially, having had contact with a condom. This would enable forensic scientists to provide further support to the evidence in alleged cases of sexual assault."
David Kato, one of the earliest and most prominent gay rights activists in Uganda, was murdered in his home Wednesday. The killing comes shortly after Kato won a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid from publishing names and pictures of Ugandans it claims are homosexual. Kato himself was pictured in an earlier run of the tabloid under the headline "Hang Them." When asked for comment, the tabloid's managing editor Giles Muhame said he had "no regrets" about the publication—or the murder.
It's worth forever remembering the intimate role American Christian fundamentalists have played in this murder, as "visits from several American preachers renowned for their homophobic views," reported Xan Rice, helped create a climate of fear and prejudice in the country.
The terms "mother" and "father" on US passport applications are being replaced with the gender-neutral terms "Parent 1" and "Parent 2". Jennifer Chrisler of the Family Equality Council said the change "allows many different types of families to be able to go and apply for a passport…without feeling like the government doesn't recognize their family." Naturally, anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council are outraged, saying the change "violates the spirit if not the letter of the Defense of Marriage Act."
The change also highlights a staggeringly underreported issue: the technological infrastructure our society uses to classify people. Changing terms on forms costs real dollars, but perhaps counterintuitively, a gender-neutral infrastructure is not just more humane, it's more cost-effective, too.
Storied career takes transgender attorney to judgeship | Houston & Texas News | Chron.com – Houston ChroniclePosted: November 19th, 2010 | Author: maymay | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: 68, glbt, kinkontap, law, politics, transgender | No Comments »
"[Phyllis] Frye, a transgender Houston attorney born as Phillip Frye, fought back tears earlier this week as the mayor appointed her to a municipal bench in the same room where she helped repeal Houston's 'cross-dressing ordinance' in 1980," Brian Rogers reports. It was the very same chamber where she was subject to arrest.
She was a graduate of A&M, an Eagle Scout, a husband, and a father. Now, she's one of only a handful of transgender judges in the country. "I understand it is very significant," Frye said. "But I don't want to overplay it either. I don't want people to think I am anything other than an associate municipal court judge." Frye will oversee "traffic ticket cases and other low-level misdemeanor trials." Naturally, her appointment received harsh criticism from opponents who said the mayor, an out lesbian, is "promoting a [GLBT] agenda" that's "anti-family." Apparently it's just all too easy to corrupt the youth before they get traffic tickets, don't'cha know?
What do you do if you're a college theater group whose hard work on an upcoming play gets silenced by the administration's refusal to let you advertise it? You find out exactly what the administrators had a problem with and then you shove it in their faces as loud as you can. At least, that's what about 24 students at California State University at Long Beach did the other day. Their play, "The Night of the Tribades, is about playwright August Strindberg's relationship with women," Stephanie Rivera writes. And despite the production being part of the graduate acting program, administrators refused to advertise it on a marquee because "tribade" is an archaic greek term for "lesbian," and when ignorant administrators punched tribade into Google, they got a bunch of references to "tribadism," the lesbian sex act more commonly known as scissoring.
So the protest very appropriately consisted of a flash mob of (clothed) scissoring grad students. So you see, the cover up always hurts more.
From the "it's just dumb enough to share" department, the French paper 20minutes reports that "women whose names end with the letter 'a' reported having more than the average 4.4 sexual partners most women had during their lifetime." Their source is a French dating website called Smartdate, whose survey of its user base revealed that names like Laura, Tania, and Lola were given to the women with the most sexual partners.
It sounds to me like Smartdate is trying to be something of an OkCupid, whose OkTrends blog is actually interesting because they talk about rape fantasies, sexuality and aging, and a lot more. That said, this is a story I'd like to see headed towards debunktion junction.
Pete and Alisha Arnold made an online
poll prank where, they say, "You can vote and choose whether we abort or keep our unborn child. For the first time, your vote on the topic of abortion can make a difference." And that tagline is what gives it away. As Jeff Fecke says, "Anyone who’s truly pro-choice would understand why putting a woman's right to choose up for a vote is wrong." A little digging shows Pete and Alisha are anti-choicers whose web acts are easily traced to vandalizing wikis and supporting Glenn Beck.
So why this prank? "It’s not surprising," Jeff writes, "Being anti-choice means that you want to decide for others what they must do when faced with the decision to have a child. It’s only natural for them to assume that pro-choicers must want to force women to have abortions against their will. After all, to an anti-choicer, 'against their will' is how women should do pretty much everything; it’s just a question of who’s making the decisions for them."